Thu, Jan 25, 2007
Family Asked To Leave The Plane Before Departure
In a story that's
garnering a great deal of attention in the general media,
three-year-old Elly Kulesza's temper tantrum got her and her
parents removed from an AirTran flight preparing to depart Fort
Julie and Gerry Kulesza were headed home to Boston with Elly on
January 14. Apparently the precocious child vehemently objected to
sitting down and wearing a seat belt... vehemently enough to be
heard all over the plane. An AirTran spokesman told the Associated
Press Elly "was climbing under the seat and hitting the parents and
wouldn't get in her seat."
Julie Kulesza says she wasn't given time to get Elly under
control. She said, "We weren't given an opportunity to hold her,
console her or anything."
The couple had purchased a seat for Elly because FAA rules
require all children over the age of two to sit in their own seat
and wear a seatbelt for takeoff and landing. Julie Kulesza asked
the cabin crew if she could sit Elly on her lap, but the flight
attendants said no.
Eventually, the crew asked the stunned couple to leave the plane
-- with their daughter.
Gerry Kulesza said, "I was outraged and embarrassed, I'm a full
time EMT in Boston and if I treated anybody the way they treated me
I would be out of a job."
In a statement, AirTran spokeswoman Judy Graham-Weaver said,
"The flight was already delayed 15 minutes and in fairness to the
other 112 passengers on the plane, the crew made an operational
decision to remove the family."
AirTran refunded the nearly $600 the Kulesza's paid for their
tickets, but that hasn't seemed to soothe their ruffled feathers.
In an interview on CNN, the Kulesza's said they've gone public with
the story to warn other parents "the same thing could happen to
them if their child is crying too much."
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