A three-year-old boy and his parents have been asked to leave an Alaska Airlines flight after the boy refused to sit down and wear his seatbelt. His father has spoken out about the experience, but Alaska Airlines has yet to issue a statement or apology.
"He was crying, being cranky," Mark Yanchak told MyNorthwest.com. "I started putting him in his seat. I put his seatbelt on, but he was being cranky, trying to be close to me, so he wasn't fully fastened yet."
When his son refused to wear the seatbelt, Yanchak asked his wife to bring him a pacifier and water. That seemed to do the trick, and the boy settled down. Unfortunately, the pilot had already turned the plane around and brought it back to the gate.
Upon arrival, the Yanchak family was asked to leave the plane without any explanation. The Alaska Airlines staff told MyNorthwest.com that it was a judgment call made by the pilot, who was concerned for the child's safety, as well as the safety of all other passengers.
Alaska Airlines offered to book the family on another flight, but they decided to forgo the offer and switch to a different airline. "I'm not sure how the kids will feel about flying next time," Yanchak explained. "As soon as we got off of the plane, he [the 3-year-old] was like, 'Dad, no fly, go home. Let's go home.' I think the whole ordeal just scared him off. He didn't want to fly again."
This is not the first time a family has been removed from a flight for a child's behavior. In March, a family flying Jet Blue was kicked off after a two-year-old began throwing a tantrum.
"We were just trying to control a two-year-old child who was scared and wanted to be held by her mother," explained mom Colette. "We weren't yelling and swearing. My child wasn't running up and down the aisles. We were putting in an effort."
"It's just airplane travel today," Colette added. "There's no humanity in it; there's no decency. I really think that this could have gone a different way."