Snatched Daughter Is Traumatized

April 24, 2009

in Baby & Kid Stories

Last summer my 2 year old daughter and I were flying home from a visit to some family members on Midwest Airlines. I was 5 months pregnant at the time and for those who have traveled with toddlers, you know how much extra stuff you have to cart around. We had a plane change in Milwaukee and the timing was very tight (approx. 45 minutes). By the time I got to the gate, we were the last ones to board.

It was 9:30 pm and my daughter was overly tired and cranky. We had to walk out to the plane and board it through the stairs from the plane. The jets were loud and my daughter was scared from the loud noise. I asked a grounds crew person if they could help me get my car seat up the stairs because carrying a toddler, car seat and 2 carry-ons would be impossible. I had all of that loaded on our stroller and we had to check the stroller at the steps of the plane.

Instead of helping me with my car seat, he proceeded to grab my toddler and head up the stairs onto the plane. She went completely hysterical with fear. I gathered up all my stuff and went up the stairs. My daughter was in a state of panic and terror with having been snatched by a stranger and taken away from me. Needless to say, I was a bit frustrated! I asked the male flight attendant if he could help me to my seat so I could console my daughter, who was screaming, and of course everyone was staring at us. The flight attendant replied, “Ma’am, I am not authorized to do that.” I said, “Not authorized?” He then said, “Lose the attitude”!

I was seething! He followed me to my seat carrying the car seat after all and I said to him, “Don’t ever talk to a customer that way again,” and made it clear that I was fuming about being told to “lose the attitude” when I was in need of assistance and it seemed that no one employed by this airline would like to help me.

It took my daughter 30 minutes to stop screaming because the whole event had been so traumatizing. And the screaming of course disrupted other passenger’s ability to have a peaceful flight. I think the flight attendant realized that he had stepped over the line because he was offering us cookies and drinks before the flight even took off.

Needless to say, we will not be flying Midwest Airlines again! I did send a letter to the powers that be at Midwest, and I got a response from a mid-level manager with an apology and nothing else.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

SamH April 23, 2009 at 6:54 pm

What were you expecting? The airline got you from place to place safely, and that is all the ticket and contract of carriage (yes…it IS a contract) requires.

So you were tired and bitchy and your toddler has a screaming fit. That does not entitle you to free first class tickets for life.


Onslow April 24, 2009 at 10:06 am

The FA was out of line to make the remark to you, but let's face it, you were not prepared to board the plane on your own, and you knew this in advance. These days everyone must be prepared to take care of their own needs and not rely on a baggage handler or FA for assistance. What if everyone boarding needed this much help?


Tom April 25, 2009 at 1:28 am

Dont leave yourself 45 minutes to change planes with a toddler. EVER. I cant even recommend that for grownups.


Elisa April 25, 2009 at 7:02 pm

Well, um, newsflash darling. Not everyone is born with a parenting manual in hand. So it hadn't occurred to him that the child might scream, nor can he be expected to understand what it's like to cart a 2yo and baggage on your own while pregnant.

You were completely clueless to expect him to read your mind. Or to understand the psychology of a 2yo mind.

This could have happened on any airline. You should have opened your mouth when they grabbed the kid. Instead you chose to get uppity at a flight attendant when it's not his job to cart your carry-on luggage.

What happened here was you being frustrated at the difficulty of travelling on your own with a kid and all the associated baggage. I've been there and I do understand, but it isn't fair to think it's "everybody else" to blame. In the end, the situation was rough… and that's as far as annoyance can go in practical terms. Move on and get over it instead of demanding someone "undo" your frustration.


debbie eskew April 27, 2009 at 2:35 am

Don't bring more then you can carry yourself…thats why they are called carry ons. Even though your aloud to bring 2 bags does don't mean you should.


Hugh April 27, 2009 at 6:07 am

You behaved like a Prima Donna. Sure the FA shouldn't have said that, but I suspect that you were really pooping an attitude with him. allowing 45 minutes with a toddler and all of that stuff was silly. You obviously had more than you could manage, and I'll wager you tipped no one who helped you. You complain that you received an apology and nothing else…what else di dyou want/expect? I am SO glad you were never on a flight with me.


Benny April 27, 2009 at 12:39 pm

To be honest on the occasion the problem passenger was you. You behaved like a prima donna, you were carrying far to much into the cabin where you no doubt expected others to make room for you, you expected someone else to carry your excessive luggage and then fawn over you all for the price of an economy ticket. On top of this you insult the staff because you felt as a "customer" you desereved more AND brought a unstable screaming child (screaming for 30min?)who then ruined the flight for many.

To be honest this website is full of interesting stories of people meeting passengers just like you and is facinating to see the "other" side. Your wholly self justified and arrogant attitude, despite ruining other passgengers flight, is amazing.


Amanda April 29, 2009 at 10:15 am

^agreeing with Benny. Don't bring more than you can carry. You can't rely on the kindness of strangers or bountiful airline employees to carry your bags, stroller, and carseat for you. Next time, if you insist on bringing the stroller and carseat, just bring a diaper bag for her toys and snacks.


Amber May 19, 2016 at 11:27 am

The car-seat is not optional, if the child isn't a lap baby it's required to be in a car-seat until the appropriate age. The stroller is also kind of necessary, as is having a diaper bag and some basics in a carry-on, had she not had enough stuff and the toddler screamed of boredom people would bitch about the ill prepared parent. Most airlines require you to gate check a stroller, they are also needed in this situation to get everything to the plane, so that may not have been something at al that could be helped. Travelling with children is a pain because you need so much stuff.


Joe April 30, 2009 at 9:43 am

I can't believe everyone that's commenting on this story. If any of the people in this story were human, they'd see a pregnant lady trying to struggle up the stairs with a 2 yr old and luggage and would help her – not watch her struggle and then lip off when she asked for help.

Where's the compassion?


Susan May 4, 2009 at 11:35 am

it is not the fa's nor the ground crew's job to be your own personal bell hop, it is their job to keep you safe. get over yourself.


SkylarKD May 5, 2009 at 10:56 am

I can't believe he picked up your child! And I can't believe the other commenters here don't see how out of line that was!

My daughter would freak out if a strange man picked her up too, and frankly, I'm glad for safety's sake – I don't want her walking off with strangers!


mercutioman May 6, 2009 at 11:41 pm

I do have to say that the male FA was out of line with taking your daughter that way. However, what I got out of this story is that ultimately the root of your problem is that you were unprepared and clueless. Sure the FA could have acted better, but I have to strongly suspect that there was friction going both ways for him to act the way he did. Next time be more prepared, actually have an amount of baggage you can carry (hence carry on), or arrange for help beforehand. I am sure that if you had talked to the FA on the prev flight they could have arranged something.


Atari May 31, 2009 at 5:48 pm

While I agree that the flight attendant was being stupid and obnoxious, I also feel that you were too wanting.

"An apology and 'that's all'".

Oh, boo hoo, you didn't get anything more than an apology. You're lucky you got that much.



Jody July 6, 2009 at 6:24 pm

Well, guess we know where the Entitlement Generation gets it.

Next time I'll make sure to fly Midwest Airlines, thus negating your ridiculous boycott.


mxyz250newb December 23, 2009 at 7:12 am

you know i've read about 60-80% of this website so far, and this is the only time i've actually NEEDED , really… like, REALLY felt the need to comment.

The OP is retarded, my reasoning is, your girl started screaming when the baggage handler took her, and as stated by another commenter, you did not stop him. You also state the loud noise, thus he may have not heard you properly.

Sounds like you got in the FA's face over nothing, i'm sure if you were calm and not like a rampaging rhino they could have easily accomodated you, but I know if someone gets in my face over nothing, i'm gonna get the urge to get back in their face, its just how it is, treat people with respect and you will receive the same!

I am glad you got nothing more than an apology, anything more would have been wasted on you anyways… although I would normally say the apology WAS wasted on you, the fact you mentioned it in this posting has thus shown your lack of morals.


mxyz250newb December 23, 2009 at 12:13 pm

I meant to say he may not have heard you properly originally when you told him your instructions, due to the noise, but I’m tired 😛

p.s. you are retarded o.p.


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