Child Tantrum on Airplane Leads to Police Called on Family by Flight Crew

P olice of Lambert–St. Louis International Airport escorted a family off of an airplane after it landed due to the tantrums of a child who is two years of age.

As a result of the first “meltdown”, the father of the child sat his son in his lap when the airplane operated by Frontier Airlines was still on the ground in Punta Cana prior to departure; but a flight attendant informed him of a policy where the son was required to be buckled in a seat prior to departure — despite assertions by the father that the crew members on the outbound flight to the Dominican Republic permitted the toddler to sit in his lap.

The flight attendant reportedly threatened to have the family removed from the aircraft if the child did not stop screaming and crying because he was being “too loud.”

Although the boy eventually calmed down, he launched into a second tantrum as the aircraft experienced turbulence during the flight to Saint Louis.

According to this article written by Mike Rush of 5 On Your Side for KSDK Channel Five News — a video is included with the article — “the captain of the plane involved police because the spokesman says the Khalfins were verbally and physically abusive to the flight staff. Claiming Sam’s mother, Regina, threw trash at an attendant, and tried to incite those around her.”

The mother later reportedly claimed that she was only gathering names and numbers of other passengers as witnesses to the incident.

The Khalfins disagreed and filed complaints with Frontier Airlines and the Attorney General’s Office in Missouri, according to the article.

This was supposedly the first airplane trip for young Sam Khalfin.

Many frequent fliers have long contended their disdain and lack of patience for children and toddlers on flights — such as this question about whether or not children should be banned from the premium class cabin, for example; or when there was the suggestion back in 2010 of having some airline flights reserved only for adults.

Could the parents of Sam Khalfin have done more to have prepared the boy for his airplane trip? Are they to blame for what had happened?

What do you think?

7 thoughts on “Child Tantrum on Airplane Leads to Police Called on Family by Flight Crew”

  1. It seems like nothing incites the Internet commenting world than the topic of kids on airplanes 😛 As a father of 6, I can definitely see both sides of things, and it’s probably premature to really do much judgment with all the facts.

    And I’d also say that even if the parents didn’t act maybe as appropriately as you might hope (from the comfort of your family room laptop), please be gentle – kids or not, we’ve all had days we wish we could take back.

    You might remember my post from a few months ago where a fellow passenger was not amused with my children and suggested that my wife and I “were the type of people that shouldn’t have children” 😀

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I do remember that article, Points with a Crew.

      My personal experience has suggested to me that children who act what may be considered inappropriately aboard an airplane is considered the exception rather than the rule…

      …but I have also found that the parents in the majority of those exceptions could have done more to have mitigated that behavior; and I wonder if this story is one of those times.

      As you have correctly said, neither you or I have all of the facts…

  2. Mike says:

    The world is full of annoying two-year olds, famously so in fact, but they have yet be outlawed anywhere, even in coach.

  3. WAE says:

    Airlines would never tolerate an adult passenger who was loud, disruptive, and ruined the flight for others. They should not tolerate such behavior from children. No one blames children for acting like children, but airlines should hold the adults [parents who cannot control their children] accountable.

    @Points with a Crew – Isn’t it the parents we should ask to be kind–by not bringing children too young to travel on a long flight? Both the kids and the other passengers are miserable.

    @Mike – Movie theaters, restaurants, etc. regularly ask patrons with out-of-control children to step outside temporarily or simply leave. Do paying passengers buy the right to a reasonably quiet trip?

  4. Yihwan says:

    I think that “Flight attendants calls police on family for child’s tantrum” would read better as a title.

  5. Paula says:

    Flight attendant’s reactions to frightened /overtired toddlers make a huge difference.
    We have been on flights with two extremes. The more negativity and insensitivity from flight attendants the harder it is for the child and the parent that is attempting to calm the young one to calm down.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      That indeed is a very important factor, Paula; and I can see how the reaction of a flight attendant can be a significant difference.

      Then again, the response can be similar with adult passengers — and vice versa…

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