By now I guess you’ve heard or read about Elly Kulesza. She is the 3-year-old girl who, along with her parents Julie Kulesza and Gerald (Gerry) Kulesza, was escorted off an AirTran flight. The Kulesza family has starred in a lot of news coverage, including an appearance on ABC.
The headlines, and the associated ABC News poll, just mention that the kid was crying, and ask “Do you think children who cry uncontrollably should be removed from airplanes?”
Fer pete’s sake, people, the family wasn’t booted off the plane because the kid was crying. The problem was, that the child was not in her seat. FAA regulations prohibit the pilot from taking off unless all passengers are seated and buckled in.
The family was taken off the flight because they were keeping the flight from taking off – and by then the flight was already 15 minutes past its scheduled takeoff.
I have read this story in newspapers and on websites, including but not limited to the ABC News website. Nobody seems to understand why the Kuleszas – now basking in their “victim of the week” media status – were really booted from the flight.
Crying kids fly every day as passengers on commercial aircraft. And as long as they’re seated and buckled in for takeoff, they just wail away. Not much fun for those around them but not an FAA rule violation, either.
It was the kid’s antics – and the parents’ refusal to pick her up, sit her down in the seat, and buckle her up – that led to the crackdown. Not her screaming.
Don’t know if it’s legit, but this was posted on the ABC News discussion board related to the story:
I was at the gate in Ft. Meyers waiting for the Air Tran flight to take off for Boston so I could board the next arriving flight that would be headed to Atlanta. I witnessed this family 30 minutes prior to their flight taking off and this child was disobedient and unruly to the parents. Several waiting passengers commented on the lack of control. Then I saw the family deplane and the child was absolutely out of control for another 30 to 40 minutes. She was screaming, kicking, and crawling across the floor. The mother had NO control and the father ignored the situation. I am upset that the media has played this as a sympathetic situation to the parents as it was clearly an issue of poor parenting. I too am the mother of two children and this would have NEVER occured as I would have gotten both myself and my child away from the other passengers had either of my children behaved this way.