An airline has apologised after one of its cabin crew refused to allow a mother to take her three-year-old daughter to the toilet, resulting in the youngster urinating in her seat.
Jennifer Devereaux was travelling on a JetBlue flight from New York to Boston this week when the plane was temporarily halted on the tarmac.
After a half-hour wait, toddler Summers began crying, telling her mother that she desperately needed to go.
“[The flight attendant] snapped at me, ‘No sit down,’” Ms Devereaux told WBZ-TV. However, after realising that her daughter had relieved herself in her seat, she got up once more to clean up the mess. Therein things went from bad to worse.
The crew member castigated her again for rising in her seat, “and I said, ‘please give me a break. My daughter had an accident because you wouldn’t let me take her to the bathroom. After I clean it up I will sit down.’ She turned around and reported it to the pilot.”
The pilot didn’t take kindly to the escalating situation, instead turning the plane around, heading back to the gate and announcing that this was due to a disobedient passenger.
“It wasn’t about bad customer service at that point, it was about bad human decency. My daughter was sitting in a pool of urine and I couldn’t do anything about it,” Devereaux said. “And as a mom it just broke my heart.”
Fellow passengers leapt to Ms Devereaux’s defence, including an off-duty pilot who happened to be sitting two seats in front of her and who successfully persuaded the crew to let the stricken mother stay on the flight.
The no-frills American airline has since said “sorry,” offered $50 off her next flight, as well as $5,000 to the charity of her choice. They have also said they will re-train their staff in how to deal with sensitive issues.
“I am so happy this all turned around for the good,” she said.
The airline’s apology comes on the same day that an unruly passenger on one of its flights from New York to Las Vegas forced the plane to divert to Detroit.
According to ABC News, the unnamed person was removed from the plane and taken by officials to Oakwood Hospital in Wayne, Michigan.