An Atlanta man and his toddler were forced off a plane because the child didn’t want to sit in her seat and wanted to be in her father’s lap.
Chrisean Rose told WSB-TV 2 that he bought tickets on three flights to take his daughter to Disney World in Orlando and back home, and the 25-month-old sat on his lap on each flight. However, a flight attendant on his Frontier Airlines flight back home objected to his daughter, Rayana sitting on him.
Rose said the flight attendant threatened to get him arrested while he was holding his daughter.
“They will arrest you; I’m telling you that right now,” a flight attendant said to Rose.
Rose, a noted photographer, said he never expected the “most awesome” father-daughter weekend to end the way it did. He said he purchased a ticket for his daughter as required by the airlines. Spirit Airlines had allowed Rayana to sit in his lap on the way to Disney World from Atlanta. It was the 2-year-old’s first time flying, and her father was trying to offer her a sense of security, he said.
“She’s a small kid; she’s nervous. I explained to the flight attendant that this is only our first time traveling, and she’s a little bit nervous,” Rose said.
However, the Frontier flight attendant insisted Rose put Rayana in the seat he purchased for her. When he couldn’t get her to sit, the flight attendant asked Rose to get off. The plane was taxiing. It returned to the gate. Everyone was deplaned, and Rose and his child were forced to get off.
“It’s wrong for you to do that,” Rose said. “I’m just trying to comfort her so she doesn’t interrupt the people in this flight, and this is what you do.”
Rose found a return flight on Delta Air Lines, where Rayana sat on his lap. After filing a complaint, Frontier reimbursed him for the flight.
Representatives for the airline said the flight attendant was enforcing a Federal Aviation Administration policy.
“It is an FAA requirement that all passengers over the age of 24 months must be buckled into their own seat for takeoff and landing. The parent refused to comply and therefore was asked to exit the aircraft with the child,” Frontier Airlines said in a statement.
Rose said he understands that there is a policy, but he was hoping that Frontier would’ve been accommodating.
“Babies don’t understand policies,” he said.
Rose said “the whole experience was beyond disheartening,” and he will never fly on Frontier again. He also said the airline refused to return their stroller.
“The police officers who they called to ‘arrest’ me ended up defending me and demanded that they stopped and take my stroller off,” Rose wrote on Instagram.
“I did not think it needed to be that far. I mean, arrest for what? For a kid crying?” Rose told WSB-TV 2.