Frontier Airlines ejected a father and his two-year-old daughter in a controversy involving whether a toddler can sit in a parent’s lap or must remain in her seat. While Frontier Airlines is legally correct, it probably could have handed the issue better.
Frontier Airlines Removes Two-Year-Old And Father After Toddler Refused To Sit In Her Own Seat
Chrisean Rose and his two-year-old daughter Rayana flew from Atlanta (ATL) to Miami (MIA) on Spirit Airlines. Rayana sat on her father’s lap during takeoff and landing with no issue. But on their return journey on Frontier Airlines, a flight attendant warned Chrisean that he was breaking federal law by holding his daughter on his lap, warning:
“They will arrest you; I’m telling you that right now.”
That’s a bit overdramatic, but Chrisean explained to the flight attendants that “she’s a small kid; she’s nervous…this is only our first time traveling and she’s a little bit nervous.”
Nope. The plane returned to the gate and the two were kicked off.
Frontier is right. The Federal Aviation Administration suggests children under two be placed in a child restraint system, but mandates children two years of age and older occupy their own seat.
A Frontier spokesperson noted:
“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.”
If I’m a flight attendant, though (and maybe this is one of the many reasons I’m not a flight attendant), I let it go. I’m much more of a guidelines person versus rules person. However, I know it’s risky…if there is an accident of some kind, the family would probably be the first to sue.
So I just cannot blame Frontier here, though I would have not have threatened Chrisean with arrest in front of his daughter.
The Roses purchased a new ticket on Delta Air Lines and flew home without issue…with Rayanna on her father’s lap.
I tend to think a two-year-old should not be required to sit in her own seat if afraid (or wear a mask…though that is another matter). However, it is tough to fault Frontier Airlines for simply following federal guidelines. Perhaps the bigger indictment here is against Delta and Spirit for flouting the rules?
image: Chrisean Rose