A couple with a brood of babies was kicked off a US Airways flight to Chicago the other day for adhering to what they thought were the airline's rules about infants not needing a ticket. On domestic flights in the U.S., children under the age of two do not need their own seat with the assumption they will sit on their parents' laps. The problem with this couple, you see, is they have three children under the age of two, and an older toddler and not enough laps to go around. The couple was kicked off the flight for squishing their four kids, plus themselves, into three seats. That's a squeeze, folks.
If this were the only problem, I wouldn't bother writing about it because that's what we have the Daily Mail for. My issue is the nearly unanimous reaction to the story, which can be summed up in the top-voted comment:
"The parents are not only thieves, they're negligent with their children, not caring about their safety."
Really? THIEVES? First of all, the US Airways doesn't even have an online option for buying a ticket for an infant. The passenger must be over two in order to purchase a seat. I'm sure exceptions can be made if you call the desk, but this busy family just followed procedure for buying tickets online.
Negligent? That's ridiculous. The ages of the children were three (gets her own seat), 20-month old twins (one per lap of the parent) and an 8-month-old (easily content in a baby carrier) attached to the mother. Yes, it's possible to hold two kids at once for 90 minutes and don't give me that about the oxygen masks because another seat wouldn't have magically sprouted more arms on the mother, who'd have to help anyway.
Was this the ideal plan? No. Ideally they should have called the airline and bought another ticket for a fourth seat and placed the youngest child in it secured in a car seat. I'm not arguing the parents made the best decision. But to call them thieves and negligent says more about public opinion of larger families. One more seat purchased on a flight wouldn't have done a thing to change that.
Here is a sampling of other up voted comments:
"Wow. Why are they having so many kids in such a short span of time? Especially if it was deliberate. After 20-month-old twins, having an 8-month-old baby is very close together, especially when you add in the 3-year-old. Four kids age 3 and under. They should have gotten kicked off and it's good they did."
"Another lowlife family trying to get something for nothing"
"4 kids under the age of 3... sheesh."
Ah, the real problem is peoples' opinions of "larger" families. As you will recall I'm not a fan of having an insane amount of children when a less-insane amount will fulfill your life and tread easier on the globe (seriously, how many times a day does a toilet flush in the Duggar house - that's a lot of water!) but four kids isn't close to insane. Running this family into the ground is not right.
I wish you had made it to Chicago, Fickes family. Next time, rent a van.