An Atlanta dad was met with threats of arrest, and got kicked off a plane, after trying to hold his 2-year-old daughter in his lap to comfort her before a Frontier Airlines flight over the weekend.
Listen, flying with young children is anxiety-inducing for many parents. There’s the physical load of carting strollers, baggage, car seats, and kids through security and onto the plane. Then there’s the struggle to keep them quiet and entertained, in addition to comfortable and calm. This dad experienced a parent’s worst nightmare when traveling with kids, hands-down.
Father and photographer Chrisean Rose and his daughter Rayana were flying home from a weekend getaway at Disney in Orlando, when Frontier Airlines flight attendants informed him he couldn’t fly with his daughter in his lap. She is 25-months-old, and in a statement Frontier released, they stated “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.”
Rose acknowledged that there is a policy but had hoped the airline would be more flexible than that.
In his Instagram post in which he recorded the incident, Rose was threatened with arrest. “They will arrest you, I’m telling you that right now,” a member of the flight crew said. “Can I ask you a question?” Rose said, to which the crew answered “No.” The crew removed everyone else from the plane, and then refused to give Rose their stroller.
“The police officers who they called to ‘arrest’ me ended up defending me and demanded that they stop and take my stroller off,” he wrote in his post.
Rose explained to the crew that he had just flown on a Spirit plane that allowed him to hold his daughter, and after this incident, he bought a Delta ticket to finish his journey home, on which he was able to hold his daughter. He later filed a complaint with Frontier and was reimbursed for his flight.
In an interview with WSB-TV Atlanta, Rose said, “I did not think it needed to be that far. I mean, arrest for what? For a kid crying?” he said. In his video, he comments to the flight attendant as he exits the plane “It was wrong for you to do that, I’m just trying to comfort her,” and “I hope you are not a mother.”
Instagram followers commented on his post, expressing disgust and rage with Frontier:
“This is enraging to read, Chrisean. I’m heartbroken that you and your baby girl were so mistreated. Escalate this to the rafters. Callus and indifferent treatment of a normal, everyday situation with a frightened child. Shame on @flyfrontier Shame,” one comment says.
Another acknowledges the “uncomfortable position” he was placed in, and another comment says “This just reinforces my delta or bust mindset.” Multiple posts tagged Frontier (@flyfrontier) and called for action or for them to “make it up to them.”
Rose’s experience flying with young children is one of many recent incidents in which airport and airline policies don’t accommodate parents’ specific needs. In May, Netflix star Emily Calandrelli had her breastmilk confiscated by TSA. Last year Mandy Moore posted about a stressful incident caused by extensive delays while traveling with her new baby.
Parents need a little more help and little less scrutiny to make air travel less of a nightmare, ASAP.