A father and his young toddler were kicked off of a Southwest Airlines flight and another passenger captured the scene on video. The video has now gone viral and is provoking outrage at the airline.
<a href="http://wgntv.com/2018/03/15/family-forced-off-southwest-airlines-flight-in-viral-video/">See the viral video here.</a>
The scene unfolded at Midway International Airport in Chicago on Wednesday afternoon and Alexis Armstrong, 24, got most of the incident on video. According to Armstrong, Southwest airline staff removed the man and his child from Flight 1683 to Atlanta just before the flight was scheduled to take off.
What started the incident was when the girl, who Armstrong believes is about 2-years-old, was scared to fly and wanted to sit on her father's lap instead of her own seat. "Then the flight attendant in red came over and said she needs to calm and sit or will be escorted off. The man calms the child, gets her popcorn, sets her up," Armstrong explained.
By the time Southwest employees decided to remove the family, Armstrong says the little girl had calmed down. The video shows two flight attendants talking to the man and a woman sitting with him. One of the attendants says, "We all need to understand the operation, unfortunately. This is not helpful guys. Do you want to go to Atlanta? The decision's been made."
The man, woman, and his toddler all got up and left the plane but Armstrong says their removal was unnecessary. "All I really wanted was the video to be seen by Southwest and apologize to this family. I am a mom and my heart was hurting for this dad. Southwest owes them an apology," she said.
"I did NOT think this would blow up, I am not sure why I even began to film, I just knew from the woman's attitude and security approaching it wasn't going to end well," Armstrong explained referring to how her video went viral.
Southwest Airlines issued this statement regarding the incident depicted in the viral video:
"After pushback Wednesday evening, Flight 1683 to Atlanta returned to the gate at Midway to allow supervisors to board the aircraft. Our initial reports indicate a conversation escalated on board between the crew and a customer traveling with a small child. We always aim for a welcoming and hospitable experience and regret the inconvenience to all involved. The traveling party was booked on the next flight to Atlanta after the original flight continued as planned. We will reach out to the customer[s] to listen to any concerns they have about their experience and look forward to welcoming them on board again soon."
Tips? Info? Send me a message!