Malaysian Family Denied Infant Seat Belt For Toddler, Airline Cites Flight Safety Requirements
Parents with young children will know how difficult it can be to make a toddler follow instructions when they’re throwing a tantrum.
The situation worsens when you’re on board a plane, and there are specific safety rules to follow.
That’s why a Malaysian family were almost thrown off a plane after their two-year-old toddler refused to stay buckled up in her seat.
The airline has apologised and is investigating the incident.
Incident took place on MYAirline flight on 24 May
In a lengthy Facebook post on Friday (26 May), a Malaysian father ranted about his family’s experience on a MYAirline flight.
He said this took place on flight Z97704 from Langkawi to Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday (24 May).
After boarding, a flight attendant asked them whether his daughter, who’s two years and five days old, had a seat of her own.
His wife replied that she had, but requested an infant seat belt as she’s breastfeeding and also afraid the child wouldn’t be able to sit still on her seat.
But the crew leader declined, saying that children above the age of two had to sit in their own seats.
The father pointed out that they were given the infant belt on their outgoing flight to Langkawi, though.
Malaysian toddler refuses to be strapped in for flight take-off
When the plane started moving, his wife tried to strap their daughter into her seat with the seatbelt.
However, the girl started crying and thrashing, moving to sit in her mother’s lap.
This prompted the cabin crew to remind them to get the kid to sit down.
The family again asked for an infant seat belt or belt extension, explaining that the child would stay quiet if she sat on her mother’s lap.
The request was again declined, citing airline policy.
Unfortunately, they were still unable to get the child to sit down and buckle up right up till take-off.
This time, the crew leader came and told the family in a “harsh” tone that the plane won’t be able to take off if the child doesn’t comply.
When the infant seat belt was requested again, it was again declined due to policy. Instead, the cabin crew urged them to “do whatever it takes” to get their child to behave.
Pilot urges them to comply or be thrown off
Faced with sustained non-compliance, the cabin crew then picked up the phone to call the captain, the father said.
The pilot then made an announcement addressing them directly by seat number.
He said if they did not cooperate, they would get ground security to “disembark them from the plane”.
Malaysian toddler had to be held down for flight to take off
Eventually, his wife managed to hold the toddler down in her seat with her belt strapped around her, so she would not move out of it in order for the flight to take off.
While the plane was taking off, the girl continued to cry and struggle, but at least the aircraft successfully made it up into the skies.
The child thankfully calmed down once they reached cruising speed in the air.
Father declares airline ‘not child-friendly’
However, the experience left her father with “sadness, disappointment and shame”.
He pointed out that MYAirline had said in a Facebook post that all their flights came with seat belt extenders and were available upon request.
When he made a complaint over Facebook Messenger, though, he was told that the infant seat belt was only for children below two years old due to the “applicable regulations”.
The father also took issue with the cabin crew’s attitude, noting that they didn’t get any apology from them.
He went on to declare that the airline was “not child-friendly” and that he wouldn’t fly with them again.
Airline apologises, conducting investigation
MYAirline responded to the incident in a Facebook post on Friday (26 May), apologising for the “unpleasant experience”.
Citing the guidelines of the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM), they said it’s mandatory for children to have an infant seat belt only when they’re below 24 months old.
However, children above 24 months of age must sit in their own seats and be buckled up with a seat belt “for safety reasons”, according to the rules.
They added that the airline is investigating the matter and will identify service gaps and take corrective actions.
Passengers clapped when kid wore seatbelt: Netizen
Not all netizens were totally sympathetic towards the family, however.
A netizen who claimed to have been on the same flight downplayed the incident.
She said the kid eventually wore a seatbelt after another stewardess persuaded her.
When that was achieved, “all the passengers clapped their hands”.
“End of story,” she added.
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Featured image adapted from Fear Dawooz on Facebook.
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