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April 9th, 2010
07:24 AM ET

Airline Passenger Goes Overboard?

Parents we know you can relate to this… you’ve had that moment while traveling where you are “those people on the plane” because your child crying or misbehaving and everyone gives you an evil stare wondering why you can’t make it stop immediately. Let’s face it things happen and sometimes adults can get out of hand as well. Anyway, police in Phoenix are investigating an incident on a Southwest Airlines flight where a woman allegedly grabbed a 3-year-old boy who was kicking her seat and reportedly said, “You’re not going to be kicking my seat all the way to Las Vegas” and then slammed the boy back down onto his seat. The boy’s mother and other passengers on the plane say the woman was drunk. Police say the boy’s mother is pressing charges. So tell us what you think… what should the woman have done when his little feet touched the back of her seat? T.J. Holmes will read some of your comments on the air during the 10 o’clock hour of CNN Newsroom.

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Filed under: Kyra Phillips
soundoff (123 Responses)
  1. Rick

    Shure press charges and once that gets done the mother is free to seek damages from the woman for putting the kid in his seat. And then the airlines for having a drunk person on their plane and then the airline will start charging for carry ons to cover legal cost. Do I think another person has the right to touch my child? Noway not unless given permission but I also have never let my kids pester anyone!!!!

    April 9, 2010 at 8:31 am |
  2. Carl

    Reprimand your own children before it annoys others. Teach them to be respectful of others at that early age.

    April 9, 2010 at 8:39 am |
  3. Jami

    I’m not a parent, but I was a kid at one point and I know that kicking the back of someone’s seat wouldn’t have been accepted out of me. Perhaps what some parents should do is consider how they would feel if someone else’s child was behaving the same way their children are behaving. The proverbial “put yourself in another person’s shoes”. Perhaps if the mother had taken a stance and told the boy “You aren’t going to kick this woman’s seat all the way to Las Vegas” then the woman wouldn’t have felt it was necessary to do it herself. It’s easy to vilify someone when they do something like that to a kid, but drunk or not, if the parent of the boy had been in control of their child then chances are this wouldn’t have happened. I’m not saying the woman was correct, but it seems like these days we call misbehaving “just being a kid”. If that’s the attitude, then this woman wasn’t wrong, she was “just being annoyed”.

    April 9, 2010 at 8:40 am |
  4. Carl

    It's not always the other persons fault. Take some responsibility to teach your children respect.

    April 9, 2010 at 8:41 am |
  5. Samantha

    This woman took it way to far! But there is nothing more annoying than a child kicking your seat or screaming or crying! The only excuse for children behaving this way is some sort of metal disability – if that is not the case parents are just not doing their job – PARENTING!

    April 9, 2010 at 8:43 am |
  6. MDavis

    Too many parents don't discipline and don't care a whit's bit about teaching their child manners or constraining a child when they are causing problems. Frankly, while the lady shouldn't have grabbed the child and should have alerted a flight attendant (or even turned around and addressed the mother politely), the mother needs to let it drop and learn a valuable lesson now!

    April 9, 2010 at 8:47 am |
  7. rich

    Drunk? I am guessing simply an excuse. My hats off to the "drunk" lady. I too have stood up in the middle of movies, on a plane, at a ball game looked sternly at the offender and ask/told them to please keep off the back of the seat. Did she slap the child? Did she hurt the child? The occurrence actually isn't the fault of the child, but the fault of the mother for doing nothing! Except pressing charges because someone touched her angel.

    April 9, 2010 at 8:49 am |
  8. Shane

    The woman obviously went too far. That said, we have all had to sit on a plane with a child whose parent has no clue how to properly discipline their brat. I do not think that other patrons of the flight should have to put up with that. If a person cannot control their child they need to make arrangements to have the child cared for while they take their trip, or be responsible and discipline the child themselves. Frankly if I had to sit for more than 30 seconds with a brat kicking my seat I'd like the parent of said brat to pay for my ticket. I did not pay to be abused by their child, and neither did that woman. She simply took it too far.

    April 9, 2010 at 8:50 am |
  9. Calico

    I would have turned around and said firmly, "CUT IT OUT!"
    You can't touch someone but you CAN bark at him...

    April 9, 2010 at 8:54 am |
  10. Greg in Houston

    I'm a gentleman. That being said if she had touched my toddler or any of my kids, I would have had no problem crossing the line and backhanded her across the cabin, and then they would have had to pull me off of her.

    April 9, 2010 at 8:54 am |
  11. Barroq - San Marcos, TX

    First I would have asked the parent to do something, and if the parent is uncooperative or unwilling to control the actions of her child through discipline, have the flight attendants escort the parent and child off the flight for being disruptive. It isn't unreasonable to require a parent to control their child, after all they aren't the only ones flying.

    April 9, 2010 at 8:54 am |
  12. Paul

    I believe Arnold had the best method in Kindergarten Cop. You could even roll the clip on the air.

    April 9, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  13. Barb

    Are you kidding me? She did this to a toddler? Had she done this to my child she would be in need of a nose job. This woman needs jail time AND therapy.

    April 9, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  14. Concerned Parent

    The proper thing to do in this situation might be to alert the airline staff that you are being kicked by the passenger behind you are telling the airline staff the parent will probably be overhearing your well worded concern! hehehe

    April 9, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  15. Dave

    I don't know what would I have done; but someone needed to teach that 3 years old how to behave if his mother sitting next to him didn't.

    April 9, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  16. Mary

    Certainly assaulting the toddler was the wrong thing to do, but obviously the mother was oblivious to what her kid was doing, or just didn't care. I think the more parents fail to discipline their children in a public setting, the more things like this are going to happen. It doesn't make it right, but sometimes people just snap. The woman should have either talked to the mother of the child, or complained to the staff on the plane.

    April 9, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  17. Justin

    I would pick the mother up and slam her into the chair... and if she sues and I'm on the jury I will ask the judge to through the mother of the child in jail for gross negligence. It's time we bring social etiquette back to society

    April 9, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  18. Kent S

    I'm guessing that the woman DID say something to the mother before grabbing the child. None-the-less, it is NEVER appropriate to grab another person's Brat, oops I mean "bundle of joy."

    April 9, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  19. Matthew Schiff

    There isn't a right or wrong thing to do in that situation. I applaud the woman for having the guts to do that kind of a thing in the land of dealing and taking bullying. Ironic how Dr. Schlessinger was on Larry King last night talking about parents pressing charges for educators for teaching their children a good lesson. I think it's so silly that that child's parents would consider pressing charges.

    April 9, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  20. james e. coleman jr.

    The right thing to do would have been to contact an airline sturdess, and if that didnt work, to file a complaint with the airline. Although i can sympathize with this passanger!

    April 9, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  21. Jesse-James from Little Rock

    In this day and age, you can't go overboard on a plane... But a kid doing this would bother me to no end! I think the best plan of action would be to give the mother one "look", and if it happened a second time, you have to get an Attendant. I would hope a mother would'nt want that kind of attention in front of everyone on a plane, and she would contain her little heathen.

    April 9, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  22. Leslie

    I am a frequent traveler and have experienced this problem. I usually will address the parent first. If it continues I stand up, make direct eye contact with the child and tell them to stop kicking the back of my seat. This has always worked and as far as I'm concerned the parent was warned. If they don't like it...well that's just to bad!!!

    April 9, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  23. Jackie R.

    I would have told the mother that it's bothering me that her son keeps kicking the seat and to plz make it stop. If that didn't work then I would tell the flight attendant to either move my seat or move the lady with her child to another seat. And if there were no seats available then I would ... be complaining ALL the time ... I guess .... ! But there is No WAY on earth that I would Lay One finger on that Child !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm suprised the mother didn't react more violently.... ! 😉

    April 9, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  24. Maurice

    LoL People are really Pysco these days.. i mean i wasn't there but as being married to someone who worked for an airline we used to fly alot and that has happened many times i usually call a flight attendant over explain to her the situation and turn up my iPod.. it has never failed. I Always watch CNN

    April 9, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  25. michael armstrong sr.

    In the moment of exstream rage to defend my child I would have slaped the crap out of that lady and if it were a man I would have knocked his mouth bald headed .

    April 9, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  26. Hank Snow

    KUDOS to that passenger who probably for the fist time in that brats life, took the appropriate course of action! It's the mom who needs to be disciplined for letting her child misbehave! In fact that mom should be FINED for allowing her child to bother other passengers. I applaud the passenger's action and encourage all passengers to do the same! Maybe that kid should have been duct-taped to the seat! And to anyone who believes otherwise, you're just part of the problem.

    April 9, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  27. Gerard from California

    TJ . dont get me wrong , there are many times i feel like throwing my kids across the room as well. But whats the mom thinking " i MAY press charges" ...Shoot, had that been me , i would be the one getting charges pressed against after i would have " DELT " with the person that put hands on my child.

    April 9, 2010 at 8:57 am |
  28. Diane

    As a frequent traveler I have experienced this exact situation often. I usually try to ignore it, but on occasion, if I have been on a long trip, or have a long trip ahead of me, I have asked the parent in a loud, but nice voice, why they have not taught their child any manners, and then suggested we switch places so that I can kick the back of her seat for the rest of the trip.

    April 9, 2010 at 8:57 am |
  29. Jessica

    I had a problem with a child on a train one time who kept hitting me on the head from behind with his fists and other things. His mom was busy with her other children. Naturally I got angry but I didn't do anything as stupid and actually touch someone elses child. I turned around, looked him straight in the eye and said calmly "that's not very nice." The little boys eyes buldged and he didn't hit me again. Sometimes just calling them out on it works, no need to actually use physicallity against them.

    April 9, 2010 at 8:57 am |
  30. Candice

    I have a one year old, I would feel the same way the mother feels. The adult clearly had no respect for the toddler or mother. The action that was performed was a very poor choice for an adult, we all should learn from our mistakes.

    April 9, 2010 at 8:57 am |
  31. WWallace


    Her behavior was completely unacceptable and she should face assault charges. Kids are kids. Politely ask the attendant to inform the child's parent to remedy the situation. If there is a problem of any kind, addressing another passenger or minor child without the assistance of an attendant, is a bad idea.

    April 9, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  32. Al Williams

    What happened to a mother protecting her child? I was more surprised not to hear that the mother hadn't been arrested for not beating the passenger to near death! Come on lady, mom up!

    April 9, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  33. Gina Childs

    The lady should have asked the mother to kindly ask her child not to do this. But at 3yrs old they are alittle to young to fully understand that they are annoying someone. I want to know where the mother was when this lady turned around?. If I was the mother of that child that lady would not have even been able to grab ahold of my child before her hands would have been broke..LOL...And TJ said the mom was "possibly" seeking to press charges?. Why even consider doing it? WOW...that woman is lucky it was me sitting on the plane with my kid all i gotta say HAHAHA!

    April 9, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  34. D

    At some point in our lives the majority of us have kids, and when you do you realize that you can't control what your kid does 24/7 (especially in public). So I think people need to start having some patience with kids, and be less anal about stuff like this. Who knows, in a few years they might be the ones with a tot kicking the front seat.

    P.S. If that was my kid getting yelled at and slammed on his seat, that girl would've gotten to Vegas in an ambulance.

    April 9, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  35. Papa

    This is just ridiculous. I wish there was a way to sue the mother for incompetence– and have the kid taken away too and put in a home where he could be taught how to behave in public! Yes, he is only three, but at that age, I knew how to behave in public. And on occasions when I might have been confused about how to behave in public, I had a responsible parent to remind me.

    Kudos to the passenger!

    April 9, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  36. Felicia

    yes, I can relate, but she should have just asked the mom to speak to him and if that didn't work, talk to the flight attendant to speak to the mom, or maybe even have her seat changed.

    April 9, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  37. Julia

    It is not so much what the irate passenger should have done, but what the mother should have done. (Obviously, the irate passenger didn't have children or she would have had patience and not done anything.) As the mother of 4 children, all of whom I've flown with and had kick the seats in front of them, I would have right away apologized to that passenger and assured her I was doing everything I could to get the child to stop. In my experience, that usually will at least calm that person down before things get out of hand.

    The fact is that children are going to be on planes. People without children need to realize that and get over it. The irate passenger had no business handling someone else's child that way. I would definitely press charges too.

    April 9, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  38. Tito B

    The kid was being a kid, but the parent should have been doing his or her job to stop the little one's behavior. The affected passenger was also out of line.

    Hampton, Va.

    April 9, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  39. Turkey K. Hayes

    She shouldn't have taken her anger out on the child, but rather the parent accompanying him. I am sick and tired these days of parents not controlling the actions of their children in public. No matter what store I go to shop in there is always some children svreaming their heads off or running around the isles. Parents these days let their kids get by with inappropriate behavior. If you can;t control your children you should never have had them, or you should hire a babysitter to take care of them when you go shopping (or whatever).
    My parents never tolerated that type of behavior in public and shame on the person with that obnoxious kid.

    April 9, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  40. Tom Vahle

    As a weekly business traveler I've been on both sides of this issue. If you hear the parent working hard to stop the kicking you say nothing and hope the parent is successful. If the parent is doing nothing ask nicely as they may not realize it is bothering you. As a parent if it keeps happening despite your efforts initiate the apology as most will be understanding. The one time my apologies were not accepted the other passenger became more of the issue than a kicking child with that passenger getting the looks of disgust, not the child.

    April 9, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  41. Richard Alpher

    In such a situation it is never a good idea to even talk to the child, mother and/or father. That is how confrontations start. The one answer is to call a flight attendant who will most likely quietly talk to the mom and/or dad and advise that the child needs to stop kicking the chair. That almost always takes care of the situation. In situations like that I always blame the parent (s) anyway and not the child because the parents are allowing him/her to do it.

    April 9, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  42. Pam Cross

    I feel for the lady getting her seat pushed and kicked, I think the mother should have been more considerate of the fellow passengers she needed to pay attention to what her child was doing, maybe that is why the lady got so mad, because she didn't show any effort to correct her own child. I think I would have addressed the parent first then the flight attendant to move my seat??

    April 9, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  43. Ed

    We've all seen it or have experienced that aweful situation. It's only a 3-year old. Go after the adult! Trade seats with the person in back of the adult and start kicking the parents seat so they can experience it first hand. Immature? Yes, nut effective!!!

    April 9, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  44. Katie Wrenn

    I would of got up out of my seat when it was safe to do so and I would calmly walk behind the mothers seat and start hitting the back of her chair non-stop, or at least until I made my point. Who lets their child just kick the seat infront of them. Terrible mother!!! Rude people!! I might of just turned around and started clapping and clapping about 2 inches from the mothers face until she got the point!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thank you.
    Signed, someone who is tired of people only thinking of themselves in this world!!

    April 9, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  45. Jesslyn Cleary

    I would first ask the parent; if that doesn't work, I'd ask the airline attendant; if that didn't work, I'd request a seat change. If none of it worked, I would bite the bullet for the flight, but not before getting the names of all the parties involved, and once back at my desk, send a detailed letter to the airline, demanding a full refund for the flight.

    April 9, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  46. Stephanie

    In an ideal world, we could make the mom sit in front of the kicking boy and the woman who assaulted him would be made to sit next to the kid and try to get him to stop.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:00 am |
  47. mike

    well people need to get control of their kids.
    they let the little ingrates run wild.
    i think the woman did the correct thing.
    if the child has mental trauma GOOD maybe now the child will think about others instead of themselves all the time.
    parents need to spank their children, when they act up!
    and if the parents wont then the people being annoyed by their children have the obligation to correct the child that is acting up.
    we are raising up a generation of spoiled brats in this country. and something needs to be done about it.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:00 am |
  48. LaCheryl

    It seems that a person cannot enjoy flying as a pleasure trip anymore. Everyone who pays money for this service deserves all the positive benefits allowed. This should not include the tolerance of rude, inconsiderate or unruly passengers. I too would have been furious at this situation, because this child's behavior personally affecting me would have taken away the pleasure and excitement of "my" trip. I would have taken the matter to the Flight Attendants.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:00 am |
  49. Gloria Adams

    The mother should have made the kid behave. What's wrong with these people thinking kids should be able to do whatever they want. No wonder kids today are unbearably bratty!

    April 9, 2010 at 9:00 am |
  50. Char

    I hope the tot's mom does she can be laughed out of court! The child was not physically hurt and more importantly, the mother was not doing her parental duty. The passenger being kicked could have alerted the airline attendant to speak to the mother. Or tThe passenger could have turned around, politely, yet firmly, let the mom know her precious tot was kicking the seat. MOST parents would immediately take steps to get the child to obey. Oh, wait...obey...we don't use that word with children anymore. Too restrictive. Right!

    April 9, 2010 at 9:00 am |
  51. keena

    i would blame the parents..but then again specially now a days kids run the show..parents have become i would smack the parent..told them to wake up and control ur kid..stop being afread of it..

    April 9, 2010 at 9:00 am |
  52. Jeff Snyder

    Personally, I think the woman should have asked the flight attendant if she could have moved to a different seat. Southwest does not have assigned seating so passengers can move about wherever they please. Then again, usually Southwest Airlines flights to Las Vegas usually have kooks on them.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:01 am |
  53. Damon

    The woman should have done nothing, the mother of the child should have taken control of the situation. Where was she? ...and now she is going to press charges?

    I'm not saying what the lady did was right, but parents...take control of your kids in public!

    April 9, 2010 at 9:01 am |
  54. Julianne

    the child was bored, it happens at 3 years old pretty easily. It is the parent that should have been shaken. When are parents going to be held responsible for their children's actions? I have raised twin boys by myself and I have always thought of the others around me when I traveled. You plan ahead, and except a lot of your children. Don't take the mind set, oh they will understand he is only 3. Wake up people, children want to be disciplined! It shows you care about them on a whole different level than " I love you".

    April 9, 2010 at 9:01 am |
  55. andy tomas

    Hi , I would do the same thing. If the parent can't control the kid they should not be on the plane.we all pay a fare to fly not to be tortured by a spoild mother would have kicked my butt in the bathroom.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:01 am |
  56. Todd Mills

    It's the moms fault....plain and simple. This must have been going on for quite sometime. The mother obviously failed to police her own child.
    The passenger in question was forced to say something. They went to far though when they touched the child. No charges......anger management

    April 9, 2010 at 9:01 am |
  57. Susan Dean

    First, if this child was kicking the seat persistently, I would turn around and ask the parent if she could help me. If the parent was reluctant, I would probably state that the child's actions were hurting my back problem or not allowing me to catch up on my sleep. Honey is better than vinegar.
    If this didn't work, I would speak to the flight attendant hoping she could help me. If not, I would request a seat change. If all failed, I would make it a point to not fly this airline again and to communicate to the media and the CEOs of the airline.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:01 am |
  58. Danny

    This person did that mom a favor. The mother should have done that to begin with. As for the "traumatic emotional effect" to the kid, too bad. Maybe next time he'll listen the first time. Parents need to control their children's behavior. If they can't then maybe they shouldn't have kids in the first place.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:01 am |
  59. Xavier

    I would not do Any thing Differently !!!!!!!!!!! if the mother can't discipline that child on how to behave and not be inconsiderate little .. child then the one who has softer the consequence WILL !!!
    I bet that child wound molest any one any more ..maybe would grow up to be inconsiderate human being..with her mothers parenting skills, we have enough of those.
    If any thing the woman who was being molested should press charges she is paying even more money to fly than that kid !!

    April 9, 2010 at 9:01 am |
  60. Kennedy

    As a manager for a major carrier, I have dealt with the passengers and their children.
    Should the parent have taken charge of their child? YES!
    Should the other passenger have assaulted there child? NO!
    Remember that little flight attendant call-button in the overhead console....

    April 9, 2010 at 9:01 am |
  61. David

    Heads up to the lady. However she should have slapped the parent instead. I fly every week and I have had my share of kids kicking my seat. It stunning how many parents can't control their kids and many will just ignore the situation. The airlines should always seat kids and parents in the bulkheads. Actually, the parent is the one that should be sued and also the airline for not addressing the situation ahead od time. They should have known anytime the passenger is a kid, there's the potential for a problem.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:02 am |
  62. jerry cameron nc

    of course you ask the parent to get onto there child... especially when the childs three years old. things could of went terribly wrong for this lady if a parent like mine would of seen that.. no need to file charges a simple apology would work fine

    April 9, 2010 at 9:02 am |
  63. David Weicht

    The offended passenger should have spoken to the stewardess. But this does not excuse the parent of the child for not being attentive and aware of the childs actions especially in public. How your child behaves and how that behavior effects those around is the parents responsibility. Don't be surprised or defensive if others react to that parents lack of reaction to their childs behavior. With that being said there is no excuse for the women passenger to physically contact another persons child. And being drunk only escalates an already unacceptable reaction.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:02 am |
  64. Lincoln Lewis

    Hey TJ,
    I think parents should know that by allowing their children to act up and display unruly behaviors at home will cause them to portrait anti social behavior in public and may lead to them to becoming bullies and may also get hurt by messing with the wrong person. But adults have to exercise restraint when dealing with these situations. I would give the child "the look" if the parent refuses to control the child.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:02 am |
  65. Glenn

    The woman should have spoken with the childs parent(s). She was way out-of-line by assaulting a 3-year old. As adults I'm sure we could show a little more tolerance for the wee one's.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:02 am |
  66. Gloria Hunter

    Had this happen on a transatlantic flight a couple of years ago. I asked the mother nicely 3 times to have the child stop but she just smiled. Finally, I spoke to the flight attendant who insisted the two of them move to two empty seats two rows back. It is up to the airline to make passengers comfortable. Fortunately, there were some empty seats.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:02 am |
  67. John Tharp

    I have personally been in that situation since I do travel a lot, the best thing is to call the flight attendant and let them handle it maybe ask for a seat change if possible, the flight attendants are professionals and they know how to handle these situations.

    I personally believe airlines should have a a section on the plane assigned for parents in children under a certain age that, for example the back of the plane the last two rows where the noise is less noticeable closer to the bathrooms and causes less inconvinience for other passengers.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:02 am |
  68. shan

    OMG – it would have been really hard not to get up and hit that woman!! Poor child was just being a child! There is no way an adult should do that to a child, there are many ways to handle children. The lady should first ask the parents to handle it, then ask them again! Another adult ever grabs my children like that...ugh that is so frusterating! If i was in a situation like that, where a kid was kicking my seat, you make it a game – then the kid can associate that there are rules and make it fun! When your done, the game is done and can be played later. Simple and mature and the child doesnt get mistreated!

    April 9, 2010 at 9:03 am |
  69. Donna

    What I would WANT to do is the same thing the lady did. What I WOULD do is ask the mother to speak to the child. This is the difference between control and the lack of. You should never put your hands on another person's child. It is not your job to repremand him, but the parents.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:03 am |
  70. Jeff

    If the child was not harmed then the boy was not slamed he was disaplined. Perhaps mom should be doing the disaplining insted of suporting the childs bad behavior.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:03 am |
  71. Bill Grant

    I can relate to the passenger and know how frustrating it can be. I know kids will be kids but I pay for the seat. I have season tickets to junior hockey. I have a spinal injury and this happens all the time and the pain it cause me is outstanding. I will ask the kid to pleae stop. I have even asked parents before the start of the game to ask their kids because of my problem. Most times they will ask their child to stop. I have also had a parent say well I have fed him a lot of candy and it is a sugar rush and I can't stop him. I wanted to choke the guy. We have changed our seats many times. I have considered giving up our seats but I should be able to attend an event and enjoy it with out a pesty kid who has a parent that doesn't know respect.


    April 9, 2010 at 9:03 am |
  72. Joan

    I'd ask the flight attendant to speak to the mother about it. The child was no doubt excited and perhaps a bit anxious about his trip rather than being malicious or trying to bother anyone. What a shame to miss an opportunity to allow the flight attendant and mother to solve a quite simple and usual problem.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:04 am |
  73. Sara McClain

    Wooooow, that little boy paid for his mom not doing her job as a good disciplinary. Mom should had done her job and then the little boy would have not experinced this act of inpatience from another. However!! "Bad Lady" Everyone knows you keep your hands to yourself never,ever violate anyone it's called respect she should had spoke to mom and child with a smoothing tone and stated what what she needed apparently she was having a bad day all ready.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:05 am |
  74. Michelle

    As a parent I can relate and as a passanger as well but we are adults and as such we need to talk to the parents, not the child. There is no reason for another adult to manhandled someelse's child, especially in that manner. At the end of the day the child is 3 and does not quite understand, it is the parents responsibility to teach the child manners and acceptable behaviors.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:06 am |
  75. Andrre Libert

    This type of situation has happened to me repeatedly in the past few years. I have handled it in two different ways: 1. turned and told the parent that I had back surgery a while ago, and if the parent could keep the child from kicking the seat back, I would appreciate it, and 2.
    if after asking the parent and the kicking continued, I usually made a remark which could be heard by all those seated around me that I was being continually kicked by a child whose parent could care less.

    In these circumstances, the parent of the child and the kickee have an equal responsiblity to handle the situation in a positive manner. If the kickee was intoxicated as was reported, the parent of the child should file charges provided they did everything in their power to stop the toddler's action.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:06 am |
  76. Miguel Martinez

    The parents, the parents, the parents TJ. The woman on the Southwest flight to Vegas needed to address the parents of the child, then the flight attendants. The kid was just being a kid. If the parents were not going to correct the behaviour, then the flight attendants would have been obligated to find the woman another seat on the plane.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:06 am |
  77. Mike R.

    This has happened to me, a kid was standing up in his seat and leaning over my seat. After telling the child to cut it out a few times to no avail, I stared the father down and he made him stop.

    If there is anyone on a flight who is acting disruptively, adult or child, a passenger should call the flight attendant if they cannot resolve the problem, its their job.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:06 am |
  78. Nolan H. Goldberg

    Politely ask the child not to kick, saying that it is hurting me. If this fails, ask the cabin attendant for a different seat. If this fails, secretly stash matches or a lighter on the child's seat and report to the cabin attendant that the child is set his or shoes or underpants on fire. (LOL)

    April 9, 2010 at 9:07 am |
  79. Brittany Johnson

    I had a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit where 3 little out of control boys kicked my seat for 8 hours. So much for sleep. I severely yelled at the mother and boys at least 7 times,making several scenes. The mom couldn't even keep them in control. I was even lucky enough to have two seats to myself...but that didn't matter. The flight attendants couldn't do anything about it. The kids were out of control, and my head was about to explode.If I had physically grabbed the boys, they would've gone on still. I arrived to the destination completely drained...after the flight, in customs the TSA agents were grabbing the boys from running chaotically...not even they could control them. The custom agents even asked if I was under the influence, angry and tired...all I had to say was "THEY were sitting behind me"

    April 9, 2010 at 9:07 am |
  80. Louis

    It is a very difficult situation to navigate. One, where was the parent when all this was taking place? Did the woman ask the parent to reprimand the child? Did either of the parties involved contact a flight attendant? It seems as if that both parties were to take a mature approach towards this situation it would have turned out better. No one should put their hands on another human being but the parents need to take more responsibility when traveling anywhere with their children. We all have wanted to " reach across" and rectify an unruly child, and sometimes an aages,but do not act upon it. The airlines should put something into their announcements about courteous travelers of all ages. This would be a step in the right direction. Good luck.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:07 am |
  81. michael armstrong sr.

    All the lady had to do was ask the flight attendent to fix the problem you just dont touch some one elses child without getting touched your self .

    April 9, 2010 at 9:08 am |
  82. Regina

    In my opion the angry passenger addressed the wrong person. She should have spoken with the toddlers mother. However the mother shouldnt have let it get to that point. She should have disciplined him for kicking the back of the ladys seat. The angry passenger paid for her airline ticket the same as the tot's mother. I do not agree with the passenger getting physical with the tot. But if the mother wasnt go to ask him to stop the passenger had a right to turn around and verbally ask him to "Stop kicking the back of her seat". The mother is not raising the child to be respectful of others. So i say shame on the tot mom!

    April 9, 2010 at 9:08 am |
  83. DV

    The woman should have asked the mother to sit behind her instead of touching the offending child. Unless a child is in danger or putting someone else in danger... touching them is a "No-no". If that does not work, she could have asked the flight attendant to move her to a different seat. She was over the line in this case.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:08 am |
  84. Dede

    The aggressive young woman who decided to discipline an unruly child sitting behind her on the plane reacted on emotion before she thought about the correct action to take. Pressing the button in the overhead for an attendant would have been the smartest solution to the annoying child. Avoid any confrontation with the parent or guardian with the child. Kindly ask the attendant to address the problem or be moved to another seat if possible.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:09 am |
  85. jackie b.

    did the childs behavior stop? Mission accomplished. Why didnt the parent correct behavior before it got to that point? The majority in the airline industry charge additional seat price for overweight passengers why not for unruly children? (seat in front of child) Parents are held responsible for childrens' actions. Hit that pocketbook!

    April 9, 2010 at 9:09 am |
  86. Scott Stodden

    Let's just say TJ that the passenger shouldn't have did what she did! Under no circumstances should anybody put there hands on anyone's child. The passenger could've first told the mother of the 3yr old child "Look your kid keeps kicking my seat and Im not going all the way to Vegas with your child kicking my seat, can you make him stop" if it would've continued then tell the flight attendant that's what they are there for, I mean with all the money that it cost to fly they should be there to stop things like this! The passenger was completly wrong for putting her hands on someone else's child and should be brought to justice and accept responsibility for the actions that were taken, this child could've been severley hurt!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    April 9, 2010 at 9:09 am |
  87. Barbara

    Although we all know how annoying that is, she should have consulted with the childs mother. Let's be real the child is only three. Teach him with love, and not aggression.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:10 am |
  88. keir

    Like with any situation when a child gets out of hand you need to be firm and to the point when expressing your view on the situation and not by any means take agressive actions, act like an adult and not a child.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:12 am |
  89. keir

    Like with any situation when a child gets out of hand you need to be firm and to the point when expressing your view on the situation and not by any means take aggressive actions, act like an adult and not a child.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:12 am |
  90. Debra

    Two issues here-one is a parent not properly monitoring her child-child neglect? Another-the mother is contemplating charging the passenger with assault? Perhaps the passenger will charge the 3 year old's mother with assault for kicking. Crazy, yes, but people simply have to be accountable for not only their own but also their children's behavior. I will tell you that had I been flying at age 3 and kicked the seat ahead of me, the passenger wouldn't have had time to complain...not only would I have been told ahead of time not to do it, my parents would have reexplained that very quickly had the incident occurred.
    And we wonder why our children are out of control teenagers.
    However, the woman was out of control and should have handled the incident by asking politely for the child to stop. We teach children by being good role models.
    Another solution: Since airlines are charging more for obese passengers, perhaps we should charge double for children and leave the seat in front of them empty so they can play or kick all they want.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:13 am |
  91. Bing Jesson

    If this happened to me....I woud've gotten up from my seat and directed my complaint to the parent or guardian. Then, if the child continued kicking my seat during the flight.....I would alert the flight attendant and have her/him deal with the situation.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:14 am |
  92. Kathy Adams

    I am a road warrior who has endlessly endured kids kicking or pushing their feet into my seat. I no longer suffer in silence. Plan A: I politely ask the parent to correct the child's behavior. I am appalled to report that most get offended and/or hostile and rarely deal with the problem. Plan B: I explain directly to the child that he should not touch the seat in front of him in any way. This works for maybe 2 minutes. Plan C: I ask the flight attendant to move me (not an option on full flights). Plan D: I find something to do with my hands so I don't strangle the parent. Some families just should not fly.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:15 am |
  93. Cynthia Georgandis

    As much as I loathe flying with children...this woman should have addressed the parent. She had no right touching a 3yr old child.

    Now if Disney were smart, they'd create a fleet of planes that only allows families traveling together. Put a huge 'daycare' area in the center of the plane so kids can play while parents watch or interact.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:16 am |
  94. PJ

    It seems to me that the mother or father was setting next to the child and doing nothing about kicking the seat in front of him...I wouldn't want anyone kicking my seat all the time I was on the plane and if the parents aren't going to do something about it I would....As far as saying something to the parent,they were right there watching the kid...They didn't do anything and probably wouldn't have if anything was said to them...One of the things wrong with children today is that parents don't teach them to have respect for others...
    From Michigan

    April 9, 2010 at 9:17 am |
  95. Jackie

    First, I would have asked the parent to plz stop their child from kicking the seat – if it continued, I would have unbuckled my seatbelt and turned around to face the parent and toddler and asked the parent what her problem was and why is she having a hard time controlling her Chucky child all the while notifying the flight attendant. As a last resort while on the plane, I would ask the person sitting behind the parent to switch with me for about 15 minutes and would kick the parent's and child's chair repeatedly with force so the parent will know first hand how irritating it is.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:18 am |
  96. Paul Bryan

    It is sad that a child especialy that young, had to experience such abuse. However, i am from jamaica where a comunity help raise or children. Any member of my community can discipline me or any other child ,and I wouldn't have it any other way. As to the answer of your question, what should she have done different? She could have said somthing to the childs mother and if the mother does nothing then let the air hostess handle it, thats what they are paid and trained for. but to fisacally pick up a 3 year old child and slam him or her down, is not the smartes thing to do, even in my native country. I would understand if she was on her way back from vagas.

    thanks for reading my comment.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:18 am |
  97. Bill

    My daughter always enjoyed kicking the seat in front. But my wife and I were responsible to stop her behavior...even if we had to take a trip to the restroom. I can't condone the passenger's reaction, but the parent should keep the child from causing this issue.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:22 am |
  98. Angela & Jerry

    Secretly I cheered the woman. But let's face it. It's time airlines provide security to passengers who get kicked in the back.

    What ever happened to respect for others? What about the trauma the passengers suffer as a result of the hooliganism of such kids? It's time laws changed to protect the real victims and punish the hooligans, not the other way around.

    When you pay for your ticket you don't pay to get abused or molested. The mother and the airline should be held accountable for the actions of the unruly child.

    Passengers who get sore backs, severe headaches or increased blood pressure and the complications that might arise due to the actions of a child who is constantly kicking their seat should be able to get compensation from the airline and the parent.

    In other words ... airlines should step up and give first a warning that if the behavior does not cease immediately, they (the parent and the child) will be removed from the plane.

    I believe they should also be denied further service by the airline in the future or charged a premium with a stipulation that if bad behavior occurs on a subsequent flight, they will be removed and denied service permanently.

    Of course this should also be applied to any abusive passenger, not just kicking children and their irresponsible parents.

    Passengers ... vote with your wallets! Let your airline know!

    April 9, 2010 at 9:23 am |
  99. ken

    This should have never happened in the first place. Parents need to go back to raising their children; not expecting the school system, day care, or others to teach their children how to behave.

    The first time the child kicked the seat, the childs' parent should have put a stop to it – a complete stranger should not have to be inconvenienced by bad behavior of a child. If not, the passenger in the seat in front of the child should have politely asked the child to stop kicking the seat, and the parent should ensure that it stopped.

    If that failed, or the parent became belligerent (I have seen this happen), then ring the call button, inform the flight attendant that there is a problem, and ask that the parent and the child either be instructed to control themselves, or risk being taken off the flight.

    At no time should someone touch another person's child, however – that was unacceptable. My experience flying has been that parents generally wish to avoid embarrassment and will normally ensure that the child behaves.

    Most people are civil, decent human beings, but then you have selfish, entitled people who don't see any harm in letting their children run like wild animals. A baby crying is different – many times air travel is painful for children with ear infections or other illnessess – that can't be helped. But a child kicking the seat in front of them is not acceptable under any circumstances.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:27 am |
  100. Polly

    I have known this mother and child for years. First and foremost, what most of the news stories are missing, is that this toddler only kicked the back of this woman's seat ONE time as he was getting settled before the plane even departed the gate. I have read numerous comments that are condoning violence against this child because "parents should keep their children under control." Knowing this mother as I do, I can assure you that she was being very attentive to her child. With this being said, even if the toddler kicked the back of the woman's chair a number of times, the woman should have NEVER put her hands on a toddler. The reports of the toddler being "shaken" are simply not true. The woman grabbed the toddler's arm and yelled at him. Then, when the mother took her child to the restroom as the flight approached Vegas, the woman threw her trash in their chairs. When the mother and toddler returned to their seats, the passengers informed the mother and flight attendants what the woman had done. The airline should have never allowed this woman back onto the plane in Phoenix, much less allowed the woman to return to the seat directly in front of the toddler she earlier assaulted! It is the airline's responsibility to ensure the safety of it's passengers. What about the safety of children flying alone?

    This family is not looking for any financial gain from this incident. They only filed a police report with the Phoenix Police Department, bringing assault charges against this woman. If Southwest Airlines believes they did nothing wrong in this situation, why are they refusing to turn over the witness statements to the Phoenix Police Department?

    Regardless of what anyone's feelings are as to whether children should be allowed to fly, or what a parents responsibility is when their children are flying, no person should be allowed to assault a child and get away with it.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:28 am |
  101. Danny

    Children that age should not be allowed to fly unless they are professionally sedated.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:34 am |
  102. Lee

    Yeah, she could have probably exercised some better judgement. But some of those little crumb crunchers can be quite annoying, so I can't fault her too much for throttling the child.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:36 am |
  103. lamine kebeh

    Hi T.J;
    The kid thought he/she was playing, I willturn back and continune plaing with him/her, at the same time ,try to talk to mam what is going on without he/her noticing that that somthing going on wrong.

    Advice to mam please, do not take any legale action against the actor
    being able to ride the plane and dress expensive may give an idea how wealth is some one but, have nothing to do persnal life and condition especial at moment of the action. you don't know and may never know what was going on with the actor, please do not add an other troble on the actor head. just forgive.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:38 am |
  104. Richard Alpher

    I might add to my previous comment, now seeing all the comments a number of which correctly advise it's best to contact a flight attendant. If the parent fails to comply with a request by a member of a flight crew, the parent can be charged by the FEDS for failure to comply with a crew member's request; and the crew member will so notify a person of that possibility if he/she does not comply.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:41 am |
  105. Pam Cross

    To all parents watch what your children are doing at all times, especially when it is young children, they are nor old enough to know better-, but the parent does. I have a 16 year old son so I really know how it is to have kid's. And I have flown before 8 hours straight from Chicago to Hawaii so I know how cramped air-plains are, I feel for the lady getting her seat kicked or pushed what ever her condition? I myself would have had to speak to the parent first, then ask the flight attendant to trade seats. I myself would not be able to handle getting my seat kicked foe very long either. The mom has no room to start a law suite, teach the child to behave and move on 🙂 He may not kick any more seats again...Live and learn.....

    April 9, 2010 at 9:47 am |
  106. michael armstrong sr.

    The lady attacked some ones child no sane judge would argue with self defence .

    April 9, 2010 at 9:52 am |
  107. Ashley Cleveland

    First of all let me say I am a mother of a 5 yr old little boy. If someone would have done my child like that i would have snapped. The child is only three she could have politely turned around and asked the mother to stop her child from kicking the seat. This type of behavior is rediculous coming from a grown woman. there's no need in anyone doing a child that way. Even though no one was hurt physically from what i've read things like this could mentally scar a child and the family is in my prayers. God Bless.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  108. Gloria

    The parents obviously were not supervising the child, but the women should have had the flight attendent handle the situation and not touched the child.
    It reminds me of the large lady sitting next to me who wanted the arm rest I had my arm resting on lowered, because it made her more comfortable. After one flight where the person next to me took up half of my seat I never put the arm rest down and always request an isle or window seat. The flight attendent informed her I did not have to put it down,
    From what I hear about flying today I am glad I am no longer doing it on a regular basis. Between pricing, planes sitting on runways, long lines I have a feeling it is no longer a pleasant experience.

    April 9, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  109. No patience for this kind of stuff...

    ...Take said child to bathroom and.....flush....

    April 9, 2010 at 10:02 am |
  110. jim

    The airlines need to let everyone know that if your child is out of control then they will turn the plane around and kick the family off.....

    April 9, 2010 at 10:02 am |
  111. N

    Young children do not belong on planes – period. There is rarely anyplace so critical for junior to go to until they're 7 or 8 and able to control themselves. Granny needs to be the one get on a plane for a visit, not expect mom and infant/toddler to do the flying. It is not fair to put little ones through the ordeal of air travel – which is hard enough now for grownups to deal with. Stay home or go by car.

    April 9, 2010 at 10:07 am |
  112. Stephen stewart

    You know iam not really mad at the lady. People should really learn to ontrol there kids. Its like who is the parent an who is the kid. I I don't spank my kids cuz I don't have too. My kids jus now my voice an now when I mean buisiness. There are that just have to be disiplined that way to have to act right

    April 9, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  113. Calvin

    I travel frequently, mostly internationally. I have found that so many parents do not plan for their child to have an activity for long flights. Children do not have long attention spans and need to be occupied with constructive activities. I was on a flight back to the states from Europe, center row (5 seats) I on the aisle parents together on the other aisle, children in the middle. The mother went to sleep and left the father to deal with 2 toddlers. I looked at the 3 year old sitting next to me and told him that we were going to have a great flight. Three (3) hours into the flight the youngest child needed changing, the father climbed over the mother to get the diaper bag and proceeded to change the child in the seat. I stopped him immediately and told him this was not the appropriate place to do this. He became very angry with me and told me to mind my business. I told him that performing a private matter in public made it my business. He again tried to change the child, I again told him to stop and rang for the flight attendant. By this time many passengers were complaining of the smell. The father was instructed that he had to take the child to the restroom. He said that he couldn't leave the other child behind. Everyone then looked at the sleeping mother. She apparently had taken a sleeping pill was very difficult to wake. As soon as the father left the mother fell back to sleep.

    April 9, 2010 at 10:41 am |
  114. F. Gallo

    To begin with, I love the way you framed the question. "when his little feet touched the back of her seat"?!? Why not go whole hog, and make it "sweet, precious, adorable, innocent little feet? (Have been in that situation many times, and wanted to do exactly what that woman did.) We all have rights, and no one has the right to annoy another passenger, no matter what age they are. It's a job for the parent, to disipline the child, and if that's not done, then the stewardess should take charge. Unfortunately most of them are reluctant to get involved, and when asked to do something roll their eyes, and act like you're the offending party. Sure kids get bored and unruly on long trips, so why not bring something along to keep them occupied, and try to avoid these situations?

    April 9, 2010 at 11:49 am |
  115. Michael

    I have had this happen with a couple of preteens. I gave them a look and they sat down a behaved. When they are smaller I say something to their parents. They should handle it.

    You are a parent, it is your child and when I am flying, in a movie theater, or anywhere else your child should not be my problem. Be a parent or do not have children.

    April 9, 2010 at 11:55 am |
  116. IM

    Here's a thought....the airlines are trying to find new ways to improve cash flow...why not offer "all adult flights" (no kids under 16) and charge a premium for them. I thinking on long flights the road warriors would pay the extra to get rid of the kid factor.

    April 9, 2010 at 12:38 pm |
  117. sh

    Wow, the contempt for children evident in these comments is disturbing.

    For everyone focusing their criticism on the child, please do this ...

    1) bookmark this thread
    2) go have a child
    3) come back 3 years from now
    4) re-read this thread
    5) apologize for your total ignorance and lack of compassion

    April 9, 2010 at 1:48 pm |
  118. Sheldon

    As a parent and a ex-policeman. The answer is clearly no unless it was her child but not slamming the child down into the seat.

    April 9, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  119. blah

    The mother clearly has issues; first with the fact that she wasn't disciplining her child and second, that she is pressing charges for a silly incident in which her son started!

    April 10, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
  120. marina

    The woman should have to ask a mother of the child to stop this!
    AND the mother of the child should have stopped the child's kicking and kept an eye on her child all the way!

    April 12, 2010 at 10:41 am |
  121. marina

    how could the mother not pay an attention of what her child was doing!
    The mother should stop this kicking! If the mother didn't want to stop this – the woman should asked the mother.

    April 12, 2010 at 11:02 am |
  122. Ken

    Perhaps the passenger made a bad choice due to alcohol. More likely, it was a case of frustration that the child's parent wasn't taking care of the situation.


    April 15, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
  123. Amelia

    While it is shameful that the woman was drunk in a public place, that is beside the point. At least she was *DISCIPLINING* the child, which is apparently more than the mother was doing; and shame on *her* for not having acted before it came to this point. If a child is misbehaving, and the parent or caregiver is unable or unwilling to act to stop it, then it is, or should be, acceptable for another adult to take action. Even if that means
    physically touching the child. We need more adults like this one who are willing to step forward and take control of misbehaving children, even if they are not that child's parents. When the parents will not discipline, other adults must.

    April 15, 2010 at 3:49 pm |