Memphis mother booted off flight after exchange with flight attendant about infant carrier
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Rude, loud, and downright disrespectful is how new mom Nicki Gazlay says a flight attendant with Frontier Airlines spoke to her this past Wednesday.
Gazlay says that while boarding a connector flight from Denver to Memphis, the flight attendant demanded she remove her five-month-old son from his Ergo Baby carrier, something she says she didn't have to do on her previous Frontier Flight.
"No one said a thing to me and that's the same airlines," said Gazlay.
Gazlay says she questioned why as she worked to get settled in her seat, but after getting her baby settled and out of his carrier, the flight attendant asked her again to comply with the rule.
"Of course I am going to comply, I'm going to do whatever you say because you are the queen of this airplane. She then says, 'You're off'"," said Gazlay.
Nicki was then forced to buy another flight with another airlines.
Airline officials say that baby carriers like the Ergo Baby carrier are not approved for take-off or landing. They say the best way to keep your baby safe is to buy an extra ticket, bring your car seat, and make sure it's approved.
However, many parents are taking to social media and asking why the regulations are not made more clear.
WMC Action News 5 reached out to Frontier Airlines about Nicki's specific case. A statement was released Tuesday, Feb. 3.
Statement from Frontier Airlines:
"Ms. Gazlay was attempting to use a restraining device not approved by the FAA for use onboard an aircraft.
Our flight attendant politely let Ms. Gazlay know that due to FAA regulations that were in place for their safety, that she wouldn't be able to use the unapproved device. Upon verbal notification by the flight attendant, Ms. Gazlay immediately became belligerent and argumentative with our crew member (this fact has been corroborated by two customers seated in the vicinity of Ms. Gazlay).
The flight attendant then calmly repeated the FAA regulations concerning the device's use and Ms. Gazlay continued to argue with the flight attendant which now made others on the plane ‘very uncomfortable' (this fact has been documented in writing by other customers). Federal Aviation Regulations require customer compliance with crew member instructions in this regard.
We support the actions of our flight crew 100% as they did exactly what they were trained to do in professional manner. Everything we do onboard is done with safety as the primary driver and we simply will not tolerate abusive behavior on board towards crew or other customers. This is the reason she was removed. We love children and families but customer compliance with crew member instructions regarding safety is critically important and mandated by Federal Aviation Regulations. This is for everyone's safety on board.
It is Ms. Gazlay that owes our crew and the customers that witnessed the event an apology.
I would also add on background, that we received a note from her husband who stated he is a manager in system operations with another airline. As an airline family, they should be better versed than most in the rules governing the use of child restraints on board."
--Todd Lehmacher, Director, Corporate Communications
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