Parents of Toddler Told They Couldn’t Fly Home Due to Cut on Child’s Face
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Parents of Toddler Told They Couldn’t Fly Home Due to Cut on Child’s Face

Vacations are awesome, but anyone with a toddler knows when it’s time to go home, it’s time to go home. That’s exactly how Northumberland, England, couple Laura Bishop, 36, and John Maitland, 33, were feeling on June 8 after a four-day holiday in Jersey, but a cut on their 19-month-old daughter’s face kept them from flying home.

The girl, Robyn, had gotten the cut just before leaving for the airport after falling on a radiator. The parents deemed it a fairly harmless cut and proceeded on the trip. The couple had boarded an easyJet plane to Newcastle when the flight attendant saw the toddler’s cut and went to get the pilot, who told them they would have to deboard the plane.

“I couldn't believe it. I started crying and I was pleading with him, saying ‘this is ridiculous, we’re only going to Newcastle, it’s about an hour’s flight,’ but he insisted that he wouldn't fly us,” Laura said.

The pilot claimed that, because the eye is a delicate area for an injury, he wouldn't be able to know if the cut was going to get worse with the cabin air pressure. Here’s what we don’t understand — he also claimed he had to worry about other passengers’ safety. What was going to happen to them? We don’t get that.

As Laura said, “It's just a little red mark on her face. It's not even going to scar. It wasn't deep. It didn't really bleed at all.” She went on to say that the pilot acted as if her daughter “was going to explode or something.” You can see a photo of the cut on Robyn's face here.

The pilot told them they could make a return flight after getting a note from the doctor saying Robyn was safe to fly. The doctor Laura consulted said “you’re joking” at the ridiculousness of the situation.

Laura called the incident “embarrassing,” as they had to leave the plane with everyone looking at them. Adding insult to injury, she says the airline did nothing to find them accommodations or transportation after leaving the airport. When Laura called to make a return flight, she was put through to India. The call center tech said, “Oh no, you flew home on Saturday,” despite Laura’s insistence they were still in Jersey.

Laura, who is seven and a half months pregnant, and her family were finally allowed to fly home three days later.

"What if we had been somewhere like Mexico? It could have cost us thousands and thousands to get back. They abandoned us really. There was no help. We were just on our own.” The trouble cost them £600 so, needless to say, Laura said she would never fly easyJet again.

easyJet said the well-being of passengers is their first priority, giving their official statement as, “We are in contact with the family directly to resolve their issue over the flights and reassure them that the actions of our crew was from concern for and in the best interest of the child.”

You tell us what you think: Do you side with the airline or the parents?


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06.25.2013 / 12:00 AM EDT by Marnie Brodersen
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