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Man Requests Water for Pregnant Wife and Gets Thrown Off Plane

By CFagan |

images1Two days ago, Mitchell Roslin boarded a Ft. Lauderdale-bound Spirit Airlines flight at La Guardia airport in New York with his two preteen kids and seven-months-pregnant spouse.  Engine trouble precluded a take-off for over two hours and hampered cabin ventilation, turning the jet into a suffocating hot box.  Passengers were not allowed to leave the plane, and when Roslin requested water for his parched wife, he was refused.

The reason?  Flight attendants claimed that doling out water pre-takeoff was a Spirit no-no and they didn’t have company approval to make an exception.

Mitchell persisted in his quest and was booted off the plane along with his kids and the thirsty mommy-to-be.

Before I go any further, let me make this clear:  I feel for flight attendants.   The glamorous jet-setting profession of the past had evolved into a thankless job with  low pay long before 9/11.  So I feel for them…I really do.  But, come on.  Do you need company approval to exhibit common sense?  And how threatening can I guy pleading for Poland Spring really be?

Yes, it’s tough being a flight attendant.  But it ain’t easy for pregnant women aloft or parents traveling with small children.  Sometimes rules need to be broken, without corporate permission.

Image: lil’ sugar

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15 thoughts on “Man Requests Water for Pregnant Wife and Gets Thrown Off Plane

  1. Mistress_Scorpio says:

    Flying just seems like the worst way to travel these days.

  2. e says:

    I agree with Mistress Scorpio! Flying is such a mess these days. After the nightmare we had traveling at Christmas and all of the horror stories we hear, I think we’ll avoid it whenever possible.

  3. Laure68 says:

    Since I wasn’t there I feel like I can’t judge. (Although I have to say I don’t like these types of headlines. I always feel like a part of the story is missing.) However, for those who still need to fly, you need to be really prepared going into that airplane, and that means buying that outrageously expensive water at the airport, and bringing enough snacks to get you through the flight. I haven’t been stuck at the tarmac for very long, but I have been on flights that had turbulence throughout, which caused there to be no service since the flight attendants couldn’t get out of their seats.

    Also, I would blame the rules of the company more than anything. If it is a strict rule and a flight attendant goes against it, who knows what can happen? And these days people are terrified of losing their jobs.

  4. Al says:

    I have managed to smuggle a bottle of water on board every flight, you have to be crafty. Only on one flight where they checked our bags thoroughly three times before we boarded did I have to throw out my water. All the vending machines in the boarding area were switched off and when we got on the plane we found you had to pay for drinks and food, incl water. They ran out of food. In that case they couldn’t really hand out $5 bottles of water to every passenger for free but in the case above, and many other cases, they could make exceptions, especially for elderly, young, ill, pregnant, nursing etc people.

  5. bettywu says:

    Al – I don’t begrudge you your bottles of water as the no liquids rule is about as asinine as the ‘take off your shoes’ rule in the pantheon of TSA security theater, but… Good God. I’m guessing you’re not a trained spy but all you’re doing is “being crafty” and you’ve been able to get past airport security multiple times with expressly contraband material.
    Wonderful. Sure makes you feel safe, eh?

  6. Dutch M says:

    This story sounds ridiculous (I hate flying nowadays) and I can’t help but wonder about the reaction of the airline, had the wife suffered (serious) consequences from getting dehydrated. Law suit anyone? :-)

  7. PlumbLucky says:

    @Laure68 and Al – I guess I wasn’t crafty enough…my bottle of water was confiscated when I last flew (while pregnant), and similar to what Al mentioned, it was late enough that the “convenience store” near our gate past security was closed and the vending machines were off. Haven’t flown since as it was the most miserable flight of my life.

  8. [...] This is just not a banner week to be an airline. Southwest has been nicknamed Southworst after dubbing Kevin Smith too fat to fly. Spirit Airlines kicked a whole family off a plane because a dad insisted on getting a glass of water for his pregnant wife. [...]

  9. Eric says:

    Isn’t the ‘no liquids’ rule a ‘no outside liquids’ rule? I didn’t know there was any ‘smuggling’ necessary to get a bottle of water or snack on board the airplane provided it was purchased in the ‘secure zone.’

  10. tlr says:

    Sounds ridiculous. Eric is right.. you don’t have to smuggle stuff on to the plane, you just have to buy it inside of security. And if you don’t want to buy it, you can always bring an empty bottle and then fill it at a drinking fountain.

    Regardless, I wonder what the guy did when he persisted on the issue? Did he get irate? I don’t know the whole story. I do believe, however, that some people are clueless of the needs of pregnant and nursing women! I remember being 41 weeks pregnant and being told I couldn’t use the restroom at a store because it was for employees only. Some people are just idiots.

  11. Hubba says:

    Comments Excuse Me…..I was on this plane bound for Ft. Lauderdale…. this is half the story, He was unruly, mouth of a truck driver sad to know he is raising children with the mouth he had……..YES they didnt offer water til maybe 2 hours into just sitting there. But are you forgetting the part where his SON hits the flight attendant in his privates once again how is he raising his children…I was very happy when they threw them off the plane..i didnt want to be around that monster another minute. Once again it was a hot airplane plus with the other passengers getting tired of sitting there on the plane this man and his family were not the only passengers.SO if your gonna tell the story tell it like it happened.

  12. [...] Spirit Air, an entire family was kicked off a plane because a man asked for a glass of water for his pregnant wife. Apparently serving water before takeoff is against regulations. Really? [...]

  13. MamaSalma says:

    Sometimes you can’t buy it inside the terminal coz it’s too late and the shops are all closed. Sometimes they take your empty bottle. I think that since we’re not allowed to bring bottled water into the secure area, the airline should provide it to the people for free. We were stuck on the runway for 3 hours (not as long as others) with two little children. I finally had to beg them to get my bag from above so I could get snacks out for the kids. Anyway, the flight attendant explained that because they can be given the go ahead to fly at any moment they are not able to serve drinks despite the wait. Flying does seem like the worst way to travel these days…

  14. BioPHD says:

    “flight attendant explained that because they can be given the go ahead to fly at any moment they are not able to serve drinks despite the wait”

    Except they serve drinks in first class before the plane takes off. I realize that some airlines don’t have first class, but there is no reason one can’t make occasional exceptions, albeit reluctantly so as not to encourage other passengers to demand drinks.

    I travel a lot for work, and my water bottle with the built in Britta filter is my constant companion. Give me any cheap tap water and it tastes great. You never know how the tap at your destination will taste and you want to keep hydrated without spending a fortune.

  15. Ambs says:

    I had a terrible experience on a KLM flight once, while travelling to amsterdam from mumbai. I am an Indian, so i am pretty sure i was alsoa victim of racial discrmination. U wont know these things exist till u are actually a brown skinned person in the white world, and esp Europe. I was refused water many times while travelling with my two year old and noone helped me to use the washroom even though i had a sleeping child on me!

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