The debate about whether or not children under the age of 2 should be required to have their own seat on an airplane has reached fever pitch. This summer, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that the Federal Aviation Administration require infants to be in their own seat and in November, the FAA faced pressure from the Association of Flight Attendants to change their regulations regarding restraints for babies.
So it’s strange to think that a flight attendant would tell a mother that she couldn’t place her infant – who had her own seat – in a rear-facing car seat during takeoff, but that’s exactly what happened to Melissa Bradley. Bradley was flying Sky West from Aspen when she “was told to remove the baby from the car seat and hold her during takeoff – or get off the plane,” Colorado’s KKTV reports.
A flight attendant reportedly told Bradley that the use of rear-facing infant seats was not allowed, but Bradley showed the crew a sticker on the seat that said it was in fact FAA approved. As Heather wrote in November, “The Federal Aviation Administration has always acknowledged that buckling little ones into seats is safer than having them on your lap.”
Bradley’s scuffle with the flight crew left her in tears. She continued to argue with the flight attendant who told her only forward-facing car seats were acceptable on board the aircraft. Yet the FAA’s website recommends kids under 20 pounds be in a rear-facing seat. Bradley and her family did ultimately stay on the plane, and United, who partners with Sky West, has apologized for the incident and spoken to the flight attendant in question.