A breastfeeding mom and her family were kicked off a Spirit flight in Houston.
A Houston woman, her parents and her 2-year-old son were kicked off a Spirit flight at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport Friday morning for the non-compliance of the instructions of the crew after being told to stop breastfeeding her son, and clasp him in the chair.
May Rui, a concert pianist and cancer researcher, was on his way to New York City to take part in a recording session for a clinical cancer study, The Washington Post reports. The problems started when the 6:30 flight was repeatedly delayed because of an “insufficient de-icing solution,” Rui wrote in a now-deleted post on Facebook. She started breastfeeding her young son in an attempt to quiet him down and let him sleep on the three-hour flight.
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“Every parent with a young child can [imagine], you do not want parents on the plane,” she told the Post. “It would be very embarrassing. I was just trying to avoid that.”
Rui claims to be a member of the crew asked her to stop breastfeeding and the buckle of her son in his seat before takeoff. She wrote that the aircraft door was still open and asked the attendant for a few minutes to complete the suckling of her son before the doors closed. However, a representative of the airline said reports confirm that the door is already closed at this time.
“I explained to them that giving me a few minutes to complete the nursing him would prevent him from crying and disturbing the other passengers. See, that I could not stop breastfeeding him quickly, they went back and at that point should be the captain. I didn’t want to cause any problems, so I immediately pulled my son off and forced buckled him in the seat, who from uncontrollable crying for the next 25 minutes, to the great dismay and ear of everyone on the plane,” Rui wrote on Facebook.
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She and her family were then allegedly asked to leave the plane, where they were welcomed by the crew and the safety of the airport and told her that she would not be allowed back on board. “It’s not like I was resistant, I put him in the chair,” she told The Post. “If they had shown a little compassion, it would not have happened, they didn’t have to escalate.”
Rui recorded the encounter on her mobile phone, where they can be heard over her crying son, with the question, what had they done wrong. “I just want to know why we were kicked off the plane.” Rui said.
A Houston pianist and clinical investigator kick-off @SpiritAirlines flight Friday morning.. she was on her way to perform cancer research in new YORK. Wants answers from the airline. Live @iah 10 #KHOU11 pic.twitter.com/mDPQmC5AOC
— Marcelino Benito (@MarcelinoKHOU) December 10, 2017
“Because you’re not compatible,” a Spirit representative said.
“Can you tell me which part of the statement we were not in compliance with? I think we deserve to know that.”
The employee refused to provide any details.
“If this happened to your family…” Rui said.
“It would not happen with my family, I can assure you,” he said.
Spirit’s Director of Communications, Stephen Schuler, told Fox News that the Moult was not removed for breastfeeding, but instead for failure to comply with the instructions of the crew by not safely buckled and secured for the flight after repeatedly asked to do this.”
“We were forced to remove a passenger from flight 712 after they refused to comply with the instructions of the crew several times while the doors were closed during the taxiing and the safety. For the safety of our guests and crew, the FAA regulations and the policies of the airlines require all passengers to remain seated and hung during takeoff and landing. We reviewed several accounts of the crew and the other guests are in the neighborhood and we apologize for any inconvenience caused by this issue.
“As a thank you, we have issued a full refund to the customer in question,” Schuler wrote in an e-mail to Fox News.
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“We are not lawbreakers, or problems of asylum seekers, Rui told KHOU. “We are the elderly people, a baby and his mother, why do they treat us this way?
After waiting an hour for their luggage, which was never returned, according to the Post, Rui and her family were on their way home from the airport with her father, who suffers from a heart condition, collapsed and had to be rushed to the hospital.
It has been a particularly difficult year for the mother, whose family lost their house to the Hurricane and Harvey are still living in temporary housing, the Post reports.