Breastfeeding Mom Says Airline Kicked Her Off Flight, And She's Furious

A nursing mother is lashing out at Spirit Airlines after she, her 2-year-old son, and her parents were kicked off a flight. She says she was removed because she was breastfeeding, but the airline tells a different story.

Mei Rui, a cancer researcher from Houston, Texas was participating in a research study in New York. She, her son and her parents boarded the plane. Before the cabin door had closed, Rui began breastfeeding her child.

She claims that flight attendants told her to stop breastfeeding and to buckle the child up in his seat. She says she asked them to give her a few minutes to ensure her son was satisfied so he would drift to sleep, but the flight attendants demanded she stop immediately.

Next thing Rui knew, she and her family were being escorted off the plane.

Rui posted a video of airport authorities ejecting her and her family from the plane and posted it online. “After a three-hour delay due to ‘insufficient de-icing solution’ to thaw the ice on the plane and having to deplane and re-board everyone, I was nursing my exhausted baby (we woke up at 3am for the early flight, as I have a very important recording session in NY this afternoon) as a crew attendant approached me and asked me to stop nursing him and buckle him in his seat," she explained in the post.

“Since the plane hadn’t finished re-boarding, and the doors were still open, I politely asked for a couple more minutes so I could finish nursing him," she continued.

Rui complains that the flight attendants were unhappy that she didn't obey their orders promptly and they complained to the captain.

"I didn’t want to cause any trouble, so I immediately pulled my son off and forced-buckled him into the seat, which set off uncontrollable crying for the next 25 minutes to the great dismay and earache of everyone on the plane," the mother said. At that point, they told the woman that she had to leave. When she refused, they called the police.

“My parents and my young son are completely traumatized from this experience. All we want is an explanation for why we were kicked off the plane, and what exactly we were ‘non-compliant’ with, after complying and buckling my son into the seat and keeping him there for the entire duration until asked to deplane," she said.

The airline put out a statement about the incident. "Our records indicate a passenger was removed from Flight 712 after refusing to comply with crew instructions several times during taxi to runway and safety briefing," the statement said. "To protect the safety of our guests and crew, FAA regulations and airline policies require all passengers to stay seated and buckled during takeoff and landing," they said.

“The only 'non-compliance' is that my son was crying for 25 minutes straight after I force-buckled him into the airplane seat,” Rui shot back.

Spirit Airline refunded Rui's tickets, but the mother says she'll never be flying on that airline again.

Source: CBS News, Independent
Photos: YouTube Screenshots

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