The child, saying inflammatory things like "Go, plane, go" and "I want Daddy" (as opposed to "Die, infidels, die" or "Do you mind if I ignite the explosives hidden in my shoe so I can blow us all to kingdom come?"), so infuriated the crew that the aircraft excused itself from the takeoff queue and returned to the gate to deal with, in the words of the intrepid captain, "a passenger issue." Imagine the mother's surprise when she found out that she and her 2-year old were the "issue" and hustled unceremoniously off the airplane, probably to the raucous applause of the rest of the passengers, who then all bitched and moaned because the delay meant that they would now be arriving late in San Jose.
Mom was told by the flight attendant, "We just can't tolerate that for two hours."
"He'll be fine once we take off,'' the mother remembers insisting.
"We've heard that before,'' the flight attendant told the mother.
Southwest's official position was that the disruption by the child prevented the passengers from hearing the safety instructions from the crew. Actually, Southwest is noted for allowing its flight attendants to turn the instruction speech into a comedy monologue and the attendant on Flight 637 was incensed because he was going to try out some new material on Monday's flight.
Southwest has since apologized to the mother and will issue her a $300 travel voucher.
For Delta Airlines.
For a counterpoint to this story, go here.
Bags Fly For Free On Southwest,