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A United Airlines flight attendant told a new mother on board one of the carrier’s aircraft that it was “absolutely unacceptable” for her infant to be crying more than five minutes inflight.
The airline has since apologized to the mother, Krupa Patel Bala, who was flying in business class from Sydney to San Francisco on Tuesday with her husband and 8-month-old son in a bassinet. Shortly after takeoff, the baby began to cry.
After the baby had been crying for about five minutes, Bala says a flight attendant approached her and her husband and “yelled” that it was “absolutely unacceptable” for the infant boy to be crying. Bala says the comment made her “beyond infuriated.”
But the flight attendant didn’t stop there. She reportedly told Bala to pick up the baby from the basinet. “We picked him up, per her request, and tried to get him to calm down,” Bala wrote in a Facebook post about the incident. She also wrote that she was stressed out by the flight attendant because the baby would inevitably cry again on the 13-hour flight.
After giving the mom some unsolicited advice (like she should’ve waited for the lights to go down before putting her son to sleep and she should give him his empty bottle back, according to Bala), the flight attendant went on to say that babies were not allowed to cry more than five minutes as part of the United rule book, according to Bala’s version of events.
Eventually, the captain of the flight stepped in. He brought the flight attendant over to apologize to the new parents, but according to Bala, only the captain was contrite — she says the flight attendant never apologized.
In a statement to local San Francisco station KTVU, the airline said:
“We’ve been in touch with our customer via social media and United representatives met the family upon arrival to apologize, offer a refund and make clear that the experience she relayed doesn’t reflect our commitment to serving our customers, including our youngest customers. Young families are welcome on our flights, including in business class. We are continuing to review the incident internally and the flight attendant is being held out of service pending the investigation.”
Bala said that everyone else she encountered at United were “all lovely, kind, wonderful humans,” but she vowed on her Facebook post to never fly United again.
Featured image by RyanJLane / Getty Images.
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