Southwest Airlines is taking some heat after a family was escorted off a flight at Midway International Airport on Wednesday afternoon.
Passenger Alexis Armstrong filmed part of the incident on her cellphone in a video that has since gone viral. Armstrong said Southwest staff removed a couple and their 2-year-old daughter from a flight to Atlanta shortly before takeoff Wednesday after the child became unruly.
Armstrong said the girl wanted to sit in her father's lap — not her own seat — and that the child had calmed down by the time Southwest employees removed the family from the plane.
In the video, two flight attendants can be seen talking to a man, believed to be the child's father, and a woman. One flight attendant says, "The decision has been made."
Armstrong, who was sitting a row back and across the aisle from the family, said she didn't think the couple or little girl should have been kicked off the plane.
Southwest Airlines released the following statement:
"After pushback Wednesday evening, Flight 1683 to Atlanta returned to the gate at Midway to allow supervisors to board the aircraft. Our initial reports indicate a conversation escalated on board between the crew and a customer traveling with a small child. We always aim for a welcoming and hospitable experience and regret the inconvenience to all involved. The traveling party was booked on the next flight to Atlanta after the original flight continued as planned. We will reach out to the customer[s] to listen to any concerns they have about their experience and look forward to welcoming them on board again soon."
On her Facebook page Armstrong wrote: #southwest #shame #on #you #southwest #airlines kicked a man off the plane with his two year old daughter because she was afraid and not sitting in her own seat.. he asked the lady for a minute to calm her down she walked away and called people to remove him. The baby was already calm by now and sitting in her own seat. Captain then came over intercom to say we will be going back to the gate to handle a customer service issue. They then told me stop filming and this issue did not involve me, and that me and another woman who spoke up will be the next off he plane. The flight attendant then came to tell me be quiet stop talking ( to the person next to me ) no one around me wants to hear about the situation. #Flight1683 #MDW to #ATL ABC 7 Chicago NBC ChicagoSouthwest Airlines #Michelle was the flight attendant
Here is the video she posted.