The pilot on a local easyJet flight kicked a British family off the plane because he believed a small cut on their toddler’s face was a health and safety hazard.
John Maitland, 33, and Laura Bishop, 36, boarded an easyJet flight in Newcastle, England, on June 8 with their 19-month-old daughter Robyn, Sky News reported.
Robyn had a small cut on her cheek because she fell on a radiator while the family was on vacation. Her parents said they did not think the cut was serious, but when a stewardess saw it, she alerted the pilot. The pilot then told the family they had to vacate the jet.
"It's just a little red mark on her face," Bishop said. "It's not even going to scar. It wasn't deep. It didn't really bleed at all.”
But the pilot allegedly told the family he was worried about how close it was to Robyn’s eye and the it could get worse during the flight when cabin pressure increased.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Bishop told Sky. “I started crying and I was pleading with him, saying ‘this is ridiculous, we’re only going to Newcastle, it’s about an hour’s flight’, but he insisted that he wouldn’t fly us.”
The crew threatened to call police if they would not get off the plane. They told the family they could rebook the flight once they got a certificate from a doctor stating it was safe for the toddler to fly.
"The doctor said he thought it was ridiculous," Bishop told Sky. "He said 'you're joking'."
The family had to wait three days for the next flight. The airline offered no help with the expenses they accrued.
"Beware of going on holiday with children — you might not be able to bring them back if they fall over,” Bishop said. "What if we had been somewhere like Mexico? It could have cost us thousands and thousands to get back. They abandoned us really. There was no help. We were just on our own.”
A statement issued by easyJet said: “The safety and well-being of our passengers is always easyJet’s highest priority. We are in contact with the family directly to resolve their issue over the flights and reassure them that the actions of our crew was from concern for and in the best interest of the child.”
“I would never fly with easyJet again,” Bishop said.