An angry mother from Houston Texas is speaking out after having been removed from a Spirit Airlines flight with her young child and elderly parents.
Pianist and cancer researcher, Mei Rui, told KHOU she had been waiting for her flight to New York to take off when the incident occurred. She was heading to the city to take part in a cancer research study. Watch what happened here:
Credit: Marcelino Benito/Twitter
During the incident, Mei and her family were escorted off the plane after she had started breastfeeding on board the flight. Before the cabin doors were closed, Mei said that she began breastfeeding her 2-year-old, but was stopped by cabin crew and told to put the child back in his seat.
Mei allegedly asked if she could have another moment so that her son would be able to sleep through the flight, but the flight attendants refused. The footage from Mei's mobile phone shows her son in his seat crying when another flight attendant instructs them to leave the plane.
"You just don't have to treat people that way. He was making very loud noises, but that's not criminal," Mei said.
However, in a statement, Spirit Airlines stood by its staff's decision to remove the family from the flight.
"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 take-off and landing."
The humiliated mother has received a full refund for her flight, but still says that she won't be travelling with the airline again.
"It was humiliating to be chased off a plane in front of hundreds of people. We had never been through anything close to this," Mei said. "We're not lawbreakers or trouble seekers. We're the elderly, a baby and his mother, why did they have to treat us this way?"
Chaos broke out earlier in the year when hundreds of Spirit Airlines' flights were cancelled, leaving passengers stranded and frustrated. The cancellations were due to a pilot shortage and, at Fort Lauderdale airport, even resulted in a brawl.
"Everyone was already aggravated about flight delays and the ridiculousness of standing in such a long line for hours, which Spirit Airlines did nothing to help, and then in walks these people off their flight raising a ruckus (and) cussing and screaming and they went straight to the counter," one passenger told CNN.
Three passengers were arrested and taken into custody as a result of the incident in May.
Spirit Airlines spokesman Paul Berry told CNN that the company was "shocked and saddened" to see the events and blamed its pilots.
"These pilots have put their quest for a new contract ahead of getting customers to their destinations and the safety of their fellow Spirit Team Members," Berry said in a statement.
Featured Image Credit: PA