Someday I May Get Arrested

Filed under:Jerks,Mothering — posted by Anwyn on July 12, 2007 @ 10:32 am

Because I’ll be blasted if I’m going to shut my mouth and take it if a flight attendant ever speaks to me this way:

But Penland said when they were aboard a Continental Express plane, a flight attendant became annoyed by Garren’s personality when he kept saying three words.

“As we started taxiing, he started saying ‘Bye, bye plane,’” said Penland. “At the end of her speech, she leaned over the gentleman beside me and said, ‘It’s not funny anymore. You need to shut your baby up.’”

In disbelief, Penland asked the woman if she was kidding. It was then, Penland said, the flight attendant went too far.

“She then said, ‘You know, it’s called baby Benadryl.’ And I said, ‘Well, I’m not going to drug my child so you have a pleasant flight.'”

Penland and her 19-month-old son were then–say it with mekicked off the flight.

Penland said when the other passengers began speaking up on her behalf, the flight attendant got angrier and soon announced they were turning around and that Penland and Garren were going to be taken off the plane.

“I was crying, I was upset and I was thinking, ‘What am I going to do? I don’t have anything with me, I don’t have anymore diapers for the baby, no juice, no milk,” said Penland.

The young mother said she later learned the flight attendant told the pilot that she had threatened her. Penland said that never happened.

Emphasis mine. Another sad bequest of 9/11: Flight attendants, and other airline and TSA personnel, who have elevated petty powermongering to a pitch of rage-inducing perfection, who equate the duty to help keep the plane safe with the right to order others around for the elimination of their personal annoyances.

A fellow passenger told Channel 2’s Rachel Kim none of the other passengers had problems with Garren and that Penland never threatened the flight attendant.

Penland is considering legal action.

May she carry it to the fullest extent that the law allows, and may that flight attendant shortly have to find a job that requires more than pointing to exit doors a la Vanna White and exhibiting the bare minimum of good customer service. I’m betting she won’t even pass a laugh test.

H/t: Daddyman, who saves me a lot of valuable websurfing time by filtering Fark and passing on the stuff he knows will make me see red.

Update: Her son did not show his best side on Good Morning America when Diane Sawyer was chatting with her about the incident. I’ve stirred the hornet’s nest at Ace’s before and found a bunch of rabid child-bashers who can’t bear even the thought of a little crying disrupting the audio track of their lives. But the kid was responding to Chris, who clearly knew what he was doing with little ones. He wanted to be down playing with the toys he was offered rather than confined in his mother’s lap. Big surprise. Kids behave differently at different times in different settings. Big surprise.

Bottom line: That was a commuter plane, a small plane. Everybody on it could see and hear the incident. Sawyer said they talked to some of them. If this wasn’t the way it went down they’d have found out by now. Fire the flight attendant for lying to her captain to get an innocuous passenger thrown off. Period.


  1. As Whitney would say – oh HAY-ULL to the no! You’ve got to be kidding me. I’m not big on litigating but she really needs to pursue that one. But she has more than that coming to her and I’d say she’ll get it when she has kids of her own (Heaven help them).

    Comment by Jae — July 12, 2007 @ 10:49 am

  2. That’s funny you say that, Jae–I was thinking as I wrote about the gulf of perception and manners separating the unsympathetic childless from parents. Five’ll get you ten, though, that she’ll never have kids.

    Comment by Anwyn — July 12, 2007 @ 11:57 am

  3. My wife was so enraged about this story that she tracked down the e-mail of the company’s communications director ( to fire off an e-mail.

    Not that we fly much anyway, but I can now cross Continental off the list of potential carriers for our next trip…

    Comment by SlithyToves — July 12, 2007 @ 12:33 pm

  4. I wonder how hard it would be to find out which flights this particular attendant attends? Start a mobblog action to have all of the willing adults on the plane start muttering “Bye, bye plane” just loud enough to be heard. :-)

    I’ll be in the next jail cell tapping on your wall.

    Comment by Allen — July 12, 2007 @ 1:36 pm

  5. Gotta find a mole in the company who would send us her month’s “line” … but I like the way you think. :)

    Comment by Anwyn — July 12, 2007 @ 1:47 pm

  6. I don’t take sucker bets (unless I’ve got the upper hand!)

    I like Allen’s suggestion. Bye-bye plane! Bye-bye lady!

    Comment by Jae — July 12, 2007 @ 1:58 pm

  7. SlithyToves, do let us know if your wife gets a response.

    If she sues, the company would be nuts not to settle since undoubtedly there are as many witnesses to this nuttery as there were passengers within earshot, all in a conveniently organized manifest.

    I hope they try to avoid lawsuit by firing the attendant posthaste. Provided all this is accurate.

    Comment by Anwyn — July 12, 2007 @ 5:23 pm

  8. I’d love to take my darling nephew on one of that woman’s flights.

    “Why did you say, ‘Please put on your own mask before assisting others?’ Why did you say ‘There are three exits on this plane?’ Why did you say ‘Your luggage must fit in an overhead bin or under the seat in front of you?’ Why are there peanuts? What road are we on? Why are we going on a plane? If I scratch, you get ball in hand. I’m going to do an upside-down marseille shot with the orange two ball. I’m going to play pop-pops at granny’s house.”

    Comment by Anwyn's sister — July 13, 2007 @ 6:04 pm

  9. If I had been on that plane, I would have walked out with that family. And then found the nearest TSA officer and told him that there was a dangerous person aboard that plane — the stewardess.

    Comment by nk — July 13, 2007 @ 11:59 pm

  10. I got a lot more tolerant about small children after I became an uncle. It is the nature of young children to be noisy, and repetitively noisy. After all, that is how they learn. A colicky infant is a trial, as is a genuine spoiled brat, but I did not read about anything fitting that description in the article.

    I don’t see anywhere in the story where other passengers complained, just the stewardess. I was more upset by the stewardess’s behavior, since it is in her position to assist the needs of the passengers, not act like a nanny or an assistant principal. Verily, if I had been the parent put off the flight like that, I would have given TSA an earful on it.

    Comment by exdem13 — July 14, 2007 @ 4:41 am

  11. My wife did get a response from the Communications director at ExpressJet. It stated that she had forwarded her concerns to the appropriate customer care representative…

    So, we can now be assured that nothing at all will come of her letter.

    Comment by SlithyToves — July 16, 2007 @ 9:34 am

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