Canadian singer Sarah Blackwood, frontwoman of Walk Off the Earth, just took a plane ride that felt like an eternity, although it didn’t even make it off the runway. No, no, she wasn’t stuck on the tarmac because of mechanical problems or a passenger having a health issue. Well, technically, she was the passenger with an issue. At least that’s what the crew working United Airlines flight 6223 believed.
Before the flight even took off an attendant warned her that if she couldn’t “control” her 23 month-old child, the pilot would be forced to turn the plane around.
“I had to hold him, he was being very squirmy and was crying very loud,” she told CTV News.ca. “I looked at her and said ‘I’m doing what I can here, I’m holding him. This is what I’m supposed to do.'”
Blackwood, seven months pregnant, began to get emotional when a second flight attendant came up to speak with her. And then, boom. As the plane was taxiing, it came to a sudden stop, turned around and headed back to the airport. Upon arrival at the gate yet another flight attendant approached and asked her and her son to leave. Blackwood said by that point, her son had fallen asleep on her lap. And how Blackwood didn’t lose it then is beyond us.
“It felt like it was in slow motion. I was in tears, it was so embarrassing. It was awful,” she said.
— Sarah Blackwood (@SarahBlackwood1) May 27, 2015
SkyWest said the flight crew made the “difficult decision” to remove Blackwood and her son from the flight based on “safety concerns.” “Despite numerous requests, the child was not seated, as required by federal regulation to ensure passenger safety, and was repeatedly in the aisle of the aircraft before departure and during taxi,” the statement said. “While our crews work to make travelling safe and comfortable for all travellers, particularly families, the crew made the appropriate decision to return to the gate in the interest of safety.”
Blackwood disagreed, “I had a window seat, there was a gentleman beside me, there’s no way he could have been running around in an aisle, because it was impossible.” She was later told by a supervisor that she was asked to leave because of another reason: she refused to put a seatbelt around her son’s lap. Which she also disputed.
“If I had the chance to put a seatbelt over him I would,” she said, noting that she would’ve done “anything” so the flight wouldn’t be delayed.
In case you were wondering, this is the boy whom the airline felt was too dangerous. Yep. Totally scary.