9 Most Controversial Stories About Traveling with Kids by Plane

1The teen who was not allowed to travel First Class because he has Down Syndrome.

A Southern California family decided to splurge on first-class plane tickets for the first time but were denied entry onto the plane because their son has Down Syndrome. Joan and Robert Vanderhorst had flown without issue with their 16-year-old son Bede, who has Down Syndrome, at least 30 times. This time, on a "lark," they decided to spend an extra $625 to fly first class. "My wife said, 'Oh Bede's never flown first class. He'll be so excited,'" Robert recounted.

And yet, while the family was waiting to board from Newark, New Jersey to fly back to their Porterville home near Bakersfield, an American Airlines representative pulled them aside and said the pilot thought Bede was a "flight risk." Joan quickly began to videotape the incident on her cell phone. "We are being singled out," she said, sobbing, in the video above. Meanwhile, Bede can be seen sitting at the gate, quietly playing with his hat.

Robert and his wife were told that their son's behavior could disrupt the pilot, since their first class seats were close to the cockpit. The family was escorted from the gate by Port Authority and transferred--to the coach section--of a United Airlines flight.

2The parents who prepared a welcome bag to all passengers sitting close to their noisy twins

Redditor Gigantomachy writes, "Brilliant and thoughtful parents handed these out to everyone on my flight." Bravo, bravo! Even if the babies had a terrible time, many passengers would have been too charmed to complain.

3The teenager who was forced to apologize after jumping the airplane queue

Mac Breedlove was flying on Southwest Airlines with his lacrosse team when he tried to board the plane early by cutting in the early-boarding line. However, the eagle-eyed coaches travelling with the team spotted him and made him apologize to his fellow passengers over the PA system.

In a video obtained by CBS News, the teen can be heard saying 'oh come on' before his coach made him read out a scripted apology.

'During the boarding process, I took advantage of this airline's kindness,' Breedlove read.
'I hope you will all find it in your hearts to forgive me, for I am just a young man that thinks I'm smarter than I am. Enjoy your flight, and remember to fly Southwest, because they let my coach do this to me.'

And while commentators' views differ on whether or not the punishment was too severe, it seems that Mac saw the funny side as he has posted a link to the story on his Twitter feed. The announcement is possibly not even the most unusual ever made on a Southwest flight, with a whole Facebook group dedicated to Funny Stuff They Say on Southwest Airlines.

4The 18-month-old Muslim baby who was kicked off a JetBlue flight because she was on the no-fly list.

An 18-month-old girl and her parents were pulled off a JetBlue flight in 2012 because the child was on the no-fly list. Riyanna and her parents had just boarded the flight at the Ft. Lauderdale airport when they were approached by an airline employee telling them the TSA wanted to speak with them. Her parents, who asked to remain anonymous, think their little girl was singled out because the family is of Middle Eastern descent. Both parents were born and raised in New Jersey.

After 30 minutes of waiting in the terminal, the family was told they could re-board, but refused to do so out of embarrassment. "We were put on display like a circus act because my wife wears a hijab [head scarf]," Riyanna's father said.

JetBlue issued a statement that both the airline and the TSA would investigate the incident. But, in a follow-up, WPBF reports that the TSA said it would not investigate.

5The tourist who was banned from Brazil for throwing a glass of water at an annoying baby during flight

An American tourist has been barred from entering Brazil after he threw water on a crying baby whose crying annoyed him on the long flight.

'I think I over-reacted a little,' said Ronald Duffy from Pennsylvania. The tourist planned to spend Carnival with his Brazilian girlfriend in Salvador but was arrested at Guarulhos Airport in Sao Paulo when the flight from Miami landed. Police said that Duffy, 36, appeared to be drunk on the flight. When the baby began to cry, he complained that he could not sleep. He then asked for a glass of water and doused the child with it as the shocked parents watched.

The other passengers nearly lynched him and applauded when police boarded the aircraft to arrest him. Police cancelled his visa, saying he had an 'inconvenient attitude'. Duffy said he had been taking medicine to sleep.

After being held in custody he tried to arrange a flight home after Tam, the airline that took him to Brazil, refused to carry him back.

6The two-year-old who managed to run away from her parents and board a plane to Egypt

A two-year-old girl managed to sneak onto a plane to Egypt after running off from her parents at a German airport. The parents of two-year-old Ana Miele raised the alarm as soon as they noticed she was missing as they were about to board their flight to Tunisia at Nuernberger airport.

Air traffic control put out an alert to pilots after a search of the airport failed to locate the child, and a stewardess on the Egypt bound flight reported a short while later that the two year old had taken a seat on her plane. 'She took a seat as good as gold and strapped herself in. No one had any idea that she was alone,' the stewardess said. The plane, which was about to take off, had to abort its start and the girl was returned to her parents.

7The two-year-old who was kicked off a JetbBlue flight for throwing a tantrum

If you don't comply with crew-member instructions, you're likely to get kicked off a plane. If you're 2 years old, you're no exception to the rule. Toddler Natalie threw a tantrum when her family boarded a JetBlue flight traveling from Turks and Caicos to Boston. According to NBC News, her parents tried to calm her down but were unsuccessful at first. Eventually, they got both Natalie and her 3-year-old sister, Cecilia, seated with their seat belts fastened -- the family was asked to leave the plane anyway.

But Dr. Colette Vieau, Natalie's mother, said she and her husband did what they were told to do -- they were just struggling to keep their children calm. Vieau suggested putting her daughter on her lap, but federal regulations only allow this accommodation for children under 2 -- Natalie had just celebrated her second birthday. The family had to spend an additional $2,000 to find a hotel and rebook their flights, since there were no other trips that night.

8The airline that put two unaccompanied kids on wrong connection flights

This story might make you think twice about letting your kids fly alone. Delta sent a 9-year old Spokane, Washington boy to Cleveland instead of Boston. Then they sent a little girl mistakenly to Boston. Both children were under the supervision of the airlines.

Kieran Kershaw was traveling alone from Spokane to visit his grandparents. He had a layover in Minneapolis. That's where someone made the mistake and put him on the wrong flight. Kieran wasn't the only child sent to the wrong city. Because a Delta employee switched some paperwork, a girl headed to Cleveland ended up on the flight to Boston. The children's legal guardians were notified and both kids are fine.

9The airline that kicked a skinny woman off a plane to make room for a larger teenage passenger

A woman flying on standby on a Southwest Airlines flight was removed from the plane because one passenger needed two seats. The petite Sacramento woman was bumped from a Southwest Airlines flight to make room for an extra-large 14-year-old child who required two seats.

The 5-foot-4, 110-pound woman, who was flying standby from Las Vegas to Sacramento, was buckled up and ready to go when the teen arrived late to the gate. She was surprised when flight attendants said that she would have to deplane in order to make room for the teen. Southwest generally requires large passengers to buy two tickets, but in this case the child's parents had purchased only one.