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Family Travel Oddities

Family of Screaming Toddler Kicked Off Flight: We’ve Got a Solution

Ever heard of Nanny in the Clouds? The family of one screaming toddler may wish they had.

There are only two ways people could read this story. Anyone who’s not a fan of being trapped in a confined space with a shrieking child is going to see the JetBlue pilot as a hero; parents will sympathize with the family.

A JetBlue flight was preparing to fly from Turks & Caicos to Boston when a two-year-old child threw a massive tantrum, refused to sit down for takeoff, and presumably made everyone on the flight wish that beverage service had started already.

The parents tried to hold the screaming toddler down in her seat with the seat belt on, but the pilot and flight attendant made the decision to kick the family off the flight and leave without them. Undoubtedly, the people trapped near that toddler on the plane were grateful, but the Daily Mail reports that the family ended paying more than $2,000 for a new flight and hotel room for the night.

If only the family had signed up for Nanny in the Clouds then they might have been able to stay on the plane. Nanny in the Clouds is a new service from an enterprising mom who aims to pair babysitters with families on flights. If a babysitter wants to make some extra money on a flight, he or she can sign up for the service and be matched with a family who’s willing to pay someone else to keep their kids calm and entertained during a flight. The service costs $10 to get matched, and then the nanny and parents negotiate a price.

Personally, I think the pilot should have the right to kick off anyone who’s disrupting a flight, especially if the pilot thinks a passenger is a safety risk to themselves or other flyers. Whether it’s a small child, or a drunken flyer, the pilot’s in charge. (And it seems like even the mom in the story would agree with me—FoxNews.com quotes her as saying: “I don’t know that I could blame JetBlue, to be totally fair.”

What do you think? Did the JetBlue staff make the right call? Would you ever use Nanny in the Clouds?

By Caroline Morse Teel

Unfortunately for her bank account, Principal Editor Caroline Morse Teel is powerless to resist a good flight deal. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline.

Caroline joined Boston-based SmarterTravel in 2011 after living in Ireland, London, and Manhattan. She's traveled to all seven continents, jumped out of planes, and bungeed off bridges in the pursuit of a good story. She loves exploring off-the-beaten path destinations, anything outdoorsy, and all things adventure.

Her stories have also appeared online at USA Today, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Yahoo, Boston.com, TripAdvisor, Buzzfeed, Jetsetter, Oyster, Airfarewatchdog, and others.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "Earplugs. A good pair has saved my sleep and sanity many times!"

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: Hiking Mount Kilimanjaro.

Travel Motto: "Don't be boring."

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Aisle (when the first class private suite isn't available)."

E-mail her at cmorse@smartertravel.com.

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