A Houston mom and her family have kicked off a Spirit Airlines flight because — get this — her baby was crying before takeoff. Sound totally unremarkable? Apparently not for the crew members aboard the flight, who insisted Mei Rui, her 2-year-old son, and her elderly parents deplane.
Here’s how it went down, according to Rui: When Rui decided to breastfeed her son before the plane even closed its doors, hoping it would make him fall asleep, she says a flight attendant insisted she stop, even though Rui promised she would stop before the plane’s doors closed. At this point, Rui did stop and strap her son in, but then he started to cry — and that’s when she was asked to leave the plane — as if a crying baby, or breastfeeding for that matter, is some sort of crime. (Apparently, sexual harassment is just par for the course, though!)
According to The Washington Post, Rui has degrees in molecular biophysics and biochemistry, a Grammy nomination, and is a cancer researcher, who was headed to New York to participate in a cancer study, when she was unceremoniously booted from her flight.
In a statement, the airline said Rui was removed from the flight “after refusing to comply with crew instructions several times during taxi to runway and safety briefing.” But that’s not what it looked like. Rui caught most of the incident on her phone, and the video shows her crying son strapped into his seat.
So the real question is, why are flights, and public places, so quick to demonize crying, “unruly” children and breastfeeding moms? In an age where we should “know better,” and when we are supposed to know that breastfeeding isn’t nudity, why is it still a big deal?
Oy vey. Watch the video to find out more.