U.S. mother kicked off flight for breastfeeding toddler

Andrew Cummings
December 12, 2017

A report from the Washington Post states concert pianist Mei Rui, her elderly parents, and her two-year-old son were on their way to New York City as they'd been planning for months.

Rui, who was traveling to NY to participate in a recording for a clinical cancer research study, took her son out of his seat and started breastfeeding the toddler to put him to sleep and keep him from crying.

A woman and her family were kicked off a Spirit Airlines flight after attendants told her to stop breastfeeding her son and she was reportedly too slow to react. Not wanting to wake up her son, Rui asked for more time to feed him and then put him in his seat.

"You just don't have to treat people that way", Mei remarked.

"If this happened to your family, what would you do?" In an attempt to calm the child and help him to sleep for the duration of the three-hour flight, she began breastfeeding the boy.


"I just want to know why we were kicked off the plane?" She asks for an explanation and is told "you were not compliant".

In a Facebook post she wrote directly after the incident on Friday, she said: 'This was an even more traumatic morning for us than when Harvey destroyed our homes.

The airline has stated that the family were removed after failing to comply with crew instructions, however, Rui says the "only "non-compliance" is that my son was crying for 25 minutes straight after I force-buckled him into the airplane seat". The family had to wait over an hour for their luggage, but it never returned.

After the incident at George Bush International Airport, Rui says her father was so distraught he collapsed and had to go to the hospital. As the cabin doors were still open she asked them if she could continue nursing for a little longer so he wouldn't cry throughout the flight.

"It was humiliating to be chased off a plane in front of hundreds of people", she added. When he started crying, the flight crew told Rui to get off the plane.


'We were forced to remove a passenger from flight 712 after she refused to comply with crew instructions several times while the doors were closed during taxi and safety briefing. They lost their house and possessions, including her piano, in Hurricane Harvey, and are now living in temporary housing. 'To protect the safety of our guests and crew, FAA regulations and airline policies require all passengers to stay seated and buckled during takeoff and landing'. She's been performing classical piano since the age of 10 and received a Grammy nomination in 2015, according to her biography.

"We apologise for any inconvenience to our guests".

'As a courtesy, we've issued a full refund to the customer in question'.

And as for Rui, she is standing by her story and the fact that she didn't do anything wrong. "A baby crying is not a crime".


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