Mother Says Airline ‘Humiliated’ Her Family – Wants Apology From United

Our site may contain affiliate links. Read Advertiser Disclosure policy here.

As reported by ABC News, a mother of 4 just wants United to apologize for the way she says United Airlines humiliated her family on a recent flight from the Dominican Republic.

Mother Says Airline ‘Humiliated’ Her Family – Wants Apology From United

Kirschenbaum is the mom of 3-year old Ivy who is a stroke survivor. She says that the way that a flight attendant treated her family on the flight to Newark was humiliating and caused a 1 hour flight delay.

The mother knew that children over the age of 2 needed to have their own seat. So, the family purchased an economy seat for the 3- year old who weighs only 25 lbs and has special needs, as she cannot sit up on her own. The rest of the family had seats in Business Class and the mother had planned to have Ivy sit on her lap in Business Class. She says that several flight attendants passed by prior to take off and said nothing of Ivy being on her mother’s lap.

According to the article, “Then a fourth attendant approached us and I knew immediately there was a problem. She said, ‘she needs to be in a seat.'” Kirschenbaum said she explained that Ivy was not able to sit up on her own. The series of events that unfolded — which delayed the flight’s takeoff by an hour, she said — became a “circus,” Kirschenbaum said, adding that the resisting attendant was the most senior of the crew though not the lead.”

This story is becoming big news as the family has taken to social media regarding the flight attendants treatment of their daughter and some people are calling out United Airlines on Facebook and Twitter. I have also read comments of people criticizing the family for purchasing an Economy seat for Ivy while they were in Business Class.

Bottom Line

Here’s another controversial flight story with people taking sides. What do you think? What should have been done here to avoid the escalation of the issue for the family’s benefit and ultimately the delay of the flight?

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed.

About The Weekly Flyer

The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way. Feel free to reach me at

Sign up for Email || Twitter || Facebook |Tips & Tricks
Hotel Offers || Airline Offers || Bank Offers || Cash Back Offers


  1. If you know that the rule is that a child would need their own seat, why would you buy economy for the child and business for yourself? Rules are made for a reason, likely for safety of everyone on the plane. The fact that the child is disabled has nothing to do with this other than giving the media a nice headline.

  2. does not care what kind of issue the child has, if the mother wanted her baby to fly, she flies as everyone else. or no flying for the baby.

  3. Totally agree with the previous posters. The family obviously knew the policy and should have either all had economy tickets or all business class tickets. I’ve sat in economy many times while my daughter sat in business on my wife’s lap and her actual assigned seat remains empty

  4. They should really ban all lap infants, and make all passengers, no matter what age, have a seat.

    I don’t want their kid flying around the cabin and hitting me in the head if we hit turbulence. Do they drive around in their car holding this kid too?

  5. Frank – in a lot of countries you can just hold your baby in the back seat of a car. A regular seat for an infant that can’t sit-up straight is more dangerous than someone holding it. That being said, the parent could just have swap their business class seat with a person in economy next to the child’s seat and be done with it. But I guess business class seats are more important than your own kid.

  6. Why even bother buying the coach ticket if they had no intention of their child sitting there?! The family needed to have a seat for the child and an adult next to her to keep her upright. The airline was not at fault.

  7. What’s with the 3 seats in business and 1 in economy? Kirschenbaum owes the other passengers an apology for delaying the flight.

  8. As a frequent flyer myself with a 2-year old. I believe that the lady should have been in the kid’s economy seat in his case. Or purchase 2 economy seats and be with her child.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *