Pregnant Walk Off the Earth singer Sarah Blackwood claims she was kicked off a 27 May San Francisco to Vancouver flight on United Airlines over her crying toddler.
The 34-year-old told ABC News: "When everyone was boarded, my son got very fussy. He started to cry really loud, he was squirming in my arms and I was doing everything I could to hold onto him."
It was then that Blackwood said a flight attendant told her she needed to "control your child" and "learn how to calm him down as the parent" or risk being asked to leave the plane. Blackwood's young son is not yet two years old, ABC News noted.
"Then we were taxiing and my son had fallen asleep, as I'd predicted," Blackwood said. "But then the pilot went over the intercom and said he was turning around to go refuel, which I thought was so strange. When we got back to the gate, a lady from the airport came inside and told me I had to leave the plane."
Blackwood, who is seven-months-pregnant, said she was upset they were the reason the plane turned around but that other passengers came to her defence.
Airline claims safety concerns led to removal
SkyWest Airlines, which operated the United Airlines flight, told reporters that they removed Blackwood and her young son over safety concerns.
"Despite numerous requests, the child was not seated, as required by federal regulation to ensure passenger safety, and was repeatedly in the aisle of the aircraft before departure and during taxi," SkyWest said in a statement.
However, Blackwood said her son was not in the aisle but rather on her lap near the window. "I was in a window seat, 11-A, and I have my baby in my lap because he's technically not two yet, so he has to sit there," she said. "There was also a gentleman sitting next to me. My son would have literally had to crawl over that man to get to the aisle, which he wouldn't do because he's pretty shy."
According to the Toronto Star, several witnesses have posted to the airline's Facebook page that she was warned three times that her child must stop crying. No other passenger's have supported the company's claim that the boy was in the aisle.
Blackwood was able to get on a later flight, but not before recording her interaction with a United Airlines representative. Despite the ordeal, and no apology from the airline, she said she's received support from other parents online.
"I just want to thank everyone for being so kind and aware and, most of all, I just want to get the story out there that may put something on the map that hadn't been there before for many other travelling families," Blackwood said. "I'm sure people have been through much worse, but at least it's out there now."