OTTAWA (AFP) - A Canadian singer-songwriter was kicked off a United Airlines flight in San Francisco because her two-year-old toddler would not stop crying, triggering outrage from her supporters.
"Just got kicked off a @united flight because my son was crying really loud," Sarah Blackwood from the band Walk Off the Earth wrote Wednesday on Twitter, accusing the airline of hating mothers.
"Apparently my little two-year-old crying son was a big threat."
Canadian music award-nominated Walk Off the Earth gained international fame recording covers such as Miley Cyrus's Wrecking Ball, Pharrel Williams's Happy and Taylor Swift's Shake It Off, and original tunes.
Blackwood, who is also seven months pregnant with another child, was booked to fly late Wednesday from San Francisco to Vancouver with her son Giorgio.
The flight was operated by SkyWest Airlines, which said the crew ordered the plane back to the gate 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," the airline said in a statement defending its decision.
Fellow passengers, however, denounced the move on United's Facebook page, saying the mother tried her best to calm her son and that the flight attendant had been "unprofessional, unreasonable and insensitive." By the time the jetliner reached the gate, they noted, the toddler had fallen asleep.
But Blackwood and her son were still forced to disembark, while crews spent 75 minutes sifting through luggage to retrieve her bags from the plane, one passenger said.
Dozens of supporters reacted angrily on Twitter.