A Houston pianist and cancer researcher is speaking out after she, her 2-year-old son, and elderly parents were kicked off a Spirit Airlines flight Friday morning.
Mei Rui was on her way to New York to take part in a recording for a clinical study dealing with cancer.
“You just don’t have to treat people that way,” said Mei.
Mei recorded video from inside the plane where you can hear her son screaming right before they were kicked off the flight. She says before the cabin door was closed, she started breastfeeding her baby.
Flight attendants instructed her to stop and get the child into his seat. Mei claims she only asked for a few minutes to finish, so the baby wouldn’t wake up.
“I said as soon as the plane’s door closes, I will put him in his seat,” said Mei.
In the video, you can see the baby was in his seat when another flight attendant came to get them off the plane, but he continued to cry.
“He was making very loud noises, but that’s not criminal,” said Mei.
Mei said the crew had made up its mind and wanted she and her son off the flight.
“It was humiliating to be chased off a plane in front of hundreds of people,” said Mei. “We had never been through anything close to this.”
In the terminal, things got even worse. Mei says she never got an answer about why she was kicked off the plane.
KHOU 11 reached out to Spirit for answers. The airline is standing by its actions and released this statement:
“Our records indicate a passenger was removed from Flight 712 after refusing to comply with crew instructions several times during taxi to runway and safety briefing. 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. We apologize for any inconvenience to our guests. As a courtesy, we’ve issued a full refund to the passenger in question.”
Mei was refunded her money, but says she won’t be flying Spirit again.
“We’re not lawbreakers or trouble seekers,” said Mei. “We’re the elderly, a baby and his mother, why did they have to treat us this way?”