A woman identified as Mei Rui, a Chinese American, cancer researcher and concert pianist, claimed she was kicked off Spirit Airlines flight for breastfeeding her toddler in the plane before take off. She was aboard a Spirit Airlines flight from her hometown of Houston to Newark, N.J.
The plane was already delayed due to icy conditions and Rui was causing more delay by refusing to get her 2-yr-old child seated and buckled so the plane could take off. Instead, she demanded for more minutes to finish breastfeeding her child. She was then asked to deplane and her ticket money was refunded to her.
Many people are responding to this issue on social media, attacking Spirit Airlines, thinking that the woman was removed from the plane just because she decided to breastfeed her child in the plane.
The airline says that the woman was not removed from the plane for breastfeeding but because she refused to comply with the crew instructions and was thereby delaying the plane from taking off. According to the airline:
“We were forced to remove a passenger from flight 712 after they refused to comply with crew instructions several times while the doors were closed during taxi and safety briefing. To ensure the safety of our guests and crew, FAA regulations and airline policies require all passengers 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.”