A Florida-based attorney flying American Airlines says her two year old was watching Bubble Guppies quietly, but without headphones. The aircraft was taxiing out, turned around and her family was kicked off the aircraft. She says she was told several times she ‘was in first class’ and felt, as a black woman, that she was being told she didn’t belong.
Modoline Altenor was traveling with her five year old son and two year old daughter, and with her mother and her grandmother from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic back home to Miami over the weekend.
She says that a flight attendant told her that her daughter’s “DVD [volume] needs to be lowered” and she says she reduced the volume. Then another crewmember follows up and tells her she’s “been told” and that she’s “in first class [and] can’t disrupt other passengers.” Altenor says she had her daughter turn off the volume completely “down to zero.”
However a crewmember speaks to the captain to have the family removed from the aircraft. The plane returns to the gate.
Removing her family meant wheelchairs and explaining to her 5 year old ‘what they’d done wrong’ and why they couldn’t return home that day, and sorting out accommodations for the night in a foreign country.
According to an American Airlines spokesperson, “Our team is in contact with the customer to better understand her experience.”