Jet Blue: Is it standard procedure to force 3-year-olds to urinate on your seats? Flying the friendly skies is one thing, but you evidently have to have liftoff to make that idiom come true. Sitting idly in a plane that is just trapped on the tarmac is a whole different type of adventure – one that involves continuous pee-holding. Or, if you are a 3-year-old, you’re just forced to urinate all over Jet Blue’s seats.
A mother from Massachusetts, Jennifer Deveraux, was on board JetBlue Flight 518 from New York to Boston on Monday when their plane was delayed on the tarmac. Thirty minutes into the delay, Summers, Deveraux’s 3-year-old, had to use the bathroom. That’s when the story takes a decidedly whacked out turn.
Flight attendants refused to allow Summers to use the bathroom, and the little girl was forced to urinate all over herself. When Jennifer got up out of her seat to clean up the embarrassing mess, she says the flight attendants yelled at her and forced her to stay in her seat.
“It wasn’t about bad customer service at that point, it was about bad human decency. My daughter was sitting in a pool of urine and I couldn’t do anything about it,” the disgusted mother said, as CBS Boston first reported. “And as a mom, it just broke my heart.”
But that wasn’t the end of it. Boston.com reports that the pilot of the plane, who evidently was fed a line of crap from the flight attendants, turned the plane around and started to taxi back to the jetway, announcing to the entire crew that they had a “non-compliant” passenger on board and had to turn her over to security.
Reports Boston.com: “When Devereaux was almost kicked off the plane, passengers came to her defense. An off-duty pilot sitting near the mother reportedly convinced the flight crew to let her stay.”
“I am so thankful for him and other passengers sticking up for my family’s defense,” Devereaux said.
Interesting enough, Jet Blue’s web site has a Customer Bill of Rights, which outlines what a passenger can expect in the way of delays, overbooking, cancellations and the like. But it’s the intro to their Bill of Rights – the Preamble if you will – that caught my attention. Per Jet Blue’s web site:
JetBlue Airways is dedicated to bringing humanity back to air travel. We strive to make every part of your experience as simple and as pleasant as possible. Unfortunately, there are times when things do not go as planned. If you're inconvenienced as a result, we think it is important that you know exactly what you can expect from us. That's why we created our Customer Bill of Rights. These Rights will always be subject to the highest level of safety and security for our customers and crewmembers.
Did you notice the word that jumped right out, at least to me? Humanity
The quality or condition of being human; sympathy, tenderness, goodwill. In other words, finding the compassion, or even just having a sane perception of the situation, and allowing a little girl to pee into a toilet instead of her pants.
Jennifer’s story is now going viral. Boston.com carried some of the tweets between irate readers of the story and Jet Blue, who is sticking to its claim that the FAA does not allow passengers to get up, under any circumstances, when a plane is delayed on the tarmac.
However, the federal regulations that Jet Blue linked in their tweet do not even mention the word “bathroom,” “restroom,” “washroom” or “toilet.” Nor do they indicate, that we can see, any prohibition against such a thing when a plane is delayed.
Even if the regs have a whole chapter entitled “Urinary Tolerances and Bathroom Protocols,” nothing can be worse than forcing an indignity like this on a family in the name of FAA rules.
As a mother myself, here's to hoping Jennifer and her daughter get way more than an apology.