VIDEO: Family Kicked Off Southwest Flight, Father Arrested

The mother (Erin Gatling) took to Facebook to share this story:

"Southwest Airlines Will you please tell me why you kicked my family off a plane during our layover and canceled our next flight for ‘your kids were being a disturbance’.? They did not cry or scream at all during the flight. My oldest, 3.5 Years, has been on about 70 flights and my youngest, 16 months, has been on about 30 - 90% Southwest. We are very frequent world travelers and have always bragged about your airline. Not anymore. Guess who is about to lose our business...? My biggest frustration is that no one will tell me what ‘being a disturbance’ means. The only further explanation was ‘running up and down the isle and jumping on tray tables’. First, we never opened our tray table so jumping on them didn’t occur (though I will admit my oldest has tried to stand on them on previous flights, just not this flight) and we were in the isle only one time. I got up to take my oldest to the restroom. We sat 3-5 rows from the rear, as always. We walked out of the restroom my husband let my 16 mo old walk to me. Is a baby walking 3-5 isles by herself to her mom not ok???? I went to grab her and an attendant stepped between me and her, literally stepping on my foot. I said ‘excuse me mam, you just stepped on my foot’ and then shrugged it off as I reached around the attendant and picked her up and went to our seats. We never got up again. What the heck is happening?"


The father later comments on the post above to say:

"The police arrested me for assault.Really they arrested me because they didn’t like me taking video of the situation.I didn’t touch anyone so not really sure who they think I assaulted. One airline employee said one of us made “physical contact with a supervisor”. A police officer told my wife I was being arrested for bumping someone with the stroller. I never bumped anyone with our stroller. I didn’t get out of my seat the whole flight or order any refreshments. The kids were better behaved then usual and nobody from the airline talked to me about anything during the flight.The next flight was oversold so this was probably Southwest Airlines way of getting 4 people off the flight.After arresting me, the police deleted my videos from my phone before giving my phone to my wife. #tamperingWithEvidence However, the videos were recoverable.They checked me into the local police station lockup then released me around 1am. My wife and 2 kids under 4 spend about 6 hours sitting in the airport in front of the southwest ticket counter with no one helping (despite southwest stating in writing they would send someone to help). She had a sprained ankle, 2 kids, all the bags, no car seats and very little food. Finally a super sweet mama brought her some dinner from outside the airport. Southwest said they can not get us to our final destination and no one can give an explanation of the ‘disturbance’ we caused on the flight. Maybe the disturbance was when the flight attendant stepped on my wife’s sprained ankle on the way back from the bathroom which made her cry in pain. Who knows. I’m back with my family and in a local hotel. Now to get some rest and figure out how to get home. Tired and frustrated."

So far there has been no comment from Southwest Airlines about the incident.

JJ Ryan

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