Ah, summer. Vacations — and the inevitable joys of air travel — are just around the bend. We were kind of hoping that maybe the friendly skies were, well… friendly again. Maybe not. A Canadian grandmother, Stacey Osmond, is furious with Air Canada because a flight attendant refused to let her 3-year-old granddaughter use the business class restroom, resulting in the toddler wetting herself and being stuck sitting in her own urine for hours.
Air Canada has reportedly offered to make amends, but Osmond is still waiting for a personal apology from the flight attendant who would not help her granddaughter get to the bathroom.
Osmond specifically booked tickets close to business class for this flight from Halifax to Calgary, so her granddaughter, Ruby, would be close to a restroom during the flight.
But the flight attendant wasn’t happy with Ruby’s active bladder.
“The second or third time I tried to take Ruby to the bathroom, the flight attendant told me, ‘I can’t have you coming up here anymore,'” Osmond told CBC News.
“I said, ‘She’s a baby. I was given those seats by a booking agent for that reason, so that she would be close to the bathroom.’
“She said, ‘That doesn’t matter, you are not to come up here.'”
What is wrong with the world? Can someone explain this to us? Who wouldn’t take pity on a 3-year-old barely out of Pull-Ups?
Halfway through the nearly six-hour flight, Ruby couldn’t hold it any longer. A service cart was blocking her way to the restroom at the very rear of the plane, and the little girl wet herself.
“I was enraged,” her grandmother said. “I sat there, still having to play with Ruby with a smile on my face, while I was just full of anger because of this woman, especially after she peed in her pants. I got some napkins off the flight attendant and I put them underneath her so she could sit on them.”
Ruby had finished potty-training months earlier, so her grandmother had no diapers or even a change of clothes on hand.
So what was Air Canada’s response? They offered Osmond a 25 percent discount for her next flight (yeah, right) and a $200 voucher, along with some toys for Ruby. But Osmond wants a full refund and a major apology from the flight attendant.
“I’d like her to have to call and apologize and maybe she’ll think twice about how she acts in the future,” Osmond said. “It was a very unpleasant flight for us.”
The airline was terse about the incident but acknowledged the event.
“We’re in contact with our customer about this regrettable incident. We have no further comment,” Angela Mah wrote in an email.
An airline passenger advocate says staff should absolutely use discretion in situations like this.
“Something has to change here,” Gabor Lukacs said. “Safety is very important, but where do we draw the line between restrictions for the sake of safety and insanity. It is just lack of restraint. Those powers to direct passengers are given to crew for the purpose of safety, not for the purpose of making passengers wet themselves.”
“I don’t blame an entire airline for one flight attendant,” Osmond said. “This was the first time I experienced such hostility.”
Just when you thought air travel couldn’t get more fun.