Local News

Mum kicked off flight for breastfeeding her baby

“If they had shown a little compassion, it wouldn’t have happened, they didn’t have to let it escalate.”

By Kate Wagner
A mum was kicked off a plane for breastfeeding her baby and the airline is backing their decision.
Mei Rui, an acclaimed concert pianist and a cancer researcher, was stuck on a delayed plane when she began breastfeeding her son in hope he'd be lulled to sleep and wouldn't cry.
"Every parent with a young child can image, you don't want to be that parent on the plane," she told The Washington Post.
"It would be very embarrassing. I was just trying to avoid that."
Rui claims the plane door was still open and people moving about the cabin when one flight attendant told her the baby had to be in his seat for takeoff.
"I asked for just a couple more minutes to finish because if he woke up at that point he would have made a lot of noise," Rui said.
"I said, 'I promise I'll finish before you close the plane's door.'"
Rui stopped feeding her baby and he started to cry. It was then the crew instructed Rui and her family to disembark and, with her camera phone rolling, she asked why she had to leave.
"It's not like I was resistant, I put him in the seat," she said. "If they had shown a little compassion, it wouldn't have happened, they didn't have to let it escalate."
"I just want to know why we were kicked off the plane?" Rui asked.
"Because you were not compliant."
"Could you tell me which part of the instruction we were not compliant with?" she asked while her son cried. "I think we deserve to know that."
"If this happened to your family," Rui started to the airline representative.
But she was cut off as they said: "It wouldn't happen to my family, I can assure you."
Spirit Airlines has stood by their decision to kick Rui off the plane.
"Our records indicate a passenger was removed from Flight 712 after refusing to comply with crew instructions several times during taxi to runway and safety briefing," they said in a statement.
"To protect the safety of our guests and crew, FAA regulations and airline policies require all passengers to 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."