Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Baby Stuffed in Overhead Compartment

This may be the biggest infant-in-peril story out of Australia since Azaria Chamberlain was eaten by dingoes in 1980: A flight attendant for an Australian airline shoved a baby in the overhead bin and closed it.


It seems the flight attendant was engaged in horseplay-gone-wrong (rather than trying to become a folk hero by silencing a screaming infant).

From the Mommy Files blog:
Seventh-month-old Riley Williamson wasn't fussing at all on a [Virgin Blue] flight from Fiji to Sydney. He was engaged in a playful game of peek-a-boo with his father when the attendant decided to join in, scooped up the baby, and put him in the overhead locker. At least that's the story Riley's mother, Natalie Williamson, gave Melbourne's Sunday Herald Sun.

Virgin Blue admits that an incident occurred. The airline fired the flight attendant and offered to reimburse Ms. Williamson for the full amount of two return flights.

But Ms. Williams says that she's too traumatized to fly again.

"My husband, Shayne, was standing one metre behind my son, Riley, when the air steward picked him up and placed him in the overhead compartment," Ms. Williamson told the Herald Sun.

"I stood up and there were people laughing and then I said, 'Get my son out of there now.' I was devastated. I was absolutely devastated. I was crying. My husband was in shock. For days on end I was crying."

My main thoughts are (a) that mom needs to chill (b) the flight attendant was taking peek-a-boo to a whole new level (c) this story would be a lot better if the flight attendant drank a beer and slid down an emergency chute afterwards.

Elliot loves beyond shut into confined spaces — whether it's a cabinet, his "home" or a fort made of cushions.


So if this had happened to him, it might have been the greatest moment of his life.

But who can find enough space for a baby in the overhead bins anymore? It must not have been a full flight.