What Happened Onboard A MYAirline Plane Where A Family Was Threatened With Disembarkment?

According to MYAirline, it is mandatory for children above 24 months of age to be fastened with a seat belt in their own seat. The toddler in question was 24 months and five days old.

Cover image via Fear Dawooz (Facebook)

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Recently, a post by a Malaysian man went viral, alleging that the cabin crew onboard a Langkawi-Kuala Lumpur flight attempted to disembark his family after refusing to give his two-year-old a seat belt extender

The man, Fear Dawooz, along with his wife, Sha Pka, took to his Facebook account on Friday, 26 May, to share the alleged ordeal the family was put through onboard MYAirline flight Z97704 on 24 May.

According to Fear, their ordeal began before they boarded the newly launched low-cost carrier's flight, from ticket printing issues to ground staff's attempts to get them to check in their hand-carry luggage.

However, after over a two-hour flight delay, the family finally boarded the plane and requested a seat belt extender to accommodate their two-year-old daughter as she was unable to sit calmly on her own.

In his Facebook post, Fear wrote that while they had bought a seat for his daughter, she was fidgety as the plane was taxiing and wanted to sit with her mother, who was still breastfeeding the toddler.

He added that one of the cabin crew then checked with the crew leader and came back to refuse the family's request, saying that the toddler needs to be seated in her own seat, despite the fact that the family was provided with a seat belt extender when they flew from Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi.

For context, seat belt extenders are temporarily added to the original seat belts in planes to fit the seat occupant carrying a toddler in their lap.

According to Fear, when they tried to reason with the cabin crew that providing a seat belt extender for their toddler would ensure she is calmly seated on her mother's lap, while also complying with the safety regulations, they were told to force the child to sit separately

Fear said that they tried to make their daughter sit in her own seat beside her mother and put on the seat belt, but she started crying and thrashing around, then got up and sat on her mother's lap.

"The cabin crew came back and reminded me to tell my daughter to sit down separately," Fear wrote, adding that the crew didn't even bother to ask if the toddler was alright as she kept crying.

He iterated that when they flew the last time, the toddler was allowed to be seated on the mother's lap without any hassle, but now, she was suddenly no longer allowed to do the same.

"So, once again, I asked for the infant belt a.k.a seat belt extender that MYAirline advertised on their Facebook page recently. Unfortunately, the cabin crew continued to refuse our request," he added.

"My wife told the crew, 'With the belt, my daughter stays quiet if she sits with me and safety also complies because she's only two years and five days old. For take-off and landing only. When the plane's in the air, she can sit in her seat,'" Fear wrote, adding that the crew kept repeating that "this is our policy".

He lamented that the cabin crew continued with their safety briefing for passengers while completely ignoring their toddler, who kept crying non-stop.

"Those of you who have small children must understand the struggle, right?" he asked in his post, adding that parents know how hard it is to even make toddlers sit quietly during a car ride.

Admitting defeat, Fear told his wife, "It's ok, we'll try to make the child sit in her seat."

Video below:

The issue escalated when the cabin crew chief informed the captain, who announced that if Fear's family doesn't cooperate to remain seated, he will call ground security to disembark them from the plane

According to Fear, the cabin crew chief first told them — in a rather harsh tone — that the toddler must sit in her seat, otherwise, the plane will not be able to take off.

When Fear again urged them to provide them with a seat belt extender, saying it's not like he and his wife weren't trying but that the crew, instead of understanding the situation, kept insisting on forcing the toddler.

He added that while he was angry with how the crew were behaving and wanted to scream in their faces, he calmed himself down and asked, "What do you want me to do, she doesn't want to sit separately?"

"YOU HAVE TO! WHATEVER IT TAKES," the cabin crew chief replied rudely, as claimed by Fear.

The chief then informed the captain over the intercom that there was a passenger who was refusing to sit in their seat, however, the chief did not fully explain the situation to the captain, according to Fear.

The captain then made an in-flight announcement, directly addressing Fear and his family, asking them to cooperate to remain seated or else, "We will call our ground security to disembark you from the plane".

Video below:

Describing the threat to be kicked out of the plane as the "most embarrassing moment" of their life, Fear said they felt disappointed at how the flight staff refused to understand their situation

"My wife was very sad and disappointed with the situation, but she remained strong," he wrote.

According to Fear, at this point, a crew member came over and spoke politely to them, while understanding their situation. Fear said that she apologised and expressed her regret over not being able to provide the family with a seat belt extender as they were forced to follow their policy.

Fear went on to add that the crew member also tried to talk to and persuade the cabin crew chief.

Left with no choice, Fear's wife held down their daughter in the seat beside her while the plane took off. Throughout this duration, the toddler kept crying. However, she calmed down once the plane was in the air.

"After the flight was stable, my daughter stopped crying and the situation returned to calm," said Fear.

Video below:

Fear thought it was the end of their ordeal, not realising that there would be more trouble waiting for them once the flight landed in Kuala Lumpur

He had recorded a few videos as evidence during the whole ordeal onboard the plane.

Once at KLIA Terminal 2, the family was stopped from leaving by a group of ground security.

Fear said the cabin crew chief had allegedly instructed the security to hold the family and get them to delete the videos, but the security personnel were careful and asked him to explain the situation.

As he explained everything, Fear said the security personnel understood the family's situation, however, the cabin crew chief interrupted and claimed it was Fear and his family who were in the wrong as they made the flight difficult for everyone and recorded the videos without permission.

The security personnel then apologised and asked Fear to delete the videos.

He apologised to them, saying that he couldn't delete the videos as they are evidence, adding that the airline could sue him for slander if he decides to highlight the issue and share his experience without evidence.

When the security personnel asked Fear to consider deleting the videos if he could get the cabin crew chief to apologise to his family, Fear asked them if the apology would be sincere as the cabin crew chief did not offer a single apology during the flight.

According to Fear, the cabin crew chief did not apologise following the security personnel's suggestion.

When the security personnel continued to urge him to delete the videos, he gave them his personal details and told them that he won't post the videos online if the issue can be raised with the management, who has to ensure that what happened to him and his family doesn't happen to others.

He was told that they will investigate the issue and that the airline will reach out to him. However, he did not receive any response prior to publishing the videos on Facebook, Fear wrote in his post.

After the issue went viral, MYAirline released a statement

In the statement, which was posted on the airline's Facebook page, MYAirline said that they "deeply regret and apologise for the unpleasant experience" Fear and his family had over the infant seat belt.

The airline then cited a Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) safety requirement as the reason for asking the family to leave the flight, saying "as a matter of policy" it is mandatory for children above 24 months old to be fastened with a seat belt in their own seat for safety reasons.

MYAirline said that it will be conducting a thorough investigation into the matter.

"Our aim is to identify the gaps in our service and take immediate corrective actions to prevent similar situations from occurring in the future," the airline said in the statement.

There has been no update on the issue since.

SAYS has reached out to the airline for further comments but has yet to hear from them at the time of publication.

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