United Airlines

Elit Kirschenbaum Humiliated: CNN Anchor Defends Family As Mother Accepts United’s Apology

Elit Kirschenbaum was humiliated on an United Airlines flight earlier this week. She is the mother of a special needs child, and she shared her story on social media after she arrived at her destination on Tuesday. This mother’s story is now going viral, and the family is receiving some help from the media. According to The Blaze, Jake Tapper, an anchor with CNN, went to his Twitter account on Wednesday to push United Airlines to respond to Kirschenbaum’s claims about the airline and how they handled her situation.

What happened on the flight from the Dominican Republic to New Jersey on Tuesday? The Inquisitr previously reported that the mother was on the flight with her husband and four children. Her daughter, Ivy, is a special needs child diagnosed with Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy. She is three years old, but she is unable to sit on her own. However, regulations state that any child over the age of two must have their own seat.

Elit did buy a seat for her child, but she planned to place Ivy on her lap during the flight. All was well at first. Three flight attendants said nothing, but the fourth flight attendant asked Elit to place her daughter in her own seat. The mother tried to explain the situation to the flight attendant, but the incident caused an hour-long delay.

Elit shared her story on Tumblr.

“We have flown on United several times since she had turned 2 and she had always been on my lap. This flight attendant returned to her co-workers and began to argue with them. She returned to argue with us. She kept quoting FAA regulations. She brought up members of the staff from the airport, including several baggage handlers who spoke very limited English, to lecture us about seating despite the fact that we were clearly Americans and spoke little to no Spanish. She insisted on creating a scene.”

The mother did reveal in her post that the three other flight attendants on the plane tried to plead her case. One flight attendant even looked through their rulebook and found a rule that would allow Ivy to sit on her mother’s lap.

After Tapper learned of this family’s story, he went to his Twitter account to send a message to United Airlines. This started an exchange between Tapper and United. He even called their response “cold” in one of his tweets.

The exchange ended when United Airlines shared their response to the Kirschenbaum on their site. They made their stance on the issue clear.

“We at United are sorry that the Kirschenbaums encountered difficulties with their seating while traveling with their 3-year-old daughter. We want all of our customers to have a friendly travel experience. We would like to clarify certain facts in regard to our service to parents who fly with “lap children.” FAA regulation requires everyone over the age of 24 months to sit in his/her own seat for taxi, takeoff and landing. There is no exception in the regulations or in the United flight attendant manual that allows a lap child over the age of 2 under any circumstances.”

What does Elit Kirschenbaum want? The mother has no plans to sue, and she does not want free flights from United. According to ABC News, all this mother wants is an apology from the airline. Does United’s response above read as an apology to you?

In this case, the mother accepted United’s apology on her Twitter account.

What do you think of this mother’s story?

[ Photo: Wikimedia Commons]

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