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3-Year-Old Kicked Off Flight After Refusing To Wear Seatbelt

alaska airlines

If you don’t buckle up, you don’t fly. A 3-year-old boy was kicked off of an Alaska Airlines flight after he refused to put on his seat belt.

The Associated Press reports that the Alaska Airlines Flight was sitting on the runway at the Sea-Tac Airport on Saturday when flight attendants made their pre-board checks. The flight attendants noticed that the 3-year-old wasn’t wearing his seat belt.

When the boy refused to put on the seat belt the pilot brought the plane back to the gate and asked the boy and his father to get off the plane.

The father, Mark Yanchak, told My North West that the crew overreacted to the situation. Yanchak said:

“Kids crying, people snoring, large, smelly people, we deal with it, it’s normal… He was crying, being cranky. I started putting him in his seat. I put his seatbelt on. But he was being cranky, trying to be close to me, so he wasn’t fully fastened yet.”

Yanchak said that his wife, who was seated with their other son, brought over a pacifier and some water and they were able to get the boy to calm down and put on his seat belt. But by that time, the pilot had already brought the plane to the gate.

The airline said that it was a safety issue and the pilot decided to deal with the situation on the ground instead of in the air.

What do you think? Should the airline have been more understanding? Was the airline right to kick the 3-year-old off the flight?

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70 Responses to “3-Year-Old Kicked Off Flight After Refusing To Wear Seatbelt”

  1. Ben Andersen

    I believe the crew was completely within their rights. These stupid parents obviously think age justifies everything and the kid's allowed to run the show. In situations like this, you don't pacify your child with binkies and so forth. You make them do according to policy for their safety along with other people who fly. If these parents are too lazy and inconsiderate to follow the rules, they need to do themselves a favor and stay the hell away from airplanes unless they win the lottery and buy a plane of their own. Age does not make it right for a child to do whatever they want in a situation like flying. If these stupid parents think the opposite, they should of done themselves a favor and kept their organs to themselves and not had any children.

  2. Anonymous

    yes, kick them off. I have two children and have traveled extensively. my children have been taught what to expect and how to behave. parents are 100% to blame.

  3. Elaine Smith

    How is a 3 year old taking a few extra minutes to get fastened in his seat belt a danger to other passengers?

  4. Elaine Smith

    So these are bad people because their child is not a seasoned traveler? You are so blessed to have toddlers that have never had a melt down at a bad time…

  5. Elaine Smith

    So these are bad people because their child is not a seasoned traveler? You are so blessed to have toddlers that have never had a melt down at a bad time…

  6. Gabriella Hottya

    The pilot and crew was completelu intolerant and over reacted. This can only happen in the USA. What kind of threat a crying 3 year-old can pose? US airlineswant lots of money and no tolearnce and no service in return. I am lucky I do not have to fly this airline. Just try any European or other airline, you will see what service and attitude one gets for the money. Children still get presents as they board so they are busy discovering their new toys and happy.

  7. Christopher Hulett

    Parents aren't allowed to control or punish their kids anymore. In the old days, my dad would have slapped me and I would have put my damn seatbelt on. I'm not saying that's right, but it was effective. Since the pilot had to go back to the gate, he had no choice but to kick the kid off the flight. He had to do something to legitimize his reason to turn around.

  8. John Gifford



  9. Paula Meler

    Parents are 100% to blame! If they allow their children to rule the roost, they will!! And 3 years old too damn old to be letting a kid have a pacifier. Being in a military family growing up we traveled with 4 kids and we were younger than three when we started. We NEVER were allowed to behave like that. Screaming children make flying hell for everyone!!

  10. Anonymous

    Americans have got to get past the notion that a child who is out of sorts takes precedence over everything else in his or her environment. Most children are reasonably well behaved, but they get little to no credit for that. It seems that it is nearly always the child who in the midst of a tantrum who gets all the attention. In my opinion, this was the right way to deal with that sort of child.

  11. Margie Jimerson Birdwell

    No child, regardless of their age, should be allowed to disturb other passengers on a plane. If parents can't control their brats then let them walk or take a cab. I completely support the crew's decision to kick them off the plane.

  12. Dianna VanDoren

    so the plane had to wait to take off till the parents had to settle him down.the report I saw he refused to put his seat belt on, the parents have to have control over their child if they don't then they need to get of so other people can get to the place they want to go.the parents were inconsiderate why should I have to wait because you have no control over you child.

  13. Anonymous

    Kudos to the airline! They have taught this child a valuable lesson – YOU CAN'T ALWAYS HAVE YOUR OWN WAY, FOLLOW THE RULES OR SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES! I see this all the time, parents give them their own way just to shut 'em up!

  14. Diane Middleton

    Yes, kick the entire family off. There are so many problems with this entire situation, I don't know where to start. A pacifier? really? These parents are not doing this kid any favors by not disciplining him at ths age of 3. People say he should be spanked, but at this point it is too late. I am not again spanking, but my kids knew with a look when they were out of line. They didn't need corrected in public because they were taught how to act at home. My kids would NEVER act like this around others, or would they ever defy the authority of an adult.

  15. Matthew Smith

    I think the airline did what they needed to do and parents should be held accountable to make sure their children are obeying the rules. I'm actually glad this happened. Too many parents let their children run rampant and the kids do whatever they want.

  16. Jay Keith

    so if the child again refused to use seat belt after take off, and the plane had a situation of some kind, the child could be injured or killed if not properly belted in. then the parents would sue the airlines. using a seat belt is not just for take off's. bad weather can demand that everyone remains belted in the entire flight. if it took the parents some time to finally belt him in, that could happen again during the flight and then the child would be at risk… so they were within their rights to take them off the flight.

  17. Anonymous

    My 17 year old was once a fussy 3 year old, and had his share of tantrums. The best parents experience this. However for the safety of everyone involved, the airline did the correct thing. It seems as if they tried to work with this family before the pilot made the final decision.

  18. Jeanette Keil

    I agree Ben. "What if"…. this child was riding in a car with his mother and someone other than his mother was driving, have to be in a set belt before the car moves, it's the law! Sounds like they would make an excuse for that too.

  19. Elaine Albu

    I understand children and their tantrums, that is why my four children traveled with us by car. If your children can't be taught to obey the rules when they are young, they never will. When you are flying by Air there are many more reasons for children to be under control. The Airline did their job to secure the safety of all passengers.

  20. Anonymous

    I agree with the airline – seat belts are required period. No excuses allowed. If the plane hits turbulence, the kid without a seatbelt could be thrown around the cabin and injure others. If you can't control your child, then you have lost the right to travel by air. It is your responsibility, period. You chose to have a child, and now you must face the responsibilty that comes with that choice.

  21. Sue Ann

    my guess is yes and they let him get away with it…….

  22. Jodie Gohar

    Absolutely! I have children and wouldn't expect anything less! Today's society is all about "me" and have little respect for authorities and rules.

  23. Jodie Gohar

    most children don't listen to their own parents…what do you mean a stranger telling them what to do?! If the children can't handle it becuause they are tired or scared, then don't fly and put them in that position! Be a parent!!

  24. Devon Gilliland

    How many adults does it take to seatbelt a 3 year old? Apparently 0.

  25. Sean Hoyt

    It is not the airlines job nor the other passengers jobs to be held up by a 3 year old… it is the PARENT'S job to have their child under control. Any child can be trained to obey their parents instruction and if you have your child's heart they will also trust you and therefore have no reason to fuse about not being able have their own way and be content to sit next to you. This is clearly just another example of the child controlling the parent. Any child behaving like this or like Mr. Gifford states is clearly not able to trust his/her parent because even the child has figured out that mom & dad are not in control of the situation because they are not even in control of them.

    #1 teach your child about safety and make it fun for them.
    #2 be firm… this child I am almost sure has had a ride in car without sitting in a seat belt at least once.

  26. Linda Petrie

    What 3 year old still has a pacifier? He was just making that up. Thank goodness the airline didn't put up with this BS. Obey the rules, or out you go. I have traveled with my children many times and they are aware that you must obey the airlines instructions.

  27. LauraJean Lucas Stevener

    I believe the pilot was correct in their decision. Next time leave the kids home if they can't follow rules. There is a reason for these rules and regulations. Why have a chlid put other people in danger. Goes to show these parents don't take parenting serious! Who makes the rules at home? Let me guess….The 3 year old?

  28. Lynn Holmes

    Elaine Smith ..I don't think stealth was saying they were bad parents, just that they had not instilled the discipline required for their child to fly. Not bad…just inexperienced, or inadequate disciplinarians. Either way, I'd be willing to bet most of the other passengers were relieved. I love babies…and if they're children I call them all babies. But my heart REALLY goes out to the spoiled brats, because it's not their fault that their parents have allowed them to BECOME spoiled brats., listen. andLEARN!!!

  29. Gary Johnson

    Kick them all off! The family had no control of their son! Other passengers don't need them aboard either!

  30. Mark FC Olympic

    Myself and my 3year old son were then moved to row 23, when we had originally confirmed seats on row 18, but by the time there were making changes the seat’s disappeared.
    We got on the plane ok, my wife and mother in law took their seats all ok and me and my 3yr old took our seats in row 23 without any problems.
    The pre-boarding was fine and my 3yr old was on my lap playing his ipad and everything was ok, time was about 10pm, everything was going on as supposed to be.
    Then Stewardess got on the microphone and said everyone needs to turn off their electronics, tray tables up and everyone in their seats.
    My 3yr old wanted to sleep already so he began to slowly start to cry and make noise, its his first time on the plan where he has his own seat and not together with his dad, so unfortunately he got scared and little bit cranky and loud.
    The stewardess came by, he was still crying, tried to give him some cookie and snacks, but he was still crying and not wanting to sit by himself, I did get him in his seat and he did have his seatbelt on, but he was crying and was trying to get out of it, I was holding him together close to me to quiet him down.
    He was not able to quiet down, so stewardess had moved the aisle passenger to a different open spot on the plan and they asked my wife to come down to our row and sit together with us.
    As soon as my wife came, gave him his pacifier, opened the magazine, he stopped crying , but he was still sleepy, so he was a little bit cranky, but he was fine and quiet, just making small going to sleep noises, time was about 1009pm already, so as soon as we took off, we were planning on putting him to sleep.
    During this whole time as my wife came, he was quiet in his own seat with seatbelt on, and acting normal but sleepy and wanting to sleep, which is normal for a 3yr old child.
    All of a sudden, I hear the stewardess come up to us and tell us that the CAPTAIN has made a final decision, to KICK US OFF THE PLANE, because my 3yr old was being too loud and crying.
    That’s the last of it, we heard, the plan had already taxied off from the gate for about 50-feet at this time, since my kid was quiet in his seat with seat belt, I didn’t think there was a problem anymore and we will be departing shortly.
    About 5 minutes after this, the plan started moving, which I thought was great,
    UNFORTUNATELY, the plan was moving back to the gate, and that’s when my fears kicked in.
    —As soon as plane touched the gate, they opened the door, an Alaska Airlines Representative came in to our seats, and told us that ALASKA AIRLINES IS KICKING US OFF THE PLANE BECAUSE THE PILOT DEEMED OUR CHILD NOT SAFE TO FLY BECAUSE HE WAS CRYING AND MAKING NOISE.
    I ASKED him to reverse the decision, please, our child is fine and quiet and he is not making any noise, and were fine, he SAID NO, the Alaska Airlines PILOT has made a final decision to kick us off the plane because our child was too loud. I asked maybe 5 more times for them to reverse the decision, because my child was quiet and not a threat to FLY, he said NO, the PILOT has made final decision to kick my party of 5 people off the plane because my child was TOO LOUD and I guess was DANGEROUS to fly with a child on the plan who was too loud sitting in his seat with his seatbelt on.
    Throughout this whole ordeal I was very angry inside and I had many thoughts what to do and what to say, because this was UNFAIR TOTALLY,
    But I’m a frequent flier and I know that anything you say on the plane, to anyone, steward, pilot, anyone, is a Federal Crime and it’s a felony, I kept my mouth shut, didn’t say a word and did what I was told, I knew deep inside this was unfair and not right to do, but I could not say anything as I was already mad and just didn’t want extra issues to come up.
    So, me, wife and my 3yr old, grabbed our stuff, moved up, met my mother law in first class with my toddler, got our stuff, escorted by Alaska airlines representative and got off the plan quietly,

  31. Amy Hinkle-Strickland

    we are losing our humanity every time we can not put ourselves in the place of others and instead can only think of our own experience. JMO

  32. Kamz Mzez Taylor Phillips

    Not every kid is your kid!! you try being alone with people that make you uncomfortable and not being able to understand what the hell theyre saying and you'll know how that THREE YEAR OLD child feels, so dont judge based on your kids, everyone is different, if we were all alike then the world would be a boring place!

  33. Joe Villarreal

    EVERYONE must comply—exceptions create problems. There is more to the situation, but passangers have a schedule. The parents must deal with their own problem.

  34. Kamz Mzez Taylor Phillips

    Everyone who commented below about "throwing the brat off" and " the parents should control their child" and "backhand the little snot" (most alarming and I hope u don't have kids of your own cuz CPS needs to find your ass) seems to be missing the most important part of the damn article: THE CHILD IS THREE YEARS OLD! not 5, not 10 3 yrs old!
    basically until that child gets to be 5 he's still a baby! he wanted to be comforted and you have to see that this whole story is sounding a little BS-ey, when since can a 3year old refuse to put on a seatbelt? if you strap him in then he stays strapped! and here's another food for thought, who lets a three year old sit in a seat by themselves>>> isn't the procedure that the adult strap themself in and then hold the child? WHEN's THE LAST TIME ANY OF YOU FLEW ON AN AIRPLANE AND READ THE LITTLE FLIGHT MANUAL THINGIE? hmm..maybe flight policies changed.. anywho think on that..

  35. Susan Turner

    You people saying the kid should of been abe to be held instead of buckled would be the ones crying lawsuit when the "unexpected" happens and your kid tumbles to the floor. What they needed to do was whip that a@@. See to many kids runnin the show these days.

  36. Vanessa Lo

    In other countries they use children as Suicide Bombs..

  37. Marie Jensen

    Everyone has to obey the rules of safety on an airline- even your precious brats.

  38. Anonymous

    What kind of a-hole would hit a toddler with the back of their hand?

  39. Anonymous

    This progressive parenting crap is ruining kids. Letting them control any situation and giving them some feeling of entitlement is causing more problems when kids grow up. Pacifier at 3yrs old? Probably still breastfeeding too. HA!
    My mom used to be able to give me a hard look and get me to snap back in line…was I scared of her? HELL YA! It was a healthy scared….If I got out of line, I knew what to expect. Funny thing is that I grew up Juuuuuuust fine and learned to respect others and rules.
    Bravo to the airlines for standing up for the rules that keep everyone safe.

  40. Bob Smith

    they're both wrong: the airline for wasting everybody's time stopping a flight just 'cause this gross, 3-year-old goofball moron wouldn't put a seatbelt on when they could've just tied him up and warned him that if he caused any more trouble he'd be kicked off in midair. the parents for bringing a pathetic "f–k trophy" such as this into the world in the first place.

  41. Ali Becker

    The airline was absolutely right in removing the child and his father for not wearing a seatbelt. A 3 year old becomes a projectile (ie. 40lb bullet) if something happens during taxi, take off, turbulence, or landing; potentially injuring not only the child, but other passengers. The seatbelt law isn't "grey area" like some other FAA regulations…portable electronic devices, anyone? The crew was protecting the child and the other passengers on the plane in this situation. It's a shame that there is even a debate about this.

  42. Tracey Schwarz

    If I were a passenger on that plane I would have pitched a bitch fit because I paid money to go some where only to sit and wait for this father to try and get control of a 3 yr old. I agree I think these parents allow this child to do what is comfy for him. The airline did what was right because if something would have happened there would be a lawsuit.

  43. Shauna Howard

    OMG people, have you never had a scared toddler? The parents did get him to buckle up, that's what everyone seems to be forgetting. Lots of 3-yr-olds use pacifiers in scary situations, big deal! I think the airline could have shown a little tolerance and just let the parents handle the situation… WHICH THEY DID! It was probably the boy's first flight, and anyone who can make a toddler "snap to it" when they're scared and wanting their parent, kudos to you. I think the airline was totally unjustified in kicking these people off. Sheesh!

  44. Dianna VanDoren

    that child should be use to seat belts,think the parents don't make him buckle up in a car either he rules the make other people have to wait because you can't control your child is have to have control over your kids

  45. Anonymous


  46. Grim Rider

    woow I'm amazed at those opinions, I mean it;s only a 3 yrs old. how in hell will he understand the situation like an adult would understand? which kids on earth woudn;t like to be in this father lap. anyway hope everything went well after that : l.

  47. Grim Rider

    woow I'm amazed at those opinions, I mean it;s only a 3 yrs old. how in hell will he understand the situation like an adult would understand? which kids on earth woudn;t like to be in this father lap. anyway hope everything went well after that : l.

  48. Grim Rider

    woow I'm amazed at those opinions, I mean it;s only a 3 yrs old. how in hell will he understand the situation like an adult would understand? which kids on earth woudn;t like to be in this father lap. anyway hope everything went well after that : l.

  49. Cindy Crawford

    I agree with the airlines completely! A 3-year-old does not get to run the show. Parents don't discipline their kids and let them dictate everything, so I am glad somebody finally stepped in and told this kid either he's going to follow the rules or LEAVE!

  50. Laura Simpson

    Sorry pook but when was the last time you were on a plane? People have learned to let their children run their lives instead of parenting them. I and many others I am sure THANK GOD that I have no spawn.

  51. Kamz Mzez Taylor Phillips

    and thats how we know u dont have kids, and if you do then CPS needs to pay you a visit because u seem to not be getting that THE CHILD IS THREE!! you know, three years out of the womb MEANING HE JUST STOPPED PEEING IN A DIAPER!! what the fuck is wrong with you!!

  52. Kamz Mzez Taylor Phillips

    i also thank god you have no spawn!!

  53. Doussou Shannan K. Said

    I don't blame the child. If you can't discipline or control you child it's your own fault. People let their children do what they wand because "they're so little". Well, If you don't start teaching them what to do and what not to do when they're little, when are you going to do it? In their teenage years? haha! I don't think so!
    You have to learn to handle your child. If they behave crazy right now, do you believe a magic trick will make them change as they grow up? YOU are responsible of how your child turns out up to a certain age.
    and kid's are very smart. They know who's the weak parent (even if it's both).

  54. Katie Justiss

    Wow. This philosophy is a recipe for a spoiled rotten headache of a person. Just give the child a toy to keep him from screaming. Really?! Yeah, that's a good lesson to teach a kid. "If you act like a brat, people will give you toys… there are no unpleasant consequences to our behavior choices. You don't need to learn self-control, but you should expect people to placate you." Let me tell you, it IS a threat to the safety of the child and the safety of those around him if he cannot follow simple directions while stuck on a cramped, 12,500 lb piece of burning metal chock full of strangers flying in thin air a mile above the planet. When people are out of control, ESPECIALLY on an airplane, everyone is vulnerable and the number one duty of the flight attendant is ensuring people's safety, not people pleasing. If the child cannot handle the instructions to put his seat-belt on, how is he going to take more pressing, complex directions in dire circumstances if the plane needs to make an emergency evacuation or everyone needs to utilize their oxygen masks? I'm glad the flight crew took control of the situation and did not tolerate unsafe practices from a passenger because they should not! It makes me feel safer knowing they would remove someone out of control rather than yielding to poor behavior just to please them.

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