United With Ivy: Mom Unwilling To Give Up First Class Seat To Assist Child

In recent days, the internet community has come together in support of a mother who claims United Airlines treated her special needs child with disdain. The hashtag #UnitedWithIvy was trending over the New Years holiday in response.

It’s a story all too common these days. The big, bad corporation puts profit over common sense or any semblance of humanity and humiliates a family with no regard for common decency. Only this time, it seems there’s a bit more to the story.

As reported earlier this week by the Inquisitr, Elit Kirschenbaum was traveling with her husband and children aboard United Airlines on a trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Ivy, her 3-year-old daughter, suffers from Spastic Cerebral Palsy, and Elit just wanted to have Ivy sit in her lap during take-off and landing since Ivy is unable to sit up on her own.

When a flight attendant advised Mrs. Kirschenbaum that the child would have to sit in her own seat, the situation turned into a “circus,” according to Kirschenbaum.

Over the last few days, United Airlines has taken a public relations beating over the situation. Only, as recently reported by Yahoo! Travel, reality may have been a bit different than first reported.

According to Yahoo!, the Kirschenbaums purchased two first-class tickets for themselves on the flight while purchasing coach tickets for their children, including Ivy. Some are questioning why one of the parents didn’t just give up their first class seat to attend to their child in coach.

One passenger from the plane posted several tweets about the controversy, pinning the blame on the Kirschenbaum family for not following regulations and causing several people to miss connecting flights.

According to CBS News, FAA guidelines require children over the age of 2 to have their own seats, a rule the parents complied with in purchasing a ticket for Ivy. However, FAA guidelines also account for Ivy’s physical disability in recommending an FAA approved child safety seat for children such as Ivy.

Kirschenbaum claims she was unaware of this FAA allowance.

“We never knew the rule. We’ve put her on our laps for the past three-plus years.”

It would appear this is not a case of heartless corporate greed, but rather one of a family’s ignorance of clearly posted regulations and their inability to admit their own mistakes.

Perhaps the new hashtag should be #UnitedWithUnited.

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