​Toddler kicked off plane on Alaska Airlines flight for not wearing seatbelt

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June 2, 2012

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A 3-year-old toddler was kicked off an Alaska Airlines plane because he refused to wear his seatbelt before the flight left the gate.

The father of Daniel, Mark Yanctells as that after the plane left the gate his son started throwing a fit and wouldn’t sit still.

“He was cranky. He was trying to get out. The seat belt was on him, but he was trying to get out, and I was holding him down,” the father said.

Yanchak said he signaled to his wife, Svetlana, who was sitting separately in first class with another son, due to seat restrictions. She brought him a pacifier to settle him, and with the help of a flight attendant was reseated closer to him.

“When I came, he was just sitting with his seat belt fastened and after two or three minutes, I managed to calm him down,” Svetlana explained.

However, by the time the family got the child calm the pilot made a decision to return to the gate at Seattle’s Sea-Tac Airport, and asked the family to leave. Yanchak said, even though they got the child to calm down and sit still with his seat belt on, the pilot kicked his family off the plane.

“I’m like, ‘Do we have to?’ I said, ‘He’s fine. He’s calm. Do we have to?’ He said the pilot made his final decision,” Mark said.

Alaskan Airlines defended the reaction by the pilot by saying it was a safety issue that he would rather deal with while on the ground then after he was in the air.