Mum says family was banned from Jetstar flight over toddler tantrum

jetstar flight

TWO families with three children have been stranded in Hamilton Island for days at their own cost after being refused entry to their flight home.

Laura was stunned when she was told she could not fly to Sydney on her booked Jetstar flight on Wednesday, February 22 because of her two-year-old son’s tantrum on their flight to Hamilton Island 10 days earlier.

“He was overtired and cranky, I was wrestling him, I did everything I could,” she says. “I thought the staff mustn’t have children because everyone with a child, knows the ‘terrible twos’ is a real thing.”

Don’t be surprised if you get refused your flight home’

The Penrith mum was travelling with her partner Jae and their twin two-year-old boys, along with her another couple and their young daughter.

On the flight to Hamilton Island on Saturday, February 11, Laura’s son, Mattea threw a tantrum as the Jetstar crew was preparing the cabin for landing. He threw himself on the floor and under the seat in front, while Laura tried to wrestle him into a chair.

“I was told by a crew member to get him off the floor because the plane was landing and if I didn’t they would have to circle the plane because of me,” she says.

After a stern warning and a helpful extendable belt, Laura was able to lock her son on her lap after the five minute meltdown.

She thought all was fine, but when they got off the plane Jae was approached by a baggage handler who informed him the captain had made a complaint about their son’s behaviour.

He then told the couple, “don’t be surprised if you get refused your flight home”’.

No other warning until they got to the boarding gate

Laura spent 10 days on the idyllic Whitsunday Island with her family without any more word from the airline.

The day the group of seven left, they checked in online and called a customer service representative who told them they were good to fly. They checked in their luggage with no problems and then waited for their boarding call.

But when Laura walked up to the gate with her twins, she was told to wait to the side.

“I asked the hostess, ‘what’s the problem?’, and they said they were waiting on confirmation from the captain to allow our group on the flight, because there were issues on the flight up,” she says.

“We waited, and next thing our bags are getting taken off the flight. The hostess told me ‘you won’t be flying today because of the behaviour of your son’.”

“We were very upset and arguing at the gate — I said ‘you can’t refuse a flight because of a two-year-old’.”

The two families were then moved to the baggage area and surrounded by crew members and security.

“I asked again, how they could refuse us over a two-year-old, then I was told it was my reaction and that’s why we weren’t allowed on.”

jet star flight
Laura and her cousin nurse the tired twins while their situation is being sorted out. Source: Laura Kimber.

Why were they all refused entry to the flight?

After arguing with the airline staff about being refused the flight, the group were then told they weren’t allowed to fly for 24 hours.

“How would they like us to react? They just banned us from flying because of a two-year-old, we have to get back to work — this was Wednesday and they weren’t letting us on a flight until Friday,” she says.

The family waited in the baggage area for two hours, with their exhausted children falling asleep in their arms and on the floor. They were offered a full refund on their flight, or a flight home on Friday.

They took the refund and switched airlines. On Friday the families were informed they were temporarily suspended from all Qantas and Jetstar flights indefinitely until a review was complete.

Almost a week later they have only received half of the refund and are now out of pocket more than $5000 for new flights and additional nights’ accommodation.

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