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Sat, Jan 29, 2011 Turns To Infant Safety On Airline Flights

Latest Campaign Is "No Child Left Unbuckled"

Melissa Bradley and her family of 5, including their 11-month-old son, were removed from United Airlines flight #75 from San Francisco to Honolulu on Thursday. They were told that the reason was because their rear facing car seat, which is FAA has approved for use on aircraft, could not fit in the seat due to a lack of space between the row in front and the infant seat. They purchased a separate seat and brought an FAA certified/CRS (Child Restraint Seat) approved for their child. Ms. Bradley has informed that she twice attempted to protect her child on United Airlines by purchasing a seat and bringing a car seat; and twice was been denied the opportunity to protect her young son.

FAA Guidelines state: "No aircraft operator may prohibit a child from using an approved CRS when the parent/guardian purchases a seat for the child. If an approved CRS for which a ticket has been purchased, does not fit in a particular seat on the aircraft, the aircraft operator has the responsibility to accommodate the CRS in another seat in the same class of service."

"It appears that United Airlines, rather than following federally mandated guidelines, chose to remove not only the entire Bradley family of five but also two of their traveling companions and force them to wait for hours until the next flight—a clear violation Federal law," said Kate Hanni, Founder and Director of "Parents of small children and infants should always have a federally approved restraint, or a rear facing car seat appropriate for the age, height and weight of their child when traveling by air and airlines should do everything in their power to accommodate their use – not thwart parents in their attempts to safeguard their children."  

Kate Hanni is currently reviewing all the options available to the Bradley family and other families that have been victims of this practice. These options include, but are not limited to, increased penalties and sanctions against airlines, as well as potential legislative action.

Tess Sosa was aboard US Airways Flight #1549 when it went down in the Hudson River on 1/15/09. She had a child seated on her lap at the time of the incident. She is now a fierce advocate for "no children being left unbuckled" because her son nearly became a human projectile when the plane hit the river at 125 mph. Were it not for the gentleman next to her holding the baby she is certain the outcome would have been dire.

"When our flight crashed into the Hudson River, we did not have the proper safety equipment for our infant on board-- I learned firsthand how valuable the proper safety restraint can be," said Tess Sosa, parent, Hudson River Crash Survivor and In-flight Child Safety Advocate. "We now insist on using the best equipment available for our children when we fly—this is a right all parents, and children must have."

Tess Sosa and Melissa Bradley are members of and are strong advocates for in-flight infant safety.



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