Mum taken aback at being told she can't have her baby in a sling during flight

Mother of four says she was close to tears after being told she couldn't wear her baby in a sling during a domestic flight in Australia.

Many parents travel with their babies in slings or carriers, but one mum-of-four was upset to be told she couldn't use her sling during a flight from Brisbane to Melbourne. Photo / 123RF
Many parents travel with their babies in slings or carriers, but one mum-of-four was upset to be told she couldn't use her sling during a flight from Brisbane to Melbourne. Photo / 123RF

A mother of four has expressed surprise at being told by a Jetstar crew member that she couldn't wear her young baby in a sling on board a flight, despite the airline's own policy stating otherwise.

The regular flyer, identified only as Marna, told parenting website kidspot.com.au the incident occured during a flight from Brisbane to Melbourne — the first time she had flown with her 2-month-old baby son.

Her other three children, aged 9, 7 and 4 were also aboard the flight so she made the decision to transport her baby in a fabric sling ... as she had done with her 4-year-old when he was younger, without any issues.

Marna told Kidspot she had done her due diligence and knew she could have her baby in the sling during the flight, with the exceptions of take-off and landing and when the seat belt sign was on.

However, upon boarding, she says a member of the cabin crew told her she could not use the sling during the flight at all.

"I was surprised by this, and so I questioned the attendant, Marna told Kidspot.

"She snapped back at me and said 'you cannot wear carriers we cannot unclip'."

Marna explained having her baby in the sling was the best way to settle him if he started crying, but said the cabin crew member maintained that slings weren't allowed and pulled out a manual to show Marna.

"I said 'it doesn't say anything about having only clipped carriers', to which her reply was 'well, if you die and I cannot unclip your baby, it's your fault'," Marna told Kidspot.

She said she found the comment "unnerving" and was so taken aback she wanted to cry.

Jetstar's policy, as stated on its website.
Jetstar's policy, as stated on its website.

Marna also claimed she was stopped by the same woman later in the flight as she attempted to enter the toilet with her 4-year-old while also carrying her baby, because there were only two oxygen masks in the cubicle.

She told Kidspot a male cabin crew member approached her after she returned to her seat and apologised for his colleague's behaviour.

"I broke down and told the attendant 'it's not easy with four children on my own' and he completely understood," she said.

Jetstar told Kidspot it couldn't comment on the specific incident but pointed the website's readers to its policy online.

It says that baby carriers, harnesses or slings can be used during boarding and when leaving an aircraft. "They can also be used on board but not when the seatbelt sign is on," it states.

- nzherald.co.nz

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