A baby was terrified and his mother injured on a Korean Air flight after the bassinet the little boy was in fell a metre onto the woman's foot.

Leena Son suffered a fractured right ankle when the bassinet holding her 10-month-old, Elim, fell off the wall moments after he was placed inside.

The baby screamed and took some time to settle and Son's foot had to be continuously iced after the accident shortly after take off.

Michael and Leena Son with baby Elim, whose in-flight bassinet fell with him inside onto his mother's foot, fracturing her ankle. Photo / Supplied
Michael and Leena Son with baby Elim, whose in-flight bassinet fell with him inside onto his mother's foot, fracturing her ankle. Photo / Supplied

The 32-year-old Auckland woman was so frightened she held her baby for the rest of the 12-hour flight from Auckland to Seoul in South Korea on May 2.

Advertisement

Husband Michael Son, who was waiting for his family at Incheon Airport, in Seoul, said he was shocked when his wife was brought through the arrival gate in a wheelchair.

"For me, her coming out of the arrival gate in a wheelchair is the last thing you want to see."

There had been some difficulty fastening the bassinet to the wall. It was designed to hold a baby weighing up to 11kg. At the time Elim was 9kg.

"She literally put our son in there and almost immediately it fell with the baby inside and unfortunately on her foot as well," Michael said.

"When the bassinet fell he [Elim] screamed and cried for up to five minutes. It was her first flight with the baby and it was a long-haul flight."

Son and his wife, who spent more than $3150 on the return flights, were upset with how Korean Air handled the situation after they spent two hours trying to get assistance when the flight landed.

"What we are disappointed and angry about is the way the company as a whole treated this matter, as if this was just a light incident."

At Incheon Airport the family sought assistance from Korean Air but say they were told to go to hospital and send the receipt to the airline.

"That's not what we want. Compensation at this stage is the last thing we want. We don't even want their money."

The bassinet clip that failed to hold baby Elim on a Korea Air flight to Seoul earlier this month. A flight attendant had trouble fastening the bassinet to the wall. Photo / Supplied
The bassinet clip that failed to hold baby Elim on a Korea Air flight to Seoul earlier this month. A flight attendant had trouble fastening the bassinet to the wall. Photo / Supplied

It took two hours, including raised voices, before Korean Air agreed to help the family by escorting them to hospital, Michael said.

The airline paid about $90 for Leena's treatment at the emergency department, where a plaster cast was applied to her ankle.

The couple decided not to get x-rays of their son because of the radiation and they believed he was physically unharmed.

Korean Air also paid for a taxi to take the family to Michael's grandparents' home after other family at the airport to collect them went home.

For their return flight to New Zealand two weeks later, Korean Air offered Leena and Elim an upgrade to business class but not Michael.

"We didn't want to be split up because Leena was injured and it would have meant she would have had to look after the baby by herself for the entire flight."

Leena Son's holiday to South Korea was ruined after she needed hospital treatment for a fractured ankle on a Korean Air flight. Photo / Supplied
Leena Son's holiday to South Korea was ruined after she needed hospital treatment for a fractured ankle on a Korean Air flight. Photo / Supplied

They say their request for an explanation about why the bassinet fell has gone unanswered.

Now the couple want Korean Air to check all its baby bassinets to make sure it can never happen again.

"This is a significant health and safety issue which Korean Air failed to meet a standard. We booked this bassinet for peace of mind and for comfort but that's the last thing we got."

They also want other parents to be vigilant when using in-flight bassinets.

The Herald has contacted Korea Air for comment.