Air Canada is apologizing after an incident Wednesday morning involving a mother and daughter aboard one of their planes.
Kaitlynn Kirschner was flying with her mother, sister and daughter, who turns two next month. She purchased a car seat for her daughter in advance of the trip. She was on a connecting flight to Houston from Toronto when a flight attendant approached her.
“The flight attendant informed me that because my daughter was an ‘infant’ she was not allowed to use her car seat during takeoff and landing due to ‘safety issues,'” Kirschner wrote in a post Facebook post Thursday.
“He continued to argue with me about potential of neck injuries and how she was safer in my arms during turbulence than strapped in her car seat.”
She reluctantly complied with the flight attendant and held her daughter during takeoff.
“He again forced the issue for landing and said we would continue to fly circles until I complied because the cabin was not ‘secured’ until my daughter was unsecured from her seat,” Kirschner told Global News Friday from Florida.
“You’ve strapped the coffee pot down, you’ve strapped everything down except for my child and that makes the cabin secure?”
A spokesperson for Air Canada confirmed to Global News Friday in a statement that they were aware of the incident.
“This is a regrettable situation and we are reaching out to the customer to apologize for her experience and provide a goodwill gesture. Unfortunately, we did not recognize that the passenger’s child restraint was appropriate for travel on this flight,” the statement read in part.
The statement said the airline will ensure “all staff are reminded of current procedures for traveling with infants and small children, and acceptable child restraints per Transport Canada guidelines.”
Transport Canada outlines guidelines on its website. While children who have not yet turned two may be held in their parent’s arms during a flight, it is highly recommended that an approved child restraint system – or car seat – be used during all stages of the flight.
“The use of a car seat provides the greatest degree of protection for the infant or child and its use during the flight will help in case of unanticipated turbulence,” Transport Canada said.