PETALING JAYA (ANN/THE STAR) – An airline cited safety regulations for almost forcing a Malaysian family to disembark from a Langkawi to Kuala Lumpur flight recently.
The May 24 incident went viral after a man claimed on Facebook that his family was almost removed from the MYAirline flight because his two-year-old child was not properly seated and buckled up as the plane was getting ready for take off.
He claimed the cabin crew refused to provide an infant belt or seat belt extender to allow the child – who had just turned two years old – to sit with the mother as it was “against policy”.
The man said his child was distraught and would not remain seated with the seat belt buckled, which prompted the cabin crew to repeatedly remind him to keep the child seated.
After a brief argument, the cabin crew consulted the pilot who announced over the plane that the family would have to be removed if they did not follow the instructions.
The man said they managed to comply in the end despite protests and crying from his child, and the take-off was successful.
He added that the whole incident was embarrassing and that a group of ground staff also tried to convince them to delete video clips of the incident after they landed.
“In conclusion, if you plan to travel with MyAirline with a child who is two or three years of age and cannot be seated independently like a robot, you should reconsider and choose another airline.
“For now, MyAirline is a firm ‘no’ for me and my family because they are not child friendly,” wrote the man.
MYAirline Sdn Bhd later released a statement to clarify that it had initially asked the family to leave as it had to comply with Civil Aviation Authority Malaysia (CAAM) safety requirements.
It said it was mandatory for children aged 24 months and below to be seated with a parent or guardian using an infant seat belt.
“However children above 24 months must be fastened with a seat belt in their own seat for safety,” said MYAirline on a Facebook post on Saturday.
MYAirline said it would be conducting a thorough investigation into the incident.
“We will identify the gaps in our service and take immediate corrective actions to prevent similar situations from occurring,” it added.