Harassed by Flight Attendants
OK, first let me give a little background info. My husband and I recently flew from Houston to Buffalo with our 16 month old daughter. We bought her a seat and took her car seat on the plane because we felt that she would be most comfortable in that. She rides in her car seat rear facing because, although the law states a baby can forward face when one year or twenty pounds, the newest recommendation is that children should rear face until 2 years because that is safest and their neck muscles are stronger. So my daughter set rear facing on the 6 hour flight to Buffalo and also on our return flight from Buffalo to Chicago. We had a layover in Chicago and then flew to Houston. Our flight from Chicago to Houston was approx. 3 hours long and we had no issues until two hours into the flight. First, my husband orders cranberry juice to drink and the flight attendant takes it upon herself to tell my husband it is not real juice and he shouldn't give it to our daughter. My husband informs her that it is for him and he wants the juice. She then makes a comment that the car seat shouldn't be rear facing and we should turn it as she walks away. I simply just ignored her as we only had 55 minutes left in the flight and my daughter was no longer sitting in the seat. She then comes back and tells me that it needs to be turned and I said I checked before flying and there are no rules about which the direction the seat faces on the plane. She tells me it is against FAA guidelines and she will have a supervisor come discuss it with us. She also pointed to a warning label on the car seat and says that the reason it says WARNING SERIOUS INJURY OR DEATH is because you aren't supposed to rear face, although the sticker clearly states that you can rear face from 5-35 pounds. Next, the supervisor approaches us with the rule book and reads that rear facing is 5-20 pounds BUT the direction of the car seat is at the discretion of the parent. I told her that since it is my decision and she is my child that I wanted her facing backwards because due to the latest research rear facing is the safest. She continued to tell me it should be turned and I said if there are no rules against rear facing on a plane I would not be turning the seat around. Once we get off the plane and we're walking through the gate the same supervisor and another woman come running after us with the rule book again. The new woman continues to tell me that the car seat is not meant to rear face and we should have turned it around. I continue to tell them the sticker clearly shows that you can rear face and that is the safest way for her to travel. She then tells me that I should not have disobeyed FAA guidleines and that it is a felony and I could be arrested. I continued to tell her that I have not disobeyed anything because the book clearly says in bold letters that it is up to the parent how the child travels. I finally just walked away as everyone at the gate stared as if we were felons. I was absolutely shocked that these flight attendants would take it upon themselves to determine how I should be taking care of my child and to accuse me of committing a crime when I did nothing wrong but try to make sure my daughter was as safe as possible. I did some research after all of this a read that it is even MORE IMPORTANT for a child to rear face on an airplane.