Elit Kirschenbaum is the mother of four children, including 3-year-old Ivy, a stroke survivor with special needs. As she writes in a Tumblr post, Kirschenbaum was on a recent United flight with extended family, where she was confronted by an irate flight attendant:
There were 4 flight attendants on our flight and 3 had walked by us several times without comment. The 4th, however, indicated an issue the moment she stopped in front of our row. She looked at me with my daughter on my lap and immediately said that she needed to be placed in her seat. I informed the woman that Ivy has special needs and is unable to sit independently. She asked for a boarding pass and whether we had purchased a ticket for her. We said that we did have a ticket for her but again, she is unable to sit. We have flown on United several times since she had turned 2 and she had always been on my lap. This flight attendant returned to her co-workers and began to argue with them. She returned to argue with us.
Kirschenbaum’s account only gets worse from there. And as it makes its way across social media, citizens are demanding that United address the issue — and apologize to the family.