A delayed flight at 6:30am may already sound like a travel nightmare, but that was only the beginning for one Houston woman on Friday. Mei Rui, a concert pianist and cancer researcher, was traveling from her home to Newark along with her elderly parents and 2-year-old son when they were all kicked off their Spirit Airlines flight after flight attendants asked her to stop breastfeeding. Rui told the Washington Post that the flight had been delayed several times due to weather and that when it finally seemed like the flight might take off, she began breastfeeding her son in the hopes of getting him to sleep. She said that the plane doors were still open and people were still moving around the cabin.
When flight attendants informed Rui her son needed to be in his seat for takeoff, Rui says she promised she would be done by the time the plane's doors were closed, CBS News reports. When the baby started crying, however, the crew told her she needed to get off the plane. In a statement, Spirit airlines defended the actions of its crew, saying Rui refused to "comply with crew instructions several times. ... FAA regulations and airline policies require all passengers to stay seated and buckled during takeoff and landing." Rui was given a full refund, but her family's travels woes didn't end there. Their luggage wasn't returned to them, even after they waited for an hour, and on the drive back home, Rui's father collapsed and had to be taken to the hospital.