Virgin Blue Admits Toddler Was Put in Overhead Bin

by Libby Zay 
Posted Mar 6th 2011 10:00 AMUpdated Mar 6th 2011 11:51 AM


virgin blue toddler overhead bin

simon_sees, flickr

Virgin Blue has fired a male flight attendant and is now offering a mother free flights after she was "devastated" when her toddler was placed in an overhead bin.

Natalie Williamson was on a Virgin flight from Fiji to Sydney when she claims a flight attendant picked up her 17-month old son, Riley, and placed him in the overhead bin and then latched it closed, according to a report by Australia's Herald Sun.

Virgin has admitted an incident did take place. However, the airline is claiming the flight attendant was joining in on a peek-a-boo game that Williamson's now estranged husband was playing with Riley.

"We conducted a thorough investigation of the incident and the staff member involved was subsequently terminated," a Virgin spokeswoman tells the news outlet.

The airline has provided the family with a credit for the price of the flights, and has also offered Williamson three free flights, but the mother says she is too shaken by the experience to redeem them.

"I stood up and there were people laughing and then I said 'Get my son out of there now'," she tells the Herald Sun.

"I was crying. My husband was in shock. For days on end I was crying," she adds.

The mother says Riley was locked in the compartment for up to 10 seconds in complete darkness. She claims Riley, now 20 months, has seen various specialists since the incident and has suffered from anxiety and withdrawal.

"He won't leave my sight right now. He sleeps with me. If I'm not in the same room as him, he will scream and yell," she says.

A Virgin spokeswoman tells the news outlet, "The safety of our guests is out top priority and we do not tolerate any breaches of this."

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Lisa Wilson

And during those 3 months she is now estranged from her husband. Crying for days for that perhaps. And the child is going to counceling? At 20 months....? Cries when not near mommy? It's more of an issue of separation from Daddy and an emotional Mommy and nothing to do with the hide and seek game. Seriously.

July 13 2011 at 11:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rob D'Witch

these people just want money! if they are as weird to not understand a game and WHOLE 10 SECONDS of hidden son, i really dont know what, but it Is a great opportunity to get something out of it. anxiety , if any is present talking about her toddler might be a result of her treatment of him, not of 10 seconds in dark. freaks!

May 05 2011 at 1:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Doggone it

She is feeding his anxiety by allowing him to sleep with her, and not letting him alone. Even though he is a child he can deal with these feelings. What a drama queen, and a gold digger - I hope she loses in court.

May 05 2011 at 1:27 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

What melodrama! She's building her case for a lawsuit, plain and simple. She'll seek damages for emotional distress. I can understand being upset at first, but crying for days and having a paranoid kid after he was in a small, dark space for a whopping 10 seconds? I hope the judge laughs that one out of court.

May 05 2011 at 12:49 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

lol wtf

May 04 2011 at 2:00 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

She probably thought his antics, running around, bothering other people were cute and finally someone with a set did something about it. Good for the attendant who should not have been fired, cause it would not have happened if what?? The kid was with one of his parents in his seat like he should have been. I hate people who think everything their kids does is cute and I am suppose to be ok with it, NO and now I know they fit into the overhead.....CONTROL YOUR SPAWN.

May 04 2011 at 1:30 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

WTF - this lady cried "for days on end" over this? Sounds like SHE needs a shrink, and I seriously doubt the kid would have even had any issues (if he even really does, which I seriously doubt!) had he not seen the Mother react so inappropriately. When I first saw the title and read the first couple sentences I thought the airline had somehow mistaken the kid for luggage and put it in the bin for the trip or a considerable part of it - not 10 seconds while his dad was playing hide and seek? I doubt the dad was "in shock" - I think the fact the other passengers were laughing is a sign this woman is either a wack job or out for money or both. And they fired the flight attendant over this? HE should file a suit - this is all absolutely insane and yet another example of over-reacting, over-protection of children, and people trying to get money for nothing. Stick a kid in a refrigerator - now that's inappropriate. This? Put the Mother in the bin - better yet, in the luggage compartment for every flight! :-)

May 03 2011 at 6:25 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Shoe me the MONEY!!

May 03 2011 at 2:41 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Intelligent Life

Um, sure...a mom "who cares" is going to sit long enough for a flight attendant
to EVEN TOUCH her child, let alone open the bin, pick up the toddler, put the toddler
in, close the latch and then engage in a conversation? Don't buy it for a second. She
was either careless, didn't care, or drunk...that's just a case of being a bad mother...
so OWN IT.

May 03 2011 at 1:49 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Marie Cordona

Umm, yeah. I call BS. The baby was in the dark for up to 10 seconds???? OMG, oh noes. What on earth does this woman do with the baby when it's night time? Does the baby not sleep, or does it sleep in a fully lit room? She's definitely milking it for everything she can get out of it. She should build a bridge and get over it.

May 03 2011 at 1:42 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply