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Baby on Board: Flight Attendant Grounded After Putting Child in Overhead Compartment

A Virgin Blue flight attendant has lost his job after reportedly putting a couple's 17-month-old child in an overhead luggage compartment during a flight from Fiji to Australia

Reports differ as to what preceded the unorthodox use of airplane facilities. Natalie Williamson claims the attendant scooped up son Riley, put him in the luggage bin and closed the latch, leaving Riley locked in the dark compartment for up to 10 seconds. Virgin Blue claims that Williamson's husband (the couple are now estranged) and their son were playing peek-a-boo with the overhead compartment when the flight attendant merely joined in the game.

After investigating, the Australian carrier terminated the attendant and offered Riley's mother credits for three flights, but the woman, who said she cried for days after the incident and that her son has been suffering from "anxiety and withdrawal" ever since, said she is too shaken up by the experience to redeem the credits.

The report has stirred up a lot of emotions on online forums as well, with some commenters saying the attendant should not have touched the child for any reason and others questioning the mother's state of mind and possible legal and financial motives.

Written by Law.com managing editor Paula Martersteck.

Posted by Laurel Newby on March 8, 2011 at 05:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

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