A couple and their four children, who attempted to fly on just three tickets, were kicked off the plane by US Airways flight attendants.
The parents had bought a ticket for their 3year-old son but not for their 20-month-old twins or 8-month-old baby. They planned to seat one infant in the same seat as their three-year-old and each hold a child in their lap.
Kathy and Jason Fickes and their children boarded a U.S Airways flight from Charlotte in North Carolina to Chicago to visit grandparents over Christmas.
The Fickes had purchased three tickets and managed to make their way passed the ticket desk and through security screening with their four children.
However, once they got on the plane, a flight attendant told them it would not be possible to travel as they had planned because there were not enough oxygen masks to go around.
Kathy Fickes told ABC 7: “I felt we were discriminated against because we had too many children in their eyes.”
Jason Fickes added that they “held up the plane for 40 or 50 minutes” as the family moved seats and tried to accommodate the airline.
The family was finally asked to leave the plane despite one passenger offering to pay for another ticket.
On the U.S Airways website, it is only possible to buy tickets for children over the age of two.
However, in a sidebar it gives the option to add how many younger children will be travelling.
The company is clear that each child under the age of two must be accompanied by an over-18 if they are sharing a seat.
On domestic flights, a child under the age of two is allowed to travel in the lap of a paying adult free of charge.
The Federal Aviation Administration also states that there must be an oxygen mask for each flyer.
Michelle Mohr, a US Airways spokesman told ABC 7: “The safety regulations are such that you have to have one child per one adult.”
U.S. Airways refunded the family’s tickets.
The Fickes family would have been permitted to fly if they had bought a ticket for one of their children under two as long as the child travelled in a car seat.