BIG TICKET GIVEAWAY

Win 2 tickets to every event for a year! Click here to enter.

Present by The Daily Herald
The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions

Calendar


HeraldNet Headlines
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 9:12 p.m.

Everett family puzzled by decision to boot boy off jet

  • Mark Yanchuk and his son, Daniel, 3, at their Everett home on Wednesday. The Yanchuks were told to leave a plane they had boarded in Seattle because t...

    Sarah Weiser / The Herald

    Mark Yanchuk and his son, Daniel, 3, at their Everett home on Wednesday. The Yanchuks were told to leave a plane they had boarded in Seattle because they were having trouble getting Daniel settled before takeoff.

  • Mark Yanchuk and his son, Daniel, 3, at their Everett home on Wednesday. The Yanchuks were told to get off a plane they had just boarded in Seattle be...

    Sarah Weiser / The Herald

    Mark Yanchuk and his son, Daniel, 3, at their Everett home on Wednesday. The Yanchuks were told to get off a plane they had just boarded in Seattle because they were having trouble getting Daniel settled before take off.

  • Mark Yanchuk and his son, Daniel, 3, at their Everett home on Wednesday. The Yanchuks were told to get off a plane they had just boarded in Seattle be...

    Sarah Weiser / The Herald

    Mark Yanchuk and his son, Daniel, 3, at their Everett home on Wednesday. The Yanchuks were told to get off a plane they had just boarded in Seattle because they were having trouble getting Daniel settled before take off.

  • Daniel Yanchuk

    Daniel Yanchuk

  • Mark Yanchuk at his Everett home on Wednesday. The Yanchuks were told to get off a plane they had just boarded in Seattle because they were having tro...

    Sarah Weiser / The Herald

    Mark Yanchuk at his Everett home on Wednesday. The Yanchuks were told to get off a plane they had just boarded in Seattle because they were having trouble getting their son, Daniel, 3, settled before take off.

EVERETT -- It was already past the 3-year-old boy's bedtime as he boarded the plane Saturday night for a six-hour red-eye from Seattle to Miami.
Flight attendants decided that little Daniel Yanchuk, of Everett, couldn't be counted on to sit up with his safety belt around his waist. The Alaska Airlines pilot of Flight 16 turned the airplane around and headed back to the gate at Sea-Tac Airport.
Daniel and his father Mark Yanchuk, 31, were asked to get off. No reason was given except that the captain ordered it, Mark Yanchuk said.
Now he and his wife, Svetlana Yanchuk, 25, are wondering if Alaska Airlines officials ever plan to explain the company's rules regarding fussy children.
The pilot made the decision for the safety of the boy and the comfort of the other passengers, said Alaska Airlines spokesman Paul McElroy. The Yanchuks will get their luggage delivered to their south Everett home and a full refund for the flight, McElroy said. The Yanchuks will also get a refund for their hotel in the Caribbean.
Four days after incident, the Yanchuks still can't shake their feelings of shock, embarrassment and anger.
The Yanchuks, their sons Daniel and 1-year-old toddler Dennis and Svetlana's mother, Vera Shteynvolf, boarded the plane early Saturday. First seated in an emergency exit row, they were asked to change seats. Mark Yanchuk and Daniel moved back to row 23 and Svetlana Yanchuk, her mother and Dennis moved forward to empty seats in first class.
While they waited for other passengers to board, Daniel began to fidget. A flight attendant brought cookies and Gummi bears to help him settle down, Mark Yanchuk said. Without Svetlana sitting with them, however, Daniel was more fussy than usual, he said.
"He wanted his mama, his pacifier and his water," Mark Yanchuk said.
When it came time to buckle up, Daniel was loud and squirming, at one point with his feet dangling off the seat and the safety belt was around his neck, McElroy said. Flight attendants asked his mother to make her way to the back of plane to help Daniel get settled.
"He has flown many times before without any trouble," Svetlana Yanchuk said. "We chose that flight because we planned to have him sleep the entire time. I got him calmed down quickly, but not before a lady sitting in front of him stood up and screamed at him and at Mark."
As the plane moved toward the runway, Daniel was quiet, cooperative and occupied, Svetlana Yanchuk said.
Then came the announcement by the pilot that the plane was turning around.
At the gate, the family made their way down the long aisle and off the plane. They were told that Svetlana Yanchuk, her mother and Dennis could stay on board, but that Daniel and Mark Yanchuk had to get off. Splitting up was out of the question for the family, and by that time, the boys needed to get to some sleep.
Ultimately responsible for the flight, the captain decided he didn't want to risk dealing with a further problem once the plane was under way, McElroy said.
"We regret the inconvenience to the family, but our flight crew used their best judgment," McElroy said. "Turning back is not something we want to do. Our mission is to get people to their destinations on time with their bags. It costs money to turn around, so it's not common."
The Yanchuks said they will travel again, but probably not on Alaska Airlines.
"We think they overreacted, and we would like an apology or at least an explanation. At this point we only assume we were asked to leave because Daniel was loud," Mark Yanchuk said. "I have emailed and called Alaska numerous times and no one has gotten back to me."
Svetlana Yanchuk is defensive when she talks about people who have been critical of her parenting skills.
"I keep my sons close under my wings," she said. "They are normal kids. There is no mute button for children. At home, Daniel helps wash dishes and pull weeds. He is such a good boy."
Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; gfiege@heraldnet.com.



Story tags » EverettAir travelParenting

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus

HeraldNet highlights

This is arena food?
This is arena food?: Xfinity rolls out shiny new menu for Tips games, other events
Big-top dreams
Big-top dreams: Young ringmaster followed his heart to the circus tent
'Maze Runner' gets lost
'Maze Runner' gets lost: Film has its moments, but seems overly familiar
All the right notes
All the right notes: 5th Avenue Theatre's 'A Chorus Line' feels fresh