Virgin Blue Admits Toddler Was Put in Overhead Bin
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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