JetBlue planes at New York JFK in a file photo from Feb. 23, 2004. / Eileen Blass, USA TODAY
JetBlue has apologized to a mother who says her 3-year-old daughter urinated in her seat after being told she couldn't use the lavatory during a ground delay at New York JFK last week.
JetBlue spokesman Sebastian White tells Reuters the airline "reached out directly to the customer (Saturday) to offer an apology for her experience."
JetBlue also offered the family a $50 credit and offered to donate $5,000 to a charity of the family's choice, according to TV station WPIX of New Jersey.
Jennifer Devereaux, the girl's mother, says she's appreciative of JetBlue's apology, which came in a call from a woman representing the carrier.
"She said, 'I am a mom, too. I understand what you going through and I am so sorry this happened to you,'" Devereaux tells CNN about the call she received from JetBlue, according to WPIX. "I didn't care about a voucher. That kind of stuff doesn't matter to me. But I did want an apology for my family because we really felt we were mistreated and felt awful about."
As for JetBlue, the carrier was in a difficult spot regarding the girl's bathroom request. The Boston-bound flight had pulled away from its gate at JFK but then was held in an active tarmac area while awaiting clearance to proceed toward takeoff. The girl waited for about a half hour before "going" in her seat, according to media reports.
Federal Aviation Administration regulations forbid airlines from letting passengers get up from their seats while planes are on the taxiway. The rule is a safety regulation aimed at preventing injuries in the event of a sudden movement by the aircraft.
"The crew made a safety and FAA regulation-based decision," the airline tells Reuters about why the girl wasn't allowed to proceed to the lavatory during the delay.
The incident occurred last Monday (June 9), but picked up national attention on Friday after the girl's mother took her story to a Boston TV station.
Despite the incident, JetBlue's apology appears to have put the incident to rest.
"Happy tears," Devereaux is quoted by WPIX as saying in a Tweet after JetBlue called. She added a "really nice lady apologized to me!"
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