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Child abuse on planes can create ‘gray areas’ for airlines

December 22, 2017

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Airlines have instituted procedures to help crews deal with violent passengers, but situations where a parent is potentially abusing a child are not so clear cut.

A JetBlue flight earlier this month continued to its final destination after three passengers reported a mother mistreating her 8-year-old son, including grabbing him by the neck and shoving him against a window as he cried.

The same day, the airline diverted a flight to Las Vegas after a man reportedly hit and bit other passengers.

JetBlue didn’t respond to requests for comment on the incident involving the child.

Travel industry analyst Henry Harteveldt says flight attendants are trained in how to de-escalate violent situations.

He says the case involving the boy is challenging because separating him from his mother or restraining her could’ve exacerbated the child’s anxiety.

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