Virgin Blue Boeing 737-800

Virgin Blue Boeing 737-800

How much more innocent can you get than a game of peek-a-boo? Well it is not so innocent when a child ended up locked in an overhead bin on a recent Virgin Blue flight.

Natalie Williamson says her and her 17month son and husband were on a Virgin Blue flight from Fiji to Sydney, when the fun game turned serious. The husband (who is now estranged) was playing a fun little game of peek-a-boo with their child, Riley when one of the flight attendants decided to join in. She thought it would be a good idea to put Riley into the overhead bin and shut the door. Bad call.

“My husband, Shayne, was standing one metre behind my son, Riley, when the air steward picked him up and placed him in the overhead compartment,” Natalie told the Herald Sun. She stated that people around her were laughing and found it funny, but found it very disturbing.

The airline has confirmed that the the flight attendant did put Riley into the overhead bin and has since been fired. Virgin Blue offered Natalie free flights for having to deal with the bad situation, but that doesn’t seem to make things okay in her eyes.

For most people this might become a story to tell, but Natalie is saying that things for Riley aren’t going too well. She states that he is having trouble sleeping and won’t leave her side. “If I’m not in the same room as him, he will scream and yell ‘Mum, mum, mum’,” she said.

It sounds like the flight attendant messed up, but enough to deserve a firing? Well, I guess we don’t know if the flight attendant has other mess ups. I am no counselor, but it seems a bit odd that Riley would have so many issues after only a few seconds in the overhead bin. Either way I don’t think other flight attendants should try this game with other kids anytime soon.

Found via AOL Travel News Image: Andrew Sieber


EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me:
ANSWERS: What airplanes do these landing gears belong to?

Why did this mother let her child out of her sight? Sounds to me like she should be fired as a mother as much as the flight attendant should have been.


I don’t think the flight attendant should have gotten fired. How would the flight attendant know the child would get scared and have problems. All the flight attendant was trying to do was to be nice and entertain the child

According to the account in the Herald Sun (, the mother is quoted as saying:
“The manager on board came up to me later and said: ‘I need you to complain, I need you to do something. Write or ring. Do whatever you can’,” she said.”
Apparently, the male flight attendant had been involved in other inappropriate “interactions” in the past. So, perhaps we are only seeing one side of the story?

Here’s a link to the story in the Herald Sun:

Agreed. It is pretty bad if you have co-workers asking people to complain about you, but I guess that is what it takes sometimes.


James Baker

Maybe I’m a cynical bitter ex flight attendant but looking at all the factors (budget airline, typical clientele, lack of interest in their own children)….

Is it that far fetched to imagine the mother generally didn’t really give a damn where her kid was as long as he didn’t get too near her vodka and coke, some flight attendant doing anything to pass the time and aleviate the boredom decided to entertain a child. It went sour, now the mother, in todays celeb hungry world, saw an opportunity for her 15 minutes of fame and decided to play on the whole issue.

And here I am, halfway around the world, talking about it… damn!.. it bloody worked!…

She states that he is having trouble sleeping and won”t leave her side. ”If I”m not in the same room as him, he will scream and yell Mum, mum, mum”,” she said.

Er, 99% of toddlers are like this at one stage or another – perhaps all of us parents open to compensation for one event or another?

tracy Potts

The article calls dad estranged. Perhaps, that is why baby is not wanting to leave Mom’s side. If Dad left he may be afraid Mom will too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *