Thirty-three-year-old concert pianist and cancer researcher Mei Rui was traveling with her 2-year-old son and her elderly parents from Houston to Manhattan on December 8.
The trip was to do a recording that was connected with a cancer study.
In a tweet, a man claiming to be Rui's husband said that Spirit was not taxing when his wife was removed.
Mei recorded video from inside the plane where you can hear her son screaming right before they were kicked off the flight.
Because of this, she asked for a few more minutes but then complied and "forced" Lukas into his own seat where he began to cry for 25 minutes before a flight attendant asked them to get off. She promised that she would return him to his seat before the plane started moving. Before the cabin door closed, she began breastfeeding her child.
According to a statement from Spirit Airways, the official reason officials removed Rui and her party from the plane came "after refusing to comply with crew instructions several times during taxi to runway and safety briefing". Rui and her family were barred from re-entering the plane, when everyone was told to reboard the flight.
Eventually, crew members said all passengers had to turn their phones off.
Police officers were waiting for her as left the plane and walked to the end of the Jetway, the Post reports.
A representative from Spirit said she would not be allowed to re-board.
"Every parent with a young child can image, you don't want to be that parent on the plane", she told The Washington Post.
But the airline representative declined to give more details.
Rui said that her mother and father, two natives of China who lived through a traumatic time during the Cultural Revolution, were terrified already from the problem with officials from the airline.
In the terminal, things got even worse. The family waited for an hour for their luggage, but the items were never returned.
Rui never made it to NY. They lost their house and possessions, including her piano, in Hurricane Harvey, and are now living in temporary housing. She's been performing classical piano since the age of 10 and received a Grammy nomination in 2015, according to her biography.
In a statement, Spirit airlines defended the actions of its crew, saying Rui refused to "comply with crew instructions several times". To ensure the safety of our guests and crew, FAA regulations and airline policies require all passengers stay seated and buckled during takeoff and landing. We apologize for any inconvenience to our guests.
'As a courtesy, we've issued a full refund to the customer in question'.
"Absolutely DISGUSTED with how this woman was treated on my flight this morning", she wrote in a Facebook post.