I just read this story and am far more baffled by all the comments on Babycenter (of all places) that seem to be anti-child, or at least anti-child flying. As a firm believer in the power of travel and exploration to shape a child's mind, the idea of not flying with my son is completely anathema to me. Obviously, I can understand the pilot's need to maintain safety on the plane and perhaps that really was the issue here, though it did sound as though the parents managed to get their daughter strapped in prior to being kicked off.
Given that we are flying across the country again in a few weeks, I better start stockpiling my bag of tricks now. One suggestion from a commenter that I liked was carrying a couple of small gift cards (maybe $5 or $10 at Starbucks) or earplugs for your nearest neighbors in case the crying (or your child's go-to annoyance) gets out of hand. All I can say is hooray for the iphone and ipad so I don't lose my voice from the constant reading. Apparently books are just better when they are read 5 or 30 times in a row.