Natalie Williamson said an air steward placed her son Riley in an overhead locker and closed the latch, for up to ten seconds, during a flight from Fiji to Sydney.
The airline said that Williamson's husband (who is now estranged) and the child were playing peek-a-boo when the incident took place, and the attendant joined in the game.
reported that, following an investigation, the staff member lost his job and Williamson was offered three free flights.
"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," she told the Herald Sun
"I stood up and there were people laughing and then I said 'Get my son out of there now'."
"I was devastated. I was absolutely devastated. I was crying. My husband was in shock. For days on end I was crying."
She claims that Riley, who is now 20 months old, has seen specialists since then, and is suffering from anxiety and withdrawal.
"He won't leave my sight now," she told the Herald Sun
. "He sleeps with me. If I'm not in the same room as him, he will scream and yell 'Mum, mum, mum'."
Writing in The Consumerist
, Chris Morran remarked: "Of course, that also sounds like any number of toddlers I've seen. And I don't think any of them have been placed in the overhead compartment."