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Battle In the Skies

Yes, readers, I know this looks like another “crying baby on airplane” story but the focus of the comments should be on the behavior of the two female passengers and whether either of them acted in a civil manner.

This happened to me about 2 weeks ago. I was flying home to Las Vegas after visiting the in-laws with my daughters (4 ½ and 21 months) in California. My husband booked our flight home and didn’t realize he booked us flying into Phoenix, switching planes and then heading to Las Vegas. Our flight left California at 6:45pm, so it was going to be a late second flight.

My 21 month old did great the first flight. She started whining the last 20 minutes of the flight, but nothing too bad. On the second flight, she started fussing about 20 minutes into it. At first it was just an annoying whine. I would try to comfort her, but it would upset her more if I tried to pick her up (we were fortunate enough to have a not full flight, so no one sat in our group of 3 seats). This behavior was out of the norm for her. She is normally my snuggle bug, so I was worried her ears might hurt. Regardless, I could not get her to stop crying.

About 30 minutes into the flight, a young female (maybe in her early 20’s), got out of her seat, walked up to me and asked, “Are you going to comfort your child so the rest of us don’t have to listen to her cry?” I looked at her, ready to respond, but before I could, the lady behind me stood and started SCREAMING at her. She was saying, “How dare you tell her how to take care of her child??? You don’t have the right!!!” etc. The girl who approached me told the lady behind me that she was, “So ghetto”, so the lady behind me started moving towards her saying, “I’ll slap the sh*t out of b*tch”, and other things I’ll let you use your imagination on. The flight attendant ran over and placed herself in between them until they calmed down and sat down. They would periodically yell things at each other, but nothing else happened.

As soon as we landed and the lights came on (night flight), my daughter stopped crying. It was quite awkward standing there waiting for the people in front of us to get off while a plane full of people stared at us. The lady behind me asked if the baby was ok, I said yes. The young female who approached me didn’t look in our direction once. As we walked off of the plane, we were pulled aside by Las Vegas Metro and (I’m assuming) airport security. I had to give a brief statement of what happened and after the flight attendants apologized to me, I was allowed to leave, while the 2 ladies who fought had to stay behind for whatever reason.

This is definitely a unique experience for me. I’m not quite sure what that young female wanted me to do. It’s not like I was leisurely reading a book while my child was crying. I was trying to calm her down, only to upset her more. I would have asked her if she would like to reason with my 21 month old and explain to her that her crying is bothering everyone, because she would surely stop after this had been explained to her (super sarcasm there). My husband used to travel from LA to Las Vegas every week for work and had almost 96 flights one year. He said there were always crying babies, but no one ever gave the mom a hard time about it. Most people understand. Like it wasn’t hard enough that I couldn’t comfort my child, knowing a whole plane of people were suffering through it as well.

Anyways, that’s my story! I’ll be flying again for a wedding in Indiana in 2 weeks. Hopefully my daughter does much better then. Thankfully, my husband will be with me for that flight. I’ll make sure to send any stories from the wedding I’ll be attending. It’s going to be an interesting one. I’m the best (wo)man! No tux for me, thankfully! Love your site.   0904-11

I flew with an infant and then toddler but back then, my pediatrician recommended giving my daughter children’s Benadryl before taking off.  It had the double effect of clearing her nose and sinuses of anything that could have caused pain during take-off and landing and it was mildly narcotic enough to conk her out (or at least make her relaxed) during much of the flight.  Addendum:  Please note that I consulted my pediatrician first about flying with a toddler and it was his recommendation to use Benadryl which is an FDA approved, over the counter medicine.   An airplane flight is not the time to try this for the first time since some children have the opposite effect of making them very hyper although if the intended effect is to clear sinuses then some hyperness should be expected as part of the treatment.   Talk with your own pediatrician before medicating a child for air travel.   About.com has good suggestions for flying with children.

I also came prepared with child appropriate snacks and small toys and books that I would reveal one at a time, about every hour, during the flight.  Examples of these items are:

* Cheerios
*  Smarties candy, safety lollipops, Gummy bears or gelled fruit snacks in little packets
*  Tiny flashlight with wrist strap
*  Hair-Do Harriett
or Wooly Willy (or the mini Wooly Willy ..great for travel)
Tickle Bee – I LOVED this toy as a child and my kids were no exception.  Hours of play.
Melissa and Doug Vehicle Maze (or the farm maze) – No loose parts to lose.  Great for travel.
* Magic slates or mini Etch-a-sketch

The above are not age appropriate for an infant but toddler to pre-school.  Travelers who detest children crying and fussing on planes might want to consider coming prepared with a pack of 4 mini Wooly Willys in their briefcase to hand out to kids.  Four dollars well spent.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Beck Davies September 20, 2011, 4:35 am

    OP so sorry you had to deal with that, what a rude rude woman! While it was nice for the woman behind you to come to your defence, she could have handled it better IMO.. I myself would have waited to see how you handled yourself before leaping to your defence, and I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to cause a scene like that, how is that going to help calm a crying child?! Would it have killed the first woman to offer you some help, rather then being such a condescending cow?

    Sounds like the real annoying ‘children’ on that plane were these two women! Both women acted terribly in their own way, I hope all goes well on your next flight!

  • justme June 23, 2012, 4:47 pm

    I read a cracked.com article that discussed topics that instantly turn other people into advice-givers. One was crying children, and why people who have no children always try to offer advice to parents on how to get the child to stop crying (as if the parents haven’t tried everything already). I don’t remember the exact quote, but it was something along the lines of “such people don’t want to face the harsh reality that sometimes there is just no way to shut that noise off” (accompanied by a picture of a crying baby). I think this probably described the 20-something woman.
    The woman sitting behind you just sounded crazy. Her yelling and carrying on probably upset your daughter even more. I can understand wanting to come to your defense if the younger woman had persisted, but it sounds like you had the situation under control. She should have just left it at that.

  • Teddah July 14, 2012, 4:26 am

    Sorry this happened but you never know how kids will behave. When they’re that little they can’t always express how they’re feeling. Is it their ears, did they hit their toe, elbow etc and just want mommy to kiss the boo boo. My niece could go off on a crying fit for the longest time and then you hit what’s wrong and stop instantly. And this was with real tears like she was being murdered.

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