As the proud father of one, I’ve undergone a radical transformation when it comes to baby on airplanes.
I think we can all concede this, at least: when (almost all) babies cry, they cannot help it. Whether due to changes in air pressure or being in a new place or being unable to move, it is no wonder babies cry once in awhile when flying.
But there’s a parallel issue that I would NOT place in the same category. That’s an older child making noise.
On our way to Hawaii earlier this week, a child and his mother were sitting behind us. The kid must have been five or six years old and was playing video games on either an oversized cell phone or video game device.
He had the sound turned way up and was not using headphones.
It was EXTREMELY ANNOYING.
I gave his mother too much credit, perhaps, but held my tongue while the aircraft was on the ground, hoping she would do the courteous thing and turn the sound off. This despite hearing his electronic beeps and dings drown out the safety video.
We took off and the noise continued. Finally, I turned around and asked the lady (very politely) if she would please tell the child to use headphones or turn the sound off.
She seemed embarrassed (and I can actually empathize with that) and also a tad annoyed. She told her son to turn off the sound and he did.
Problem abated, right?
Five minutes later the sound was back on. After letting it go for a few moments, I turned around again. This time, the woman was “sleeping” and did not respond to my “excuse me” statements.
Meanwhile, the little brat continued to play loudly.
I hit the FA call button. Suddenly, the sound stopped before a FA arrived.
Children are welcome in all cabins of airplanes as far as I am concerned. I also do not fault babies for crying. But when older children make noise…indefensible. Simply indefensible. How would you have handled the situation?