Plane horror as ‘rude passenger’ furious at mum with ‘delightful’ baby

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A passenger shared her recent experience with a “rude plane passenger” on the parenting forum Mumsnet. The woman and her husband were coming back from Spain earlier this month with their 18-month-old son from a last-minute holiday which they took after they had a “massive emotional and financially” difficult year.

After the “wonderful” December trip, they arrived at the Spanish airport and got on the bus that had to take them to the plane.

The woman explained that as “most of the bus was almost empty”, she took the opportunity to sit on one of the seats with her toddler in his pram.

“An older couple got on after us and proceeded to (loudly) call me rude for feeling entitled to sit down. Bear in mind that I was there first, the seat was empty and there were plenty of others, I am heavily pregnant and have painful sciatica (not that this should matter),” she said.

The woman reportedly asked the couple if they would like to sit, but “they either didn’t hear me or pretended not to”.

After this, they boarded the plane and found their seats. “Everything is calm and my son is happily reading his books on my husband’s lap but the couple from the bus get on and (again loudly) grumble that ‘they’re sat right behind us, typical’ as they settle into the row in front of us.”

The annoyed mum continued: “They then proceed to have a conversation about whether they should ask to be moved away from the child. I am getting a bit irritated by this point as it seems to be that the only offence we have committed is simply existing with a child in a public place, but I decide to not let it bother me.”

Many people have had difficult experiences with small children on planes and it is not unusual that passengers try to avoid being seated next to children.

However, the woman had “confidence” in her son’s ability to manage a short flight with no fuss. 

“My son has always been a wonderful traveller and my partner and I are always prepared with all the things he needs to be comfortable and be as entertained as possible whilst on board. We are lucky that my son has never cried or fussed on a flight and didn’t on this one,” she explained.

As far as she was concerned, the woman said, her son was being a “delightful passenger”. However, at one point “he took an interest in the cup holder on the seat in front and pulled this down”.

After he did this twice, his father stopped him by distracting him with a game, “not before I saw the man in the seat in front literally wincing and telling his wife ‘see, I’m going to say something’.”

The woman continued: “In fact, every time my son spoke (I’m talking saying the word ‘snack,’ ‘Peppa’ for his cuddly toy or repeating words in the book) the man would physically wince. His wife would then tell him to ‘leave it, just leave it’. Well, he didn’t leave it.”

About 30 minutes into the flight, the woman got up to go to the toilet and when she got back into her seat, her son asked for a cuddle and when she “hauled the pregnant body and son back into our cramped window seat I accidentally knocked the seat in front of me with my elbow”.

The woman claimed that the man in front immediately turned around and said to her quite aggressively: “I’m only going to say this once, keep your f*** child from kicking my seat and shut them up whilst you’re at it.”

The woman added: “I was absolutely shocked and tried to explain that it was me who’d knocked his seat, not my son, that it had been an accident and that I wasn’t aware he’d been making any noise but I’d happily stop him the best I could if he did.

“The man interrupted and told me that I was an irresponsible parent and shouldn’t have a child on the plane if I can’t ‘control it’.”

The woman and her husband were really annoyed but the man got completely irate at this and threatened to “f** up my partner” when he got to the airport. “He even raised his elbow as if going to hit him until another passenger stepped in to tell him to calm down,” she claimed.

The passenger continued: “I was really upset so I asked the flight attendant if we could be moved elsewhere which they thankfully accommodated really quickly.

“However, for the rest of the flight, I could hear the couple loudly complaining about us and our ‘entitlement’ and how this wouldn’t have happened if I had put my child in his own seat (he’s under two so legally has to sit on my lap). I have never experienced this attitude from other people before when being out and about with my child and it really shook me up.”

After the incident, the woman’s friends questioned whether or not she is just immune to her child’s irritating noises but “he was honestly reading books, watching a programme or sleeping for the entire flight,” she said.

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