Link to jump to start of content The Seattle Times Company Jobs Autos Homes Rentals NWsource Classifieds
The Seattle Times Reader comments
Traffic | Weather | Your account Movies | Restaurants | Today's events

January 25, 2007

Screaming children on planes

Comments: 21

What do you think about the recent removal of a family with a screaming toddler from an airplane? Share your thoughts.

Airline defends removal of family with temper-tantrum toddler

Screaming kids? Some soothing notions

Your comments

Responses will be held for review, and we'll publish a selection.

The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of other authors or itself.

Your phone number and e-mail address will be used only if we have a question about your comment. It is not stored for any other purpose. See our privacy statement.

By submitting content for publication by The Seattle Times Company, online or in print, you agree to abide by our terms of service.

Selected comments

If an adult is even irritable with a hostile flight attendant, they can get arrested these days. Why should an entire airplane have to put up with a shrieking three-year-old because the parents are ineffectual and overindulgent?

Posted by C. R. at 05:27 AM, Jan 26, 2007

I applaud the airline. If, after 15 minutes, the child was still not cooperating, it was only fair to the other passengers and the airline to go ahead.

Posted by Cindi DeKoker at 05:52 AM, Jan 26, 2007

I think AirTran was being very generous in allowing them to fly the next day for free and providing vouchers on top on that. Parents need to learn how to control their children.

Posted by Corey at 09:24 AM, Jan 26, 2007

It is an FAA safety rule that everyone is seated with a seat belt before a plane can move from the blocks. If this kids tantrum is allowed to derail the entire schedule of everyone on board, the family should leave. Parents must learn to control their children at least when safety is involved.

Posted by Linda at 09:29 AM, Jan 26, 2007

It's about time

Posted by jim grant at 10:09 AM, Jan 26, 2007

The airline did what they had to do. Hopefully, the family learned something from this

Posted by Mark Gibbs at 10:36 AM, Jan 26, 2007

I agree with the airlines to remove a passenger(s) not willing to follow the FAA rules. The parents had a responsibility to the other passengers and the airlines and they choose to ignore it. Too many people pick and choose the rules based upon their comfort levels. The rules are in place to protect everyone including a self indulgent couple with a spoiled toddler. I fully support any airline that adheres to the FAA rules and acts in behalf of the entire plane rather than try to please a few clueless passengers. Our freedom to allow people to break the rules was taken away when 9-11 happened and no one should forget that.

Posted by jackie at 11:29 AM, Jan 26, 2007

The airline was correct in removing the family with the tantrum throwing toddler. Although this was unfortunate for that family, there were 112 other passengers being inconvienced. The parents should have taken the initiative, removed themselves from the flight, and rescheduled on a different flight. Traveling with small children is risky. It is the responsibility of parents to remove their unruly children from situations that are causing inconviences to others.

Posted by Occasional Passenger at 11:32 AM, Jan 26, 2007

The airline was correct. I know that children can behave badly when they are sick, and that needs to be considered, but the problem here seems to be parents who are unwilling to be the adults. This child has had two years to learn that she has no choice about being buckled into a car seatbelt. Apparently, what she has learned instead is that she rules the roost.

Posted by V.C. at 06:09 AM, Jan 27, 2007

I agree with the airline, except for reimbursing the parents and providing them with vouchers. That's like rewarding a 3 year-old with a cookie for having a tantrum!!! The airline was well within it's rights, and if I had been on that plane I would have had a few things to say after being delayed 15 minutes.

Posted by No Brats at 08:41 AM, Jan 27, 2007

I totally agree with the crew's decision. When parents cannot control their child's unfortunate and unsafe behaviors on a plane before takeoff, the crew must report and make a "prompt" judgement call to eliminate the cause. Any old fashioned - "childish" - compassion towards an adverse, potentially dangerous situation ocurring in public places has been intolerable since 9/11. The crew and airlines should be specially recognized in this case.

Posted by C C Shih at 06:51 PM, Jan 27, 2007

I, too, applaud the airlines. Parents need to control their children's inappropriate behavior...period. How selfish for those parents, with their lack of parenting, to affect everyone else's schedules. Air Tran was more than generous with them!

Posted by Jenn at 12:07 PM, Jan 28, 2007

Hurrah! I applaud the airline's willingness to do something about the situation, an action I've wished to see taken many times. I see no reason why the airline should give the parents vouchers for free flights, as if rewarding them for their ineptitude, as it was already above and beyond the airline's responsibility to allow the family to try again the next day.

Posted by Gena at 10:35 PM, Jan 29, 2007

I believe the airline had every right to remove the family from the flight. Passengers regardless of age need to follow the rules. Parents must keep control of their children, afterall that is part of being a parent. I also agree with others that the airline should not have compensated this family.

Posted by Mike at 07:19 AM, Feb 01, 2007

All too often childrens' poor behavior is overlooked and excused. Parents have a responsibility to teach their children appropriate behavior and when it affects the safety of other passengers, the crew had no other choice but to remove the family. It's about time.

Posted by Julia at 12:54 PM, Feb 01, 2007

I fully support the airline. Not only are there strict safety rules, the parents need to understand the delay and disturbance affected more than 100 other people. Every airline is struggling to survive so being late is not going to help matters.

AirTran waited more than 15 minutes plus offered the family another flight and free tickets for later flights. They were more than reasonable, despite what this family cost to AirTran.

How much longer would be a reasonable amount of time to wait after already waiting an extra 15 minutes? What if waiting 5 more minutes turned into 1 hour, 2 hours?

Posted by Michelle at 07:57 AM, Feb 02, 2007

I fly between Seattle and Hawaii several times a year and more often than not there is a young child crying uncontrolably during the flight. While I understand their problems in "clearing their ears", I often see the parents paying little or no attention to the crying child. One suggestion: put all the children under 5 years of age, along with their families, in the back of the plane so any problems can be localized rather than spread out throughout the plane.

Posted by Charles M. Carter at 07:06 PM, Feb 02, 2007

I agree that the airline did the right thing. However any parent knows that you can't ALWAYS keep your toddler in line, whether you are a great parent or not.

Posted by AS at 11:33 PM, Feb 10, 2007

I agree with the airline and thought it especially gracious that they reimbursed the family's cost and offered free tickets to the family. Although I understand how kids will be kids, the airline allowed the parents more than enough time to get their child under control. It can't always be about the precious child, and waiting for him to pull himself together on his own timetable. This little girl was 3; she needs parental intervention and guidance.

Posted by Laura at 12:32 PM, Feb 27, 2007

I am so glad the airline acted! I am only sorry they felt the need to apologize and compensate the family with free tickets! It's not their responsibility to cater to parents with an ill-behaved child. Plus, I'm sure that child would have made everyone within earshot completely miserable for the entire flight. Why punish the other 200 passengers?

Posted by M.M. at 12:44 PM, Feb 28, 2007

The reason that children scream and cry on airlines is becuase of their underdeveloped bodys. the pathway between their ears and their mouths - the passage way we all use to unblock the bubbles in our ears - is not developed enough to allow the change in air pressure. the scream because, for them, it hurts quite a lot.
of course, if the child is over a year and is simply throwing a fit, then actions might be justified.
but remember next time you glare at the little child screaming on a plane that it hurts a lot for them!

Posted by Maeve at 03:10 PM, Apr 04, 2007