The Flight Warden

December 5, 2007

in Attendant & Pilot Stories

While flying from Frankfurt to Philadelphia, my family and I encountered a very disgruntled flight attendant. My husband and I, being seasoned travelers in our pre-baby lives, had traveled to Europe to visit family with our son who was just shy of 2. Knowing the headaches of traveling with young children, we had obtained 3 business class seats, although our son qualified for lap-seat.

The beginning of our long leg was fairly uneventful, until our son started to get tired and fussy. Doing everything in our power to keep him calm and quiet (walking, snacking, cuddling, reading, playing), he finally started to fall asleep. Noting that this took no longer than 20 minutes, we felt that we had done our best to keep the peace on the flight. He fell asleep for about 10 minutes when the flight hit turbulence, startling him awake. Again, we did our best to calm him.

Then our flight attendant decided that shushing him in the most obnoxious, in his face, spittle-flying manner was the best way to calm him. Not only did she spit on my husband and child, she scared the crap out of our boy. Then the crying really started. Before this, the whimpering was annoying, now he was screaming. We finally got him down again, asleep for about four and a half hours. Although he was asleep we could hear a child screaming from the back of the plane for most of the flight.

After he awoke, we had set up a play area for him in front of our seats. At that time, a little German boy passed by and noticed the toy area (the same boy who had spent most of the flight screaming in coach), and invited him to play. Finally! The two boys were playing quietly, very content, and his dad went back to his seat.

Then the flight-attendant who loved to scared small children approached us, demanding in a loud voice to tell us who’s child he was. I told her that he was a passenger from the back of the bus, but that the boys were being very good playing in our make shift play area. Her response was that they could not play in this part of the plane, and would have to play together in coach. WHAT?! Where in coach is there room?

So the now scares-children-stuck-up-I-work-in-business-class attendant storms back into coach and fetched the boy’s father. Having to separate the boys from their new found buddies ensues in ear splitting screaming from both business and coach classes. As my husband paces the aisle in front of our seats with our son to calm him, he inadvertently steps back on the same attendants foot, resulting in her screaming out OUCH as loud and as obnoxiously as possible. I should mention that my husband is of smaller stature, weighing about 150, and was only in his socks. The attendant was wearing thick leather shoes and was no taller then he is. The rest of our flight results in her glaring at us with every pass, and no doubt spitting in our breakfast. So much for paying the big bucks to fly.

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Kat November 29, 1999 at 7:00 pm

hummm hello…..what do you call the little cloth btwn coach and first class? IT prevents nothing….I've set in First class and still had to hear a kid in coach, 3 rows back, screaming bloody murder…Give it up Joe, atleast they were trying to calm the kid down.

People need to stop getting upset over the minor things. Your up thousands of feet, what can you do? Except deal with it.


Joe- Atlanta April 11, 2008 at 12:09 pm

Please don't fly with toddlers in business class. People pay a lot to ride up there and relax. I'm not an airline employee but I ask you not to blame the crew because you're family's issues ruined a pleasant flight for a lot of people around you.


The real Paul July 15, 2008 at 10:15 am

And they paid a lot to be there as well Joe.

Its called capitalism, you don't like it buy all the seats up there.

By the way this is coming from a guy that flys a lot and doesn't have kids.


Frank July 15, 2008 at 11:13 am

Most airlines do not allow children at that age to fly either business or first class. People pay primo dollars to have the quiet and peacefullness of business class without the noise of babies. Of course their is more space up front but that does not mean it was designed to be a nursery. Also if they let everyone person or child come up from coach to business during the flight to play or talk then noone would want to book seats in business class. I think you're flight attendant was actually very nice and understanding in your situation.


Deb July 15, 2008 at 4:04 pm

I can't believe some of the comments to these folks. I get frustrated by crying children on planes as much as anyone else, not having children myself, but I also know people with kids need to fly as well. If an airline sells business class tickets to someone with children, then yes, they have as much right to be there as other folks. Sounds to me like these parents were doing everything they could to keep their little one from disturbing fellow passengers and seems like the little guy from coach playing with their son was an ideal solution to having 2 kids crying. The flight attendant involved, and I have friends in the field and know they have a tough job, sounds like a real control freak wench. If not, she'd have seen that the play area could make everyone's flight more enjoyable, but NO, she let her need to be a bitch on wheels override the needs of the the other passengers.


Anonymous October 9, 2008 at 12:01 pm

sounds like someone needs another job!they should cap the length of employment for flight attendants,to many of them in there for the wrong reasons!


Sheila November 21, 2008 at 11:00 am

I am a flight attendant and I have to agree with most of what this passenger had to say about their flight attendant. I always try hard to assist parents with restless children. It is hard for the little ones to sit still, and if playing with a child from coach helped keep them both happy, great!

I don't know of any airline that doesn't allow small children in premium class. If you pay for a ticket, you get a seat. What people often fail to remember is that even though they are in an airplane it is still public transportation.

And what does length of employment have to do with anything? I have seen more bad attitudes from flight attendants flying between 10-15 years than those flying with 20-plus. Length of service has absolutely nothing to do with job satisfaction. Some of the best flight attendants I know have more than 30 years and do a great job (from the passengers' perspective, not mine)


Anonymous March 15, 2009 at 3:04 am

what does length of employment have to do with it?they are burned out,miserable,and dont care.ive have witnessed it many times.the newer ones are just as bad as well.


Robyn April 2, 2009 at 11:35 am

yes, the best part about Joe's comment is the assuming that this couple ruined everyone else in business class's trip. A trip that he had never even heard of until he read this story.

You sir, are a douchebag


J April 2, 2009 at 1:17 pm

Douchebag indeed.


Anonymous April 2, 2009 at 1:46 pm


I can't believe what you said! "I think you're flight attendant was actually very nice and understanding in your situation." Nice? What about that flight attendent was NICE???

And Joe,

Like "the real Paul" said, if you truly want the quiet, you can buy all the seats.


jag April 2, 2009 at 1:47 pm

hey bitchin, get over it. your kid is not special to everyone.


jag April 2, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Frank and Joe are obnoxious AssO's. that is the synopsis of the above comments.


jag April 2, 2009 at 2:28 pm

To 'seasoned travellers' lady, you sound like one pompous, ignorant and the FA are probably two peas in a pod. Glad to hear you had a good flight. Welcome to the real world.


Ken April 2, 2009 at 4:42 pm

These self-described well-seasoned travelers should have known better than to bring a small child into business class. While the FA's actions exacerbated the situation, the root cause of the problem was that the parents decided that it was socially acceptable to have everyone in business class deal with their child. Their actions were perfectly legal, but totally self-centered and inconsiderate. They chose to make others' lives more unpleasant in order to make theirs slightly more pleasant. And if they are well-seasoned travelers, they KNEW that people pay the extra $2000 or more to get into business class in order to fly in a more professional environment. Then she has the gall to complain about so much for paying big bucks to fly!!! Every business class passenger was probably thinking the same thing, but they had no control over their situation.

Did they really think that their kid would be well-behaved for a 9-hour flight? They KNEW that he would end up behaving unruly for at least some portion of the flight.

When these parents go out to a nice restaurant or to a business meeting do they think – Day Care is too much of a hassle, I'll just bring the kid along and set up a play area in the corner of the conference room. Then they claim martyrdom when the kid starts whining and crying and everyone should understand.

News flash – you're parents now, some things are off the menu now. Watching R-rated movies any time of day – off the menu. Going to the opera with the kid – off the menu. Flying business class with the kid – off the menu.

Think of someone else besides you and your kid.


Briana April 2, 2009 at 7:00 pm

Apparently airlines need to underline, italicize, and use big, bold letters for us to see the rule that people with children are not allowed to fly first class. Oh wait, THERE IS NO RULE! The parents were doing the best they could and if you really think that shelling out more money for a ticket entitles you to be a self-righteous asshole, then perhaps your money would be better spent finding another form of transportation.


chris April 2, 2009 at 11:05 pm

Why is it that parents seem to think that they take priority over all others? YOU have a responsibility to do everything in your power to make sure that YOUR child doesnt disturb others. You are adults and you are parents.Get with the program. We are not required to care about of tolerate your children. Same kind of people who go to a restaurant with a small child. if you cant control your child. YOU DONT GET TO GO OUT. Why would you go on a transatlantic flight with a two year old i have no idea. Unless it was urgent business then put it off.

It doesnt matter if its business class or not. Its not a matter of how much you or anyone else payed for the tickets. No one should have to deal with other peoples obnoxious children.


Ken April 3, 2009 at 12:18 am

There are rules and then there is ettiquitte. Nowhere do the airlines print on the ticket higlighted in all caps in bold face and underlined that I'm not allowed to make fart noises all flight long. So someone making fart noises would be OK and anyone who has a problem with that is a self-righteous asshole?

The self-righteous assholes are the parents who know what the ettiquitte in business class is, ignore it because the rest of the world revolves around their children, and then complain that the extra money that they soent on business class was wasted since their flight was less comfortable than it should have been.


LP April 3, 2009 at 2:12 am

Bravo for the FA, I'm tired of spoiling type parents who whine cause everyone else doesnt want to hear their kids,


jaymoney April 3, 2009 at 6:02 am

Fucking Kraut attendants. Next time go to Italy or Holland.


nicole April 6, 2009 at 11:22 am

If the kids were playing quietly they should have been left alone until descent. FA's are suppose to keep the flight pleasant and if no one was complaining about the now quiet kids playing she should have found something to fill her time with…like serving drinks.


Mike April 10, 2009 at 8:48 am

Let's get a few things straight here. I AM a parent with 2 kids, one under the age of 6. I AM the first person to discipline my children – 24 hours a day. They don't misbehave like some of the cretins you see on a plane these days.

That said, those who are doing the whole, "Business class is for those without children" are a bunch of idiots. "Business class" is no such thing – it's merely a different section of an aircraft with different seats and different pricing. Last I checked, no airline in the world had a rule that said, "No children." EVERY seat on an airline is for sale to whomever wants to pay for it. The original posting family actually went to the trouble of buying a seat for junior and, it seems to me, did a pretty good job of keeping junior quiet and non-offensive. The FA, however, had to push and push and act like a total bitch for no reason whatsoever. Is the goal here to keep everyone happy? Then why scare the kids and be mean to them?


Jim April 11, 2009 at 1:35 pm

My turn to weigh in. My twins started travelling long-haul *in Business Class* when they were 18 months old. We, as parents, did *everything* we could to (a) make THEIR trip comfortable and (b) minimize inconvenience on other passengers.

But let's get something straight – we PAID our good money for our Business Class seats, for all four of us.

We had only two ugly encounters in all our frequent, long-haul Business-Class flights: one from LH staff (and we have never flown LH since then), and once from a pathetic CX passenger who had the FA send us up a note demanding us to "stop tormenting" our children.

On the other hand, the CX FA's were always lovely and accommodating.

Reading these sad, tragic comments from child-haters makes me wonder what went wrong in your youth or adulthood to make you all so embittered. Flying with kids isn't easy. Both my wife and I have on numerous occasions "helped out" other parents to their exceeding gratitude.

Also, normally in most civilized airlines' Business Class amenities bags, you get earplugs. Use them and shut the hell up.


Steve April 19, 2009 at 11:55 am

Chris, I agree that you are not required to care about someone's kids, but it is also true that no one is required to care about you.


Onslow April 20, 2009 at 12:03 pm

The airlines should not need a rule about no children in business class- the parents should know this already. Book coach when you have kids and then do absolutely everything in your power not to disturb your fellow travelers. There is no "rule" that farting when seated in a plane is rude behavior either, but people should know without being told!


Sarah April 25, 2009 at 6:01 pm

It makes some people feel powerful when they do something they know will disturb other people. They are the assholes who usually look for loopholes and then gleefully tell you that you cannot do anything about it because it's not in the fine print.

Personally, I would extremely dislike travelling in business class with other passengers' children. On one flight, I left my iPod in my checked luggage, and had to listen to one child cry and cry and cry all through a 6 hour flight in the middle of the night. When I travelled while still a child, I did not suffer from the rapidly growing collection of children's disorders, ailments and "tired fussiness" that parents seem to want their fellow travellers to excuse. Today's children are simply the most pampered humans on the planet.

However, these parents were doing their utmost to keep their child in check, and the flight attendant seemed to want to make everyone on board miserable. She should have been fired as soon as she got off the plane. FAs are supposed to make your flight as comfortable as possible, and this one had the opposite goal in mind. What a bitch.


Anonymous May 16, 2009 at 3:07 pm

I don't care about you and you don't care about me. I do care about my kids and I don't care if you do. This happens every day all around us everywhere. So what? Suck it up, s**t happens and who better than an adult to control themselves. I know I have to help my kids do this constantly, but you would figure that since you have already had your childhood you could just calm yourself down. Perhaps you should try to grow up all over again. Ha!


Atari May 30, 2009 at 7:13 pm

If your child is above the age of three, then I recommend this for silence:

After the first TEN minutes of him not shutting up, because he's too young to have an opinion, you don't say anything else to him.

Silently, grab his arm, and haul him into the bathroom.

Give him a good, firm spanking on the rear end.

Then, you squat down so that you are eye-level with him, look him dead in the eyes with a calm gaze, and say quietly, "Now, we're going to go back to our seats. If you act up, again, you're going to get another spanking just like the one you just got. Then we'll go back out, and if you misbehave again, you'll get another spanking until you learn to be respectful to me and the people around you."

You see, he will now be much more afraid of a beating, and much more respectful of you.

And this is usually after only the first spanking. Subsequent spankings should generally be slightly softer, as the flesh in the area you've already whipped him may be tender.

I NEVER needed to be told twice after an experience or two like that.

And although for ten minutes I might hate my parents, I usually calmed down and tried to be the greatest angel in the world, afterward. Not out of FEAR but because I wanted to stop thinking about how I was bad.

Good luck!


Traytable May 31, 2009 at 8:17 am

The FA's rude behaviour cannot be excused. HOWEVER, unfortunately allowing two children to sit on the floor for an extended period of time is not allowed by most airlines due to safety resons. Children can be stepped on, or flung into the air in the case of unexpected turbulence.

As the second child was from coach, the airline is reasonable in asking that the children go to coach to play, as the second family has not paid to use the space in business class. It's the same when two colleagues are on the same flight, one in coach and one in business. If they want to eat lunch together unfortunately all we may offer is to serve them both their alloacted meals in coach, and bring the business passenger business class drinks, until they no longer want to sit together, whereupon the passenger who has the seat in business may return to it.

Airlines can't go letting just anyone sit up there, no matter the circumstance. They're a business, not a charity.


MEGANT August 30, 2010 at 10:21 am

All of you people who are saying children shouldn't fly in business or first class need to get a private jet and shut up! You are flying on PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION. Its like a bus with wings, you just payed a little more for a bigger seat, it doesn't put you in some magical cone of silence.


College Kid November 4, 2010 at 6:49 am

its private transportation, but yes, i agree, just becaues you paid more doesn't mean you get to be baby free. Breeders are everywhere, deal with it.


WellTraveled August 7, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Atari You Are the cruelest person I have ever heard of. It was year 2009 NOT 1909 YOU ARE CRUEL!


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