Involuntary Babysitter

June 25, 2009

in Baby & Kid Stories

My husband and I were flying for a nice relaxing vacation. For the first time in 8 years, we left our child at home with family. We get into the plane and directly in front of us is a woman with 5 children. She was sitting in a row that had 3 seats. The aisle seat was occupied. That leaves 2 seats for her and her 5 kids. Did I mention they were all under 5 or 6? The stewardess proceeds to tell her that she has to have at least 4 of the children in their own seat. So one might think that they would escort her off of the plane and ask her to pay for an additional 3 seats. NO.

The stewardess then proceeds to find her 3 older children seats next to other adults. Here’s the kicker – the stewardess then starts to ask if the people in the aisle would babysit for the 5 hours we were on the plane. When she got to the empty seat near me, I said NO WAY. I am not babysitting. I left my child at home so that I would not have to watch a child. She then told me that I had 2 options. Watch the child, or get off of the plane. Unsure if they could do that and not wanting to cause a scene, I said fine, but I was filing a complaint (I ended up with free airfare and an apology letter from the airline).

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura Cardwell June 28, 2009 at 10:24 pm

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat? Really? I would have done the exact same thing you did – I'd ride in the bathroom the whole flight if it meant I got my money back!


Hugh June 29, 2009 at 1:27 am

I really don;t think they can kick you off the plane for refusing to babysit someone ELSE's kids. I would have called her bluff. If anyone would be escorted off it should be the mother who came ill-prepared to account for seating and supervision for HER kids.


SAW June 29, 2009 at 3:21 am

I find it difficult to believe the airline would even board a mother and 5 children with only 2 seats assigned, since infant in arms doesn't work for children old enough to sit with another person in the first place…

Has anyone else noticed the number of obviously fake stories has drastically inclined since this website was featured on CNN? It's beginning to turn what used to be a great site into a titanic joke lately.


GottaLoveIt June 29, 2009 at 8:34 am

I'm sure this one didn't happen because there's no way they would have made it onto the plane without seats.


anon June 29, 2009 at 9:16 am

I agree – you have to have boarding passes. This has fake written all over it.


TheBigM June 29, 2009 at 10:20 am

Truly got to be a fake.


chris June 29, 2009 at 10:36 am

I'm a travel agent and there is no way this is least without a serious error on the airlines side. Only one infant can travel per paying adult..any child over the age of 2 years old must have a seat. No exceptions.


Elisa July 9, 2009 at 4:47 am

Remember we only heard one side of the story.

It might have been completely different words. Imagine for instance that the passenger was far more rude or adament, and actually said they would not sit next to that unaccompanied child (rather than not babysit them)? The FA would then be completely within her rights to demand the passenger either stay there or leave the plane.

And I'm rather more inclined to believe this is closer to what really happened.


Amber May 19, 2016 at 9:55 am

You are limited to 1 lap baby ticket per adult, and all children over the age of 2 require their own seats be purchased, so there is no way this woman was able to get on the plan with only a ticket for herself. IF this story even remotely took place, a big IF, it would make more sense to move the people in the row in front or behind this woman and in her row to allow the children and her to be seated close together. What I can see taking place is the woman and kids all had purchased seats, the airline just completely separated them all and expected that she could somehow parent her children located all over the plane.


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