Passenger Takes On Child Care Duty

September 4, 2009

in Baby & Kid Stories

In 1997 I went on a skiing vacation to Vail. My trip to Vail turned out miserably and I spent it with some really awful and dysfunctional cousins and their equally awful teenage kids… AWFUL!!!!!!! I was in Vail for 8 days and I was desperate to get back to Houston where I lived at the time…

So, I get on my flight back to Houston with a stop over in Dallas. There were two seats empty next to me. I saw a stewardess with two little girls kind of looking around for their seats. Immediately I began praying and begging PLEASE DEAR GOD, no, no, no, not me! A moment of panic and terror for sure! Well, sure enough, she sat them right next to me.

The two little girls were of divorced parents, and were flying back to be with their mother. Let’s call them little Katy that was 4 1/2 and little Susy that was 3 1/2. I spent the flight reading to them, FEEDING them, talking to them, trying to break up arguments between them, disciplining them, one of them had a cold and had cold snots running down her nose, and there I was with the Kleenex. Sit, down, stay, they would not sit still !!!!! They were being young children and I had to play parent and I was not happy. I have dogs!!!!  I like my dogs!!!!  I don’t care for children!! When little Susy was drinking her coke, she began licking her drink like a puppy would drink water… I was telling her, “Now Susy, you cannot drink like a dog!” They were two very young children traveling alone, but why me????

Then Susy and Katy needed to go to the bathroom; that is the part where I said, NO WAY! I called the stewardess and told her the situation and she gave me a really nasty look because she did not want that responsibility either and she KNEW those kids weren’t with me. The lady steward finally took them to go potty…

So, the plane finally landed in Dallas. I said goodbye to the children and then a man that was seated right behind me, and I guess who watched the whole 3 hour ordeal, said “Lady, you’re a saint, you definitely deserve a medal.”

I just wanted to go home and I never want to go to Vail again!!!!!

The stewardess never thanked me! I still have a resentment issue with that steward lady!!!!

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

anom September 5, 2009 at 4:49 am

These are the policies for today, but the age limit has been in place for many years. No airlines allowed kids under the age of 5 to travel alone.

AA-Children under 5 years of age may not travel alone under any circumstances.

NW-Children under the age of 5 are not eligible for unaccompanied minor services and must be accompanied on the same flight and in the same compartment by a passenger at least 18 years of age.

CO-Unaccompanied minors under 5 years of age are not accepted.

DL-Unaccompanied service is required for all children 5–14 years old when not traveling in the same compartment with an adult at least 18 years old or the child's parent/legal guardian.

FL-Children must be at least (5) years of age to travel unaccompanied, and may do so on any flight that carries them directly to their destinations without a change of aircraft.


saw September 5, 2009 at 6:31 am

How much you wanna bet mommy or daddy was in 1st class, and not claiming ownership…


Adam September 5, 2009 at 10:07 pm

It's not like it was your responsibility to attend to the kids. You could have just pretended to take a nap, or read a book, or ignore them all together and give them a bad look if they bothered you too many times. I think it was your fault for making the problem your own ordeal. I hate kids and would have just ignored them had they bothered me.


saw September 6, 2009 at 2:45 pm

Adam… you can't ignore them if they're bouncing all over the place – and face facts – when left alone like that SOMEONE has to do something… is it best to just ignore them and let them make everyone's flight hell – or do you do the right thing and take one for the team.


ps September 7, 2009 at 6:43 am

That was a very nice thing to do. You definitely went above and beyond and have more than earned your right to vent.

And next time go to Breckenridge.


Hugh September 8, 2009 at 12:30 am

You were not required to do what you did, you took it upon yourself. No where would it be necessary for you to tell a child how to drink or not to drink. If you took on this role, there is no reason to complain about it. You could have faked sleep, ignored them, or a myriad of other things. Not wanting to return to Vail is ridiculous, this had nothing to do with the location. Grow up.


saw September 10, 2009 at 4:12 am


Let's look at your last comment – and I'm not trying to name-call here, just point out a few things.

First – YES, she took it upon herself to take care of them. But you have to realize that if she didn't take care of them, and the flight would have been even worse for her as they bounced about and drove her or someone else completely nuts. The fact that she had to do anything at all is the AIRLINE's fault, not hers. So her "flight from hell" was certainly not her own doing. She did the best she could under the circumstances – and she has every right to complain, because the airline wasn't doing IT'S job.

Not wanting to return to Vail is not ridiculous. When you have a bad experience somewhere, regardless of what caused it, sometimes you just don't want to go back – maybe because of the memory of a former bad event, maybe because you want an experience that doesn't have any baggage hanging on it, or expectations that won't be met. It's human nature, not ridiculous.

As for telling her to "grow up", I think she's demonstrated that she's more "grown-up" than many people posting comments here (probably myself included 😉


MRP February 1, 2010 at 3:56 pm

Not sure why it's inconsistent to a) step up and help some kids who are flying alone and b) resent the fact that you had to do it in the first place. Kudos to you for stepping up. Sorry you had to do it. To the haters: I'm sure it's comforting to say 'I'm sorry your parents aren't here, but that's not my problem' to a 5 year old, but that just doesn't really cut it on the human scale, does it?


Glenn R. February 1, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Newsflash: The job title of "Steward/Stewardess" was replaced by Flight Attendant around 1973.


Kirsten June 25, 2011 at 12:42 pm

"Go potty"? Are you seven?


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