Beware Of Row 29 Seat F!

November 10, 2009

in Baby & Kid Stories

After completing a wonderful, action filled, 15 day adventure to Croatia & Montenegro, my Mother and I flew from Zagreb to Frankfurt, Germany with a 3 hour layover, and then flew Lufthansa flight #444 from Frankfurt to Atlanta, GA. Our Vantage Tour guide, Tomislav, had taken very good care of us and after living in Germany for three years and flying Lufthansa many times, I was looking forward to a 10 hour flight of solitude and rest. Mom paid extra for business class, but that was fine since I just wanted to sleep and watch a movie or two.

The tour had been paid for a year in advance so I questioned why I was not assigned a seat for the first leg of the journey. I ended up with a window seat and had a good flight. As soon as we arrived in Frankfurt, we rushed to our departure gate for our next flight and waited quite awhile for the attendants to open the gate to get a seat assignment. Of course I asked for a window or aisle seat, but none were available. The attendant gave me row29 seat F. Little did I know that this would be the row from Hell! Ten very long hours of ear-ringing, trampled-on, stinky-smells, torture, and confinement. To the right of me in seat 29G, sat a woman holding her 14 month old “lap child,” to the left of me in seat 29D was another mother holding her 6 month old “lap child” with a child about four or five in seat 29C, next to her. Visualize this – four seats with three adults and three children. Shouldn’t this be illegal FAA?

Before the plane took off, baby on the left starts screaming which makes baby on the right cry. Immediately I flag down a steward and ask for a seat change. She would have to check to see if there are any available seats. Hatches were latched and all seat belts had been fastened. Again, almost yelling above the wailing and crying, I ask to be moved. “Sorry- the plane is full!”

Once we took off and leveled off the steward approached! Yeah!! There must be a seat after all!! Instead, she pulled out a baby bassinet and attached it to the wall directly in front of us for baby on my right. Then on the left side, another steward pulled out a second baby bassinet and attached it also onto the wall directly in front of our row, trapping me in for the longest flight of my life. Both mothers put their babies in the bassinet and the choir began. In STEREO!!

Baby on the left did pretty well throughout most of the flight, but toddler on the right used the bassinet for her very own trampoline and playground, jumping up and down and using me as her monkey bars. I wasn’t able to raise my viewing screen which is attached to the chair because of the bassinet and all the crap that mother on the right had out for the toddler which also made it impossible to pull the tray up from the arm rest to place a tray on at meal time.

Both mothers had other family members on the flight with them, so mom on the right would leave toddler napping to go visit family in the section in front – out of sight. Toddler had a built in GPS system and would wake up two minutes after mom left crying loudly. I had to tell the steward to go fetch the wayward mom at least twice.

I blame Lufthansa for placing a non-family member on row 29, especially when there ARE other family members that can sit with the mothers and baby(ies). And I blame Vantage for not taking care of their people to the END of the journey by guarantying preassigned seats on the flights.

Beware of row 29 on an Airbus A340-300!! Lufthansa does NOT have the “fine standard of service” that it once had. The 20% savings certificate received is not acceptable and a joke for the experience that I had to incurred on that 10 hour flight from HELL!

I have a suggestion for airline companies that will guarantee a bump in sales. Offer a no-child seating section for adults only. If this appears too politically incorrect, then simply offer a “family” section where you isolate the kids and parents from the adults-only section. That way, those who have kids (along with their messy stinky diapers and screams) can enjoy the company of other families and their kids (along with their messy stinky diapers and screams). The rest of us can then enjoy a child-free, cry-free trip.


{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Hugh November 10, 2009 at 12:41 am

Another revenue raising idea would be a no-whiney, complaining, feeling entitled, child-hater section. We've all heard stories about kids on flights. Sounds like these were just babies, and guess what…babies sometimes cry, despite the best in planning. By your own story, it sounds like these parents had full supplies to try and care for the children, and were probably very unhappy that a miserable PITA (Pain In The A$$) was stuffed in the middle seat between them and their lovely children.


MomOf2 November 10, 2009 at 4:50 am

Did you ever think to ask to change seats with the toddler in 29C? He/she would still have been next to mom – and you wouldn't have been trapped between bassinets!


aaron November 10, 2009 at 4:52 am

Regardless of Hugh's typical criticism, this is indeed a flight from hell. And, as I've said here before, a family section would be a real improvement. I'd pay for it. And, no, I don't hate children. They do cry sometimes despite the best parental efforts. I do agree with Hugh that it is, indeed, insane to assume babies will be silent and perfectly behaved on flights. So, why not do the sane thing, which is provide a family section.


DSD November 10, 2009 at 4:54 am

You would have complained if the toddler didn't have anything to occupy its time, just like you are complaining that all of the child's stuff was in your way. I bet if you politely asked the mother to move some stuff around you would have been able to use your tray and the viewing screen, and just talked to the kid when it woke up from a nap the child wouldn't have been screaming. But no you decided to sit and stew for 10 hours.

Yes it definately qualified as a fight from hell but it doesn't sound like you tried in any way, shape or form to mitigate any of the circumstances you found yourself subjected to.


Suzan November 10, 2009 at 5:21 am


I DID ask Mom on the right to swap seats so she could be in front of the bassinett- but she wanted to be in the ailse. I then ask Mom on the left if she would like to change seats and she didn't want her 4 year old in seat F because of the toddler climbing in and out of the bassinett.

A child hater?? Not quite!! I have two lovely children of my own and teach in our local elementary school.

The fact remains– a non-familly member should NEVER be seated on row 29 with both bassinetts set up!!



Josh November 10, 2009 at 8:41 am

I recently flew to the west coast with my 4 month old on my lap. She did pretty well, but babies inevitably cry. I think it probably bothers me more than anyone else because I'm concerned that we are disturbing other people.

I think it's crappy that neither mother wanted to change seats with you. If you are traveling with a family member, you should sit together and not force people to be squeezed in between you.


ps November 10, 2009 at 10:39 am

You're right that the mothers should have switched seats with the flight attendant at least encouraging the change. And obviously other family members could have accomodated a change as well. Sounds like a tough flight. I guess the roll of the dice came up snake eyes on this one.


david November 10, 2009 at 1:40 pm

wow congradulations you got a 20% vouchar, take it and use it, Lufthansa is still a very good airline, and the row wouldnt make any difference other than its the bulkhead where they put the babies in so that they have the room for the bassinet

and it is legal by FAA regulations, a child under 2 can be a lapchild doesn't need the extra seats, and the other family members could have assigned their seats and chose to sit seperately

i thought you said your mom paid for business class seats? so you wouldnt be stuck in the middle


CLMT Lady November 11, 2009 at 8:03 am

I think he was saying that his mom paid for herself to sit in business class, but he didn't care about sitting in economy because he was just going to sleep/movie watch.


James November 12, 2009 at 5:19 am

I am continually amazed by the entitlement attitude of those people with children. You chose to have children. You chose to fly with them. They are your responsibility….not mine, or the rest of the worlds to endure. If you know your child cannot behave and be quiet on a flight, do not bring it with you. Exceptions can be made for emergencies. But, in most situations, leave the child at home, with a friend or sitter. Or, you, yourself stay home until it is more convenient to fly.

We all pay for our seat. We all have a right to a sensibly quiet flight. Your rights end, where my begin. And, your right to bring the child ends, when you know it will interfere with the rights of others on the plane to have a peaceful flight.

Again, the child is your responsibility, your choice. It is not the world's responsibility to accomodate your needs based on your choices.


Aaron November 12, 2009 at 12:38 pm


Life is going to be very frustrating for you if you take that attitude. Folks have every right to bring their children on flights. Again, the sane thing to do is to have airlines book family sections and adults only sections.


Kyle March 30, 2011 at 3:06 am

They have a right to bring children on a plane, but if "IT" starts screaming, kicking, jumping or bouncing, it should be either
a) not on this flight
b) locked in the bathroom ( gagged and tied up)
c) in a chair that has been bolted onto the wing with rusty bolts
d) dead

Note: I'm not a child hater, as for i am a child, but as a child i do not inconvenience others, i blame the cause, not the helper or the victim. As for i travel a lot often 12 hours cause of my dad. And if there is a spare seat on the plane take it use it to stretch your legs, if not tough. And for a child they should not even try the above or i (a child) will do everything possible to accomplish do c) or d). For even as a child i have no right bothering others.
If you agree please reply.


xxx March 22, 2013 at 7:22 pm

you are a disturbed individual, please seek help and don't attempt to travel by airplane.

I have never hit child, but you would be my first


Donna July 13, 2016 at 11:27 am

Yes. Thank you. We do have to consider others. Drives some batty. Prevention is an ounce of cure. Helps everyone.


Donna July 13, 2016 at 11:28 am

So you know the feeling and can relate to the writer.


Hugh November 13, 2009 at 12:22 am

James…I feel sorry for you. Going through life filled with such hate and anger must not be pleasant. By the way…who the F%#$ are you to decide when and if children may fly with their parents. I fly quite often for work…I have had my share of crying and misbehaved children on flights…they don;t bother me NEARLY as much as misbehaving, rude or obnoxious adults do. As the father of two children, who I have taken on flights since they were babies…sometimes they cry…as a parent, you must try to make an effort to anticipate things to keep them fed, watered, and occupied…despite doing all that, the possibility exists that they will cry. Luckily, mine have been pretty good about not doing it, and are past that age now…rest assured, if some pompous douchebag liek yourself were to say something to me about it…it would be the last thing they said before they needed their jaw wired…of course, being a pretty big and muscular guy, most people wouldn't say anything…especially a hateful, whiney, snivelling coward such as yourself.


ps November 13, 2009 at 2:38 am

James- Gotta agree with Hugh on this one- Kids are kids- Listen, the poster also got screwed by the either clueless or just selfish parents and attendants but hey, that's more an issue of the parents being clueless idiots. My kids have flown since they were infants and once in a while yeah, they acted up. Passengers were usually patient as we did our best to keep them happy. And I was always willing to jockey around seats to accomodate. My kids on transpacific routes were easier to deal with than some of the self important morons I had to deal with on cross country business flights.


James November 13, 2009 at 4:36 am

Wow. A lot of anger there Hugh. And, a lot of assumptions. It sounds as if you have a lot of guilt about the choices you made in life, and your inability to adequately manage your family. (by the way, I am a muscular guy too, and would not have any problem asking you or any other parent, (however politely) to corral your children).

Why should I, who has paid for my seat, be forced to listen to a screaming child, or have a child kick the back of my seat, or have to watch his diapers being changed under my nose?

You guys have proven my point though. You have an entitlement attitude. You chose to have the children, and you expect everyone else in this world to make accomodations for your choices. It may take a village to raise a child….but, you shouldn't rely on the village to do so.

You are no better than welfare mothers expecting the world to accomodate them and their choices…..or, the companies that take bailout money, expecting the government to accomodate their choices…very typical of our society today, that you expect us all to accomodate you.


James November 13, 2009 at 5:38 am

And Hugh,

I hate to wallow in the mud with pigs….but, I'm feeling a little dirty today.

Do you realize with your obnoxious comments, name-calling and posts, that you look like a fool?

Your actions are indicative of someone with many shortcomings in life….be it… lack of success, lack of stature, or lack of size of things below the belt. Seriously, those that talk such big talk are usually overcompensating.

When most read your posts, they simply shake their heads and feel very sorry for your wife, girlfriend, or significant other.

You need to reel it in, because you really do look pathetic. I only hope you don't act this way in public.


ps November 13, 2009 at 7:14 am

Hey James, most of us parents do not have an entitlement attitude. There is no way anyone (especially a third party) should have to deal with the aromatic challenge of diapers needing changing in flight, they have toilets with changing tables for that, or kids kicking or headbutting seats, parents need to keep their kids occupied. As far as crying and screaming, hey, it happens once in a while, just like the occasional drunk next to you or the passenger that takes up a seat and 3 quarters. Every so often you come across callous parents like the poster had to deal with. It's pare of the hazards of cattle car flying these days.


James November 13, 2009 at 7:35 am


Very true. I admit many children that fly are well behaved. Many parents when the children gets fussy, are able to give them a glare or a word, and the child straightens up. These children and parents I do not mind flying with. But, there are those children that are unruly, and parents that are unable to control them….and, those are the children that should not fly.

People accept that there are some places that are inappropriate for a child to be, (late dinner at a nice restaurant, late movie, bar, nightclub, etc…) Heck, most churches even provide a children's service and/or nursery because they know many children are unable to sit still for so long. But, while many parents would never take their child to the above listed places, they don't think twice about putting them on a very small, confined space of an airplane…regardless of the temperament of the child.


The Alchemist November 13, 2009 at 8:59 am

Everyone seems to be missing a simple solution to the problem of lap children on each side, require that everyone on the plane have their own ticket and their own seat. This is also the safer solution. In an emergency landing a child in a car seat is safer (and less of a hazard to the people around them) then a child in a lap.

My (now teenaged) daughter started flying when she was two months old. She has always had her own seat and has never caused anyone a problem.


ps November 13, 2009 at 11:21 am

Alchemist- Agreed. I've always booked seats from my kids. My motives were a little more selfish. I didn't feel like having them on my lap or my wife's lap for a long flight.


Marie November 21, 2009 at 5:37 pm

That IS actually illegal by FAA regulations. You can only have one lap child per row because there are only four oxygen masks above (in a three seat row). If they should be needed, having two lap children means that there are not enough oxygen masks for all the passengers. This is part of why you must tell the airline that you have a lap child ahead of time and can't just show up with them – they must ensure that lap children aren't sitting in the same row.

Major mistake by the airline, and not just for passenger comfort reasons.


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