Separation Anxiety

April 6, 2010

in Baby & Kid Stories

I was traveling with my two year old from Denver to Toronto. When we got to ticketing they put us in seats eleven rows apart, and said sorry we can’t do anything, you will have to talk to the stewardess. As we boarded I took up the same conversation with the stewardess, who told me they were too busy seating passengers and she could not help, try asking the passengers next to one of your ticketed seats.

I had one ticket for the front row bulkhead seat (normally kept for parents with young kids), and asked the two very large suits if they would mind swapping seats. One individual ignored me, and the second gave me a very quick and curt “no.” So I strapped my son in and left for my other seat at which time my son started howling. Needless to say the stewardess and the passengers found a solution to our problem VERY quickly. They still felt it was my fault (even though I originally booked seats together and it was clear the other passenger was a young child), and were very unhappy with me.

They wanted me to take seats eleven rows back, but I insisted I was fine with the arrangement THEY had given me, and my son could sit alone in the first row and I would check up on him periodically. Finally, reluctantly they convinced both large travellers to move, and we had the front row to ourselves. By the time our flight levelled off my son was sound asleep until touchdown.

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

Salamandra April 6, 2010 at 5:40 pm

BRAVO! I will do it too!!! Airlines eventhough you buy and have asdigned seats the employees at the counter on airports change it always and don' bother to verify.


Bonnie April 7, 2010 at 2:32 am

I like this!! I just wish I'd thought of it when they moved me, my husband, our 3 year old, and our not quite 1 year old into seats all over the flipping plane even thought we'd purchased assigned seats together… After much ranting & raving, my husband and 3 year old ended up somewhere in the back while our infant and I ended up at the front of the plane. Oh and then they wouldn't let us use a car seat of the infant & threw an unholy fit because we hadn't checked it as luggage (even tho we'd used it on all the flights on the trip up until that one)… Frankly, I don't care if I **never** have to fly again with all the crap that they put you through!


MomOf2 April 7, 2010 at 4:52 am

I'm glad it worked out for you…..!!!! I love that they wanted to blame you for the mix up. It just goes to show you that some people will find any excuse to say "children shouldn't fly" or that "the parents are at fault."


MomOf1 April 7, 2010 at 7:09 am

Obviously the airline should have given you the seats together that you had requested, and they should have assisted you in attempting to rectify the situation right away.

However, when did it become the other passengers' fault that the airline screwed up? Why wasn't the seating they offered you eleven rows back doable for you? You had to throw the temper tantrum and get your way like a spoiled little princess. And how, as a mother, were you going to be OK leaving your two year old child unattended sitting next to strangers on a plane??? Again, the actions of a spoiled little princess.


DSD April 8, 2010 at 4:37 am

When did she blame the other passangers? When did she throw a tempertantrum? She politely aksed if the people who would be sitting around her child would be willing to switch seats and accepted their answer. Instead of getting into a hissy, she put her child into his seat and went and took her seat. If she had thrown a tempertantrum she would have been removed from the flight.

Also she knew good and well that those men would change their tune when they reaized that they would be sitting next to a two year old.


MomOf1 April 8, 2010 at 7:10 am

Here's the temper tantrum:

"They wanted me to take seats eleven rows back, but I insisted I was fine with the arrangement THEY had given me, and my son could sit alone in the first row and I would check up on him periodically."

When she was offered the seats together 11 rows back, WHY WAS THAT NOT GOOD ENOUGH? Instead of taking her kid and sitting together in perfectly fine seats, she elected to INSIST on hassling more people. Remember, at this point at least one person had already agreed to switch his/her seat to accommodate her. Instead, she would leave her kid by himself for a flight? That's not traumatizing to a two year old… And why do assume she Politely asked the two men? And why were the two men somehow wrong to wish to sit at the seats they were assigned? How was it their fault they were seated there?


Owen April 8, 2010 at 10:39 am

I agree…good catch. She sounds like an entitlement freak.


Jim April 7, 2010 at 8:22 am

Really…you left your terrified child next to someone else to prove a point…I guess you won't be receiving a Mother of the year award.

And, I agree with the above poster…why exactly is it the other passengers fault on the plane, that the airline screwed up? Remember, they too may have booked their flight and reserved their seats in advance…just because the airline screwed up your seats, does not automatically mean that someone else should have to inconvenience themselves for your sake.

I am truly amazed at the entitlement attitude of so many parents….they expect the world to make allowances for them, because they chose to have children…and, then they chose to fly with them. The children are your responsibility…not the worlds, or the rest of the people on that plane…living in a civilized society, everyone has a right to the seat they paid for, and a reasonably quiet and uneventful flight…to subject the other passengers to your child's screaming etc… is rude, inconsiderate and trashy.

-Your issue was with the airline…you shouldn't have punished the other passengers for the airline's mistake

-The other passengers reserved their seat too…you shouldn't expect them to give up their good seat for yours.

-Choosing to fly with a two year old child is quite selfish of you and inconsiderate of others…unless it is an emergency, wait until the child is old enough to understand how to behave, before subjecting a trapped, plane full of people to your child's mood swings.

-It is your child…your responsibility…don't expect the rest of us to make accomodations for you.


DSD April 8, 2010 at 4:54 am

Again what was she supposed to do. Nobody from the airline was willing to fix the situation. As the airline had things arranged SOMEONE other than mom was going to be sitting next to junior. You even admit that the airline screwed up, so why are you blaming the parent? She didn't force anyone to do anything other than what the airline had scheduled.

"I am truly amazed at the entitlement attitude of so many parents.." What entitlement? entitlement would have been her standing in the aisle demanding the seat, instead she politely asked and accepted their answer. Someone in her family was going to sit their. It totally makes more sence to put the child in the forward row and then go take the seat farther back. Otherwise she would have had to go agains the flow of boarding passangers to get to the bulkhead seat after putting her child in row 11.

"living in a civilized society, everyone has a right to the seat they paid for, and a reasonably quiet and uneventful flight…to subject the other passengers to your child’s screaming etc… is rude, inconsiderate and trashy."

Your right and she didn't force anyone to do anything they didn't want to. She did what the airline wanted. And please re-read the OP, the child slept the entire flight bothering nobody.

"-It is your child…your responsibility…don’t expect the rest of us to make accomodations for you."

She accepted it and did everyting in her power to make sure that there were no issues. It was the AIRLINE who expected others to accomodate her child.

May God have mercy on your soul when you have children. Karma is a bitch and for your sake I hope you don't have to turn into a hypocrite, with a howling child on a flight you have no choice but to take.


Jim April 8, 2010 at 8:46 am

1) She should have booked another flight, where she could fly sitting next to her child, rather than leaving it ALL BY ITSELF…THE CHILD IS 2 YEARS OLD!

2) Entitlement attitude that the rest of the plane should have to endure her child's screaming, because she was proving a point. She chose to fly with a two year old…she accepted the challenges associated with that…which could be your seat assignments being messed up. Her responsibility …she is not entitled to anyone elses seat because the airline screwed up her ticket….she is not entitled to pleasantries and people giving her a pass for a noisy child, because she chose to fly with him.

3) She did force the other people to listen to her child's screaming by leaving it alone in a seat THE CHILD IS 2 YEARS OLD. Further flying with a 2 year old is ridiculous….you do not know how the child will behave in a cramped, closed environment, and if the child misbehaves you have no options.

And, I do have children. And, they are mostly very well-behaved. However, when they were young, and cranky and tired, they did whine, etc… I realized their limitations, and I never flew with them….until they were old enough to reasonably know how to behave for extended periods of time…and, old enough to know to heed directions from their Mother and I. When long trips were necessary…we took vacation time, and drove across country. For the first 5 years of their life…we did not fly with them. Because we had children, we made sacrifices. That is what having and raising children is about! I did not expect the "village to raise my child".

And, I would never sit my 2 YEAR OLD CHILD by a stranger…and essentially abandon him. This would absolutely terrify the child….espec ially on a unknown type of adventure like a plane! This was wrong. Wrong to the child. And, wrong to the people who had to endure the child's screams.


xxx April 12, 2013 at 12:40 am

so after she rebooks the airline can do exactly the same thing and split them up again even though she would obviously request the seats together AGAIN

you are so stupid you must be an airline employee


Amber May 18, 2016 at 10:00 am

What guarantee is there that changing flights wouldn't result in the same fuck up by the airline? She pre-booked and paid for bulkhead seats together, it's not her fault they made a mistake. Flying with child happens, sometimes beyond the control of those involved. To say parents should never fly with their kids because the kids could potentially act up is absurd. Adults act up just as often, if not more often, then children. What's to say that the stranger next to you isn't going to be an unruly asshat? There is no guarantees in life. You cannot predict how others will behave, adults included, and by your own statements that means since there is a possibility of anyone acting up then maybe you shouldn't ever fly just in case.


rerere April 7, 2010 at 8:58 am

what airline?


Abe Ortion April 7, 2010 at 9:57 am

People like you are the reason there should be a separate section for parents and kids, hopefully in the cargo hold where the rest of us don't have to sit near your sticky fingered booger eater or listen to them shriek like demonic hordes.


rerere April 7, 2010 at 11:22 am

Amen to that!


DSD April 8, 2010 at 4:55 am

The child slept the entire flight. He was only grumpy when his mother calmly did what she was instructed to do by the airline. The child slept the entire flight.



DSD April 8, 2010 at 4:56 am

People like you are the reason we should have forced steralization.


rerere April 8, 2010 at 9:46 am

People like you are the reason that we have jails and cops. And mental hospitals.


bobbert June 18, 2010 at 6:16 pm

so you want to put a child and it's mother in a cargo hold for them to suffocate of freeze to death? and they're the ones who are wrongs?


Karl April 7, 2010 at 11:47 am

I get anoid when parent(s) bring their damn babies, little kids to the movies or library and they have a tantrum.


bobbert June 18, 2010 at 6:20 pm

you were once a "damn baby" weren't ou. you probably also threw tantrums and did all the stuff you hate .


Never January 12, 2015 at 12:49 am

That may be true, Karl was a "damn baby", it doesn't mean he has to like or put up with the tantrums or everything else. I used to be an infant, doesn't mean I want one or like them.


Amber May 18, 2016 at 10:03 am

You know that movies and libraries are also for children. Most libraries have story time or some other similar set up meant for young kids to come and enjoy, movie studios also make kids movies for the very purpose of kids enjoying them at the theatre. Sometimes kids act out, it's what they do, even the best behaved child will have some moments of crying and tantrums, you don't like it stay home. Adults act up more then children ever do.


Tracy April 7, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Could've been worse – I was flying once with my 3 year old daughter and they overbooked the flight. We had confirmed assigned seats weeks before the flight but when we got to our stop-over I was informed that the flight was overbooked and they could only put my daughter on the flight. They gave me the option of "take it or leave it". Luckily someone didn't show and we were both able to get on the flight but it was ridiculous that they expected for me to put my 3yo on the flight then take the next flight home. What was she supposed to do sit and wait for me at the airport????


david April 7, 2010 at 5:46 pm

what many people dont realize is that "confirmed assigned seats" are not actually confirmed or assigned…..yes the majority of the time you get the seats that were requested, but it isnt a given or a definate, the airlines generally stick to the seats the passengers request but by no means does it mean that those seats are yours, the seat assignment isnt a right its more of a privoledge

essentially there is no such thing as a confirmed seat assignment, you may have confirmed seats, but not seat assignment


DSD April 8, 2010 at 4:30 am

To all of the children haters, please LEARN TO FUCKING READ. The OP CLEARLY stated that the child slept the entire flight. Let me state that again, THE CHILD SLEPT THE ENTIRE FLIGHT. So quit your blood clot crying. We get it; you don't like children. But the child was NOT the issue on this flight.

The problem was the airline booking a mother and child into different rows. Your pissed that the mother did exactly what the airline wanted, she politely asked the people sitting around her child if they would change seats (all be it to a worse seat) and when they refused then she went to her assigned seat. She knew what would happen; that she wouldn't actually be sitting away from her child. From the ticketing agent through to the flight attendants NOBODY was willing to do anything. The OP didn't throw a tempertantrum, she just rolled with it. It wasn't until the reality of the situation bitch slapped the two men (they certainly weren't gentlemen) that anyone would do anything.

Airlines are required to collect all kinds of data on their ticketed passangers including their traveling companions, and AGE…. Think about that they know that there is a passanger who, in this case is 2, traveling with a parent. They then assing them to two differend rows…

The way I see it she had two options, she could roll with it, ask for some help from the airline agents (which she did), or throw a tempertantrum. Infering from the responces , most of the posters to this thread would have chosen the latter, but this lady had class.

And no not flying is not an option. You just need to GET OVER IT. Parents will fly with children. 99.9% of us will do everythign in our power to keep our little darlings from disturbing you, but shit happens. And don't blame the majority for the short comings of a few. Realize that most of us are stressed out from the moment we wake up knowing we are flying with our children later in the day, to getting to our destination, just because we don't know what may happen and we dont' want to be "that family".


MomOf1 April 8, 2010 at 7:16 am

"politely asked the people sitting around her child if they would change seats (all be it to a worse seat) and when they refused then she went to her assigned seat."

You blindly miss the OP's statement that even though people did offer to switch seats with her, and have her and the kid sit together in 11th row, she DECLINED THE OFFER, and carried on with her plan on INSISTING to sit at the bulkhead seats. Little princess, wah wah wah.


Amber May 14, 2010 at 9:23 am

If i had to put up with the way the airline was treating her i would have done the same, at a certain point you just want a little bit of revenge and making them do it her way after being so unwilling to help before was an easy vengeance to take.

I bet if she's been offered any kind of help at the beginning she would have gladly taken the farther back seats but seeing as no one wanted to help till it was them who were being inconvenienced it wasn't the worst thing she could have done.

And what is with everyone getting so up in arms? stop cussing it's just a story on the internet

Breath deep and calm down


Amber May 18, 2016 at 10:08 am

If she paid for bulkhead seats she should get bulkhead seats. You pre-book and pay extra for better seats, she did so. The airline fucked up and didn't want to take responsibility for it, why should she lose the extra money she paid and take worse seats further away from the washrooms and with less space for her child and his carseat? If she pre-booked bulkhead seats then obviously one of the gentlemen that had been seated there had not pre-booked or paid for bulkhead, meaning that one should have been moved to the more cramped seat.


Owen April 8, 2010 at 10:46 am

why are you fighting the OP's battles for her? And you continue to ignore the fact that she was offered perfectly good seats and refused them, and inconvenienced innocent parties so that she could get the seats SHE wanted. She is an entitlement freak pure and simple.

I would never have behaved like that when my kids were young and I am a father of 2, no child hater. I'd say the child hater (or rather child USER or manipulator) is the one who abandons her 2 yo knowing that he'll start screaming once Mom is out of sight.


meme April 8, 2010 at 4:42 am



Rachael April 8, 2010 at 11:22 am

I already posted this on another story, but I think that this applies here as well:

I don’t have kids and I also become annoyed when kids cry on planes….but….kids are kids. For all the posters who think that parents should not fly with kids under 5 are being selfish themselves. Do you really think that a person who has a child on one side of the country should wait 5 years to introduce their children to the rest of their family on the other coast? Crying kids are annoying as hell and i’ve had my fair share of grievences on planes, but I will certainly be flying when I have a baby and go visit my many relatives on the East Coast to show them off. Get over it and realize that both sides have to make concessions. Parents need to look after their children and fellow passengers need to grow a heart and just endure their suffering for a measly couple of hours.


Jim April 8, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Now, why do we have to endure the suffering for someone else's children?

We have our own children, our own responsibilities. We take care of our children, and do not subject others to their bad behaviors, etc…

I raise my children. They are respectful. They are conscientious, and basically good kids. I cannot say that about many other children. I cannot correct or parent someone elses children…so, therefore I should not have to endure their bad behavior. Plain and simple.

If you have a young child…they will be unpredictable….do not fly unless it is an emergency. It is rude to subject others to your children. Relatives can fly to you. You can drive to them…or, if it is so important…move to be near them. But, your children, your responsibility….your role is to raise them, parent them, correct them…..not mine. And, not mine to endure.

It is very selfish for someone to bring a small child on a plane. You are not entitled to make someone elses flight miserable….just because you want your little Johnny to see his Grandma….and, you are too lazy to drive.


Rachael April 8, 2010 at 4:11 pm


Refamiliarize yourself with a map of the US. My family lives 3,000 miles away. Drive there when I have kids? Laughable.

Ask every person in my family (even the ones who are struggling financially) to fly here when i can visit them all at once? Hilarious.

Your insinuation that your children don't throw unexpected tantrums? LMAO.

Also, if I move to be closer to my family I move away from my husband's family. Where would we be? Same situation…getting on a plane to visit.

Flying is annoying. Period. Everything annoys me down to the mouth breather who sits next to me and keeps "brushing" my leg with his hand. Do what I do….close your eyes, grit your teeth, and relax once you get off the plane.


Jim April 9, 2010 at 3:29 am

I never insinuated that my children didn't throw tantrums….they did when they were young. As such, I did not fly with them. I was very selective with the restaurants we would choose, and what time of day, we would go, etc…I would never purposely subject other people to my children's tantrums….especially, on a plane …where you do not have the option of picking the child up and going to another room.

Now they are older, they behave accordingly, and it is not an issue.

But 3000 miles….you could drive that in a few days….use your vacation time to drive to visit relatives once a year if it is so important to you. Don't inconvenience others because you think you are entitled to fly with your unpredictable children.

You chose to have children. You chose to live where you live. Not my problem. But, your unpredictable children screaming on a plane becomes the problem of everyone that is subjected to their bad behavior.

Take responsibility for your own life, your own child and your own decisions.


Rachael April 9, 2010 at 4:42 am


You're "that guy", aren't you. Sure….driving to the East Coast from my house takes a couple of days. IF I drive for 45 hours straight. If I drive 10 hours a day, I would get there in 4.5 days. …Everyone has enough vacation to use over a week of it traveling. And to do this because their child MIGHT annoy you in an airplane is ridiculous.

Plus, you would probably be the same guy that would say that someone who would subject their child to such a road trip is a bad mother.

Another thing…I didn't "choose" where I live. My parents moved me here when I was in high school and then moved back to the East Coast under orders of the Navy. I guess I could have divorced my husband to move with them, but I decided to keep my marriage.

SO….I'm going to stop replying. Because there is no use talking to "that guy". He will always be someone who talks out of his ass.


Jim April 9, 2010 at 5:53 am

Yeah…I'm going to quit replying too. Because it is obvious, you are "that girl". …you have the "welfare Mother" attitude….you feel entitled for the world to accomodate you and your choices….make allowances for you, give you a pass, blah, blah, blah.

Grow up. Take personal responsibility for yourself and yours.

Buh, bye.

Amber May 18, 2016 at 10:10 am

Why should I have to tolerate you in public places? I'm paying for a nice trip somewhere and I very much dislike rude asshats that think they should always be given priority over those paying for the exact same thing. You're not better or more entitled then any other paying passenger. Don't like it, then stay home so the rest of us don't have to put up with you and your entitled attitude.


bobbert June 18, 2010 at 6:28 pm

i completely a agree with rachel


Greg April 9, 2010 at 3:14 am

Jim, your dam annoying! Just stfu…..


Jim April 9, 2010 at 3:30 am



Jim April 9, 2010 at 5:49 am



Jim April 9, 2010 at 5:53 am




Jane April 12, 2010 at 1:01 pm

I say KUDOS to Jim. He's one of the few parents who GETS IT.

My family also travels to the family members who have kids. It just makes life simpler, and lucky for all of us, my brother and his kids live between my parents and I, so it works out well.


Jodi April 9, 2010 at 9:27 am

Jim– Last I checked welfare mothers couldn’t afford plane tickets.

And quite frankly I don’t blame the mother for being annoyed and insisting on the better seats. She made her arrangements, asking for SEATS TOGETHER. Pointed this out to the ticketing agent and AGAIN to the FA. Then she asked the men if they would switch seats, and they were rude in their response to her? It only became a problem when she just went with the flow and put her child down and headed to her seat. How come nobody saw this as a problem before then? What did those guys think would happen?

I think she was right to then be a little nasty back and have them have to move. Screw’em they should’ve been nicer when they responded. A “I’m sorry, no” in a nice tone would have probably kept her on her go with the flow attitude and she’d of gone back and asked the people 11 rows back, but there’s only so much a person can take before they just say SCREW IT.


Kad April 9, 2010 at 1:43 pm

DSD April 8, 2010 at 9:54 am

Again what was she supposed to do. Nobody from the airline was willing to fix the situation.


They offered seats a mere 11 rows back. It seems mommy wanted to stretch her legs, and was using junior monster as an excuse.

I'm all for flights billed as 'toddler free' (nobody under 8) and would even pay a premium to not have to deal with prima donnas who inflict their children on the rest of us, rather than taking real responsibility, try to blame everyone else even when some effort is made to accomodate an unfortunate circumstance.

Glad I'm not a FA, or I'd be tempted to offer the 'next flight might have some seats' package.


Amber May 18, 2016 at 10:17 am

Why should she lose out on the money she paid for the better seats and be stuck with crap seats? Obviously the airline fucked up, either one of the gentlemen hadn't pre-paid for the nicer seat but insisted upon arrival to be given it, the airline complied screwing over the woman and child that had pre-paid for those nicer seats.


Kad April 9, 2010 at 1:44 pm

why would the age of eight 8 produce a smiley in my previous post?


Gregg - admin April 9, 2010 at 2:12 pm

It was the combination of the number 8 followed by a parenthesis Kad! 8)


Princess June 18, 2010 at 7:07 am

Wow… no way would I leave my toddler sitting 11 rows back with who knows what kind of child molester could be sitting near him. What an immature mother, risking her child for a bit of revenge that affected no one but her child, and it proved nothing.


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