Flight from Washington DC to Kuwait City = 12 hours.
Although there were several issues leading up to this, I feel that this is the WORST part of the story so I decided to just cut to the chase…
After arriving at my gate and waiting to board, I informed a female flight attendant that I will need a bassinet. She says that it has to be given after take-off. Once we were in the air the flight attendants started to serve food. At this point my son is fast asleep in my arms. I inform one of the male flight attendants that I need a bassinet. He stops and goes to get one and brings back what looks like a duffel bag and puts it on the floor in front of me and asks if that is where I want it. I was SHOCKED when I saw the “bassinet.”
The flight attendant was not interested in helping me whatsoever. In fact he was a little rude. He told me that I had to move my carry-on since there is no room for the duffel bag and my carry-on and told me it had to go in overhead. I am only 5 foot tall and even with a baby not in my arms I cannot reach the overhead compartment. He put my bag in overhead and continued to serve food. He asked if I wanted something to eat, but clearly I could not eat because I had a 6 month old in my arms and I could not just lay him in a bag. So I just sat there as I knew that this was the beginning of a long and very uncomfortable flight.
After about an hour of sitting in my chair with my baby asleep I pressed the button to call for an attendant. A different male attendant came and I asked him to help me with the duffel bag as I do not understand what it is. He apologizes and says that’s all they have. I told him that in the last flight I flew overseas the bassinet came on a wall, not a bag on the floor! I asked him to help me adjust the bag so it can open. He told me that there is not any sort of cushion on the bottom, so he left to try to “make it work” and comes back with a pillow and blanket from first class as if it’s supposed to make me feel better because it’s from first class. He puts the pillow in the bag and tells me to put my son in the bag. The pillow was too small for the bag and my son’s head was falling into the gap. I took him back out of the bag and the attendant went to grab another blanket and pillow. He puts the other pillow in the bag and a folded blanket on top. I then laid my son on the bag and that’s how we left it. He offered to get me some food since we were about 1.5-2 hours into the flight. He brought me a lot to eat in which I was appreciative. This attendant tried to help me and make my flight more comfortable.
The entire flight was horrible. I would not take my eyes off of my son because if he moved at all he would fall off this makeshift bed. I could not watch TV, I had to rush to eat, I had to be slouched over at all times with both eyes on him because he was clearly not safe. Several times during the flight there was turbulence and I did not feel comfortable leaving him. Throughout the flight as the carts came through the aisle my son’s fingers and head were barely touching the carts. It was a dangerous spot for him to be in. If he was in a normal bassinet, we would not have the problem of potentially smashed fingers and bruised heads. I would like to know how on earth could anyone expect to have them put their baby in a duffel bag???? This is inhumane, unsafe and just plain ridiculous.
United is an airline which I would normally be proud to refer but never again will I fly or recommend them again. I am disgusted that they would bring a Mother a bag and just lay it on the ground and say “Here..” and walk away. Their employees have got to be ashamed of themselves.