Beleaguered by Babies

February 14, 2013

in Baby & Kid Stories

Flying Cathay Pacific direct from Hong Kong to Toronto one August. Let’s count all the things that went wrong:

1. I sat behind two babies, next to a couple with two babies, in front of one baby, and to the right of yet another baby across the aisle. None were enjoying their flight.

2. The couple next to me had two babies, and I do mean BABIES. They spent the whole flight yelling and pooping. The parents changed their diapers RIGHT ON THE TRAY TABLES, allowing me to get a good eyeful and noseful. Said parents also handed me their babies without a word when they got up to use the bathroom. I don’t speak Cantonese and they didn’t appear to speak English, so I sat awkwardly holding these strange children, who were screaming their heads off after being held by a stranger.

3. We stopped to refuel in Alaska. The baby behind me was running a fever, and the mother insisted that she and her child be taken off the plane by emergency services. She was quite vocal that her baby had SARS (this was in 2006, well after the SARS epidemic) and the flight attendants could not dissuade her. For reasons that I don’t understand – but I’m sure are standard – we weren’t allowed off the plane. Customs officials eventually came onboard to examine the baby, who by then was sleeping comfortably and no longer had a temperature. We departed two hours after we were scheduled to due to this woman’s hysteria.

4. The baby across the aisle squirmed and then suddenly shat explosively. Some of it hit me in the face. Flight attendants came by with wet wipes, but I smelled of baby shit and there was little I could do. Luckily, it blended nicely with the feces coming from the World Pooping Champions sitting next to me.

5. As we began our descent into Toronto, in the middle of a summer storm, the plane suddenly dropped. A LOT. Everyone had barely raised their heads to look at each other before it dropped again, worse this time. People were screaming. Suddenly, the plane zoomed into the air, sharp enough to send my seatmates’ dirty diapers into their own faces. More poop splattered.

6. The pilot announced that we were being re-routed to Ottawa. I was part of a large university group, many of whom were actually headed to Ottawa as their final destination. I myself had a good friend there at the time who would have taken me in. Again, we were not allowed to disembark. We sat on the tarmac for four hours, as the storm was now over Ottawa. I called my then-boyfriend in Toronto, who informed me the squall had lasted five minutes and that everything was now clear.

7. We finally landed in Toronto, eight hours late. The kids going to Ottawa had missed all their connecting flights, ironically.

I guess I can say I literally AND figuratively had a shitty flight!

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

paul February 15, 2013 at 12:11 am

The feces part of this story would have made some sort of law suit automatic.
Would have INSISTED on moving my seat somewhere else even if it were to the crew sleeping quarters or Cockpit or anywhere you were protected from somebody elses bodily functions.
What you endured was unforgivable in todays or 1990's world of aviation.
Not totally sure I believe this happened,as i can't think of an educated university person putting up with this


Idiot story author February 15, 2013 at 12:29 am

What choice do you think I had? The flight was full; the only empty seat was the one between me and the baby machines. And I really doubt you can sue someone because their child had diarrhea. Rest assured that I did try to change my seat at the beginning of the flight and was very apologetically shown that there were none to change to-and none of my classmates wanted to sit in Babyland, either, 'cause I offered money and alcohol in exchange and was still turned down! I'm not the only person who got hit with doody, either.

Some of us "educated university people" would rather not start shit on airplanes!


Maggie February 15, 2013 at 1:04 am

Not that I need another reason not to fly with CX*…

* with reference to its popularity with families


Idiot story author February 15, 2013 at 1:14 am

Here's another one- on my way to HK, I couldn't turn off my overhead light! Had to sit with my blanket over my head for 24 hours. But the flight attendants are really nice, and my meal was okay!


David February 16, 2013 at 4:55 pm

CX only fly freight to Anchorage. I don't get it. Why were you stopping there to refuel on a flight that should be non-stop? Was it an emergency landing?


Idiot story author February 16, 2013 at 8:14 pm

It was, like, seven years ago and I was on an all-night flight from hell, so I don't remember the details. No one was boarded or deplaned; we stopped in Alaska to refuel, but that's all I remember. I don't think I mentioned Anchorage at any point.


Larry March 25, 2013 at 3:17 pm

why on earth are you responding to these idiots. Make your post and move on. Reading the responses that come from people who only know how to bith and find fault will only give you another reason to be angry. Life is too short


question February 17, 2013 at 12:18 am

this story seems very embellished, stuck between all those babies who all had problems and all

i dont know its either the worst luck in the world or a nice story


Doug February 19, 2013 at 8:04 am

the story before this one and the one following this one all have something in common Toronto , all three to me seem like they are a little far fetched , same author i wonder .


Story Author February 19, 2013 at 11:23 pm

I've flown more than once! Shh, don't tell.
*hugemassive eyeroll*


victoriam February 24, 2013 at 9:37 am

as someone who has flown between hk and canada several times, I believe this story as flights from hk can get quite crazy!!! i once saw a woman change her baby's nappy in the centre aisle!!! luckily unlike the story author i speak chinese and was able to tell her off!!!


flossiesdoll March 3, 2013 at 5:00 pm

I don't believe half of this. How would a squirming baby be able to shit into someone's face cross the aisle? Would parents really sit with a baby with no nappy on? And why were the dirty nappies still on the tray tables instead of in the bin?


Fake story April 29, 2013 at 2:18 pm

As a parent of a toddler, no, I don't believe the part about poo hitting you in the face. Second, where do you expect parents to change diapers? Obviously changing a diaper is a necessity on that long of a flight. It is impossible to do in the bathroom as there is barely room for 1 person in there and NO counterspace. So tell me, where should one change a diaper?


Belafonte La Pootera May 1, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Not on someone else's tray table. Do you really do these kinds of things? I feel sorry for your kids!


Kiltie May 8, 2013 at 12:39 pm

La Poo – uh how about putting a blanket or changing pad down and changing them on the seat.

You can "feel bad for my kid" all you want, it's not an insult to me as I have a happy healty son.

PS – it is completely obvious that people like you use that line because you can't come up with anything else to say, it's laughable.


Belafonte La Pootera May 8, 2013 at 5:38 pm

I can say, "Kiltie seems like he or she has a massive hardon for unnecessary drama." Oooh, I'm right again!


James May 2, 2013 at 9:12 am

For reasons that I don’t understand – but I’m sure are standard – we weren’t allowed off the plane.

Since it was not a scheduled arrival, I'd suspect Anchorage airport was not staffed with immigration at that time. I've had an unscheduled landing on an international flight, and it was similar; we had to wait until we were cleared to exit the plane.


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