Stressed Out by Security, Kids and Sickness

March 15, 2013

in Baby & Kid Stories

About two years ago an opportunity came up for me to travel to India through a program with the university that I attended. I was a little nervous about such a long flight, and since I was flying coach I expected it to be a little rough. On the way to India I “lucked out” and was assigned a middle seat on all three of the connections that I had to make. But otherwise the trip was a dream and there were no bad experiences to speak of, which was nice after spending a grand total of 22 hours traveling when you factor in all of the layovers.

Having survived the trip I was expecting the return trip to be relatively smooth. Boy was I surprised. It all started when we were dropped off at the airport where we were greeted with the military standing outside of the airport. You see, about a week before we were due to return home there had been a terrorist attack in Mumbai, so they had beefed up the security to extreme levels which in hindsight was a good thing. However, at that time, in order to even get into the airport you had to present your passport as well a copy of your e-ticket from the airline that had your name printed on it. The day before we were due to take off our professor’s assistant had gone to the local office of Qatar Airways and had gotten a printout of all of our tickets, and our professor then handed them out to us. However I did not see that there was something wrong with the ink used and that it had faded enough where my name was meant to be so that you could not actually read it. As I was the last person in line to enter the airport, I was unfortunately stuck outside trying to explain to someone who doesn’t speak any English that I needed someone to get my professor to get another ticket for me, because once you went in that entrance you really couldn’t go back out. After having a small panic attack I finally found someone who understood me enough to be able to speak to my professor so that I could get another printout.

After finally getting through checking in my baggage and going through security, I was super excited to be getting on the plane and sleeping for the duration of the flight, especially since I was lucky enough to get the window seat this time. As we were boarding the plane I noticed that the FAs were looking very closely at the passenger’s bags. I thought that they were just being very security conscious after the terrorist attacks and did not give much thought to it, until I was at the gate with another girl in my group where we were told that we needed to go back through security because they had forgotten to put a stupid yellow paper around the handle saying that our bags had been checked. One of the airline workers was nice enough to literally run us to the security screening area where we were able to jump in line, but it was still an inconvenience that I was getting really tired of.

Once on the plane I settled into my seat and was happily preparing myself to sleep (by taking a bunch of sleeping aids), when the flight attendant kindly asked if another girl who I was traveling with and I would switch seats by moving across the aisle so that a family of four (one was a lap baby) could sit together. Because I was still getting an aisle seat and not the middle one, I was fine with it and happily moved over. The trouble started at take off where the mother proceeded to throw up for a good thirty minutes and had to utilize everyone’s barf bag that was in her row. The smell was nauseating and we had to wait until the seat belt sign went off before the flight attendant was able to dispose of those bags. After having survived our little exorcist moment I settled in and started to doze off. Unfortunately the darling little boy who was sitting in the aisle seat started to get restless and spent the entire flight kicking people’s seats and crawling over random passengers while his loving parents put their sleep masks on and ignored him the entire flight. I was pissed and drugged out of my mind and I’m pretty sure that the flight attendants were about to drop kick the boy because he was making such a nuisance of himself.

Finally after four glorious hours the flight was over with and we rushed through the airport at Doha to make our flight back to DC. As a quick side note, the security at Doha is very relaxed. Instead of watching the screen that shows the x-rays of all of the luggage, the security officer was reading a magazine facing the opposite direction of the screen. This really gave me a lot of confidence for the next leg of my trip.

We were able to get onto the next flight without much fanfare and I quickly settled into my coveted window seat where I planned to sleep the entire trip home. Unfortunately I was seated in kiddie central and had to deal with a screaming baby behind me, another one two rows to my left, and a couple of toddlers mixed in for fun. One of the toddlers was extremely sick and should not have been flying in the first place. He decided to make his displeasure known by crying, pooping, and throwing up the entire trip. If there was a bodily fluid to come out I saw it or smelled it, especially since his mother decided to gift us with a wonderful display of it by changing him right in the aisle.

I don’t know how I did it, but I safely arrived back in DC relatively intact with a tiny shred of my sanity left. After a brief 2 hour layover in DC we got ready to board our final flight back to Cleveland and I was so happy that I could have cried. We got onto the plane with no issues and took off with no issues. The problem came when we had to deal with our FA. She was rude, extremely slow and should have been fired. She spent most of the time gabbing with the other FA attendant, and when we had the nerve to ask her for some water she huffed and puffed about it, and made her displeasure known by “bumping” into anyone that dared ask her to do something.

I have never been so frustrated in my entire life and if I didn’t love to go to other countries this would have put me off of traveling entirely. I know that the airlines could not have controlled all of this, but they can at least make parents control their own children, and not let people board who are clearly too sick to fly with them.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

xxrjxx March 18, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Seems like you just kind of had every kind of problem imaginable with everyone around you…makes me think at least part (if not all) of your issues are self inflicted. Sorry that the world didn't revolve around you on your travel day…


mrsjamiecbaker March 22, 2013 at 8:25 am

It's less about a person expecting the world to revolve around them and more about a person expecting a relatively smooth 22 hour journey without unnecessary stresses and obstacles. The issues with the toddlers, for example, could have easily been prevented had the mother found a more discrete way to do diaper changes. The FA could have made the trip smoother by not allowing her personal issues affect her work; there is no reason for anyone in customer service to be that rude without provocation. So yes, sometimes misery can be self inflicted, but in this case, I don't believe that applies. This sounded like a pretty miserable trip.


Jerk wad March 26, 2013 at 7:06 pm

What a jerk you are. Cannot wait for this to happen to you scumbag


madachode March 22, 2013 at 9:16 am

Fly to a 3rd world country and you will have 3rd world passengers. I hope that you learned your lesson.


Karan Agarwal June 10, 2013 at 2:50 am

Yeah…. a 3rd world country ?? A 3rd world country with nukes ?? A 3rd world country which has the worlds 3rd largest economy ? a 3rd world country without whose doctors, engineers and scientists the US economy, Medical system, innovations would collapse ?? A 3rd world country whose ideology of peace is being adopted by every world leader today (Obama has a poster of MK Gandhi in the Oval office…google it) ?? a 3rd world country whose 5000 year medical practices are now being adopted by everyone (read yoga and Ayurveda) ?? A 3rd world country whose 5000 year old language formed the basis of english… in sanskrit matre means mother… patre means father… from there into latin and then to english… study etymology of english if u doubt my claim… this is just a basic example… a 3rd world country whose citizens despite being abused by racist comments from ignorant fellows such as yourself would wish you no harm and only pray that the God may give you some sense … a 3rd world country who welcomes guests as if they are god (athiti devi bhavo is our tourism slogan… translation : Guest is God).. ask any traveller who has been to India about the reception received from locals here ..(please excuse the street hawkers in your response…they are a big nuisance for tourists and are being dealt with)… and a 3rd world country which has no gender based discrimination…we have had a woman Prime Minister, woman President … a 3rd world country which has no religion based discrimination… we have had A muslim president swearing in a Sikh prime minister who got the job because a christian lady (president of the winning party and projected PM candidate) thought he was better suited to rule the country… (search Indian elections 2004)…. i can keep going on and on but this is a 3rd world country which does not like to show off …

Namaste !


Guest April 10, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Wow, that would've been an awful long 4 hours.


Kiltie April 29, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Ugh, I HATE when people blame babies and toddlers on their flights, or the parents that "should have done this or should have done that" you clearly aren't a parent. Parents and their kids need to fly, you aren't any better than they are, so get over yourself. First of all, with the pressure changes during a flight, you are probably familiar with the common ear popping


Stevo June 2, 2013 at 12:25 pm

parents need to fly? unless we are talking here about a family moving to another place far away i don't see any reason to fly with children/babies/toddlers. when i was a baby/toddler my parents knew how horrible it is to fly with a baby on board, so they at least they waited until i was 4 years old to visit my moms family in the philippines and only because i wasn't a hyperactive child. my parents would have never done a 15-20 hour trip all the way from germany to the philippines if i would have been a loud annoying brat. now i'm 21 and i flew this journey the last 4 years 3 times forth and back, every time i see parents flying with their babies just because they wanted to visit their families. i can understand if someone wants to visit their families but is it really that hard to just wait a few years to make such a long trip more enjoyable for everybody(parents, children, other passengers)?


Kiltie April 29, 2013 at 1:22 pm

… this can actually be painful for children as they don't know to swallow to help relieve this. Parents can only do so much to help them and get them to try and drink something. Now, think of how uncomfortable you were on the flight, toddlers and babies can get that way as well, you have the ability to express yourself, so do they. Yours is by speaking your opinion, theirs is by crying. Now the diaper changing, have you ever been in an airplane bathroom? I have, there is barely room for one person in there, what makes you think that someone could change a diaper in there? Where would you suggest that the parent change the diaper? Throwing up and popping are not controllable, what would you have those people do? You assume they were sick and just shouldn't fly. Maybe they were, maybe they were leaving a trip early to get to their dr, maybe they were nervous and that made them 'sick,' maybe it was just the pressure changes not agreeing with their bodies, maybe it was turblance upsetting their bodies. Was it ideal? No. Maybe you should learn to have a little more tolerance though.


1025 April 30, 2013 at 10:56 am

Agreed 100% Kiltie! Couldn't have said it better!


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