Pillow Fight On Flight

December 29, 2012

in Baby & Kid Stories

Near the end of boarding on our American flight home from the Caribbean the weekend before last, a male flight attendant brings a little girl who appears to be about 8 down the aisle, pauses at her assigned seat, glances at us, and tells the child he thinks she would like it better by us. We have been on vacation and had, believe it or not, been missing children so we were fine with this. The child is given headphones by the FA. She has absolutely nothing else with her as far as entertainment: no books, games, toys, etc.

Shortly after we are in the air the child begins shifting in her window seat. I am in an aisle, my wife is middle. She first puts her head on the armrest, then on her table as if she wants to nap. She appears uncomfortable and sits up in frustration. My wife mentions she could use a pillow. The seat belt sign is on so I suggest we offer her a magazine which she seems happy with.

When the seat belt sign goes off I am thinking there are sometimes pillows or blankets in the overhead compartments near the rear of the plane. I walk to the rear of the jet where two male FAs are sitting, one playing a computer game. I explain there is an unaccompanied child next to us who is trying to sleep and could use a pillow. The younger FA, who for some reason has no name tag, explains they don’t have pillows except in first class. I say that if the airline puts this child next to us expecting our help, they at least could also help with the situation. Could he get a pillow from first class? He says no. I return to my seat after this 30 second exchange.

A few seconds later the younger FA follows me to my seat and reengages me. The child is reading a magazine we have given her. He asks the child if everything is alright. The FA says, “I don’t know what you expect me to do.” I said I would like it if you would ask in the first class cabin if anyone is not using their pillow and could give one to a child. He replies those people have paid for their seats and those are their pillows. I say if he wants to bring economics into it then he shouldn’t be expecting us to babysit the child for free. Like a scene from “Anger Management,” the FA then begins to assert his authority saying that if I am causing a disturbance or threatening passenger safety by being argumentative, he will notify the captain and have me taken off the plane. He asks if I “understand and will stop disturbing passengers.” I reply that if saying I understand implies I have been threatening the safety of the plane or being abusive then I cannot accept that. The FA is becoming increasingly agitated, grabs my boarding pass from me, and practically runs toward the front of the plane.

At no time during this exchange do I raise the volume of my voice, threaten the FA, use abusive language or rise from my chair. I am buckled in. The entire exchange lasts less than one minute. The woman in the seat in front has overheard, stops the FA on his way back, and after a one minute conversation he also becomes upset with her and tells her to put her headphones back on and be quiet.

I barely see this FA the rest of the 4 hour flight and the other FAs are quite cordial. I expect if the captain was informed that the police needed to be called because a passenger was asking for a pillow for a child, that he probably laughed at the FA. In any case, I never did get my boarding pass back with the baggage claims stapled to it. And though no police were waiting for me on the ground, I was a bit nervous through the four hour flight.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

AstridAir December 29, 2012 at 11:59 pm

Sky nazis


Private Porksword December 30, 2012 at 12:54 am

Another story about a sky waitress being an asshole, how shocking ! That is almost as shocking a revelation as water being wet or the sky being blue, some things are what they are and will never change.


OP Defender December 30, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Sky waiter. if you must. The original poster referred to two male flight attendants in paragraph three.


lily January 23, 2013 at 4:27 pm

i'd have rung the papers then and there. press conference gettng off the plane. my own um had some shocking experiences – her younger brother doesnt fly alone. i think you were very kind.


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