Turbulence, Tantrums & Poopy Pants

June 6, 2018

in Baby & Kid Stories

My flight from hell happened in October of 2012. Everything went wrong on so many levels that we’ll just start from the top.

It was an overcast day in Orange County as I prepared to disembark on a flight to Detroit (with a connection in Atlanta). I had taken the route before and didn’t expect anything wrong. But on this day, a combination of travelers and weather made sure that by the time we landed in Atlanta, I found myself disembarking from the flight from hell.

At first, all seemed calm. No one was sitting next to me and I had the aisle all to myself! But then the flight attendant came to me and said, “Look out, there’s going to be an angry little man sitting there!” Sure as rain, a mother is carrying her toddler son onto the plane as he is kicking and screaming at the top of his lungs. The mother thankfully is sitting between us, but the kid is absolutely hysterical about being on the plane. The flight was delayed at the tarmac, so we’re having to endure more of this incessant screaming.

The plane finally starts to move, and through the kid’s screams I hear the pilot advise that the flight is going to be choppy. I figured that it would be light or moderate, no big deal. The plane takes off and almost immediately the kid quiets down… Finally! Yet as he became quiet, the turbulence for the plane immediately set in. The child kept asking why the plane was bumpy as the mother described that the plane was merely dancing in the sky.

An hour and a half in, beverage service had still not started because of how bad the turbulence was. Finally, after nearly two hours, beverage service begins despite the air being relatively rough. The flight attendant came to me immediately and asked if I wanted alcohol. I asked for a gin and tonic; she delivered it and palmed me an extra bottle of Bombay Sapphire. Sadly, this would be the best part of the experience.

Almost as soon as I started to enjoy my drink, the kid took a massive dump in his pants. The mother was going to take him to get cleaned, but the pilot discontinued beverage service and ordered all seat belts fastened. The next hour of the flight was so wrought with severe turbulence that I thought we were going to crash. I downed the gin, but it was no use at easing my nerves or the poop smell emanating from two seats next to me.

The last hour of the flight was us preparing to land, for which we were made to stay in our seats. The plane finally comes to a landing… and then the kid goes back to screaming at the top of his lungs again. The other passengers were so rattled at this point that absolutely none of them wanted to do the woman a favor and let her off first, so we’re dealing with the screaming child until our row is made to exit.

The worst part was either that the pilot had a shit-eating grin when we disembarked after that horrifically turbulent flight, or that the mother – NOT ONCE – apologized for her child’s behavior. I felt like punching them both, but realized that would be a felony so I opted to pass.

In a turn of fortunes, I made it to my connection on time and the second leg of the trip was delightfully unremarkable.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

MartinB105 June 6, 2018 at 11:27 pm

Screaming kid? I don't see the problem. I mean, who doesn't take headphones onto a flight in 2012?


Chris In Australia June 12, 2018 at 10:14 pm

Noise cancelling is one thing. Poop cancelling technology is in it's early stages


MartinB105 June 13, 2018 at 2:26 am

Solving one problem is better than solving zero though.


James June 13, 2018 at 2:53 pm

A kid screaming is not silenced by noise cancelling headphones. They help, yes, but two seats away … still hell.


MartinB105 June 14, 2018 at 2:19 am

Noise cancellation won't do it alone, but whatever you're listening to on the headphones will drown out any surrounding noise.


Sol June 11, 2018 at 5:41 am

The overcast day was the foreshadowing of the flight from hell!


Yee July 20, 2018 at 2:53 am

I mean this in the most respectful way, you’re a POS. A mother shouldn’t have to apologize for her child acting like a child. Don’t forget you were that age once also. As well as your momma and your daddy


B Groves August 15, 2018 at 6:16 pm

Um no. The child was just being a child, however the mother should have apologized for the inconvenience the man had to suffer. That's just called being civil. You should try it sometime instead of calling people POS.


Flight Attendant February 23, 2019 at 11:16 am

Also, what, you think the pilot deliberately flew into bad weather to ruin your day? Grow up. He probably had a comparitively stressful time dealing with it, trying to avoid as much as he could to maintain your safety. Then his company has a policy to go smile at a sorry sop like you as you disembark, when I’m sure he’d much rather get to his hotel and rest. Bit self-centered to only think of your experience that day, and to expect him to apologise for air o.O.


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