Ranty Friday — No children on planes

Now before you go off on one I need to point something out right at the outset.   This is not me saying that children should not be allowed on planes.

Got that?

I don’t want you thinking that this is me ranting about a crying baby disturbing my sleep on a night flight back from Barbados last weekend.

That would be ridiculous, wouldn’t it?  To suggest that children shouldn’t be allowed on planes because I had to go to work on Monday morning would make me an arrogant <insert rude word>

Wouldnt it?

Well I didn’t say it.

But the woman in seat 19A did.


Let me explain

The return flights with both BA and Virgin Atlantic from Barbados are overnight.  You leave at teatime, fly overnight and arrive, bright eyed and bushy tailed  wrecked, the following morning at 6am.    That’s how it is.  And if you don’t like it, well you go via somewhere else I guess.  Or go to Europe.

We boarded our flight and were somewhat puzzled to see that we had been split up.  The girls together, J behind (with an empty seat next to him so a bit of a result) and then Mr B and I together six rows back.   Only Virgin can explain that one to us and despite me asking them on Twitter what their logic is in splitting up a family who have booked together, I have not had a response.

Still at 19, a week shy of 18 and 14 the teens are more than capable of looking after themselves and probably quite like the idea of being away from us, certainly after two weeks on holiday.    By the time we took off the seat next to J was occupied by a lady who had been moved, for reasons we are not a party to.

Well that’s where the problem started.   We hadn’t even taken off and she had complained to the cabin crew “about being surrounded by children who will be chatting, giggling and making a lot of noise”.    The crew advised her that if there was any of that the children would be told to hush.

Seriously.   You see the teens are polite and well mannered and didn’t want to upset her so all then decided to try their hardest to not annoy her.

This meant that the three of them were then unable to enjoy the flight, or chat to each other or point something out in the magazines or discuss a film, for fear of this woman getting arsey with them.

During the flight every time a child cried she sat up straight, turned around and glared.  Yes glared, at said child or baby.

At the end of the flight she asked the cabin crew to whom she should address her complaint about children being on flights.   She had to go to work that morning and children really shouldn’t be allowed on flights.

“Children should not be allowed on flights”.

Well I am sorry to say that this made me see red and I couldn’t contain myself dear reader.    I made a point of seeking her out at baggage reclaim.

I am not proud but I knew that if I left Gatwick without having said something to her I would have never forgiven myself.

“Excuse, me I am really sorry but could I just clarify something with you?  Did you seriously say to the cabin crew that children shouldn’t be allowed on flights?”

Mumble mumble something blah blah “well yes I did”

“Can I just point out that my children are 19, 18 and 14 and have every right to be on that flight.  A flight back from a holiday destination.  Where families go, you know, on holiday”

“oh I didn’t mean your children.  Your children were nothing but polite”

“So you mean small children?  You mean small children should not be on flights”

“yes, I travel alot and I have to go to work today”

“Then why did you fly back on the Sunday night flight?  Why didn’t you fly back on Saturday night and then sleep all day Sunday?  Why were you even in a holiday resort where children need to get back from then?

And can I just point out to you that you have ruined the end of our holiday?  You specifically said children within five minutes of sitting down next to my children.   They assumed, rightly, that you meant them.  And that they were, therefore, not permitted to speak because you need your beauty sleep.   You have no idea how angry you have made me.   And the very idea that you are writing a letter of complaint about children being on flights shows just how arrogant and stupid you really are””

I have to say, her friend who had appeared from nowhere, looked embarrassed.   Good.

There was talk in the press recently of an airline offering “Child free zones” on planes that passengers can sit in for an extra fee.

I hate that idea.

But what I would pay for is a zone that excludes arrogant, conceited, contemptuous, egotistical women who think they are better than anyone else

Mr B put it very succinctly in baggage reclaim when he saw this woman walk past us before I did:

“some people have a really over inflated view of their own importance”.

Give me a crying baby over people like her any day of the week.

The lady next to me laughed at every joke in every film she watched on that 8 hour flight.   Out loud.  Repeatedly.  And then listened, and sang along, to David Bowie for forty minutes.   Are we supposed to ban that too?

No, of course we are not.

It’s called having fun.

Or being a baby.

I am sure the families who had babies (including the lady with the gorgeous pair of three month old twins) would love for this woman to say to their babies “now, come along, please go to sleep now like a good baby.  I am a very very important person who has very very important things to do and needs her night nights” and then watch as their babies all think “oh yes, yes we will” close their eyes and sleep solidly for the next eight hours.


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  • I have nothing to say to that. I am literally sat here mouth agape at that woman. Oh and cheering for you. Bravo Mrs B!

  • I’m so glad you spoke to her and pointed out how she had ruined your flight. I have been flying since I was a baby, and flew on my own from the age of 8 (unaccompanied minor) and it drives me potty when people say kids shouldn’t be allowed on flights or only to fly at certain times, or in certain parts of the plane. Are families supposed to just never go anywhere or not go on holiday? Yes, being next to a crying baby, all night on a flight isn’t exactly delightful, but how on earth does the mother of said crying baby feel, ten times worse, I can tell you.
    Miserable old bag. I hope the next time she flies, some air sick fellow passenger pukes in her lap, then maybe she can complain that people with travel sickness shouldn’t be allowed to fly….

  • People like this make me mad!!
    I was on a flight once & the guy behind me snored all the way back! Loudly! Should we ban everyone that might snore?
    I’m so glad you said something to her, I wouldn’t have and would have moaned about her all the way home!
    I agree with your husband, some people are so full of their own importance!

  • I’m so glad you gave her what for, so many people would have left it and she’d probably have ruined many more flights for innocent holiday makers with her jumped up attitude. People with this level of self-importance are one of my biggest bugbears in life and I can usually be found wishing hard that they’d trip over and knock all of their front teeth out. Not that I’m vindictive, or anything…;-) Great post x

  • Oh my goodness! This would really get my seeing red too! Well done you for speaking up.

    I’ve done 3 flights with S already, and for a small child, he’s been really good. That’s not to say there wasn’t noise and the odd tear, but that’s to be expected. Its stressful enough travelling on your own with a baby. If I heard somebody complaining that he shouldn’t be allowed on the plane, I’d either burst into tears or rage!

  • I’m so glad you spoke to her.
    The only thing I take from these situations is that some people are not very happy in their lives. Happy people very rarely complain about other people living their lives however noisily they go about it.
    I would have been tempted to swop seats with one of the ‘children’ and made as much noise as humanly possible!

  • The silly moo! I’ve flown with my kids quite regularly since JR was 6 months old, I don’t let them run about or kick the seat in front but they are children!
    If she knows a magic formula to keep kids quiet then yes please I’ll have some of that.
    Great rant and well done for speaking to her

  • Kids or no kids, I would have saidd something to her too. If she REALLY wants to moan about children on a flight then she should fly to Orlando – it’s like a creche (for old and young to be honest)… but it’s a flight to a family destination.so that’s part of the deal, that’s life.

    If she wants serenity and minimal kids then fly Premium or First.

    Or has she confused “a plane” with “her lounge”.

    Maybe she was having a bad day. Or maybe she is just an arrogant, miserable, self important, ignorant, intolerant old rat bag.

  • Unbelievable. As if we aren’t feeling bad enough if our children don’t cope well on a flight. Bet she’d ban them from restaurants and the cinema too. She must live a very sad, joyless life.

  • If she was that important she should have been able to go first class! If not then shut up and get on with the flight! The same as everyone else has to! Clearly has Champagne tastes, lemonade pockets!

    I would have challenged her on the flight! As you well know from knowing me as long as you have! Lol!

    • I wont tell you what Bruce whispered in Caity’s ear about what she should say if anything was said. Well I will, but when I see you 🙂

  • Just another reason why I love you – she sounds like an a complete cow bag!!

    I would very much like an non-obnoxious seating area on planes!

  • Bravo. I remember queuing at the airport, waiting to board our flight, when a man started grumbling about my littlest singing nursery rhymes while standing behind him. I said loudly “Blake please act your age – OH YES, YOU ARE ACTING YOUR AGE – YOU’RE ONLY 3.” The fella shut up after that. But I’m sure he would have loved to ban my kids from our flight.
    I’m quite happy to have child-free zones on planes, as I’d prefer to sit among families who are not constantly complaining about kids just being kids.

  • Love this! Actually I wouldn’t mind child-free zones – a lot less stress all round. Before I was a parent I hated being sat near a small child who couldn’t stop kicking my seat. Then I flew with my own small child who couldn’t stop kicking the seat in front. I did not enjoy the glares from the lady in front!
    But to suggest that children shouldn’t be allowed on flights is just plain ridiculous! I hope you gave her your card so she can come and get a reality check 😉

  • Well done for speaking to her!!
    What a horrible woman!! People like that sometimes forget they were once children!! x

  • I am BEYOND delighted that you said something to that stupid, ignorant woman. I thank you on behalf of all mums with young children (including myself) who have been glared at and muttered on flights at as we’ve tried to get a fractious, over-tired baby to sleep. I’ve been holding a five month old baby and nearly had him knocked out of my arms as a couple barged past to get to their seats first. They got a piece of my mind, too. I’ve linked up with a rant against my own child’s hypochondria; that’s the thing about kids, it’s OK for us to complain about them but not for other people to 😉 Great post x

  • Loved this rant… Unfortunately I have to fly quite a lot, and I really don’t have a problem flying near children or young babies, and have glady helped entertain them often too. What I do have a problem with are the people who glare and tut at me as I get on the plane with my children (who know how to behave on a plane, and have probably flown more than they have), and the rare people who do allow their children to behave badly (although I haven’t seen too much of this) not because it bothers me so much, but because I know it will further add to the opinion of those who think children shouldn’t be allowed to fly. 😀

  • Totally with you! Had I been on the flight with small children, I would in fact have encouraged noise – just to piss her off!

  • What a moron, and what a shame she ruined the end of your holiday – however I am very pleased that you said something to her!

  • What an awful, rude woman! Can’t stand people like that! Great rant and good on you for giving her a piece of your mind!

  • Well done you for confronting her! She is an absolute tit.

    It’s quite obvious this woman doesn’t have children therefore just take pleasure in the fact that one day, she will have to deal with a snooty cow who dislikes HER children.

  • Well she sounds like she was a nice relaxed bundle of joy. Love that you had the balls to confront her! Personally I’d like to see armrest hoggers banned from planes.

  • I’ve got on so many planes where people like this are already glaring at me before the children have opened their mouths. I’ve even had one say in a shocked tone after the baby slept all journey ‘aren’t they well behaved? I was horrified when I saw you get on.’
    To which my husband who is much quicker with a come-back than me said,
    ‘I was horrified when I saw your face!’
    Your children are incredibly polite to behave on her account they usually prompt the opposite reaction from me. xx