Travelling with an infant is tough. Many a parent—and passenger—has been driven to despair and tears and vodka from the sound of a wailing baby while soaring at 30,000 feet. Recently that 'situation' escalated into a full-blown brawl on an Air China flight.
En route from Chongqing to Hong Kong, two women complained to a mom, demanding she silence her noisy babe. Words were had. When the women retaliated by reclining their seats all the way back, the mom lost the plot. Karate chopping ensued, and punches were flung in both directions.
This viral video of a baby's emotional reaction to her mom's singing will bring tears to your eyes.
At which point the baby screamed, and one passenger described a scene from "some bizarre film.” Crouching Tiger Moms, Hidden Dragon Baby.
We are all reasonable grown people. But the state of flying today (e.g. cramped into ever-shrinking confines for hours on end) has turned us into combative, crazed mice. Add a screaming baby to the mix, and it's no wonder all dignity and common courtesy goes out the window seat.
The Air China incident was not the first time a wailing youngster drove a passenger to commit a random act of violence. In 2013, a man flying Delta slapped a crying toddler in the face while delivering a racial slur to the baby's mother.
He got eight months in jail for assault.
In an ideal world, babies would not board planes. But we don't live in an ideal world. Babies sometimes have to travel, too. But newsflash: babies don't come with a simple remote control allowing you to turn down the volume at any given time.
If you hate the sound of a baby crying on a flight, multiply that suffering tenfold, because I guarantee that mom is counting down the hours, minutes and seconds until landing.
If you are a parent traveling with an infant, consider some of the wonderful tips in this article. And be considerate of other passengers. While you can't stop your baby from crying, don't stuff a poopy diaper in the bag directly in front of your seatmate or howl back and forth to your other children seated several rows behind you (true story).
If you are a passenger, to some degree you must grin and bear it. Distract or play with the baby, maybe even offer to hold him so the mom can enjoy five minutes' peace. A cooing baby will help the time fly, and who knows, you may even enjoy it.