Boston.com is reporting that a family was kicked off a flight before takeoff because their three year old daughter was having a temper tantrum and would not sit in her seat. As of this posting, nearly 80% of voting readers agreed with the decision.
Now I don't have a lot of patience for bad behavior in public and I generally think that a child having a temper tantrum should be removed whenever possible, but today I find myself in sympathy with the overtired, overstimulated, freaked-out child. It's a CHILD! And whether she's been on vacation or at her grandmother's funeral, her routine has been entirely disrupted, she may even be in a different timezone, and she really doesn't know where she is.
Not that I want to sit near her, but EVERY long flight has that one kid who will. not. stop. crying. Usually the tantrum begins midflight, when other passengers can be as sanctimonious as they want but they still have to live with it.
On the way home from Russia, that kid was Tigger. He must have cried for nearly six of the eight hours of our flight. People were grumbling and giving dirty looks, like we were trying to hurt him. Oh wait, we shouldn't have stuck pins in his backside, sorry for the inconvenience. And just when he was a bit more settled down and nearly asleep but still fussing, an oh so helpful flight attendant came along and thrust a lollipop in his face, without asking us. Now of course he wouldn't be sleeping and finishing the lollipop set off Round 2 of screaming toddler mayhem.
There are a few times I have shed tears of joy upon returning to Boston. That was certainly one of them.
What I found most interesting in this case was that because the parents paid for the third seat, the kid has to sit in it. If not, she would have been permitted to sit in her mother's lap and be comforted.
Geez, if I have the right not to be disturbed because I paid for my ticket, I want all the other passengers to wear deodorant. That big, stinking, German guy, who pushed his seatback all the way into my lap, made it impossible for me to enjoy Meet the Fockers. Heh.