We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Screaming baby. Sorry.

Level Contributor
1,528 posts
113 reviews
Save Topic
Screaming baby. Sorry.

Reading a post about crying babies on planes took me back to when my son was 10 months old.(now 18years). I had to take a flight for a funeral, Brisbane to Adelaide via Melbourne.

The moment the plane took off my son threw himself back against my chest and started to scream and would not stop. I tried to feed him and pacify him any way i could. He just would not stop.

I apologise to the poor lady who was sitting next to me.It must have been the flight from hell for her. Not only did she get a screaming, kicking baby but an overweight, crying mother invading her space. I felt so bad i asked them to move the poor woman, i hope she got a much better seat.

It was a Qantas flight and they were very good, they moved the lady then sent an escort to help me change planes in Melbourne and on the next leg moved me to what i assume was business class with a whole row to myself. I braced myself for another horrific flight but before the plane took off my son fell asleep and slept the entire time.

So to all who complain it is probably much worse for the poor parent. Feel sorry for those parents who try to sooth their young .

But there is nothing more annoying than parents who let their kids cry or run amuck with out any attempt to calm the situation.

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
28,392 posts
59 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Screaming baby. Sorry.

I was so lucky - I flew to the UK on my own when DD was 5 mths and the only time I had any trouble was standing in the check in line at Gatwick on the way home. But you are right - I am certainly always going to be as or more concerned about any trouble my kids may be causing. Not all parents are that way.

My usual comment is to look at the screaming, fussing child with a soft smile on my face and then look at the parent and say "I used to have one of those."

Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
Level Contributor
15,679 posts
71 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Screaming baby. Sorry.


Here's my take as someone who has and doses work in the cabin...

My gut is that *most*, not all, but most or the majority of other passengers know ... either reluctantly or otherwise ... that a crying baby isn't do that by conscious choice .. Its not as if there is/was a cognitive thought that said "this is a perfect time to start to cry thus irritating X number of passengers"....

This isn't to say that their anger, scorn or irritation at that moment isn't in someway directed at the crying infant itself, but does say that from a logical and rational assessment , that there's not a lot of conscious choice in that crying..

.... However, what I *do* also think get a majority of people upset (or whatever words you want to use) is when they think the parent (or whomever is traveling with or handling the infant) *and/or* cabin crew, is not doing either: a) anything or b) not enough to either remedy the matter or at least seek to minimize it as possible..

This, to me, is where the majority of issues fall... What can a parent do to remedy the matter? What will or won't work? What's possible at that moment? All good questions and most are without objective answer..

Again, my take here, my experience is that the majority of parents (or those traveling with an infant) are in fact quite aware of the behavior and/or crying has on other passengers... Are there some who either: a) flat-out don't know or b) don't care? Yes, absolutely you bet the are... But ... I also think that they represent the minority, not the majority..

What I think is that there's some overlapping issues here, that all make this issue hard... Cabin space is limited.. There's no playground... and sometimes you have restricted movement (i.e seatbelt sign is on) .. Add to that when you do travel you don't have access to all the same tools or resources you'd have on the ground to use...

All this isn't to minimize or exaggerate the impact of crying can .. and often does.. have in the other passengers in the cabin... but my take is that the majority of passengers really do look to the parents to remedy the matter .. And they tend to get frustrated when they perceive (remembering that these other folks are just observing so-to-speak) that insufficient actions are being taken.

Do I personally like the idea if a baby-free zone/cabin or even flights? I've got mixed feelings in that regard.. As a baseline, I'm not an advocate for rules that effectively limit the access of air travel to a certain group of people based on age *unless* it can be shown to be a safety or security issue (like occupying an emergency exit row)

However, I do have to balance that with other equally competing issues like safe and efficient operations.. and yes.. a reasonable level of cabin decorum and behavior in what is a shared environment...

My concern with going down the road of baby-free zones or flights is where is the line drawn as to who can be seated? Will it be just about age? The reason I say this is because, and as others have commented, there can be other fully-adult aged passengers who do or act in such a manner as to be a *bigger* detriment to an otherwise pleasant cabin atmosphere.. And to that end, if we're (collectively or carriers) going to have a baby-free zone, can it not also be agued that a XYZ-free zone be equally as beneficial for the same pleasant cabin atmosphere?

Travel Safe,

East Sussex, United...
Level Contributor
5,493 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Screaming baby. Sorry.


Your posts are a genuine pleasure to read because without fail you impart a huge amount of knowledge, obviously based on experience in the industry, and you do it a way which is easy to read and understand. You Sir ( Madam ? ) are a a credit to the airline industry.

Rochdale, United...
Level Contributor
2,006 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Screaming baby. Sorry.

WELL SAID bakermob.

children sometimes cry and despite the best efforts of parents just cant be settled.

Level Contributor
1,803 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Screaming baby. Sorry.

Having travelled with 3 kids under 5 (now adults!) can well remember what it's like. Babys cry, it's a fact of life. Now flying without kids it is obvious there are two types of parents. I have no issue with parents concerned about their kids, and upsetting other passengers and trying to find ways to comfort their kids. These parents have paid same as everyone else. However I do have an issue with parents who totally ignore their kids, let toddlers run up and down aisles whilst they concentrate on getting drinks, and in some cases asleep! Going to Spain this year at 7.30 am, I ended up walking with a toddler who had not been walking long who stumbled and banged her head on the metal part of the arm rest of an aisle seat. Poor thing was scared to bits. No parent looking for her as they were both asleep. One of their other kids recognised her! Thankfully these parents are in the minority. I just smile and say I don't envy you, can remember what it's like and put headphones and iPod on.

London, United...
Level Contributor
27,178 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Screaming baby. Sorry.

I have to agree with Gobpi, babies cry and the vast majority of parents are aware of the impact, embarrassed and trying desperately to resolve it.

To be honest, in all the very many flights I have taken, I have obviously been lucky and never actually encountered a situation where a child is running around totally unsupervised or a parent who did not care about a crying baby. When I am seated so I can see the parents, they have always been trying to deal with it.

Have I been annoyed, yes, I have been on a flight, extremely tired and trying to sleep and a child crying continuously, it was very frustrating and extremely annoying, but you just have to accept it.

Why? Well firstly because you cant do anytning about it and because I have also been on more flights where the adults have been worse. Men sitting next to me and hitting on me, someone invading my seat space with their body, their arms, or even their broadsheet newspaper, someone who refuses point blank to stop talking to me and telling me their life story, someone with serious personal odour issues, someone with bad and contnuous wind, and keeps farting, someone who continually complains and demands crew attention, the list goes on and is far more comprehensive than the times kids have bothered me.

Bottom line is it's public transport and we have to be realistic and tolerant on our expectations of our fellow pax and their behaviour.

7. Re: Screaming baby. Sorry.

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post was determined to be inappropriate by the TripAdvisor community and has been removed.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

Our staff may also remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason. Thanks for being a part of the TripAdvisor travel community!

Removed on: 14 September 2013, 14:05
Level Contributor
18,132 posts
73 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Screaming baby. Sorry.

Who? The intolerant people who complain? I agree. It's very quiet in the hold. :-))

Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
5,559 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Screaming baby. Sorry.

Unfortunately, too few parents are concerned. I just recently sat close to a mother and toddler. Mother was too busy watching a movie. Cabin staff took an interest in the kid because he refused to stay in his seat despite seat belt sign on and severe turbulence. Father sat accross the aisle and enjoyed champagne and pretended not to belong to the unruly kid.

Romford, United...
Level Contributor
2,065 posts
22 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Screaming baby. Sorry.

Personally I blame the aircraft manufacturers, in the good old days of the BAC1-11 a child could scream it's lungs out and no one would be non the wiser!!!