To that crying baby on the plane…


Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300 9V-SWA on Wikipedia by Juergen Lehle

I preface this by saying I cannot possibly begin relate to nor understand the stress new parents are under, and I also relay my understanding that children may need specialised medical care in different places.

With those points out of the way, having spent the better part of my day in an enclosed space for six hours with four constanty screaming infants I pose the question: who would take their infants on a long haul flight? Perhaps I'm missing something, but to me it seems a bit selfish. The cold hard truth is infants do not belong on aeroplanes, just as I don't belong in the play room outside Ikea furniture stores.

There are people like me who are tying to get work done on laptops; there are nervous, highly strung flyers like my sister and there are those trying to sleep on planes. I think I can confidently speak for the jetsetting public that we're all perfectly fine having children sharing the plane with us as long as they are old enough (or quiet enough) not to be disruptive.

As with other social issues I don't think the answer here is to legislate bans on parents taking children of a certain age (or average decible output!) onto long flights, as much as I'm temped to lobby for it! I think instead parents should be responsible and determine for themselves when their children are ready to fly, instead of just assuming a cabin full of people will be accomodating.

I emphasise again my intention here is not to be mean spirited, but people, I fly a lot, and if this uninterrupted streak of flights where I have to tolerate the shrieks, wails, tantrums and screams of infants doesn't end, I might start screaming in the cabin too!

- Ruben

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Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person in bios. Hi!

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