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Flying with a Toddler… Not on American Airlines!!

June 20, 2006

Allison may only be 13 months old but she has already flown across the country four times. Each trip takes two legs, so with round-trip flights, we’ve been through 16 take-offs and landings with this child. That also means we have been through 16 different flight crews for these adventures.

Have you ever heard the old adage that 100 atta-boys can be erased by one complaint? {That’s not exactly how it goes, but I am tired so hopefully you get my point} Well let me tell you my story about this one flight from Dallas to San Diego {American Airlines flight 1821 on June 3 in case your interested}Allison was tired, there is no doubt about it, we were about 2 hours past her bedtime and she was tired. However for those of you who know my child, she doesn’t like to miss a thing, so getting her to sleep on a semi-crowded airplane full of new faces was not going to be an easy task.

Okay so truth be told, Allison was screaming. She was not happy about being on that airplane, neither was I and neither was Jason. But there we were climbing to 30,000 feet and there was not a darn thing any of us could do about it. I was desperately trying to muzzle her screams without suffocating her and Jason was trying to keep me calm as my frustration with the child grew with each second. The passengers around us were giving us dirty looks, sighing out loud and getting agitated themselves. It’s not like we were just letting Allison scream we were rocking, singing, offering snacks and sippy cups, there were new toys being fished out of diaper bags and Tylenol and teething tables being doled out. We were trying and Allison was not cooperating.

The flight crew meandered up the aisle offering beverages to other passengers. As they approached our row, the flight attendant said, “Do you want me to warm a bottle for her?”

Now remember my child is 13 months old, but she only weighs 18 pounds. I realize that to some folks she looks a lot younger than she is, but she is one-year old and we had weaned her from the bottle.

I replied to the flight attendant, “No thank you, she doesn’t take a bottle any more.”

To which the flight attendant looked at me like I have four heads and barked, “Well what do you feed that child then?”

She’s lucky that I had a screaming child in my arms or else I might have stood up and slapped her for her attitude. She doesn’t know me or my child and had no business judging me for how or what I feed my daughter.

With that, I turned my back to her and continued trying to calm my child down. And she proceeded up the aisle without even offering Jason or me a drink. {which trust me, we both needed a good stiff one!}

So as the flight continued, Jason tried walking with Allison to get her to sleep, all to no avail. I got up to rescue Jason from the screaming and miracle upon miracle I was able to sway Allison to sleep. So in an attempt to not bother the other passengers anymore, I slipped into the back row of seats. About three minutes after I gingerly sat down with my sleeping child, my favorite flight attendant informs me that that row of seats had been blocked by the gate attendants and I needed to return to my assigned seat.

Once again she is lucky that I had a child in my arms or I probably would have punched her at this point. So I carefully returned to my assigned seat. By now I was full-on in tears. I was exhausted, frustrated and embarrassed because of the scene that the screaming baby caused {irrational I know, babies cry and people need to accept that!}. Jason asks why I moved so I told him what the flight attendant said to me. Jason turned around to give her the evil eye only to see her sprawled across the entire row of seats, that I was sitting in, with her bare feet propped up on the arm rest reading a magazine. What the hel! Was my only response at that point… Someone please tell me how I can get a job where I get paid to be a rude and then get to prop my stinky feet up and read a magazine, that’s one job that I know I could handle, I am a quick learner!

Needless to say we will be avoiding American Airlines at all costs from here on out.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Grammy permalink
    July 12, 2006 8:07 am

    I’ve heard the story but writing it made it sound funnier than before. I actually had not experienced this situation until my last flight to Kansas City, when we had a crying baby on board. I now realized the depth to this story.

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