A tale of two children (in J)

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ermen

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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

No this is not one of those periodic threads debating whether infants / children should be allowed in the J cabin (I think angel children should be allowed, monster babies sent to the cargo hold or, better, fly DHL*)

But i was flying SQ SIN - HKG in J the other day on the early ~730am flight. In 12ACD with my two daughters - 5.5 years and 2.5 years. Connectin from Perth after bringing them to watch the Wiggles Live (the SQ 772 was also a jet plane, so they couldn't "do the propeller"^, but it was hard to explain to my children that one goes to great lengths to avoid the 737 and propeller planes if they can really help it)


Before take-off whilst boarding a man in 11A comes up to me and says would you make sure your daughters are quiet for the flight because I need to sleep. Stunned, as this this is the first time encountering this sort of request in the dozens of flights with my daughters, I compose myself, smile and tell him "hopefully". Threads from AFF / FT about narky passengers and infants in J start racing through my head. I could be the subject of a thread here! Story ended without further drama, because he managed to get the FA to move him to row 17 or somewhere back in the mini cabin and I never saw him again.

I find out later from the meal cart passenger manifest that said person in 11A was a "Dr xx_" - PhD or MBBS / MD I don't know :) I guess maybe Mr Dr needs to sleep to perform a crucial operation later that day, or maybe he was partying too late at Zouk** the night before and was hungover, or simply scarred from his last flight with the nightmare toddler from hell. :) I certainly hope he was not a pediatrician - he would be better suited as a radiologist or a colo-rectal surgeon with that sort of children skills.

He wasn't overly rude so I wasn't particularly offended - and he wasn't nasty or giving me evil death star(e)s. Still I thought it was pretty brazen for someone to be so open and upfront, especially when nothing had even happened yet. I certainly wouldn't have dared to be s vocal, I guess better be open and upfront than stewing like a beef bourguignon in your seat. Or maybe he likes George Bush Jnr and subscribes to his doctrine of "preemptive strikes"***.

Still 11A (bassinet row) is a particularly weird seat choice if one wanted to be as far away from infants as possible.

I told my wife and she told her mummy friends and they found this encounter incredulous and said I was too polite - they would have had some harsher words. Maybe I was too kind then, or maybe I subscribe to Bush Snr's vision of a "kinder" and "gentler" society**** (may he RIP).

What would you do?

*My daughters equivocally belong to the angel category - IFE keeps them well entertained. the only time being when my eldest was 3 and i brought her to the MH J toilet on the 737 to discipline her for being naughty - and she decided to vomit on me (maybe as payback for making her fly the MH recliner seats?)
** Zouk (club) - Wikipedia
*** Bush Doctrine - Wikipedia
**** Opinion | George H.W. Bush’s Uncommon Grace

^
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drron

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Absolutely unacceptable behaviour by the self entitled"dr."
I think you will find most medical doctors now fly without that title.Unfortunately it is part of my QFF profile but now I hardly ever fly with my QFF number on the BP.So virtually always I am Mrron.Surgeons though call themselves Mr. not Dr.

But don't worry if a call goes out I still put my hand up.
 

LadyC

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I am probably like you. I would have been shocked and probably said nothing. I am generally polite and wouldn't want to respond as I don't like drama. The Gentleman however is much more forthright than me and certainly would have had something more significant to say in response.

That person was very rude. And self entitled.
 

GoldCanyon340

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The Gentleman however is much more forthright than me and certainly would have had something more significant to say in response.

That person was very rude. And self entitled.

I can't imagine I'd be restrained either. This behaviour is just arrogant and rude.
 

Denali

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Only time to Ive spoken to a parent on a plane was when an arriving parent gives me a look when they find their seat, the look usually is a timid 'dont hate me for having a child' look, which I always try to respond with a smile and a kind word about their cute child or say hello to the kid. If the parent is receptive to my words, I might offer to hold bub if they needed to go to toilet or need a hand.

I understand kids can be annoying but uggh, so can adults. Kids can't be locked up in the house until they are older teens and the OP had paid (points or $) tickets for their seat so the guy needs to learn to STFU because one day hes going to come across a mumma bear who will put him in his place real quick and dont mess with mummy bloggers, they will hunt you down.
 

MEL_Traveller

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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

No this is not one of those periodic threads debating whether infants / children should be allowed in the J cabin (I think angel children should be allowed, monster babies sent to the cargo hold or, better, fly DHL*)

But i was flying SQ SIN - HKG in J the other day on the early ~730am flight. In 12ACD with my two daughters - 5.5 years and 2.5 years. Connectin from Perth after bringing them to watch the Wiggles Live (the SQ 772 was also a jet plane, so they couldn't "do the propeller"^, but it was hard to explain to my children that one goes to great lengths to avoid the 737 and propeller planes if they can really help it)


Before take-off whilst boarding a man in 11A comes up to me and says would you make sure your daughters are quiet for the flight because I need to sleep. Stunned, as this this is the first time encountering this sort of request in the dozens of flights with my daughters, I compose myself, smile and tell him "hopefully". Threads from AFF / FT about narky passengers and infants in J start racing through my head. I could be the subject of a thread here! Story ended without further drama, because he managed to get the FA to move him to row 17 or somewhere back in the mini cabin and I never saw him again.

I find out later from the meal cart passenger manifest that said person in 11A was a "Dr xx_" - PhD or MBBS / MD I don't know :) I guess maybe Mr Dr needs to sleep to perform a crucial operation later that day, or maybe he was partying too late at Zouk** the night before and was hungover, or simply scarred from his last flight with the nightmare toddler from hell. :) I certainly hope he was not a pediatrician - he would be better suited as a radiologist or a colo-rectal surgeon with that sort of children skills.

He wasn't overly rude so I wasn't particularly offended - and he wasn't nasty or giving me evil death star(e)s. Still I thought it was pretty brazen for someone to be so open and upfront, especially when nothing had even happened yet. I certainly wouldn't have dared to be s vocal, I guess better be open and upfront than stewing like a beef bourguignon in your seat. Or maybe he likes George Bush Jnr and subscribes to his doctrine of "preemptive strikes"***.

Still 11A (bassinet row) is a particularly weird seat choice if one wanted to be as far away from infants as possible.

I told my wife and she told her mummy friends and they found this encounter incredulous and said I was too polite - they would have had some harsher words. Maybe I was too kind then, or maybe I subscribe to Bush Snr's vision of a "kinder" and "gentler" society**** (may he RIP).

What would you do?

*My daughters equivocally belong to the angel category - IFE keeps them well entertained. the only time being when my eldest was 3 and i brought her to the MH J toilet on the 737 to discipline her for being naughty - and she decided to vomit on me (maybe as payback for making her fly the MH recliner seats?)
** Zouk (club) - Wikipedia
*** Bush Doctrine - Wikipedia
**** Opinion | George H.W. Bush’s Uncommon Grace

Parents do, almost invariably, find these requests ‘incredulous’.

From an objective point of view there’s nothing personal about it, and it’s perfectly reasonable.

I was on a day flight the other day and the kids in the row behind gradually got louder and louder. Parents were not too phased by it. Perhaps if they had been aware that for whatever reason, other passengers were attempting to sleep, they would have been more mindful.

Many people assume, quite incorrectly, that if it’s a day flight everyone should be awake. Just because they are. There are all sorts of reasons why people want to sleep, including a late night or early morning.

Asking in advance to be mindful of noise is not unreasonable. By the time you get woken up it may be hard to go back to sleep again. Again, i draw on my recent flight experience, where such a request to the parents would have been very reasonable indeed.

Given the passenger was polite, I thought the ‘hopefully’ was a perfect response to a reasonable request.
 

LadyC

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Parents do, almost invariably, find these requests ‘incredulous’.

From an objective point of view there’s nothing personal about it, and it’s perfectly reasonable.

It is personal because this passenger focused on ermen's children. If this passenger went up to all other passengers in the cabin and made this demand, then it would not be personal. But they would still be arrogant and rude.
 

MEL_Traveller

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It is personal because this passenger focused on ermen's children. If this passenger went up to all other passengers in the cabin and made this demand, then it would not be personal. But they would still be arrogant and rude.

I guess to a certain degree that’s right. Adults are supposed to be able to manage their behaviour in public. Children, not so much. And that’s the job of the parents.

it would be creepy for a man to talk directly to the children. So he did the right thing to put the (polite) request to the parent.

I don’t see it as personal to the OP. The two have never met before.

Not sure how else the passenger should handle it? Wait until they are woken up?
 

ermen

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Only time to Ive spoken to a parent on a plane was when an arriving parent gives me a look when they find their seat, the look usually is a timid 'dont hate me for having a child' look, which I always try to respond with a smile and a kind word about their cute child or say hello to the kid. If the parent is receptive to my words, I might offer to hold bub if they needed to go to toilet or need a hand.

I understand kids can be annoying but uggh, so can adults. Kids can't be locked up in the house until they are older teens and the OP had paid (points or $) tickets for their seat so the guy needs to learn to STFU because one day hes going to come across a mumma bear who will put him in his place real quick and dont mess with mummy bloggers, they will hunt you down.


Points as always! 32,500 PER-HKG J in SQ is one of the sweet spots in the Krisflyer program :)
 

ermen

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With all these AFF/FT threads (probably a bad thing) I invariably am overcautious in making sure my children behave on the plane and don't disturb the amenity of the cabin. But prior to this experience - I have never encountered a situation where i got anybody uncomfortable around me because of children / infants in a premium cabin - those instances are much rarer than what public forums make it out to be!

Think the weird thing here was the presumption that two children would be noisy and make life difficult for everyone upon boarding.
Come to think of it - nobody goes around to your neighbour saying - "if you sleep, please don't snore" :) And if they snore, you got to just suck it up.
 

mrsterryn

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Would the same request be made of people talking amongst themselves?
I don't travel with young children. Children have been in my cabin (first business premium and economy) .
For the most part I have found young babies and preteens usually to have the most impact
Babies...they are babies and disrupting their routine can have horrendous impacts. Pity the parents
Preteens tend to know everything and can reach the seat in front and can demand loudly
However (Let's not jinx me ) unless in economy where they can set one another off , children havnt been that big an issue
Have to say I think my elegant response would have been 'huh ???' . Impressed @ermen responded coherently and pleasantly
 

odysseus

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Asking in advance to be mindful of noise is not unreasonable. By the time you get woken up it may be hard to go back to sleep again. Again, i draw on my recent flight experience, where such a request to the parents would have been very reasonable indeed.

Actually, it is unreasonable. It's presumptuous.

If there are a couple of mining lads, would you advocate doing the same thing because they might get boisterous?

The Dr made an assumption, and then dictated that his needs/preferences overrode those of other passengers.

What would be reasonable is to draw attention to it if someone is unaware and impacting others. Not singling them out, and telling them what they should do to make you satisfied before anything has happened.
 

GoldCanyon340

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I'd suggest if sleep was so vital he should have left 24 hours earlier and got a good sleep in his own bed.
 

RooFlyer

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Actually, it is unreasonable. It's presumptuous.

If there are a couple of mining lads, would you advocate doing the same thing because they might get boisterous?

Ho ho. Why bring up 'mining lads'? Mining girls don't know how to party? Never heard a loud accountant?

An unreasonable and presumptuous stereotyping. ;):p
 

MEL_Traveller

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Think the weird thing here was the presumption that two children would be noisy and make life difficult for everyone upon boarding.
Come to think of it - nobody goes around to your neighbour saying - "if you sleep, please don't snore" :) And if they snore, you got to just suck it up.

Because we hope that adults are able to take into account how their behaviour impacts on others and might attempt to mitigate that.

Snoring is one of those things that can be controlled if the snorer chooses to sleep on their side or stomach (or not sleep at all). Which is exactly what I do. If someone else snores in the cabin to the extent they wake me up, then I wake them up and ask them to stop.

Personaly I guess I would have waited to assess the situation at the point I was just going to turn in for sleep. If the children hadn't made any noise up until that point perhaps no need to mention anything. (Although on the flight I referenced above, the kids were pretty much ok until they started to get restless about half way through the flight.)
 

JohnK

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Very strange request. My simple reply would be "We'll try but children are children"!

In economy I usually joke with daughter when we get to seat for her to apologise to everyone first. She's been ok but occasionally she has a bad flight. C'est la vie....
 
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