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Woman Sues Airline over Screaming Toddler!

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momlogic's Vivian: Last year, I wrote a blog called "Air Wars" -- a vivid recollection of a nightmare plane ride with my inconsolable 2-year old. Half of you deeply felt my pain; the other half felt compelled to chastise me for neglecting to drug my daughter into a complacent, drooling silence. (Benadryl isn't always the answer, BTW -- it's scientifically proven to make some kids even more hyper. But I digress.)

toddler crying

Anyway, a poor mom enveloped in the flames of a similar hell recently had to tolerate even bigger jackasses than I did -- and one of them even sprung a lawsuit on the airline!

Time.com reports that American tourist Jean Barnard, 67, found the nerve to sue Qantas because (she claims) the staff of the airline failed to protect her from the screaming toddler she blames for permanent hearing loss!

Barnard said, "The pain was so excruciating that I didn't even know I was deaf." In response, Qantas legal said, "Flight attendants cannot predict when children aboard an aircraft are about to scream. There is no evidence that the child was screaming in the terminal, or on board the aircraft prior to the particular scream which allegedly caused the damage."

The case settled last week, but we were treated to this last missive from the woman (WHO WORE A HEARING AID DURING THE FLIGHT IN QUESTION): "I guess we are simply fortunate that my eardrum was exploding and I was swallowing blood. Had it not been for that, I would have dragged that kid out of his mother's arms and stomped him to death."

Um, her preexisting deafness couldn't have been aggravated by the sudden change in cabin pressure that occurs during ALL flights, could it?

And lemme guess: She doesn't have kids, right?


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199 comments so far | Post a comment now
Amar July 22, 2010, 12:55 PM

“Being a parent with an upset baby or toddler on an airplane is one of the most stressful events ever.”

THEN DON’T DO IT.

You don’t HAVE to travel by plane.

It is not ok for you to inflict your screaming child on the rest of us.

I understand that babies and toddlers get tired, fussy, their ears hurt, etc. I don’t expect kids to act like adults. But I do expect adults to manage their kids.

If there is a setting in which you cannot control your child, then please do not bring said child into said setting. Thank you.

anonymous July 22, 2010, 1:11 PM

You all know there’s a simple effective solution, don’t you?

I travel a lot, and have ended up on several flights with screaming toddlers. As a grandmother, I always carry a psp (playstation portable) along with a number of memory sticks onto which I’ve coverted a number of Spongebob and other kids videos into mp4 format, so they can be played in the psp.

I just go up to the parents, ask if their child would like to watch Spongebob, put some little headphones on them, and never hear another peep. They’ve always given me back my psp at the end of the flight, and I’ve yet to be turned down. I carry a nintendo ds and an ipod touch as well.

No matter how opposed some may be to portable gaming systems, kids don’t cry when watching spongebob, and they don’t get restless when playing video games. A little DVD player would probably work as well.

different anon July 22, 2010, 1:59 PM

First of all the noise and stress of an aircraft is much different than a plane. The child can see familiar objects like houses, cars and roads. They can not in an aircraft. The aircraft seems much more closed even as an adult. Second is the concentrated noise of an aircraft. This is hard on a child’ ears. The pressure changes are physically hard on a child’s ears. It is painful for an adult let alone someone to young to understand it.

All that being said and aircraft is a toxic environment for a child and the person who puts a child in that situation is a cruel and heartless person. While you are flaming up an obvious troll under the first anon, you are advocating something that is really vicious to a frightened child; cramming them into a hot, loud, overstimulating, strange, smelly aluminum tube. The launching that tube to an altitude that their little Eustachian Tubes can not adjust to, making them suffer severe pain. And then you think you are justified in torturing this child! How cruel! How mean can you be? I thought parents were supposed to love their children. It’s quite obvious that parental love must stop when it inconveniences them. Kids come first- until mommy wants something.

MartiniMama July 22, 2010, 2:00 PM

I have been flying (on LOOOONG international flights all over the world) with my son since he was 9 months old (he is now 6 years old). He has never behaved badly on a flight. In fact, 90% of the time, he has fallen asleep within 20 minutes of takeoff. Our last flight was 8 hours, he slept for 7 of them. When he is awake, he realizes that he needs to sit in his seat. I always made sure I had plenty of things to occupy him and keep him entertained. There are things that parents CAN control to an extent.

But if a baby is crying from the change in air pressure or other discomfort? Come on! Ridiculous!

And for those posters who are saying that you should use another mode of transportation to get places, even if there is an emergency, until your child reaches a certain age - get real! How else should someone plan to get to SE Asia or Australia from the US? Swim? Paddle their own boat?

I don’t happen to like fat passengers who sit next to me and invade my seat space - my comfort is being compromised, should I sue for that? Or should we just ban anyone that can’t fit comfortably in the seats? I hate it when other passengers snore. It’s disturbing and I can’t sleep. Do you think I should hire a lawyer? What is the world coming to?

law1204 July 22, 2010, 2:09 PM

I fail to see why parents who know FOR A FACT that there is a very good chance their kid will have a meltdown insist on flying.

Dear stupid parent: You knew it was going to happen since your kid is two years old. You admit this - “Kids have tantrums, it happens, it’s a fact of life!” Eff you. I have no sympathy for you, you placed yourself in this mess and gambled with other people’s peace and well-being, with knowledge aforehand that your child was going to scream its head off. You went on a flight with a kid you don’t know how to control, you admit that you can’t control your kid, and everyone knows that you orchestrated the entire mess on fricking purpose. That is why you get dirty looks - because you are deliberately inept and inconsiderate of everyone around you.

If you know you cannot control your child, and you know there is an excellent chance the child will act out of control, do not inflict said child on a captive audience.

CFBC July 22, 2010, 2:16 PM

I’m with Anon. If the term “wild indians” offend you, I’ll suggest one that is more appropriate: Monkeys on crack.

NeoKnows July 22, 2010, 2:49 PM

According to the original article, THE CHILD LEANED ACROSS THE AISLE AND SCREAMED DIRECTLY INTO THE VICTIM’S EAR HARD ENOUGH TO BURST THE EARDRUM AND MAKE IT BLEED.

What kind of total absentee parent ignores or watches while their kid does this, and makes no effort to intercept it?

Frikkin’ kid could have reached across the aisle and stabbed somebody in the heart with a letter-opener and you mindless members of the Cult Of The Child would all still just bleat “it’s ooooooonly a chyyyyyyyulld. It’s whaaat they dooooooooo. Controlling a chyuuuld is soooo haaaaard!”

Uncontrolled children of absentee parents cause real physical damage to innocent parties every day, and for once somebody is holding them accountable.

Damn skippy. She oughta nail the parents too. Unfortunately, they’ve probably gathered up their irresponsible cowardice and fled without a trace.

Reality July 22, 2010, 5:18 PM

Isn’t it amazing how women in the 1950s and 1960s had more kids, yet were well dressed, with hats and gloves, and their children were in general better behaved, quiet and obedient, despite these women having much fewer job opportunities, less money, and fewer appliances (and no Facebook), than the sackcloth, flip-flop, my-child-can-do-no-wrong martyrs that pass for “parents” today?

The woman sued because she was injured and was in pain. The kid was screaming because it was in pain. This seems to escape the “My baby is a special snowflake” excuse mommies. If you ask me, the airlines should grow a pair and hold parents accountable.

Zatoth July 24, 2010, 7:53 AM

I am aware children will be in public places with me. However, that realization does not mean am i signing off on having to quietly suffer your child abusing me or other people in the place because you could not be bothered to rein him in. Airlines have a commitment, often federally regulated, to passenger safety and that includes allowing your brat to scream to the point it physically damages the hearing of other passengers. That means they can ask you to get your brat off the plane if it is misbehaving. In fact, they are obligated to. I find it incredibly outrageous that the blogger feels a woman who has suffered physical injury from a misbehaving child is somehow in the wrong here. She probably also cries foul when a teenager threatening homeowners while robbing their house or stealing their car gets shot because he tried to run them over with a car or pointed a weapon at them. Teaching and condoning kids they are entitled to hurt others is simply child abuse.

Anonymous July 24, 2010, 3:29 PM

How is a bus better? Because it makes more stops? REALY????? A flight is a few hours a bus trip is 2 days!!!! So the bus stops every 4-6 hours for breaks and thats a better break than a 2 hours flight??? You really can’t be that stupid can you?

TX Mom July 24, 2010, 4:22 PM

So according to many of the comments, toddlers should just stay at home if they don’t behave? If you follow that logic then ill behaved adults should stay at home too. I have a 3 yr old and yes he can be a pain. My husband and I work very hard to keep in line but sometimes he will have a meltdown, he is three. What are the adults excuse?What about The guy who gets plastered in airport bar and staggers down the aisle, the girl who will not turn off her cell phone until the flight attendant has to threaten her,the lady who brings a carry on that is clearly too big, the guy who forgot to bath and reeks to heaven and back. Kids are people too and have the right to travel like everyone else.

alexis July 25, 2010, 4:09 AM

some of us don’t have a choice but to bring kids on planes. i had to when my son was 3 months old, and i know in a couple months i’m going to have to again. my husband’s in the military, and they don’t do bus rides or trains when you move overseas. they do planes. my son got his own seat to sit his carseat in, and we flew. i didn’t like it. in fact, i hated it. i was more of a nervous wreck than he was. i hate flying. unfortunately, there’s no way around situations like this. we hope that our child behaves well during the flight, but it’s cramped, crowded, and uncomfortable for everyone involved. for some of us, it’s not a choice.

Carol July 25, 2010, 10:46 PM

Seriously MartiniMama,
If your kid is too young to behave himself on an airplane, how you think he’s going to appreciate going to SE Asia or Australia? The kid was 2. He wouldn’t EVEN remember the trip. So what’s the point in taking them? Bragging points for the parents?
No one should be inflicted witha screaming kidfor hours in a confine area.

Keer July 25, 2010, 11:50 PM

This is a complex issue. On the one hand, there ARE a lot of parents who allow their children to completely misbehave in public places. I’m not a parent, but I am a nanny and if I take the kids somewhere and they misbehave beyond what is acceptable, I take them out of the situation. We go to the car, or the bathroom, and they either get a stern talking to or a spanking. I respect the people around us enough to not allow the kids to be running around screaming. In the same vein, kids are kids and you can’t really control tantrums or a crying toddler. The best that can be done is removing the kid from the situation. Take the kid to the bathroom on the plane, hold him close and try and calm him down. Respect that people on the plane are trying to sleep and get work done. It all comes down to respect. You respect others, your kids respect you, so on and so forth.

Lovey's Mom July 26, 2010, 10:39 AM

I’m flying in Jan. with 2 kids who will be almost 3 and 11 months. For those of you who are against kids flying - I HOPE U ARE ON MY FLIGHT. We’ll be traveling to Ft. Lauderdale.

to lovey's mom July 26, 2010, 2:23 PM

So you know that the airport is noisy, crowded place. You know that is will scare your child. You know that the change in air pressure will hurt the child’s ears and yet you are still doing it. You are a cruel and selfish person. Why do you hate your child?

Lovey's Mom July 26, 2010, 7:09 PM

LMAO! That’s the best ignorant comment you could come up with?

NYC Single Mom July 27, 2010, 3:08 AM

I have to admit that I did not take my daughter on a plane until she was close to three. Under three seemed nuts but thats me. We even flew lst class to California to the obvious horror of the men in suits and she was fine. I even got a compliment from one of them about how well behaved she was.

I am slightly ambivalent about the screaming kids on planes issue. One of me is calm them down (agree with the Vivian, benydryl is not always the answer, my daughter was super hyper after I gave it to her for flight), tell them to put their seat belt on and stop kicking the back of my seat. Those are controllable actions by the parent and child. The constant crying from painful ears from altitude shift is another story.

Lets face it, the airlines are not going to ban kids from flights. You just have to hope and pray you are not on a flight with a screaming kid.

http://www.nycsinglemom.com

Morgan July 27, 2010, 3:16 AM

You people might want to remember that the children you are complaining about now are going to be the doctors lawyers judges and police officers you are going to need and want in your life when you are so old that you need a walker! Children do scream and cry and yes it is annoying but we all did it at one time in our lives. Come on you seriously think that children shouldnt be allowed to go out to eat at a restraunt for the fear they might cry or go on a plain because of them throwing a fit what right do you have to say that children shouldnt basically be allowed outside there homes until at least puberty hits? What is the difference between those toddlers throwing a fit and annoying people and you grown adults throwing a fit over the toddlers and annoying everyone? I thought you where suppost to be the adults? Seriously there children innocent little children that cry and throw fits your adults just deal with it like it or not they are a part of this world just like everyone else! One day you will probably need of of those snot nosed annoying brats help just remember that buddy!

Louise McCloud July 27, 2010, 3:16 AM

COME ON, GIVE ME A BREAK, THIS IS A VERY SMALL CHILD, CHILDREN GET CRANKY, THIS IS PART OF BEING A CHILD. IF IT BOTHERED THE WOMAN SO MUCH SHE SHOULD HAVE WORN EAR PLUGS. THE AIRLINE CLEARLY WAS NOT AT FAULT NOR WAS THE PARENT, THIS IS A VERY SMALL CHILD. THE THOUGHT THAT THIS CHILD SHOULD HAVE BEEN TRANQUALIZED IS RIDICULOUS, I WOULD SUE THE AIRLINE IF THEY TRIED TO GIVE MY CHILD ANYTHING TO “SHUT HIM UP”, ESPECIALLY DRUGS, COME ON, GIVE US A BREAK, I HOPE THIS WOMAN LOOSES BIG TIME, NEXT TIME SHE SHOULD TAKE EAR PLUGS SO IF SOMEONE BOTHERS HER DELICATE HEARING, SHE CAN TURN HERSELF OFF. THIS WOMAN OBVIOUSLY DOESN’T HAVE CHILDREN AND PROBABLY DOESN’T LIKE CHILDREN EITHER, IF HER HEARING WAS DAMAGED AS A RESULT OF THIS CHILD SHE PROBABLY HAD A SEVERE HEARING PROBLEM TO BEGIN WITH, PLEASE I HOPE SHE LOST AND NEXT TIME SHE SHOULD TAKE A TRAIN OR A BUS.


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