“Regular kid-loud” Too Much for Some Passengers

I will admit, I’m not a big fan of traveling on an airplane on which children are also traveling. I sorta feel about kids like Samuel L. Jackson feels about snakes (careful, this clip is NOT work safe):

But, you know, I’m an adult and I heroically suffer through, and so far have avoided succumbing to “opening up some windows”. I understand that traveling with the little ones isn’t easy for the parents either, and so try to cut them some slack … even though it is their fault that we are all on the airplane, and the earth for that matter, with these dirty little rugrats.

Dan, of Points with a Crew, wrote a trip report about a flight he, his wife, and their six young children took that has me, and others, a bit unsure who deserves the most scorn – the “Crew” or the person who speaks her opinion about the kids.

To be sure, the passenger who was annoyed by the crew could have handled the situation better. Immediately following the flight she … well, here’s how Dan described it:

As we’re waiting for the passengers at the front to clear out, a lady 2-3 rows up from us turns around and, speaking directly to my kids asks:


“Are you unaccompanied monsters? Or do you belong to someone?”


Wait, what?!!? First of all, you do NOT talk that way to someone else’s kids. Ever. So my wife hears the lady and replies that these are our children. Upon which the lady says


“Your children are rude and made my flight miserable.”


Carolyn, thinking on her feet, replies with “Well, you’re a rude ADULT!” Upon which the lady lets us know that


“You’re the type of parent that should not have children!”

Ok, that seems clearly out of line, and it is. But Dan makes a couple of statements in the post that has some of the blog commenters wondering if perhaps he and his wife, and parents in general, don’t truly appreciate how godawful flying with their little treasures can really be. Statements like:

I know that actually LIVING with 6 kids, I am somewhat accustomed to the increased noise level.


The kids were loud but they were just regular kid-loud.

While everyone pretty much seems to agree that the annoyed passenger was wrong to react the way she did, not everyone is so ready to cut Dan and his wife a blank forgiveness check for their, or their kids’, behavior.

Normal kid-loud does not mean anything. In fact yes, it means that the situation is out of control and the parents renegate their duties. Are they also kid-loud in classrooms? during TV time? Probably not. You just decided not to have them behave correctly because you either had no control or did not want to exert control. ~Minos

I’m troubled by what seems to be an attitude that being “loud but regular kid-loud” is OK on a flight. There’s age-appropriateness, but there’s also place-appropriateness. Most parents know, and most children learn, that the sound levels appropriate to, say, church, a library, a doctor’s waiting room, the dinner table, and the back yard are all different. ~Rich

Instead of reacting so defensively, you could have politely asked what your children did that was rude and made her miserable, turning the encounter into a teachable moment. Instead, your kids learned that their behavior was apparently acceptable to you, and that it’s okay to be rude to people who complain about them. ~AAL

Read the post and following discussion in its entirety, and let Dan know what your opinion on the subject is by posting in his comments section: Passenger: “You’re the type of parent that should not have children”

Me? I vote for the launch of a kid-free airline.

Image: “Je ne pars pas_1055” by James Emery. CC BY 2.0.


  1. Thanks for the link. I appreciated some of the comments on the post (Even those with differing opinions). Of course some people were just rude 😀

    I agree that there are things about how we handled things that we could have been different, and clearly after a long day in the airport, everyone on the plane was not at their best.

    And I’d be happy to see a kid-free airline too 🙂

  2. I dont know how old his kids are but traveling with six kids would be problamatic seatwise. If you are on a 3 by 3 narrow body the parents can only be sitting with 4 of the six kids. Would be harder to keep the two kids you cant see in line because well… you cant see them.

  3. Within his post he actually includes a seatmap showing how they arranged the seating of the kids and parents. Clearly Dan and his wife are experienced travelers, as the seating assignments are clearly well thought out.

  4. Dan – you’re right and that is really the crux of the problem. On the way out, my parents flew with us so we had 2 more adults to help manage things.

    We actually put quite a bit of thought into who should sit where. In hindsight, putting the 3 boys together was probably a mistake.

    One thought we’ve had for future trips is to put some of my older kids off by themselves since, generally speaking, my kids are pretty well-behaved (by themselves 😀 )

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