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January 27, 2007


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I, obviously, have no children, so I don't know how horribly hard it can be to get a child to bend to my will to behave when I need the child to behave. I have, however, many years of au pair experience under my belt, and understand that this child was old enough to have been taught to "know better."

That said, I have to say, I would have been shocked to see them denied the flight, but relieved that I didn't have to experience an entire flight with the behavior that was exhibited.

I experienced a flight not that long ago in which a mother of triplets, could not sit with all of her children to comfort them at landing, and seemed to be short another adult to help. The screams were headache inducing and painful to my ears. It was excruciating painful to witness and experience. She had more children than she could soothe, and didn't appear to have any tools (bottles, breast, pacifiers) for the children to suck on to relieve ear pressure. What was she thinking? I felt for her, but couldn't help her as I was rows ahead, and seat-belt signs were on for the imminent landing. We endured it together - because we had to.

That was the end of a flight. If it had started that way and continued, I think there would have been some very frustrated passengers, to say the least - or it could have become dangerous and people became more upset. The flight crew made a decision for the group as a whole. If it started that poorly, it seems to me that is would be unlikely to get better any time soon.

I watched the mother being interviewed, and the daughter being quite lovely. I have a feeling, though, that she really was fearful of experiencing the ear pain of a previous flight, and that the experience on that flight while in a "pitching a fit" mode would have been far worse for her long term psyche than the delay that the parents experienced.

They were compensated for their delay (as I understand it), were offered free tickets for another trip, and yet they still feel that it was an egregious act that they were denied boarding.

The mother attempted to defend her daughter's behavior because of a phobia. YET, by delaying their flight, her child calmed down and they proceeded without incident. Doesn't sound like a phobia to me. Sounds like a parent who lost control.

It happens. It doesn't need to be national media event. Be happy about the compensation (FREE.TRAVEL!!!) and move on.

And start to set better limits with your child - children like to know what is expected of them.

(Who knew I had so much to say!)


I appreciated this post! Thanks!

Lori in YK

Pretty much the reason I have not travelled by air or bus only but 2 times since my kids were little!! We will be flying to Hawaii in March but I think everything will be okay...at least with my 2 monsters being 15 and 11 now.

I feel terrible saying it but I hate an unhappy child in an enclosed space...that is what Gravol is for!!!!

That was great advice your friend gave you and I think that I will pass it on!!


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