It isn’t the news stories of toddlers behaving badly on planes that get to me so much as the comments under them. That’s where the gold is, where it quickly turns from airline policy discussions to an episode of Survivor, pitting individuals against each other, all asserting why the kid in question should or shouldn’t have been voted off the plane.
In the latest “I’m Gonna Turn This Plane Around Right Now” story, a three-year-old and his family reportedly were kicked off an Alaska Airline flight when the toddler refused to sit down with his seat upright and his seatbelt fastened.
The story in a nutshell:
- A three-year-old boy wasn’t happy while on plane at Sea-Tac Airport.
- He refused to sit down and wear his seatbelt.
- His dad tried to console him, but couldn’t.
- His mom, seated elsewhere in the plane, was summoned back to calm him down.
- She gave him water and a pacifier to soothe him, and it worked.
- It was all too late because the pilot had already turned the plane around and asked the family to leave.
- The news media covered the story.
Cue the predictable comments. Among the suggestions for remedying such situations:
The Little Rascals Approach: One commenter suggests a paddle or a toothbrush, adding that ”a flexed toothbrush really gets your attention. Stings like the devil.”
The Parents Are Stoopid [sic] Defense: Another says to “put them both in checked baggage” and blames “stupid parents” who make it worse for “they’re [sic] children.”
The “Just Say Yes” Suggestion: This one offers “three words”:
An apparent side effect of drugging your child for airline travel, says the commenter, is that other passengers praise your parenting skills.
The Dads Aren’t Moms, So… A woman thought perhaps the “stewardess” didn’t realize that Mom was on board, because Mom fixed it when Dad couldn’t.
The “Get Over Yourselves” Commenter Against Rude Comments: This commenter was disappointed in the anti-child sentiments. “Since when did commercial airlines become your private Lear Jet?”
The Policy Duh: On commenter pointed out that infants are allowed to sit in an adult’s lap without restraints, and wondered if the airlines values toddlers less than infants.
The Future Thug Theory, 2012-Style: “I bet he doesn’t have to wear his seat belt [in the car]. Grows up, breaks bigger rules, soon he’s the president of the bank.”
And then we go on with our lives until the next person, child or otherwise, gets booted off a plane for, say, being a baby with a Muslim name, wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with a curse word or smelling bad.
Or maybe we could all just drive.