Plane Passenger Sparks Outrage Over 'Self-Centered' Parents Ditching Kids for First Class — But Who's Wrong?

The passenger called the experience “one of the more annoying flights of my life” recounting how both kids and parents were running and up and down the aisle



An airline passenger is revealing why they had “one of the more annoying flights of my life” last week — and sparking outrage online.

On a recent transatlantic flight, two parents were seated in business class, but left their three kids to fend for themselves in economy. The result was a very long 10 hours for all their fellow flyers.

In a Reddit post shared April 19, a user who goes by porad1, explained that they were seated in the bulkhead seat, the first row of economy+ before business class, on a long-haul flight when they noticed children running back and forth past them and into first class. They soon realized that the kids' parents were seated in business class, while the children, who the original poster (OP) estimates were about 5 to 12 years old, were in row 30.

“I counted over 30 times in a few-hour span of a 10-hour flight,” the user wrote of how many passes the kids made up and down the plane aisle. “Hard not to notice a curtain being yanked aside right in front of you by the same folks every few minutes.”

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They added that the parents also frequently walked to the back of the plane to check on their kids. At one point, they said a flight attendant told one of the highly mobile children “he couldn’t keep doing this,” but they didn’t stop.

“I appreciate that unaccompanied young children get bored and lonely, and that their parents want to check up on them every so often, but then maybe don’t book yourselves in separate cabins?” the OP wrote. “It’s not fair that other passengers should be constantly disrupted because of your poor planning.”

The post concluded by asking, “Unpopular opinion?”


Commenters immediately chimed in on the topic, with nearly everyone sharing the opinion of the OP, that the family's behavior was unreasonable.

“I have four kids. I would never have booked business for myself and economy for them at their ages,” someone commented. “It is beyond inconsiderate and the stewardesses should have made it clear that it has to stop. It’s disruptive and unsafe.”

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Another person wrote that “there should be a policy” against parents and children sitting in different cabins on a plane, which many other users agreed with.

“Flight attendants and fellow passengers aren't your free babysitters,” they continued. “Perfectly reasonable to switch off [with one parent sitting with the kids for each half of the flight]."

One user shared their own experience, saying they grew up with their parents sitting in the front of the plane and them sitting in economy.

“We knew we were to stay in our seats unless it was an emergency or necessary to go up front,” the user explained. “We also flew a lot as kids so maybe we just knew how to behave?”

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PEOPLE turned to travel expert Nicole Campoy Jackson to weigh in on the heated debate.

"This ultimately comes down to age. Travel experience has an impact here, too, but at the end of the day if your kids are little, you should be sitting with them," she says. "Consider that 'unaccompanied minor' services are typically up to age 12 (and in some cases 14), so we can use that as a guideline for kids who can sit on their own, even if their parents are on the plane."

Jackson adds that kids should be able to do a number of activities independently if they are going to sit unaccompanied, including being able to "read well on their own, sit still for long stretches, ask for snacks or choose a meal, and respectfully interact with people around them and authority figures (in this case, flight attendants)."

She agrees that kids running up and down the aisle to see their parents is "incredibly disruptive" and likely wouldn't be the relaxing journey their parents hoped for. If other passengers are disturbed, Jackson says it's "absolutely reasonable to call in the advice and help of a flight attendant" who will then speak to the parents.

Another important thing to keep in mind is how the kids would react in case of an emergency.

"Can you imagine your kid dealing with the oxygen mask coming down? What about an emergency exit? Or a bad patch of turbulence? There are plenty of adults who'd, understandably, have a hard time managing any one of those things let alone a kid who is sitting separately from their parents."

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