Flying with a child is a test not only for parents but also for other passengers and crew. A former flight attendant told The Sun how they deal with unruly children on board.
On airplanes, some children like to push the seats in front of them, climb on the seats, and play with the call button. Such antics not only annoy other passengers but also constitute a safety issue that requires the attention of crew members. Former flight attendant Bobby Laurie explained how they deal with unruly children in such situations.
“In some cases, parents do their best, and in others, they fail. In those situations, I would always stop by their row and ask, ‘Can I get you something,’ thinking that sends enough of a signal that what’s going on is starting to bother others,” Bobby said.
If parents cannot calm their children on their own, flight attendants can help in other ways by offering several tools. “These potential tools range from an extra snack or cup of juice from the kitchen to free exercise kits offered by some major airlines,” the flight attendant explained.
But above all, Bobby emphasizes the importance of being kind and patient with families with unruly children. “Approaching parents and children with kindness is usually the best approach. Remember, as with everything related to stressful air travel these days, a little compassion can go a long way to smooth things over.”
Parents whose children do not take flights very well are advised several techniques to calm them down. Norwegian Air Senior Flight Attendant Liliana Chantre recommended, “Bring noise-canceling headphones for newborns and toddlers – they help them feel calm and relaxed, and help with changes in pressure.”
And flight attendant Leigh Allen added: “I always take lavender balm with me. Just touch the child’s temple to calm them down. During a night flight, the soothing scent helps induce sleep.”
While most flight attendants are happy to help alleviate the situation where possible, travel expert Mark Walters warned passengers not to expect babysitting services from airline staff. “Stewardesses are not nannies. They have to focus on keeping the whole plane safe, which means they can’t focus on one kid,” he said.
A travel expert implores parents to pay attention to their little ones and not expect other passengers or flight attendants to act as guardians. But Mark still recommends talking to a flight attendant when the time is right: “And be nice to them, because they’re the best when you need an extra hand.”