Friday, November 02, 2007

Air rant: Rudeness unseated

If you check out Shel Holtz's Road Weary blog, you'll find a post about seat hogs who recline and lie in your lap. (My husband is 6'4'' and admittedly, reclines his seat in coach...but he at least tries not to do it during meals.)

(In case you don't know the blog, Holtz is a web guru who travels frequently for business and blogs about the hassles thereof.)

I can relate. The airline seat nightmare that burns me most is The Kid Behind You.

Either this kid really gets around or he's got plenty of clones, because I hear friends rant about the same.

This is the kid who kicks the back of your airline seat...for hours on end. The parent is either completely inured or worse, couldn't care less. (It might be the same couple who, one night in Miss Saigon, let their kid SCREAM nonstop for more than an hour. When they got up to leave, the entire restaurant applauded. Don't people like this have ANY manners?)

My friends and I are divided about how to handle the Kicking Kid. We all usually start with turning around and politely letting the parent know about the situation. If the parent does anything, it's usually a mild (exasperated) "Johnny, don't do that.''

Of course, the reason Johnny continues is that he's heard this before and knows it isn't followed up by any consequences. (I've noted that parents who have routinely followed up with their kids aren't the ones whose kids drive you nuts on planes.)

Now you, the back-sore traveler, have two choices. You can suffer silently, or you can take action.

One of my frustrated friends once finally grabbed a kid's foot and suggested sternly that he stop it THAT INSTANT. She must look mean, because it worked.

But of course, the parent who wouldn't address this herself was incensed.

So what do you think? Should you just sit there and let the kid harrass you for the next three hours, or should you do something? And what should you do?

Click to Comment below.


dmdelgado said...

On the kid issue, last July I flew on Martinair Miami to Amsterdam. For the entire flight, the mom had her seat fully reclined and the kid played with the recline button for hours. My seatmate endured a "full recline" with the kid's seat in his lap. Eventually, a full glass of red wine from his dinner tray also landed in his lap. Thankfully, he had a change of clothes in his overnight bag. The mother did not apologize, nor did she assist in getting the tike to stop. When I asked her to reposition her chair while I ate, she refused my request. On my return flight, the flight attendant offered me a vacant row to make up for the really uncomfortable 9 hours we endured at the hands of the mother and child.

mctessm said...

I would definatly say something to the parent or the child. After all, you paid for your ticket,why should anyone have to listen to that for hours on end. Say it politely, nice and stern and hopefully it should do the trick.

Anonymous said...

Kids will be kids...I think sometimes we have trouble remembering what that's like. As a parent I would appreciate the irrate passengar to confront me in a polite way, and in that same sentence ask the child if they would please be a sport and not kick your chair, or whatever it is that they don't realize they are doing (like annoying you). Confronting the issue in that manner engages both parent and child and ultimately will get you the best response. I don't think it's wise to ever be demanding when making any request.

Anonymous said...

Jane, please quit using so many parentheses! We love reading what you have to say, but all these side notes make it seem like you are almost inadvertently undercutting what you have to say. Be direct with us! We want to read all of your exciting posts without parentheses getting in the way!

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