Is This the Knock Out Punch in the Argument Over Kids on a Plane? Unruly Kids Blamed in Crash Investigation.

One of the most controversial subjects among frequent flyers is some variant of ‘kids on a plane’. It sometimes comes up in terms of “should kids be allowed to fly business (or first) class?”

My own view is absolutely, and frankly there are plenty of adults who shouldn’t be permitted in business class or economy.

Nonetheless, I’ve been on long overnight flights where all I want is to go to sleep. And where parents were actually sending their child running down the aisle of the aircraft. He screamed while doing so.

And I’ve been on a flight where the crying of kids led to a louder-still fight between the parents over who was responsible.

Most of the time children have been fine. Most of the time, when they aren’t fine parents have done their best. But occasionally — and this is where I draw a line — parents completely check out or even encourage the screaming that impinges on their fellow travelers. And it’s these rogue parents that are the small minority that I take issue with.


An official accident investigation in Australia .

Incessant coughing by a passenger on a flight with excitable children aboard distracted a pilot so much he landed without putting the aircraft’s landing wheels down, an air crash report by the Australian Air Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) revealed last week.

…The pilot reported that the three children on board were excited and a little disruptive, and he had kept a close watch on their activities.

No one was injured although the aircraft was damanged.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Pretty bad excuse from the pilot to explain his mistake.
    If you can’t concentrate on a job as important as flying and landing a plane because of a group of noisy passengers, then get another job.

    Kids in this case is accidental. It could have been a group of drunk adults, sports fan or whatever no behaving in the cabin.
    It’s no excuse and not even a valid explanation.

    I agree with you definitely that there are as many or more issues with adults behavior aboard airplanes as there are with children.
    The issue is 95% of the time the parents anyway when the disturbance comes from kids.

    I was once on a flight from Germany to Argentina in business class and one guy prevented the whole cabin from sleeping with his heavy snoring. It was like a tractor engine and went on for the whole flight.
    That was much worse than the kids screams and or cries I ever had to take on planes or trains.

    I think if there is one policy airlines should adopt for the benefit of all it would be to ban reclining seats in economy at anytime. And replace seats progressively with seats that cannot recline.
    That’s the worst thing on a plane, it gets people angry and is a source of conflicts. It’s also a free card for the one of the most selfish and self-centric behavior in the world of travel. Let me make my experience 2% better by reclining my seat, and it does not matter if it makes that of the person sitting behind me 50% worse.

  2. The aircraft was a Cessna 310, a six seat, general aviation aircraft, and not an airline flight. The article doesn’t say so, but the children were likely that of the pilot. The first rule of being a pilot is that you have ultimate responsibility for the safety of flight, so blaming his accident on his kids is quite a stretch.

    My two sisters and I certainly did much worse as children traveling in my father’s Cessna, and yet he (and I) somehow managed to put the gear down every time. Gear up landings are actually very common in general aviation, but thankfully, they almost always just result in ruined engines and damaged egos, but no injuries, which was the case here. There is certainly nothing relevant to commercial airline travel here.

  3. Another clickbait with no relevance to frequent airline flyers. As mentioned above this was a general aviation charter flight on a small -seat Cessna 310 – more like an airborne minivan than an airline flight. Also:

    – Claiming “distraction” by passengers (unless they were trying to kill you or something!) is a very poor excuse for a pilot, and I’m speaking from experience – including experience as a Cessna 310 pilot myself!
    – The pilot also blamed the incessantly coughing front seat passenger as well as some distraction regarding a Cessna 210 behind him.
    – The fatal flaw seems to be noted in the report:

    “…The pilot manoeuvred the aircraft to join a late downwind for runway 27 at Jabiru. He reported that, as he commenced the pre-landing checks and verbalised ‘undercarriage down’ but made a decision to defer the associated procedure…”

    That last part was the problem – he consciously decided to not perform the gear-down action at the point in the checklist where it would normally have occurred. There is no reason not to do this – speeds in the 310 can still be kept up – within what would be reasonable on final approach – with the undercarriage down.

  4. I punch myself every time i fall for one of your stupid clickbait titles. This has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with anything related to commercial aviation. This happened on a 6 seat Cessna which is privately owned. The fact that this guy made some mistake landing his tiny plane has no correlation whatsoever to commercial aviation. It’s not wonder VFTW keeps falling lower and lower on my blog list.

  5. Gary-
    What is with your obsession with people who go barefoot on a plane? This post has NOTHING to do with that, but yet all the pictures you post obsess about it. If you want to complain about peoples hygiene, then do so, but thats about ANY body part. Just because feet are bare doesn’t mean they are ANY dirtier than any other part of the body, in fact, I would argue they are CLEANER than most peoples shoes due to the fact that most people wash their feet, and not their shoes on a regular basis.

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