A woman flying United from Sydney to San Francisco on Monday was told by a flight attendant that the allowable standard for babies crying on the airline’s planes is five minutes.
[The mother] says the flight attendant went on to say the United rule book says babies are not allowed to cry on flights for more than five minutes.
When Bala asked to see the rule book she says she was laughed at, and told she couldn’t see it until they landed because there was no Internet.
Since Bala was on the plane’s WIFI she looked up the rule book, and confirmed there was no rule regarding babies crying.
Fortunately she wasn’t wearing yoga pants.
The plane’s pilot apologized. United apologized. According to the woman, though, the flight attendant refused to apologize. According to the airline,
We’ve been in touch with our customer via social media and United representatives met the family upon arrival to apologize, offer a refund and make clear that the experience she relayed doesn’t reflect our commitment to serving our customers, including our youngest customers. Young families are welcome on our flights, including in business class. We are continuing to review the incident internally and the flight attendant is being held out of service pending the investigation.
Babies crying on board are always controversial. My view has long been that as long as a parent is doing their best to take care of the child then it’s unfortunate but whatever the baby is going through is probably worse.
I’ve been on flights where two parents fought amongst themselves instead of taking care of their screaming child. That’s never a good approach. I’ve also been on Cathay Pacific in first class while two parents sent their child running down the aisles after the lights went out and passengers were trying to go to sleep. The parents turned out to be blog readers and explained they were trying to tire their child out. Understanding, though I would have preferred that happen prior to boarding or while the cabin lights were still on.
I’ve also been on Sydney flights where I barely noticed that babies were in business class. However if something happens, their ears hurt, they have a need or don’t understand turbulence there will be crying. And there’s just not much we can do if we’re flying commercial.
(HT: Jessica Puckett)