Screaming Children and Parents With Headphones

Who would have thought the flights to and from Vegas would give me so much to write about? The drunk people, the wireless mouse, grabbing the seat in front of you….. Here is one more.

On the oh so awesome flight home, which included delays and drunk people, there was another element that contributed to my happy, happy state of mind. A family got on the plane and sat two rows in front of us. Beautiful kids, ages approximately 6, 3, and 1. The parents seemed nice, and were responsive to their kids needs. Until the plane took off.

As the plane was taking off, both parents (BOTH) put on noise canceling headphones. The older kids seemed fine–didn’t hear a peep out of them. But the beautiful, beautiful 1-year old started screaming immediately. And I mean screaming bloody murder at the top of her lungs. I saw the headphones on the parents and thought, surely they are checking on the video or something they are about to play for the baby. But no, the kid screamed and the parents ignored, with headphones on.

This lasted for over twenty minutes, with one parent occasionally leaning over and saying something to the screaming child. But they left the headphones on. Because, hey, there’s no reason they should have to listen to it too right? Just because everyone else did?

Now, I don’t have kids yet, and I am sure that being on a plane while your child is screaming is very hard. I try not to judge parents for how they handle their kids in any situation, because, again, I have no kids and have no idea how I would handle it. What I am upset about here is the headphones. It seemed like the parents were completely disregarding what was going on, and cutting themselves off from everyone else. The rest of us,  meanwhile, had to listen to their child express her displeasure. Not fun, not fun at all.


  1. Not cool. I have a 14 month old and we travel with her every month or two – usually on long cross country flights. She’s generally been quite good on most flights, but on the couple of occasions that she started getting fussy or loud, my husband and I did EVERYTHING in our power to quiet her down. Pacifier, food, bottle, walking up and down the aisles, toys, etc. Parents like the ones you saw give the rest of us traveling with kids a bad name.

  2. I agree with you and Leslie, totally not cool. Don’t have kids myself and know it is not easy, sometimes it seems there is nothing you can do to get a kid to stop crying, but the headphones….totally unacceptable – the parents should suffer like the rest of us!

  3. I think I was *that kid* when I was younger so I feel I don’t really have any place to say anything. I know I was a seat kicker. I probably threw tantrums too.
    That doesn’t mean parents shouldn’t at least try to calm the kid down. My parents probably shouldn’t have let me in public until I grew up.

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