Or was cabin crew? My child scolded herself.

(290 Posts)
maxbradbury Sun 07-Apr-13 19:42:51

Ok flying home from Easter holiday. We went with a large group of us so all four children sat in the row in front with us sitting behind them on the plane. Cabin crew come through serving hot drinks and I have my nose in a book so do not notice. All of a sudden my six year old starts to scream. She had split hot chocolate all over herself . Turns out a member of crew asked if she would like a hot drink and she asked for a hot chocolate which was given to her without a lid or my consent. A member of crew took us to the loos and dressed to burn. I asked if it is normal procedure to give a young child a hot drink without consent and a lid. She said it wasn't and they would normally get consent and even then water it down with milk and pop on a lid.

Husband wants to make a complaint but I sort of feel I was partly to blame as I was not sat with her. She still has marks on her legs five days on. So am I to blame for not sitting with her or should I make a complaint?

Sirzy Sun 07-Apr-13 23:13:07

Max how many adults where in your party?

Even if you managed to miss them bringing the drinks i struggle to believe that not one of the party noticed

Tigglette Sun 07-Apr-13 23:15:08

Yes, if the drink had been scalding it would have blistered despite treatment, the treatment gel stuff reduces pain but blistering is the skins natural defence/damage process and would have happened had the drink been hot enough. My husband got a very bad scald from boiling water and blistered almost immediately, treatment reduced the pain but it still blistered, needed hospital treatment and left scarring.

aufaniae Sun 07-Apr-13 23:16:55

It sounds like the Cabin Crew dealt with the incident very effectively. Although I would complain (as I said above) solely to try to help prevent this happening to another child, I would also specify that it's only the serving of the hot drink I had an issue with, and would make sure to praise the Cabin Crew for their effective response, as this is important information IMO.

maxbradbury Sun 07-Apr-13 23:17:38

There were six adults in total. I can only think grandparent who sat in front assumed I would deal with it which obviously I didn't.

The drink may not of been red hot but hot enough to hurt her and leave a red mark straight after.

I just want to give feedback the virgin and I've learnt my lesson to look out for the bloody hot drinks cart.

Growlithe Sun 07-Apr-13 23:33:19

TBH I can't believe your seating arrangement passed the cabin check as it is against Virgin policy on travelling with children unless you are in Upper Class, in which case I wouldn't have expected a disposable cup with or without lid.

landofsoapandglory Sun 07-Apr-13 23:44:52

I spilt a red hot cup of coffee on my mother when I was a child. When she removed her T-shirt and bra, a layer of skin came with it. She required hospital treatment and special dressings for around 3 months. She still has the scars over 30 years later. As your DD only has a slight mark 5 days down the line, I doubt the drink was boiling hot.

I think you should have had an adult sitting with the the children. Had there have been an emergency, your party would have been a hindrance whilst you all shuffled about to be able to assist your DC with life jackets, etc.

I am slightly puzzled as to how anyone on a plane can miss a drinks trolley passing by, TBH!

maxbradbury Sun 07-Apr-13 23:57:57

I never said the drink was boiling hot.
The fact is I missed the cart and my daughter was given a drink hot enough to make her scream and leave a mark.
I'm sure if the plane was crashing down I would of been able to step up reach for her life jacket underneath. I was able to make sure they had belts on when needed.
I do not regret sitting behind them but regret missing the cart.
I'm not perfect and I have been honest.
Thank you for all your comments smile

Growlithe Mon 08-Apr-13 00:07:06

I think if you were to complain, you would not only get the person who served the drink into trouble, but the whole crew because of how you were allowed to be seated.

I wonder if you could reach the lifejacket if it was dark which would be possible. Especially as you can miss a drinks cart so easily.

maxbradbury Mon 08-Apr-13 00:09:20

Oh FFs

Wibblypiglikesbananas Mon 08-Apr-13 00:10:34

There are things about this story that don't quite add up. I used to work for a major airline (not Virgin) and I'd be surprised that drinks were served so hot as to scald. You're often lucky to get a lukewarm cup of tea!

Its not unusual for the higher end carriers to use proper cups rather than cardboard cups with plastic lids, so that rings true. However, there's no way you would be allocated seats in the formation described here. Did you swap seats amongst yourselves?

All that said, if I'd been flying and saw children who appeared to be unaccompanied, there's no way I would have given them a drink, hot or not, without checking with their parents. There are too many risks in terms of allergies etc for a start. Whilst the crew seem to have acted appropriately after the event, they shouldn't really have given this to your daughter without checking. Did you challenge this on board? What did the cabin manager/service director say?

I guess you need to decide what you want to happen next and it's hard to say you're without blame as it seems to me that swapping seats may have been the root cause. If you'd been closer to your daughter, this likely wouldn't have happened.

kim147 - lots of airlines don't carry nuts due to allergies. My old employer didn't.

clam Mon 08-Apr-13 00:14:43

"If you'd been closer to your daughter, this likely wouldn't have happened."

Hmm, well actually, that's what I was driving at earlier. I think it might well have done. I asked if you had been sitting next to your daughter, agreed she could have the hot drink and then she'd spilled it, who would have been blamed then?

Bartlebee Mon 08-Apr-13 00:16:15

I'm sorry op, but as some

maxbradbury Mon 08-Apr-13 00:22:37

Clam I wouldn't of let her have it no.

Bartlebee Mon 08-Apr-13 00:24:26

Aargh bloody ipad! As someone that flies a lot with kids, I can't imagine leaving a 6 yr old to sit with other kids on a flight.

At this age, they are totally your responsibility. We only let ours sit together at 9 & 13 and that was only for half of a long flight.

I feel sorry for the cabin crew, who can't really be blamed - they're not childminders. You should have been vigilant if you chose it to sit with your child.

Bartlebee Mon 08-Apr-13 00:25:42

Not to sit... iPad not cooperating.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Mon 08-Apr-13 00:27:49

clam - that's a fair point. I guess what I'm saying is if the OP complains re the child being given a drink unsupervised, Virgin could easily come back and say they should have been supervised and why had their parent allowed them to sit in an incorrect seat, against safety policy?

As I said, I doubt very much that the drink was as hot as described. The water heating facilities on a number of aircraft don't even go up to boiling point. If the burns were as bad as described, I would be very surprised.

Re your more specific point, I suppose it's up to parents to determine whether their child is capable of managing a hot drink. And when I say that, I mean all things being equal, no risk of turbulence, nothing untoward happening. After that, it's an accident plain and simple, just as it would be with an adult. Sometimes there is no one to 'blame'.

grovel Mon 08-Apr-13 00:32:41

Agree with Wibblypiglikesbananas.

MTSgroupie Mon 08-Apr-13 00:46:27

I like my tea to be freshly boiled hot but in.all my years of air travel I have never had a hot cup of tea or coffee on a plane. I asked a friend who works as Cathay Pacific cabin staff whether this had something to do with the attitude (water boils at a lower temperature the higher you go). She laughed and said that it was to do with minimiu their exposureg with regards to insurance claims. It just takes one jolt of turbulence for a plane load of passengers to sue the airline for having scalding cups of tea or coffee dumped on their laps.

Ok, to a 6 year old anything hot is going to be major but I doubt that it was scalding hot for the reason that I mentioned above

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Mon 08-Apr-13 00:54:14

YABU If I was sitting next to my dd on a plane and she was offered a hot chocolate she would take it and if she spilled it she wouldn't be any less hurt than if I hadn't been asked. If it had been hot beyond the realms of all reason then she would have been more seriously hurt. I also have never had a lid on a cup on a plane and I wouldn't give my 6yo a lidded cup in normal circs. Its just an ordinary unfortunate accident that isn't going to be prevented from happening again unless hot drinks are banned altogether which is unlikely. Lidded cups keep the drink hot longer and encourage arseing about.

Allergies are a different issue. Dcs with allergies don't suddenly start stuffing themselves with things that will kill them because they are being doled out by a woman in bright lipstick.

Morloth Mon 08-Apr-13 00:57:19

Both parties were unreasonable.

You should have been supervising and they shouldn't have given her a hot drink.

I wouldn't allow a 6 year old to sit anywhere other than directly next to a responsible adult on a plane.

cumfy Mon 08-Apr-13 01:05:59

Unprofessional aircrew.

SatsukiKusukabe Mon 08-Apr-13 01:42:08

I'd complain. why didn't they ask you first? I'd not be paying attention either because us wouldn't expect adults to think giving a 6 year old a hot drink in her was a good idea.

BadLad Mon 08-Apr-13 02:01:09

I have never had a lid on a hot drink on a plane. Usually the crew go around with tea and coffee in each hand, and pour it straight into the cup which I place on a tray for them.

I flew Glasgow to Dublin about nine years ago, can't remember which airline, but it was definitely a cheapo. Anyway, I had a coffee, I drink mine black. It was served in a Starbucks type cup with lid, and was still very warm when we landed. The flight was approx 40 minutes, and for most of the flight it was too hot to drink. This was even more awkward as I was traveling with my 3mth and 24mth old children, alone.

Just mentioning this as the coffee on that flight would definitely have been hot enough to do damage. This was a long while back though so things may well have changed now.

Mutley77 Mon 08-Apr-13 04:57:38

Sorry I simply can't see how you think that this is anyone's responsibility but your own. I am sure cabin crew aren't trained to work directly with children - and therefore may well not know what ages children can do certain things. The reason being that parents (or guardians) are fully responsible for their own children on a flight.

Had this happened in a school or kids club or somewhere that someone had taken responsibility for your child you would have every leg to stand on and a complaint would be totally reasonable.

In this instance it sounds like your DD was sitting with older children and the cabin crew would likely have felt in a difficult position if they were having drinks and then questioning your DD who also wanted one - they may not have realised exactly what age she was. If it was not obvious who the responsible adult was, I can't see how you can suggest they should have sought permission. Yes it would have been great if they had but an expectation that they do when you were not paying attention and had let your DD sit on her own is not correct in my view.

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