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to be disappointed that someone didn't offer

(167 Posts)
BillyNotQuiteNoMates Mon 20-Jan-14 02:25:01

I've just read the thread about a train journey with a buggy and it put me in mind of a situation I saw recently. I wondered how many people would have moved..
I boarded an aeroplane with my DH and 5 DCs, none of whom had flown before and were all nervous (truth be told, I'm terrified myself) there weren't enough seats in one row for all of us so DH sat between 2 DCs, I sat between 2 DCs and oldest sat alone (he didn't mind). Plane filled up and just before take off, a young family boarded. There was a Mum with a baby, a Dad and young girl (approx 2yo). There were no seats together, so Mum sat in a single seat with baby on lap, Dad sat in another with DD behind him. She was distraught, obviously scared and broke her heart. He was trying to hold her hand but couldn't because everyone needed to be strapped in. I was really shocked that no-one offered to swap with him so he could sit with his DD, even if it had just been for the take-off, and it was only an hour long flight anyway. I genuinely would have done so myself if my own DCs hadn't been so nervous. I don't know how they got to the airport but if they were on a transport bus, they would have had no control over what time they got to the airport (in case people post that they should have got there earlier). So, if you had no DCs to consider, would you have offered?

willyoulistentome Tue 21-Jan-14 06:45:36

amyshellfish yes it does make you sound like a bitch.

Bunbaker Tue 21-Jan-14 06:48:16

"I think that is a very sad reflection of society that people would rather judge the parents for not booking a seat and refuse to move on principle (and because they had paid an extra tenner) than actually put the needs of a terrified and sobbing 2 year old first. Surely at that point anyone decent and without special needs of their own would say to the parent "your poor dd, let me swap so you can comfort her". Does it really matter if parents had been disorganised/naive/tightwads at this point? Surely the sight of a terrified toddler trumps all that?"

I agree.

Bunbaker Tue 21-Jan-14 06:50:21

"Adults don't have to dance attendance on every crying child, they really don't."

And if the crying child was someone else's seated next to you on a plane because it couldn't sit with its parent, what then?

BoneyBackJefferson Tue 21-Jan-14 06:54:13

It has nothing to do with what the parents 'ought' to have done

Yes it does, if the parents had sorted seating out, then the situation would never had happened.

all adults, regardless of their relationship to the child, should put children before themselves as children are vulnerable citizens and require greater levels of care.

interesting how this only appears to be the case when (some) parents want it to.

This is so basic a human concept that it's actually shocking that society is failing so much in teaching people of their duties to those less able than themselves.

Unless the law has changed there is no duty of care to others in this situation and if there was why do the parents seem to be exempt form it?

Morgause Tue 21-Jan-14 07:02:10

bunbaker The crying child would never be sitting next to me because I always book a window seat (anxiety around claustrophobia) and my DH would be between me and her/him. My level of anxiety at take off and landing would be so high I doubt I'd notice.

Presumably the child would move to a parent's lap as soon as the seatbelt signs went off.

amyshellfish Tue 21-Jan-14 07:08:29

Ah yep I'm a bitch because I think a child accompanied by two parents with tongues in their heads isn't my responsibility.

Child crying on their own with no parent apparently in sight, is absolutely my problem and there's no way I would ignore. I think that helping a child where help is actually required makes me not a bitch but what do I know eh?

Bodicea Tue 21-Jan-14 07:23:33

I once got asked to move when I was 14 on a long flight on my own so a couple could sit together. Being 14 and someone who wouldn't say Booh to a goose I said sure. I went from a nice comfortable ailse seat to being sat in the middle row, in between two extremely large and slightly smelly middle aged men. I spent the whole flight not daring to move!
They were there before I sat down so the woman who swapped with me must have known. To this day I can't believe that someone could do that to a young girl on her own.
Would still move for someone though if they needed to sit together (but would assess the situation first ;-) )

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 21-Jan-14 07:37:28

amy actually you raise a good point. Doesn't seem to matter where you go, what you do , how much time , inconvenience or money it costs you, somehow despite the presence of parents, grand parents, older brothers etc , some random child will be your responsibility I.
And no matter what fuck up the parents make, the innocent bystander who is the one who's being unreasonable.

I'd of course help

But it is the parents responsibility to ask we arebt mind readers

Jinsei Tue 21-Jan-14 07:37:51

I'd have swapped happily on a short flight like this. Yes, I'd have been hmm at the parents for not booking seats or paying for priority boarding, but that's not the little girl's fault. Poor little thing. The crew should have asked someone to move.

Grennie Tue 21-Jan-14 07:56:25

I don't think adults should always put every child they meet first!

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 21-Jan-14 08:09:17

It's just not possible most the time is it grennie

Who's looking after our kids while we sort out everyone else's.

WooWooOwl Tue 21-Jan-14 08:09:51

I agree it doesn't matter what the parents ought to have done.

What would matter to me is sitting with my own family if I have made an effort to be able to do so, whether that be by turning up early, standing at the gate for ages to be at the front of the queue instead of taking my time at duty free, or paying for allocated seating.

I doubt anyone would deny a seat swap just because they are judging parents, they would do it because they have every right to prioritise themselves if they have a reason for wanting to keep their seat.

amyshellfish Tue 21-Jan-14 12:50:38

The crew should have asked someone IF the parents asked them to. They didn't so we can only presume the parents didn't actually care that much that their child was sat separately.

Primarily the child is the parents responsibly.

Floggingmolly Tue 21-Jan-14 13:09:34

Why didn't you offer to move, op, instead of sitting there feeling "sad" that nobody else did?

BoneyBackJefferson Tue 21-Jan-14 18:24:52


Because the OP has children which makes her exempt and the responsibility for other peoples children should fall on the singleton which is somewhat ironic.

SeaSickSal Tue 21-Jan-14 18:37:11

UK health and safety laws. A two year old without proper supervision and a caretaker should an accident occur would certainly break UK health and safety laws regarding proper assessment of risk and duty of care.

amicissimma Tue 21-Jan-14 18:40:36

I might take my cue from the parents.

If they don't think it's important enough to book seats together/arrive promptly/ask the staff, who am I to disagree with them?

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