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I was rude, but WIBU?

(76 Posts)
Brittany2019 Mon 19-Aug-19 18:13:51

The measles thread has reminded me of this...

A few months ago, I was taking a plane home with my DD to see my mother who had terminal cancer. There was a woman with a toddler in front of us, covered in spots. The toddler was running around, putting his hands all over everything as toddlers do.

I asked the Mum (quite rudely, I admit, but I was really stressed) “Is that chickenpox he has?”
“Yes”, says the Mum. There was a long pause, with me trying to find a way to say something that wasn’t “Wtf, you selfish arsehole?” After what seemed like an eternity, she added “but he’s had it for 10 days now, so isn’t contagious anymore.” So....fine, hopefully.

My AIBU is this...was I wrong to ask her about it? (Although I absolutely could have and should have asked in a nicer way.) The spots didn’t look scabbed over at all, tbh, so I had no idea how long the child was poxy for. WSBU to bring her poxy child on a plane and not think that some people might be freaking out about it for valid reasons? What should one do in this scenario?

Also, if the mother is on here, I’m sorry I was so rude.

whensa Mon 19-Aug-19 18:20:50

Not rude, I'd bloody well want to know. Inconsiderate if he was contagious - who does that?!
When my dc had chickenpox he still looked fairly horrendous even after a while and we were in the park alone. Any other families that came along I reassured them he was past the contagious stage.

Brittany2019 Mon 19-Aug-19 18:29:04

@whensa Thanks, I appreciate it. The way I asked was rude, though, in fairness, and I feel bad about that. I did think she could have been much more forthcoming about him being past the contagious stage, though.
I would have expected someone to do what you did, tbh, and be reassuring about contagion, knowing some people are worried about that.

youarenotkiddingme Mon 19-Aug-19 18:51:08

My mum has cancer. I get why you asked.

But if he was obviously spotty she would have needed a fitness to fly certificate because the airline would have (or at least should have) questioned it.

Brittany2019 Mon 19-Aug-19 18:55:14

It was Ryanair. I don’t expect the staff to have questioned anything that wouldn’t make more money for MOL, tbh.

OwlinaTree Mon 19-Aug-19 18:59:10

Difficult situation,I doubt travel insurance would refund a whole holiday based on chickenpox in one family member. If on holiday and the child came out with it it might not be possible to extend a trip to wait any longer.

There was a kid with chicken pox in the pool on one of my holidays a few years ago. A few people were complaining.

Brittany2019 Mon 19-Aug-19 19:13:04

That’s outrageous, @OwlinaTree. I would also have been complaining unless the parents made it very clear the child was no longer contagious.

NoSauce Mon 19-Aug-19 19:15:35

Were you actually on the plane when you asked her or waiting to board?

Stayawayfromitsmouth Mon 19-Aug-19 19:18:44

Chicken pox is contagious for a few days before the spots even appear though so unfortunately I think you were being rude. Also I bet she was sick of answering the question.

Passthecherrycoke Mon 19-Aug-19 19:24:06

I do understand your concern but you were rude and I’ve heard people say the same to others and completely cringed. It sounds aggressive and It’s just not very British 🤣

To be fair, it’s also a strange question because what do you want out of it? To tell them off? To push their child into the airplane loo and lock the door on them? It’s not really something a random member of the public can do anything about I don’t think.

pinkunicornsparkles Mon 19-Aug-19 19:25:01

Mum of three here. It makes me sooooo angry when mums take their kids out when the pox haven't scanned over. It's rude, dangerous and inconsiderate for those like your mum. YWNBU

AmIRightOrAMeringue Mon 19-Aug-19 19:30:18

Travel insurance would cover cancellation for chicken pox.

I know people who have chanced it anyway and shoved a hat and long sleeves on kids and 'got away' with it

My daughter had hand foot and mouth and we got a few dirty looks and questions because the spots were actually all over, it was a really bad case, and people were clearly worried it was chicken pox. I didn't mind them asking and would rather that than silently seethe. Other than the lady who said OMG what the hell has happened to her!?

Samanabanana Mon 19-Aug-19 19:35:07

Our toddler came down with chicken pox while on holiday. We were declared unfit to fly, and a week later when all his spots had scabbed, we were issued with a fit to fly cert. We flew home with Ryan Air, and were stopped multiple times to have our fit to fly certificate checked. Including twice onboard! Our DC had a really bad case and looked horrendous... but was not contagious. We obviously told those sitting near us that he was no longer contagious and luckily were sat next to some understanding parents who were lovely. I'd have been pretty gobsmacked if someone had been rude to me, and after spending an extra week in a foreign country nursing my (very) poorly DC and fighting with the insurance company to organise additional accommodation and transport home, I wouldn't have been very pleased hmm

lonelyinacrowd39 Mon 19-Aug-19 19:36:56

I don't think you were rude. for people like your mother with a compromised immune system , chickenpox can be very dangerous.

Brittany2019 Mon 19-Aug-19 19:38:34

On the plane, NoSauce, and waiting to sit down. Her child had just been playing and drooling in the seats where me and DD were going to sit while she put her luggage into the overhead lockers. Their seats were one row behind us on the opposite side.

I would have refused to take those seats if her child had actually still been contagious, if at all possible (I.e. if the plane was not full). I’m not sure what I would have done if her child was contagious and the plane was full, mind.

As I’ve said in my Op, I fully acknowledge that I was rude, and I feel bad about it.

GPatz Mon 19-Aug-19 19:40:07

You weren't rude for asking the question. You were rude for asking it rudely.

Jojoanna Mon 19-Aug-19 19:42:13

YANBU I would have asked too. Chickenpox is dangerous to some people including ne

NailsNeedDoing Mon 19-Aug-19 19:42:35

Being rude to strangers in front of their children is always unreasonable.

She wasn't unreasonable to take her child on a plane knowing that he wasn't contagious, nor was she unreasonable not to be more forthcoming with information for you. You'd probably have found she was more forthcoming if she been asked nicely, it usually shocks people slightly when strangers come up and are rude to them for no reason.

The best thing to do would probably have been to ask the cabin crew, who may well have known and been able to reassure you.

Myimaginarycathasfleas Mon 19-Aug-19 19:49:15

Maybe you were a bit rude, but it was ruder of them to let their sticky child grab and dribble over stuff. I’m not mad about this from a healthy child let alone a (potentially) contagious one!

Wehttam Mon 19-Aug-19 19:53:42

I’d have asked and probably been as rude if not worse because she could be compromising the health of those around. Planes are bad enough for germs without that on top. Watch Naomi Campbell’s video on YouTube about how she flies, it’s me all over.

Brittany2019 Mon 19-Aug-19 19:54:32

@NailsNeedDoing You’re totally right, asking the cabin crew would have been the correct thing to do in this situation! Thank you! I knew there had to be some middle ground between rudely asking and silently stewing. grin I shall do that if the situation ever arises in future.

FWIW, while I acknowledge that I was rude, I was rude by being abrupt, stern-faced, and dispensing with the usual social niceties. I didn’t actually raise my voice or use unpleasant language, however. Nevertheless, I was rude, and will try never to be that rude again.

Cohle Mon 19-Aug-19 19:57:19

YABU to have assumed the worst and been so rude about it.

What should she have done? Made her child wear a placard saying "no longer contagious"? Explained herself to everyone who so much as glanced in her direction?

Checking was totally understandable in the circumstances, but you should have had the good grace to be apologetic.

MrsTWH Mon 19-Aug-19 19:58:55

I came out in chicken pox on holiday aged 27! So I would have been contagious on the plane out and not known it, unfortunately. I had to get a fit to fly certificate and so did my baby who hadn’t yet come out in spots. We weren’t allowed to fly without one and I had to see the doctor several times during the holiday. Airlines do take chicken pox seriously, but YANBU.

SnuggyBuggy Mon 19-Aug-19 20:01:47

Would the airline even let someone with chickenpox on? I got questioned when poor DD got mozzied on holiday and had to show my own bites to assure them it wasn't chickenpox or measles.

Brittany2019 Mon 19-Aug-19 20:01:53

@Cohle, you’re right, I should have been. I messed up. This is obviously why it’s still been playing on my mind a few months later, and why I still feel uncomfortable about the situation.

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