Annoyed Passenger Tells Mom She Should Be 'Ashamed' To Bring Toddler On Board Because People Are Trying To 'Enjoy Their Flight'

The passenger complained that a toddler on the flight meant she wouldn't be getting any sleep.

Mother and baby traveling on plane Demkat | Shutterstock

A mom recently opened up about experiencing shame from another passenger while on a flight with her baby. 

Posting to the subreddit "r/AITA,"  the 31-year-old woman explained that she was traveling with her toddler and encountered an annoyed passenger who ridiculed her for bringing the baby on board.

The mom was told she should be 'ashamed' about bringing a toddler on board because people were trying to 'enjoy their flight.'

In her Reddit post, she wrote that she'd been traveling on a 3-hour flight with her son, and since her son was under the age of 2, he was required to sit in her lap for the duration of the flight. The only piece of luggage that she had with her was a large backpack full of their belongings that she was going to keep on the floor in front of them so she could access the contents when she needed them.


"I got assigned a random seat at check-in and ended up being in a row with no other empty seat. Although I appreciate it when there is an empty seat next to me as it greatly improves our flight experience, It's not an expectation I have and I never ask for it," she said. 

Mother holding her sleeping baby during the flight Ekaterina Pokrovsky | Shutterstock


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Once the boarding was complete but before takeoff started, a flight attendant came over and offered to move her and her son up three rows because there were two seats available, and the airline usually tried to accommodate parents flying with young children. 

She didn't hesitate to accept the offer, and the flight attendant helped her move her things and explained the change to the other passengers sitting in the row.

However, one passenger, in particular, didn't appreciate the sudden move and immediately began complaining to the flight attendant that she had been planning on sleeping on the flight and now wouldn't be able to because she anticipated that the toddler would be making noise the entire time. 


She argued that she specifically chose her seat because she saw online that the row was empty.

@sallysmylz #stitch with @yagirltrose I mean I get it. It’s frustrating and annoying but I’m sure the parent was stressing and trying to keep the kid quiet. No need to blow up the spot! #kidsonaplane #parentsoftiktok #dailyvlog ♬ original sound - Sallysmylz

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This woman's anger over empty seats now being filled doesn't take into account that an empty row on a plane is never guaranteed. Just because you purchase seat tickets does not mean the seats next to you will remain empty, especially on a flight where seating arrangements can change for various reasons, including accommodating families with young children. 


It's also such an assumption that just because she's sitting beside a toddler, the child will keep her up and prevent her from sleeping. 

Even if that was the case, shaming a mother for traveling with her child never accomplishes anything at all. It's unrealistic for people to assume that once a woman has a baby, she'll stay locked in her house to avoid inconveniencing others with the incredibly normal behavior of a toddler, which includes the occasional crying and screaming. 

baby in a green cotton bodysuit is crying lying in bed with wooden educational toys Kristina Igumnova26 | Shutterstock


The flight attendant tried to explain that the seat change for the mother and her toddler was standard procedure.

"The flight attendant simply explained that both my seats (old and new) [were] standard. The woman only paid for her own seat and their policy is trying to accommodate young parents if possible," she continued. "The woman then told me that I should be ashamed to impose all this noise on people [who] are just trying to enjoy their flight. Especially since it wasn't even my seat, and I didn't even pay for it."

The mom admitted that she's never been good at confrontation, so she opted to ignore the woman instead of arguing with her. This behavior only made the woman angrier, but she finally stopped commenting after some time. 

Girl sitting in airplane looking out window Julia Zavalishina | Shutterstock


Her son only cried once during the flight, eliciting a few glares from people, including the woman sitting beside her. But all in all, the flight was much more comfortable once she moved up and she insisted that she didn't regret her decision to move up at all. 

Instead of people passing shame onto mothers for simply existing in public spaces with their babies, we should have just a bit more compassion.

Most mothers feel equally anxious when a screaming child is causing chaos in public places, like airplanes and grocery stores. They don't need to feel worse about it when they receive hostile reactions from others. 


By showing a bit more patience (and making sure to carry noise-canceling headphones while traveling to avoid getting annoyed in the first place), we can make these shared public places a bit less stressful for everyone. Simply offering a smile or inquiring if a mother needs help can go such a long way.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.