What is flight attendants responsibility?

Oct 21st, 2010, 11:42 AM
  #1  
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What is flight attendants responsibility?

What is flight attendants responsibility?

I am just back from two of the worst flights I have ever been on, both with KLM. Leaving US was 10 hours of screaming babies (3) and three boys under the age of 10 in the seats behind me constantly kicking the seats jumping up and down, pulling at the seat and one came down on my seat breaking my glass's. When I asked the parent to make them stop I was told I was an old B. I then asked the flight attendant to ask parents to control them and she smiled and said she would, she said something to them in Dutch or German and the parents moved one kid but the others kept it up. No one mentioned the fact the kid broke my glass's. No steps were taken to make the kids sit in the seats and not use them as a trampoline.

Return trip was 4 screaming babies the whole trip and two little kids who spent the time running up and down the aisle with the father walking behind them. One poor lady had one of the kids knock her food tray all over her.

Having traveled with children by air I realize it can be hard, I use to give mine a sleeping pill when I knew it would be a long flight. What is with parents these days? am I that much out of date as a traveler that one can expect to have to put up with this kind of response from the airlines?

Enlighten me?
JoanneH is offline  
Oct 21st, 2010, 12:34 PM
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The flight attendants should have asked the parents and the children to leave, immediately.
DonTopaz is offline  
Oct 21st, 2010, 02:44 PM
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I would have thrown them off the plane with or without parachutes. Nothing worse than screaming kids and parents who don't care.

If it was me, I would have told the parents what to do and where to go. Actually once I did have a kid behind me kicking my seat and the mother wouldn't do anything, so the next time the kid kicked my seat I took his foot and wouldn't let it go until his mother got him under control and he was good the remainder of the flight.

The flight attendants can only do so much - sometimes it is out of their control. I do feel bad for them because it is a difficult job dealing with all types of people.
flgirl0817 is offline  
Oct 21st, 2010, 04:40 PM
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You have run into a social problem we have created. Many advocate drugs, but I think that is just a cop out for parents who are unwilling or unable to deal with their own kids.

In any event, violence against a crew member or passenger is a criminal matter. You should have demanded that the flight attendant make out an incident report, with a copy to you, that identifies both the parents and children (with addresses) and have the pilot contact the destination airport and have the police meet the plane. They should at least have to post a bond to cover your new glasses. I would also follow up with the airline and ask what they are doing to prevent further misbehaviour by those people, such as banning them from future flights.

As satisfying as grabbing the child may be, I would not do it, as you would expose yourself to possible criminal or civil liability.
clevelandbrown is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2010, 10:49 AM
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I do realize that there is no easy answer I to would have liked to toss them out the door but with my luck I would have been sucked out as well. The attendants are the person in authority on the plane and I think they should be willing to speak to parents as you say one dare not touch a child these days.
JoanneH is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2010, 01:50 PM
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If this had happened to me, I would have considered asking the parents to switch seats so the kid was in front of me and not behind me. Or stood up and demanded reimbursement for the glasses and stand there until the mom takes responsibility.
usernameistaken is offline  
Oct 25th, 2010, 11:30 AM
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Flight attendants are safety technicians. That's their official duty and responsibility. They are not police officers, waitresses, servants, or anything else.

As air fares have dropped to all-time lows, people who could never afford to fly before are now flying regularly. Some of these people are very ill-behaved (bad behavior correlates weakly with low socioeconomic status). It is difficult to legally exclude them, and it would be unprofitable to do so, anyway.

From the original poster's description, it's clear that the children simply learned from their parents. Poorly behaved children grow up into poorly behaved adults, who then give birth to more poorly behaved children. And so on.

This is one reason why I avoid air travel at all costs today, even though I'm a great fan of aviation itself.
AnthonyGA is offline  
Oct 25th, 2010, 12:13 PM
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Wow, AnthonyGA.

Money does not buy class. Ask anyone in the service industry. Bad behavior is just as prevalent in the entitled monied classes as it is in other classes.
usernameistaken is offline  
Oct 25th, 2010, 02:12 PM
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What exactly would you want the flight attendent to do about "4 screaming babies"?
suze is online now  
Oct 26th, 2010, 02:05 PM
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What would I have her do? Well after several hours of it at least check with the parents to see if there is anything wrong, have on hand something they can give the child safely. It is not good\normal for a child to scream that long something had to be wrong. But it is also not fair to expect others to put up with it for hours on end.
what would you do?
As to the glass's I was basically told too bad " I was and old B and piss off" was the fathers exact comment. When I told the attendant she just smiled and said she would ask them to control the kids not a mention of the broken glass's. That's why I am asking the attendants are in charge what kind if any authority do they have?
I have written KLM and it will be interesting to see if I get an answer.
JoanneH is offline  
Oct 27th, 2010, 08:44 AM
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Joanne,
So sorry for your experience. I think we have all had at least one trip like this where children were either miserably crying despite parents' efforts or out of control with parents' consent.
I tend to sympathize with the parents who are doing everything possible to soothe a baby or sick child and entertain older children, and may even offer to help if I think I can, but I have no patience for the ones being allowed to misbehave, as happened with the children behind you.

I do think Anthony is correct to a certain extent, but it is not just cost/money. I think previous generations of people who traveled tended to be "trained" by their parents in how to behave socially in all situations, to show respect for their elders, to be polite such as using "please", "thank you", and "sir", follow rules (not using electronics on takeoff and landing--I've told two adult men recently to turn off their games and computers after they hid them from the attendants), etc. We seem to be losing this civility in many places, not just in airplanes, but when it happens there we are trapped and cannot remove ourselves from the offending parties. My husband is worried about me speaking up and telling people to turn off their electronics, telling a child directly that he/she hurt me and to please not do that again, etc. because he is afraid someone will be on drugs or be unbalanced and assault me in response. So far, it has gotten me dirty looks, muttered remarks, and some apologies from embarrassed parents.

I wish all air traveling parents would read the recent post by jobudgey giving advice. But most offending parents do not care.
Kay2 is offline  
Oct 27th, 2010, 10:13 AM
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Now that I'm in my fifties, I do not like the screaming babies, but you can't do too much about that. BUT I especially do not kids kicking my seat. That I say something about.

Years ago I traveled alone with my twins (2 years old) and didn't have that much trouble. IMO the flight attendants were more helpful years ago though.

I think the airlines should (if possible) put people with kids and/or babies together in the back or front of the airplane, like they used to do with smoking sections.
Sue878 is offline  
Oct 27th, 2010, 01:49 PM
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Money does not buy class, but class tends to accumulate money. There's a strong correlation between good behavior and higher socioeconomic class. People notice the exceptions precisely because they are exceptions, but overall this correlation applies.

You can't expect a flight attendant to do something about badly behaved children if the children's own parents won't do anything about it—or if the parents are just as ill-behaved as their children, which is all too often the case. A lot of irritating behavior is perfectly legal, so there is nothing at all that FAs can do to stop it.

By the way, while it is indeed against FAA regulations to use electronic devices in flight (except under certain conditions), it's not a safety issue, so objecting to people violating this rule is purely academic. Besides, the airlines violate the very same regulations themselves on every flight (the regulations say that electronic gadgets have to be off for the entire flight, not just during takeoff and landing).
AnthonyGA is offline  
Oct 27th, 2010, 02:04 PM
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Sorry but a flight attendant or strangers can't "give" other people's children something to make them stop crying! Unless you are talking crayons and a coloring book for older children.


Wearing earplugs or noise canceling headphones is a good idea for noisy flights.
suze is online now  
Oct 27th, 2010, 09:22 PM
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You used to give your children a sleeping pill on a long flight?

My sympathies on the kicking children. That is very irritating and the parents should be responsbile to prevent it. I'm not sure what the flight attendant's duties should be exactly, beyond asking the parents. Not much can be done about crying babies. I try to bring noise canceling headphones. Seat kickers drive me insane.
travelgirl2 is offline  
Oct 28th, 2010, 10:06 AM
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You used to give your children a sleeping pill on a long flight?
Yes, I actually got them from their doctor who suggested them to me.
JoanneH is offline  
Oct 28th, 2010, 10:52 AM
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WOW so that's the answer you are waiting to hear? You want to drug the babies & children on a flight?

Maybe the flight attendant could just serve them cocktails instead?
suze is online now  
Oct 28th, 2010, 11:22 AM
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Where were the glasses when the child broke them? I don't understand, was he jumping on your seat? Were you wearing the glasses when he broke them ? I hope not.
Lynnaustin is offline  
Oct 28th, 2010, 01:20 PM
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I never heard about a doctor giving sleeping pills to children? :-?
Sue878 is offline  
Oct 28th, 2010, 01:28 PM
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Sue878~ I'm guessing this was more than a few years ago. Like when my Grandma used to put a little brandy in a baby's bottle of milk. Not something that people really do anymore.
suze is online now  

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