Kids and planes are frequently not a brilliant combination. While the majority of children are capable of flying from A to B without a major meltdown, we’ve all been on the receiving end of a cabin shared with a kid who is not so compliant.
In most cases, the responsible adult will do their best to manage the situation, whether that involves taking a walk up and down the aisle, distracting with sweets or electronics, or blushingly handing out earplugs. However, there are some cases where the grown up’s behaviour is almost as bad as the child’s.
Today we came across a story which is almost unbelievable. Not only is a young child caught in the act of scribbling on the back of a Lufthansa seat, the parent is actually helping them to do it.
Posted on popular Instagram account ‘Passenger Shaming’, the video begins with a clear image of an aeroplane seat back, showing the closed up tray table covered in graffiti. Slowly the camera pans to the right, bringing into view a second upright tray table, also covered in graffiti. The slow pan continues round and onto this shocking personification of parenting fails.
Not only is the perpetrator of the defacement sitting on their parent’s lap while they do it, at one point the parent even leans forward to guide the child’s hand back into the ‘drawing zone’, reinforcing to that kid that nobody gives a toss about Lufthansa’s $100m aircraft.
Watch the gross video for yourself here:
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Not only are tray tables for changing shitty diapers on, now you can help your kids draw all over them! It's only a $100M aircraft. NBD. ✈️🖍💁🏼♀️🤯 #parentingfail – we’re not shaming a child. [📸: reddit user "th0se"] 💯 #VANDALISM • • • #passengershaming #NOPE #instagramaviation #airplaneetiquette #frequentflyer #crewlife #sassystew #aviation #cabincrew #avgeek #cabincrewlife #flightattendant #flightattendantlife #stewardess #flightattendantproblems #travel #flightattendants #instapassport #aviationgeek #FAlife #airtravel #travelgram #traveltips #pilot #pilotlife #travelling #frequentflier #reddit
The fact that the child was sitting on the parent’s lap means they were under two years of age. Why wouldn’t you bring paper or a colouring book to entertain your small child if you know they have a creative streak?
We don’t know where this passenger was flying from or to, but we do know they were travelling on a Lufthansa narrowbody, probably an A320. Lufthansa’s advice on traveling with children states that:
Keeping our young passengers entertained is important to us; that is why there is also an extensive entertainment programme for children and babies on board Lufthansa flights. The crew hands out super children’s toys, such as colouring books and puzzles, to our youngest passengers.
Understandably, the reaction from the public has been overwhelmingly negative. Many viewers have branded the behaviour ‘disgusting’ and ‘disrespectful’. Some suggested that the parent should be sent a bill to clean it up, with others going as far as to say they should be banned from flying entirely!
However, others seem to think that the whole issue has been blown out of all proportion. A number of comments suggested that perhaps the parent cleaned up after the event, but that the original poster never showed this part because it doesn’t fit with their narrative. Others suggest that it’s hardly vandalism and would probably come off with a baby wipe.
Here at Simple Flying, we don’t think it’s been blown out of proportion at all. Whether it comes off or not (and whether the parent cleaned it up or not) is beside the point; it’s the lack of respect for property which is the most shocking element here.
We didn’t see any evidence that the parent tried to clean up, or even that they knew a clean up would be possible. The consequence of this is that cabin crew will be required to spend extra time prepping the aircraft for its next flight, and potentially the airline may need to replace those tray tables.
This adds to the cost of running the flight, which impacts us all in terms of ticket prices, and that’s not fair. Hopefully now the child will think it’s OK to go home and draw all over the walls there too.