In Travel on Tuesday 6th Nov, 2018

Flight attendant says baby crying on board is ‘absolutely unacceptable’

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Travelling with infants is never easy, but one flyer’s unusually unpleasant experience has made her vow to never fly with United Airlines again.

An enraged passenger on a United Airlines flight from Sydney to San Francisco posted her traumatic experience to Facebook about a female crew member telling her it was “absolutely unacceptable” that her baby was crying on board.

Krupa Patel Bala, her husband and their eight-month-old child were travelling business class on their long-haul, international flight when her baby began to cry.

According to Krupa’s heated post on United’s official Facebook page, a crew member reportedly scolded her for failing to control her child and mentioned there was a strict rule on board that babies were not allowed to cry for longer than five minutes.

The crew member told Krupa her child’s behaviour was stressing out the crew and as a parent she needed to do something immediately to calm her baby down. She then pulled Krupa into the economy section of the plane and proceeded to reprimand her as a parent.

Krupa’s negative experience prompted her to purchase in-flight Wi-Fi and publish the post only moments after it occurred.

In no time at all, United replied to the post expressing their apologies saying: “Hi, Krupa. We sincerely apologise that this has been your experience. We know that traveling with infants is stressful in itself, and we regret to hear that a flight crew member has made the experience more frustrating. Can you please private message your family’s confirmation number so we can take a look into this right away?”

The post gained over 1,800 reactions from the public and was updated hours later to say the captain apologised on behalf of the crew member in question, however, Krupa never received a personal apology from the woman herself.

Almost all of the 500 comments on the post voiced their support for the mother and anger at the airline. Many comments shared similar experiences of airlines being difficult when it comes to babies on board.

One commenter expressed how other passengers tend to feel about crying babies saying: “I flew from Dubai to San Francisco, 15-hour flight on Emirates, one of the top rated airlines. There were 4 crying babies on that flight, that literally cried the whole time. Was it annoying? Yes. But did I understand? Yes.”

As Krupa says throughout the post, travelling with newborns is hard enough with their unpredictability and irregular habits. However, anyone who has settled into a long-haul flight with a restless baby on board will also understand how the situation can become stressful for other passengers. 

Airlines often suggest parent or guardian purchase the infant a seat on their own so they can bring along a car seat and strap in the child. This will ensure a better rested flight rather than constantly being readjusted in the parent’s lap.

United Airlines provided the family with a full refund and an official apology from the company as soon as they landed in San Fransisco.

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