Admittedly, in reality it probably doesn’t happen as often as we assume, but like most trauma, when it does happen the experience really sticks.
Seemingly common, unforgivable situation: Parent(s) board flight with anywhere from one to four offspring and proceed to ignore offspring, act oblivious to offspring’s sociopath behavior, and/or get drunk and pass out, leaving fellow passengers to cope with unchained devil children. (I’ve been the abused witness to all three scenarios in the medium past.)
Like me, travel writer/editor Brian Crisp knows this singular in-flight pain and recently did what many of us have seriously contemplated at some point. After suffering repeated kicks issued by his neighbor, a 4-year-old budding hooligan, and absorbing the halfhearted, failed attempts by the child’s father to get him to stop, Crisp calmly leaned over and warned the father “The next time your son kicks me I’m going to hit you.”
Now, heroic as I may personally find this particular deed, I would also like to quickly remind people that this is a terrible idea in general, particularly on a US flight where these days all it takes is a moderately loud fart to divert a plane and get the offender arrested.
That said, parents be warned, try to be more like these people and less like the father above. One of the Brian Crisps of the world could be on your flight and there are limits to how much abuse we’re willing to take.