Being a mom can be stressful. There are so many things you have to worry about at any given time. Being a new, first-time mom is particularly tough. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and worried while caring for a newborn. After all, that’s an incredibly difficult age — and you’re doing this whole parenting thing for the first time ever, all while being sleep-deprived!
Any mom or dad can tell you that one of the most challenging aspects of parenting is air travel with a kid. From birth until adolescence, it’s hard to get your child to sit calmly and still while cooped up in a flying metal tube for hours on end. And can you really blame them?
Well, apparently one flight attendant can.
A young mother recently had a terrible experience while flying with her infant. She was so angry that she took to Facebook to complain, mid-flight — and now her story has gone viral.
It all started when Krupa Patel Bala boarded a United Airlines flight from Sydney, Australia, to San Francisco, California, in September 2018.
As Krupa explained in her Facebook complaint on United’s page, she and her husband purchased business class seats and a bassinet for the baby to sleep in.
Unfortunately, the baby was a little fussy, as infants tend to be — particularly when they’re dealing with the unfamiliar (and unpleasant!) sensation of cabin pressure.
After about five minutes of the little boy crying, Krupa said she was approached by the lead flight attendant, a woman named Linda. Apparently, Linda “yelled” at the new mom and her husband, telling them it was “absolutely unacceptable” for the baby to be crying.
At Linda’s request, the already stressed-out parents picked up the 8-month-old and tried to get him settled.
When Linda came back, Krupa told her that the demand to quiet the baby had made an already stressful long-haul flight even more stressful.
“I kindly tried to explain to her that her request really stressed me out as he’s AN EIGHT MONTH OLD and we have 13 hours ahead of us on this flight — he’s going to cry again and I don’t have any control over that,” she wrote.
Instead of apologizing, Linda invited Krupa to come to economy to discuss the situation further. She then proceeded to lecture the new mom about crying babies on airplanes, telling Krupa that she should have given the baby his bottle back and shouldn’t have tried to put him to sleep since the in-cabin lights were still on.
Linda also told her that some airlines don’t allow babies in business class and claimed that United’s rule book states that “babies are not allowed to cry for more than five minutes.” She also claimed that the baby’s crying “really stressed the crew out” (something the other crew members denied saying when Krupa asked).
When Krupa asked to see this rule book, Linda laughed at her and refused to produce it.
Feeling upset and stressed out, Krupa decided to cough up the $28.99 to purchase in-flight Wi-Fi to write up her complaint.
“I tried to explain to [Linda] that I understand that people might get frustrated if the baby cries,” she wrote, “but there is a more constructive way for her to ask us to manage the situation. She could have asked us to walk the baby around, tactfully shared that it was starting to disturb passengers, or really ANYTHING with a smile that acknowledged that we weren’t out to make everyone (including us) suffer. Her response to that was to tell me that it didn’t matter because it was just unacceptable for the baby to cry and as the parent, I need to control him.”
Plenty of people chimed in on Krupa’s Facebook post to voice their sympathy and support for her.
Others shared their own horror stories of flying with babies.
Unfortunately, a few others actually took Linda’s side and berated Krupa for being unable to “control” her child.
For what it’s worth, United was very apologetic about the situation.
Krupa seemed satisfied with the apology and United’s handling of what happened, though she noted that Linda herself still refused to apologize or admit wrongdoing.
“Bad news,” the aggravated mom wrote in an update. “She refused to admit she lied about the crew complaining (she said service was disturbed and apparently that’s the same thing — ok Linda, whatever you say). She refused to admit she lied about passengers complaining (she said she saw someone roll their eyes but couldn’t tell us who — ok Linda, whatever you say), and she failed to admit she lied about the rule book and being able to access it in the air (she said it was in the book ages ago). The pilot apologized for her and while I appreciate that, it’s not his apology I’m interested in.”
“I wish you all a great day and future flights with babies that cry for no more than five minutes,” she wrote in a comment on the post, dismissing all the haters with a clever quip.
What do you think of this situation and how Linda handled it?