I was once the guy that rolled my eyes whenever I saw a young child waiting at the gate for the same flight that I was in. I also let out a further moan when I found out said child was sitting within 20 seats of me.
More recently, I knew I was going to be on the other end of the stick for our Christmas trip to England as I would be subjecting 240 people to the unpredictable nature of my 18-month daughter for 9 hours.
I fully expected karma to bite me in the arse and sure enough it did. Being that flights to Europe from the States take off in the evening, fly overnight and arrive in the morning, this was the worst possible scenario for us, since Ellie had been up all day (with her usual naps), but then was boarding the plane when she’d usually be going to bed. Between taking off, 2-3 hours of drinks and dinner, unfamiliar surroundings and bassinets/seats that were too small for Ellie, she was not going to sleep, and so, we were the ones with the unhappy and occasionally very vocal infant.
It’s part of life and I always acknowledged that kids have to use planes, just as we do, and I was expecting and prepared to deal with an unhappy child for 10 hours while having no sleep myself. What made it worse though is that people were quite openly sighing and telling us to keep our child quiet.
While I always bemoaned the presence of children on planes, I was courteous enough to do it in my own head.
To everyone else: please acknowledge that the parents of these children (usually) know that they’re quite unhappy and are doing everything in their power to soothe their child, keep them quiet and get them to sleep. So don’t make life worse by voicing your frustration to them: you’ll only piss off the parents even more, which won’t help them be patient with their children. Just keep yourself to yourself and hope that you don’t find yourself on the other end of the equation yourself one day.