Polite Request: Can you have your child stop kicking my seat...?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by rwoman, May 30, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    I flew LAX-LHR last night on BA. There was a German speaking family (parents plus 4-5 year old son) behind me. The parents put the son in the window seat (behind me). After 10 minutes or so of having the child continuously kick my seat, I turned around and politely asked if they could ask their son to stop kicking my seat. Their response, "Well, there's nothing we can really do...couldn't you move to the middle seat?" Um, no...fortunately, the child did listen for the most part and dad later switched to the window, but was kicking the middle seat (no occupant) for the last 90 minutes of the flight this morning.. It would have been a long 9.5 hours with that going on!!

    Is there a better way to handle this? I asked nicely, but was definitely annoyed.
     
  2. BurBunny
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    BurBunny Silver Member

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    Hmm, offer to switch rows with them and then proceed to kick their seats? :D
     
  3. secretsea18
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    secretsea18 Gold Member

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    Involving the flight attendant is the best option when the parents are worthless in disciplining/controlling their child.
     
  4. Concerto
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    Concerto Gold Member

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    Having had two lower back surgeries, I have no tolerance for anyone kicking the back of my seat. The couple of times it has happened, I have politely asked the parents if they could make sure that it does not continue. When that has been ignored, I have enlisted the help of the flight attendant.
     
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  5. Take.me.away

    Take.me.away Active Member

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    One of my biggest pet peeves. Especially when parents are of no use, or worse, they are worse behaved than the kid! I first ask the kid and try to make a game out of it. Or just scare the kid. Then I ask the parent. Then I ask a FA. I suppose after that I would take an ambien.

    Other pet peeve is the child yelling, screaming because he can't run around nor play his video game during taxi/takeoff. Mom thinks if she ignores, he will stop. NOT. That one goes straight to the FA so I don't start screaming.
     
  6. ducster
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    ducster Gold Member

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    Duct tape.

    Sorry for your crappy experience. I can't imagine what else you could have done about it. This is something that the parents have to address long before the family gets on the plane. I have a 10- and 7-year-old, and they have never kicked a seat in front of them because we made it clear that we would amputate their legs if they did so. They're currently in therapy, but it did work.
     
  7. Mapsmith
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    Mapsmith Gold Member

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    I think I would be tempted to turn around in my seat (Kneeling on the seat) and just stare at the family for about 3-4 minutes. without saying anything. Just by staring and being annoying. When they call in the FA, I would say that the seat kicking was getting annoying and hurting the back, and that the only relief I can get is by turning around.

    Fight fire with staring!!!
     
  8. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    My five year old was a bit of a kicker for a while when she was young (principally general happy leg movements, not intentional kicks). While, gasp, even grown ups bump into the seat in front of them sometimes with their knees (simulating a kick), I don't want to find myself in the situation where my daughter is more than once or twice bumping into the seating front of her (knee or kick) (my goal, of course, is zero!).

    At first, we simply got her the bulkhead (we usually travel in F, so this is usually easy), which took the issue off the table. Creating a situation where the leg movements weren't forbidden was an important step to making this go away More recently, we put her in the second row, with others in our family in the first row, and have had no problems. Hopefully the kicking has passed now. A few more flights and we will know for sure.

    Though not everyone is going to sit in F, strategies like this can be played out in Y in most (but not all) situations (like a family of 3 in y, where only the bulkhead solution fits). I'm in the minority on this (amongst parents), but a little planning makes this not an issue. This is a reasonable level of responsibility for parents (or patents, as I first typed!) with kids to take. Those that don't are not meeting their responsibilities.

    There was an earlier post about scaring someone else's child, or even talking to them directly. I'm not sure if the scaring remark was made in jest, but in either case, I encourage pax not to confront the child/children in question, but rather work with their parents, or an FA. I'm not sure what my reaction would be if someone tried to scare (frighten) my kids, but depending on the severity of the other person's actions, I could see myself quite upset.
     
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  9. Bob Smolinsky
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    Bob Smolinsky Gold Member

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    Just goes to show that kids/babies on flights are not the problem....the parents are.
     
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  10. thegrailer
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    thegrailer Silver Member

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    I had a parent tell me that the child was not kicking my seat but then suddenly the "kicking" stopped - go figure
     
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  11. KENNECTED
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    KENNECTED Silver Member

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    I think you handle this well!

    I think this is best option, if the initial request is ignored.

    I say scare the kid(s) and adult(s). Sometimes I just go off in Spanish and throw in the evil eye - works everytime! :cool:
     
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  12. BurBunny
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    BurBunny Silver Member

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    Surprisingly, most of the time I've had this happen, a look back to the child, catching their eye, and shaking my head "no" has stopped things. I think most parents just aren't willing to discipline their children... or are so bad at it that their children ignore them. But coming from a stranger with a mostly kindly face, they listen.
     
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  13. NYBanker
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    +1
     
  14. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    What's worse is when you're trying to relax at the airport lounge after a long flight with a beautiful glass of champagne or bottle of beer but hear......a baby crying really loud for a very long time with their parents doing nothing...
     
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  15. Laptop Nomad

    Laptop Nomad Silver Member

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    I had a flight like this on a NRT- DTW in coach a long time ago. The child was sitting in the fathers lap. It was kicking for a long while. The father did not speak English so I asked the FA to tell him to stop the child from kicking. He said he couldn't help what the child did. I asked to trade seat with him he wanted to sit next to his wife. Of course the plane was full so I could not be moved. I had to endure that for the whole flight.
     
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  16. Take.me.away

    Take.me.away Active Member

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    Hi there. Yes the scaring comment was made in jest. However I will say that even having a child across the aisle or in the row in front of me doing repetitive kicking or knocking (on the window or armrest) etc. would annoy me a great deal. I think your efforts to try to plan and sit in the bulkhead row etc. are admirable, but an extended period of clunk, clunk clunk is not something I tolerate well whether feeling it on the back of my sets or having to listen to it from nearby. If in a similar situation at a movie for example I will often just move seats. Once a bunch of teenagers would not stop talking and texting even after the manager asked them to quiet down. We simply left and went back to a later showing, having been distracted though the first half of the movie. You just can't get up and move seats as easily on a plane, and with them being quite full lately, seat changes, even with FA assistance, can be difficult.

    Interestingly enough, I dont mind crying babies or toddlers even. I think because to me that is more of an unconscious response to the situation, and/or the inability to understand and follow a parent's instructions to not be disruptive.

    I will say that I don't have children and that is in part because of my low levels of patience, which I recognize. It also means that I go out of my way to keep out of situations where I know I would be annoyed, and I think it is only fair that parents recognize that often, others just prefer not to have to be around disruptive children. And my definition of disruptive will likely be at a much lower tolerance level than ANY parent's.

    I don't believe there is a perfect answer either. Just my opinion, but I do appreciate hearing your point of view! It will give me a different perspective next time I fly and come across this situation, so thanks for sharing.
     
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  17. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Take.me.away: You sound like a very rational traveler! I think we're both in agreement the principal issue focuses on parents and their behavior, with less focus on the kids themselves. Parents can do a lot to ease situations like this - both seating, and planning for the flight with the right amount of toys, etc - and also show their colors by how they handle the inevitable disruptions when they occur.

    Cool!

    Me too! Thankfully while Anna (daughter) can reach the seat in front of her in F with her feet (when not in a bulkhead), she cannot reach the bulkhead wall - so this is not an issue.

    What has cropped up a few times recently is the opening and closing of the armrest where the dining tray is stored. I've been able to shut that down quickly through potential loss of privledges, so it hasn't been a repeated problem. Window shades are also off limits for us...while not making much noise (and me not noticing), my son has 'disabled' two window shades over the years. Now I am the one who operates the shade - plus the kids seem to like the aisle more than the window seat these days - making this a non-issue.

    Me too. Seeing parents treat kids poorly when they are crying upsets me (though I bite my tongue), but its reasonable to expect young kids to cry a bit in situations like flying.

    Me too!
     
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  18. Freddie Listo
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    Freddie Listo Gold Member

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    Best. Response. In. The. Thread! :)
     
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  19. Freddie Listo
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    Freddie Listo Gold Member

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    This is actually a pretty good strategy. Can you imagine how creepy that could be? They'd be stuck there, wondering if you really are insane or not. (I don't mean you, personally.)
     
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  20. wolfsatz
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    wolfsatz Silver Member

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    I had a teenager prop their feet up on the back of my seat on a Transcon a few years ago. The kid's mom told her not to, she ignored her. I was about to ask her stop when she started tapping her feet to music. I hear her mom say to stop again. She ignores her. So, I slowly leaned forward away from my seat back then allowed my full weight to fall back into my seat while pushing on the seat recline button. Drives her knee back into her forehead, she was ok but it hurt and made her cry. Mom gets pissed, calls the FA, now I'm the bad guy. It did get her feet off the back of my seat.

    Moral of the story, don't do what I did. Ask nicely the first time, then call the FA if it doesn't get resolved. If two scoldings from the FA doesn't stop it THEN maybe you can do what I did. ;)
     
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  21. jmrich1432
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    jmrich1432 Silver Member

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    That's the kind of thing I think of doing AFTER the flight, when I'm daydreaming of the awful things I SHOULD have done to the offender. Maybe you should have asked first, but I have to say way to stand up for yourself!
     
  22. Jaimito Cartero
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    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

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    A dart gun with dissolving dart works well for me. ;)

     
  23. Jaimito Cartero
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    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

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    Paging Ptravel, please pick up the white paging phone.
     
  24. wolfsatz
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    wolfsatz Silver Member

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    I think it was the ignoring her mother's requests to stop that really set me off. Didn't matter once she started crying though, I was the bad guy.

    I should have asked.
     
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  25. thegrailer
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    What about the folks that put their feet up between the seats or that space between the seat and the window/cabin wall. I also find that annoying. I have no interest in having your dirty feet that close to me.
     

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