Cry, Baby

With the possible exception of the Free First Class Upgrade who doesn’t get his meal choice, nothing sends airplane passengers flinging themselves over the edge faster than a crying baby.  People are reasonably understanding on take-off and landing, when the changes in cabin pressure can easily and accurately be blamed, but let a baby make a peep in flight or on taxi, and eyes set to rolling almost immediately.  Ducking dirty looks like dodgeballs, the parents of course try to soothe the baby with bouncing, bottles, toys, or threats, but they are cut only the stingiest amount of slack by their fellow passengers before it becomes An Outrage!  And now yesterday, the Huffington Post reports, a man on an airplane on the ground in Hanoi popped open an over-wing exit, apparently to “help” a mother with a screaming baby to make good her quick escape from the cabin.  Apparently the escape slide — which inflated automatically, as the safety video warns you it will, and probably with a bang, at that, which every crying baby loves — wasn’t used, but the guy’s gonna get fined, and the airplane will have been pulled out of service until the slide can be repacked.

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