Plane passenger refuses to entertain stranger's child: 'Mother freaked out and screamed'

Should other passengers help keep children occupied?
Should other passengers help keep children occupied? Photo: Getty Images

When it comes to plane travel and kids, some passengers go out of their way to help a struggling mum or dad - while others cross their fingers and hope to be seated nowhere near the junior flyers. 

One passenger who definitely fits into the latter category has taken to Reddit to ask if she was wrong to refuse to entertain a stranger's child on a recent long flight.

The passenger said she had chosen a window seat when the mother and child sat next to her. The mother asked if she would be willing to change seats so that the child could look out the window, but the passenger refused and said they'd like to sit in the seat they paid for.

Later the passenger was playing a game on her phone, which the child was also focused on. But when the passenger tired of the game and turned the phone off, the mother requested she keep playing as it was entertaining her child. The passenger refused, and as soon as she did the child started crying and reaching for the passenger's phone.

"I just simply raised my hand so the child couldn't reach, so I said in a louder tone, 'please control your child'," the passenger recounted.

This made the mum grab the child and "(freak out and scream) at me that I shouldn't be such an a****e and only think about me."

Redditors agreed with the passenger,  saying it was not her responsibility to entertain the child.

"As a parent of three small children, I can say with certainty that mother had no right to ask (anyone) of those things…. Sometimes asking is just as entitled as expecting," said one parent.

"What parent doesn't bring multiple things for their child to do (plus snacks) on a long plane ride? Why didn't she have games on her phone?" asked one commenter.


"This is where the idea of "it takes a village" is total crap. Your "village" isn't the entire world around you, and no one is required to entertain your kid," said another.

"Kids are difficult and if your friends and family help you out, that's great, but don't expect total strangers, or really anyone, to take responsibility."

However, one mum defended the parent, pointing out that things can get away from them "despite their best efforts."

"You were in your right to say no to all her requests as you were definitely not her babysitter but please don't guilt trip parents as we're often trying our best. Hearing this would (have) absolutely cracked me, and I would have felt like and absolute failure."