In-flight Issues

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In-flight Issue
Uncontrollable children in first class cabin

 
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  #1  
Old Dec 27, 2010, 5:30 AM
rdunn rdunn is offline
 
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My wife and I just finished an 8 hour flight on Continental. Truly , 8 hours of misery. We were booked first class and spent nearly $3000 for the pleasure of having to deal with 8 hours of non-stop screaming from three different couples with their unruly toddlers. It is of course unfair to blame Continental for selling these families tickets in 1 st class.. but shouldn't there be some thought to the dozen or so other people who also bought expensive tickets expecting a pleasant or at least somewhat civilized experience. Should there not be some standing rule of reasonable obligation by the airline to dispatch these children to a more distant part of the plane. Perhaps the cargo hold or maybe fresh air on a wing would be appropriate. Seriously, there really should be some thought to the other passengers in 1st class to not have to put up with this type of behavior, not at these prices. The attendants did their best, but, as well, were quite frustrated with the overwhelming commotion of these uncontrollable kids.. oh well, there you have it . My first and only ever written complaint.
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  #2  
Old Dec 28, 2010, 12:54 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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You think that the price you pay should protect first class and the poor bloody plebs in economy should suffer instead? Kids exist and they are not yet fully functioning adults, so can't always control themselves as well as they should. Sadly, the standard of parenting is also often lamentably poor. But give me a break from people who think that they can buy themselves segregation from sections of society because they buy a first class ticket. What about confused elderly people, should we ban them? Mentally ill people? Disabled people? See where this is going?
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  #3  
Old Dec 28, 2010, 1:37 AM
rdunn rdunn is offline
 
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What an excellent and well thought out argument. Brillant.
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  #4  
Old Dec 28, 2010, 4:25 AM
HoustonFlyer HoustonFlyer is offline
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The problem is the parents. The airline has a duty to allow all passengers to have as comfortable a flight as possible, but the duty is greater to first class passengers. Unruly children do not even have to be allowed on board.

On one occasion two children at IAH who were waiting with their parents to board a flight from Houston to New York were running and jumping near their parents who were seated nearby and accidentally kicked a bag of another passenger and broke something. The passenger complained to the gate agents who had seen the behaviour of the children and the parents who did nothing to control the children. To placate the passenger the agents gave the passenger a voucher for future travel.

The agents checked their computers and found that a later flight that day had more room and told the parents that they were putting them on the later flight in seats at the back as their children's behaviour was such that they needed to be kept away from the other passengers. The parents protested but they were not allowed to board and had to wait for the later flight.

In this case the OP is entitled to complain. The flight attendants observed the problem and the parents obviously could not control their children. What should have happened is after a warning the flight attendants should have picked out the child who was worst behaved and ask the parent and child to sit in another seat preferably at the back of the aircraft in coach, saying that once the child settles down he would be allowed to return to his first class seat. You would see how quickly the other parents will apply their parenting skills to control their children. Parents of toddlers often think their child's misbehaviour is cute, not realising that only they are thinking it is cute.

Not because you have a child, entitles you to disturb others. If you can't control your child from disturbing others, e.g. screaming and kicking the back of the seat in front of them, travel by train or bus or ship or swim!
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  #5  
Old Dec 28, 2010, 8:07 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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There is no "distant" part of the aircraft that the parent and child can be dispatched to...and I think it is ludicrous to suggest that unruly children should be imposed on people based on how much they should pay. The FA's should have warned the parents to control their children...and perhaps the passengers themselves could have asked the parents to control their unruly offspring. The problem here was entirely with the parents.

Once in the air, the airline only has two possible sanctions for truly unruly passengers. First, they can threaten to land, eject the unruly passengers from the aircraft and the costs of the diversion be charged to them. The second is to threaten to cancel their return ticket (if they have one) or ban them from future flights. Faced with real sanctions, the parents may have made more of an effort to take action.

The suggestion that a solution is to displace the unruly children to bother passengers who had paid less is ridiculous and no solution at all.

Put the blame where is belongs, The Parents. However, Continental's FA's should have done more.

Having said all of that.. there remains one other possibility. That is the children were not all that unruly. This was three separate families and all three were bad parents with unruly children? Perhaps the reason the FA's took no action was because the problem was not the children..but rather the snobbish intolerance of the OP?
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  #6  
Old Dec 28, 2010, 10:01 AM
HoustonFlyer HoustonFlyer is offline
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Jimworcs, you can't be really suggesting that a First Class passenger is not entitled to a greater level of comfort than a passenger in Coach. One would have thought that that was a given.

The most distant (to use your word) part of the cabin is the last row near the toilets. On a flight that is threequarter full, you have a quarter of the seats empty and you can almost always find a row at the back with is away from other passengers.

In the case I referred to at IAH I was one of the agents. The flight our unruly passengers were on was full. We gave away a voucher to the wronged passenger, I think it was a $100 voucher, and in those days airlines didn't play the tricks they now do to make vouchers worthless. However we didn't lose and we got the last laugh. When we bumped the two unruly children and their parents off the flight, we were able to accommodate four standbys on that flight. The later flight was some hours later and it was in fact a little less than three quarter full. We gave that family four seats at the very back of the aircraft and there were no other passengers in the back row.

Putting the unruly child in coach is not just to find him a "distant" seat but as a little punishment for his misbehaviour. If half hour later if the FA asked the parent, "Has the child quieted down enough to go back in First Class?" The answer would be yes and you can be sure you won't hear a squeak from him for the rest of the flight.

You really have no reason from the information given to blame the OP for this situation.
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  #7  
Old Dec 29, 2010, 12:20 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Read my post again.. I did not blame the OP.

It is interesting that putting the family into economy is seen by airline personnel as a "punishment". Once this punishment has been imposed, the poor economy passengers, already receiving a standard of care which the airline regards as punishing, are further punished by having unruly children imposed on them. What did they do to deserve their double punishment?

The truth is.. the FA's failed to take any action. That is either because the behaviour didn't merit it, or the FA's were pisspoor at their job.
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  #8  
Old Dec 29, 2010, 1:21 AM
rdunn rdunn is offline
 
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jimworcs. Snobbish intolerance? Having raised three of my own, I am qualified to know that screaming (I mean real screaming),kicking the seats, more screaming, crying, followed by screaming, despite all three sets of parents walking around the first class cabin for hours does not fit your description and is wholly unfair to even make that assertion. My wife and I , as well as, the other adult passengers did receive a profound apology from the flight attendants, which since it was Christmas Day seemed good enough. My original blog simply wondered whether, given these circumstances, there should not be some standard of acceptable behavior, especially in the first class cabin (where the snobbish set, like my wife and I occasionally travel).
By the way, these
tickets were given to us by our now grown children for a special Holiday Trip.
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  #9  
Old Dec 30, 2010, 2:39 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Throughout this discussion I have maintained the position that the FA's failed to act appropriately. I would also argue that it is equally inappropriate to impose unruly passengers on economy passengers. What was required was that the cabin manager should take firm action to warn the parents about the behaviour of their children (provided they were not tiny infants, in which case the parent is unlikely to be in a position to take any action beyond the standard efforts to comfort the child). The fact is, all passengers are entitled to expect that they will be transported safely and comfortably and not have their journey disrupted by unruly passengers, whatever their age.

I speculated that one of the reasons the FA's failed to act was that there remained the possibility that the perception of the unruly behaviour was "in the eye of the beholder" and was not shared by the staff. You assure me this is not the case, and for the first time, specify the behaviour you complain of. I still however, find your assertion that unruly passengers in first class should be imposed on "economy class" passengers snobbish and inappropriate. Should the same actions be taken if a first class passenger became drunk? What if they were aggressive? All passengers, regardless of the price of the ticket paid are entitled to peaceful enjoyment of the amenity they have paid for... including those at the back of the plane.
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  #10  
Old Dec 31, 2010, 5:38 AM
rdunn rdunn is offline
 
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jimworcs. Nice try. But you're just flat out wrong on multiple levels. Like it or not, unruly children in the first class section do not belong. I absolutely agree, however, it is a result of spoiled and stupid parents. We live in the "all about me" world or in this case "all about me and my kids" and to hell with anyone else. I am quite sure, as our social fabric continues to unwind, things will only get worse.
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  #11  
Old Mar 13, 2011, 8:04 AM
knn2 knn2 is offline
 
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Originally Posted by rdunn View Post
jimworcs. Nice try. But you're just flat out wrong on multiple levels. Like it or not, unruly children in the first class section do not belong. I absolutely agree, however, it is a result of spoiled and stupid parents. We live in the "all about me" world or in this case "all about me and my kids" and to hell with anyone else. I am quite sure, as our social fabric continues to unwind, things will only get worse.
The things I had to go through to make this post!!! (I was quite determined to register just to post to this thread)

RDunn... you're an idiot! You think since you spend 3k on a ticket that you "deserve" something. You get exactly what you pay for... AS DOES EVERYONE ELSE!!! Including those kids! AND especially those sitting in "more distant parts of the plane." How arrogant are you? Go put a blow up mattress in the cargo and enjoy all the peace you want! Or if you want to pay extra for fresh air running through your hair, go duct-tape yourself to the wing. The kids' tickets cost 3k too or sufficient miles were used to get their seat. In any case... they pay the same as you... if not, they wouldn't be sitting there.

Don't get me wrong... if the parents were blatantly negligent, then you should kick their ass. Kids act the way they do cause their parents let them. If it's not in accordance to the social norm or worthy of the 3k you paid for your 1st class ticket, then your beef is the parents. I've told parents to ensure that their kids refrain from kicking my seat and they made honest efforts. In another case, I asked them to switch seats so they were in front.

Also... you are a prime example of "our social fabric" unwinding by continuing this arrogant attitude of "all about me" which is exactly what your post is about. What a hypocrite!!!

As a solution to your novel idea that unruly kids should not be in first class, the solution is a private plane or you could buy out the entire first class And if your 3k doesn't get you your own plane or the entire first class... then shut up and stop complaining! And just so you know, it's not just you that think this way... there are many so this post is for all of the others as well!

Last edited by knn2; Mar 13, 2011 at 8:07 AM. Reason: clarification
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  #12  
Old Aug 15, 2011, 5:35 PM
GCN GCN is offline
 
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Knn2,
Thanks for sharing.
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  #13  
Old Aug 15, 2011, 5:47 PM
knn2 knn2 is offline
 
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I guess rdunn didn't have anything to say after that.
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  #14  
Old Aug 15, 2011, 6:56 PM
GCN GCN is offline
 
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guess not.
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  #15  
Old Aug 15, 2011, 10:26 PM
Gromit801 Gromit801 is offline
 
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Well, having children is the most selfish thing people do, so it stands to reason that parents already have a selfish streak regarding their kids, and damn all else.

Children do not belong in 1st Class. No way, no how. Ill mannered kids and parents are violating everyone else's rights on the aircraft, when what they're doing intrudes on others. Family units like that, who will not control their children deserve to be on a special Do Not Fly list.
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  #16  
Old Oct 13, 2011, 5:39 AM
rdunn rdunn is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
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Dear knn2,

i took your advice and bought a private plane. My new G is as quiet as can be . Not a single screaming kid. Some day , when you possibly break the bonds of middle class, you'll understand. Unfortunately, I suspect from your shallow understanding of anything beyond the waiting for the the next NCIS show, making sure you spend some money at that new sale at Target, or arguing to the sales manager about why your Chevy is bucking, life will pretty much be as boring as it has been for the last decade. Nobody escapes their upbringing. Yours is as plain as day. By the way, I believe the airlines agree with me. Changes are coming.
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  #17  
Old Oct 13, 2011, 8:22 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Location: Shropshire, England
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Maybe the airlines should set some new rules for first class:

1. No children
2. No ugly people
3. No incontinent people

Tickets can only be sold to people who:

1. Live in gated communities
2. Are members of an "exclusive country club"
3. Supported George Bush
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