And then it was time for the flight home. Several flights home. As a new parent, I’ve certainly worried about my kid being quiet on the planes, or at least not being too disruptive. Anna was really good on the way home, but, we did have one pretty awful Australian older lady sitting beside us on the flight from Germany to Singapore. Picture your lovely old granny. Now, imagine her being not lovely, puckered old face like she’s just sucked on a lemon, and rubbed iodine in it. Right, got that.
So, Singapore Airlines had the best staff of any of the flights we’d been on. They were immediately there with the bassinet, they gave us food early, checked in on us all the time – they were simply excellent. We’d had our dinner and Maaike gets up to go to the loo (Anna is peaceful in the bassinet). As soon as Maaike leaves, Anna starts howling. Our lovely neighbour immediately tells me that my child is distressed, and that I should comfort her. She goes on to inform me that our child is “upsetting hundreds of people around us on the aircraft”. She made no offer to hold my tray (I was basically trapped), no offer to comfort Anna, no nothing.
Fuck that. I asked her had she ever been a parent (she had), I asked her if she’d ever let her children cry and settle themselves (she had). She then informed me again that my child was unsettled and needed comforting.
I forget how the rest of that conversation went, but, we didn’t swap contact details at the end of the flight. What a miserable old bat.
For the record, Anna was great, we had people come up to us in Singapore airport and tell us how wonderful she’d been on the flight (etc. etc.) She was a bit worse on the flight from Singapore into ChCh, but, she was basically fine. We also had a lovely guy sitting next to us on the leg into ChCh, and he was totally fine with the whole situation (even ended up playing squash with him back in ChCh!)
Be kind if you can, offer to help if you can, and if not, keep your nasty opinions to yourself. Parents travelling with small kids are going to do their very very best.