Parents already have their hands full raising children, but when it comes to crying babies on a plane, many must steel themselves against death stares and audible sighs.
For one mother, it went beyond silent protest when she says she was asked to move out of her first-class seat because her baby was disturbing passengers.
Arielle Noa Charnas took to Instagram to explain what happened on Dec. 29, when she boarded a Delta Air Lines flight from New York City to Los Angeles with her husband and 9-month old baby. “On our way to LA a few days ago it was my first time flying with Ruby, I had a screaming crying sleepy baby who was so overwhelmed that she couldn't fall asleep,” wrote the Something Navy fashion blogger. “My husband and I paid for first class so that we'd have the extra space and could lay down with her — once we were boarded I was getting tons of eye rolls and head shakes from fellow passengers on @delta because my baby was crying.”
She added, “I tried to ignore the people until 10 minutes passed and a flight attendant came over to me and asked me and my baby to move to the back of the plane (as if the people in the back didn't matter). Give up our seats that we paid for and move. Apparently I was upsetting and getting a lot of complaints from the first class passengers.”
The new mom said she started to cry because she was so stressed and anxious and thought the flight attendant would help her rather than ask her to move. Charnas refused to switch seats, according to comments she gave to US Weekly, and baby Ruby fell fast asleep right at takeoff. She later asked her followers if this was normal behavior on the part of the airline and received nearly 2,000 comments arguing for both sides and over 22,000 likes.
Delta caught wind of the story as well and offered the family refunded tickets and $300 each. The airline also released a statement saying, “Delta flight attendants are trained to provide safe transport and excellent customers service. We fully support all passengers traveling in the class of service for which they’ve paid.”
Crying babies on planes has been a hot topic lately. In May, JetBlue launched a “FlyBabies” flight, wherein passengers would receive 25 percent off their next ticket every time a baby cried. And Indian budget carrier IndiGo announced in October that it will offer "Quiet Zones" on its planes where children under the age of 12 are forbidden.
Most airlines don't have specific rules about infants flying in first class, but in 2011, Malaysian Airlines banned babies in their most premium seats. Richard Branson has also discussed creating a kid's cabin with nannies to look after them.