STFU Parents: Summer Travel Tips: Don’t Be “That Parent” On An Airplane

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3. #NOPE

3. stfup airport turdThis just sounds bonkers to me. Parents who allow (or ignore) their kids’ bad behavior can be moderately tolerated in everyday life, but in an airport, everything changes. It’s like an alternate universe. The air is different in there. The food is weird. Bathrooms have scary flushing mechanisms. And the last thing anyone wants is to spend $4 on a stupid bottle of water after remembering to bring their OWN pillow to use on the flight, only to glance over and watch a child take ownership of both under his parent’s “watchful eye.” I can’t even comment on Ellen’s story about the guy who encouraged his kid to steal chocolate off a tray table — partly because that sounds legitimately crazy, and partly for reasons outlined in the next example…(hint: Never, ever, EVER put food on an airplane tray table)


4. Bathroom Behavior: Airplane Etiquette Edition

4A. submitted herself

Is anything worse than sitting next to someone who not only takes up more space on a plane than what’s allotted, but also happily chooses to change a baby’s dirty diaper and act as though no one else is in their presence? There are few things that shock people into quiet submission, and sharing space with a parent who obliviously peels off her baby’s shit-caked diaper without flinching is one of them.

4B. diaper on seat

“It happens, life goes on. Deal” pretty much summarizes why so many people talk shit about parents on planes. It’s not just parents’ actions, it’s their self-righteous “deal with it, asshole” attitude. It’s the reason both M. and Eleanor have experienced someone changing a poop diaper within the same week. And it’s wrong. I’ve even received emails from flight attendants who’ve described being handed dirty diapers, or watching a passenger place a dirty diaper on top of a tray table without a trace of self-awareness that other people actually use those tray tables, which don’t always get wiped down between flights. Ew. I discussed this more in depth with Jolie Kerr on the ‘Ask a Clean Person’ podcast a couple of weeks ago, and I’m still thinking/cringing about it.

What compels someone to change her baby’s dirty diaper in the main cabin, knowing that other parents made do with the tiny bathrooms? Why not ask a flight attendant if there’s another location, maybe at the back of the plane, that would be more appropriate? And why, WHY, would anyone practicing “elimination communication” (i.e., a method of raising diaper-less kids and teaching them to signal when they have to use the bathroom) ever board a plane with a child in one hand, and a portable potty in the other?

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