Jillian R.
The flight time from JFK Airport in New York to Muscat via Abu Dhabi takes 15 hours (not including layovers). Each flight had a delay of an hour each, making it a total of 17 hours sitting on our butts on the plane. Usually I'm not one to complain about a mere 17-hour flight, I've done 26 hours before, emerging with severe knee pain being cramped in Economy because we weren't rich enough to spend triple the amount to fly comfortably in Business Class.

But that's life. What makes this particular trip unbearable was this; you know how it is when you get on a public transport and there's a crying baby on board, right? Take that crying baby, replace it with four SCREAMING toddlers and two very, very incompetent parents and you get a very angry passenger - me.

Actually there were about 200 other angry passengers but as usual, I feel like I'm taking it worse than anyone else because of my weird left ear. You see, sounds tend to "crack" in the left ear when it gets too loud. I know I need to get it checked out, but I've only been procrastinating for about five years.

So, the flight from JFK to Heathrow was uneventful. I practically slept four hours out of the seven. I even snoozed our 40-min delay away and when I woke up, we were soaring through the clouds. We touched down in London about an hour late and had all of 15 mins to run from the aircraft, to a very strict security check, to a shuttle train (which took another 10 mins to arrive) and finally to the departure gate. Oh and before all this, the captain had announced before the landing that all passengers should remain seated so that the dozen or so passengers (that includes us) could get off first because we only had a very short time to catch our next flight. Of course, even before we landed we could hear the un-clicking of seat belts, and as soon as we came to a halt, people started standing up and trying to get their carry-ons from the overhead compartment. Some people are really inconsiderate.

Anyway, I won't bother you with tedious details; we made our flight, out of breath and all - and that flight was delayed for another hour. So all that running for nothing. Soon as we got on, I noticed that there was a baby crying a few seats away. Naturally I didn't pay much attention, knowing that at some point the baby will stop and I'll just fall asleep. I even scolded Eric for putting on his noise cancellation headphones - because I'm a woman, and I like to talk; whenever. I was wrong about the fact that it was baby, let alone one baby. 

When a second baby started to cry I got up and looked around; and that's when I saw the four toddlers aged between 1-5 years old. The father was holding the first crying toddler, singing "Baa-baa black sheep" to him while giggling and clapping (Giggling? Clapping? Really?!). The singing, clapping and obviously the giggling encouraged the toddler to keep crying. I'm not a parent and even I know that!

The second toddler wasn't really crying, she was just screaming wildly for attention, and her name was "Gorgeous". Yes! Gorgeous! This girl was NOT gorgeous, I can tell you that honestly (not because she was annoying). I really don't agree that all babies are cute, because well, some AREN'T. Can you imagine this kid growing up to be horrible and spoiled and say "Hi, I'm Gorgeous". So anyway, "Gorgeous" was obviously a very irritating child and she kept screaming and laughing (which were high-pitched and scream-ish) and the mother had to yell "GORGEOUS, STOP IT!" quite a lot. At least the mother was asserting some kind of discipline. The father on the other hand, repeatedly asked his children (very loudly) "What do you want?" while they are screaming wildly. I also heard the mother saying "Maybe his ears hurt". So, wait, how about all 200 pairs of OUR ears? 

Oh, and he also openly sneezed and coughed without covering his mouth.

Awesome, right? This went on for EIGHT straight hours. I wondered the entire time how much sugar the parents had fed them before the flight to keep them going for eight-****ing-hours! I mean! Really! By the 7th hour I lost my patience and my sanity and I started yelling randomly; even though no one asked me anything, "I CAN'T GO TO SLEEP BECAUSE THE CHILDREN WON'T STOP SCREAMING!" or "WHAT BABIES? THOOOOSSSSEEEE *points at cluster of horror with arm over headrest*" and "I KNOW RIGHT?! WHAT HORRIBLE PARENTS!". I also shushed them quite a number of times but I was ignored. I get very cranky when I don't get my naps.

I mellowed down after an hour of yelling and being ignored and resorted to praying that they get off in Abu Dhabi. We were to sit on the plane while people get off and Muscat-bound passengers hop on. They didn't!

During the one-hour wait, the children ran free around the aircraft while the parents did nothing, except talked to the crazy woman sitting next to them who complimented their children of being cute. The children got in the cleaning crew's way and I had a sneaking suspicion that they (the children) TP-ed the bathroom - giving it an early Halloween makeover.

So I endured another hour of non-stop screaming making it nine straight hours. During the entire ordeal, there was a family in front of us; with the best baby in the world - because he/she did not cry once (I didn't know this was possible) during the flight and three adorable little girls who were pleasant and smiled shyly whenever anyone said hello. We later found out that they had been travelling for 30 hours. See, good parenting vs bad parenting?

When we arrived in Muscat, guess who were first to get out of their seats and getting in everyone's way to get their bags first? Yes, the most annoying family in the world themselves. It was like teamwork really, the wife said "You take Gorgeous, I'll take Kushi (or something like that)" and then they got in everyone's way. After they pushed their way through, we started talking to the other more patient passengers. We heard everything from "It was driving me nuts!" to "Wow, that was rough" to lots of head shaking (from those who had given up).
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2 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    Kids might have been thirsty after all that crying. Or they might have wanted something to play with. Maybe they wanted their OWN seat. Aren't you glad that you will never find out?

  2. Jillian R. Says:

    The flight attendant did give them some toys actually, but the crying continues. AND, besides the little one in the picture, the 3 other toddlers DID have their own seats. But they were running free anyway. I really don't quite blame them, I blame the parents.

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