The holiday season is a notoriously busy and chaotic time to travel. Accepting that your trip will have some hiccups is part of the process.
People on airplanes seem to be especially bothered by slight inconveniences, as though that particular form of transportation brings out the worst in people.
A mom was criticized for filming a plane passenger who told her to quiet her screaming baby, instead of calming him down.
Brandi Freeman is a single mom who describes herself in her TikTok bio as an “educator, [a] boy mom, [and] an Oregon native. She recently took a flight with her baby, noting that it was his first time on an airplane, and she didn’t know how he’d respond.
She recorded another passenger, who apparently complained about how fussy her baby was, and posted the video to TikTok, where it garnered over 57,000 views.
“This lady in the purple mask has asked me twice to ‘keep that baby quiet,’” the mom explained in text overlaid on her post. “At one point, she covered her ears with both hands for a while.”
She tagged Alaska Airlines, writing in her caption, “Mean ladies telling [momma] to keep their babies quiet on an airplane.”
Photo: Palu Malerba / Pexels
In the recording, Freeman mostly films herself and her baby, but the unhappy passenger can be seen in the seat across the aisle, her eyes closed and her headphones on. Although her baby was fussing, the mom made an attempt to quiet him, while also filming the woman who complained.
“It’s okay,” Freeman cooed to her baby, who was making reasonably normal baby noises, along the edge of fussy, stopping far short of blood-curdling screams. “You having a hard time?” she asked him.
The mom shushed the baby, who was likely experiencing discomfort from the change in air pressure.
“It’s okay,” she repeated, jiggling her legs up and down to soothe her son.
Photo: Jason Toevs / Pexels
Opinions were divided, with some people defending the mom and baby’s right to exist in public, and others deciding she shouldn’t be on her phone.
One man shared, “That’s why I bring earplugs and noise-canceling headphones,” which is a good plan, one that doesn’t hold anyone else accountable for personal comfort, in a commonly-acknowledged uncomfortable situation.
Someone else said, “No problem with crying babies as long as the parents are prepared with distractions [and] snacks and not on their phones.”
“I’ve been in both spots,” another person said, describing it as a “tough situation.”
Photo: Sarah Chai / Pexels
Of course, no one wants to be bothered on a flight or while taking any form of cross-country transit, yet part of travel is accepting that a certain level of discomfort is bound to exist unless you have access to a private jet.
Having compassion and understanding for parents and their babies during an inevitably stressful event goes further than complaining.
One person noted that “babies are a part of society and have a right to be present,” which cuts the issue down to a simple truth: All people have the right to take up space, as long as they’re not being purposefully malicious and causing targeted harm.
Offering understanding is a much kinder stance to take than complaining about something that can’t be controlled, especially during times of high stress. If the unhappy passenger had put herself in the mom’s position of traveling alone with a baby, she might have had a greater understanding of just how anxious the mom may have felt.
Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango’s news and entertainment team. She covers parenting, pop culture, and all things to do with the entertainment industry.