Southwest Airlines Flight Diverts After Passenger Goes On Anti-Baby Rant

A baby was crying on board a Southwest Airlines flight to Orlando, and a passenger on board absolutely lost it. He spent three minutes on a rant about how couldn’t stand the sound of the baby, and things got so bad the flight had to divert.

The video is definitely not safe for work because the man’s language gets fairly extreme. But if you’re not at work, not around young children, and just have to see this man lose it then you’ll also see a flight attendant trying to come him down. But when it’s pointed out that he’s telling, he simply responds “so is the baby!”

  • The flight attendant pointed out that the man was.. an adult, and more could be expected of him.

  • And another passenger noted that, by screaming, he was annoying the rest of the passengers. Why was that ok if the baby’s crying wasn’t?

♬ original sound – bad_ideas_galore

I’ve always judged situations with crying babies on the basis of how the parents are handling it. If they’re uncomfortable, are the parents trying to address their needs? Are they visibly embarrassed? Then I’m sympathetic. I’ve also seen parents completely tune it out and ignore the crying children, just letting it rip.

Regardless, an f-bomb laden rant at your cabin crew will at best wind up getting you removed from the aircraft (as it did here) and could wind up with charges.

Southwest Airlines, meanwhile, commended their flight crew “for their professionalism” and apologized “to the other customers onboard.”

Do parents with crying babies have just as much right to be on the plane as you do?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Don’t like to be around crying babies but I’ve been there as a parent. I flew with my one year old from ORD to SAN and he wailed most of the way. The other passengers cut me a lot of slack because they could see I was looking for solutions. At the end of the flight, he smiled at every passenger who walked by. All was forgiven, it seemed. So, I feel Iike I owe a lot of forbearance.

    But yeah, it can be tough to listen to.

  2. People just need to stop flying with babies. It should be a last-resort, not a regular plan.

  3. Seriously, has that guy never heard of noise canceling headphones? No one needs to listen to screaming babies on a flight in this day and age. You are responsible for your own comfort.on airplanes.

  4. Any flight to MCO is my personal version of hell. Totally get that these flights are school bus routes full of over-sugared kids heading to the parks. I can imagine how excited the kids are…I would have been if I had ever had the chance to fly to Orlando as a kid. I hope it’s everything they want it to be.

    I just don’t want to be subjected to their “enthusiasm” any more than I would a bachelorette party, an Amway convention, Spring Break, you name it. It’s way I ALWAYS have a pair of noise-cancelling headphones with me so I can drown it out.

  5. I watched that video, and I commend the crew for their professionalism. I agree how the parents are dealing with the situation will determine the response. I have some parents try to relegate the responsibility of caring for their children on to the flight attendants, and that’s not going to go far. If a parent knows that their child is sick, but they board an aircraft anyway, then I would suggest they bug the hell out of their pediatrician before hand to arm themselves with all the information that they need so that they will be prepared….or stay home‍♀️ But, if they are doing everything that they can do, they are just as stressed, and more importantly EMBARRASSED, that they are the parents with the wailing child that will not stop, and everyone wants to kill them…literally

  6. Society needs to stop giving parents and their children the leeway to ruin things for others. Do not have children unless you can pay for them entirely on your own and you can keep them quiet. It’s a burden parents put on society. Big thumbs down. It’s welfare to the maximum

  7. This man had the cojones to say what I’m sure a good amount of people on the plane where thinking. He was vocal about this distaste for the noise while others suffered in silence.

  8. As someone who has taken their partner’s kids into my life, she taught me a lot about this. Basically the same as Gary implies: if the parents are clearly doing their duty in raising a good kid, and are trying to address the problem, then I understand. I don’t enjoy it, but unless it goes on the whole flight, I just put on headphones and tune it out. If you fly enough to be grouchy on a plane, you should have either noise cancelling headphones or you’re probably often flying in a more premium class (obviously money permitting, I understand).

    If the parents are just letting that baby rip, which I’ve seen more than enough of, I have no shame in at least asking the FA to say something, or saying something myself. It’s not just that it’s annoying. Somebody might be fighting a migraine and can’t change to another flight. Or their dog might have just died and they could use some peace and quiet. Or they’re an anxious flyer who shouldn’t need to medicate themself with controlled substances because they’re over their limit with the crying.

    Whatever the reason, just be sympathetic to the parents trying to do the right thing, but don’t hesitate to say something sensible to the parents who just don’t care. Get headphones or first class. Sure you shouldn’t HAVE to spend more money, but from experience, life is better when you can find solutions rather than just aggressively trying to make others comply with your needs.

  9. No one likes a screaming baby, but society needs new people to function, geniuses. All you big brains seem to think you get no benefit out of today’s kids.

    And if you don’t like flying around other humans, fly private. If you can’t fly private, trying pulling on those bootstraps.

  10. 40 minutes? That’s nothing. I was on an Emirates flight from JFK to Bangalore (12 hours?) where a baby cried/screamed the ENTIRE TIME. Nobody could sleep. Noise cancelling headphones do NOT magically make this go away. The mother even stood up and said, “Yes, I have a baby and babies cry”.

    I (and most of the cabin) did not get any sleep.

  11. I guarantee if you say something to me about my kids, your flight will be much worse off as if you hadn’t said anything at all. It will definitely be worse once you get off the plane and there isn’t a flight attendant to hide behind. We will both probably be famous on social media for 15 minutes- better hope you look like the good guy when harassing someone about their kids.

  12. You could sell popcorn for this one. Best entertainment I’ve seen in a while.

    I love how the crew is so calm and even the guy — other than yelling and cursing — isn’t drunk, high, or mentally ill. Just yelling.

  13. @Homer Just as you suggested that one should fly private, the parents have a choice as well. Rental car agencies exist for a reason. You don’t win by default because you have a child.

    I’m not saying I would have reacted the way this man did but thinking that everyone should shut up and accept the environment that you have created makes you just as entitled as you think this man is.

  14. Eventually, babies will be banned from flying due to Climate Laws.
    Did you know that having one child adds 9,441 tonnes of carbon dioxide to the carbon legacy of each parent? This equates to more than five times their own lifetime carbon emissions!

  15. Raised a few of my own. Our pediatrician advised us to take bottles of water with us when we flew. Giving water makes the child swallow and relieve the pressurization changes. Babies and toddlers don’t know how to relieve the discomfort of pressure changes, especially when their eustachian tubes are not well developed to begin with.
    Parents need to visit their pediatrician before flying with small children.
    But, the suggestions saying “just don’t fly with small children, or expecting them to behave like miniature adults are simply ludicrous.

  16. Be nice. In 18 years, that crying baby might be your flight attendant responsible for serving your pre-departure beverage.

  17. What if instead of a screaming baby (which for some reason gets a pass as ‘ok’ by so many people) there were a special needs or mentally challenged adult screaming out loudly the entire flight? For me I’d feel the same way — probably best not to get on a plane just like a baby. But for all the people who feel it is absolutely and totally fine that parents bring screaming babies on board, do they feel the same way if this were an adult screaming and make all of the noise? This man was just as loud as the baby and he got taken off the flight. Why not the parents with the screaming baby as well??

  18. I’m fascinated by those claiming if you don’t want to be annoyed by crying babies should fly FC.

    Please share with us what airlines have FC seats that are immune to cabin noise.

    Mine have sadly lacked that cone of silence option

  19. The view from the terminal is clear. The guy is wearing sweat pants. He’s on the no fly list

  20. I have two special needs sons. I was on edge wondering how they would do on flights. They both did really well. They both did an 8 hour flight and one did a 10 hour. I wanted them with me and to the extent they can I wanted them to be able to take trips and enjoy their new surroundings. I know about crying from my oldest son when he was a newborn. Let this man try listening to it almost constantly for a month. I feel that my sons have a right to travel and if someone is inconvenienced I feel bad. It’s a flight. It’s not forever. I live with my sons 24/7. I take the bad with the good. I agree with some others that putting something in or over your ears might help.

  21. Carol Lewis, first of all you are an absolute champ, and second you are completely correct, your sons have a right to travel. Not only that, they have a right to compassionate and humane treatment by all others, at all times. I am ashamed of the segment of our fellow adult population that is so selfish, ignorant, and/or entitled to expect the world conform to their unrealistic expectations.

  22. There’s no doubt crying babies are annoying. Babies generally can’t control their emotions, nor can their parents at times. The other 140+ people on that flight were able to control themselves. Did he really think throwing a giant MANtrum was going to help the situation, in any way, for anyone??? Flying’s awful for many of us a lot of the time. The smallest amounts of grace and kindness while flying can go a long way. Also, noise cancelling headphones or even earplugs. Grow up.

  23. OOh, Jerry, big tough guy with kids who are so perfect and precious that that no one dare say a word or else pay a horrible price in the Jetway. Suck it up Jerry, and don’t be a jerk.

  24. It makes me laugh when commenters say things like “parents should keep their babies quiet.” Babies cry when they want. A parent cannot simply keep them quiet. There are multiple options that a parent can try to quiet a baby, but they do not always work. As a parent of three children who did cry on planes occasionally, it is always embarrassing when they do cry, but believe me, if we could keep them quite just by our will, we would.

  25. @Jacob We had a child crying and having tantrums in the apartment above us. Someone called the police. They assumed it was us but it wasn’t. I knew all about crying children. Maybe they thought the child was being abused. If they called to stop the crying I thought how ridiculous! What can the police do?!

  26. @Flight attendants have low I.Q.’s. Thank you for your kind words. We have encountered people who were kind to my sons and these people like you are much appreciated.

  27. I will never understand those who think that families should just “not travel.” Sometimes babies cry because they’re hungry, or they need to be changed (try doing that in an oasis bathroom). Sometimes babies cry because planes are full of strange noises and painful pressure changes. No one likes it, but as long as the parents are trying their best, they deserve sympathy not complaints. Now for a truly controversial opinion here: there’s a lot more room to maneuver with a baby in first class, and I see no reason why I should be forced to fly in a cramped seat simply because I have a family.

  28. People need to travel, with or without babies, the need arises so it’s gotta be done. If other passengers don’t like it then rent a private plane. I’ve heard they’ve become much more affordable than in the past.

    Another cheaper solution: noise cancelling headphones! Best investment ever!

  29. Those who suggest noise cancelling headphones please provide the details what brand/model cancels sound of a crying baby. As far as I know it does not exist. I would buy it in a heartbeat.

  30. An uncivilized, uneducated, immature, and possibly mentally ill man who isn’t fit to live with the rest of us in normal society . . . but . . . I’m wondering if the Cabin Crew could have descalated the situation by walking away instead of trying to talk sense into him as if such a thing were possible. I’ll add that as awful as the guy is, he doesn’t seem violent and I don’t see the point of the diversion.

  31. Hahahah this Jerry guy… come at me when I get off a plane for telling you to quiet your child . Both of us will be going to jail that day. I am not afraid to speak my mind and you can’t just threaten people if they do say something. People like you are what is wrong with society. As DINKS (Dual income no kids ) I get this guy. We shouldn’t have to fly private or first class to have an enjoyable flight . Honestly there should be an age limit on children flying . 2 and up or you make sure your spawn is comfortable and you take action to ensure you have the proper tools to make the flight enjoyable for all.. Inclusive . Some people do not like children and we paid for the flight just as well. Kids flying free under the age of 1 should not be allowed and if someone has an infant they should pay. I have had kids kick my seat, scream, run up and down aisles and touch me. How is that enjoyable for adults who are just trying to get to the next place and who actually paid money to be on this flight .Parents need to take action but instead they get stressed out because they know it is a nuisance . This guy did nothing wrong and did what everyone else wanted to do.

  32. @Sasha. This guy was very wrong. He could have got his feelings across without all that profanity. It’s a shame that some people don’t like kids. We were all kids once. It must be frustrating for a young child or someone who is non verbal to not be able to tell what is wrong and maybe have a solution. A ban on age would be useless. Sometimes the age doesn’t matter. You can have an adult special needs that has a meltdown. You can tell you don’t have any kids. Sometimes you can try multiple things to comfort a child and nothing works. Since you children haters don’t feel you should have to sit in first/business class or fly private we parents wouldn’t mind sitting there/doing that-paying economy prices of course. We parents are trying to get to the next place too and we also pay money to get there.

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