A video uploaded by Shane Townley, an irate passenger who spent eight hours on a flight from Germany to the U.S. has garnered over 4-million views online. There’s much controversy attached to it because Townley seemed to treat the mother and her 3-year-old little boy at its center unfairly.
Flying any distance can be taxing for children and adults alike. Kids, particularly younger children don’t have the patience to remain seated, quiet and still for long periods of time. They need to remain occupied and active.
Townley’s account showed how the child became rowdy even before the flight taxied off the runway and went wheels up. The little boy can be seen over the row of seats, meaning he could be on someone’s shoulders.
Next, the mother can be seen attempting to snag the attention of a flight attendant. She wanted to know if the wi-fi could be turned on so she could entertain her son with his iPad. The boy was then seen running up and down the aisle to blow off steam. But this didn’t last long. Mind you; this is before the flight took off. Throughout all this, the child continued to scream.
Townley’s account of the situation seems rather exploitive and disingenuous. “Mom lets the kid do whatever he wants throughout the flight,” a subtitle says at one point.
Then a little later, “Some believe this is proof that digital devices cause this.” Some? Who, exactly?
You might have a negative reaction to Townley’s video. Let’s consider something: It’s his perspective. We weren’t on this flight. Townley uploaded the clip describing in the title how the child made “demonic sounds” and how he was “addicted to technology.” Other news outlets like Inside addition, mentioned how the mother stated that her son has behavioral problems. While Townley makes no mention of them. He simply says how the boy’s mother is “used to” the amount of noise being made.
This matter could’ve been handled better by the airline. We don’t see any proof in the video of the mother trying to calm her son.
We see Townley’s frustration, annoyance and bias in a note. “My wife and I were passengers on this 8-hour flight. It was torture. I have the right to film my discomfort. The airlines asked the mother to leave the flight with the child before the flight took off. The mother lied and pleaded and convinced the flight attendant that the kid would be fine once the plane took off and he could use his iPad (internet). If the mother knew he had a problem or a type of autism, why wouldn’t she have a pre-downloaded video or content? Anyways the flight took off, and the kid never stopped for 8 hours… that’s an 8-hour tantrum folks. Why did she have to wait for the internet or Wifi? Is the kid addicted to the internet? Doesn’t she see what she’s doing to her kids? Also the airline should have been more responsible in this situation as a plane full of 200 souls was affected for 8 hours of screaming and nothing was rectified yet as of now. Updates to come, keep checking back and subscribe to my channel for more.”
I’m not arguing the flight was nightmarish for all involved. But Townley’s portrayal isn’t exactly honest or fair. He doesn’t exhibit any empathy for the mother for the duration of the flight. He seems to blame her for her son’s behavior. Maybe she was prepared but the airline didn’t accommodate her as quickly as Townley would’ve preferred. Or maybe the child was just having a rough day. He’s in an unfamiliar environment surrounded by total strangers. Even the most well-behaved child would have difficulty sitting still for so long.