Southwest flight attendant’s simple trick saves a mom and her young daughter from a total mid-flight meltdown
If you’ve ever flown with small kids, then you truly know the meaning of stress. Sometimes, no matter how well you tried to prepare for the flight — no matter how many toys and snacks you packed or what movies you downloaded onto the iPad — your kids will lose their shit and there’s nothing you can do to stop them. The response of the flight attendants can make or break what happens next. They may come over to tell you that you have to get your child under control, or worse, threaten to kick you off the plane. But some flight attendants understand that parents are trying their best, and will do everything in their power to help even the smallest passengers have the best flight experience possible.
Carrie Jaboor was seated behind a mom and her two young daughters recently on a Southwest Airlines flight from Orlando to Pittsburgh. About halfway though the flight the younger child, who Jaboor believes was about a year old, started to cry. Mom tried everything, but she wouldn’t calm down.
“The mother looked so stressed and it just made my heart break for her because nothing was helping the little girl,” Jaboor tells Scary Mommy. “When I saw the flight attendant ask her to step to the back, I could tell the mother (and myself) thought she was going to get in trouble but then I looked back and couldn’t believe that he was blowing bubbles. It just made me so happy to see a flight attendant take a situation that could be construed as annoying/disturbing for some people and handle it with love.” Jaboor said the flight attendant’s bubble trick made her day too. She was moving away from Orlando with that flight, and says seeing flight attendant’s kindness helped lift her spirits.
Her post was shared by Love What Matters and by Southwest Airlines. Flight attendants and passengers alike claimed they want to start carrying bubbles on board to help calm crying children (Southwest said it’s okay to do as long as the liquid is under 3.4 oz). Best of all, people shared their own amazing experiences they’ve had while flying with kids on Southwest.
“I fly Southwest for business and the last flight I was on the flight attendants had everyone lower their window screens and turn on the lights (like candles) and sing happy birthday to a little girl on board.”
“I had the same experience on Southwest Airlines. My one-year-old threw the biggest fit and I couldn’t get him calm. Eyes were on me and my face burned and I started to cry uncontrollably. The flight attendant walked him up and down the aisles with her and brought him back to me. He napped, after a while, she sat next to me and let him nap on her so I could have a ‘break.’ I will always be so grateful for her.”
“Once when my son was much younger, one of the Southwest Airlines flight attendants out of the blue poured a bag of pretzels into one of the plastic drink cups and put a lid on it. Instant rattle AND snack! Occupied a solid 15 minutes between playing with the cup and eating the pretzels. 15 minutes may not sound like much, but 15 straight minutes in the life of a toddler is winning! Thank you!”
I’ve been flying with my twin four-year-old boys since several times a year since they were infants, and the flight attendants have always gone out of their way to make my children feel welcome on the plane, instead of looking at them as potential trouble makers. They let them peek into the cockpit and give them “wings” and certificates for having a good flight. They’ll ask if the kids need extra drinks or snacks, and always give us a lid and straw, which is clutch when you’re traveling with a toddler. These gestures take time from their other official duties, which just goes to show how much they care.
Guess now we know why the Southwest logo has a giant heart in the middle.