Toddler Screams For Entire Transatlantic Flight

by Valerie Williams
Image via YouTube/Shane Townley

A child screamed on a plane for eight hours straight — and an artist got it on video

Hello parents, and welcome to your worst nightmare. A crowded, transatlantic flight with a toddler who’s absolutely lost every bit of his chill.

According to Yahoo, an artist named Shane Townley caught snippets of footage of what he claims was an 8-hour “demonic” tantrum by a three-year-old child whose mom can be overheard asking before the plane even takes off, “Let’s get the wifi going so we can get the iPad going.”

YES. Let’s.

This kid is in full meltdown mode and yes, his shrieks are definitely a little bit Exorcist in nature, but they’re recognizable to any parent as “I’ve Had Enough” screams. That is, this child was going to lose his ever-loving shit no matter what was offered to him. He’s three. This is what he does.

We’re not here to argue whether his mom did enough to put a stop to his antics — we assume she made efforts because what parent wouldn’t want to put a stop to these antics? We know very little of this situation and the child’s usual behavior. We do know his mom is seen in the video at one point holding another child, so clearly, she had her hands full. At one point, the little guy is literally sitting on top of the seats, hitting the ceiling of the plane. His mom’s plaintive “calm down” requests can be heard along with the silent (but also very loud) annoyance of everyone on the plane.


Townley’s video marks the hours as they go by, with the artist suggesting that this child truly sustained his screaming for an entire eight hours, and if that’s the case, holy smokes. If his mom at some point sat back and let Jesus take the wheel, can anyone really blame her?

When my son was a toddler, we took a nightmare weekend trip to Salem, Massachusetts. In October. It’s basically Halloweentown, and as such, the streets were packed with people and the cobblestone walkways almost impossible to roll over with a stroller. My son hated the bumpy ride and insisted on walking, but of course, his way of walking didn’t really jive with traffic patterns and the frenetic pace of the whole scene. The result? A knock-down, drag-out tantrum outside one of the fanciest gift shops in town, my son on the ground kicking his feet with his tiny (but angry) voice likely carrying over several blocks, and neither my husband nor I could talk him out of his tree. I have never been more embarrassed in my life and had it happened 35,000 feet in the air I have no idea how we would’ve calmed him. Eventually, a wander toward the ocean to see the birdies mellowed him out, but where do you go with a freaking out toddler on a god damn airplane?

Nowhere. You go nowhere.

So while I understand the irritation of everyone on board including the cameraman, my heart is with this mom. This is a literal parenting nightmare we hope she (or any parent) never has to revisit.