Should mid-air meltdowns meet with condemnation or compassion?

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After a young girl's parents were told to "shut her up" on a flight home, what's the opinion of others who've been on planes with children?

Nicola Colenso's eight-year-old daughter Yasmin has Sturge-Weber syndrome, a rare condition affecting the skin, brain and eyes.

Yasmin was crying on the flight from Ibiza to Manchester when a woman told Ms Colenso and her partner Rick Murray to "shut that child up".

The irate Ms Colenso then took to Facebook to shame the intolerant traveller - a post which has been shared nearly 100,000 times.

Emotions were clearly running high - but in the cold light of day, should either party have been more tolerant?

Evelyn Russell

I'm sure this is a very unpopular opinion but I think the woman who complained had a point.

I'm sorry the little girl has problems, but it is the family's responsibility. If they knew she would be upset by the flight and cause a commotion, they shouldn't have taken her on it.

Having an eight-year-old "in meltdown" sounds dreadful for all of the passengers.

Children who don't behave - whether they won't or can't - shouldn't be inflicted on others.

Jessie Cole

I've travelled with my son, who has autism. Because it's not a physical disability, people are unaware of his problems and assume he's badly behaved and I'm a bad mother.

I know more than anyone how disruptive he can be, but he's not being naughty, he's doing his best to cope with unfamiliar surroundings, sounds and sights.

In a perfect world, other passengers would be understanding, but I'm conscious that it's not a perfect world.

At the end of the day, what other people think of my son's "bad behaviour" is irrelevant.

Daniel Hunter

As a dad of three children, I do try to keep them as quiet as possible, but if one becomes ill, what do you expect?

I'm sick to death of people with stupid comments about "keeping kids under control".

Most parents do. As for when a child is unwell, give compassion not condemnation.

Danielle Drouin Darnell

The passenger may have been extraordinarily exhausted when she spoke up, and quite frankly, we only have one version of this story and it's from the parent. I'm quite sure there is probably more to it.

Furthermore, "a meltdown" sounds like a behaviour issue and if it was simply anxiety, surely the parent has medication for her daughter's bouts of anxiety.

Parents today make every excuse under the sun for their little darlings.

I've been on flights where my seat was pummelled constantly by the child behind me. I asked several times for the child to stop and the mother barely made any effort at all. The father was completely oblivious. Finally, I turned around and said, "could you please make your child stop?" Her response was that it was my fault for sitting in that seat.

The entitlement mentality of today's parents is astounding.

Liam Hedley

The shaming of the woman online is by far worse than what the lady on the flight did.

No one else been stressed/tired/snappy on a flight? Then the parent goes online to nationally shame a lady who probably thought better of her actions after she got off the flight.

The world doesn't revolve around this woman and her child. Yes - the lady on the flight could have behaved better. Yes - she was rude.

Does she deserve to be the victim of this national "witch hunt"?


Elaine Henry

I sympathize with the parents and am sorry about the girl's condition however I can understand the passenger's torment.

I myself had a 24-hour journey listening to five babies crying one after the other. It was an agonising long flight.

Perhaps the airlines could have children and baby friendly flights and separate flights with adults only.

Werner Watzdorf

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My wife and I live in Australia with five kids, and flying with them when they were young was a chore and a half.

We - and our now grown children - are always tolerant and help where we can with other families when travelling, as we all remember people who were kind to us in the past.

And hey....when a kid melts down they melt down - there's nothing you can do.

Charli Scott

For goodness' sake - children are children, and you can't expect them to act like miniature adults.

And if their fare is paid, they're just as entitled to be on a plane as anyone else.

People who are not parents don't get it.

Kids are noisy and excitable and yes, they can have meltdowns. But intolerant people should just calm down themselves - after all, they're meant to be the grown ups.

Cheyenne Ross

People have been saying maybe airlines should have special "adults-only" or "family friendly" flights, but I disagree with that.

Why shouldn't I have the right to take my family on holiday? They're not second-class citizens and no doubt special flights would increase the cost of a family holiday.

The lady whose daughter was making a noise was in the right. People need to be more understanding and less obnoxious.

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