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Controversial Clip Of Tantrum On Eight Hour Flight Goes Viral

February 20th, 2018

Although airplanes are a true miracle of modern technology, the process of flying is usually a stressful one. Getting through the airport is full of many difficulties all its own including checking in and getting through security. Once we’re finally on the plane, all we want to do is relax, read a magazine or maybe even take a nap. Traveling with young children always complicates this process. When kids aren’t used to flying, they can sometimes act out.

Still, what happened in the video below was particularly extreme.

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YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot

The video was captured by passenger Shane Townley on a flight that was traveling from Germany to the United States.

A flight from Germany to the United States takes eight hours and is taxing for even the most experienced travelers. Still, this flight was especially trying due to a mother and her unusually rowdy three-year-old son. It all started before the flight had even taken off, with the child seen spotted above the normal line of seats—possibly on someone’s shoulders. Shortly thereafter, the mother tried to flag a stewardess down to see if the WiFi could be turned on more quickly so that she could have the iPad to distract him.

Still, this was before the plane had even taken off.

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YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot

After a moment, the child was able to run up and down the aisles of the plane to blow off steam.

According to the video, this worked to keep him quiet—but only for a little while. Still, the child’s screaming continued despite everything. Although the scene was surely rough for everyone involved, Townley’s video seems a little bit 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?

Finally, the ordeal was over for everyone when everyone deplaned in Newark, New Jersey.

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flickr.com/Ken Lund Source: flickr.com/Ken Lund

Although we have an instinctively negative reaction to the video, it’s best to pause for a minute.

Townley uploaded the clip with a title describing the child’s “demonic sounds” and how he was “addicted to technology.” According to other outlets including Inside Edition, the mother said that her son had behavioral problems, and according to Townley, she seemed “used to” the amount of noise being made. There’s no doubt that more precautions could’ve been taken to keep the child entertained, but there’s also no proof that the mother didn’t take every precaution. Townley’s description of the video includes further context in a note as well:

“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… thats 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.”

The video has garnered more than four million views and has proven controversial, to say the least.

I, for one, find Townley’s treatment of this situation exploitative and more than likely dishonest, particularly considering his “documentary . . . coming soon” about society and technology in his video description (readers may also consider checking out Townley’s Instagram and YouTube channels before making up their mind on this clip). Still, it’s a fair point that the mother could’ve prepared more—and the flight was surely a nightmare for everyone involved.

Still, what do readers think? Let us know in the comments below.

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Sources: Inside Edition, YouTube/Shane Townley