I flew from Orlando to LAX and back on Delta several years ago with my oldest daughter and her little girl, who wasn't much more than a year old and was still nursing. We were assigned two bulkhead seats in a row of three; the third was occupied by a youngish Englishman who readily concurred with our gentle suggestion that everyone concerned might be more comfortable if he chose another of the many empty seats on the flight.
Oddly, a few minutes later, he came back and started ragging on us - apparently, he had had a sudden attack of resentment over our having suggested that he sit elsewhere and then over having agreed to it. I looked up at him, and something suddenly hit me. I turned to my daughter and said "This guy looks and sounds exactly like Simon Cowell!" And he did - looked and sounded just like Cowell, scowling and belitting a singer of dubious talent on 'American Idol.' The faux-Cowell immediately turned and walked away, and that was that.
About three years later, my wife made the same trip with the same granddaughter, but without her mom (our daughter). This sweet-natured little girl didn't remember the earlier flight and said several times that she was afraid of going in the airplane. When my wife got back, I asked her how it had gone. I was told she'd slept both ways. My wife's also made that trip with our grandson when he was about seven. No problems.
Yes, you can end up on a flight with a squalling child. 9 times out of 10, it's neither the child's nor the parent's fault - the child may be scared, or over-tired, or just upset about being in a strange environment. I tend to be non-judgmental about such things - I've been more upset over the few obnoxious adult passengers I've encountered.
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