On a flight from NYC to LAX, the Original Poster (OP) found themselves in a tight spot sandwiched between the demands of managing Type 1 Diabetes and a family with a child suffering from Prader-Willi Syndrome. Tensions reach a boiling point when the father declines in-flight snacks for the entire row, leaving OP’s medical needs unmet. As the flight ascends, so do the frustrations, culminating in a heated exchange between OP and the mother, who feels called to educate them.
The Flight Booking
OP books a flight from New York City to Los Angeles for work. Due to diabetes, OP needs to eat within a certain timeframe. OP boards the plane, ready to snack and manage blood sugar levels.
The Neighboring Family
OP finds a seat next to a family, including a nine-year-old boy. Initially, OP begins to snack to maintain blood sugar levels. The parents immediately give OP disapproving looks, which he tries to ignore.
The Mother’s Request
The mother turns to OP and asks him to stop eating because of her son. OP obliges and puts the food away. OP decides to wait for the in-flight service to eat and keep the peace, not understanding the no-snacking request.
Snack Time Derailed
The flight attendant comes by offering food and drinks. Just as OP begins to ask for a snack box and a Coke, the father interrupts. The father tells the attendant that nobody in the row wants anything.
The Father’s Explanation
Annoyed, OP presses the call light to order food anyway. The father explains that their son has Prader-Willi Syndrome and that eating in front of him would cause a tantrum. OP is visibly frustrated by the situation.
Standoff in the Sky
On the edge of losing his patience, OP looks the father in the eye and declares that he has the right to eat. “Fly private if you want to control your surroundings,” OP says as the flight attendant returns to the row to take his order.
OP Gets the Snack
OP finally orders and receives a snack box and a Coke, which he eats and drinks quickly to manage his medical condition and avoid the prolonged awkwardness with his seatmates. Meanwhile, the boy squirms in his seat but does not throw a tantrum.
The Mother’s “Educational” Moment
The mother leans in just as OP settles down to open a laptop for work. She says she feels a calling to educate OP about her son’s unique medical condition. OP’s body clenches in frustration.
OP’s Fiery Response
Losing patience, OP responds to the mother with a harsh reality check. OP explains the necessity for him to eat at regular intervals to manage his diabetes and tells the mother to handle her son in her own way. “Fly private,” OP repeats.
End of In-Flight Drama
Considering the tight quarters, OP ignores the family as best he can and returns his focus to work on his laptop. The atmosphere remains tense for the rest of the flight. Finally, the plane lands in Los Angeles.
Once off the plane, OP dramatically recounts the in-flight events to a friend. The friend immediately labels OP as the antagonist in the situation, saying he should have been more understanding to the family with the child.
OP’s Mixed Feelings
Conflicted, OP admits to feeling a bit bad about the situation. However, he also maintains that public spaces involve unavoidable interactions. The right to manage his personal medical condition is non-negotiable.
The Dilemma of Public Spaces
Both families had medical conditions to consider. Both needed public accommodation, yet only one was willing to bend. The crux of the issue lay in the understanding, or lack thereof, of public etiquette.
Was The Man’s Behavior Appropriate?
OP posts his story online to see if the rest of the internet community agrees with him or his friend. Was he the antagonist, or did he have a right to prioritize his medical needs? The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter.
One reader said, “Even if you didn’t have diabetes. People don’t get to come into public space and dictate anyone else’s acceptable behavior.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote, “I thought he should just nod at her while putting headphones on and opening a bag of chips.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person stated, “They should have taken this up with the airline and not rely on a stranger to accommodate their son.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another reader commented, “Most Prader Willi kids are on a strict diet, but the parents could have scheduled the snack for the airplane ride; their poor planning was not your responsibility.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.