A Traveler Needed to Eat on the Plane to Manage Their Diabetes, but the Parents of a Child on the Same Row Rudely Tried to Stop Them

A traveler was flying from New York City to Los Angeles for a work trip when they found themselves in an uncomfortable situation with the family sitting on the same row as them. Here is what they had to say:

In Need of Sustenance

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The traveler struggled with type-1 diabetes and was in dire need of sustenance due to the medical condition. It was important that they took care of this within two hours.

A Disapproval

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Without delay, the traveler started snacking. However, their choice to eat was met with disapproving glances from the family seated beside them, including a young boy of around nine years old.

A Request for Restraint

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The mother of the family leaned over and said, “Can you not do that?” Recognizing the family’s discomfort, the traveler chose to put their food away temporarily and wait for the flight attendant to come by with available food options.

Denied Service

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When the flight attendant arrived with their beverage and snack offerings, the passenger began requesting a sugary drink and a snack box. However, before they could finish their sentence, the father of the family that previously complained stated, “Nothing for this row, we’re all set here.” 

Left Without Snacks

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Assuming the man was speaking on behalf of everyone in the row, the flight attendant heeded this request and continued down the aisle. This left the passenger without any options for sustenance.

A Plea for Understanding

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Frustrated and in need of sustenance for their diabetes management, the passenger decided to press the call button to request their much-needed food and drink. In response, the father interfered, explaining: “Our son has Prader-Willi; we’d prefer it if you didn’t eat because it causes tantrums when he doesn’t know he can’t eat, and he’s always hungry.”

A Defiant Response

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Tensions escalated as the passenger, overwhelmed by the situation, locked eyes with the father and replied, “I do not care; fly private if you want to control your surroundings.” This retort underscored the mounting frustration they were experiencing.

A Respite and a Conversation

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After a tense exchange, the flight attendant returned with the passenger’s requested food and drink. The passenger quickly consumed their meal and settled into their seat. However, the peace was short-lived as the mother decided to engage in another conversation.

The Clash of Perspectives

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The mother, feeling a need to explain her son’s condition, attempted to educate the passenger about Prader-Willi syndrome and how their actions had made her son feel uncomfortable. The traveler, however, had reached their limit.

The Traveller’s Response

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They explained what happened next: “Listen, lady, I don’t care”, they bluntly responded. “I’m going to handle my type-1 diabetes the way I see fit, and you’re going to handle your son the way you see fit. I’m not endangering myself because you don’t want to deal with a tantrum. If you want to control other people, then book all the seats in a row or fly private.”

The Aftermath and a Moral Dilemma

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Upon disembarking, the passenger recounted the incident to a friend, who immediately labeled them as insensitive and suggested they should have shown more empathy due to the child’s condition. The passenger wholeheartedly disagreed but did consider whether they could have handled the situation with a cooler head. 

A Community Response 

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The traveler logged on to their favorite online community, asking for the opinions of others. Everyone was rigorously defending the passenger: “Even if you didn’t have diabetes, people don’t get to come into public space and dictate anyone else’s acceptable behavior”, explained one community member. 

Unrealistic Expectations 

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Other commenters pointed out how unrealistic the parents’ expectations were for everyday life. “Do they expect people to stop eating as they walk past a restaurant?”, they questioned. “Picnics to stop in the park? They can’t continually control his surroundings.”

Defending Their Suggestion

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Despite considering that they may have been too rude, readers defended their suggestion to the father. “You are 100% correct – if they wanted to control their surroundings, they should have booked the whole row or flown privately”, another person wrote. “To expect you to not eat, regardless of your health, was ridiculous. It was rude for the dad to speak on your behalf.”

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