A Lufthansa flight from Germany to New Jersey turned into a nightmare when one of its smallest passengers threw a humungous tantrum—one that lasted eight hours.
In a five-minute clip of the meltdown, caught on tape by New York City artist Shane Townley and posted back in August, a 3-year-old boy is seen climbing on seats, screaming and running through aisles—and horrifying everyone in sight—all before the plane has even left the tarmac, the Inquistr reports.
In the video, Townley also provides updates on the noise situation in the cabin. At every hour of the flight, the boy is heard shrieking—sounds he refers to as "demonic." Even once the plane has landed, the boy doesn't appear to have lost any steam. One passenger even says, "What a nightmare, oh my God—eight hours of screaming."
At least twice in the video, the toddler's mother is heard trying to improve the situation. She tells the flight attendant, "Let's get the Wi-Fi going so we can get the iPad going," before the plane takes off, and during the flight, tells her son, "Calm down, honey."
What's noticeably missing, however, is footage of anyone trying to help the mom deal with her hysterical child, including the person behind the camera.
Townley, who spoke to the Daily Mail about the incident, said the Lufthansa staff "tried to intervene, but the mother said he just needs his Internet."
A Lufthansa representative, who also spoke to the Daily Mail, said that most passengers "were quite understanding of the situation at hand," and that their crew "worked around-the-clock to de-escalate the situation, tend to all passengers and assist the mother." They also said that they were unable to say more about the incident because of the "individual's medical privacy."
Since the video has gone viral, receiving almost 1 million views on YouTube, many have been pointing the blame on the mom for not doing more to silence her kiddo. One commenter, in the Daily Mail's coverage of the story, wrote, "If the child had a disability, and this was normal behavior, why was the mother asking about Wi-Fi and said he needs his internet? That suggests he could have been controlled, and this was more tantrum than disability." Another said, "If the parents knew this child had a medical condition, which might cause this type of behavior on the flight, then they have no right taking the child on a plane."
Others, however, were more sympathetic to the mom and more critical toward the man behind the camera, like one commenter, who wrote, "It says the child has a disability. How dare you shame him and his mother? Chances are she and he didn't have much control over this behavior. He was in an enclosed space, probably more scared and frustrated than any of the passengers on this plane. He also had to endure this. She probably allowed him to do 'whatever he wants' in order to get some peace and quiet. What a bunch of jumped up people you are. I'm sure all your children sat in the corner quietly and never caused any fuss or commotion in their lives. Think of what the mother feels. She was probably acutely aware that her son and herself were being judged the entire time. Instead of filming why didn't you get up and offer some form of help/distraction?" Another commenter, replying to the Daily Mirror's coverage of the story on Twitter, wrote, "Shame on the person filming this minor! Putting his identity public. You should be very proud of yourself. Get up and offer help rather than criticizing. The kid may have had learning disabilities or something, #giveparentsabreak!"
Some, meanwhile, thought the airline was at fault, with one commenter on the Daily Mail article writing, "The flight should have never been allowed to take off with this child on board. This child could have triggered a response from an adult with mental problems, then all hell could have broken loose." A Twitter user who saw the YouTube clip also chimed in, tweeting Lufthansa, saying, "This is terrible. Why didn't @lufthansa remove this kid and his mom from the plane? Passengers should not have to deal with this nonsense for eight hours."