It’s Actually Awesome When Babies Cry on Planes

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A mother and child, on an airplane
A mother and child, on an airplanePhoto: Courtesy of JetBlue

When boarding a packed airplane for a long flight, there’s only one thing worse than seeing a crying baby: being the one holding a crying baby.

Contrary to popular belief, simply having a baby doesn’t make the sound of it crying any better: It makes it, sadly, worse. You want to soothe the baby, and you also feel suddenly responsible for the emotional well-being of all the other passengers on the flight. You feel judged, and anxious, because even when the baby is fine, you know any moment could bring disaster.

JetBlue airlines knows this too. And to that end, it’s pandering to mothers for Mother’s Day this year in just the right way. A little stunty video released this week plays out the scene: an airplane full of adult humans, plus a few babies, all with their lovely, worried-looking mothers. The pilot announces that this time, every time a baby cries, passengers will get a discount on the next ticket. The flight — from New York City to Long Beach, California — will last five hours, but if just four babies cry, every passenger will receive a free airline ticket. Guess what happens?

Tears. Tears happen. Especially if you’re a mother.