Video Mayhem at 30,000 Feet

Inappropriate film for kids shown on plane: What would you do?

Click here if you are unable to view this video.

Comments (28)

(28) Mom of many, March 29, 2015 4:19 PM

I would speak up

Showing an R film on a flight is completely inappropriate. I would have nicely tried to get the flight staff to see my point of view. There have been enough psychological studies on the effects of violence on children. Next we should let our kids watch porn if it's shown on the flight? How many people would remain quiet if 50 shades was shown??? A line must be drawn. What if simply i had a headache and needed the dark to rest - would they have been so insensitive then??? What if I was black and an old Archie bunker was shown? There needs to be limits.

(27) Michael, April 25, 2013 4:03 PM

Dual responsibilty

The parents must share responsibility. True, the airline should not show movies with graphic violence etc. since it is known that there are passengers of all ages etc. However, the parents could also have asked, in advance, what the in-flight entertainment would be so they could make appropriate provisions to keep children occupied, rescheduled a flight, asked in advance if the children's screens could be blocked, etc. etc.

(26) Bobby5000, April 21, 2013 5:07 AM

Shocking behavior by the passenger to force a landing

Obviously the flight attendants did not choose the movie or applicable procedures. One can write later, take a child's headphones, or instruct the child to read a book instead of watching an objectionable movie. .

Airplanes can be dangerous for various reasons.
However, to engage in disruptive behavior is outrageous. Once she complained and the stewart said the movie could not be changed and there was little else that could be done, that was it. The passenger was way out of line, and came close to committing a crime.

We have screening by TSA as a result of hijackings and 9/11.
Some may object and there is more than a little convenience. However, each individual doesn't get to determine how screening will occur, and likewise a person doesn't get to determine how the airplane will be operated.

Don't like the airline, change, but be respectful and not disruptive when you are on.

(25) Alice, April 19, 2013 10:15 PM

Offensive according to whom?

Frustrating, difficult and dangerous. Offensive according to whom, slippery slope, this is what leads to censorship. There were those who enjoyed the film, should they be denied the right to watch? Barbie is inappropriate because she depicts women in an unrealistic figure.Disney movies are suspect because they showed women giving up everything for the man. Should these all be banned? How about distract the children and, if they see things they shouldn't , use it as a teachable moment - this, we as Jews don't hold by this. I'd prefer censorship by parent rather than censorship by government.

(24) Anonymous, April 19, 2013 12:26 PM

The choice of "entertainment" (and I use that term very loosely) was a poor one. I definitely would have spoken up. After all, air travel certainly is not free! My son is a young adult with Asperger's Syndrome/high functioning autism, and frankly I would not want HIM to be subjected to the type of movie Rabbi Salomon described.

(23) Concerned Dad, April 17, 2013 10:39 PM

My email Correspondence with United Airlines - Please Complain

I was on a flight from NY to Los Angeles before Pesach. They played "Skyfall," the latest 007 film. It had a lot of violent and inappropriate scenes. My young daughter was glued to the screen. I called one of the flight attendants to complain. She agreed with me and said I should file a complaint online (here is a link: . I wrote that the movie was especially inappropriate after the tragedies in Sandy Hook.

This is the response I received:
Dear Concerned Dad,

Thank you for contacting United Airlines.

We are concerned that you felt the inflight entertainment selection was
inappropriate. The music and video selections chosen for our aircraft
are previewed and edited to ensure the material meets acceptable
industry standards for an audience which may include young children.

Your comments about the movie "Skyfall" are appreciated and will be
forwarded to our marketing division as we continue to improve our

Concerned Dad, we appreciate your business and look forward to welcoming
you on board a future United Airlines flight.


Name of Representative
Customer Care

(22) Anonymous, April 17, 2013 9:56 PM

totally appropriate for the parents

same thing happened to me and my preteen kids many years ago, fortunately we opted not to use the headphones but my husband and i distraced them at key points and when we got off i called air canada and let them know they needed some increased sensitivty when it comes to film selection.

(21) Anonymous, April 17, 2013 5:34 PM

I've alrrady written United Airline

I wrote United Airlines when I heard about this story.
People need to write the airlines. Let your voice be heard.

(20) Gabriel, April 17, 2013 1:59 PM

Why don't we complain?

I think we should complain ! It reminds me of the article "Why Don't We Complain?" by William Buckley. When it's necessary, complaining can help us and OTHERS too

(19) debbie, April 17, 2013 12:24 AM

proud of them

We pay for a seat on an airplane, we are buying a product and should not be subjected to having to watch something inappropriate. There is no question that children are damaged from watching violent shows and as an adult I would not want to watch such a show either.

(18) Anonymous, April 17, 2013 12:00 AM

the Andy Rooney of

This could just as well be an op-ed column in USA TODAY (l'havdil). Nothing Jewish about it, no Torah here, just R. Salomon's kvetch-of-the-week. Bleah.

(17) Sondra Brown, April 16, 2013 10:59 PM

Inappropriate actiivty 2@0,000 FT


(16) SusanE, April 16, 2013 10:49 PM

No Arguing in flight.

Something more forceful must have happened to divert an entire flight. We don't know the details of the story and how agressive the parents got. I would have been troubled if I had been on that flight and heard that family 'speaking up' in a way that the pilot needed to take them off the plane. - - - - - - - - - - - The attendants are professional and can handle nearly any situation. It wasn't about the movie, it was about inappropriate conduct and exchange of words on an airline. My Opinion.

(15) Joe, April 16, 2013 9:53 PM

I agree

My first instinct when hearing this was a sort of reflexive "oh get a grip." But then I looked into the movie. Then I also thought about the rather dehumanizing nature of what air-travel has become. Most airlines edit movies to be completely bland to begin with. But forget if the movie is offensive for a moment. What about the right to not be be subjected to it if you don't like it for any reason. What about the right to not be treated like some little peon forced to obey whatever whims of the airline like a good little servant of their authority over your personal space and time? The answer is really simple, use the little viewers on the back of the seat in front of you, and allow there to be multiple channels that can switched on or off. If an airline does not have this feature, it really isn't *that* expensive to install, don't use that airline. Tell them this is why you are not using them. It will change things right quick.

(14) Anonymous, April 16, 2013 8:42 PM

Parents' job to protect children

Absolutely, I agree parents were right to speak up. I would have spoken up. It is unbelievably arrogant and inconsiderate that an airline would play a movie like that with screens that would be in everyone's vision on the plane. Our job is to protect our children and help them develop in the healthiest way possible, not only their physical bodies but also their minds and their souls. We cannot afford to remain silent in such a situation. Images like that going into the minds of little children... that can have huge mental and spiritual affects. Some images one never forgets. Anyway... we spoke up in such a situation. Our son needs special transportation to his daycare in the morning because he goes to a daycare that is far away that is specifically for children with various challenges. We found out that the driver was smoking in the van while the children were there in the van with him. We complained to his superior and now he doesn't do it anymore. We are so glad we did. We don't want our son growing up thinking it is okay to smoke or being accustomed to the smell. It is unhealthy and gross, just like the movie was.

(13) Anonymous, April 16, 2013 7:34 PM

on sensitivity

I agree w/Samantha.
Why should we accept violence as the norm?
Have we become so desensitized that anything goes?
Is it really entertaining. How warped has our thinking become?

I remember as a teenager, I saw PSYCHO & years later,
I still have flashbacks whenever I think of a shower!!

(12) Suzanne, April 16, 2013 5:37 PM

Of course the couple was right.

It's really a shame that they had to be humiliated like that. Diverting a plane to Chicago because someone complained about a movie?! You've got to be kidding?! Who knows, though? Maybe the airlines will NOW get a clue that some people ARE offended and brave enough to complain. I'm so sick of the garbage that my children (who are now in their late teens and twenties) were subjected to while growing up. I resent it terribly that everyday, I had to run interference between what they saw and common decency. I hope that some day the American public will rise up and in one voice declare that "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH" - that they are sick to death of this cancer being foisted upon them! By the way, garbage like this really gives America a bad name throughout the world. People who don't know better think we are a degenerate culture. This is unfair to many, many Americans who just want to lead a decent life. Yeah, I'm mad.

(11) John morris, April 16, 2013 5:06 PM

totaly inapropriate as a child movies were x rated and only 18 and upwards could view them so silly that one cannot turn of screen from seat area and stewards obviously dont care all should look to oneanothers happyness

(10) Michael, April 16, 2013 4:53 PM

Someone should invent a cover

I can imagine a draw-string cover that could slip over the screen. Someone should invent one.

(9) Anonymous, April 16, 2013 3:59 PM

Please log an enquiry with IATA
This is the URL

(8) Matthew Gindin, April 16, 2013 3:57 PM


Yes I would say something, and I would put pressure on the airlines to change their policy afterwards.

(7) Debi, April 16, 2013 3:52 PM

Speaking Up

I think that by NOT speaking up, we are allowing evil into the world. I have begun to notice that even tho the majority of the people do NOT believe in or want certain things that their silence is what allows evil to be rampant. Who knows how many are swayed to evil by our silence. Voices do count and our world has changed due to evil's loud voice.

I would have done the same as those parents. I raised my daughter like that. Because of it, we, and especially me, were not well liked. They did not like me for the stances I took for good and many times my daughter suffered through bullying tactics for my speaking out. I do NOT believe that we should allow their tactics to work against the good.

Isn't that what we are here promote good in the world?

(6) Melvyn Berger, April 16, 2013 3:15 PM

Speak Up

We must speak up and have the ability to change what is on the screen to a different show: children's program, other adult program - sports, news, etc.

(5) Anonymous, April 16, 2013 2:30 PM

Definitely we need to speak up; they need to change the movie screens to individual screens behind the seat like other airliners have. That way we can control what we see.

(4) Ann Stacy, April 16, 2013 2:28 PM

9/11 anti-Semitic comments

I am not confrontational! I am the last to say something. However, on 9/11my husband and I were in Norway on a carpet vendor trip. At dinner a man I did not know made a very anti-Semitic comment about Israel. My husband and I had never been, but I knew, as a Christian it was Israel's Land, and belonged to no one else. There were two other couples who had been to Israel that were sitting with us, but they said nothing, and neither of these couples were shy on other issues. I never speak up, but I did this time. There was a very heated exchange between the both of us about THE LAND. I went up to my room and signed up for a tour with Billye Brim, who arranged Christian tours, with major emphasis on the Jews and their Land (led by Rannan Levy). The Trade Center was still belching smoke when I took my first trip on El Al. We were just about the only tour group in Israel that October. Since then I have been back 7 times. The last 4 have been with Americans for a Safe Israel (AFSI). I am going in June with Shurat HaDin (Israeli Law Center). My point....I spoke up...not knowing very much, really not knowing anything but what G-d said. It changed my life. What if I had said nothing that evening... How much richer my life has been these past years for that one little experience!

(3) Samantha, April 16, 2013 2:18 PM

action is important

I would agree that it is most important to speak up when either yourself or your family is exposed to something that is inappropriate.

However, the more important question for me is since when have we decided that killing and torture are entertainment? This is the heart of the matter for me, not whether 3 or 4 year olds are "too young" to see this form of "entertainment", but rather that this "entertainment" reduces the ability of those who watch it to be humane because they have been told (and not enough people have spoken up about this topic) that sadistic behavior is "entertainment".

(2) EMS, April 16, 2013 11:12 AM

Absolutely I would have said something

I don't have kids to travel with, but I am an abuse survivor who tends to be easily triggered by media violence, so yes, I absolutely would have said something: I'm not paying whatever exorbitant fees flights are now so that I can have flashbacks and panic attacks triggered by the "entertainment". It's one thing to have individual screens at each seat, with a selection of movies to chose from, one of which might happen to be violent, it is quite another to expect an entire plane full of people to be subjected to such visuals. IMO, the airline should be more respectful of the diversity of their clients by choosing entertainment no higher than a PG rating, sans graphic sex and violence scenes.

(1) TMay, April 14, 2013 7:57 PM


Yes is right to speak up. I would not only have covered the screen for children but for myself. You are dealing with a corporation and professionals. Sometimes I have kept quiet one to one with a stranger because with a stranger you don't know who you are dealing with and the situation can escalate and result in violence. For someone to think that "torture" is "entertainment" is sick. No I chose to never watch "Silence of the Lambs". Some stories and photos haunt me for the rest of my life. which is why I don't appreciate when people find out I am an animal lover and start telling me the worst thing that ever happened to them regarding an animal. I am not a confessional. On flights, once they showed "Love Story" in the 1970's that I had avoided for a long time and I was trapped and got off the plane, tears streaming down my face. My parents who met me at the airport thought something was terribly wrong. Once I was with my sister when they played a heart wrenching story about an animal at Christmas, about a reindeer, and both my sister and I sat there with tears streaming down our faces. Once I was served poison food on a flight from London to Hong Kong and I had specifically asked if the food came from London or from India and they lied and told me it was from London. It was taken on in India and had sat in the sun on the runway for several hours and I spent the only three days I had in Hong Kong wretching. Luckily my brother had put me on a medication prior to leaving for the trip. I don't see much difference between being poisoned by food or being poisoned by a sick film. Not all films are sick but they are still inappropriate. The film is supposed to pass the time, not become a life event distracting from the trip.


Submit Your Comment:

  • Display my name?

  • Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.

  • * required field 2000
Submit Comment

Receive Weekly Current Issues Emails

Sign up to our Current Issues Jewsletter.

Our privacy policy