I have every sympathy with the parents of small children. Really, I do. And I'll accept that there are times when the needs of a small child will trump the comfort of the adults around him or her.
But taking a small child onto a ten-hour flight, with the child screaming (sorry, that's not strong enough: SCREAMING) for fully half the time, and for almost the entire last two hours, is really not acceptable. In my book, that counts as cruel and unusual punishment. And it can't be good for the child either - by the end it had literally screamed until it was sick.
That was our experience on the flight over to Mexico. It was not a pleasant one.
The thing is, no matter how quiet your child is normally, there's no telling how they'll be on a flight. Travel is long and mostly uncomfortable for all of us - for a child who may not understand the noise and movement, and may not be able to equalise the pressure in their ears, I imagine it could be much worse.
(I will concede that there are, of course, times when parents may have no choice. Sometimes, a journey must be taken. But flying on holiday is not an example of this. Bluntly, go on holiday somewhere else - there is an entire continent reachable in a couple of hours, and you will never exhaust the possibilities therein.)
The parents did their absolute best to quiet their child, but it was a losing battle. Until the child has reached an age when it can actually communicate what is wrong so that some meaningful action can be taken, it is best not taken into that situation.
Or am I being completely unreasonable?