Business Class Dad Savaged After ‘Spoilt Brat’ Spoon-Fed By Cabin Crew

Cabin crew, babysitters, or both?

Business Class Dad Savaged After ‘Spoilt Brat’ Spoon-Fed By Cabin Crew

Business class and first class blunders are all too commonplace these days and, only a matter of months after a mother’s ‘selfish’ business class move sparked outrage across the internet, a high-flying father has now come under similar scrutiny.

Nevada-native Michael Rutherford was travelling with his 5-year-old son from Los Angeles to Tokyo with the industry-leading Singapore Airlines in their newly renovated business class cabin when he felt obliged to capture an above-and-beyond moment of customer service from Singapore cabin crew before posting the clip to social media.

WATCH: ‘Spoilt brat’ or just living his best life?

The Divisive Clip

Garnering over 20 million views, the clip showed cabin crew spoon-feeding the man’s son his in-flight meal while the child nonchalantly continued watching a movie or show on his tablet, headphones on, as he enjoyed his meal. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this has elicited strong and split reactions from commentators.

Some took the video to reflect incredibly well on SIA’s team, going far beyond the call of duty to ensure that the father and his young accomplice could enjoy their flight as much as possible. Others, however, took it to be a damning condemnation of the father’s parenting skills (or lack thereof…).

Before we dive into some of those reactions, it’s worth noting that Mr Rutherford was absolutely thrilled with this move from cabin crew, captioning his video thus: “What would you do if this happened to you? We’re having the greatest flight ever and this just made it even more perfect.”

The child can be seen enjoying a game or movie on his tablet while being fed by cabin crew. Image: Instagram

So there’s a strong argument to be made that regardless of how you feel about the video’s contents, the SIA team did their job, keeping two of their flyers happy and finding a way to level up their travel experience beyond the giddy heights that SIA’s business cabin provides as standard.

The Split Response

Alas, the world is full of eager critics, and many of them chimed in to provide an alternate take on the video’s events. One commenter made perhaps the most compelling argument of many, suggesting that cabin crew’s focus should be on safety rather than satiation…

“Flight attendants are not babysitters. They are there for the safety of the passengers.”


Some were even harsher than this, throwing shade at the child himself…

“Spoiled brat in the making…”


Others, however, took a much kinder view, suggesting that the child was simply “living his best life” and enjoying the top-drawer customer service that Singapore Airlines has become known for. Indeed, while the “safety first” argument may hold up in economy, its widely understood that an extra level of attentiveness should be included with a business-class ticket…

Whatever the public may think of the incident, the airline was thrilled to receive such glowing feedback (and, no doubt, the millions of views) from Mr Rutherford. A spokesperson from the airline had this to say, highlighting the boundless skills and generosity of their staff:

“Our cabin crew undergo extensive training on how to cater to different customer groups, including children, the elderly, and mobility-challenged individuals…”

SIA Spokesperson

The Bottom Line

Having been lucky enough to fly in Singapore’s business class cabin myself, I can personally attest not only to the attentiveness of cabin crew but also to the quality of the food itself. It really is an exceptional offer and I’m honestly not surprised to see their staff delivering such an incredibly high standard as this.

However, do I think the child should have fed themselves or, failing that, been fed by their own father rather than by cabin crew who doubtless have a great deal of work to do elsewhere? Absolutely. On this occasion, however, Mr Rutherford has more than made up for the few minutes his son cost the airline through the free PR generated by the post and its surrounding outcry.

As they say, play chess not checkers…