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A Pot-Stirring Pilot and Crying Babies

May 30, 2008 | Posted in: Airline News,Travel Tips

Was just checking out the informative “Ask the Pilot” column on Salon.com, and found an amusing nugget.

Pilot/author Patrick Smith, with tongue-in-cheek, was writing about airline marketing ideas, and proposed this one:

Here’s a challenge to any airline daring enough: a rule that requires the medicating, muzzling or sequestering of all children under 4 years old — below deck would be nice, or out on the wing.”

No doubt he was simply stirring things up, to get a lively reaction (and to judge by the comments, that’s exactly what he’s getting!) — but what do YOU think?

DO we need a “kids-only” section on airplanes?

47 Responses to “A Pot-Stirring Pilot and Crying Babies”

  1. atk511 says:

    Yes…it would be a help to anyone! I’m speaking as a parent of 3 and a grandparent of one. Everyone makes you feel as if a baby crying on the plane is a sign of bad parenting, but babies and toddlers express themselves the only way they know how. It causes me GREAT anxiety to fly with children, no matter how appropriate they are, because there are lots of people who just don’t want children on the plane. For the sake of the parents, who won’t have to deal with people asking to move just because a child (who hasn’t made a peep) is in the row with them – and for people who are bothered by children’s crying – a children’s only area would be great! My children were great flyers, but I can remember at least five times on flights before we even sat down that other fliers were asking to be moved (and weren’t) and I spent the rest of the flight completely tense over something that never happened. I pay my money (and money for my children/grandchild) so I deserve the right to fly without harrassment just like everyone else does, but there’s no way to make a plane soundproof from the sound of children’s crying – just like I can’t shut out the sound of the man snoring across the aisle on an international flight!

  2. bryan in sf says:

    yes. yes. yes. please, we need family sections on airplanes.

  3. Alex in London says:

    YES – in the overhead bins. Ok just kidding! What we do need it a QUIET ZONE – no cell phones, children under 16 or music of any kind. Also PA’s from the deck should be cut off to the minimun required by law, eg. to announce landing.

  4. Colleen says:

    A “noise” or “no noise” section would be great! As airlines reduce capacity, I doubt that will ever happen but I would love it, too! I have noticed a lot of times when parents get different row seat assignments from their child, the person who is next to them offers to swtich 90% of the time. Flexibility for our youngest and adult passengers will help. We all paid for that seat.

  5. Corinne says:

    I totally agree with atk511. I flew with a 13 month old a few months ago. She is typically a very happy, pleasant child but she didn’t deal well with the change in pressure. We were as prepared as we could be: bottles, snacks, toys, etc. It took 2 of us to keep her occupied the entire flight. There was nothing we could do when her ears were bothering her. She wouldn’t take her bottle because she was distracted by the strange sensation in her ears & head. I would have welcomed a “child’s section” so I would feel less like we were bothering others. The worst part? She fell asleep in her car seat 5 minutes before we landed in Philly. She was carried off the plane in her car seat & put into her stroller – still asleep. Because of Philly’s construction, we had to walk about 86 miles and then take her thru Security again. Which meant taking her out of her car seat & waking her up!!! No, she did not go back to sleep. People who get annoyed by children flying on planes need to keep in mind that it bothers us more than you & we are trying our very best to not disturb you. If you have any good ideas to lessen the noise, please share them instead of huffing at us & giving us dirty looks. For those of you who do understand, thank you so much!

  6. Lisa says:

    Definitely yes! A “child free” or “parent and child only” zone would be fantastic – in fact, I’d happily pay a bit more for my ticket if it meant I was guaranteed not to be in the same cabin with a infant who screamed the entire trip (as I once was on a 14 hour flight from Sydney to Los Angeles). I understand that traveling with a child is challenging, but we don’t ALL have to suffer. :-P

  7. Renee says:

    Yes, please! A children’s section would be wonderful. Flying in and out of Orlando frequently, there’s a guarenteed seat-kicking, screaming child, who’s name I have memorized (first, middle and last name if the flight is over 1.5 hrs) by the time the plane lands. Some days I have the patience, some days not. I don’t move seats because I don’t want the parents to feel bad, but a specified section just might alleviate many issues.

  8. Steve Powell says:

    Please, Please, Please follow thru with this fantastic idea. We seem to always get the crying babies around us and on the transatlantic flights it is a nightmare.

  9. Joy says:

    I have only had problems with children on one flight which was an international flight and luckily I was not near the family. The parents were not helpful at all in trying to quiet the child so for almost 14 hours all were subjected to screaming, not the kind that is crying from hurting ears from the pressure but the bratty kind from a spoiled child. I felt sad for the people sitting near these people. I love children but expect parents to have control of them if they are flying or traveling with them. Not sure what the answer is but maybe the noise/no noise sections would be a good start. Only problem with that is that I am sure the airlines would just use it as one more way to price gouge.

  10. Marti says:

    A family section in the BACK of the plane would be wonderful! Families wouldn’t have to worry about the noise and commotion associated with restless children playing “musical chairs”, running in the aisles, sitting on their parents’ laps, talking loudly, etc., because they would be seated near other families with similar situations — and the rest of us would enjoy a more relaxed flight away from all of that noise and commotion. It’s a win-win solution!

  11. Elaine says:

    I was appalled that Southwest stopped pre-boarding families to accommodate the impatience of business travelers, that the bottom-line is their money takes precedence – it IS challenging to travel with children, and supporting easier logistics to get them settled ultimately serves the general peace and a kinder and more compassionate society???

  12. John says:

    As for annoying, there’s nothing more annoying than snorers or short people who lean their chairs back into someone like me (6’1″ with long legs). Kids (I’ve got 2 of them), are a fact of life, and a little attitude adjustment is all that’s needed to deal with them properly (attitude of us adults, that is).

    If you want a special zone for those of us with kids, I do have a suggestion, though — those extra wide spaces like the seats right behind the wall separating coach from business/first class. Those are perfect because the kids have some room to wiggle around and they don’t bother anyone in the process.

  13. G Michael Moore says:

    To those having a cow over having to share space with kids, I say “Get over yourself, the only reason you are even alive to ride on a plane is because a lot of people had the patience to tolerate you as a kid.”

  14. J says:

    First of all children under 10 shouldn’t be allowed to fly at all. But since they do fly I believe that a designated area, preferably in a soundproof portion in the hull of the aircraft near baggage,bound and gaged, would be most appropriate.

    As for things like pre-boarding and other special treatment, forget it.

    As for Elaine, who complains about the Southwest change of policy in not pre-boarding families in favor of buisiness traelors, why doesn’t she just stay home with her rug rats. Business travelers pay the most for tickets which, in part, allow herand her kids the opportunity to trael for much less money.

  15. Tim Apicella says:

    When it comes to children in the air, I am fine with noise they may make. Kids will be kids. I have problem with parents that do not stop their “little angels” from kicking the seat in front of them. I’m sure many passengers have been on the receiving end of being kicked for hours. It’s not a fun experience, and by the end of the trip you wished the parents had been placed in baggage.

  16. Doug says:

    Elaine,
    Why should Southwest give you the benifit of preboarding with your children. You made the choice to contribute to the overpopulation of the planet. Elderly and Handicapped didn’t choose to be that way and should be the only ones to receive the perk. If you want to board early, do as the rest of us do, and check in early.

  17. Mary says:

    Yes, please a family only section and seat me as far away as possible. Really it’s not the kids I object to, it’s the parents who let them kick the back of my seat, throw their food and run up and down the aisle. You knew you were going to be on a plane for a couple of hours, didn’t you think you should bring them something to do? But parents think the world is centered around their kids and the rest of us think all that misbehaving is cute

  18. Sarah says:

    Some of the stress brought on by the smallest travellers could be alleviated by a little extra understanding and help for families from the airlines. Pre-boarding is a must for the sanity of everyone involved. It is hard enough to carry a kid on one hip and an airline approved car seat in the other down the narrow aisle without having to politely scoot past another traveller attempting to stow their 80 lb “carry-on” in the overhead compartment. Let families get on the plane first, offer the kid a bag of crackers and a coloring book. Kids respond to kindness and courtesy just as adults do. I certainly wouldn’t mind sitting in a special section for families as long as I’m allowed to discreetly breastfeed on the plane without some old prude tisking at me.

  19. Coconut Harry says:

    Good idea – put children in a section of the plane, like the back where their dirty diapers are masked by the lavatories. I’d pay extra to be seated AWAY from screaming; crying; irritable; unpleasant children.

    Thank you.

  20. jean says:

    ABSOLUTELY!! Banish the breeders to the back of the plane. Give the rest of us some peace & keep the kids close to the bathrooms, which they inevitably need.

  21. Debbie says:

    Great idea,they can take turns kicking and tapping on the head’s of the child in front of them. Dinosaur puppet coming between the seats or over the back in front has always been a favorite of mine while trying to read.
    This would also only make it possible for them to use only a portion of the plane as a racetrack instead of the whole plane. But this mostly occurs on those pesky 18 hour flights.Children’s section would be the greatest !
    I know I’ll stay out of their way. Where do I sign up ?
    If only we had that much energy.

  22. Chaz says:

    When I was young and going to church with my family, there was a separate sound-proof room in the back of our church called the “cry booth”. It had about 8 rows of pew seating, a glass window and a speaker system so they could see and hear the minister/priest, but at the same time the patrons couldn’t hear their screaming offspring!!

    Perhaps something like this should be considered? Crying baby? To the back of the plane with you and the demon seed!

    From the loud, non-stop screaming I hear on flights at times, I swear they’re circumcising the poor things in flight with the dull plastic knife from what the airline calls ‘dinner’.

    In this day and age, why haven’t they created a lolly with a mild neural toxin that can temporarily paralyse the vocal cords in children?

    I would pay extra for an “adults only” flight, no one under 21 allowed. (Yes, teenagers can be just as bad, if not worse than crying children when they’re excited about flying to ‘spring break’ with their mates!)

    As to our 6’1″ friend, John, who’s complaining about ‘short people’ reclining in their seats: the seats go back for a reason — comfort. I’m sure you recline yours as well. Everyone gets the same amount of potential personal space irrespective of height. Short or tall, reclining your seat allows you to relax and (sometimes) sleep. If you don’t want to deal with a ‘short person’ reclining all of FIVE DEGREES, pay for an upgrade to an exit row or front row of the class you’re flying in. If you’re flying United, go to “Economy Plus” — US Airways just introduced similar ‘enhanced leg room’ seating also. Sorry you were born so tall, it can be a handicap, can’t it.

    What REALLY BUGS me are obscenely obese persons in the centre seat with their blubber flowing over both arm-rests onto my arms or legs. There’s a standard 150% fare for a person that needs two seats — why don’t airlines cash in on this? Personal space is already at a minimum when flying. I don’t need someone’s “love handles” cramming me into the window to escape! The rule should be: If you need a ‘seatbelt extender’ to get your seatbelt to close, you must purchase two seats. And only diet Coke! No pretzels or peanuts for you!!

    Don’t even get me started with the wheelchair people… (just joking!!)

  23. T McLaughlin says:

    OMG! Are we so arrogant now that we can’t cope with others discomfort over our own? You can look around at the airport and see noting but a “me first” mentality. It makes my stomach churn and ashamed! Men and women getting upset when others get boarded before themselves, or upset because their carry-on is too big to fit overhead. What about the passenger that is upset over not getting their upgrade because they’re “elite” and there’s not enough room in first class. I’ve been in front of crying children for hours on end during flights, and when it gets to me I choose to adjust my attitude about it. Somehow it doesn’t get to be as bad, especially when you can turn around and help to make the kiddo smile for a minute. Oh-the wonderful sigh of releif on a mothers face when they notice you aren’t quite so upset about their child whom they’ve run out of ideas to help sooth. As a father I’ve had my baby boy doing the same thing on a very necessary flight, and it sucks more to look at the disgust on others faces. I’d rather shield my child from them than them from my child. We are a species built on and by family. Omitting or simply not accepting this aspect of daily life is foolish and selfish. Life doesn’t stop when children are present. Who’s doing the whining and crying here?!!

    Bottom line: It IS tough on everyone. Such is life – get over it!

  24. kay martin says:

    I couldn’t agree more as to peoples attitude towards PARENTS that don’t control their children, like the kid that kicks the back of your seat for 3 hours and when you finally turn around and glare at the parents they adopt this “what can I do shoulder shrug”… gurrrrr.
    And then there is the parent that relies on Toys… toys that make noise, with the volume turned up so that all around can share in the joy… GURRRRRRRRR…..
    And it is not the airlines job to take on this problem…GET IT PARENTS IT YOUR JOB.!!

  25. cc taylor says:

    I am happy to let families pre-board if they have a designated place to go in back of the plane so the rest of us can enjoy the flight. Remember way back when smoking was allowed in the last 3 rows? Just put soundproofing back there and let ‘em go nuts.
    Parents: we know YOUR kids are amazing. We know it’s hard to deal with kids on a long flight. But we shouldn’t have to suffer your burden just because you need/choose to fly with them. I don’t go to Chuck E. Cheese in order to write business plans, and I don’t expect your kids to use the plane as a playground.
    Instead of being offended by the family area idea, why not embrace it? Being with other families & kids might help you entertain your kids easier and alleviate your stress. Plus, you could borrow toys and share baby Nyquil when it all gets too much ;)
    Either that, or I demand you let me fly my Rottweiler in the seat next to me. I’ll buy her a ticket. She weighs about as much as a 3rd grader but doesn’t make a peep, and if she can kick the seat in front of her, I’ll eat my hat.

  26. Tracy Kerley says:

    I’m not sure that we need to be so harsh about it (the name calling and “demon seed” thing – wow!) But, YES,YES, YES. A section for these children and their sometimes irresponsible parents would be awesome. I always travel with my Jack Russell Terrior and when I get off of the plane, people who see her in the kennel always comment that they didn’t even know she was on the plane. If she caused even a little trouble, I’m sure she would be banished even though I have to pay $100 bucks each way for her to sit under my seat. Do parents have to pay for children who sit on their laps and kick the seats during the whole flight?

  27. Jim says:

    My kids were both elite flyers before their fifth birthdays so they both fly very well. They even pout when they don’t get upgraded to first class! But I couldn’t imagine the logistical nightmare of trying to have a ‘family’ section on the plane. I certainly wouldn’t want to sit where all of the kids were concentrated. And what if you are just in front of this section but don’t want to be there? I remember a KLM flight once from Frankfurt to Dublin. We were in non-smoking BUT right behind the smokers and had their second-hand smoke the entire flight.

    Parents need to be responsible for their children. Last summer I flew Minneapolis to London and was subjected to an unruly four-year old child who kept kicking me. Her little Miss Texas bleach blonde mother didn’t want to hear me ask her to control her child. The flight was full so there was nowhere else to move to. I wanted to slap this woman because I would have never let my kids act up like that. The kicker was I had set my ‘body clock’ to London time but then was unable to sleep on the flight and it really screwed me up. The mother did nothing to try to put the kid to sleep, actually kept playing games with her the entire time. Then the kid fell asleep about 45 minutes before touchdown. The temptation to keep nudging her to keep her awake and cranky for mommy was overwhelming but I couldn’t bring myself to do that.

  28. Scott says:

    Come now, a little patience and understanding will go a long way. And parents SHOULD control their children, and bring (many) things to do.
    But as one who must fly internationally with my 3 year old, I always request seats toward the back of the plane because it is less crowded. I do think that a “Children’s section” would be a great idea. And let those idiots who forget that, gee, you were once a three year old too, and lack any patience can request the “non children’s section”.
    And the cracker and coloring book with crayons is a GREAT idea! Leave them on the child’s seat before boarding (like they do in restaurants). I’m sure they could find companies to advertise and pay for the cost.
    While we do bring stuff for our little one to do – getting everyone seated and our carry-ons stowed and then finding something for her to do takes a couple minutes. What a pleasant surprise that would be to start off a flight!

  29. Bob says:

    I have had too many transAtlantic flights become eight-hour punishment tours because of screaming children. Some of it is the fault of parents who can’t or won’t control their offspring, but much of it is simply because airlines allow people to fly with infants in their laps. Babies scream for a variety of reasons — hunger, pressure changes, noise. Certainly not anyone’s fault — except the airlines, for allowing them on board. I banning infants is an unacceptable solution, a child-free zone (Virgin’s Upper Class used to be restricted to kids over 14, I believe) is a sane alternative. A word of advice: Don’t sit near the bulkhead row, because that’s where in-flight bassinets get attached if a passenger requests one such.

  30. Brenda says:

    I sympathize with crying babies, ear problems, etc. What I find objectionable is kicking my seat. So instead of special seating, I suggest a parental contract in which they agreed to monitor and maintain the appropriate behavior of their child throughout the flight.

  31. Shirley says:

    Not only a child only section, but a fragrance free section. I am very allergic to fragrances (both respiratory problems and hives are the results). I can’t believe the people who know they will be in close quarters on a plane who apparently take a bath in cologne before a flight. I have been sick on many flights and there’s nothing I can do. Kids will be kids (loud) but parents reminding them to use their indoor voices would help. And absolutely no kicking of seats. I have a bad back and have had to endure poundings in my back due to this. And it really grates on my nerves when parents get last minute tickets and are separated from their kids and expect me to give up my aisle seat for a middle seat to accommodate them (and, of course, they never ask a male to do this–only females–so they can guilt us into it). Book early and get your seat assignments and you won’t have this problem. To those who would say that others had to put up with me as a child, I would disagree. For one thing, I didn’t fly until I was 18. And in places like church, etc., I was disciplined to behave (unlike a lot of parents today where it’s a free for all). Oh, and one other thing, while we’re at it. my husband is extremely allergic to cats and dogs. It is inconceivable to me that people insist on traveling with pets but won’t put them in storage and want to take them on planes. My husband’s airways close up–is your pet’s comfort more important than my husband’s life? Leave the pets at home. I paid for my ticket, too. The higher ticket prices lately might actually be a favor to those of us who travel frequently in that those who don’t frequently travel will probably balk at paying higher fares and stay home. These are typically the ones with the screaming, kicking kids, reeking of cologne and carrying a cat carrier!

  32. Donna says:

    How about “child free” flights? I would pay extra to be able to fly without children on the plane. Anyone else?

  33. renee says:

    Children are a choice. You choose to be saddled with a stroller and a car seat and a kid on one hip and a cranky baby with a messy diaper. Too late to complain about it now. The way parents constantly moan about how hard it is to be a parent make me want to immediately have surgery to eliminate the possibility of it happening to me. You make having children sound AWFUL! At least your attitude makes those around you think twice before making that choice themselves.

  34. Heidi says:

    Yes, please! As a parent I can say I am just as frazzled as nearby travelers trying to keep a small child entertained, quiet, and sitting still for even a short flight.

  35. John says:

    I would love a child/animal/fragrant-free section on all International flights. Since the majority of these flights are overnight, one does want to have a peaceful sleep to arrive refreshed. On our last flight to England, there was a child who would wimper, then cry about ever 30 minutes. Just when we would finally doze off, she would jolt us back into being awake. Dad was the worse who ignored the whole thing and let his wife cope with the 5 year old brat. My kids have flown with us since they were 3 months old, and we never had this problem with them. It was wonderful to hear from fellow passengers, upon deplaning, who great our kids behaved. Their kids are being brought up as well.

  36. Kim says:

    A child-free zone on the plane or a child-free plane would be most welcomed. On a recent flight back from Tahoe, I had the pleasure of sitting next to a child who had a nasty rash all over his body and a nose that never stopped dripping snot. Mom was angry because she was in my seat and I politely asked her to move. I guess she retaliated by sitting her infectious child next to me. At the very least, keep a sick child at home and not on a plane.

  37. Catherine says:

    After having a mother change a poopy diaper next to me in the seats (no the seat belt light wasn’t on), I am DEFINITELY for children in the back – including teens/tweens with loud video games. C’mon parents – buy some headphones for those things if you are going to pacify your monsters with them.

  38. patti says:

    Folks, it’s not the kids that make flights so miserable. It’s the overly permissive parents who think their Little Angel is being cute and adorable when really Little Angel is in need of serious supervision and even discipline. So I vote for a Parent’s Section and make them take their kids with them. My worst experiences with kids on planes have ALL been due to inattentive or overly permissive parents. If you’re three years old and your mom lets you kick the seat (or worse, like the lap child that was grabbing beverages off of the console in First Class and spilling them on me: his mom didn’t say “sorry”, just said “he’s so speedy!”) then youre going to kick. If your mom punishes you for unruly behavior, you’ll behave on the plane.

  39. David Viland says:

    I find it very sad to see all the disparaging remarks about children. We were all children, and most of us have children. Yes, most of the time the braty kids are braty because of inadequate parenting skills. When I encounter noisy braty kids on the plane, my first reaction is to note if this seems to be a parenting problem. If it is, and the disturbance is affecting me I’ll often say something like, “Ma’am, I’d really appreciate it if you’d deal with your child who is continually kicking my seat.” Usually it tones down the problem significantly. Having said that, I do agree that designated sections for families with children is a good idea. (Then maybe some of the parents would get a dose of it themselves.) But it probably is not as practical or as needed on shorter flights, of say under 90 minues.

  40. Trina Taylor says:

    Yes we need children only areas especially for long haul flights. It makes travelling hell for other passengers if you are seated near a screaming child. What annoys me is seeing a child asleep before a flight then wide awake screaming for the whole flight. Some parents hevent got a clue how to pacify or prepare or equip for the trip. I personally would never fly with a young child the dangers of flying with such precious cargo these days is a gamble. Some parents are selfish and think only of themselves. Ive had some dreadful trips next to inconsiderate families with hellish spoilt children. Whwn you stand in the que waiting to board you pray Oh please no, not near that family.

  41. cc taylor says:

    Isn’t there a book or some sort of web resource that will help new parents (or unconscious ones) prepare to take their kids on flights? With tried & true ways to help kids deal with pressure changes (gum, bottles, etc.) and suggestions to deal with sleeping, toys to bring etc.? Maybe the airlines could supply that sort of info under FAQs or as a pop-up when purchasing a child’s ticket. As a child who traveled back & forth to Australia before the age of 4, I remember (& sympathize with kids) how dreadfully boring it was but that the airline did supply a little box of wings, playing cards, etc. Giving those out is a great idea.
    However, I get irked as hell reading these posts of select parents who tell us to “get over it”. The sense of entitlement is mind-boggling–that since we were all kids once and all children are so magnificent should make us tolerate a miserable flight is absurd. We have other priorities in life that are equally important as your kid’s right to travel: sleeping so as to be refreshed when we touch down, preparing for the meetings/work we have when we arrive at our destination, maximum comfort for the steep price of our ticket, etc. And you can bet that if the shoe was on the other foot and your kid DID fall asleep on a flight and the passenger seated next to/behind them was rowdy/loud talking/inebriated, and disturbed your kid you’d have PLENTY to say about that…

  42. Norma says:

    I think that it totally depends on the child. My daughter has been traveling since she was 1 year old and she is the best! We always receive compliments from passengers telling us how absolutely wonderful she is. She mostly sleeps thru our flights but if she is up, she is easily entertained by a movie, toys or crafts that we pack along for that purpose. We have NEVER had a problem. However, there was one flight that we were on and there was this child a few rows behind us that was just crying almost non-stop and it was the most aggraveting thing in the world. I can only imagine how bad it was for the passengers sitting just next to their row. I adore kids but that child would not shut up. Of course, she ended up waking up my little girl but I gave her a snack and put on a movie and she just relaxed. But I was really upset because she had woken my baby up. So if you have one of these kids I would certainly appreciate a special “family” section on the airplane for you and it has to be soundproof.

  43. Tonya says:

    It really depends on the situation, and being a mother of an “easy” child and a “difficult” one who travel internationally, I really do understand others’ annoyance. But a lot of times, it’s not the kid being noisy or irritating that bothers me – it’s the parents not doing anything about it that irks me! Believe me, I have offered to drug some kids, and scared a few parents in my time. A soundproof section is a good idea for the truly uncontrollable kids and parents. It can double as a time out room as well.

  44. Heather says:

    On a short trip (an hour and a half) from Charlotte to Orlando, there was crying on the plane practically non-stop. Not to mention, I had two children in the seat behind me who had never been on a plane OR to Disney World, so needless to say, they were constantly asking if the plane was going to crash, why it was shaking, and the age old question of “Are we there yet?” These kinds of things are to be expected on planes and even though I don’t have children and don’t plan on it, I understand that through the eyes of a child a plane can be a scary and exciting thing. After the hundredth and one time my seat got kicked from behind, I was using all the patience in my being to refrain from turning around and kicking back, but then I thought about the first time I went to Disney World, how excited I was and how that drive that took nearly half a day (or more) would have been much easier on my parents had we just gotten plane tickets.

    In the grand scheme of things a screaming child or two or five on your flight isn’t the worst thing that could happen. You should be happy you’re in route to your destination instead of delayed in an airport terminal with them.

    Earplugs could be your best friend. If those don’t suffice, invest in some headphones that block out noise. And quit ‘yer bitchin’ about kids on a plane. I would prefer that to a lot of things any day.

  45. Roger Dodger says:

    With the advent of charging for the FIRST checked bag, surely the bellies of the planes will be significantly empty and the overheads will be over flowing. Whiners may go below OR we could outfit the baggage area with a MsDonalds like play area and let the screaming weenies stay there until the area is unlocked at touch down, at which time the parents will go below and retrieve the brats whilst we deplane in an orderly and efficient manner, like we used to before car seats and strollers, etc.

  46. Bridget says:

    I love the idea of a family friendly and a child-free zone on planes. I’ve been suggesting that for a couple years now and am thrilled so many agree- parents and those not travelling with kids. One suggestion I have for the airlines too that could help is to charge the regular airfare rate for ANY passenger, regardless of age. Infants/toddlers may sit on laps for part of the time, but they still take up space and should be seated for take off so they should pay for a seat. Giving discounts or not charging infants just encourages parents to travel with their little ones. If they had to pay regular price, they may not travel quite as much with the kids. The airlines that are struggling financially right now could recoup a lot of money by doing this too. Sure, some people might throw a fuss, but we’ll get over it just like we’ll get over the baggage fee that is being introduced right now. I truly think the airlines should at least pilot this idea on a couple aircrafts and see the reaction they get.

  47. Amber says:

    I’ve had many bad experiences flying due to bad parenting. The worst was the mother with two toddlers sitting in front of my husband and me. The mother put on headphones and ignored the children as they beat on each other. When it came time for drinks, the seats in front of me were rocking so bad that I had to keep a hand on my nerve-soothing wine. Once that drink was downed, the couple behind us bought us two more drinks. I do believe flying is one of the best forms of birth control.

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