Last month I had a four hour flight from Puerto Rico to Chicago. On this flight, there were two children under the age of three. One of the kids was in the row in front of my seat and the other was in the row behind my seat.
Once we boarded the airplane we were told that there was going to be a delay. The first ten minutes of this delay were fine. I read my book, drank some coffee, and reminisced on the wonderful vacation I had had.
Then it started. The children that were on the flight started screaming and crying. One mom tried to feed her daughter, while the other tried to walk with hers up and down the center aisle. This second mom looked exhausted and the flight crew did everything they could in order to help calm her baby, including carrying the child up and down the aisle to try and calm it.
Several passengers began to huff and complain about the children. I, on the other hand, just put my headphones in, cranked my music, and read my book.
The flight took off and everything was alright for the first hour of the flight. We hit turbulence as we crossed over the ocean border back into the states and one of the children started getting fussy again. Several passengers were not happy that there were infant children on the plane.
This brings me to a controversial question, should young children be allowed to travel by plane because it disrupts other passengers, can potentially put the caregivers in danger, and can interfere with the flight crew?
Children on Flights
Last month a mother brought her four young boys, two being infants, onto a Finnair flight. The mother became overwhelmed when she found out she would need another lap in order for her children to fly. Crew members decided they would step up and help the mom. One of the pilots did so much as to feed one of the infants, so the mom could have a break.
Another incident that happened recently with families traveling with children on planes happened on American Airlines. A mother asked to have her stroller tagged to be put under the plane. Once the mom began to board the plane, she grabbed the stroller and brought it with her. Crew members informed her that she would not be able to fit it into the overhead compartment and she began to argue.
Crew members tried to get the stroller back out to put under the plane. During this, the stroller ended up hitting the mother, who was carrying one of her infant twins. American has apologized about this incident.
Backlash to These Incidents
After all of these incidents, several people are writing articles about how to travel with children. Some of the suggestions in this article include bringing books for your kids, make a travel playlist, and dress practically.
Other articles suggest making “I am sorry” goodie bags for the passengers that will be traveling around you. These bags tell the other passengers about your child from their point of view. They also have things such as candy, ear plugs, and activities for the other passengers to have, just incase their child starts to act up.
Flying with children should not cause anxiety for the parents. Parents should feel free to show their kids the world without being afraid to disrupt other people.
So, what do you think? Should parents fly with their children or should they figure out a new way to travel?