Recently on a CNN comment board for a story about fragrance-challenged airline passengers, the discussion segued into on-board kiddos. Should parents be permitted to fly with babies and small children? Pro or con, there’s little doubt that people are passionate in their feelings on the subject.
Comments ranged from the sympathetic…
“How do you expect families to visit relatives overseas without flying? The on-board entertainment is so good these days and headphones are cheap enough that a crying baby could be blocked out.”
…to the downright harsh:
“Babies should be banned from planes, movie theaters, restaurants, and any other public place for that matter. The rest of the world doesn’t think your kid is as cute as you do.”
The bottom line is, families with babies have just as much a right to travel as anyone. Like it or not, airplane travel is an essential part of modern life. Experts suggest the obvious: keep a pacifier and bottle handy, get up off your seat and walk around–if you’re allowed to. I suggest that everyone else have patience.
Older kids are another thing. Every kid has a bad day, and yeah, you may just be unlucky enough to sit next to Supernanny fodder. Chair kicking, whining…who likes that? The first thing to do is take a look at the parents. Are they disciplining them? Trying to entertain them? If mom and dad are making a concerted effort, cut them some slack. If they’re not trying to rein in their little gremlin, call in reinforcements. Push the flight attendant call button. Hard.
It’s just not that deep.