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Study Says That Over Half of Airline Travelers Want Parents with Young Kids to Sit Separately

I think we can all agree that traveling with kids is no walk in the park. There’s the planning, the packing, the repacking, the lines, the security measures, the realizing you forgot to pack that thing, the cost. And above all, there are the looks.

You know the looks — you’re sitting in the waiting area as your children quietly play games on their iPads or do some last-minute jumping jacks before getting on. Then someone glares at you over the pages of her book, or silently shakes his head as your daughter’s juice box falls. You just know that they are hoping to not end up next to the little ones on the plane. Your children are the equivalent of a communicable disease to them.

In fact, a study released this week by Airfare Watch Dog confirms this feeling. Their Annual State of Travel Survey found that more than half (52 percent) of the travelers that they surveyed felt that families with children age 10 and under should be required to sit in a separate section of the plane. Compare that to the 39.3 percent who worried about sitting next to someone who was sick or coughing. Or even the 28 percent who feared sitting next to someone with body odor. (And let’s not even get into how the occasional airline worker treats parents.)

I have to say, as a parent to a 3, 5, and 7-year-old, I’m all for families having a separate section of the plane. So long as that separate section of the plane is first class.

I recently flew without kids on a long flight for a relative’s wedding. And can I just tell you — it was the most relaxing 12 hours I’ve had since before having my firstborn son seven years ago. I had my phone loaded with audiobooks, some carefully chosen magazines, and a bar of chocolate. Even though my legs were slowly going numb from lack of room, it. was. the. life.

Meanwhile, two rows in front of me, a dad was rocking his newborn while the mom was trying to appease her two other young children with snack cups and workbooks. These parents did not deserve condemnation and scorn. They deserved a helping hand, a huge glass of free wine, a pair of fuzzy slippers, and a fully reclining seat.

So enough. Enough with the little goody bags for your seatmates to apologize for your children. Enough with the apologetic glances as your baby cries. Enough apologizing for having children! We bought those tickets, and we have as much right to use them as anyone else on the plane.

But seriously, feel free to upgrade us. We can totally get behind that. #parentsrequiredtoflyfirstclass

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