Saturday, February 26, 2011

Kids on planes, and air travel suggestions

image from here

Between the annual travel tips that come out every autumn and the mess that was air travel this past December, I've seen buckets of these lately -- lists of suggestions for air travel improvements.  I'm posting this one, not because I necessarily think it is the best list (it's also pretty short), but because I was tickled pink at the unabashed stance on having a kids' section on a plane.

For the record, my personal opinion about the whole banning-kids-in business-class-or-entire-flights-altogether is this: treat it like trains.  Designate business class a "Quiet Cabin," and then if ANY passenger, child or adult, is disruptive, they leave.  This might well mean that some poor tired parent has to hang out with their kid in the teeny spaces next to the toilets, or walk them up and down the aisles forever, but it strikes me as kinder than banning children outright.  Plus, for parents who know their children can be rambunctious on flights, it would be a deterrent to buying business-class tickets.

But really, the noise I can deal with.  Seat-kicking is another matter.

Since I spent a good amount of the last few years working in schools and after-school programs, I am really sympathetic to the difficulties traveling with kids can pose.  (I am reminded here of a guilt-inducing story about my mother "walking to London," because either my sister or I could not keep calm on an overnight flight, and she had to walk up and down the plane nearly the whole time....)  And right, "we were all kids ourselves once."  That said, as someone who was counted on, and responsible for young people's behavior in schools, I really have no patience for parents who get all "defeated" in a public space.  It was my job to not give up on a kid's behavior, no matter how tiring it was!  I believe in you, parents!

For another list I found interesting, check out the comments here on how to improve airports.

Any thoughts?  Opinions on children flying, or how to improve air travel in general?

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