It’s almost holiday time and we are buzzing. The only bit we are a bit worried about is the flight… a few hours in a confined space with a human hurricane isn’t too appealing and I have to admit, we were pretty apprehensive. It isn’t so much about him being OK – we were pretty sure he’ll be fine – it’s more to do with how other people might react if he gets upset or woken up. You don’t realise quite how negative people can be about children on planes until you take one on a flight and from when the boy was small, we are conscious of it.
KID FREE ZONE
In a recent study conducted by Airfarewatchdog, it was found that over 50% of passengers supported the idea that parents with children under ten should have to travel in a ‘child zone’ on flights, separate from the passengers without children. That’s a pretty negative idea, segregating passengers if they have children and even knowing that some people think like this makes travelling with a baby potentially even more daunting than it already is for new parents.
As a conscientious parent (and flyer) I wouldn’t dream of letting my child go wild on a plane…but as I’m sure most people are aware, you don’t choose when the tears and tantrums start, especially with an audience. Flying can be an overwhelming experience, even for some adults, so it’s not always going to be smooth for a little one. Why can’t people understand that?
In fairness, I think air passengers have more of an issue with unruly toddlers than babies. With the viral videos of toddlers running rampage on flights for eight hours (hilarious to watch, not so hilarious if you’re on the flight) children get a bad name when it comes to travelling. As always, it’s the minority killing it for the majority – not all children and babies are naughty on planes and like I say, babies do what babies do, usually regardless of parental intervention.
BROADENING YOUR HORIZONS
There’s so much pressure to get out and do things with a baby; I salute any parent who flies with a little one, no matter what age. One of the best things you can do is travel the world and I am all for travelling with a baby. The negative stigma of children being some kind of demonic beings on planes needs to stop. Parents are doing their best and with all the negativity, plus the pressure of flying itself, people are potentially going to think that the experience of the flight will outweigh the trip itself. That would be a sad place to be.
Maybe it’s something that you only appreciate when you have children yourself, but I think we should be smiling at parents brave enough to take babies on planes instead of shooting them the “I hope they aren’t near me” sneer.