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Meanderings of a Working Travel Agent

Children on Planes

A Turkish airline has now launched an adult only zone on some of its routes and this has sparked up the old debate about children – especially babies – on flights.

Apparently, the Airline, Clarendon, which operates out of Amsterdam, will separate the area from the rest of the passengers with walls and curtains.  Of course, this is going to cost more – doesn’t everything?

In a nice PR move the airline said that this new policy will also be better for parents travelling with children because then they won’t feel that they are disturbing other passengers.    Well if their baby is crying it won’t disturb the passengers who paid extra – but what about the others who did not want to pay extra (or could not afford to)?  

As a mother (and grandmother) I sympathise with parents travelling with small children and babies.  Flying is difficult enough for adults – imagine being 9 months old on a flight for hours and your tiny ears are blocked and sore.  Even worse – imagine being the mother.  Actually I don’t have to imagine.  I remember flying from Mauritius back to Johannesburg with a baby.  Eventually I had to strap him on my back and walk up and down the aisle.  For anyone who has been to Africa you will have seen mothers carrying their babies like this.  

blog children planes

I can still remember my stress and embarrassment that I was disrupting other people’s flight and I am sure any mom out there can identify with that feeling.

The only thing worse than a crying baby are the ignorant adults that have tantrums about a baby crying.  This happened recently on a flight and the video has since gone viral.  Some ignorant a**hole shouting and screaming and swearing – so much so that the flight had to be aborted.  


So who was the disrupter here?  Certainly not an innocent baby.


3 Responses

  1. I sympathize with you. 48 or so years ago we made a crazy trip but people seemed more accepting.
    Try flying Medicine Hat – Calgary – Vancouver – Honolulu – Sydney with an 11 month old to visit his grandparents and great-grandparents. We had bulkhead seats with a crib attached to the bulkhead. Out of Honolulu, we finally got him to sleep after hours of on and off crying or hyper-activities when the fasten seat belt sign came on and the stewardess came and said it was for expected turbulence and we had to take him out and hold him. NO! Just asleep and staying there. She gave up and left us alone and baby in the crib, sleeping until almost reaching Sydney. No severe turbulence. No baby bouncing out of crib or hitting the ceiling. No further problems.
    It was stressful for us and people around us on the various legs. I don’t think that there is a foolproof way to peacefully travel with babies. Typically you don’t get an extra seat for them so you’re juggling them while trying to eat, drink or sleep. Were we crazy to undertake a trip like that? Then we had to look forward to the return trip.

    1. Hugh, you are right. There is no easy way around this issue. And sometimes you have to take a baby from one side of the world to the other (as you did). Very stressful for the parents (and grandparents). I have had that situation before when we had the turbulence notice come up after only getting the baby to sleep. Glad it worked out for you. Lesley

  2. I agree with the adult that is having to listen to a child having a tantrum. I was once on a short 2.5 hr flight and by the end of the flight I had a horrible migraine headache that put me out of commission the rest of the day. I paid my fair and shouldn’t have to put up with it. I also shouldn’t have to pay more, the ones with kids should. If you can’t control your child, then don’t goon a plane

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The Travel Lady Blog

The Travel Lady

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

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