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Meanderings of a Working Travel Agent

Kids On Planes

Don’t you feel sorry for those parents getting on a flight with small children?  No really – hear me out.  It is hard for a kid on a plane.  Their ears are sore.  They can’t go runabout.  They have to be strapped in.  Kids hate that sort of stuff.  And the poor parents.  They get onto that plane with a toddler in their arms and they just know that everyone with a vacant seat next to them is hoping and praying that they don’t sit next to them.

It is something that you read about all the time – as per this article in Insider

“Most airlines don’t have official guidelines related to infants crying on flights, but there have been reports of parents being reprimanded by airline staff when their babies cried for extended periods of time. In one case, a mother reported being asked to leave first class because of her screaming child. In May 2016, JetBlue launched a promotional flight in which passengers were offered a 25% discount on their next ticket each time they heard a child cry, Today reported. “

Recently I flew back from LA and the man in front had two small children with him.  Before we even took off he turned around and apologised in advance for any irritation his kids might cause.  Actually they were as good as gold.  A couple of meltdowns – which was only to be expected.  He was amazing distracting them with a game of Simon Says. 

What’s worse than taking a kid on a plane?  Maybe taking a pet.  I know a lot of people do this but putting your pet into a crate and into the hold is a bit scary.  After all if the airlines can lose as much luggage as they have been doing what the heck is going to happen to your pet.  I was discussing this with a couple of different clients who travel with their pets and rather than avoid the crate experience they have used inventive ways to travel.  One booked trans-Atlantic on Cunard (the only cruise line that allows pets).  Very cool way to travel.  I want to do that one day.  The other chose not to fly at all and instead drove all the way down to Palm Springs rather than put her canine baby through that.

So marry these two concepts together – travelling pets – travelling kids – and you get a brilliant idea in the form of a children’s illustrated book about Burt the Airport Cat.

Kids on Planes

Such a good idea as I am sure the kids will identify with the pictures of planes and piles of luggage waiting to be loaded on.

Burt’s adventure doesn’t go quite as planned.  During the loading process his crate is bumped and opens up and Burt makes a dash for it. 

I’m Free – I’m Free.

And then the huge Metal Bird flew away with his mom.  What will he do and how will he get home?  Luckily he does the right thing and find the airport Chapel – a refuge for “lost” travellers.  Will he find himself?  You will have to get the book.  Once you get it then you can take your kids/grandkids on holiday and really test this book.  See if they can sit quite without wiggling or crying for your 3/4/5 hour flight.

Thank you to the author Christine Henry for sending me a copy of BURT – THE AIRPORT CAT!  I will have great use for this in August when I take my grandson on a trip to Alaska.  I wonder if we will see any cats? 


4 Responses

  1. My children are 48 & 46 and we did quite a bit of international flying as both pairs of grand-parents (and a couple of great-grandmothers) lived overseas and wanted to see their grandchildren. I don’t remember what we did to keep them amused but there didn’t seem to any major disturbances. Picture books were essential.
    The only problem that I remember (it was after all 47 years ago) occurred on the Medicine Hat, Calgary, Vancouver, Honolulu to Sydney flight. Babies have problems equalizing pressure in their ears with take-off & landings which creates problems. At that time we had to disembark in Honolulu while they refueled the plane which naturally woke him up and when we again boarded and took off, he was hyper and upset but we had some baby knock-out drops and a bulkhead seat with a baby crib. After what could have been about an hour, he was sleeping peacefully. However, soon after that the ‘fasten seat belt’ sign came on and the stewardess came and told us that we had to take him out of the crib and hold him. NO, he just got to sleep and he is staying there. After some quiet discussion, the stewardess gave up and left things as they were. There was no turbulence and he slept almost all the way to Sydney. Those baby cribs on the bulkheads were a god-send.
    Flying when there are a number of children on the plane let’s you see the various parenting styles.

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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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