Moms Talk: Air Travel

How do you manage on a long flight? Join the conversation.

Summer time is vacation time -- time for visits to family, nature preserves or historical sites. Being there is great, but getting to and from can be a challenge, especially with young children in tow.

Malaysia Airlines touched off a firestorm recently by announcing a ban on babies in the first class section of its Boeing 747-400 jets and the new Airbus A380 superjumbo jets. It soon emerged that British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are also mulling keep-out signs for young children.

The announcements were greeted with wails -- not from children, but their parents, who say the restriction makes no sense: They ante up plenty to fly first class, where their toddlers are not as confined -- hence, are more likely to remain quiet and content.

A survey last August of 2,000 travelers revealed that 59 percent of passengers would like to see airlines create special family sections on flights. The survey by consumer site Skyscanner showed nearly 20 percent supported child-free flights.

Parents complained that babies are unfairly bearing the brunt of an impatient culture. Profane, boisterous or drunk passengers can make a trip unbearable, yet aren't targeted for restrictions, they said.

The Malaysia Airlines ban only applies to long-haul flights from Kuala Lumpur to Amsterdam, London and Sydney. Those traveling with babies are still welcome aboard, but only in economy or business class.

What do you think? Are these bans unfair to parent and offspring?

And what are your air travel experiences?

  • Juggling buggies, safety seats, and diaper bags on top of suitcases can seem to require more hands than you've got. How do you manage?
  • Do the recriminations of other passengers add to your stress when you are flying with irritable children?
  • And what are your techniques for keeping your children content in the air?

Join the conversation.

Robyn Patty July 08, 2011 at 02:09 AM
People sometimes need to travel with children. It's a fact of life. Yeah, it sucks to be on a flight sitting in front of a screaming baby, but we deal with it. For me, it's MUCH more uncomfortable to see a crabby adult reacting rudely to a loud baby. The baby I'll forget about as soon as I get off the plane. But someone acting like a jerk I'll remember for months!
Maggie July 08, 2011 at 03:08 AM
I totally support a "children" "no-children" separation. Most people travel for vacation or for business. If you're on vacation you should not to have to put up with a screaming or insufferable kid next to you or having to ask the parent to keep their offspring in line only to have them argue with you. If you're on business - you can't get much work done with the same screaming kid or entitled parent. Why do those parents - the ones with the screaming kids think "everyone" should love their obnoxious offspring? We don’t!!! As for first class “no-children” rule --- good for you airlines! You are willing to give up a lot of cash to keep your high paying customers happy – good for you! To those parents who feel they are entitled to fly their offspring to places like the wine country – even if they can’t partake of the experience – but still ruin other people’s experience --- STAY HOME – we don’t want to hear your brats or your stupid excuses!! And yes, we paid just as much as you did for the plane fare – do you want ME screaming in YOUR ear? Do you want ME telling YOU to get up 12 times so I can go run up and down the aisle? Take a road trip and keep your family matters to yourselves!
Maggie July 08, 2011 at 03:08 AM
Just so you don’t go off saying I don’t know what it’s like – I raised three BOYS and they knew how to behave – and no I did not beat them – so don’t even go there – I knew the THEIR little boy limits and did not put the burden on THEM. I never put them in a situation (such as flying) where they would not be able to behave. Yes, YOU the parents are at fault – but your offspring (son or daughter) is what we dislike. YOU made that happen.
kevs46 July 08, 2011 at 03:14 AM
If only all parents were like you Maggie. As an ex flight attendant, I still fondly remember a mother in first class saying to me...."My children will be sleeping throughout the flight, and if they don't I have something in my bag that will make them!"
Rebecca Rosen Lum July 10, 2011 at 07:38 PM
Maggie, how do you feel about other disruptive passengers -- those who have imbibed too much, for instance?


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