Child-Free Flights? Book Me!
From restaurants to airplanes: Seems that most people (or at least the over 400 of you who commented) think it is just fine to ban babies and kids from restaurants.
How about airplanes? Would you like to see child-free flights or at least a family section of the airplane?
Yeah, me too. My husband and I often wish there was a family section of the airplane complete with child-friendly movies and a babysitter. Wouldn't that be great? But I don't think that is the gist of this New York Times article looking into making flying better for those unencumbered with kids.
I completely understand wanting a child-free flight. I would love an airplane free from chaotic kids and crying babies; especially when I have my kids with me. I can understand not wanting to sit beside a squirming child or having a kid kick the back of your seat. But I also believe that travel makes you a better person -- that taking your kids to new places opens up their world and teaches them tolerance and acceptance.
We travel with our three kids and until they can stare into a screen undisturbed for many hours at a time, the flight is not fun. Flying with a crying baby can be bad but flying with a restless toddler is like occupying the third cycle of hell. We have withstood the evil looks, the disappointed sighs of the adult when they spy their empty seat beside us. Unfortunately as a family of five, our uneven number means that we almost always have to have a stranger sit with us in our row. I get their sense of disapointment -- I don't want to sit with us either!
I have had a fair amount of the sweats and angry moments on airplanes with my kids. But we have always found the kids live up to our high expectations on airplane; we have had very few temper tantrums, poop explosions and screaming fits. Usually, we time a flight so that the kids fall asleep. They are still kids though, so yes, they get whiny, they sometimes kick the seat in front of us, and they have to pee a lot.
The ironic thing is that even when I am travelling with my brood I sometimes find myself doling out a little evil eye to other parents whose kids are disturbing my kids' sleep. I get irritated by the relentless droning of a baby and I don't like getting my seat kicked either. If I had been my friend Corinne from Havebabywilltravel.com, I would have been concerned getting on a flight with 15 babies as well.
Hence, my desire for a family-friendly section with a babysitter who has qualifications in sleep training, gourmet cooking and puppet shows. Wouldn't that be the way to go?
Would you pay extra for a family section? Would you pay extra for a child-free flight?
Check out this video for a panel discussion and debate on child-free flights and family-only sections: