Should Airlines Offer More Family Friendly Flights As Well As Adults Only Flights?

All these people getting kicked off airplanes for not controlling their bratty spawn…or is it just mean airlines who hate their customers because they have babies…? We don’t know. What’s an airline to do?


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  1. yg17 says:

    How about 21 and over flights where instead of soda, they serve alcohol and instead of the latest crappy adam sandler movie, they show debbie does dallas?

  2. enm4r says:

    Screaming kids should be kicked off planes.
    Loud and obnoxious drunks should be kicked off planes.
    Talkative adult passangers should not be kicked off planes.
    Talkative children should not be kicked off planes.

    Is this really a difficult question to answer?

  3. dbeahn says:

    Oh puh-leeeeze. How about we get them to actually make the flights they already offer? Once they can do that, we’ll look at “specialty” flights.

    Right now, a “specialty flight” is one that leaves at least sort of on time, and gets to the destination it’s advertised as going to….

  4. raybury says:

    I want to agree with Enm4r, but “buh bye plane” does start to get creepy after a while.

  5. QuirkyRachel says:

    I agree with ENM4R, but maybe have kid sections of planes? Kind of like smoking and non-smoking, which sounds bad, but it might work.
    I don’t mind kids being kids, but it’s when parents don’t try to control them, or even encourage them, that gets me. Like I was once behind a family that put a DVD on and jacked up the sound so that all of their kids could hear it. I stood up at one point to leave my seat and looked at the screen while waiting for my fellow passenger to make way. The parent glared at me for looking at the screen.

  6. superlayne says:

    I don’t fly much, but I don’t like bratty little kids.

    You always here about the right to free speech, but are we guaranteed a right of selective hearing? Can we be forced to listen to other people’s free speech? Thats never made clear.

  7. Thrust says:

    The flight doesn’t have to be “Baby Free”, per-se… Just seat the yowling lil f**kers on the wings. Find themselves to short of breath to yap for very long I tells ya.

  8. axiomatic says:

    Things are fine as they are.

    I recommend ear plugs to the “adult” babies responding here that say parents with kids should get booted from the plane. CRY ME A RIVER puh-lease!

    Your whiners insensitivity is a bigger affront to me than a crying baby.

    What other option do parents have? Until there are “kid free flights” you need to cope with it and not boot parents from planes.

    Think of it this way, the parent has to get to their destination eventually on another flight, so in effect, YOU ruined someone else’s flight because YOU booted the parent from their original flight.

    I guess that doesn’t matter since your flight was fine though eh?

    Bunch of self centered babies.

  9. gdickie says:

    The airlines should go beyond “kid-friendly flights”. They should be offering FAA-approved car-seats for kids who pay for a ticket. As it is, we have to lug a car-seat through security and hope that it can buckle into the airplane seat properly.

  10. Why can’t they just make a little soundproof container where the baby can be sealed up for a while? A little aerogel pocket to dessicate the little fucker into submission.

    Seriously though.

    1) Kid flights.
    2) Non-kid flights.

  11. Marcus-T says:

    I hate kids, I find them annoying and smelly. I would rather enjoy children free flights. Let’s say, nobody under 18 should be allowed on my flights. I hate to go that high, but I would hate for some bratty 15 y/o to ruin my peace and quiet.

  12. ColbyWolf says:

    I think Baby-free flights would be a good idea. Help out the people who are required to travel regularly for their work and that red-eye flight might be the only sleep they get that night, etc.

    But at the same time, I don’t want to see it heavily segregated. For a family with children, and babies, they might have limited times they can fly–so missing even a day one way or another might be pretty bad (what I mean is.. when traveling within the confines of, say, winter break.. if you’re paying 1000$ a head to fly, you’d rather go for your full vacation time, rather then be told “no you’ll have to take the flight a day and a half later–it’s baby friendly.”..

    So, I think… on heavily traveled flights/routes, provide a few ‘baby free’ flights for people. Especially on overnight flights.

    But for lesser traveled and longer flights (ie, Los Angeles to Honolulu) where it’s not practical to have multiple planes traversing the same route, perhaps simply a section set aside for families with children. Perhaps at the back of the plane. Ideay, I would say, even having larger bathrooms near by so that I can be spared watching Mom change her infant in the seat next to me.

    The biggest problem is that every child is different. I’ve seen 4 year olds who won’t stop screaming, 9 month olds who don’t make a peep, and children who’ll only cry when there are other people crying.

    Perhaps there should be family seating available so that families can be asked to move if need be. Of course, THEN you have people being upset because you ask them to move, etc etc… and people complaining about empty seats, and trying to move mid flight etc.

    Better to just get them out of the way from the start, rather then trying to move them mid flight.

  13. whickey says:

    I’d rather say, no kids in first class. I once took a red eye from LAX -> BOS and someone had their kid in first class screaming all the way home. My 9am meeting was a bit rough needless to say.

    At the end of the day, any douche bag can be a parent, and frankly some people should not be parents.

  14. KIRZEN2007 says:

    What’s missing from the documentation of this situation is perspective. Its one thing if your child is quietly murmurring something that barely carries beyond your seat, and is saying it only say… every 10 seconds.

    But if its “Bye bye plane” every 3 seconds, at the top of his lungs, for 10 minutes straight, and the parent refuses flatly to control her child, then I think its appropriate to ask that she quiet him.

    This situation smells funny, since we’re only hearing one side of the situation and I know a lot of parents who would put on their “That’s -so- cute!” smile and dotingly pat their toddler’s head while he’s screaming, running around a supermarket, or flinging food and silverware all over the room at a restaurant.

    Jaded, perhaps. But I’ve met a lot of parents with a disporportionate sense of entitlement, yes… being a parent is special, but no… being a parent does not ‘make you special’ or mean you shouldn’t be held accountable for your child disturbing others under the shield of “he’s just a kid”.

  15. andrewsmash says:

    Maybe a fine or something? If you (or your spawn) act like a drunken howler monkey, you owe the airline $1000 and can’t fly again until you pay that off. Or public shaming – the red vest of “I shouldn’t be allowed outside without a muzzle”.

  16. skittlbrau says:

    maybe if parents would discipline their children, this discussion topic would not be necessary.

    i understand that babies will cry because they cannot equalize their ear pressure. bratty toddlers have no excuse. does that mom let her kid babble constantly during church or other “quiet” places?

    i used to fly 2x a week for work. i am one of those self absorbed jerks that just wants to sleep and not listen to your bratty kid you are too self absorbed to discipline.

  17. 3drage says:

    Baby-free flights, movie theaters, and restaurants would be a godsend.

  18. Jasmo says:

    I would rather put up with a screaming child than put up with the 1-2 hours it probably would take for the plane to return to the terminal, fight with person over getting off, re-enter line up, etc. To all you whiners complaining about kids crying – get yourself some earplugs and remember, you were a kid once, and most likely you either have kids, had kids once, or will have kids, so let’s just get off the high horse. If you want the pamper treatment, join netjets and fly by yourself.

  19. LTS! says:

    If there’s a consolation in this thread it’s that those morons who speak out against children so elegantly are not likely to breed. While I would hope that this means future ignorance is likely to be reduced, we all know that won’t be the case.

    Every flight I have ever been on, every single one, had more annoying adults than children. Perhaps they should offer discounts to people with children so the people who hate children will stop flying, that would be cool.

    Grow up, get headphones. If you fly that much it’s already a worthy investment. Close your eyes, picture a nice relaxing pool….

    Now picture my son peeing in it.

  20. hollerhither says:

    Yes, kid section would be lovely, particularly on redeyes or long flights to/from Europe or Asia. I don’t melt at the sight of some stranger’s children but I don’t think they need to ride on the wings.

    I do question why people need to travel with baby so frequently, but…(shrug).

    Worse than the baby screaming in pain for 30 minutes during descent on my last trans-atlantic flight was the obnoxious jerk who kept screaming at the kid’s overwhelmed mother to do something. He was the greater disruption.

  21. visualbowler says:

    I’m 17 and just got back from a flight on El Al which if you’ve never flown it, it is filled with tons of kids. Kids don’t bother me as long as they’re well behaved and their parents keep them quiet and under control. The problem is, they usually don’t. I was sleeping almost the entire flight in an aisle seat with a father and his son sitting next to me. The kid was kept busy and both his father and I could sleep in peace. I was only bothered once on the 10 hour flight when I was already awake when they needed to go to the bathroom. I don’t mind people like that. I mind the little children who walk and scream up and down the aisles and bump into people who are sleeping. That said, old people need something to grab on when they walk the aisles and they always seem to shake my seat until I wake up as they walk by. JUST AS ANNOYING!

  22. ElizabethD says:

    Y’all need to read this essay on children, and Americans’ attitudes toward them, by prize-winning author Barbara Kingsolver:

    [www.nytimes.com]

    A refreshing antidote to some comments in this thread!

  23. Offering family-friendly and/or kid-free flights won’t solve the problem completely because part of the problem is people who are being rowdy.

    Just because you don’t want to be booted for your kid talking doesn’t mean you also want to be on a plane where other kids are screaming.

    Just because you’re on a child free flight doesn’t mean there won’t be someone causing a disruption.

    No one wants to be booted unfairly and no one wants to suffer through somone being loud and obnoxious. So it’d help but it would still need for people to behave better and not overreact to small stuff to really work.


    @yg17: A plane full of horny drunks? Could you get any flight attendants to put up with that?

  24. BillyShears says:

    How about complimentary sedatives for kids 4 and under? I’ve been on one too many flights where toddlers would scream and cry – with possibly a 10 minute break – for pretty much the entirety of a 6-hour flight.

  25. 3drage says:

    @LTS!: Watch a movie called Idiocracy and you’ll realize it’s the breeding population that is causing future ignorance.

  26. uhhh — wouldn’t that fall into the age discrimination category? I did just have a howler-monkey of my own, but seriously — aren’t you all going a little overboard?

    Anyone flying with an infant is asking for trouble with the change in pressures. A little children’s benadryl would probably knock him out for the flight. But, toddlers and up should be disciplined enough to sit in the chair and behave for an hour or so. (Note — as my child grows, my opinion will likely change and that’s OK.)

  27. silenuswise says:

    How about a family section in the plane? First class, quiet coach, and family coach. I mean, even churches have cry rooms, so why not divide the plane into three rather than two sections? And put a solid wall (rather than just a curtain) between family and quiet coach, please. Grazie.

  28. sleze69 says:

    Baby only section in the back of the plane with a soundproof door that seals them off. How hard is it?

    I agree with the above posts…a “special” plane that leaves on time would be nice too.

  29. fleedawg says:

    I really and truly don’t understand why some people are the way they are. Granted, children can be annoying, but think reasonably. A plane isn’t like a movie theater. If a parent is going someplace far away, it is much better to fly than to drive, ESPECIALLY with a child. And sometimes children can’t be placated. Yes, parents who don’t discipline children suck, but so do jerks who complain about anything and everything, like some of the people who want no kids on planes. I’d personally rather have a No-Jerk flight. One that doesn’t allow people on who knock into the back of my seat. Oh, and don’t allow anyone who complains for there being too much ice and not enough soda. If you have a problem with loud people (like I do) then bring an iPod!

  30. Jasmo says:

    I’d say that the problem isn’t kids at all – it’s self centered assholes who will complain about anything at the drop of a hat and not stop until someone does something just so they’ll stop. It’s so easy to target the kids when it’s really some people’s inability to deal with the realities of close contact with other human beings.

  31. jamesBrauer66 says:

    Wow, what a bunch of bratty adults we have here. Can’t afford a private jet and don’t want to drive, so you complain about having to use public transportation. Its funny how nobody ever calls my kid bratty to my face.

  32. Juncti says:

    I love how parents immediately jump to the generalization that people think all kids should be kicked off planes. No, it’s just you and your attitude that no one should interfere with how you raise your kids. Well ok, we won’t interfere. Let the kid throw a fit, let them march around and cause destruction, but when you get kicked off the flight don’t blame the insentive people around you, blame your poor parenting self for not controlling your child and teaching them some manners. In the end you had the kid, not us, that’s you’re responsibility and if you can’t handle that, don’t have kids.

  33. silenuswise says:

    @QuirkyRachel: I should give credit where due: you had already mentioned the family section option. I think this as an excellent idea.

  34. KIRZEN2007 says:

    People seem to be focussing on the wrong part of the equation. Neither the children or the airlines are a problem, we shouldn’t be worried about providing flights that restrict or allow children, because the behavior of children is very different, as has been expressed by other commenters.

    The problem, is that their parents suck.

    Lets be honest, if you’re planning to bring your child on a flight, you should come prepared, knowing that you and your child are going to be boxed in with potentially over one hundred people, some of which are not going to be kid friendly, some of which may be substantially intoxicated by mid-flight, some of which may be working on something important.

    The bottom line is that you should be prepared to keep your child well behaved and quiet, and if your child gets out of hand, you should be able to get him or her -back- under control.

    Its not the airline’s responsibility to entertain and control your child, its yours. And despite how splendid an excuse “He/she is only a child!” is, your right to be a bad parent ends at the edge of the seat I’ve paid for.

  35. Kornkob says:

    Yeah– all those self entitled parents who think that because they made a choice they can impose that choice on others are the first to throw a fit and try and get me booted from the plane when I get loaded and try and to get everyone on the plane to join in on a group rendition of Piano Man or There Was A Whore From Nantucket.

    Try to remember: the only person who loves your kid is you.

    Also remember: only the drunk thinks he can sing.

  36. ancientsociety says:

    @Jasmo: Well said.

    I can only imagine how some of them would react to taking public transit everyday.

    I’ve said it before but – if someone/something annoys you and you’d like it to stop, (politely) SAY SOMETHING at the time and, if that doesn’t work, escalate. If you sit there and sulk like a child, STFU. You have no moral standing to whine.

  37. axiomatic says:

    @BillyShears:
    Sung to The Beatles “With a Little Help from My Friends.”:

    What would you do if you were on a plane? Would you drug all the kids to sleep?

    What would you do, if the drugs that you gave, to a kid on the plane made them die? So….

    (chorus)
    You get kids, a little high on the plan. Kids die, getting drugs, on a plane. Don’t wanna die getting drugs from a plane. BillyShears is an insensitive ass on a plane.

    —-
    Since you are a Beatles fan I had to put this in a way you can understand. Drugging kids is bad. Mmmmmkay?

  38. Pelagius says:

    I say we just make flying extremely expensive again, since the lower classes clearly cannot keep their spawn in line like their betters. My little Aloysius Braithewaite Tumblethorpe IV is just an absolute angel when we fly. Of course, the free champers and caviar on our private jet help calm the little darling’s nerves.

  39. Mary says:

    For what it’s worth, I’d happily pay a little extra (not too much) for an 12 and over only flight. I personally have an aversion to children *shrug* I don’t begrudge them their right to fly, but flying makes me nervous enough without their screaming so I’d prefer to make the choice and pay the premium to avoid it.

    So to me it seems a simple choice: slightly more expensive premium flights that you can’t bring children on. You could even offer slightly less expensive family friendly flights and I’d be fine with it.

    I feel the same way about restaurants actually…I’ve run into a few too many ill behaved children lately.

  40. louiedog says:

    Family friendly flights? Please…

    So when they cancel your family friendly Wednesday morning 6:00 AM flight because it’s only 20% full do you have to wait 6 hours for the next one?

    Maybe we could put the kids with the pets in the cargo area instead. Then we could take any flight we want.

    If you can’t deal with kids, get some ear plugs and/or some noise canceling headphones.

  41. ElizabethD says:

    @ElizabethD:
    Oops, I guess comments don’t allow direct links. ?

    A couple of quotes from Kingsolver’s essay:

    For several months I’ve been living in Spain, and while I have struggled with the customs office, jet lag, dinner at midnight and the subjunctive tense, my only genuine culture shock has reverberated from this earthquake of a fact: People here like kids. They don’t just say so, they do. Widows in black, buttoned-down c.e.o.’s, purple-sneakered teen-agers, the butcher, the baker, all have stopped on various sidewalks to have little chats with my daughter. Yesterday, a taxi driver leaned out his window to shout ” Hola, guapa !” My daughter, who must have felt my conditioned flinch, looked up at me wide-eyed and explained patiently, “I like it that people think I’m pretty.” …
    When my daughter gets cranky in a restaurant (and really, what do you expect at midnight?), the waiters flirt and bring her little presents and nearby diners look on with that sweet, wistful gleam of eye that before now I have only seen aimed at the dessert tray. Children are the meringues and eclairs of this culture. Americans, it seems to me now, sometimes regard children as a sort of toxic-waste product: a necessary evil, maybe, but if it’s not their own they don’t want to see it or hear it or, God help us, smell it.

    If you don’t have children, you think I’m exaggerating. But if you’ve changed a diaper in the last decade, you know exactly the toxic-waste glare I mean. It goes far beyond diapers. In the United States, I have been told in restaurants: “We come here to get away from kids.” (This for no infraction on my daughter’s part that I could discern, other than being visible.) On an airplane, I heard a man tell a beleaguered woman whose infant was bawling (as loudly as I would, to clear my aching ears, if I couldn’t manage chewing gum): “If you can’t keep that thing quiet, you should keep it at home.”

    My second afternoon in Spain, standing on a crowded bus, as we ricocheted around a corner and my daughter reached starfish-like for stability, a man in a black beret stood up and gently helped her into his seat. In his weightless bearing I caught sight of the decades-old child, treasured by the manifold mothers of his neighborhood, growing up the way leavened dough rises surely to the kindness of bread. I thought then of the ungenerous woman on the plane, and as always happens two days after someone has been remarkably rude to me, I knew what I should have said to her: Be careful what you give children, or don’t, for sooner or later you will always get it back. – Barbara Kingsolver, “Everybody’s Somebody’s Baby”

  42. bilge says:

    How about a flight free of annoying adults?

  43. louiedog says:

    @KIRZEN2007:

    Remember these are airlines. Even the most well behaved children of the world’s best parents are going to get cranky after their flight is delayed 7 hours.

  44. hollerhither says:

    Indeed, “manners,” or should I say lack of them, are a big part of the problem. It’s difficult to tolerate people of any age who don’t have a reasonable amount of consideration for others or self-discipline. That includes shoeless and tank-top wearing adults, drunks, and noisy people of any age who enjoy repeatedly kicking my seat or reclining into me. In my daily life it’s easy to avoid these types of situations, except when I’m traveling in a flying tin can.

    Perhaps we’d be a little more tolerant if flying weren’t such a miserable experience in the first place. If we had a few extra inches of personal space or were permitted a smidge more dignity throughout the experience we’d all be less apt to fly off the handle (in-flight or online).

  45. CaptainConsumer says:

    Not only do we need baby/child free flights we need baby/child free restaurant hours, we need baby/child free movies, and baby/child free days at the amusement parks. NOT everybody is enamored with your bratty squealing child (Oh but he’s REALLY a good kid otherwise). You leave work more often that your childless co-workers, you abuse more time off as a group than your child free co-workers, you don’t put in the holiday time like your co-workers and you act like having children somehow exhonerates you from having to do certain things.

    Children are a CHOICE, not mandatory. The rest of us are getting pretty fed up with your expectations of special priveleges because you have rugrats.

  46. CapitalC says:

    Just remember, we were all babies once!

  47. Geekybiker says:

    I dont think we need to go as far as separate flights. It would be nice if they had a separate “family” section on the plane where people traveling with young children would be seated. Ideally with a partition between then and the main cabin. Failing that, have a couple seats in an enclosed are that parents could go sit with their child until it calms down. 2nd one is probably more feasible though since it doesnt limit the number of families on a plane, only the number of screaming kids that can be accomodated at once.

  48. KIRZEN2007 says:

    @louiedog:

    Cranky is one thing, screaming and yelling is another.

    And that still doesn’t address the fact that when the inevitable outburst happens, the parent should be there to soothe, quiet, or discipline when neccessary. Anything short of immeadiate action on the parent’s behalf, is unacceptable. Just as it would be in a restaurant.

    When you go out in public, you bring your parenting skills -with- you, or don’t come out.

  49. cnc1019 says:

    @structuralpoke: Age discrimination only protects people over 40 years old.

  50. wring says:

    gotta love the childfree, kid-hating comments. everyone should just chill. flying is tough and tougher for people flying with kids.

  51. Skyoodpov says:

    Yeesh, the flamewar going on HERE wasn’t enough?

    A little segregation might be nice though. Like a child friendly zone at the rear of the plane. Families could book in back at a discount for younger kids.

    And don’t get all bitchy about “the back of the plane.” You aren’t Rosa Parks.

  52. alicetheowl says:

    @3drage: Theaters exist, in some places. I forget the name of the six-theater chain, but a place called Cinebarre just opened up here in Asheville, NC. No kids under six (except on Tuesday mornings), no kids under 18 without an adult along, no cellphones, no talking. They flash a warning at the beginning of the film, which ends: “So shut up. We will throw you out if you don’t.”

    And they have the staff to back it up, too.

    That was the most blissful moviegoing experience of my life. Coupled with the alcohol and dinner-type food they were serving and the leg room so big people couldn’t kick my seat if they TRIED, I was one happy consumer.

  53. Tengaport says:

    In my experience it’s not so much kids being a problem as it is parents not handling their kids on a flight.

    Was on a flight recently where the two kids behind us were listening to a Sponge Bob movie so loud on their headphones I could hear it OVER my headphones. No big deal, but when they proceeded to kick our seats I started to get a little agitated. I’m extremely laid back and was just going to ignore them, but when my wife gave me that ‘do something’ look I turned around to ask the Dad politely to calm his kids.

    His exact works were, “sorry, I can’t control them” without even trying to keep them under control.

    They did stop kicking for about 45 seconds before resuming karate practice. Only took one more glance from my wife before I turned around and not so politely TOLD them directly to stop kicking our seats.

    It worked :)

    They stopped kicking and then proceeded to cry for duration of the flight :(

  54. @CaptainConsumer: Amusement parks? Really?

  55. enm4r says:

    Can we have this same pole for fat people?

  56. TVarmy says:

    Does Hooters Air allow children aboard? If not, they should. Keep kids away from the lewd atmosphere, and let adults have some sanity.

  57. Jasmo says:

    I bet all you anti-kid complainers were the rowdiest kids ever. It’s too bad YOUR parents weren’t so skilled as to teach you some basic tolerance and basic understanding of the fact that it’s not all about you.

  58. axiomatic says:

    Man some of you people are just mean. You may as well never use anything PUBLIC because you are just going to be annoyed.

    I submit that the problem is not “everyone else”, it’s you.

  59. lpranal says:

    I haven’t read through the comments much here, but I think that this is almost a moot point. Yes, we are a culture of whiners (talking about america in general here, not consumerist per se… but thats another conversation altogether), but even when I take that in to account my tolerance for ignorance has its limits.

    We are human beings. We have the right to children. This is a basic human right, and when we start enroaching on that, even just a LITTLE, it gets really bad, really fast. Babies are everywhere normal people are, you can be damn sure if someone brings a baby onboard a plane, it’s because they had a good reason to do so- not because they want to annoy others.

    Which brings me to my ultimate point- with this debate, we are weighing the rights of some PASSENGERS to not be annoyed against another group’s right to travel easily – people with babies (and of course the babies themselves, who have no way of voicing their opinion on the matter). I really believe there is no argument here. This is on par with something like, people wanting to be free from getting sand in their toes at the beach and demanding that beaches be paved.

    Absolutely absurd.

  60. Smoking Pope says:

    A plane is a public place. Expecting to be entirely shielded from a certain segment of the public on a plane is kind of ridiculous.

    What is not ridiculous is expecting parents to control their children.

    I’d prefer not to regulate this problem, but rather let the market decide. If there’s money to be had in offering kid-free flights, they will happen. If not, I don’t think it fair that others bear the cost of a solution.

    (Disclosure: I have a 7 year old and a 1 year old. We fly about once or twice a year. Up to a certain age, they are medicated to help with pressure issues. Actual parenting takes care of the rest. We receive comments on a regular basis like, “When you sat down in front of me, my heart sank. But your kids were really well behaved! I hardly heard them at all!”)

  61. acambras says:

    Some behaviors that may be deemed annoying:

    reclining the seat, getting up to go to the bathroom, eating, drinking, talking, yawning, stretching, smelling bad, being large (in height or girth), using the armrests, caring for a child, watching a DVD, listening to music, crying, whispering, belching, farting, wearing cologne, reading, doing Sudoku, nose-picking, leafing through SkyMall, snoring, sneezing, sniffling, coughing, praying, breathing, and/or existing.

    Granted, some of these things are more annoying than others, but if anybody could be banned from flying for ever doing anything ever deemed annoying by someone else, the planes would be completely empty.

  62. Skyoodpov says:

    @lpranal:

    If we are going to use rediculous over the top metaphors like paving the beach…

    By your logic if I brought my kid on the plane, without any diapers, and let him shit all over the seat and maybe a little on the other passengers, those damn whiners should suck it up! I has a right to my youngin’s! Don’t tell me how to par’nt damnit! If I want to raise my kin without common sense or any consideration for others around me, I’ll do what I want! I do want I want!

  63. SBR249 says:

    @Jasmo: No it’s not all about me. That’s very true and I strive to be tolerant whenever possible.

    However I think that parents who make no effort to calm their kids (but not the kids themselves) need to be penalized. Traveling is stressful in this day and age of 99% filled flight which are always delayed. Naturally, kids will be more agitated and stressed. However, parents need to plan for that. bring a toy, buy some candy, bring a game, bring a DVD, whatever. If they start fussing, make an effort to minimize disturbance. You don’t have to duct tape their mouthes shut, but please at least try to stop the incessant crying. Respect goes both ways, if you want other passengers to respect your right to fly and have kids, then respect their desire to avoid a pounding migraine.

  64. Skyoodpov says:

    @SBR249:

    /golf clap
    /approving nod

  65. davere says:

    I live in Orlando so all of my outbound and inbound flights are chock full of children and babies. It’s a nightmare. I actually try to upgrade to business class with my miles whenever I can so that I can stay away from kids, however, this doesn’t always solve the problem. Specially not if they kids are loud and obnoxious, regardless of where they are seated.

    Flight attendants, may of them being moms or with a ticking biological clock, think it’s adorable and fun.

  66. axiomatic says:

    @acambras: You are very correct.

    Event though I am sometimes a parent and sometimes a business traveler. Spanning all of my work shit (laptop, papers, disks) all over the plane seats is just as rude as if I didn’t manage my unruly kid.

    Point: Doing business in a public place can be annoying to others as well as parenting kids in a public place.

    When did “being considerate of others” die in America?

  67. manevitch says:

    Yes, please, let’s add another layer of complexity to further challenge our airline industry. After all, we’re all delighted with the current level of service they provide, right?

    No, thanks. I’ll happily sit next to a crying baby while smiling, thinking “Thank God it’s not mine crying this time.”

  68. JRuiz47 says:

    @dbeahn:

    I have to agree here. Can you imagine how screwed up the stories here would get if we had specialty flights when a lot of companies can’t even get the regular ones right?

  69. bilge says:

    Whatever happened to rubbing a little whiskey on the gums to quiet a crying baby?

    The baby’s gums. The parent can take a shot.

  70. mermaidshoes says:

    pretty much everything about flying is annoying, especially flight attendants. i propose attendant-free flights where you just watch a safety video and go grab a soda or snack whenever you want. flying would so much better without those polyester fakes and their damn aisle-hogging carts.

  71. eli_b says:

    C’mon now. There have to be other parents on here that agree with this. I have a 4 year old daughter. When she was smaller, if she started crying in a store or an eatery, I would take her somewhere to calm her down away from other people who are enjoying themselves. Now, on a plane, you are strapped to your seat. There is little you can do to calm down a crying baby…I mean…c’mon. On the other side, to the dipshits that keep suggesting earplugs…why is incumbent upon me to resolve it that way? What if it was a screaming senile old person? I should just sit there and suffer because you choose to bring a baby on the plane? I know people need to travel, but damn. If I had a screeching owl in a cage on the seat beside me, and people were complaining, would I just be like ‘oh, well he’s a screeching owl, what am I supposed to do?’

    I’m all for a family section of the plane, with a soundproof door. I’d rather sit there than be completely embarrassed when my kid goes off for some reason. She’s well behaved, so it would never happen, but I still support it.

  72. Jasmo says:

    @SBR249: I’m down with what you’re saying – fyi I don’t have kids – I just think people should have a little perspective. Nothing sadder than bitter people trying to change the rules (i.e. kid-free flights) to fit their own preferences at the expense of some other group.

  73. lpranal says:

    Hey skyoodpov, not to start an argument or anything, but it’s not about the nuances of parenting we’re talking here, nor is it about what the parent wants but rather the right to accomplish a basic need, i.e., travel with their offspring.

    And i’ll give you the over-the-top metaphor thing, but I believe my argument was lost on you, because that was the point. Nobody would expect such a drastic measure over such a trivial annoyance, which is exactly the prototype from which this whole airplane and kids bullshit arose.

    For the above, Let me just point out that your response was shitty, on several levels, and leave it at that.

  74. doctormike says:

    From the comments already posted, it looks like the missing choice is “separate section.”

    It’s easy to put the families behind a solid bulkhead, and never in business or first class. We pay a lot of money for those seats specifically because we want peace and quiet on a 20-hour flight.

    Headphones and/or earplugs are not the answer! On my last transpacific flight, there was a screaming brat in business class, where I bought a ticket, and the crew had to move me to first class so I could get some peace. On a 747, that’s a long distance, about 30 feet with two solid bulkheads and a galley between. I could still hear that screaming even with earplugs in my ears.

    Another option, eliminate the discounts for children and charge the same fare for all ages, subject to the same fare rules for advance purchase, etc.

  75. Trai_Dep says:

    Parents of brats are ninnies. And they shouldn’t be offended when we call them on their poor parenting if it interferes with our peace of mind. Your little bundle of sunshine, mewling because they can’t watch Barney, or behave for several freaken hours, repulses any reasonable person.

    Good parents that raise children that know how to behave in public are a different manner.

    Regarding the writer that said that Europeans love babies more than Americans do, I’d venture to say that it’s because Europeans raise their children properly.

    Same as restaurants: if they’re too young to behave, leave them at home. Or stay with them. Either way, stop shifting the blame to us. YOUR fault. Period.

    Have to say, I’ve been seated next to children, infants, even, that were a delight for the whole flight. So, again, it’s not the kids – it’s the parents. Do your job.

  76. backspinner says:

    @ElizabethD:

    This country is so whipped up with fear that if an adult in the US said someone’s child was “pretty” or said “hey gorgeous” to them, they would be maced by the terrified mother.

  77. silenuswise says:

    @Geekybiker: Excellent comment. If not a family section, then an enclosed seat or two, as you proposed, could be a good solution.

    And to the rest of y’all, at least those who’d rather gripe and blame others, try actually proposing an intelligent idea. Respect for others on a cramped flight is obviously a quite legitimate concern for (most) everyone who’s commenting here, so I think something a little more insightful than “breeders suck” or “you baby-haters are selfish!” would be a more productive contribution to the discussion.

    Less polite version: offer a legitimate idea or STFU!

  78. tomcatv1 says:

    I just wish parents would think twice about bringing their children into a confined space for so many hours. If you need to go from point A to point B, drive or learn how to contain the little brats.

  79. tethevik says:

    Of course annoying kids are annoying when they get on a plane. They are also annoying on the cab ride to the airport, at the McDonalds before the cab ride, and certainly at home, all the time. While you fellow passengers may be experiencing a few hours of it, by no means should you imagine you are bearing the full brunt of the annoyance a child can deliver. Same goes for the guy who smells before during and after the flight, the woman who talks before during and after the flight, and the other guy who can’t stop bouncing his leg, ever.

    Its almost like you have to put up with people’s annoying quirks in real life.

    The only difference between those screaming kids and the people who complain about them is the kids don’t passive-aggress and take out their rage on a whole segment of the population. They get it out and deal with it. Maybe we should too.

  80. NoWin says:

    Back some 15-20 years ago, Northwest had a few DC10′s as “Pub in the Skys” (Bos/LAX), where they use the business section as a nice pub with a bar and stools (smoking too) and was open to all. That was a nice way to escape the confines of coach for a while, and those annoying few of the huddled masses that couldn’t control themselves.

  81. quagmire0 says:

    @BACKSPINNER: EXCELLENT point! It is so true.

    My 2 cents: it’s the parent’s responsibility. As many people have said, infant crying due to cabin pressure is one thing. Bratty toddler kicking seats or repeating the same phrase over and over interupting the stewardess, that’s a whole other ballgame.

    It all comes down to the sad, sad, parenting that kids get these days. Everything has become ‘take this and shut up’ ‘this’ being either sugary food or a video game. Kids have no idea what it means to sit and behave in a quiet manner. They never do it at home, so why should they do it on a plane?

  82. lpranal says:

    boy, i must be drinking the h8erade today. everyone’s gonna hate me at this one, but here’s a news flash:

    Babies don’t cry because of how they’re raised. They cry because they’re babies. It’s an instinct meant for survival- you need some hardcore parenting to counter that, and i’m not sure i’d want to condition my baby (if i had any) like a circus animal.

    Of course there are some basic things to do to keep the crying down, but all babies will cry at some point, unless they are sleeping or just a freakishly quiet baby (which is attributable more to genetics than anything).

    @Trai_dep: what kind of socioeconomic factors do you think would have outweighed our deepest biological imperative and caused american parents to “love” their children less? If we dressed in a lion suit, would it make babies think they were cats?

    nature > nuture. a great book on the subject is The Blank Slate by steven pinker (sic on the name)

    Sorry i can’t stick around for the can of worms i’ve surely opened on this one, is all i can say.

  83. Art Vandelay says:

    @enm4r: What material would support a fat person?

    I don’t like out of control children in public, my niece included. Children don’t bother me, but when parents take no responsibility or steps to instruct the child how to behave, an anger brought around only by these situations wells inside of me.

    Since everyone is attacking those of us who feel you should actually behave your child in public, I put forth that my parents had five children and received compliments all the time of how behaved we were. Why? Because we learned what was expected of us and that consequences existed for misbehavior. We misbehaved from time to time, but for the most part, we knew how to behave.

  84. hoo_foot says:

    @ElizabethD: I’m willing to bet that Spanish parents still discipline their children and wouldn’t let them run amok in a store or restaurant. Finding American parents who do the same is a rarity.

  85. Xerloq says:

    Does everyine here really think that airlines are going to discriminate based on age? You want a baby-free flight, you charter a plane. Then you can do whatever the heck you want.

    @SBR249:
    Bad ideas. Here’s why
    bring a toy… so the kid can throw it at you when he tires of it.
    buy some candy… so the kid can spit it out and stick it in your hair.
    bring a game… so you can sit on the tiny little pieces when you get back from the bathroom.
    bring a DVD… so you can hear Cinderella III on endless repeat because they forgot the headphones.

  86. KIRZEN2007 says:

    @lpranal:

    You’re missing the point.

    Children cry, because they’re children. While you cannot expect that a child will sit patiently through a flight, even if hungry, even if stressed, even if sick, even if sitting around in a soaking diaper. You -should- be able to expect that a reasonable parent will feed their hungry child, comfort them when they’re stressed or feeling poorly, and change them so they don’t stink up the entire cabin.

    And we’re not talking exclusively about babies. It is unreasonable to expect a 5 year old child to sit silently through an 8 hour flight. But it -is- entirely reasonable then if he’s -screaming- at the top of his lungs or kicking your seat, or singing to himself loudly enough for the entire cabin to hear, that the parents do their best to quiet them. Its assinine to simply argue that because a plane or a restaurant, or a theater is a public place, that the other people who are spending their own money to be there, should be expected to tolerate behavior from -parents- that is simply put, -rude-. Yes, refusing to scold, quiet, console, feed, or restrain your child, to the point that he or she is effecting the experience of the people around him, is rude. And I firmly believe that if a parent cannot act in an adult, professional manner, and do their best to control their child, that they jeapordise their right to fly.

    This isn’t about children, or about upbringing, or about airlines. This is about Americas total lack of parenting skills, and its expectation that -regardless- of how ill behaved its children are acting, everyone else should just ‘deal with it’.

  87. kaikhor says:

    @eli_b:

    I agree! I’m all for a section that’s families only so that I don’t have to embarass myself and my child and annoy everyone else.

    I’m all for having your child behave on a flight, but I’m also all for a little patience and understanding that children aren’t perfect and can and will act up, despite the parents.

    When I flew with my daughter I took very long pains to make sure she behaved through the flights, despite the fact I was VERY sick during the flight home (the flight attendants had no problems with my daughter, just me who was throwing up). During the 2nd flight, she acted up more than the first and I worked very hard at controlling her, despite how I felt. Unfortunately, she still did things that embarassed me, like kicked the seat of the person in front (it was a 7 hour flight). Did I reprimand her and distract her? Yup! She tried to go running, but wasn’t allowed. And at the end of the flight, I had people complimenting her on how well she behaved, including the person she kicked (which amazed me, since I thought she had been quite a bit of trouble on that flight). I did my part by working very hard to have her behave, and the rest of the passengers did theirs by having some patience and understanding to the mother travelling alone with her small child. It ended up being a positive expierence because of it.

  88. mommaholly says:

    Even if you are the most outstanding parent, your toddler is going to have some bad days (ever hear of the terrible two’s? they don’t call it that for nothing!), and sometimes no matter what you try, there isn’t always much you can do about it, especially since the child is trapped in a strange environment and can’t even get out of his/her seat. It is also hard to predict how a young child might act when they fly for the first time, even well behaved ones; since they are totally out of their element. I agree that parents whose children are out of control are annoying and I don’t want to be around them either; but a child who is having a bad moment (not being “bratty”), or a 19 month old (come on, 19 months!) who is excited about a plane ride shouldn’t be so persecuted. I wish people were more understanding to the parents who are trying to raise great people. Using words like “bratty” to describe all children just makes me sad for you. A little more patience and understanding would be nice. Maybe you should try raising a child, or remember what it was like to raise a child, before you spout off so much crap. And give the parents who are trying to do a good job a break, it’s hard work, and we don’t always want to fly, but sometimes it’s a necessity.

  89. webdoctors says:

    I;m not bothered by the noise by the little kids or babies. It’s when they throwup, which I find happens far more often than adults. It contaminates the air which is recycled all over the plane, and it reeks.

    I;d make extra just to not have to deal with that, which happens far too often. The noise issue is not as bad, crying babies is annoying though for overnight flights, but my earphones do a decent job of fixing that.

  90. KIRZEN2007 says:

    @Xerloq:

    Fourth option?

    Bring Earplugs … So you can sleep peacefully while your child screams for 4/5ths of the flight, or runs up and down the isles, or spends the entire flight singing his favorite childrens song’s.

    Seriously. Either you choose to ‘find’ something that works, or you choose to make excuses, which one will it be next time “you” fly?

  91. s35flyer says:

    No babies on airplanes, please. Is there anything worse than a screaming baby while locked into an aluminum tube for several hours.

  92. Skyoodpov says:

    @lpranal:

    For the above, Let me just point out that your response was shitty, on several levels, and leave it at that.

    A pun! GLEE!!

    I hear your argument, but the problem is, there seem to be 2 types of people in these posts.

    A:Parents who think that because they are parents they dont have to show any consideration, because *cluck* their kids are kids. What CAN I do.

    B:People who are unwilling to put up with a mild to moderate inconvenience and don’t get that Parents SHOULD be allowed to fly with kids.

    Type A needs to stop being lazy. If you are a good parent, you shouldn’t HAVE to control your kid. And the times they CANT be controlled (sugar mania, sickness, injury) you should have the presence of mind to anticipate what can and will set you kid off, and do some damage control. A LOT of parents wont do this. They just sit there, utterly defeated by their kid.

    Type B needs to understand that kids can suck in public, and as long as safety isn’t an issue, and the parents are doing the best, they have to suck it up a little. The reason I side with the Type B people is because the majority of horrible kids I have travelled with have parents who do NOTHING do rectify the problem.

    Its all about the middle ground people!

  93. rosy501 says:

    I hate screaming babies as much as the next person, but I believe that every situation is different. A few flights ago, I was sitting across the aisle from a family of five: two parents, two toddlers and a baby. They were well-prepared for the toddlers with toys and a mini-DVD players. The baby, however, cried on and off for the entire flight, and the parents were clearly trying their best to control it. From the visible bags under the mom’s eyes, I could tell she wasn’t exactly happy with the crying either.

    But the parents who just pretend their screaming babies are fine and whose sugar-high toddlers go haywire up and down the aisles… that’s a whole other story.

    I am a total proponent for a kid section of the plane. Besides being at least somewhat separated from screaming, kicking children, it might be a faster means to loading passengers. Passengers with children are already let on first; why not sequester them in the back so they can all get on the plane and sort themselves out on their own time WHILE the rest of the passengers board? Who knows if it would actually work, but ideally speaking I like it.

  94. silenuswise says:

    Kudos to the following commenters who’ve proposed creating family sections and/or enclosed seats for babies on planes, as a viable solution:

    @QuirkyRachel
    @Geekybiker
    @ColbyWolf
    @hollerhither
    @sleze69
    @eli_b
    @kaikhor

    Meg, you might want to add this as a separate choice to the poll. It combines family-friendly and baby-free, like a cry room in a church. Precisely because it’s such a logical idea, however, is probably why the airines would never implement it.

  95. mommaholly says:

    @ S35FLYER: do you think all parents want to bring their infants on the plane? It is way more stressful than it’s usually worth, but sometimes circumstance dictates; like if you have to go to a funeral ~ not everyone is just flying with their children for the hell of it!

  96. kaikhor says:

    @Skyoodpov:

    HEAR HEAR! I’m all about the middle ground of this issue!

  97. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @bilge: There you be. Free from annoying adults who apparently are too important to have to deal with OTHER PEOPLE. Run along and die.

  98. Skyoodpov says:

    @silenuswise:
    SkyoodPOV:
    A little segregation might be nice though. Like a child friendly zone at the rear of the plane. Families could book in back at a discount for younger kids.

    And don’t get all bitchy about “the back of the plane.” You aren’t Rosa Parks.

    ignored again…
    :*(
    Sniff…

  99. Amy Alkon says:

    The idea that my sisters and I, as kids, would kick somebody’s chair or yell or otherwise behave indulgently in a public place, did not exist in my head as what might be possible in the known universe. It’s called parenting. If more people did it, there would be fewer complaints about kids.

    Well, what if you have a “spirited” child? Do as my friend Hillary did. She and her husband only took the kid out for dinner at the bowling alley until he could keep his little yap shut. The same goes for planes. If you have a little loud brat, avoid flying until he’s old enough to behave himself.

    As far as giving kids leeway goes, here’s an example: My neighbors have a three-year-old and a six-year-old. Sometimes their kids wake me up or make too much noise. You know what? It’s not ideal but it’s okay. Because I’ll hear their mother, oftentimes, saying, “Kids, play over here, Amy might be sleeping.” Shit happens. The fact that some parents try to prevent it means everything.

    If you, like so many people, are more concerned with being liked by your kids than anything else, please try to find a time machine and go back and do it all over again, but this time, with extensive birth control.

  100. yg17 says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: Well, we just need an airline equivalent of Hooters

  101. silenuswise says:

    Oops, I missed crediting two more forward-thinking folks:

    @Skyoodpov
    @rosy501

    Thanks, Skyoodpov!

  102. Skyoodpov says:

    @silenuswise:

    Glee! Recognition! Everyone look at me!!!

    :)

  103. CreativeLinks says:

    Can we show some compassion here people? You have to put up with a crying baby for what, 2 to 3 hours tops?

    At least, you get off the plane and don’t have to worry about it again.

    These parents have to lug the kid through security, wrestle with luggage, get them on the bus to their car, etc.

    Here’s an idea, if you see a parent struggling–help them out!

  104. mm1970 says:

    I am all for having a child-free section of the plane, as long as it’s not the very back of the plane.

    When you consider that my last trip with my son I was carrying him, a car-seat (yes I paid for his seat, even though I don’t have to), and a backpack – there is no way that I would have made my connection if I had been in row 40 or 50.

    I think some people are confusing “kids being kids” with “bad parenting”. Even if a parent is trying to comfort, quiet, control their kids…it might not work. It might not mean they are a bad parent – just long flights are tough. Most people saying “deal with it” mean “I’m going to do my best, but no promises.”

    In my own experience, it was much easier to quiet my son when I was breastfeeding. But I can’t (and didn’t) do that forever!

  105. FLConsumer says:

    How ’bout parents being actual PARENTS for once? Gasp, I know, this might mean that the ADULTS might actually be responsible for what their little heathens do. Go to any of the more-established social clubs (golf / yacht clubs) with “old money” type clientèle. You’ll almost always find that the children are very well-behaved. They may be bored as hell, but they’re not running around, screaming, etc.

    They’re children, you’re parents. Who’s running the show again?

  106. Christo67 says:

    Good Grief! As a parent of a 1 year old. I know the trials and tribulations of traveling with a baby on a plane. Trust me most of us do the best we can to keep our kids behaved. Babies have no emotional skills beyond crying when they are stressed. The sad fact of air flight is that it’s an extremely stressful experience for all of us. As adults we can manage our emotions (well most of us anyway).

    The way I see it if your an adult in a public space, act like an adult. It’s not hard and being nice goes a long long way to making you and those strangers around you lives a little easier.

  107. queen_elvis says:

    If people are going to piss and moan because they have to share the world with children, and the airlines can make money by charging extra for a child-free flight, I say go for it. Whiny adults get to be happy, parents with babies get to relax a bit about whether their kids are annoying people, airlines make a little more money. Win-win.

    (Why charge the childfree crowd and not the parents? Because the childfree crowd is paying extra for convenience.)

    This is not to excuse bad parenting, but in my experience as a former waitress, the majority of parents do try to control annoying behavior. (The minority who didn’t were idiots, as it only takes one waiter with a heavy tray to trip over your child and burn her with soup.) There’s a lot of whiny adult entitlement in this thread.

  108. Kick the brats off the plane!

  109. malthusan says:

    Kingsolver raises some interesting points in her article, but she fails to address the problem at issue in this discussion. How would she react if one of her Spanish neighbors disciplined her daughter? That’s part of the whole process of a community being responsible for its children. The anecdotes Kingsolver shares exemplify this notion — that strangers take time from their lives to notice and help the children in need around them. And the other part is those same strangers have a part in teaching those children how to behave in public. When I was a child (I’m in my mid-thirties), my parents’ friends and complete strangers often disciplined me. They told me to be quiet, to stop running around, to behave. My parents didn’t go batshit insane, screaming at them not to tell their child what to do. They disciplined me *again* for behaving in such a way as to require someone else to say something. Try to tell someone else’s child to be quiet today — if you’re not chewed out, beaten, or sued, you’re simply ignored. I honestly don’t believe that all these people who are bashing kids and their parents really hate children (though there are those who do); rather, I believe they’re frustrated that they can’t say anything at all to the parent or the child. As many posters have mentioned, parents, while refusing to allow anyone else to discipline their children, also refuse to do so themselves. And then you get in a situation like this where those with children and those without hate each other, blame the other for all of society’s ills, and demand segregation. I say, if you’re unwilling to let anyone else discipline your child, then you have sole responsibility to do so yourself. And if you fail to do so, then you, yourself, deserve to be punished.

  110. mikecolione says:

    This wouldn’t even be a question if the government would get out of our homes and let people hit their kids once in a while when they act up.

    I’m sick of people complaining kids are bad and it’s the parents fault. Let people beat their kids and they’ll realize their mistake by acting up when they are out.

    When I was little, my dad would kick my a$$ when I was bad. I wasn’t abused, but I learned how to act when we went out.

    Now days if you even look at your kid in the wrong way the government takes them away and puts them in a foster home. How is that better for anyone?

  111. sboedges says:

    Wow, I suppose us parents should drive to our location. Y’all putting down babies and parents act like you are entitled to whatever whim you can think of. Sorry, thats not life, and the sooner you realize that, the happier you will be. There are some kids who are bratty, and there are some parents who do nothing, but to generalize is pretty pathetic.

    I bet most of those that complain about kids on flights, don’t have kids and /or have no experience with them. I would love to see how they would get a scared 2 year old to not cry. If you can do that, then do it. Otherwise pop in some earplugs, put on your ipod, or watch the crappy movie.

  112. lws1984 says:

    I drive to just about anywhere I can. Not because of screaming kids. It’s because about the oversized babies that many people call “adluts.”

    Many airplanes already have a gap that is relatively in the middle of the coach section, for bathrooms. Putting a door here for splitting up the sections would work wonderfully.

    Say the plane doesn’t have a bathroom in the middle of coach. Still not a problem. Just take out one row of seating that’s relatively in the middle of the coach section, and put a wall in. If the wall is right up on the backs of the seat in front of it, there’s probably room for a changing table. Thusfore, people in normal coach don’t have to deal with families, kids are all in one area, there’s even a changing area that can be made somewhat private.

    Everybody’s happy.

  113. veronykah says:

    I’d like to wholeheartedly agree with all the other posters that mentioned the fact that FOREIGN childredn DO seem much better behaved than Americans. Having lived in NYC and enjoyed public transportation on a daily basis for YEARS it has always amazed me how WELL BEHAVED the children who’s parents are not speaking English are.
    I had the same experience in Italy, yes perhaps they like children more there, but children are also much better behaved in public there maybe leading to why they are actually liked.
    I myself am not a big fan of children, but well behaved children of ANY age never fail to impress me.

  114. lestat730 says:

    There is NOTHING worse then sitting next to or near a crying baby on a long flight.

  115. lestat730 says:

    @CreativeLinks: Would you have the same opinion if you had to deal with crying babys for 6-8 hours straight on a direct flight to europe from the US?

  116. enm4r says:

    @lestat730: I disagree, sitting next to someone who doesn’t fit in their seat, and continues to shuffle around the entire time is worse.

    Or, sitting next to a couple preteen girls who feel it necessary to blather on the entire time about stupid shit.

    Or sitting next to someone playing shite music into over the ear headphones that I have to hear somehow, through my own headphones.

    Or someone who smells. Honestly, I can get over noise, preferably by listening to music. But how do you get over someone who flat out stinks? I have been lucky enough to avoid a few, but there were people I could smell from my seat that I know were pissing off the people around them. I say we offer up a plane for people who smell. That way they could smell each other and I wouldn’t have to smell any of them!

  117. balthisar says:

    It’s not that we hate kids. Kids are essentially good until they have bad parents. I can handle a baby that has plugged eustation tubes and cries a bit until the air pressure equalizes. It’s those parents who don’t enforce any sense of self control into their RUNAWAY kids that’s a problem. Kids being kids isn’t something we don’t want on the airplanes; it’s ANYTHING that disrupts the peace and order of everyone’s mutual, shared environment for more than a reasonable amount of time.

    It looks like kids get the brunt of the blame because there are a LOT more bad parents than there are loudmouthed, boorish, drunk, hostile adult jerks on airplane flights.

  118. drdad says:

    When I was young an unencumbered I used to think a kid free plane was a good idea. But, it struck me, before I even had kids of my own, that being exposed to children of all ages is a good thing, even under less than perfect circumstances. Kids not only cry, but they laugh, and they shout with excitement, and they cheer with wonder, if you pay attention, you might notice that to.
    I think the airlines would better serve both families and solo fliers by making flying easier for families with kids.
    1. Make airports more fun for kids, with active play areas. Dulles has a nice play ground that can burn some kid energy away and get them excited about flying, most airports don’t.
    2. Have flight attendants pre-install child seats (or just having them at the gate) so we don’t need to lug them around. We parents already move about like ants carrying ten times our weight, and that makes us less mobile and grumpy by the time we get seated.
    3. Family areas on planes, with no PG13 or R rated movies would be nice. My four year old does not need to watch Braveheart. And it would keep us away from those who don’t like the kids.
    4. Volume control on the Captain’s announcements. While it is really important that I know we are passing over Farmington NM, it need not wake every baby in the plane.
    5. Changing tables in the bathrooms (with straps for turbulence). Bathrooms big enough to accommodate an adult and toddler.

  119. mac-phisto says:

    i don’t mind kids…i’m pretty good at toning that crap out.

    …HOWEVER! the concept of an adult-only flight? is this like adult-only live entertainment flight? i could go for that.

    of course, it would kinds suck when you ran out of singles 45 minutes after takeoff. can they do cash advances midair?

  120. NickRB says:

    You could do what my parents did. My dad took me to the bathroom and spanked me. Not only did it quiet me up, but it taught me the lesson as well as respect for my father.

  121. revdocdavid says:

    I think the problem here can be summed up in one word: MANNERS. The children who aren’t taught any, the parents who don’t make any efforts to teach their children manners, and the adults that have forgotten how to use any manners they may have been taught!

    Babies cry when they are in pain; this is a fact of nature. On the other hand, toddlers are old enough to be taught the basics of good behavior. Parents have the responibility to teach their children proper behavior, as soon as they are old enough to understand that actions have consequences; if they will not accept this responsibility, they should not complain about what happens to them when their children misbehave. And as an adult, who is very sensitive to loud noises, I think I have the right to complain about the rude behavior of children, parents, AND OTHER ADULTS who are causing a disturbance. We all need to stop blaming the other person, and take responsiblity for our own actions. I believe that the airline was correct in asking the mother to leave, and would be equally correct in asking a rude and obnoxious adult passenger to leave the plane.

  122. cncpun says:

    You guys are ridiculous. As babies I’m sure every one of us had random outbursts and crying.

    A few months ago I was flying and a baby/young kid (probably about 2-3) 2 rows ahead of me across the aisle threw up all over his mom and the floor. Sure it was unpleasant. It wasn’t the moms fault she had no idea it was coming. Kids are kids and I’m sure we’ve all done it. As long as the parents aren’t ignoring their kid lets cut them some slack. Suck it up for a couple of hours and be a kind person.

    I’m 25 and don’t have any kids, but I can imagine it would be hard.

  123. LionelEHutz says:

    I agree with AXIOMATIC, earplugs for the so-called “adult” babies whining here. 2 – 3 year olds have short meltdowns occasionally, even when the parent is trying to calm the kid down or prevent one from happening in the first place. The 3-year olds like to talk too. If you want peace and quiet that bad then either pay for a 1st class ticket or rent a lear jet. Until then kwit-yer-bitchin’.

    The flight attendant in this latest incident is a freakin’ idiot who should be suspended for overreacting. I don’t care if she was creeped out — she needs to get a grip.

  124. LionelEHutz says:

    @s35flyer: Yes there is something worse than a screaming baby on an airplane because. What is it you ask? Try — Adults with really bad BO who refuse to shower before getting on an airplane. There aren’t showers on an airplane, so you’re stuck with that nasty smelling person for the whole trip. At least the baby will eventually stop screaming.

  125. floofy says:

    it’s hard enough for me to sit still in the uncomfortable airline seats. imagine being a 5 yr boy stuck in a seat for 5 hours. there’s only so much ‘distracting’ a parent can do. i’m not saying that children should run the aisles, but sometimes they are going to make noise because THEY’RE KIDS!!! it’s public transportation. if you think you’re so superior that you don’t have to deal with other people’s children, then buy your own plane!!

  126. ceejceej says:

    I think what most people are missing here is that there is a BIG difference between rowdy, loud, disobedient children, and a baby who’s screaming bloody murder because his little ear are popping from cabin pressure. While both are equally irritating, the former is under a parent’s control, the latter is not.

  127. LionelEHutz says:

    @quagmire0: re: “interrupting the stewardess” — I can’t think of a single time that I’ve flown where I’ve seen anyone paying attention to the help when they do their “air mask & safety dance”. In fact, I’ve seen people doing all they can to ignore them.

  128. Slytherin says:

    @axiomatic: Hey, sweetheart. How about actually raising your kids and keeping them under control instead of spending all of your time on here? Hmmm????

  129. mm1970 says:

    Yeah, I’m going to drive with my toddler from CA to HI, or CA to PA, or CA to NY, or CA to DC…

    If this were Europe and I had 6 weeks of vacation a year, well, maybe. Except I can’t really drive to Hawaii.

  130. Slytherin says:

    @KIRZEN2007: “This isn’t about children, or about upbringing, or about airlines. This is about Americas total lack of parenting skills, and its expectation that -regardless- of how ill behaved its children are acting, everyone else should just ‘deal with it’.”

    You hit the nail right on the head! Nothing worse than a parent ignoring their ill behaved child in hopes that they will stop on their own, or expect us to concur on “how cute little Suzy is screaming at the top of her lungs.”

  131. AnastasiaBeaverhousen says:

    Quite a few parents have described airline travel as ‘public transportation’ in this discussion. It is most certainly not public. An airline has as much right to dictate your behavior as a restaurant, theatre, or hotel. There are many of each that will deny children or remove you if they misbehave. WRT the Kingsolver article, Europeans appear to have a lax attitude toward children because their children are part of a more intertwined social fabric and know how to interact with adults. 50 years of suburban living have robbed you of these basic skills. It is also widely accepted in the rest of the Western world that children are not welcome at social engagements including weddings.

  132. Xapa says:

    They can have whatever kind of flights they want. Thanks to my Bose headphones, I don’t have to listen to you console your screaming child in Spanish, scream about the hairless cat walking the aisle, whine about the honeymooners having sex in the bathroom, listen the the audio of someone explaining how to buck those new-fangled seat belts that were just invented, hear about your 13 grandchildren, listen to you get obnoxiously loud because you just had your first drink, and you can’t handle it, or ever again have to convince you that it’s not ok to sing along with your ipod.

  133. BOTH! But then again, I won’t lie. I’ve seen adults more annoying than kids, and think of it this way, you can watch your porn with no one saying “Think of the kids”

  134. nardo218 says:

    @ElizabethD: Cuz Barbara Kingsolver has shown herself to be an accurate and impartial judge of other cultures.

  135. Ola says:

    People need to relax, get some earplugs, and deal. I know that screaming babies can be annoying. I give them a pass because they don’t know any better; likewise with screaming/crying kids whose parents are trying to quiet them, but kids will be kids. So I feel worse for the parents than myself, often. Again, earplugs are good. So stop being self-righteous, even if you can’t help but be annoyed. Of course, parents also need to control their kids as much as possible. There’s a difference between a tired, upset, crying 1-year-old and a spoiled rotten 8-year-old who WON’T shut up.

    That said, family friendly amenities on planes would do wonders. Someone suggested larger bathrooms so people could change infants’ diapers without trying to maneuver in those tiny lavatories. *That’s* a start.

  136. Havok154 says:

    This poll is missing a choice and I am complaining about it here. I say they should let everyone on the flight but make all the seats first classed sized. Also, it should cost the same as a regular flight.

  137. lpranal says:

    Man, this actually turned out to be a pretty productive, insightful flurry of comments… I think the family section is a winner, however I wouldn’t try on anything the size of a 737 or smaller, or it would be pointless- one screaming child all the way in the back would still be heard all the way up front (or vice versa) very clearly.

    On the other hand, i wouldnt want to completely isolate the back of the plane… who knows what those babies are capable of in private ( /sarcasm, however there would be security concerns, i’m sure)

  138. Major-General says:

    I have not had problems with children on flights. Thar being said, its because the infant type children settle down after they adjust to the pressure change, and older children are kept occupied by their parents with toys, etc.

    The problem is people not being considerate in general. If I have a seatmate, I warn them that I will go to sleep and possibly snore, and if need be wake me up and I’ll change position et cetera.

  139. eli_b says:

    I have to say, as I sat on the runway in a rain and thunderstorm, in one of those little puddle jumpers to connect by to my smallish city: We sat there in the dark, plane rocking back and forth, torrential downpours, thunder, and lightning. Then about 5 minutes into that I hear the wind-up wail of a baby I spotted earlier. I was like ‘oh great, here we go…’ And to my utter surprise, after about 3 minutes, the baby stopped crying and never cried again for the whole wait, or the flight. It was amazing.

  140. Mom2Talavera says:

    Until someone has their own child/children they cant understand how it is to be a parent.Everyone needs to stop acting like a know- it- all.

  141. harumph says:

    i have to say i am really tired of parents that refuse to rein their kids in. i know little of the specifics of this story but i once flew to japan from new york with some little piece of crap kicking my seat pretty much the entire way. she was also screaming at her mother the whole time. it wasn’t an infant either. every time i said something to the mother she just shrugged as if to say “what can i do?” i have a niece who NEVER ever acted like this, my sister is not the least bit heavy handed and does not spank or threaten to spank her daughter. she is just firm and has taught her simple rules about how to act in public. so many parents today refuse to even try. they constantly force everyone else in the world to listen to their kids tantrums and shitty behavior.

  142. Thrust says:

    Huzzah, this story only JUST hit Fark. We’re what, only three flamewars, two pages worth of comments, and a whole lot of parent-bashing into this and they JUST got it.

    PS: Children shouldn’t fly.

  143. I’m a parent of a one year old who’s already flown on 8 trips for a total of 20 flights. She’s not always been a peach, but she’s been good enough to get us quite a few compliments on her behavior. We always make sure to bring enough food, toys, and walk her around when we need to. We also found that a lot of people loved entertaining her as well. My wife would nurse her if needed and when faced with the choice of upset baby and possible boob sighting, most people take the boob.

    She’s been pretty good so far, because we’ve been introducing her to adult things as just a part of our life. We take her to restaurants because that’s what we do. She’s in a stage right now where she’s becoming the crazy toddler and I can already see the difficulties beginning already just because she wants to talk or she’s excited about what she sees. If she gets out of control, we walk her around and give her a chance of scenery. She’s going to talk no matter what I do to “control” her — but I can take preventative measures to entertain or distract her.

    I say all of this because there seems to be a high number of people who just think that it’s bad parenting. Yes, there are a lot of shitty parents out there who think their kids are adorable and cute and completely innocent and do nothing to control them when they break the rules of society. Parents today DO need to enforce that in social situations, you behave a certain way. However, sometimes extraneous circumstances prevent a toddler from being able to listen to reason. Eleven hour layovers and long long travel days in a foreign environment without their regular nap schedule can really mess with a kid’s head.

    I do just want to point out that from all the snarky comments on here and other threads about kids on planes, I’m willing to bet that most people commenting don’t have kids. And I’m also willing to bet that your perspective will change once you do have kids — either that, or you’ll become the parent you hate the most — the one who’s oblivious to their bratty doughy holy terror. Go ahead – flame away!

    Bill Hicks had an excellent bit on this. “Stewardess, now that we’ve got a draft, can we smoke in here?”

  144. I meant to add that flying Southwest is a godsend with a lil one, because all of the parents pre-board and 90% of them naturally gravitate towards the back of the plane. They know that the noise of the jets will lull the kids to sleep and keep them away from the rest of the passengers (and closer to the bathrooms).

    It’s the 10% who grab the seats in the front who are the brats.

    (JetBlue’s inflight TVs are also great.)

  145. EtherealStrife says:

    @fleedawg: “And sometimes children can’t be placated.”
    AKA those who require a firm slap every now and then. It’s all about moderation.

  146. Jesus On A Pogo Stick says:

    How about the airlines give out complimentary pieces of duct tape that every passanger MUST wear over their mouth–age does not matter. “Bratty” toddlers will not talk, annoying adults won’t complain, equally annoying parents won’t baby talk their kids, and everyone will be happy. If you remove the tape, you get a boot to the butt outta the plane.

    It’s not like you need to remove the tape anyways… security already took your bottle of water (but hopefully left you your bomb).

  147. Orchid64 says:

    Behind every screaming, poorly-behaved child are crappy parents (excluding babies, for the most part). Arrogant, self-important parents who whine about tolerance know this on some level and that’s why they get so hostile and defensive if you say anything about their kids’ disruptive behavior. Kids carry on because they have needs that aren’t being met and their parents likely ignore them all the time unless the kid has a complete fit. They also are weak-willed and let their kids have power in the relationship such that the kids will carry on any time they don’t get their way.

    If you take someone who already has issues controlling their kid and put that kid on a plane, where travel is uncomfortable and difficult, it’s a recipe for trouble. It doesn’t help that most parents walk around feeling everyone should accommodate their kids rather than thinking about how they should try to raise their children to be considerate and think of others.

    But, you can’t make people be good parents. You can only provide an incentive for them to do so by charging more or imposing a fine for excessively disruptive behavior. You can bet parents would bust their behinds to control their kids if it meant they’d have to pay more.

  148. Orchid64 says:

    @CreativeLinks:

    There’s a reason others don’t have to put up with kids. They chose not to have them so they wouldn’t have to. If people can’t deal with having them, they should avail themselves of the wide variety of birth control methods available.

  149. bdgbill says:

    Where the hell are all these babies going?

    Babies should be at home! Not on a plane, not in Starbucks and not in any restaurant that doesn’t feature a plastic playground and a clown mascot.

    Unfortunatly, I am forced to fly for work on a regular basis. I have been soaked with apple juice. Have been completely surrounded (front, back and side) by screaming babies and have been gagged by idiots changing their brats shitty diaper IN THEIR SEAT. I have seen breeders release their spawn to run up and down the aisle. I have had my seat kicked non stop for a 6 hour flight.

    I hope the airline bankruptcies continue and cause ticket prices to double or triple. Also, EVERY HUMAN on the flight should have to have a ticket. This would cut down on the screamers quite nicely.

  150. Elvisisdead says:

    Enclosed seats for kids? Right. That’s a solution. How about enclosed seats for self-important pricks? How about enclosed seats for barren inflexible assholes?

  151. Jim says:

    Ugh. I feel like I’m beating a dead horse, but what the hell.

    It’s not the babies, it’s their parents. It’s a larger social issue than just airplanes. I’m sick of hearing the f-bomb 400 times everytime I walk through a mall or store, and I really hate the ridiculous sense of entitlement parents teach their kids (which then, as in many cases in this comment thread, grows to a ridiculous sense of entitlement in adults).

    Our 1 yr. old is usually pretty good on planes, and when he’s not, we feel bad for our plane-mates and do everything we can to quiet him down, for ourselves and everyone else. It also has been our good fortune to share space with more compassionate people than some here.

    If you’re frustrated with a kid, suck it up, and try to remember, you’re the adult in this encounter. Be an example to the kid, and others around you. It might be more socially acceptable to toss dirty looks at struggling parents and complain a lot because 2 year olds don’t act like 30 year olds, but it’s a lot nicer to just make a face at a kid, make him smile for a second, and turn up your headphones.

  152. SadSam says:

    I cut a lot more slack to parents who pay for a seat for their baby. Those folks who try to keep their baby in their lap (which really doesn’t work and there is not enough space) don’t get as much leeway from me. If you didn’t pay for a spot for your baby (which I don’t understand and it can’t be safe and should not be permited) then you baby has no right to make a peep.

  153. chalicechick says:

    From Kingsolver’s essay: “And really, what do you expect at midnight?”

    That’s part of the issue for me.

    I don’t get the whole “have your kids in a restaurant/plane/anyplace but bed at midnight” thing and why parents do it.

    I’m glad the folks in Spain were nice to Kingsolver’s poor kid. They shouoldn’t have had to be.

    And I don’t at all have a problem with red eye fights being child-free.

    When I was in college, there was a lady who would have her toddler in the computer lab at like eleven o’clock at night. Kid would scream her head off.

    Of course. Because she was tired.

    Yep, Red eyes are a little cheaper. But it’s not worth it.

    CC
    whose opinion on this one totally crystalized the time her enjoyment of the midnight showing of “King Kong” was interrupted by the screams of a terrified toddler.

  154. arcticJKL says:

    How about the airlines take note of who the unruly parents/children are and ban them from any additional flights.

    While they are at it do that to any other amazingly rude people.

  155. cnc1019 says:

    While growing up, my family didn’t fly anywhere until I was 8 (I was the youngest of 2). We drove everywhere and took vacations every year. These weren’t short drives either. We drove to detroit, orlando, washington d.c., denver, and a wedding in south carolina always leaving out of Dallas. I really enjoyed those trips because we saw a lot of places many kids don’t see because they skip them getting to there destination. On the trip to south carolina alone, we saw atlanta, vicksburg, savannah, charleston, and Little Rock.

    The only complaint I had was on the trip to Michigan. My brother and I would sit quietly in the back with our headphones on reading something (at that time, it was typically a comic book) and mom would bitch that we were missing all the scenery. Anyone that has made that drive knows it is just damn trees and we have those at home.

    The point of this is my parents knew that we probably could behave on a plane, but also knew it wasn’t worth the risk. They waited until we were old enough. Everyone understands that babies cry and kids throw tantrums. When I was a baby and I cried, my parents took me somewhere to try and console me (unlike the parents of crying babies in our church, despite the soundproof cry room with cribs, toys, and a window and sound system so the parent can still worship that is right off of the sanctuary). When I was a toddler or older I was disciplined in private and public. Yes, that means spankings. I learned quickly what was accepted and what wasn’t. All us non-baby-having public would like to see is some sort of effort by the parents. Everything else we can solve with a stiff drink, an IPOD, and a book.

    p.s. I second the issues of stinky people. Take a shower put on deoderant. The same can be said for people who wear too much of their perfume or cologne, moderation in everything if you please.

  156. J. Gov says:

    @enm4r: Looks like someone mostly beat me to what I was going to say.

    I’d tolerate screaming; I don’t like the idea of drugging kids up just to get them quiet, so what are you going to do? However, I /would/ deplane or forcibly move a kid for refusing to sit when appropriate, kicking, or repeated violation of another passenger’s personal space. A parent ought to be able to do something about any of those, even if it’s just picking the kid up and moving (or gently restraining) him or her.

  157. Scott says:

    Planes are different that most other places where large groups of unfamiliar people congregate; there is nowhere that you can escape to. You can’t move to another seat or leave early. So I think most people try to keep as much of their personal space as possible and get upset when someone encroaches on that space physically, audibly, or olfactorily.

    I think people get more upset at kids than other annoying people because kids have an authority figure (a.k.a. parent) that should be controlling them. We don’t complain to the foul smelling guy or the woman that talks too much because they’re independent adults and we can’t change their behavior. But we think parents should change the behavior of their kids so as not to disturb us.

    If you’re a parent taking your kids where there are likely to be lots of people who may not be tolerant of rambunctious behavior, be prepared to apologize for their actions. That goes a long way towards maintaining goodwill. And if you don’t like kids but are going where there are likely to be kids, be prepared to put up with some childish behavior.

    Children should learn from a relatively young age what is appropriate behavior in public and should be help accountable to it. Yes, they will occasionally act out but the parents should be there to correct it.

  158. Mary says:

    @Jasmo:

    Actually, I was an extremly well behaved child in public. My mom started taking me to movie theatres when I was six months old because I knew, withotu a doubt, that the moment I acted up WE LEFT. We went home, no stops, no treats, and our time out was done. This was the same for the grocery store, the bookstore, no matter where we were. If I wasn’t well behaved, we went home.

    I’ve worked in retail for over five years. Trust me, it’s the parents who are at fault here, and I’m done paying for their bad parenting.

  159. mccxxiii says:

    Here’s my solution to the toddler-kicking-your-seat-parents-just-smile-and-shrug problem:

    Turn around, smile at the kid really sweetly, and say “Hey, you know what? Santa Claus isn’t real. It’s just your mommy and daddy giving you those presents. And one day they’re going to die and you’ll never get any more presents from Santa and you’ll never, ever get to see them again.”

    Then maybe the toddler can spend the rest of the flight having a nice conversation with mommy and daddy instead of pestering the other passengers.

  160. peggynature says:

    Some parents practise having their children sit quietly *at home* before taking them on a big trip or to a long service at church, etc. Obviously, this might not be the best solution for infants, but I think most people here are raising complaints about children who are old enough to sit quietly, provided their parents make it a requirement.

    I do think parenting skills have declined somewhat in North America in recent decades, but I also think that people have become much less understanding and much more selfish and entitled in their intolerance of children and parents. Having and raising children, while, yes, a *voluntary choice* for the individual, is also a *requirement* for the continuation of our species, on a general level. For this most important (and most unappreciated) job, a little patience is due from the rest of us.

    NB: I am not a parent.

    Parents: practise obedience with your children.
    Everyone: practise some obedience with yourselves.

  161. firefruze says:

    I’m not going to go as far as many of the posters here and say segregation etc ( throwing the kids on the wings wtf?) I think it should just be stated that if you have a kid on board that for the majority of the flight they need to be kept in their seats and at a reasonable sound level. I think it could be understood if a kid has a little tantrum or something especially if they are 12 months and under but parents also need to take responsibility for their children and have respect for the rest of the people on board. And perhaps that could go for all passengers, I think something many people forget about these days is having respect for the people around you.

  162. morsteen says:

    ok for f*ck’s sake guys. A kid saying “bye bye plane” shouldn’t bring your entire world crushing down. Kids explore things and ideas and relationships between objects by speaking and talking about it. If you expect every kid to just shut up whenever an adult is around, then you will have some retarded kids. It’s how they figure sh*t out, verbal confirmation of their thoughts. As stupid as “bye bye plane” sounds to an adult think about how retarded you sounded when you were a kid while you were trying to figure out the world and express things. Jesus f*cking christ, that is so NOT unruly. Get over yourselves.

  163. Yep says:

    Solipsism is alive and well here on the Consumerist.

    Show of hands, of the people here who say their biggest gripe is parents that don’t know how to discipline their kids, how many are actually parents? The degree of cluelessness and oversimplification is astounding. Yeah, we’ve all seen instances where kids are getting away with murder, and it’s very easy to point to lack of discipline. Sometimes, I bet it is. But I consider myself (and friends have pointed this out) to be strict with my kids (3 and 5). By and large, they’re well behaved. But they’re kids. They miss sleep, they get ear infections, they get hungry or tired, they get diaper rash, they get stomach aches, they get hyper — they have bad days. I’ve found myself going through a store trying to get something accomplished with the two of them running and screaming as I try to get them back under control. Ain’t easy. And no amount of “good parenting” is going to remove those moments. And for those who say, “Then don’t take them to the store” you’ve missed the point entirely. Same to those who say, “having a kid was your choice, we don’t need to have your decision inflicted on us.” Beg pardon? We’re not talking about second hand smoke here. This is the human condition. Get used to it or move your misanthropic ass to a friggin’ hut in the Ozarks.

    You’re going to be the old geezer down the street who only comes out of his house to yell at the kids when they keep hitting their ball into his yard. We all hated you.

  164. Caitlin says:

    I wish that when you booked your flight, you could designate your seat as being a)Ok sitting near older children, b)not ok with sitting next to any children, or c) (0-5, 6-12, 13-17 year old) child sitting here and d)WARNING, minor sitting a few rows away from their parents.

    As a parent, I’d just as soon not sit next to a childfree person when traveling with my son anymore than I’d want to sit near someone else’s kids. I have pretty reasonable childfree friends, but you never know if you’re going to get stuck next to the one who plops themselves down in the slide hub at the local playground and then bitches about children daring to leave the house.

    As for those who say parents should drive everywhere, it is just not feasible sometimes. I do drive to visit family, but I’m also a stay at home mom, so if I need to stop early one day, it’s not a big deal. We drive from DC to Louisiana, and we probably spend about 4-5 days on the road over the course of the trip. If you’re driving cross country for the purpose of visiting someone, most people can’t afford to spend a week on the road and another week at their destination.

    I will agree that part of the problem with kids not behaving in public is because it seems a fair amount of parents realize their children do need to be entertained, but either don’t know how or would just rather someone else do it. Hence people believing you can’t take your child anywhere without having them attached to a portable DVD player.

    My 2.5 year old is great traveler because I’ve taught him how to entertain himself quietly. I bring books, and a few emergency “surprises”. I answer his questions the first time he asks me, so he doesn’t get stuck in a toddler repeat loop (where they keep repeating the phrase more loudly each time they don’t think you were paying attention). Being 2 means that yes, he will occasionally get excited and forget the rules, but it also means he’s old enough to understand that there are consequences to not heeding the first warning.

  165. Mary says:

    @morsteen:

    I actually would have had no problem with the kid repeating “Bye Bye Plane.” I would have been appalled at the flight attendant on that plane.

    When I talk about wanting a little bit of breathing room, it’s because I actually was getting physically ill from a headache on a flight once, where a small child screamed at the top of it’s lungs for over an hour. The mother just said “shh” once in a while.

    I’m not saying the mother should have to silence her child, I’m not saying I have a right to silence either. I’m saying I would be willing, since I realize my opinion is a little bit of “entitlement” that I would pay extra to avoid that particular situation. That way I don’t have to care about why the child is crying, or what’s going on. That way parents don’t have to deal with how upset I get, because I understand it’s a little unreasonable. So I’d be more than happy for the option to not deal with children on the plain to be a premium service.

    I really like the idea of family sections. Make seating in there even cheaper, as a benefit to families who need to travel, and people who don’t mind dealing with children can save money, and people who just would rather not can pay more and get a quieter seat.

    And I’ve actually never had boarish or annoying seatmates of any sort. The only problem I’ve had was crying children. But I haven’t flown that much, to be honest. It makes me nervous and ill, so I avoid it.

  166. magin says:

    Air travel is already very unpleasant for everyone involved. I could tolerate a lot of baby noise if there was more legroom, the seats didn’t destroy my vertebrae, armrests weren’t a source of animosity, the flights took off on time, and we were allowed to bring a bottle of water onboard.

  167. BugMeNot2 says:

    Let’s face it, parents aren’t actually parenting as much as they should anymore. And even for those who do, keeping kids occupied and out of other people’s hair on long flights is hard.

    Personally I would pay EXTRA for childfree flights, especially for when I fly from Europe to the US. It’s aggravating to spend hours in a small space with screaming obnoxious children regardless of your reproductive status.

  168. preraph says:

    Airlines need to offer “quiet flights.” That means flights that not only keep kids off but warns adults that being boisterous won’t fly also.

  169. preraph says:

    Airlines should offer quiet flights which ban all children and makes it clear to adult passengers when they book that boisterousness (example: drunken frat boys) is not welcome on these flights.

    On destinations where there are always a lot of children and numerous flights daily, such as Orlando, there is simply no excuse not to offer separate flights to accommodate everyone. On smaller destinations, perhaps the airlines simply need to kick them off the plane when possible and when it’s not possible, fine them. Then maybe negligent parents who have failed to train their chidren to behave will think twice about foisting them on others.

  170. preraph says:

    @axiomatic: Oh, so the adults have to wear earplugs. The negligent parent and their children can scream and carry on, but the adults can’t even talk quietly amongst themselves because they have to wear earphones? How about the kid just wears a sock in his mouth instead?

  171. preraph says:

    @KIRZEN2007:

    If I bring earplugs, then I can’t visit with my friend. I shouldn’t be the one having to adjust since I’m not the one creating the disturbance.

  172. preraph says:

    Family sections don’t work because you can hear a screaming child all over the aircraft.

  173. preraph says:

    @mm1970:

    Why should you get preferential treatment? We all have the maximum baggage to carry.

  174. Saturnia says:

    A lot of people are saying that people who don’t want to hear screaming babies should just wear earplugs. Well, I have hyperacusis and sometimes even both earplugs AND earmuffs/noise cancelling headphones isn’t enough. For myself and others with sensitive hearing, loud noises can be very, very painful and we shouldn’t have to be subjected to it when it can be avoided. Especially when all it takes for the noise to be avoided is a parent taking control of their child. I’m not trying to pull the disability entitlement card, but really people should show some consideration of others.

  175. jonnybgoode says:

    Hey, assholes -

    Sometimes even the BEST parents in the world cannot pacify their children with good discipline or distracting dvds.

    Children cry, okay?

    Get over it. Then get over yourselves.

  176. floofy says:

    all of you people have missed one thing. you can no longer discipline your children the way you could 30 yrs ago. i’m not talking belts and hard corporal punishment, but if you try spanking a child in public for inappropriate behavior, you will get in a lot more trouble than just letting the kid be a pain in the butt during the flight.

  177. EtherealStrife says:

    @mccxxiii: I can’t wait to take another long flight. Brilliant!
    @morsteen: If an adult said that they’d be in gitmo before nightfall. With Al Qaeda at an all time high we can’t be too careful, regardless of age. *cough*
    @Yep: If you can’t handle two kids at the store, bring one. Treat it as a reward for good behavior and kill two birds with one stone.
    @floofy: The threat should be enough to keep them inline, as long as you do occasionally spank or slap them when they misbehave in areas where you can avoid the OMGTotC crowd. Just don’t let the kid catch on to the distinction. :)

    Parents: If you really love your children, you won’t hesitate to beat them. Unless you want this carrying on your legacy. Or as a son-in-law.

  178. synergy says:

    @ElizabethD: Europe has a declining birth rate and Spain has, at last count that I can find, the lowest birth rate in the EU. Here are some stats.

    Spain’s Population: 44,708,964 (January 2006)
    Population growth rate: 0.13% (2006 est.)
    Birth rate: 10.06 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
    Death rate: 9.72 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

    The U.S. on the other hand:
    Population: Exceeded 300M Oct 2006
    Population growth rate: 0.90% (2007 est.)
    Birth rate: 14.20 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
    Death rate: 8.30 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

    So needless to say the U.S. has a population some 7 times bigger, is having kids about 7 times more often, and we’re not dying as quickly. That dramatically increases the chance of running into non-disciplining parents and I’m sure that if Spaniards were as exposed to that possibility as we are, there’d probably be as many cranky people about the subject. They wouldn’t have the behavior of special treatment for every child because they’re hardly having any.

  179. SJActress says:

    I know 2 year olds are unpredictable.
    I think it’s reasonable to assume that parents know their 2 year old is unpredictable.

    Since parents with babies are allowed to board first, how about seating all the baby-in-tow’s together, away from me?

    I honestly don’t mind kids if they are well-behaved. Children 4 and over who misbehave in public should not be chastised, their parents should. Two places bad parents do not belong with their children are nice restaurants and airplanes. Smokers don’t offend your lungs with their smoke in those places, why should your childrens’ screams offend ears?

    Childbirth and smoking are CHOICES, not necessities.

  180. sillymum says:

    Do you have any idea what it is like to try to get a 3 year old to sit in a seat for five hours? Do you have any idea what it is like to try to keep an infant who just had surgery from not crying? Do you have any idea what it is like to try to handle two uncomfortable children on a plane, when you did not get any sleep the night before? Do you have any idea what it is like to try to use a breast pump on a plane and also hold your wiggling infant? You people are so rude that it amazes me. It amazes me that you can say “bad parent” or “bad baby” or “bad kid”. You have no idea what that family has been through. You have no idea what it is like to transfer planes with 2 or 3 or even 4 children. Can you even imagine? Can you imagine what is going through a child’s head as that plane is taking of into the air and there ears are popping? How can you say the child is bad? It’s hard for adults to sit on a plane that long, how can you not understand how it would be hard for children? The children are not bad! The parents are not bad! Image everything you have to go through to get on a plane, now pretend you are doing all of that with two children! Now imagine you find this website and all these people are telling you that your children are bad and that you are not a good parent. Shame on all of you!

  181. x-l-r-8 says:

    I am 13 but well behaved, there is no way you should be able to say “oops, you can not be in first class” and put a well behaved teen in a seating arrangment with a bunch of screaming, snot-nosed babies.

  182. x-l-r-8 says:

    @SJActress: and how could you compare childbirth to smoking?