“My Personal, recent flight with kids Story” Last year about this time my 3 sons (ages: 1, 4 and 7) and I took a trip to Hawaii to visit family. The whole process was a task getting a ride, getting unloaded, checking in the drama at security because of freezer packs for medication (my youngest has heart medication that I had to take on board and needed to be refrigerated). Nevertheless we made it through the airport and were finally aboard and excited for our family getaway! After having all 3 kids sleep on me for 4 hours, they awoke and I had the much-awaited need to take a bathroom break! Face to face, told my two oldest how important it was that they be on their best behavior while I take their brother and myself to the bathroom and that it’d only be a few minutes, they nodded in complete understanding sipping on their little cups of water. Five minutes later, I strolled down the aisle back to my seat only to find that my 7 year stand there eyes big & wide, hand over mouth trying not to scream and my 4 year old justifying what he’d done and to top it off, an elderly woman in front of me pleading on their behalf “oh they were being so good, trying so hard, they’re just tired”… I then asked my boys “what happened?” long story short- the 7yr old year old accidentally bumped the seat tray that was holding the 4 year old’s water, causing a bit of a splash so my 4 year old punched his brother in the mouth, knocking out his loose tooth which he then swallowed! Laughing about it now, but it was very embarrassing and frustrating for me as a parent and annoyed fellow passengers.
Quiet Zones VS Kid Friendly Airlines
As many of you may have read yesterday, AsiaAirX announced their implementation of a “Quiet Zone” aboard their flights (for an $11 fee), banning children under the age of 12 from specific sections of the plane. A new trend that seems to be on the upswing, a Malaysian Airline “Budget Airline” announced today that they also implemented Child-Free Zone” FREE of charge.
With respect to “Sans-Kids Travelers” business-based or otherwise, it seems as though the airlines are capitalizing on what they/sans-kids irritated passengers consider “inconveniences” and charging you even more money for premier seating. Adding to the long list of “upgrade fees” already being offered wouldn’t it be smarter to instead, initiate a plan that will help provide comfort to ALL passengers alike, further diffusing from situations such as upset children which displaying their discomfort by acting it out (the way most children know to communicate)? In the plethora of passenger-convenient options that are offered during ticket purchase, airlines have constructed many costly plans that almost make it impossible (financially) to travel with children; charges for car seats, not allowing pre-made bottles, no longer offering the ability to warm up formula, not allowing you to purchase seating together and in some cases not allowing some children to even sit with their parents (I’ve personally been in this situation)! Then some people wonder “why won’t that kid shut up?!” How else would we expect children to act out of their comfort zone, no bottle amenities, not seated with the people they are secure with, no entertainment- while poor Mr. X is irritated and has a beverage on ice watching the newest blockbuster release with a neck pillow and internet capabilities to keep him entertained.
Most airlines and countries worldwide are campaigning for tourism to boost the economy wouldn’t we want to make it more inviting for everyone? Family vacations=more seats sold right, happy family traveling=repeat business. Let alone let’s not forget the ultimate, but true cliché “our children are our future” that being said remember they are our: future travelers, pilots, flight attendants, airport attendants, travel agents, tour guides, etc… So let’s display the same “quality of service” that each and everyone one of us as a consumer desires and expects, especially when we pay for it. I see this trend of banning children in select areas of planes being the beginning of potential unruly and costly effects for air travel as a whole, here’s why: Price hikes to accommodate family block seating drives away business due to budget constraints Implementing “quiet zones” further take up sections of seating making it even harder for families to book desired flights Eventually someone will turn this into a discrimination issue and demand a “rude, inconsiderate, Sans-Kid Free zone” catering to children and their parents only, then a tourist zone, those who voted for Obama zone and so forth…. I was impressed to see that Emirates Airline provided a variety of child-friendly amenities that kept the little ones occupied, entertained and pampered, literally. This solution proved to be a “win win” for ALL passengers, children were happy, parents were happy, providing a more calm and enjoyable atmosphere for the duration of the whole flight for everyone aboard.
I think this is a great solution and money well directed and spent! As a parent (and by my short story above), I can personally vouch for the fact that we do NOT enjoy when our children act up on flights, in the movies or even in the grocery store- but I don’t see local grocery chains making “kid-free” lines for an extra cost to avoid the meltdowns! It’s life, people have bad days and children are not exception, instead of segregating ourselves from “life” let’s work together to make it a little better, why not try what’s been proven to work in other airlines worldwide- let’s try offering a few perks to our little ones to make their experience an enjoyable and unforgettable one.
Resources that have kid-friendly traveling (feel free to post additional suggestions): Emirates Airline and Southwest Airline Reserve airport parking online and make the check in, boarding process that much more seamless: airportparkingconnection.com