Thursday, April 12, 2012

Life in the Crying Baby Section

We travel a lot, and lately that means flying because I just can't sit for long periods in a car any more.  And our last move cross country showed me lots of beautiful country, but about a million reasons why I don't want to spend days in a car.
So that brings us to flying, any flight that lasts for more than an hour and a half we've decided has to be done in first class, the seats are bigger, the space between seats is bigger, they serve you food on china with actual silverware, they actually treat you like they're glad to see you there.  So it's worth the added expense.  And best of all there are fewer children.
On our flights to and from D.C. recently there were children everywhere, happy, noisy children, loud screaming children, crying children, children who wanted to be entertained, held, walked, bounced, well you get the picture.  Sitting near children in the close quarters of economy is not fun.  They need a special section on planes for parents flying with young children.
Oh, I can hear the outrage over that.  As a parent I know we see our kids through rose-colored glasses and think everything they do is so smart, entertaining and a delight. But that's not what the rest of the world is seeing or hearing.  On our last flight Mac had earplugs and could still hear the kids across the aisle from us, I had no plugs, I heard everything.  The 2 kids and Mom across from us and Dad and toddler behind them.  It was even worse for the elderly couple sharing the row with Dad.  The hour and 20 minute flight must have felt like forever  for them as they huddled towards the plane wall.
I also got to listen to the screaming crying child several rows back.
I know traveling with kids isn't easy, I know some parents try very hard to keep them entertained, I know that flying makes some babies ears hurt.  I know all of that but I still wish I could fly without them.
I read where Malaysia Airlines is banning all children under 2 from their first class section and that British Airlines and Virgin Atlantic are considering it.  Here in this country there have been several instances lately where parents of unruly children have been ordered off plane before take-off.  Maybe there's a trend towards quieter flights.


  1. I've been on several of those flights where small children wailed and fussed. Yes, I do feel a bit sorry for the parents, but I figure I've paid my fare, don't really like flying anyway--too many bodies shoved into a space from which there is no escape--howling children make it a nightmare. Then again--there are those adults who in a restaurant or other public place have no consideration for others--being loud and obnoxious. I guess I should stay home!

  2. Flying in close proximity to parents and children isn't my idea of heaven either! Nor is travelling on a train or a bus with them. It can't have been much fun flying from Heathrow to Boston with me and my family in 1981, Juliette was just 12 months old, her ears hurt and I couldn't do anything to stop her crying in spite of pacing the aisle and trying to get her to suck on something to help clear her ears. Everyone was very sympathetic and nice about it and thankfully she was fine on the return journey but I've never forgotten that first flight. The rest of the passengers probably haven'y either!

  3. Rowen I do feel sorry for the babies and their parents, but unruly, bored children are another story.
    Minion you're right about loud, obnoxious "adults" in restaurants! Its gotten to the point where we hardly ever eat out any more. Hate hearing people talk on thir cell phones when I'm trying to eat.

  4. Recently, I had to renew my Driver's License. When I arrived at the DMV location, there were over 100 people waiting! I had to wait one hour and there were exactly three babies there, and they screamed almost the whole time.
    Finally, someone told the Mothers to take the children outside, and they did, huffing and puffing about it the whole way. Stuck in an airplane is even worse, and there ain't a dang thing you can do about it!

  5. I hate flying full stop.

    I have lost all my Blogs I Follow List (what is going on??) so wondered if you would become a 'Follower' so I can access you that way?

  6. My favourites (NOT!) are the children who sit behind you and repeatedly kick your seat. Aaaugh!

    Interesting idea - to ban the little ones from first class. I like your idea of a special section for parents with small children.

    It's ironic that the airlines always board them first - you'd think they'd let them be the LAST ones on so as to minimize the amount of time the children have to be cooped up.


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