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Pay to avoid plane seats near babies?

Posted by Paul Makishima, Globe Assistant Sunday Editor  November 11, 2008 10:48 AM

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Westjet, the Canadian discount airline that plans to partner with Southwest, sent out a questionnaire to consumers to gauge their willingness to pay for a menu of services -- or to save money forgoing them.

One of the questions, first reported by Chris Elliott on his blog, involved whether passengers would favor shelling out $10 to not sit next to a parent with a baby.

The Westjet queries are revealing, I think. They don’t necessarily reflect what kinds of fees all the airlines will go for, but they suggest what kinds of things they all must be at least considering (or are already trying).

Besides the baby question, the carrier also asked whether travelers would consider paying $10 for:

  • Being among the first to get on or off planes
  • Quicker baggage delivery
  • Priority rebooking after flight cancellations
  • Complimentary meals/hotel accommodations for substantially delayed or canceled flights
  • In-flight Web access
  • Guaranteed space in the overhead bin
  • In-seat power
  • Premium snacks/meals
  • Freshly laundered pillow/blanket set that you may keep
  • Amenity kits with earplugs, eyeshades, and toiletries
  • Shorter waits to clear security checkpoints

The carrier also asked questions about which services travelers would be willing to give up in order to save $10 on flights of two to four hours. These included

  • Not checking bags
  • Forgoing frequent flier miles
  • Discounts for only bringing aboard one small piece of carry-on baggage (e.g., only a purse or computer bag)
  • Being the last to board
  • Using online check-in instead of a kiosk
  • Using either a kiosk or online check-in instead of a human agent
  • Being among the last to have checked luggage delivered
  • Sitting in a middle seat
  • Making no changes to your ticket prior to departure
  • No free water, coffee/tea, juices or soft drinks in flight
  • Having a seat that does not recline
  • Sitting close to parents with babies/small children

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177 comments so far...
  1. welcome all
    what do You think about the whole thing in europe

    premium pass

    Posted by ELERNEPHELI November 11, 08 12:40 PM
  1. How about sitting close to fat people.

    Posted by MiloT November 11, 08 12:53 PM
  1. How about having parents who insist on hauling screaming kids pay the 10 passengers nearest them $50 each.

    Posted by Robert November 11, 08 12:57 PM
  1. I have been saying they should do this for years. I would not only pay not to sit next to a baby, I would pay even more for a flight without any kids under 12 on board at all.

    Posted by dave November 11, 08 01:00 PM
  1. Sure, I would be willing to pay for some of those services as long as they are willing to pay me when they don't fulfill their obligations on those services that I paid want to charge me $50 for a second bag, how about you give me $50 not to check anybags. $20 for an aisle or window seat? give me $20 bucks to sit in the middle seat. Hey how about $30 to sit in that last row that the seats do not recline. (plus the fact that any meal that you want will be long gone by the time they get to you). Maybe if airlines didn't treat their customers like cash cows more people would be willing to fly. From what hear Southwest is one of the only airlines that made money last year...uuuhhmm I wonder why that was?

    Posted by nolonger frequent flier November 11, 08 01:01 PM
  1. I think this is a great idea, but it should apply to people on cell phones too. Why not have a quiet section for those who don't have small children and don't want to hear cell phone conversations? Sure, we can't talk on cell phone in flight now, but it's only a matter of time!

    Posted by gatorgirl November 11, 08 01:03 PM
  1. Paying $10 to not have to sit next to my own kids for a four hour flight would be the cheapest babysitting around.

    "Sorry, honey, I guess there was a mix-up with the seats and the flight's full"


    Posted by J November 11, 08 01:08 PM
  1. A small step in the right direction, though I'd much rather see airlines offer travelers the option of paying extra to be on a completely child-free (let's say, no one under 14) flight. As unpleasant as it is to be in close proximity to one of these screaming, cross-eyed little bundles of joy, it's nearly as bad to be within 30 rows of them... either way, on a trans-Atlantic flight say, no way I'm able to sleep and arrive at my final destination in reasonable condition. I feel absolutely violated by the thoughtless, selfish parents who feel it imperative to take an infant or small child on an airplane.

    Posted by Nick November 11, 08 01:14 PM
  1. Can you get a $10 discount for each of those items? If so I'll carry one one small bag and be last to board and all that stuff!

    Posted by Rich November 11, 08 01:14 PM
  1. 1st - babies don't bother me.
    2nd - having flown thousands of flights over my career it never ceases to amaze me who you will meet sitting right next to you.
    3rd - if you really bother me I'll put on my noise blocking headset & music (but only if you are obnoxious).

    Posted by RmW November 11, 08 01:14 PM
  1. I actually don't mind sitting next to infants- they usually sleep the whole way anyway. Screaming 2-4 year olds- especially when there are more than one, or in the seat directly behind or in from of me- I would pay to move. I would also pay to not have a seat next to an obese person spilling into my seat. Especially on a hot day.

    Posted by Frenetix November 11, 08 01:19 PM
  1. How about the rude people who have comments about kids flying find some patience and realize that the world does not revolve around them? I'd pay for that! Families need to travel too. Get a clue.

    Posted by Disgusted November 11, 08 01:22 PM
  1. I would pay someone else $10 to sit next to my 3 year old on a flight to London!!

    Posted by SMF November 11, 08 01:26 PM
  1. When my son was a baby, I always timed it so he was asleep on the plane. Now that he's nine, he's a lot more pleasant to sit next to than many (most?) adults:
    thin - doesn't take up more than his seat
    reads, listens to headphones, plays game boy, looks out the window
    NEVER gets drunk or makes passes at other passengers or flight attendants
    can hold it so he's not constantly climbing over you to get to the bathroom

    I'd like to get paid not to sit next to some of the so-called adults out ther.

    Posted by kittycat9 November 11, 08 01:29 PM
  1. I'd pay not to sit next to a bunch of whiners- and I don't mean babies or kids.

    Posted by ALFMAN1000 November 11, 08 01:33 PM
  1. to disgusted - I'd pay not to sit next you or your kid

    Posted by bride of chucky November 11, 08 01:37 PM
  1. Give me a break! Violated by thoughtless, selfish parents? Have you ever thought about the sheer torture and exhaustion the parent faces? We take infants and children on planes for a variety of reasons, mostly to see relatives faraway that do not fly. Suck it up, we're not doing it purposely to "violate" your quiet time.

    Posted by annette November 11, 08 01:38 PM
  1. All children aren't the problem... it's their indignant parents rather (like "Disgusted") that have no clue how to raise a child and teach/drill into them manners like my parents did.

    Posted by Frequentflyer November 11, 08 01:40 PM
  1. I wouldn't mind sitting near little kids if their parents actually parented them! Don't let them run up and down the aisles, scream, or kick the back of the seat! If you bring a DVD player, bring headphones for it! You can even get a splitter, so multiple pairs of headphones can share 1 jack!

    Posted by Liz November 11, 08 01:42 PM
  1. well, can they guarantee the parent who's supposed to have hte kid won't pass the kid to the parent sitting next to you once you've paid?

    Posted by traci November 11, 08 01:43 PM
  1. Maybe we could get rid of all the old smelly people too! ;)

    This is ridiculous! Pay extra and sit in first class if you like...always been an option. It is one thing to chose not to take kids to say a fancy restaurant. However, there is not a choice with regard to flying if you need to get somewhere far away. And yes, NICK, sometimes this is a transatlatic flight. Get over it.

    Posted by Doesnthatekids November 11, 08 01:54 PM
  1. For the several people who comment that parents should not travel with their infants or children at all, you are being ridiculous. There are many reasons why families have to travel, for example:
    -Family emergency (yes it is important for children to be present)
    -Vacations (didn't you ever go on vacation as a child?)
    Sure airlines could consider making child-free flights, but don't complain about the prices of those flights if it happens. Be careful what you wish for.

    Posted by Lisa November 11, 08 01:59 PM
  1. Do people really think parents enjoy bringing a screaming child on a plane? I agree that some parents are not responsible and let their children misbehave on planes, but sometimes, no matter wht you do, the child will make noise. It is hard enough to travel with children but rude intolerant "adults" (and flight attendants) make it even more unpeasant. If you don't want to be around children, you shouldn't sit in coach. Buy a 1st class ticket or get a charter flight, if it bothers you that much. Children are a wonderful part of this world, get used to it.

    Posted by G November 11, 08 02:00 PM
  1. I sat in front of a toddler on a three hour flight and he whined and kicked my seat the whole time even though the parents tried to stop him. It was maddening! Noise canceling headphones don't help with the kicking. I wonder if they could set up sections for families with seats facing each other - like on some trains. It would be much easier for families to travel if they could sit as a group. Plus, no more kicking the back of a chair! It would take up more space but you'd always be selling them as a package and maybe that would offset the cost? These family seating sections would be in specified areas and other travelers would know and try and book seats further away if it was a concern.

    Posted by Sherry November 11, 08 02:06 PM
  1. To all of you thoughtless and selfish people who don't want to sit next to infants, children, or fat people. I think you need to take a minute and re-evaluate what is improtant in life. I have never read such a ridiculous bunch of comments. Where you never a child? Did you never throw a temper tantrum? Are you the perfect parent? Get a clue. Be thankful for what you have in life and learn to give people the benefit of the doubt. Pay to avoid fat people and babies, give me a break. If you are that entitled, then charter your own private jet. You disgust me.

    Posted by Liz November 11, 08 02:09 PM
  1. wow... some people will seriously complain about anything!

    if the worst thing that ever happens to you is that you are "forced" to fly near a kid, your life is pretty durn good.

    take a deep breath, people... try looking at the big picture!

    Posted by supermom November 11, 08 02:10 PM
  1. Maybe you could get a higher paying job and fly on a corporate jet where you would not be bothered with the hordes of families which seem to annoy you so much.

    Posted by aod November 11, 08 02:11 PM
  1. What a bunch of cretins posting to this list. I would much rather sit next to a screaming child for a five-hour flight than sit next to these obnoxious posters. If you don't like kids, pony up and fly fist class. Otherwise, shut up.

    Posted by Ticked off parent November 11, 08 02:12 PM
  1. BABY FREE FLIGHTS YAY!!!!!!! I've asked multiple flight attendants and they all wish the same thing! It's about time they make flights for no one under the age of 12! I would pay extra for completely kid/baby-free flights.

    Posted by Anna November 11, 08 02:14 PM
  1. As a parent of small children (one of whom has lots of energy), I would LOVE for people to be able to pay $10 to not have to sit by us. Frankly, I'd love to see a families section on every flight. Let us on a few minutes early, and we'll all go to the back of the plane, buckle in the child seats, and calm the kids down. I appreciate all the patient people who have sat by us, but some people are truly child-averse. It makes everyone happier if we separate them from the kids.

    Posted by Thom November 11, 08 02:17 PM
  1. Why are people getting so offended? You are paying ten bucks to not sit next to a baby/child, not ten bucks to kick the baby/child off the plane. Considering the fact that many parents know how awful it is to travel with (their own) children, why can't those traveling child-free pay a small fee to remove a traveling baby from their own personal travel equation?

    Though I do agree with the previous commenter that I'd prefer to not have a child BEHIND me, kicking the seat for four hours, while their oblivious parent takes a nap.

    Posted by I'm All Set November 11, 08 02:18 PM
  1. Advise for parents traveling with children:

    1. Check your luggage: Bring only what will fit under the seat.
    2. Board the plane LAST. Boarding first extends the time on the plane by 30 minutes (probably won't work on Southwest).
    3. Educate your children that the seat in front of them is off-limits (not a punching bag)
    4. Have snacks and entertainment at your figure tips. If you need headphones so junior can play his DS in silence - he can borrow mine.
    5. Try not to be more annoying to the people around you than your kids could ever be.

    Posted by 100 Segments November 11, 08 02:18 PM
  1. Bunch of whiners!

    Posted by November 11, 08 02:23 PM
  1. My favorite flight ever: My sister was hungover flying back from London and the WHOLE way, the child behind her shoved his toes in the crack of her seat to poke her! The parents did nothing. I had to ask the parents to strap their kid in due to the fear my sis would inflict violence, however, in retrospect, hilarious.

    No offense to fat people, but I would pay more not to sit next to you. I am a petite woman, and when the fat goes over/under the armrest, well into my seat area, how is the price I paid for that seat fair? Or fully supportive of the pay for 2 if you can't fit in 1.

    Posted by Jackie November 11, 08 02:23 PM
  1. I would pay $10 for an aisle seat, that prohibits the middle/window seat passengers from using the rest room during a flight!

    I would pay $10 for a middle seat that allows me to exclusively use the right/left arms of the middle seat.

    I would pay $10 for a window seat that allows me to use the restroom 5 times on an hour flight!

    Posted by suninwest November 11, 08 02:25 PM
  1. People act like it's any better for the parents of the babies/kids who are traveling with them. Believe me, it's no picnic - but parents in particular need to go on vacations once in awhile to deal with the stress of our kids/work/lives probably more than anybody. Sometimes it's the only thing that keeps us from killing all the rest of you. :)

    Seriously though, I understand that people don't want to be seated near kids or screaming babies. But it's a few stressful hours of your life and you're done with it. Try to have some perspective here for the people who are bringing kids to see their families abroad or who have to take their kids on vacation with them. Unless you had no childhood or an extremely sheltered one, that was you at one point too.

    Posted by J.P. November 11, 08 02:28 PM
  1. I'm disappointed and saddened by the number of posters who feel it's their right to travel in a 'child free' environment. It's called life.

    Posted by DCR November 11, 08 02:35 PM
  1. I'd rather sit next to a screaming, crying kid than sit next to someone with SERIOUS body odor, or someone who spends the entire flight snorting up their snot rather than blowing their nose! Everyone thinks the world revolves around them and their comfort these days. The pressure in the cabin bothers children's ears. How about having some empathy for a change?

    Posted by damiged November 11, 08 02:41 PM
  1. Look!!! Not all babies and kids whine, kick, and scream on flights. Mine have never disturbed anyone. DEAL WITH IT!!!

    Posted by Peanut November 11, 08 02:42 PM
  1. People who who are irritated by things like this are weak and dumb. You should find an island where you can live by yourself if others passive behaviors irritate you to the extent expressed in some of these posts.

    Sitting next to a parent with travelling child? How about striking up a neighborly conversation and helping the parent(s) out if needed instead of pretending to do work on your laptop. You a human being. Better than being a whiny, weak, loser.

    Posted by Matt November 11, 08 02:44 PM
  1. I think a simpler solution is to designate certain rows for families with kids. Esp. where there is lesser engine noise.

    Singles, and those not used to being around kids, can simply be booked away from those rows. However, with airline losses adding up, many airlines would try to get every extra dollar from passengers for amenities/ luxuries which we have come to expect (a peaceful, quiet cabin). Esp. true for discount airlines, which can only make you pay more for the flight to improve average revenue per passenger.

    If it's a short haul flight, no problem with kids around, but if its long haul, you need to get some shut-eye.


    Posted by Sam November 11, 08 02:47 PM
  1. Just for the record, kids pay exactly the same price as everyone else these days, including on most international flights. As the US is not my country of origin, and my children are still very young, the only way for them to see their elderly grandparents is to take a 20+ hour flight. My husband and I go to extreme measures to help our kids through this ardeous trip. We are often hindered by many airline delays, inconsistant regulations with regards to flying with small kids, the loss of strollers between lay-overs by the airlines, the airlines separating the family on board even when we have booked tickets 6 months in advance and security that decides to random check a family with three young kids, amongst others. Not to mention the rowdy people who drink their way through the flight, the men and women who insist on using the bathroom for 20 minutes to freshen up before landing, or passengers abusing how much hand luggage they bring on board. Every flight I have been on there have been adults walking the ailse for exercise and the inability to sleep, what's wrong if my kid does the same? I don't complain when they lean of the back of my seat, or stand up chatting to the person behind or in front of us.
    Just remember, you are stuck beside us for a maximum of a few hours, I have them for life. So suck it up, put a smile on your face, and remember life is just too short to begrudge young children.
    P.S. And for those of you who would like to suggest that I should know better for having 3 kids under 5, 2 of them were adopted after their mother died.

    Posted by Mom of 3 kids under 5 November 11, 08 02:47 PM
  1. I can't stomach some of these comments. Where the hell do you think people come from? They don't get dropped off on Earth at age 18, they have to be babies and kids first! Have a little patience. You were a little sh*t once too no doubt.

    Posted by JMO November 11, 08 02:51 PM
  1. People should not be charged extra for not sitting next to children-- everyone should be entitled to a quiet, comfortable plane ride. Instead, there should be family sections, so all the screaming children can sit together, separated by a curtain or a door which cuts down on sound. They should also offer discounts on certain flights for families and list them as “family-friendly flights.” Parents should also not subject babies to a flight longer than three hours unless it is an emergency.

    Posted by Boston317 November 11, 08 02:54 PM
  1. Wow, I travel for work quite a bit, over 1/2 million miles last year alone. Children & babies don't bother me, if they bother you, invest in some noise canceling headsets. What does bother me is the 350 pound drunk that just smoked a pack of camels and proceeds to take up his/her seat and 1/2 of mine. On a full flight, if you can't physically sit in one seat, you should have to pay for two. I would pay for extra leg room, I am 6'3. If the airlines want to charge a baggage handling charge, then it is perfectly reasonable that I should be able to charge them a fee if my bag is lost, mis-directed, or delayed....If the flight is delayed, let me charge them a fee, after all, if I am late they are going to leave without me and make me pay a re-booking fee....I am ok with no beverage service as long as I can still bring my own bottle of water or diet coke.

    Posted by frequent flyer November 11, 08 02:55 PM
  1. How about paying not to sit near someone who talks non-stop for a 5 hour flight and they continue to get louder with each alcoholic drink?

    Posted by Cantab73 November 11, 08 02:55 PM
  1. This is one of the most ridiculous comment threads ever

    Have we not all been Kids? Have we always been angels?

    Families like mine value our vacations. To suggest we should not be able to take them is ridiculous. So just smile and relax and think back to when you were a kid next time you hear a screaming kid

    Posted by The Person November 11, 08 02:59 PM
  1. Thanks to all those who are in favor of child-free flights! I've been saying this for years. For some reason, people with kids seem to think that everyone else finds their child adorable, and they too often behave as though the entire world should accommodate to them and their kids. They bring way too much stuff onto the plane (in violation of the policies) and let their kids scream for hours. If you know you have a kid who can't fly without screaming, you need to figure out another way to travel. It's simply not fair to everyone else. I was on a 6 hour flight to California recently and a kid on the plane screamed (and I do mean screamed--not crying, not whining, but full throttle screaming) for 6 hours. I was in desperate need of some sleep, but no way was that going to happen. The parents ignored the kid, and when the flight attendant offered to help, they just told her "oh, this happens every time we fly." People with children need to be aware that not everyone shares their delight in their little ones, and they need to be a little less selfish. I fully endorse child free flights.

    Posted by mibsphil November 11, 08 02:59 PM
  1. Wow. I will be traveling with my 1 year old son to FLA for thanksgiving to see his 75-year old grandparents who don't fly. I've been very concerned about this endeavor and now that I've read some of these comments, I'm feeling very nervous about it. I don't want to disturb your flight and endure dirty looks and rude comments, but I honestly have no idea how my son is going to deal with this trip. We'll take every precaution we can to try to ensure the peace but I just don't know.

    Posted by foodie-72 November 11, 08 03:07 PM
  1. I once flew with my two and a half year old daughter. I did everything I knew how to do to prepare her for flying. Games, toys, lollipops, and even a poratble dvd player with headphones. There was no seat kicking allowed, and she was pretty well behaved..... then suddenly, guess what????? She cried anyway, scared and homesick and overtired from traveling. Most of the people around us gave us sympathetic looks, but some were obviously disgusted and made rude comments about "people who can't control their children....." I was mortified to be "that mother" with the screaming child, and I tried to calm her down as quickly as possible, but honestly the dirty looks and rude comments do nothing to help the situation. It really saddens me that we have come to a point in our society where we don't hesitate to criticize others and set a bad example for the very kids we are irritated by! Cmon people. This is what is wrong with our society. Look at how we treat each other! I am all for the child free flights because yes if course it is terrible to be on a plane near a screaming kid, but the decline of civility is truly disappointing. What ever happened to compassion?

    Posted by central ma November 11, 08 03:13 PM
  1. Slow down, people. If you don't want to sit next to children, don't fly on Friday evenings or Sundays, and never fly to Orlando. There, you've just avoided 99% of the children on planes.

    Posted by John November 11, 08 03:17 PM
  1. I have two words for parents that fly with their kids: Overhead compartments

    Posted by Dave November 11, 08 03:24 PM
  1. Like many others are saying families need to travel, too. Though I've wanted to avoid any problems because of this very issue people are discussing. finally we have relented, after not taking a family trip like this for nearly 6 years (!!) and are headed to Disney in December. Praying our 3 year old will be good on the flight! Hoping he'll just be mesmerized by the sheer delight of being on a plane.

    Posted by Chocgirl November 11, 08 03:25 PM
  1. Would it not be easier to just have a section cordoned off for adults traveling with children; similar to class distinction. In my travels it was more the norm to sit next to a loud, drunk, rude, whining or demanding adult. Kids belong to the human race and have the right to travel. Where is the line drawn; no one overweight, no one under 12, no one with long legs (in case they kick you from behind every time they move), no one unattractive, no one too tall or too short, etc. This reminds me of a dark period in history during WW2. Those who think kids do not belong on planes more than likely do not have kids and when you do, you will view this discussion with a different mind set.

    Posted by A Dingo Ate My Baby November 11, 08 03:33 PM
  1. Foodie-72, I'm in the same boat... flying down to FL in March to see my parents and our son will be 1 year old by that point. It's already a source of concern for me, since he's normally well-behaved but the last thing I want is for him to annoy other passengers. We as parents can do our best, but there are no guarantees when it comes to things like this.

    Posted by jmhot November 11, 08 03:36 PM
  1. I travel with my three kids- but they know what's expected of them. They have been taught from day one how to sit still and to respectful of other people. I took the three of them on a plane at ages 1, 5,&6. At the end of the flight the people sitting around us all commented on how well behaved and quiet the kids were, and people from the back (we waited to deplane- knowing it would be a zoo) were surprised they were actually on the plane. It's the parents who are being complained about more thant he kids. Good behavior is learned- bad behavior is instict. I would gladly pay extra to not sit near the previously mentioned "Angels"

    Posted by Kattmac74 November 11, 08 03:36 PM
  1. Well, the children don't concern me but I would pay the extra $10 to get off the plane first, especially with the very tight connections that airlines have these days. Often, you only have 15 mins to get from one end of the airport to the other and 10 of those are spent waiting for folks to grab things from the overhead bins. In fact, I would pay probably $25 extra to get off the plane first. Second only to that would be faster baggage delivery, as my bag is usually the last to roll off the ramp and onto the luggage carousel.

    Posted by Hilary Heindl November 11, 08 03:39 PM
  1. I would pay $10 more to not sit next to a fat person.
    Babies don't bother me. When someone's butt leaks onto my lap, it bothers me and is well worth the extra money.

    Posted by PooBear November 11, 08 03:46 PM
  1. I can't believe how ignorant most people are!!!! My brother is a pilot and the only stories he ever talks about are the stupid ADULTS! They are rude and demanding, never say please or thankyou and act worse than any two year old he has ever met. The men who a complain about parents bringing too much stuff on board should learn to check their own bags!!!! Oh No, they are just so important and in such a hurry they never think about anyone but themselves. Give me A break. I am a parent and I think I would pay extra not to fly with ignorant people.

    Posted by Jen November 11, 08 03:48 PM
  1. Planes should eliminate those middle seats... and police the two carry on bad rule..I see so many people carry more than two items onto the plane...I also think there should be a section/line for business travelers... We know the process and how it works...nothing more frustrating then having to wait in line with inexperienced travelers... Yes, people..take off your shoes and remove your laptops...we are prepared to travel and are forced to wait for those who are not educated about travel does and donts.

    Posted by bkbaysoend November 11, 08 03:50 PM
  1. um, selfish parents, hello.... I shouldnt have to deal with your crying kid, ok? If you kid is well behaved, then all well and good, bring em on board! I cant tell you how many times a kid is out of hand and the parent does nothing! This applies to going out to eat to! Get your children under control! If they act up and your "timeout" method clearly isnt working after 5 years of trying - how about smacking the crap out of them? This was a time tested method of dicipline that worked very well until the democrats started telling people how to raise their children.

    Posted by I Hate your Kids November 11, 08 03:50 PM
  1. Thank you ALL for some very entertaining afternoon reading! People have kids - you don't like...don't leave home! You were one once too!

    Posted by Julie November 11, 08 03:55 PM
  1. To foodie and jmhot: Go to see your families! Do what you can to keep your kids happy but don't let the nasty looks you will get from other passengers or the nasty comments in these posts stress you out. You'll already be stressed from security: my favorite memory was trying to get my son out of his stroller, fold the stroller, get the stroller onto the security belt while holding an infant, getting all of our other stuff on and then off the belt and...well, you get the picture (and now I can laugh about it).
    If we've learned anything during our time as parents, isn't it that there is a lot we can't control? Just do your best, think of the joy on your families' faces when you get off the plane, and know you tried to do well, even if your little ones were like screaming cats. As my grandmother liked to say "to hell with the neighbors." I hope you both have great trips!

    Posted by Takeiteasy November 11, 08 03:57 PM
  1. I like it when I land in one piece. I like it when the airline doesn't lose or misplace my luggage. I also like it when the seat next to me is empty. Other then that I really don't care and I'm only willing to pay for #1 and #2 ;) And yes, it's very nice when there is no screaming misbehaving kids, adults or animals in your cabin.

    Posted by David427 November 11, 08 03:59 PM
  1. I have travelled with 3 young children and grew up trvelling on planes overseas so I know how to travel but kids are highly unpredictable...crap happens. Instead of glaring at Mom and Dad offer to help. I sat next to a new Mom who was struggling to calm an infant and was frantic. I offered to hold the baby while she stretched her legs and took a break. I quickly swaddled the little guy and started rocking him - he was asleep by the time she got back from the ladies room.
    I got a free drink from the stewardess and cheers from our cabinet-mates.

    People rarely take kids on long flights because they can - so suck it up and help instead of making rude comments.

    Posted by yourmom November 11, 08 04:05 PM
  1. May I request not to sit next to the fat person or the person with BO for $10. I will pay $10 to sit next to that hot model in row 7 please..

    what is this world coming to???

    Posted by eguy November 11, 08 04:06 PM
  1. Get on the plane, sit down, fly, get off. That's the cheapest way to travel, we will all pay a price to keep track of what is what.

    Posted by Al B. November 11, 08 04:07 PM
  1. I'd pay not to sit next to a baby. I'm not a kid-hater, and honestly, I don't think the littlest ones can help crying when they have the unplesant sensation of motion-sickness or their ears popping. I don't think babies should be on flights, period. And to all you parents out there: just because I'm a married woman of child bearning age, you're not going to get any sympathy from me.

    But when the parents are next to the kid, and the kid has language skills, this is a different story. Kicking the back of the seat, you say? Noisy shrieking? Here is my method: turn around and stare down the little stinker. This will get the average one to shut it. IF that doesn't work, the most intimidating "STOP" in your most authoritative tone does wonders. If parents won't parent their little brat, I'll do it for them!

    We have to pay for every ounce of what you get on a flight: specific seat size, cruddy headphones when you forget your own, the size and quality of your drink. We shouldn't have to pay extra to have somebody show us the common courtsey they should exercise in close quarters, but the airlines will charge for it anyway.

    Posted by Jessica November 11, 08 04:12 PM
  1. John said it best... The only time I've ever had a problem with screaming kids is on a Friday, Sunday or Orlando flight and I fly weekly for work. The only time I fly with my own 1 year old was to Orlando- yes Disney and no one said a word - 90% of the people on board we're going for the same reason. Get a clue......

    Posted by Rick November 11, 08 04:14 PM
  1. To all the anti-kids posts, I strongly suspect your childhood was played out in a highly dysfunctional family. Seek therapy and find the source of your problems.

    I have 3 kids, 6,5 and 20 months, we fly at a minimum 3 times a year and for the most part we have had very few kid incidents. There is a tough age from 18 months to maybe 2 1/2 where reasoning with a child just doesn't exist.

    When they were babies we would give them a little Tylenol just to help their ears some and relax them a little. We wouild also try to time flights around a nap.
    we would make sure to have a bottle ready to help with cabin preasure as well.

    However you can have everything perfect and some times kids are kids and sitting still for 3 hours is
    pretty hard. Trust me parents don't want their kids acting up so cut people some slack.

    Like others said there are way more issues wihh Adults then children.

    To all the nervous parents about flying with your kids, don't. Most times you are more stressed than
    the people around you. Enjoy your trip, comfort your child and just smile at those angry lonely people.

    Posted by Brian November 11, 08 04:15 PM
  1. I would pay more for a child free flight. There have been studies that show that the engine makes a high pitched noise that we can't hear but babies can. You might notice that the crying starts when the engines are turned on and won't stop until they are turned off. Parents need to be aware that they are subjecting the infant to this noise and either provide ear plugs to help lessen the noise or not subject the infant to it in the first place. I'm going to get some grief for this but my mom used to have a glass or two of wine before breast feeding me to help me sleep and it worked great. Older kids who act up (or adults) - well - I think the airlines should put them in the cargo hold where the animals travel if they can't behave.

    Posted by misplacedamerican November 11, 08 04:22 PM
  1. Yes, those of us who travel with children really don't LIKE when they misbehave.

    I've had more problems with adults acting like children than children acting like children when I've flown. My daughter is usually VERY interested in looking out the window, sleeping, coloring, listening to the pilot, listening to music, watching TV/movie, and talking to her mother and myself. Most other parents bring enough stuff to keep the kiddies entertained for the flight, or use the Benadryl option.

    Posted by J November 11, 08 04:27 PM
  1. The joys of flying the friendly skies: you go on this flight that is already smelly from the previous flight, you sit in a narrow and terribly uncomfortable seat, you have to jump over someone just to go to the bathroom (or vice versa), you get some lousy crackers and half of a soda, you can't see the only TV for 10 rows, the noise is deafening and you get to smell the wing fumes, you can't sleep because your neck hurts no matter how you place your pillow, then your anxious neighbor tries hard to quiet her already upset baby. You feel bad for the baby and mother, but then you wish they just didn't sit next to you. And now the airline wants to charge extra for not sitting next to babies... Ha! The freakin' nerve!!!!

    Posted by michelle November 11, 08 04:34 PM
  1. Thank you Brian!!!! I feel bad for poor jessica who actually thinks she has a right to treat someone else badly....especially if that person is a child. I wonder if she has ever heard that two wrongs don't make a right. She really should look into therapy. So should the rest of those angry adults. I have two kids and have been traveling with them since they were infants. I hope all you parents out there have a great flight with your kids and are not exposed to too many rotten adults.

    Posted by Jennifer November 11, 08 04:39 PM
  1. I'd pay $100 not to sit next to a man who spreads his legs so wide he takes up two seats.

    Same on the subway. Men! Close your legs!

    Posted by reindeergirl November 11, 08 04:42 PM
  1. What a sad world we live in. Can't we focus our energy on something that would actually make a difference in the world? I'm going to guess that all of you that are complaining about children acting like children have not had the honor of being a parent. It's called life, get used to it. You are just lonely and angry, shape up or get some therapy!!

    Posted by LP November 11, 08 04:55 PM
  1. As both a frequent business traveler and a parent with small children, who has taken them on flights, I have a new found appreciation for the difficulty of traveling with kids. My suggestion to all of you selfish travelers complaining about how much a screaming baby bothers you, is to try to be nice, even helpful to these parents. It isn't like they don't hear their kids screaming and wouldn't do anything in the world to make it stop. Try offering a helping hand once in a while.

    My biggest complaint is sitting near frequent flyers with a sense of entitlement, especially those who show up late for a flight, refuse to check the oversize suitcase and complain when there is no room left in the overhead.

    Posted by H3 November 11, 08 04:57 PM
  1. I agree with H3. I, too, am a very frequent business traveler and have 2 small kids who fly with me to Europe twice a year. I can assure you that on every flight I take there are people who are far more annoying than my kids have ever been.

    Posted by Lee November 11, 08 05:14 PM
  1. I love the idea of kid-free seats on planes. I think this concept would also work well in restaurants, where the little brats often run around wildly while their fat, oblivious parents stuff their faces.

    Posted by Tara November 11, 08 05:16 PM
  1. I don't have any children, but if I ever do, I will never ever take them on a plane until they are at least 3 or 4 years old, and only then if they are the particularly well-behaved type. There is no reason for a younger child to ever need to travel. Babies that young don't remember vacations, why bother taking them to Disney World? Do what my parents did when I was an infant -- drive to the beach! I had just as much fun eating sand than at Disney and at age 6, then I was mature enough to sit through a flight and appreciate it. As for relatives, have them fly to see you if they want to see the new baby. How difficult is that? A parents responsibility is to do what is necessary to keep his or her children well-mannered when they are out in public. That's how it works in a civilized society. If you can't do that, you should keep them at home or go to family-oriented places. You are within your rights to bring a screaming child out in public you want, but you won't get any pity from me.

    Posted by mggio November 11, 08 05:32 PM
  1. What about Benadryl? Plus earplugs for the kid (and the adults) and a bottle for the baby.

    Posted by steady November 11, 08 05:38 PM
  1. As a parent of 3 children under the age of 6, there are times that air travel with them is the only option (a funeral, for example). The first time on a plane with a little one is nerve racking for parents, as we do not know how they will be during the flight (and once you are in the air, there is no going back). One cannot predict how a child will behave on a plane (even those that are normally well behaved and have good manners!), especially the first time.

    Posted by Wakefield Dad November 11, 08 05:56 PM
  1. its not the kids its their freakin yuppie parents juggling their $1000 stroller and their designer diaper bag & let little jimmy run their lives man I cringe when I see these kind of people I want to slap some sense into them

    Posted by hardy November 11, 08 06:15 PM
  1. I once sat behind parents who changed their baby's diaper without bothering to go to the restroom... It blew my mind. I'm one of the people who don't appreciate excessive noise on the plane (be it from babies, spoiled kids, or drunk adults), so I appreciate it when parents make an effort to keep their child calm. However, when parents ignore the problem or try to turn the aisle into a playground, I make my opposition known.

    As some people have suggested, a family section, with seats arranged so that families could face each other, as well as separated from the rest of the cabin, could make it all easier on both the families and other passengers. Above all, I am willing to be patient as long as parents are making an effort to keep their kids under control.

    Posted by Olga November 11, 08 06:16 PM
  1. I was shocked when I had to sit next to a passenger who had a cat in a bag under the seat until we reached altitude and then he took him out of the bag...give me a kid any day. I will pay extra to avoid a cat

    Posted by turtle November 11, 08 06:24 PM
  1. Face it, we're ALL disgusting and aggravating and offensive in some way, to someone. Stop FIGHTING IT!!
    Airlines should be offering incentives for accepting your fellow human being, and not selling us the illusion that we can get away from them on a giant, overbooked tin can sailing through the air....

    Posted by dllydggr November 11, 08 06:38 PM
  1. I won't pay extra to avoid sitting next to a baby, but will to sit next to a "Babe".

    Posted by Otis November 11, 08 06:49 PM
  1. I don't think the children are the problem, it's the ridiculous proximity we're all put in for hours at a time. If they made child-free flights, people would find other things to complain about: overweight people, drunk loud conversations, inconsiderate phone/video game usage. Every time I fly, it is completely random what and who will annoy me. All I know is being that close together with tired strangers with different sets of social etiquettes will always be painful. Eliminating children won't solve anything.

    Posted by Rebecca November 11, 08 06:59 PM
  1. Oh, so next do all of you pay extra for not sitting next to a middle eastern person, because maybe they might blow us up or the elderly because they always want to talk, talk, talk! As a parent I am offended that everyone thinks it is their right to avoid being annoyed by others. You live in the real world where you have contact with all people. If you want to avoid a certain class or section or the population then go move to a mountain.
    I am sure all of you annoyed several adults when you were growing up or did you just pop out at 25 being the self centered people that you are? So suck it up and realize that most parents are trying to keep their kids in line.

    Posted by Erin November 11, 08 07:17 PM
  1. People are ridiculous. Remember you were a child once too. Now we have to sit next to smelly people who don't bathe have bad breath and let out potato chip farts the whole flight. I would much rather sit next to a baby and put in ear plugs than smell that nastiness the whole flight. Oh yeah and what about people who hog the arm rest. Every time I see a smelly arm rest hog get on the plane I cringe thinking they may have to sit next to me. P.S. get rid of the blabber mouths too!!!

    Posted by cmj November 11, 08 07:26 PM
  1. Thank you #81. Last summer I flew non stop to SanDiego. Three little ones in the row in front of me with mom and dad across the aisle. Mom gave the kiddos Benadryl before we even left the gate. They slept the whole way. Next cross country flight I'M taking the stuff.

    Posted by LindainBoston November 11, 08 07:30 PM
  1. Erin - Well said!

    Posted by Wakefield Dad November 11, 08 07:42 PM
  1. Looking at the comments, I have to assume that most of the people writing have never been babies themselves have never screamed, cried or disturbed their surroundings in cars, busses or planes etc. Having flights without kids on them??? Great society, how about having no babies at all! These comments are incredibly self-centered.
    I fly every 3 weeks from Boston to Istanbul-Turkey and back, 17 roundtrips a year, always by myself. Yeah, I had my fair share of sleepless flights due to crying kids. Do not forget that parents try hard to keep their kids quiet (almost all) and feel embarassed when they can't. Why do we mainly fly for business- to give our kids a better future, not because you can sip your wine and dose off in your company paid seat.

    Posted by Albert November 11, 08 08:21 PM
  1. I have 3 children and fly with them 3-4 times a year. We have had several people, including stewardesses, compliment us on how well behaved our children are. We come prepared with DVD players, headphones, games, books, etc. to keep the occupied. We let them know it is not OK to bother the people around them. I have been annoyed by other people's children who are not taught to sit still.
    Much worse than the children, though, are the adults who carry on very LOUD personal conversations, often laced with profanity. Or the ones who board late, carry on too many things that they keep dropping, or stand in the isles arranging everything just so while there is a line of 20 people behind them waiting to board!

    Posted by Frequent Flyer Mom November 11, 08 08:44 PM
  1. I'm going to pinch my baby all the way to Ireland next summer just to tick off all of you big babies off. You certainly won't get me to be sympathetic to your situation if you aren't to mine. I will not hesitate to make your flight as uncomfortable as possible if you insist on making me uncomfortable with dirty looks or snide remarks. I don't like traveling like a sardine any more than other, and certainly not with a kid, so I'll already be on edge, go ahead and be the one to add the last straw.

    Posted by ll November 11, 08 08:49 PM
  1. I would pay way more than $10 to be guaranteed not to sit next to a fat person! Rather than the airlines charging more for bags, why don't they charge people and luggage by the pound? For example, you are allotted 250 pounds worth of person and baggage. That's plenty!! A normal-weight person could bring two 50 pound bags and have 150 pounds left over for themselves. Anything over that gets charged per pound. I'm sick of being squished into my own seat!!

    Posted by Erin M November 11, 08 08:53 PM
  1. As a mom of two young boys, I really hope the people who are commenting that they do not want to sit next to kids, don't have kids of any age. If so shame on you. We traveled last Thanksgiving to California and when we were waiting in Vegas to switch planes we overheard an elderly couple who sat in the aisle seats of mine and my husband's rows ( we split the kids up), telling another couple that they sat next to two young boys that were very well behaved (and as a parent on a plane it's good to hear). Everyone needs to understand that you bring everything you can to entertain your children on a flight, you try to make them comfortable and keep them happy. I have had the crying baby at take off because you can not tell them to swallow to help with the pressure on their ears, you do try to give them a bottle or something to drink. As hard as it is for some of you that are selfish about a baby crying, you have no idea how much harder it is for the parent, because it isn't easy to hear your child crying and as parents we know that someone on the plane is agitated with your baby. And yes, on some level that some of you will never know you are embarrassed because there is nothing you can do about your child crying. So I guess if you want to start charging more for a plane that has no kids on it, you should also offer a plane just for kids that is cheaper for parents that want to go on vacation with their kids. Thanks to all of you that make the world a little more bitter and if you think you're getting through security with that broomstick up your a$$ you might just be wrong.

    Posted by Steph November 11, 08 09:01 PM
  1. I would absolutely pay extra for a child free flight. I have spent my hard earned money far too many times for vacations that start with 4 hours of screaming. The last time I flew to Ireland, the child in front of me turned and spat on my face and his mother called him a "bold boy". Like it or not, many parents are ridiculous and do nothing when their angels behave like animals.
    I also agree that if you can not fit in one seat, you need to buy two. Why should I pay full price to use 3/4 of my seat while someone else oozes over into it? Or maybe I should just pay less?

    Posted by meg November 11, 08 09:08 PM
  1. We had a 5 hour cross country flight with our 3 year old last summer - we were attending a family wedding. Our child did not kick the seat, cry, etc - he was so excited about flying and playing a game with his Dad. However, as we were exiting the plane, a loud mouthed drunk pushed an elderly woman, then started swearing loudly at the men who defended her and threated to kill everyone - the police had to board the plane. This man was seated directly across from my three year old and diagnally from a well behaved 5 year old. Can we pay extra for not sitting next to drunk, white trash? Can the airlines charge adults for swearing loudly?

    Posted by jemifa November 11, 08 09:18 PM
  1. Paying extra to NOT sit near babies is a great idea. Paying extra to be able to focus on your work or just relax would be a dream come true. And, like someone said earlier, there should be flights that allow children and flights that do not. If they didn't have to, no adult in their right minds would ever book a flight on the "kids plane". I would pay $50 extra dollars gladly not to have to hear whining and screaming for hours on end. Arriving rested and relaxed is something every airline customer wants. I say enact the "pay for quiet" rule NOW!

    Posted by Alexa from Boston November 11, 08 09:49 PM
  1. First of all, neither of my kids ever screamed on a flight. Never. One of them threw up once, though, which I grant you is tough. People have actually apologized to me after initially giving me the evil eye in first class. I have great kids!

    I have never minded screaming kids, though. Usually if you know how to parent them, or if you just like kids, you can calm them right down. I can even get my friends' babies to shut up and take a nap.

    As for you sensitive types who can't deal with kids on the plane, you should either buy your own plane or only go places where you can get on your bike. The kids get to fly on planes, too, you losers!

    Posted by landnsdad November 11, 08 09:58 PM
  1. The only children that have ever really bothered me on a flight were the ones that were being totally ignored by their parents. It really ticks me off when parents drop on the headphones and tune out their kids. If parents would just pay attention to their children and take care of the children's needs first, it would go a long way to making the flight more enjoyable for the kids as well as all of those around them. My child has been a lot of fun on flights as we make sure to pay a lot of attention to him.

    Posted by paul k November 11, 08 10:42 PM
  1. To all the people who are now scared about upcoming flights with their children, don't be. I recently traveled from Dallas to Boston with a 5-year old and a 4 month old, and had no trouble at all. No trouble with the kids, no trouble from other passengers and no trouble from other kids (there were more than a few on the flights). Every once in a while the media needs to come up with something to get their readers/viewers all riled up, and the "problem" of kids on planes is always a good one.

    Posted by Colin November 11, 08 11:06 PM
  1. More people should consider sedating their kids before flights. For the comfort of all--the child, the parent, and the other passengers.

    Posted by tree November 11, 08 11:30 PM
  1. I'd pay $100 not to sit next to someone who is chewing gum with his/her mouth open. Sartre said it best: "Hell is other people."

    Posted by Stormi W. November 11, 08 11:36 PM
  1. When was the last time you heard a report about a child having to be removed from an airplane compared to the numerous reports of drunk ADULT travelers. Most parents are trying to attend to their child's needs as best they can but the airline industry his hardly family friendly. Ever try to change a diaper in the airplane restroom with turbulance? We all have bought a ticket to be on the airplane, so we all have a right to be there. I remember when I was single I sat by a man who complained constantly during the flight...he was too cold, too hot, the seat wouldn't recline enough, the food was terrible. I would rather sit by my 3 year old who is excited to fly then that whiner!

    Posted by Georgia November 11, 08 11:55 PM
  1. Kids are kids. But I would pay $10 to dope slap the parents who decide to ignore said childrens behavior on cross country flights.

    Posted by Joe November 12, 08 12:08 AM
  1. No one mentioned sick people. I don't travel often but its happened to me twice. Once it was a drunken puker. I had to call the flight attendant and they did finally move him back near the bathroom. The second was a really sick fight attendant heading home. No one bothered to even take care of their fellow employee, who was very nice, but I had to worry about getting sick on one of my rare vacations. Yes, I do realize sick people may need to fly also, but find a way to keep contagious folks away from healthy people.

    Posted by Anne November 12, 08 12:49 AM
  1. Please start charging by weight.

    Posted by Seany Mac November 12, 08 01:04 AM
  1. I would pay $50 not to be within four rows of a child on a plane and $500 to be on a guaranteed child-free flight.

    I have been on some of the worst childed flights ever, with bratty kids (accompanied by clueless handlers) who did nothing but fuss, fight, shriek, and run around the cabin throughout the flight. Halfway through a recent flight to Las Vegas, I was hoping the plane would crash just to put us all out of our misery.

    Peace and quiet is worth a lot of cash to me.

    Posted by NevelC November 12, 08 02:01 AM
  1. I am completely stunned by so many of these comments. Come on's a flight - deal with it.. In most cases, it will all be over in a matter of hours. Doesn't anyone posess the understanding to deal with a few rowdy kids or possibly sitting next to a passenger of size who is probably already embarassed and/or uncomfortable. I have sat next to or near passengers in all these situations and for long haul flights. It's not the end of the world people - you just might some interesting people!

    I think some people here need a booster shot of understanding and tolerance of others.

    Posted by JM November 12, 08 02:05 AM
  1. Obviously, there are thoughtful parents, and then there are the ones who call childless people names because we sometimes take exception to loud, whiny kids. To all those 'It's all about me and my kids", parents out there...
    No one required you to have kids. Your choice to have kids was and is the same as my choice to not have kids. Just because you are saddled with a whiny or cranky or whatever kid... doesn't mean that the rest of the world should just smile and bear it.
    You wanted to be a parent, act like one and don't expect me to help you.

    Posted by Tony B November 12, 08 04:45 AM
  1. I fly about 3 round trips a month. Overall, the kids on those flights have been good. I always fly with a set of headphones and iPod shuffle. As far as kicking goes, I'd turn around and politely try to reason with the child not to kick my seat. If that doesn't work, bribe them, tell them their mom/dad will give them $5 if they don't kick your seat. :-) If the parent doesn't do ANYTHING to remedy the situation, I'd speak with the flight attendant and have them deal with the parent/child. If obnoxious people can face penalties, so can parents who won't do anything. If the parent is at least making an attempt, what can you really do?? Overall, my experience has been okay. I have more issues with the people who won't shut the freak-up or are fidgety the entire flight.
    To all you people who want peace and quiet, then, you really should book first/business class.
    I agree on the passengers who board with more than their share of luggage. Also, it irks me to no end when passengers will "hog" the overhead space by putting their luggage in sideways and not top/bottom first, taking up more space than actually needed. THEN, the flight attendant will close the overhead bins and make the poor soul who is seated in zone 7 check their bag. If I board and see that situation in my nearby overheads, I'll recommend turning the luggage. Works every time!! Flight attendants need to get a better clue.
    And, flight attendants who are just plain nasty need to get out of the biz. I wish airlines would do a survey rating your flight attendants. Some are nice, some are like no-personality and some are just plain mean.

    Posted by justmyopinion November 12, 08 07:48 AM
  1. These comments are so pathetic. I have two kids--one who traveled since she was just about 7 months old, and the other since he was 2 1/2 months old. They're both great on the plane. We had one instance of my son crying at 18 months or so because he had to pee and the seatbelt sign was on for landing. I am guessing that people who are suggesting that kids under four shouldn't travel don't have family who live on the other side of the country, so the idea of travel is weird to them anyway. Kids behave as they're expected to behave. This is a perfect example of how attending to one's children, and anticipating their needs before things get out of control, really solves a lot of problems. (If we did this at home, we'd never have tantrums!)

    We bring huge amounts of food (not junk, so they're not too hyper), along with toys, games, and books. We sit near the bathroom so we can get there whenever the seatbelt sign is not lit. Nursing is also key (that advice is to those without kids yet). And, with older kids, the key is lots and lots of food (eggs, bagels, fruit, cut up vegetables, chips, snack cookies).

    Posted by Beth November 12, 08 07:56 AM
  1. wow. people are stupid.

    Posted by kevin November 12, 08 08:06 AM
  1. I have a 3 year old. I have gotten on a plane one time with her - when I flew from CA to CT to see my mother who was dying. Am I a selfish jerk for bringing a six month old on a plane? Have a little compassion and a little empathy, people. You don't know why the parent has the kid on a plane. Sometimes there really is NO choice.

    Posted by Erin otoole November 12, 08 08:10 AM
  1. TonyB; too bad YOUR parents had kids, eh?

    Posted by A Dingo Ate My Baby November 12, 08 08:13 AM
  1. People can be a pain- because of attitude not age. Kids whose ears hurt will be distressed. And some are nervous of flying and may talk or fuss. I have every sympathy. I have no sympathy when people MISBEHAVE. I don't care what age they are. When adults get drunk or aggressive I cheer when they are arrested on arrival. But parents who ALLOW their kids to race along the aisle or kick seats are the same. Decent parents attempt to stop this. Bad ones don’t and should be arrested for allowing their kids to endanger others (hot drinks, kids thrown around by turbulence can injure themselves and others). Kicking seats is an assault whatever your age. If we are all thoughtful then there will be no problem.

    Posted by Al White November 12, 08 08:17 AM
  1. If you're sitting in the vicinity of one or more screaming kids, and the parents don't do anything, do it yourself .. tell them to sit down, keep quiet, and don't move until you tell them to. They'll probably start screaming, mom/dad will get upset, but then you can tell the parents, "If you'd have done that yourself, I wouldn't have had to." // And to the parents .. please act like parents instead of your children's friends .. say "no" and mean it. Your children don't have to like you. You're the boss, remember?

    Posted by Mark in Belgium November 12, 08 08:48 AM
  1. TONY B: No one told you you had to fly, and likewise we shouldn't have to suffer thorugh sitting next to you either. However, we are all stuck in the same situation when we fly. I would rather sit next to 10 kids than 1 self absorbed, egocentric business traveller who thinks he should have absolute silence in a public place while travelling so that he can write a few e-mails. Seems to be your opinion is "it's all about me and my convenience".

    And to all of you who want us to drug our children for your pleasure, its not happening, so get over it.

    Posted by doesnthatekids November 12, 08 08:54 AM
  1. I had the great misfortune of sitting next to a local politician's brother recently. He spent the whole flight talking about how McCain would win the election, and spewing filth about Obama.

    I'd pay double not to have to sit next to Joe Malone's brother. Where do I check that box?

    Posted by Plymouthgirl November 12, 08 09:01 AM
  1. I suppose most people don't even know if they were a whiny or quiet one when they were a kid? If your mother doesn't give you life then you will not be here whining about the whiny kid in the next seat do you? I don't imagine any parents want to take their kid on a plane unless they must have to, so give the kid and the parents a break.

    Posted by nguyen27 November 12, 08 09:01 AM
  1. We fly at least twice per year - it's only 3-4 hours to deal with. My first choice would NOT be a crying baby or a loud 2-year-old, but it is the obnoxious children (and adults) that upset me. Perhaps the airlines should hand out etiquette books!

    The Benadryl idea is a great one. I only traveled once with my son (he was 8) and of course, it was Orlando. As I recall, lots of other children.

    Parents, instead of getting upset at some of these outrageous comments, please try and do your best to have little Johnny stop kicking my seat and running around unattended. Let's all try and be polite humans being and just get along as best we can.

    Posted by soxfankk November 12, 08 09:30 AM
  1. If you choose to be childless, I respect your decision and am glad you can make it. However, that doesn't mean you are entitled to a life untouched by kids. Those of us who have kids get great joy from it but we also make a contribution to the world YOU live in that is demanding, expensive, and exhausting if done right. Exactly who is going to be taking care of you in your old age? Who will be your doctors, nurses, garbage collectors, grocery checkers, senators and lawyers? That's right, the kids we're raising. If flying with your future bothers you, YOU can stop flying and find some other place to get where you're going. Parents should work hard to keep their children well behaved in public but it's not always possible to keep them quiet and adults should accept that flights are a form of PUBLIC transportation.

    Posted by Mom from Newton November 12, 08 09:35 AM
  1. People will bitch about anything. Instead of bitching about fat people, babys, etc, just be happy to take off and land safely. Also, as painful as it is for you to be around a crying baby, I guarantee it is 100 times more painful for the parent who is getting the dirty looks, and rolled eyes.

    Posted by Mom from Quincy November 12, 08 09:50 AM
  1. HOLD ON. Help these parents who stupidly lug their little bundle of misery onto a plane? Are you kidding me? I try to fly first class whenever possible for the very reason that I don't want to deal with breeders and their sense of entitlement. Guess what folks? Just because you procreated DOES NOT MEAN that the world owes you anything. Just as you feel you're entitled to travel without "dirty looks or rude remarks", I'm equally entitled to have a quiet flight without your little monster tearing up and down the aisle screaming at the top of it's lungs because it's "bored". Not my problem and no matter how hard you try, it will never be. If you don't think your child can handle a flight of any duration then here's a suggestion, DON'T FLY.

    Posted by Happily Child FREE November 12, 08 10:04 AM
  1. My pre-teen, who flies often, has developed a habit of playing peek-a-boo with strangers' crying children to see if she can get them to stop. I started doing it too. It's an interesting solution that doesn't seem to freak out the parents, and it works more often than not.

    Posted by Bren November 12, 08 10:06 AM
  1. I'd pay extra not to sit near an impatient adult who never had kids and can't remember being a kid giving me dirty looks through a whole flight.
    Yes give them there own flight so us parents don't have to deal with grumpy adults.

    Posted by Nancy November 12, 08 10:10 AM
  1. I would pay an extra thousand bucks for the privilege of not having to sit next to any of the whiny DB's posting in this thread who seem to think that the universe revolves around them and that they should never have to be subjected to even the tiniest "inconveniences" that come with interacting with the rest of humanity.

    Posted by Misanthropic Much? November 12, 08 10:24 AM
  1. Happy Child FREE. Good for you. I wish your parents were also child free, that would have been the better decision for humanity.

    Posted by foodie-72 November 12, 08 10:28 AM
  1. Kitty-

    I agree. Let's not mention the fat adults who smell. And those who are traveling with others and talk so loud that they are disturbing other people. Flights should be like libraries - QUIET. I don't like the crying babies either. Or the parents who hold their babies and allow them to pull my hair or clothing, or drool on me.

    My son is 9. He flies alone at least twice a year. Whenever I meet the plane at the gate the passengers always ask if that's my little boy and I think - Oh goodness I hope he didn't ruin the flight. They always say they were surprised because he popped in his headphones and read a book. No problems at all.

    Posted by Luvee November 12, 08 10:29 AM
  1. Some of you people are crazy. If you're on a short flight, what's the problem with kids, fat people, stinky people, and rude seatmates? I can understand being leery of these folks on longer flights, but if you open your mind, maybe you'll end up meeting some interesting people. I'm a fat person who gets an upgrade about 80% of the time because I travel so much. Let me tell you, the people I meet in coach are much friendlier than the first class passengers. Do I sometimes need to raise the armrest? Sometimes, it depends on the plane. On those small jets, yes. On the larger jets, no. When I'm going a very long distance, like to Hawaii or Europe, I pay for a first or business class seat so I'll be comfortable.

    Do kids bother me? Rarely, because I bring things to distract me or wear the noise-canceling headphones.

    Do rude people bother me? Rarely, because I ignore them.

    Do ass-y flight attendants get to me? Nope, because I always report them to the airline. And guess what, the airlines almost always respond with an apology and a $100 credit for future travel.

    If you want to avoid these people, you can do several things:
    1) buy a first class ticket
    2) travel at off-peak times when flights are emptier
    3) drive, take the train, or charter a plane
    4) grow up and realize that it's only 1 to 5 hours of your life!!!

    Posted by Kimberly November 12, 08 10:39 AM
  1. #126 Happily Child Fee; it is a shame your parents didn't eat their young. Bet you were as obnoxious a child as you are an adult.

    Posted by A Dingo Ate My Baby November 12, 08 10:50 AM
  1. This is ridiculous. You cannot always control a child on a flight. If you don't like the sound of whiny or children crying, do you not eat out either? Children cry and whine and the people that are complaining about it - get over it or drive to your destinations....

    Posted by mom2kids November 12, 08 10:55 AM
  1. Amount I would pay not to sit next to (or in front of) the following:
    Fat person who can't fit within the confines of their own seat and spills over to have their massive girth touch me: $65
    Person who talks loud and/or thinks they are funny: $40
    Asian or Jew: $40
    Lesbian: $35
    Mom with screaming brat: $30 per hour
    Person who wants to chat: $25

    Posted by frequent_flier November 12, 08 11:01 AM
  1. Happily Child Free: I could not agree more, as a frequent flyer I'll pay pretty much anything to travel with like minded, civilized, adults who shut up, don't smell or ooze out of their seat into my space so I can get my work done and pass the time until the miserable flight is over!

    Posted by FlyingStinks November 12, 08 11:04 AM
  1. Wow, how hurful. I'm obnoxious because I won't let someone else's problem/mistake become my own? Well then, UP WITH MY OBNOXIOUSNESS!

    Posted by Happily Child FREE November 12, 08 11:11 AM
  1. perhaps all these folks that have children and insist on taking them to visit for the relatives to come visit you.
    i would pay extra for nobody under 12 near me, the kicking, whining, screaming, and the parents ....well, i am exhausted from your tiresome exhausted comments....did you not know when you procreated children were exhausting? get a clue and stay home...

    Posted by ken November 12, 08 11:12 AM
  1. We three kids 6, 4, 2 and travel as a family at least 3 times a year. We have had only 2 flights when a tantrum or misbehavior occurred. Let me tell you it is not fun trying to comfort and/or control the child. I GET IT...I travel for business at least 3 times a month. Most parents try hard to keep their kids in line...I'm more offended by the traveler that is flying sick and coughing and sneezing all over the place.
    Hey #126 Happily Child Free...I'd love for you to have been the person my 6-year old daughter sat next to in First Class on our last flight. She looks up at the guy next to her and and says, "So have you ever seen Finding Nemo?" She made more of an effort to be neighborly then you'll ever be!

    Posted by Happily Flying With Children November 12, 08 11:21 AM
  1. Dear Dingo,
    What's next? You'll be telling me I'm "a wicked loser"? You may find me obnoxious and to a point, you are correct. However I carry it off with style and aplomb. Now run off to Gymboree or whatever it is people like you do. The important folks have important things to discuss!


    Posted by Happily Child FREE November 12, 08 11:30 AM
  1. I thinks its a MARVELOUS idea to keep a family section together. This helps the adults and also the kids. If there are other kids around them then maybe they can play with each other and not be so bored. Or the parents will have other toys to play with. They can also "help" each other when the kids do get upset. Maybe another Mother or Father can give them ideas about how to quiet kids down or walk them for the parents when it gets to be too much. I would think the parents would love this as well.
    I also adored the idea of having the seats face each other. This creates a play area for the kids so they dont have to sit in the seat the whole time. They may also have their own TV screen as well, in that area, so they can show kid friendly movies.
    This would no only help the parents but the other people on the plane. Parents wouldnt have to worry about getting "nasty" looks and they other patrons can get some peace and quiet.

    Posted by HappyMedium November 12, 08 11:33 AM
  1. In response to the people who would have the audacity to try to discipline my children in mid flight. Go ahead make my day. I fly a couple of times a year, and do what I can to help alleviate the noise from my children. Sometimes there is nothing that can be done. If you think you will try to talk down to my child, the only thing you will get from that is a slap in the back of the head. We all pay the same amount for the tickets. If you don't want to deal with the noise suck it up and fly first class or fly on the red eye.

    Posted by joboxer November 12, 08 11:37 AM
  1. wow - lot of vemon out there, from both sides. Parents - if your kids behave - they aren't talking about you. I don't hear this anger as being against kids or babies but actually against parents who don't make the effort to control the child. Yes - we have all been babies and I'm sure we are aware that sometimes things can't be helped but most of us have seen the parent who does nothing and uses the ' well - it's a kid - what can you do' line to justify doing nothing. So please stop being so hateful, ie Dingo ate my Baby. Not liking a misbehaving child is not obnoxious, it's normal. In the same way that respecting a parent who IS trying is compassionate and deserved. However, not respecting a parent who is NOT trying is to be expected. I feel that the more angry 'pro-child' rants on here are from the parents who can't be asked to try and they know that they don't.

    Posted by misplacedamerican November 12, 08 11:39 AM
  1. Just ignore Happily Child FREE, he is clearly just trying to incite people (or is crazy or both). He is the person in the 12 item or less line with 50 things. Thinks he is entitled to everything.

    Posted by doesnthatekids November 12, 08 12:41 PM
  1. To Beth-- You seem like a very well prepared traveler and make sure your kids will have things to keep them occupied while on the plane. I for one do not have children and generally don't mind small children on the plane, but when a parent is not prepared to fly with the kid(s) and don't plan the way you do it is very aggrevating. A lot of people that travel these days are flying on business and like to use the time on the flight to try and get some work done. Having a screaming child or just a kid that won't sit still is a distraction. There will probably be a day when there are kid free flights but since that is not the case then we just need to deal with it and hope that parents will prepare for the flight a little better. To the people that say buy a first class ticket you can still hear the kids that cry and act up in first class. I am not a regular first class flyer by any means but have had the opportunity to upgrade my seat to first class in the past and I still heard the baby a few rows back from the curtin as he cried the entire flight from Minnesota to Boston. To the parents credit though they did everything they could to get him to stop but he just wasn't a happy baby that day and they apologized profusley to everyone.

    Posted by Jeff November 12, 08 12:47 PM
  1. Serving as a role model to my children: Free
    Teaching my children good manners: Free
    Posting on this thread: Free

    Not having to read any more intolerant postings by "Happy Child Free": Priceless

    Posted by Wakefield Dad November 12, 08 01:01 PM
  1. To Bride of Chucky- probably a smart move on your part for your own sake.

    Posted by Disgusted November 12, 08 01:37 PM
  1. FrequentFlyer- apparently your parents didn't drill hard enough as your are extremely rude and ignorant. Perhaps someone should have paid for your parents' birth control. And for the record morons, I do not have any children.

    Posted by Disgusted November 12, 08 01:41 PM
  1. Great story! I would definitely pay $10 extra for a baby free flight. And I would pay way more than that for not having a kid behind me kicking my seat the whole flight!

    Posted by Globetrotting Bride November 12, 08 01:47 PM
  1. Infant, baby, tot, child, teen, adult, elderly. See a pattern? We are all human, we all make noise. If we are going to discrimiate against crying babies why not the hyena laughing uncontrollably at the in-flight movie? The lawnmower asleep in the seat behind you? The talk-a-holic? Nirvana blasting out of your neighbors I-pod earphone? What about the allergetic who keeps sneezing from the overdose of Brut painted on the guy in the seat beside? Really people. Get a grip. Noise is a fact of life (and obesity for those who complained about it).
    To some I ask, do you remember Sept. 11? Well, those victims aren't even hear to complain about some airplane noise. Think about that! Some of you are heartless.

    Posted by Melissa November 12, 08 04:39 PM
  1. I think some of the parent comments in this thread prove a point made by a Las Vegas Weekly columnist a couple of years ago (can't find article right now): that many parents unfortunately use their childrens' disturbances as a passive-aggressive weapon in retaliation against others in public who are not burdened by childcare. Bitter and resentful over how they're stuck with these kids they chose to have and there's no way out, sociopathic parents secretly enjoy watching the "payback" of their children ruining the pleasurable experiences that others might have in public spaces. I think anyone who says the public has to just "put up with" loud, disruptive children wherever they go, and that other travelers and flight crew just have to "suck it up" and risk injury from rowdy or noisy children, are textbook proof of this theory.

    A parent who wasn't a passive-aggressive sociopath bent on punishing everyone around them (trying to make them all as miserable as he/she is) would never say anything even remotely resembling "just deal with my obnoxious kids and suck it up." By definition, a mentally-healthy, secure parent would probably never even take young children on a long plane ride, recognizing that it's no fun for the kids, it's just not necessary (you can drive, or Grandma/Grandpa can get on a plane themselves and come to you), and it's disrespectful of the rights of others to enjoy comfort and peace while traveling, not to mention disrespectful of flight attendants and their responsibilities.

    Posted by Gigi November 12, 08 05:44 PM
  1. To those "parents" complaining about adults who misbehave - they were probably raised the same way you are "raising" your precious darlings.

    Yes, I'd gladly pay more for childfree flights. And you parents should have no problem with that whatsoever as per your comments that you would much rather sit with "the Future" than the (sad, lonely, bitter, selfish, rude, they-were-once-children-too, who-is-going-to-take-care-of-them-when-they-are-old, childfree folks) but you seem to. Why? I'm getting the vibe of a rock flying into a pack of dogs and the one yelping loudest being the one hit routine.

    Posted by Mrs. Danvers November 12, 08 05:49 PM
  1. Kids are fine. Really if you have a problem with kids on a flight that's under 4 hours... I would give you $10 toward your next shrink session or your valium.

    for longer flights yes - it would be great to have a kid friendly flight. As a parent of two I feel pressure that others "get bothered" and would love to have this atmosphere. We have to fly... or do you want to give me free tickets on a train instead?

    $10 fo non-smelly folks, non-obese folks, better service and non-smelly bathrooms.

    $50 for a flight guearanteed to arrive on time and a $50 refund for having to wait on the tarmac (eitehr on landing or takeoff) for more than 40 minutes.

    Posted by aveboston November 12, 08 07:01 PM
  1. Gigi - You ever try to drive from Boston to California? A "secure" parent would never risk the safety of their children for your conveience by driving that distance. Besides, which is more fun, a 5 hour flight or a 40 hour car ride.

    My guess is that you have no idea how a "secure" parent would handle any situation and that you are talking out of you rear end.

    Posted by doesnthatekids November 12, 08 07:09 PM
  1. I was on a flight back from Ukraine about ten years ago and was one of only about ten adults on the flight. Most of the seats had been booked by nuns for the transport of orphans back to Turkey. Just about every seat was occupied by a 6 year old. And all of them in matching white shirts and shorts. The nuns starred daggers at the six of us in first class when we ordered drinks, but the kids were great, although they barfed en masse after one turbulent patch.

    Posted by Cnovoglio November 12, 08 07:29 PM
  1. Doestnthatekids has exactly proved my point. Everyone should have to put up with the irritation and possibly physical harm and property destruction of their kids confined in an airplane. Everyone should just deal with it, because doesnthatekids knows that a 40-hour car ride with his/her own children, whom he's raised to misbehave and regard the feelings of absolutely no one but themselves, would be torture. And doesnthatekids wants to spread the torture around, so that everyone has to suffer -- because if he has to suffer, thanks to his ill-advised choice to reproduce, everyone should have to suffer!

    Posted by Gigi November 12, 08 08:29 PM
  1. Gigi - thank you! Took over a day but, finally, someone posts a sensible response here. Well said!! Ever consider running for public office?

    Nick (#8)

    P.S. #154 needs to work on its reading comprehension.

    Posted by Nick November 12, 08 09:12 PM
  1. Perhaps if "parents" hadn't dropped the ball by letting their kids run wild and become increasingly disrespectful over the last few years this wouldn't be an issue. I see how some "parents" ignore their brats (yes, they're brats and you're a rotten parent) and sit back and do nothing but yell at someone if they dare not to be entertained by screeching, horseplay, or rude behavior. Also, if I have been awake for 20+ hours and are kept awake by a screaming baby, I have every right to be annoyed, as by that point anything would get under my skin. Do I have a right to be rude to you? Absolutely not. Do I have the right to be annoyed if you're kid is kicking the back of my chair? Darn right I do. Do you have the right to be angry with me? NOPE.

    My mother used to be a flight attendant years ago. On a recent trip to Hawaii she commented on how many people just let their kids (older ones too!) act like hellspawn. She is so happy to be out of the field and would applaud a policy such as this. Remember sorry excuses for parents, this is all YOUR fault. Now good parents and kids are being lumped into your disgusting pile. Good parents and people without kids don't find your behavior or that of your brats amusing.

    Posted by Fishmama November 12, 08 09:22 PM
  1. I am a "Million Miler" who has traveled by plane every week for over 25 years and I have the following comments:
    1. Bring noise canceling headphones (or buds) if you don't like noise.
    2. Bring your own drink and light snack if you're hungry - not a pizza or chinese. Respect the people around you and they will generally respect you as well. No one wants to share your dining experience. Eat and drink lightly so as to minimize your trips to the bathroom.
    3. If on a long flight during which you expect to sleep, bring your own neck doughnut and light blanket.
    4. If you are traveling during a holiday period or to a vacation site, expect children and understand that the vast majority of their parents want them to be under control and as quiet as possible.
    5. Don't bring everything you own and drag bags onto the plane. Get on, sit down and get out of the way.
    6. A plane is not a chat room. If you start a conversation with someone and they don't respond affirmatively, close your pie hole.
    7. If you must talk on a cell phone, keep your voice down - I have no interest in your conversation. If you insist in sharing your intimate secrets with me, don't be surprised if I begin repeating them to people around me until you shut up.
    8. Treat your fellow travelers as you expect to be treated - it mostly works.
    9. If you have a real problem with another passenger, tell the flight attendant and let them resolve the issue. They are the professionals, not you.
    10. If all else fails, start singing at the top of your lungs until they sedate you - you'll then have a quiet flight.

    With tongue planted firmly in cheek.

    Posted by John Gallagher November 12, 08 09:56 PM
  1. I've been an ER nurse for over 15 years. Parents who take their children into a known toxic situation like a stressful airline flight do that child a great disservice. The noise, the rush, the unfamiliar environment are both frightening and physically painful for infants and toddlers. Why would anyone desire to do this to their child?
    Some of the most vehement people here are much like the ones I've seen complain when a man having a heart attack is taken before their child with a head cold "because they were here first" Sorry folks, the most ill comes first and your child should come before your convenience. Don't fly until they are ready. I'd extra just to avoid becoming angry at parental selfishness.

    Posted by TC November 12, 08 10:29 PM
  1. Guess what? If you pay $10 for a complimentary meal, it ain't complimentary! I'm amazed anyone flies at all anymore, cuz it sure ain't fun.

    Posted by frank November 13, 08 12:34 AM
  1. Gigi -

    NO NO miss the point, but I gather you are crazy and intened to miss the point to sound cool! You are probably just ignorant. I have been teaching my children how to deal with ignorant people, though sometimes I fail. You do this by ignoring them.

    Thanks for prooving my point and showing my failing that I should have ignored you. Goodbye.

    Posted by doesnthatekids November 13, 08 08:41 AM
  1. Of course parents with children need to fly. But it would be nice if there was a section just for them. And it would be nice if parents prepared for the trip. ( Bottles, coloring books, favorite toys - or whatever will keep their child happy).
    Just recently we were flying to Miami with another couple of ours. We decided to get an upgrade, but our friends, who had great seats up front did not.
    At the gate our friend ) was called to the counter. There was a switch of seats. Apparently a family with young children was on the plane and they were awarded our friend's seats because there were more space. They weren't even asked - they were told. I don't think that was right.
    Our friends, who had booked their tickets well in advance had to sit in the last row of the airplane.
    Btw. we were flying AA - the friendly skies ???

    Posted by Pingo November 13, 08 10:05 AM
  1. A simple phone call by Paul Makishima to WestJet would have shown that this story is an internet hoax.

    There was no survey, only a bogus blog entry. Mr. Makishima should spend less time as an assistant editor and focus on basic journalism skills such as checking facts before going to print.

    Posted by D. Kyle November 13, 08 10:37 AM
  1. doesnthatekids was apparently hit by that rock - yelping "ignorant!" "crazy!" and running away. By the tone of the posts I'd say that doesnthatekids is a "she". To say that a cross-country trip by car is putting her darlings in danger and that a plane ride is more "fun" scream the gender. /am female myself

    How did folks travel before the advent of aviation? Gigi, you're right and I've noticed that quite a few "parents" are so fed up with their own kids that they feel as though they should spread the joy. Good point.

    Posted by Mrs. Danvers November 13, 08 11:24 AM
  1. I rarely comment on public forums, but the link was sent to me with a C&P of a comment about passengers "pretending to work on laptops", and I saw red.

    I fly mostly for business purposes. I would gladly pay extra not to sit next to children because I'm tired of hurting feelings or being on the receiving end of snarky remarks or icy glares. I cannot play with the child next to me or allow said child to play games on my computer because I have to review notes on the account I'm supposed to land in two hours. I can't hold anyone's baby because I have to arrive in pristine window-dressing condition in order to represent my firm. I have to be utterly calm and collected when I land and meet the client representative who will give his opinion after I leave to the client or the producer from our competition, so no, I really don't want to chit-chat or sing along to the Wiggles. If that makes me rude, selfish, Satanic, evil, child-hating or whatever, FINE. My company has paid for this flight, and expects results for the investment - if anyone wishes to complain about my firm not providing an entertaining seatmate for children, I'll be delighted to give them a card with the corporate office contact information. And for the curious, yes, I do have a "child" 873 months old who cannot walk - my disabled mother-in-law who is sliding into dementia. I'd love to travel less, but my husband and I have to pay a great deal for her care because her other son has his own child and cannot be bothered with her.

    Posted by Cynthia November 13, 08 03:59 PM
  1. Cynthia,
    Amen to your post!! I'm sorry to hear about your mother in law's illnesses, she's very lucky to have a son and daughter in law like you. It's amazing how quickly the selfish people out there are willing to label anyone who doesn't bow to their needs immediately as selfish themselves. Good luck.

    Posted by Happily Child FREE November 14, 08 10:15 AM
  1. It's interesting how many parents here are saying that those who favor this $10 charge don't have kids even though many say they do.
    It's all about caring and loving your children. I would never take a baby or toddler on a flight because I have read too many stories on the very painful ear condition the pressurized cabin creates for their tiny little ears. Likewise often toddlers misbehave because uncaring parents insist upon holding them on their laps; which to child is nothing less than being held down. This is not only frustrating for the child but dangerous. No one can hand onto their child if there is heavy turbulence. Children need their own seats and to be strapped in like everyone else.
    These are the same parents who take their kids to smoke-filled bars, late-night movies and other places once thought of as totally inappropriate for children. But these parents don't want to deprive themselves.
    Parents need to know that having kids means sacrifice; the trip to be delayed until the child is old enough to handle and not be damaged by it, hiring a baby sitter so they can go out to adult places and movies without dragging the poor kids along.
    The attitude that "I can go anywhere I want and drag my child along" purported by many here shows a total lack of caring for the welfare of their children. It' not so much the crying babies on the airplane I wouldn't want to sit next to; I don't want to be near such selfish adults.

    Posted by minervah November 14, 08 02:35 PM
  1. Wow. To think these "adults" are raising children. Nothing but pizz and vinegar coming from a majority of the parents. You must all be really miserable, hateful excuses for human beings. Great examples you are setting for your children.

    Posted by Sorry I chanced on this article November 17, 08 09:18 PM
  1. What next, we all line up and bid on who to sit next too, that would would solve the problem! Gad get a life folks we were all kids and the obease are a fact of life if you do not like it then take a train, boat or stay home.

    Posted by Richard November 20, 08 10:48 PM
  1. why is it considered such a horrible thing to not want to be around screaming kids in a small, enclosed space. I got it, you HAVE to travel, but don't get all dispondent when the childfree would prefer a separate section from families with children present. It doesn't hurt you, right? We gladly pay the extra 10 clams for the peace and quiet! Just because people can have kids, doesn't always mean they should.

    Posted by Claire Wood December 11, 08 09:55 AM
  1. Shame on all of you who think you are above riding on a plane sitting near small children! My 4 year old has been better behaved on a plane before than he is not on a plane. And just because some of you are so inconsiderate about those of us with children, when my child is two months, we will be flying to Florida. And boy, do I ever hope some of you are on thant flight!!!

    Posted by HT December 15, 08 03:33 PM
  1. Here’s an idea no one’s thought of: if you don’t like my precious snowflake on a jet plane it means you hate kids of don’t remember being an infant. Get a life. I have needs too you know and going on a vacation to a tropical island with my newborn is my right. Besides, everyone just loves my little pumpkin! He’s so well behaved too. He hardly ever screams. And when he does it’s just too bad for you because it’s my right to take my little poopykins wherever I want. And so what if he kicks your seat or I keep bumping it while I change his diaper. That’s just what kids do. I bet you don't have kids and your parents probably never should have either. If you don’t like it you can just stay home because the world belongs to me you selfish slob. I’m a mommy and that means MY needs come first. Always.

    Posted by Ms Information December 20, 08 11:42 PM
  1. I really enjoy all the comments from the parents who imply that others should feel the way they do about children. Some parents do a phenomenal job teaching manners and courtesy, and some, not-so-great. But let's all be honest, this post would not exist if there weren't a significant population out there who has felt inconvenienced by other people’s children (ha, you saw all the comments from the people who said they pay to not have to sit next to their OWN kids) ; )

    I agree, there’s no need to be nasty, but it does not seem fair or reasonable, either, for anyone to decree that no one should disagree with paying for an experience where they will be locked in close quarters to someone else’s children, who might not be so pleasant (whether because they are an uncomfortable infant, too young for reason, or simply older and misbehaving). Regardless of whether or not a parent is doing his or her best to control the screaming, endless chattering, or seat-kicking, and whether or not I was ever a child, myself (as many posters have suggested should make a difference), this would not make for a restful or enjoyable experience for me. It’s not about being a nasty child-hater - please just consider that your fellow passengers did not tell you to become a parent or bring your children on the flight. Just like for other mentioned undesirable seat-mate qualities, there is no argument that it is considerate to make others accommodate any unpleasant behaviors that could control be controlled.

    Posted by Mel February 10, 09 01:24 AM
  1. In response to "There is no reason for a younger child to EVER need to travel"
    Guess what- at the end of this month I will be taking my 4 1/2 month old on the plane to see his father who will be on a 4 day pass from training in Texas (and cannot go more than 100 miles off of the base) before heading BACK over to Iraq for a second tour of duty with the National Guard supporting our country so YOU can live in a country where you are free to have the opinions you have. I'm not going to deprive my husband or my son of the bonding time they can have together because YOU are worried he might be fussy for the few hours you are in contact with him.
    There ARE reasons some people cannot avoid flying with little ones and it isn't anyone's "right" to get to travel without them, that is a chance you take when flying. If you have THAT big of deal and cannot handle "disruptions" than maybe YOU should not fly!
    Yes Parents should try and keep their babies and kids calm and well behaved when on a plane but sometimes that just doesn't happen. Also 10$ for a seat not near a kid does not mean you will not hear that child! Don't be nieve you will still hear a crying baby no matter WHERE you are and that is just the chance you take when flying. Everyone has the same rights as you and you are not the only person that matters. I think everyone just needs to be a little more accepting and a little less self-centered.

    Posted by mggio November 11, 08

    Posted by Valerie March 11, 09 04:44 PM
  1. If you dont want to be 'violated' by screaming kids, get a better job, and pay for 1st class. The ignorant comments from people who were obviously born well-mannered adults, are cleary from the urban poor, who are only willing to pay 'an extra $10' for kid-free flying. Cheap, miserable, unhappy losers!

    Posted by Vanessa March 25, 09 03:28 PM
  1. When I started doing my shaggy and scooby voices, and my goofy and mickey mouse voices, and bert and ernie voices because I was just bored, the little boy stopped screaming and started giggling. Even some of the growedups liked the voices I was doing (or, were they just glad I got the little guy to quit screaming?) Anyway I had fun and so did the little guy from laguardia all the way to KCI.

    Posted by Tiggerpaws June 22, 09 01:20 PM
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