Monday, August 30, 2010

Families Only

I came across an interesting article today about airline travel. It didn't surprise me to read that the majority (68%) of the people who were for this proposal were non parents. The article makes a good suggestion of having people who preferred to sit in the non-family section pay a little extra for that perk.

Personally, I'm undecided on whether I would like a family only section. On the one hand, a section like that would definitely reduce the pressure of traveling with young children. Kids are kids, and rather than saying they misbehave on planes (or other confined spaces), I like to think of them as behaving in a non-conforming way. They're kids and sometimes, its understandable that long, tiring journeys make it hard for them to control themselves. Even adults get grumpy but the difference is that they just know that its not socially acceptable for them to start a screaming tantrum. So, a separate section would have the benefit of having to deal with a child's tantrum without feeling the additional pressure of evil dagger stares from fellow passengers.

However, on the other hand, Aaron and Adrian have so far been very good on planes. Somebody even came up to me at the end of our recent flight from Malaysia to let me know how well behaved they were. So, if we were to be put in the family only section, we might have to put up with other kids that are having a hard time and sometimes, that sort of behavior is contagious amongst kids!

Costs aside, what I think I would like is an entire flight that was modified to be family friendly. I'm talking about a children's movie section, a baby/toddler exploration area, arts and crafts section for older kids, maybe a reading corner and then of course a quiet section for nap time. Oh, and lets not forget a naughty corner for time-outs! Some creativity will be needed to take care of all the safety issues with children not having their seat belts on and running about mid-flight. I don't have the solution yet but its worth pondering upon.

For now, until I have my own airline with the family friendly flights, I guess I'll be sticking to night flights where there is a higher chance of the children being asleep for most of the flight.

4 comments:

John said...

Night travel, in cars or planes, works well for me. Sleeping kids are excellent travelers.

Mike said...

I can't imagine the complaints you would get from the "regular" passengers that would be right next to the family section.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Interesting. Children can be rather noisy, and can annoy those travelling without them

Bilbo said...

The American humorist Robert Benchley once said that there are two classes of travel in America: "first class," and "with children." I have a great cartoon on this topic that I will e-mail you separately this evening...