It doesn’t matter what side of the discussion you’re on, the fact is that kids and parents (or families as such) will need to travel as well. Whether you like it or not it’s a fine line of being gracious and understanding and outright rude. There is no straight answer to this, however, it is understandable that you don’t want a screaming kid for a long haul flight sitting right next to you. Traveling in and of itself is already strenuous and having a screaming child next to you only adds to the increase in nerve-wracking.
However we see it two-fold and we encourage you to be open about this topic as well, regardless of whether you have children or not.
Currently, there are four carries that have gone so far as to offer a kid-free zone, however, this comes at a premium cost versus what a standard economy ticket would typically cost. These airlines include Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, Scoot, and IndiGo. There are several more in the discussion if they should implement these kinds of rules for their flights as well. Now despite them all being companies and able to enforce whatever policies the executives for those airlines see fit, the problem is that you begin alienating passengers and customers and send a message that no longer sympathizes with parents traveling with a baby or kids. Yes, disruption from unhappy kids can take a toll on passengers around that specific child, however, what it really boils down to are the parents.
We are not calling out the parenting skills of anyone, however, in this situation, it does come down the common sense of the parent. We don’t want to step on anyone’s toes with this article, as it is a sensitive topic for many travelers, however, we find it important for families to travel together whilst airlines providing and playing an important part in enhancing and creating a positive flight experience for all including this young age group.
If anyone is going to call out children, we are pretty sure that you have come across a few adults who act the same – whether it’s is chewing your gum like a camel, or having one to many onboard alcoholic drinks.
What it comes down to here is the common sense in regards to parenting tactics. If a baby is crying, for many reasons including a change in cabin pressure, time zone adjustment, hunger, etc. then this can be understood. If the parent is doing whatever they can, then one should be able to sympathize all the more. No parent should need to apologize for their child screaming should they be behaving what would be a “societal” norm. If they simply leave the baby for whatsoever reason and don’t care about it, that’s a different story.
The same goes for toddlers or younger children. Just the way you would expect a parent to tell their children you don’t go about screaming and kicking seats in a library, the same is true on a plane. However, if a child is kicking the seat in front of them the whole time and the parent “could care less” that’s where the issue is and no, it should not be difficult to call the parent out in a professional and kind manner. Then see what the response is. It really is that logical. Hence the difference in parents reactions, not necessarily their parenting skills is what determines the overall atmosphere here.
This is all the more true for those customers paying more for their seats. Especially if you are flying business or first class. The concept, like with the airlines mentioned above is that you don’t bring your child in these classes just the way you would not take them to a fancy restaurant. However, this too is a very subjective point of view.
So should kids and babies be allowed to fly? Absolutely!
Should parents have to apologize for their behavior? No, however, it does depend on the attitude of the parent.
If you have noise canceling headphones, a screen and are comfortable in your seat, then what keeps you from enjoying your flight?
So, we now ask you. Should babies and toddlers be allowed to fly and should parents have to apologize for their behavior? What do you believe is a good solution in this situation? How would you go about it? Let us know in the comments below.
You should never have to apologize for the behavior of your children if you are caring for them the best you can with common sense and love. Nonetheless, if you do know that your child will throw tantrums or cry for a majority of the flight, we can only recommend building a positive social capital. You could hand out small chocolate with a note that says “Hi, I’m X years old. I cry from time to time. I apologize for upfront if I disturb your trip.” Hand these out to those around you and you will build social capital fast. People will know that even though you might have a crying baby, you care for others around you as well. It’s definitely not a must, but can be a nice gesture that may help you especially on long haul flights. Others will sympathize more and perhaps you may get a helping hand. Your call. Either way, enjoy your journeys and experiences while traveling.
No one should take this away from you!