Picture this: Could you imagine flying 30,000 feet above the air with your 2-year-old and they are screaming for milk? In your morning rush to the airport, even though you brought every toy, book, and DVD … You forgot to pack the milk. You flag down the flight attendant and explain to them with a sense of urgency that you need milk for your child. Flight attendant replies matter-of-factly that they have very limited milk on board and it is only to be used for coffee.
Holy crap! Yep, every airline is extremely budget conscious and with that mindset, almost every airline perk or freebie has been whacked out of their budgets. So, where does that leave our children on these airlines? Apparently, without milk, crayons, pilot wings, decks of cards, etc..
We are officially two weeks away from one of my favorite holidays of the year, Thanksgiving. It also marks the kick-off for the intense holiday travel season. Our family will be flying across the country to Arizona very soon which means I am in mode to arm myself with as many travel tips as possible to get through our journey with my sanity intact (fat chance). Traveling with our 3-year-old son is never simple — add on to that a five-hour flight with a time zone difference and it could be a major challenge. I still reflect on our positive NYC Dads Group discussion with travel expert, Pauline Frommer, regarding successful travel tips with children.
Consequently, I was intrigued by the recent New York Times article, Are We There Yet? (by Michelle Higgins) which offered some useful airline travel tips for parents plus some horrible travel stories that parents faced recently on their airline flights. Most impressive and unique about this particular article was the domestic airline by airline comparison to determine “child friendliness” including topics of pre-boarding, seating, kids’ meals, entertainment, and stroller checking. Additionally, there is a comprehensive International Airline child “perk” list included. I recommend checking out where your favorite airline stacks up.
Parents – Feel free to share your horrible travel stories related to traveling with children … or more importantly, provide us with one successful tip.
Ironically, I was reading this article as we were on our first plane trip with my son who will turn 2 next week. He did great in the CARES harness, rather than my lugging a carseat. He slept for half of the trip going there, and about the same coming back. We flew Delta, they let us preboard, and we had no problems/difficulties on the 3 hr flight.
Daddy's in Charge? says
Skip a car seat or any sort of booster seat, arm your self with as many i devise as possible… the ipad is GREAT for planes. Keep him visually stimulated! Don’t worry about the harness, a lap seat belt is fine. Trust me if the plane is going down the harness is not going to protect your kid. Gate check a stroller, make sure you have plenty to drink, and GO TO THE BATHROOM BEFORE YOUR INITIAL DESCENT… ineveitably they have to go potty in that last moment before landing… always keep an empty cup on hand just in case. I know, shoot me, my kid has peed on landing, but it is WAY better than letting them pee their pants. Flying is not as bad as everyone thinks. BTW don’t fly Delta out of JFK… its the worst terminal on the planet, trust me!