June 05, 2011

Children in the Cabin

There was something on Facebook I couldn't let go today - perhaps it's because of my pregnancy hormones or just the fact that I am a parent, or just plainly a combination of both. Or maybe it's just because of our recent experience in our flight home to Vegas last weekend that got me fired up today (the so-called "open-seating" airline gave all of the passengers with kids assigned seats - EVERYONE OF US AT THE VERY BACK). Either way, I take no offense now (than I did earlier) because it shouldn't affect me at all (because C is such a good "flyer".. lol!) but I just think it was something I had to speak/talk about. It was about a friend's status on how she wishes that the 2-year old toddler and the infant who was aboard the aircraft she was in won't cry or throw tantrums...

.. and I get her point. IT IS not fun flying at all, let alone having frantic, screaming kids on-board especially when it's more than an hour flight. Not to brag or anything but Jesse and I have been fortunate enough with C because he's always been good with our flights - except for when we flew to the Philippines and back (couldn't blame him - a 15-18 hour flight one way is long enough for an adult, let alone for a toddler). But even then, he was content just to be walked around by his Dad.

(Flight back to the US from the Philippines)
I have to be honest - it WAS kind of bugging me (when I was single) whenever I flew and I heard babies or toddlers cry like they were being tortured, especially when it's non-stop. But ever since I became a parent, I just have to say it's just not that easy to wish your little one won't cry during the flight. For one thing, it is the parents (besides their own kids) who are the most uncomfortable flying with toddlers and babies in tow, and more so when their little ones cry. The parents are the ones who are having the hardest time among any others who are aboard the plane. They have to deal with the crying, with their kid, and with the embarrassment that they feel whenever their little ones throw tantrums. Adding up the annoyance of the other passengers and their sighs and whatever signs they make to let the parents know it's getting annoying doesn't make the flight any easier to the parents at all.

Sometimes the parents can't do anything about the crying. For one thing, it hurts the little ones' ears when the plane takes off and when it's about to land. And they don't know what to do yet because they're too young to know, unless their parents help them (by nursing them or giving them a bottle or something to suck on). Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Second, you won't ever know if that infant was colicky. Colicky children, based on what I've read in some books, are really hard to calm down. Third, you don't know if that child just wasn't feeling good and flying adds up to their stress (but for some darn good and important reasons, they just have to fly that day).

I rest my case. I just can't believe how we tend to get insensitive sometimes with what we say about other people just because we are not in those people's shoes (this is about something in general, not just parents with kids onboard). I have no problems with our little guy (can't say that yet about our second one or for when we fly with both of them) when we fly, but I do feel for some other parents who already have it hard and yet people just won't try to understand them. I think it would help the parents more if other passengers were a bit more friendly to them and actually offer help to them (especially if the parent is travelling alone with his/her kid/s).


  1. I agree! People have always been more helpful and kind when I've flown alone with my kids. It's when both parents are there people seem prone to complain (from what I've seen : )

  2. Let's be more sensitive to others' situations and be more charitable to them. Thanks, Nak.


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