Toddler kicked off a plane. It coulda been me...

Posted by Stacy Baas on May 16, 2012 2 Comments

A few weeks ago this headline caught my eye: "Two-Year-Old Throws Tantrum and gets kicked off Jet Blue Flight." I had an immediate moment of sympathy - for the little girl, whose FAA un-compliance will forever be part of family lore, and her parents who -- whether or not they could have done more to control their child -- left the plane to a humiliating round of applause at their departure.

Let's face it. Nobody wants to fly with a toddler, his or her parents included. Toddlers are mercurial, have little volume control, and can easily turn from darlings to darling little demons when a nap is missed, a snack is delayed, or simply because their socks aren't folded just so. Buckle them in for 3+ hours with just a few toys, no room to play, and no comfortable place to rest and you've just created what could easily turn into the perfect storm of tantrums. 

I won't go into whether I think the pilot was right or wrong in their decision to kick the family off the flight. I wasn't there nor am I daily responsible for safely transporting hundreds of people at 30,000 ft. But I will say that there are woefully few elements of plane travel that make it easy (or even slightly more manageable) for parents traveling with kids. 

So what's a parent to do? Over the next few weeks, I'll be collecting tips, ideas and words of wisdom about traveling with kids. Babies, toddlers, and even big kids - share whatever has worked for you here in the comments section. Hopefully we'll generate enough good ideas to keep all of us happily not ejected from our next flight. 

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Comments (2 Comments)

Posted by Stacy on May 17, 2012

So many snacks that the snacks can eat the snacks! I like that one…
For us, it’s stickers, stickers, stickers. We buy the packs teacher “paper grading” stickers because there are literally hundreds in each pack.

Posted by Cathy Erickson on May 17, 2012

I have had relatively good luck traveling with my toddlers so far but every trip is a roll of a dice! One thing that has worked for me in the past is bringing new pop-up books – the more intricate the better (such as the Bugs series by David A. Carter). Just accept that the books will be destroyed – a small price to pay for a decent stretch of quiet! Pop-ups are the only thing I’ve found that can hold little ones’ interest for a decent stretch of time…until they are old enough for an iPad, of course, and then life gets easier.

The other key, in the words of my husband: “Bring so many snacks that even the snacks can eat snacks.”

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