Child-free flight zones: what do you think?

(294 Posts)
HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 07-Feb-13 10:26:32

Morning. We've just seen this article in the Telegraph about a Malaysian airline which has launched 'quiet zones' on selected flights, where children under the age of 12 are not permitted to sit.

It seems that a recent poll of Telegraph Travel readers also found that nearly 70% would support the introduction of child-free flights.

What do you think?

Should people have the right to travel without being 'disturbed by noisy children'? Or not?

ImNotDrunkIJustCantType Thu 07-Feb-13 10:28:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HecateWhoopass Thu 07-Feb-13 10:30:32

Fair enough. As long as there are enough flights for everyone. And they don't push up the prices for family flights!

Do the "quiet zones" also exclude loud, annoying adults?

ImNotDrunkIJustCantType Thu 07-Feb-13 10:32:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I wonder in the long term, will there be more demand for family flights or child free flights? Because that will determine which will be cheaper. And will then be a equality claim saying families are discriminated against since we'll have to pay more for our flights? (It won't be a problem if family flights are cheaper because child free adults will not be excluded). Remember the equality of prices we now have in place for gender and insurance.

Jins Thu 07-Feb-13 10:34:54

By the time you took everyone off the plane that annoyed me I'd need a private jet sad

CMOTDibbler Thu 07-Feb-13 10:37:14

Fair enough. But I'd also like a no student area as the groups I find most annoying and disruptive are the big groups of 16-20 year olds who never shut up and keep moving around between seats all the flight.

LegoAcupuncture Thu 07-Feb-13 10:37:16

Can they stuff all the stag and hen party people on those flighs as well? Last times flew there was a hen party and they were very rowdy, shouting "we're going to crash" a few times and being general pains in the arse.

Maryz Thu 07-Feb-13 10:38:45

I'd like a "no elbows" zone.

Where people are only allowed if they guarantee not to monopolise my armrest.

But, yes, I have never understood why airlines don't simply put families together on long flights anyway. It makes sense.

EauRouge Thu 07-Feb-13 10:38:53

I'm in two minds.

I would be way more relaxed about taking the DDs on a flight if I took more valium knew that there was an alternative available if people really hated sharing a flight with children.

But I do really hate the way that children are seen as a 'lifestyle choice' and are expected to be not seen or heard. This kind of idea just reinforces that.

It would be nice if airlines could do a bit more for younger passengers (they have paid after all!) rather than just banning them from certain flights.

I wish they would ban people from pooing on planes, we also end up near the loos (2 young DDs) and I hate spending 8 hours having to smell other people's shit. Surely that's worse than listening to a baby cry?

@Maryz I want a no fat americans and fat elbow zone grin

And they do put families with very very young children on special rows. I've flown two short hauls and one long haul with DD, on three different airlines. They all reserved either the bulk head (ie first row) or last row for infants. I guess they can't do the same for those between 2-12.

And yes to banning hen and stag parties!

GreenEggsAndNichts Thu 07-Feb-13 10:42:44

Will they be introducing family-friendly flights, then? Because it would be lovely to be able to fly and not have to constantly be on edge that DS might make a sound.

And agree- will these quiet zones exclude drunken idiots who feel the need to chat you up for half the flight? That would be nice.

While we're at it, we should have 'no reclining' zones.

Flying is annoying. These people making a point of being in the "over 12" part of the plane are just going to end up having something else irritating them.

By the way, even in the time before DC, I almost never had problems with children on planes, and I've flown quite a lot. I can, however, clearly remember the drunken boor across the aisle from me going on about his black Amex card and wanting to discuss every game I was playing or film I was watching.. for hours. hmm

There are as many badly behaved/loud adults as there are children, could they be removed from all flights please? My 4YO is quieter, politer and better at queuing than half the idiots we come across at the airport. It is a good idea as long as, like Hecate says, the family flights do not cost more and the availability is ok. Also, a valid point from Lego. Perhaps hen and stag parties should have separate planes....

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Thu 07-Feb-13 10:42:58

But if there are children in row 6 or row 15, how does this help? Looks like a gimmick to me <shrug>

GetOrf Thu 07-Feb-13 10:44:52

I think it is a good idea.

mumblechum1 Thu 07-Feb-13 10:45:16

Excellent idea.

Last time we flew to Italy it was just unbelievably loud, about 5 or 6 babies all howling at the same time!

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Thu 07-Feb-13 10:46:01

But mumble, those same babies would still be on the plane, just further forward or further back.

CamillaDickinson Thu 07-Feb-13 10:48:38

Depends - would the airlines go after business travelers (where the margins are) by making the majority of flights or those at most convenient times child-free? I'd be annoyed by that but could easily see it happening.

iwillsleepagainsomeday Thu 07-Feb-13 10:49:20

i think people are becoming less and less tolerant of each other and more and more rude themselves. maybe if everybody would just live in a plastic box with no annoyances of others , they would be happier?

iwillsleepagainsomeday Thu 07-Feb-13 10:50:22

mumble: i know there are nicer things then flying with screaming babies around but hey that's life u know?

orangina Thu 07-Feb-13 10:50:59

Fab idea. Benefits everyone AFAAIC....

Do children magically become quiet at 12?

Merrylegs Thu 07-Feb-13 10:51:40

I would like a no recliners, no farters, no sneezers and coughers, no loud chewers, no snoggers, no swearers, no 'lads', no seat spillers or hoggers, no boozers, no loud headphoners, no window blind fiddlers, no 'cabin baggage' stuffers, no chatty folk, no snorers and no nervous flyers. If that could be arranged. Thank you.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Thu 07-Feb-13 10:51:49

If you read the article, it's only 7 rows of the plane, enough that you aren't sitting next to or being kicked by a child but wont stop being disturbed by noise

I doubt entire flights would ban children, for purely economic reasons, airlines fill seats however they can. Unless they have some commuter flughts (say London-Frankfurt at 6.30am or a London-NY "red eye") that are always pretty much booked out. Can't see an objection to zones though - as others say they would have to be "quiet zones" - which could mean no under 12s but also generally for people prepared to be quiet, otherwise what is the point? Perhaps "No under 12s, no groups of more than 4 booking together" in the quiet zone would cover a lot of it. Problem is of course, once booking conditions are met, you can't really throw people who break the "quiet" rule despite being adults not travelling in a large group off a plane, the way you could theoretically with a train etc... grin

The most disruptive and annoying person I was ever on a flight with was a very drunk young woman in her early 20s, travelling on her own, who kept wandering the plane and very overtly flirting with random business men, who to their credit all seemed very embarrassed by it, and making passing unpleasant comments to women sitting near her chosen flirtations. She didn't get loud til mid flight, when she also started climbing over seats, and 2 stewardesses escorted her to the back of the plane - fortunately the flight was half empty. Very odd. I know they aren't meant to let drunk people onto flights at all, but I assume nobody noticed initially.

AmberSocks Thu 07-Feb-13 10:55:33

i think this sends out another bad message out about children and families.

We live in a really child unfriendly society as it is and things like this make it worse.

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 07-Feb-13 10:56:13

It's a brilliant idea.

Katnisscupcake Thu 07-Feb-13 10:59:06

I also think this is a great idea.

Before I had DD, I really didn't like being on flights with children. Screaming, crying, being sick, kicking the back of my chair etc etc. It made me unusually ragey!

Now having DD, she is nearly four and we've never been on a plane, mostly because of how I used to feel about DC on planes, I didn't want anyone to have to listen to DD crying/whining etc.

So I think it would be less stressful for other passengers to not have children in the quiet zone, and also less stressful for parents who don't have to worry that their DCs are annoying everyone else!

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 07-Feb-13 11:02:00

For those people saying children are not a lifestyle choice - no, they definitely aren't. But flying is. Unless it comes with your job (like for me) in which case you don't have your own kids with you, you might possibly be missing them, and you certainly don't want or need anybody else's kids on a jolly making your flight (during which you may need to be working) horrible.

zzzzz Thu 07-Feb-13 11:02:08

Awful. There are places I don't take my children because it is inappropriate for the children (bars, casino, etc), I can't imagine why I would keep them away otherwise. They are people, not some subspecies. shock

ComradeJing Thu 07-Feb-13 11:04:37

You know in my fairly extensive experience of flying most airlines do put children and young families together already. And most babies are quiet for take off and landing. And most parents of really young children turn metaphorical cartwheels to keep children quiet.

So my feeling is... People just need need to toughen up wrt children on flights. It's going to be - max - 16 odd hours out of your life and if arriving rested to your destination is so important then fly business.

A flight is not some weird child inappropriate place where it is unreasonable for children to be. It's not the 8pm sitting in a restaurant.

EauRouge Thu 07-Feb-13 11:05:10

Yes, flying is a lifestyle choice. So why should it be more important for anyone? If it's work then fly business class.

ScramblyEgg Thu 07-Feb-13 11:06:00

I agree with Amber and zzzzz. It's a bad idea as it reinforces the idea that children aren't fully human, and should be sectioned off into their own separate world.

It's ridiculous to expect to get through life without ever experiencing the slightest inconvenience.

Russians flying is not a choice for some. My parents live in HK and the ILs in NZ. They are too old to fly. It's easier for us to do it. There are often many children on the flight to NZ, exactly for this reason. I guess that's why my experience with DD on long haul hasn't been bad. Other fellow passangers are very friendly with her.

ComradeJing that's my experience too. At least with an infant, I'm always at the front or the end row. BTW, DD has been to business class to Spain too. She drove the guy sitting next to DH away grin. But they have enough seats in business class to spread out anyway. We flew Iberia (me in cattle class, DH on business in business class). The Spainish flight attendents were angels with DD.

zzzzz Thu 07-Feb-13 11:13:05

<whispers 8pm sitting in a restaurant is OK with me too, assuming children are not falling asleep in their chairs>

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 07-Feb-13 11:13:39

@one of course it's a choice for you.

Maryz Thu 07-Feb-13 11:17:41

But <whispers> having children is a lifestyle choice.

Pretty much everything is a lifestyle choice, but choosing to have children and then choosing to take them places is something we all do. The question is whether we should be allowed to let our choices affect other people.

So is it ok to take a child onto a plane if it is going to cry? Is it ok to take a child to a restaurant if it is going to run around? I would get cross if an adult disturbed my plane journey, or ran around a romantic restaurant in the evening.

It really is up to parents to ensure (as much as possible) that neither they or their children disturb other people's lives. It's called being responsible and considerate, isn't it?

HecateWhoopass Thu 07-Feb-13 11:19:30

Yes. It's a choice as in she could choose to not see her parents or in laws, ever.

Same as you could choose to give up your job in order to not fly. Get a different job, one that didn't involve travel.

There's choice and there's choice grin

Merrylegs Thu 07-Feb-13 11:19:46

Really they should just have flights for obnoxious and entitled folk and flights for reasonable folk.

In general it is the person in charge of the annoying child who is the problem.

As comradejing said, most reasonable people do their very best to keep a child entertained and quiet on a flight.

That same person would most likely be considerate to other passengers if they were flying without their children.

The obnoxious folk just don't care if their kids are causing a rumpus, kicking seats, yelling etc. These same folk if travelling on their own will most likely be the seat recliners, the seat hoggers, the noisy eaters etc. Because they don't care about the impact on their fellow passengers.

So yes, two kinds of flights please.

The 'we're crammed in a tube arse to cheek breathing each others air for 8 hours so lets see if we can all be mindful and self contained and responsible and try and make it a tolerable experience' flyers

And the 'it's my arse, my cheek, my air and my tube. I paid money for this seat and the rest of you can just bog off' flyer.

EauRouge Thu 07-Feb-13 11:20:17

No. Going to the gym is a lifestyle choice. Being a vegetarian is a lifestyle choice. Society would be pretty fucked if people didn't have children.

I hate the whole children are a sub-species thing. The UK is awful in that respect. I see far worse behaviour in adults. I am not staying in the UK for my holidays just because some people need that stick out of their behind removed quiet. Agree with someone further upthread who said about braying types, they are usually the ones who frown on children whilst being loud themselves.

Merrylegs, very well put. I agree.

jetlag Thu 07-Feb-13 11:23:59

@OneLittleToddlingTerror So fat Brits are OK? Unbelievable.

Maryz Thu 07-Feb-13 11:24:32

Merrylegs, they do.

They are called "economy" and "first class".

The trouble is all the people who are in economy feeling resentful because they think they deserve to be in first class.

Eau, it is a lifestyle choice ^for those who choose it". Those who don't choose it, shouldn't have to adjust for it. Obviously if everyone stopped choosing it society as a whole would be fucked, but I don't agree that childless people should in some way be grateful to others for having children and put themselves out for those children.

Ekka Thu 07-Feb-13 11:25:05

Ah, but Westjet is one step ahead wink

westjet kargo kids

zzzzz Thu 07-Feb-13 11:26:45

If you use public transport you have to shar your journey with the public. Children are part of the public, simples.

Same with a public restaurant, you can hire a private room if you don't want to mix with the masses.

Ekka Thu 07-Feb-13 11:28:01

And for anyone wondering, yes it was an April fool.

Though when I had to take 3 dc to Canada this Xmas by myself and had dc3 wanting to run up and down the plane and smack anyone who was sleeping to wake them up (he was only 16m and no, I didn't let him do that) I did actually think it seemed like a good idea!!

EuroShagmore Thu 07-Feb-13 11:28:45

It's a great idea.

EauRouge Thu 07-Feb-13 11:30:49

I'm not saying child-free people should be grateful but it would be nice if children weren't treated as an annoyance until they were old enough to be useful. I don't see why families should have to change their plans because some people are annoyed by children on planes. You don't get to pick and choose who uses public transport.

Eskino Thu 07-Feb-13 11:31:01

My kids are great on flights. Mostly they sleep or do quiet activities.

I would resent being forced to fly and put up with other people's supposedly noisy brats when I've put in a lot of hard work training mine to be well behaved.

@LittleAbruzzenBear I hate the whole children are a sub-species thing. The UK is awful in that respect. I don't like it too, but I don't want to say it loud as I'm foreign myself. It's not just Asians who are friendly with children (I think I mentioned it upthread). But I found the Spanish really good too.

@jetlag Sorry, it's just tongue in cheek. I don't think anyone should be segregated because of size, age, etc. There are obnoxious people regardless of age.

Maryz Thu 07-Feb-13 11:34:48

Personally I think cages playpens in the cargo area would be good.

You know the way these days no-one takes any luggage any more because it's so fecking expensive? Couldn't they use the cargo zone as a big softplay area, with cots etc. Put all the kids in there, and then just before take-off, blow in a nice gentle soothing gas to put them all to sleep.

They could be unloaded and delivered on arrival

GreenEggsAndNichts Thu 07-Feb-13 11:35:09

Agree with Hecate. If we never flew, DS would almost never see his grandparents.

Flying is not a magical once-in-lifetime experience, it's public transport. Of course I try to keep him from disturbing other people, and most of the time I'm successful.

WillSantaComeAgain Thu 07-Feb-13 11:37:37

Child free sections on the plane, fine idea. Go for it. Then at least there is an outside chance of families being able to sit together, rather than separated by a loud, obnoxious group of 20 somethings getting hammered.

Child free flights? Yes, if they put a premium on the child free flights. Otherwise, the people on the flight should remember that they are paying pittance to fly on public transport. If they don't like it, they should pay to fly in a private jet grin. And no, just because you've paid to fly first class, it doesn't entitle you to have a child free section either, as if there are children in there, they presumably have paid for the privalege. (Or their parents have).

underthemountain Thu 07-Feb-13 11:41:08

Personally I have never been annoyed by children on a flight. And adults can be just as annoying!

Maryz - great idea, but with the wrong people in the cages. It needs to be entitled, whinging sorts in the cargo. Perhaps then the remaining adults and children could have a pleasant flight? Pay for a private jet if you don't like people.

Maryz Thu 07-Feb-13 11:43:38

True Bear. And special poisonous soporific gas for the hen/stag groups. They could do the cargo area up like a nightclub, herd them all down there, and let them pass out for the duration.

SnakesheadFritillary Thu 07-Feb-13 11:43:52

There might be a case for 'family friendly' flights or areas, but I think this is a bit pointless in terms of placating other people. Yes, noisy children can be trying, but they are far from being the worst offenders on the many long haul flights I've been on. If anything I love sitting near anyone smaller than me. And if a child is repeatedly kicking the back of your seat, it's easier to politely ask their parent to ask them to stop than it is to ask a drunken adult to stop kneeing you or whacking their seat back in your face while you're eating.

Anyway, top quality ear plugs really take the edge off

Now you're talking Mary!

SilverMoo Thu 07-Feb-13 11:45:35

And no fat people flights too, I hate it when they bulge into my seat... Also no smelly people or people who recline their seat.

Seriously though, I think it depends on the child, some are better behaved than adults on flights.

bumhead Thu 07-Feb-13 11:46:39

I would like to see either each seat cubicled off or at least some sort of curtain contraption so I can have a bit of privacy on flights.
Again I find it offensive that DC are seen as a lifestyle choice, they are PEOPLE.
Unless they are planning on installing a sound barrier or something I don't see how this could work. Also it kind of 'downgrades' families as humans to my mind.

Hullygully Thu 07-Feb-13 11:48:20

i dunno

Viviennemary Thu 07-Feb-13 11:50:08

I think it's a good idea. But on the other hand adults can be just as annoying or even more annoying than children.

TryDrawing Thu 07-Feb-13 11:52:58

I think that this is a good idea. Some adults are too intolerant to be allowed to sit near children. Putting those adults in a separate section of the aircraft is only sensible.

However, I would also suggest another section for generally wilfully noisy and annoying people. Stag parties spring to mind from a recent upleasant experience of being seated in the middle of a conversation about finding "slappers" and "hitting that"

PrincessFiorimonde Thu 07-Feb-13 11:54:22

I don't see how it would work. If children can only sit in 7 rows (say), you could buy your child-free zone ticket and find you were sitting in the 8th row, couldn't you?

So would you have to have:
rows 1-7 for families with young children
rows 8-15 for people who don't mind children much
rows 16-30 for people who want to be well away from children (but would still hear them if they scream/see them if they run up and down the aisles)

confused

LabelsGalore Thu 07-Feb-13 11:55:39

It's a very bad idea iom.
It puts children as second class citizens, the ones that you should been seen but not heard.
Forgetting that all these adults that are complaining have been children themselves (and probably have children themselves!).

If you want a 'quiet' zone then make it a 'quiet' zone wo restriction on age or whatever. As other have said, it's not just children that can be disruptive (Actually, I think I have seen more adults being disruptive because they don't have anyone to tell them off, distract them etc...). On the other side, you have children that extremely well behaved and are NOT a disruption at all.
That's what you find in trains (and yes that includes no lour music for example) and imho would work much better.

foofooyeah Thu 07-Feb-13 11:56:31

There are already child free zones on [planes and have been for years

Its called FIRST CLASS - a lot of airlines only allow passengers over 12 in first class. so if you want a child free flight just pay the thousands of pounds for a first class ticket!

SilverMoo Thu 07-Feb-13 11:57:40

I actually think it's a good idea, I don't want my family to be seated around awful people tutting and shooting nasty looks, I would much rather be with other families. So yes, but for my benefit more than theirs!

LabelsGalore Thu 07-Feb-13 11:58:28

Also are we talking about a 2 hour flight or a 12 hour flight there?

because tbh, in a 2 hour flight to another European country, it does feel over the top (Although I like the area for 'Intolerant People' rather than an area with 'No children' or even a 'Quiet Area').
For a 12 hours journey, a bigger plane etc... that is more understandable and easy to organize. After all, we use to have some 'smoking areas' in the planes too.

LabelsGalore Thu 07-Feb-13 11:59:31

I am wondering why some people automatically associate child = disruptive though....

Labels long haul already have children zone. At least all the babies are together already.

noseynoonoo Thu 07-Feb-13 12:04:39

Excellent idea - then even if I am without my children I can choose to sit with other people's children rather than the type of baby-boomer who would want to be in a child-free zone. I doubt however that they would want to pay any extra.

I have never been annoyed by a child on a flight but plenty of older men have been unpleasant to share cabin-space with and I can think of 2 men on 2 flights who made me cry. Give me the children any day of the week.

SilverMoo Thu 07-Feb-13 12:06:30

LabelsGalore - I think it's more kerfuffle and noise than disruption. The majority of younger children whine, laugh loudly and get in and out their seat often on long flights, and babies cry.

Maryz Thu 07-Feb-13 12:09:33

You know what I would like - child only spaces on planes.

So all us adults can sit happily at the front downing vodka and there could be a sort of creche at the back, with qualified nannies entertaining the children.

That would do.

Now, we would also need qualified bouncers and a separate space for the stag/hen parties, and qualified police for the drunks, and qualified accountants to frighten the businessmen into submission, and qualified engineers to measure up and make decisions on fair arm-rest division

<wanders off point somewhat>

LabelsGalore Thu 07-Feb-13 12:11:38

The last long haul flight I took didn't have any though. I was sat next to woman with a little baby. Said baby was quiet for the whole 8 hours of the flight, either sleeping or bfing wo a few 'awake' moments.

RedToothBrush Thu 07-Feb-13 12:11:51

Babies are slightly different, but IME its not children on long haul flights that are a problem. Its children on short haul flights... which is an entirely different can of worms... and begs the question about why children are actually annoying on flights.

Long haul, the problem is more with adults who get drunk or don't fit in their seat and think, particularly because I'm small, that its ok to take up half of mine too (ironically usually businessmen types!).

Lets be honest about this, the reason they are doing this, isn't really to improve the experience of passengers, its so they can create another category of seating and charge (and probably more likely businesses rather than child free couples) more for the privilege.

Don't forget that you are more likely to die in the front rows in a plane crash, than further back, so first classes and child free seats aren't necessarily the best seats anyway!

LabelsGalore Thu 07-Feb-13 12:13:51

And I imagine that for people who want a 'No children Zone' actually, kerfuffle and noise = disruptive people

Labels they might have used up all the bulk head and the end row. Most of the airlines do it on a allocate-by-age basis. I didn't get a bassinet on one of the flights because they had 8 babies younger than my 18mo that time. I was allocated the last row next to the toilets. They are able to block the seat next to us though so we have our own row. It all depends on how full the planes are, and who is on it. The airlines don't want to annoy the other passengers either. But they do like to fully book it so they make more profit.

silverfrog Thu 07-Feb-13 12:20:18

fine, as long as:

child-friendly flights are not more expensive/only available on certain routes/times.

it isn't (airline wink) class restrictive - don't want children all relegated to back of cattle class, for eg.

there are other 'exclusive' zones - eg no drinking (alcohol) would cut out a lot of disruption/loud brayers.

It does annoy me when people rant about children on flights - mine have never been disruptive for more than 30 seconds (and even that is rare - happened once when dd2 was separated from me, and dd1 could hear her crying so also got upset. but then if the airline had sat us together as requested, and booked rather than shifting us about, that would never have happened anyway), but that doesn't stop them being eyeballed as soon as they set foot on a plane.

MaryIngalls Thu 07-Feb-13 12:23:01

Trains have quiet zones - they don't ban kids AFAIK but I don't get in if DD is with me, don't see why people shouldn't have the same choice on flights. As others mentioned, it's upto the airlines to see if they can fill up flights with these restrictions. My DD can be quiet as a mouse and really well behaved. On other occasions, she can be a bit too full of beans. I hate getting dirty looks from others. Am all for it if airlines can make it work!

Maryz Thu 07-Feb-13 12:24:38

As an aside, I cannot understand by all flights aren't "no alcohol".

I know the likes of Ryanair makes most of it's money from inflight sales, but still. If you got rid of the alcohol you would get rid of a lot of bad adult behaviour, and also a lot of irritability at children's behaviour.

In fact, I would back that - alcohol free flights.

detoxlatte Thu 07-Feb-13 12:34:45

Terrible idea.

We are already intolerant enough of normal, human-life stuff as it is (old people, disabled people, people who don't speak English well enough or with the right accent, people who drive big cars, people who drive too slowly etc etc), this would be just another nail in the coffin of harmonious collective living.
More divisions and segregation should not be encouraged.

No man is an island. Divide and rule doesn't work.

If, however, this meant that I could leave my cretin of a child at home with its Dad and jet off on holiday myself, with the excuse that kids can't fly at all on my chosen flight, I think it'd be a great idea grin .

LabelsGalore Thu 07-Feb-13 12:38:31

One but that isn't a 'child zone' that's just where they can actually put the bassinet on. It has always been like this, even 30 years ago and no one was talking about 'child zone'.

And as you said, this is about little babies only (who are likely to sleep through it) not for toddlers and older children.
What the proposal is about is a zone where no children under 12yo can go. Not quite the same thing.

What I have seen is the airline trying to put families in the middle row so that 'everyone can be sat next to each other' rather than using the seats next to the window or the aisle (as they are, of course, much more in demand).
But it was never signposted as an area for children or families.

LabelsGalore Thu 07-Feb-13 12:39:51

Maryz yy to alcohol free flights.
just we have alcohol free trains where I live think about the number of times I have seen people drinking alcohol in the train at 7.00am

None of this would be neccessary if everyone had a bit of consideration for everyone else around them.

Merrylegs Thu 07-Feb-13 12:55:14

If it's about money, actually the people with kids will have paid more for their seats so really they should call the shots.

Especially on a 'budget' airline where the single traveller may have only paid 37p and be able to pack their sarong, suntan lotion and novelty condoms into their free carry on baggage.

With such a bargainous flight they should put up and shut up.

The family with three kids have had to shell out for five full price tickets when over half of them aren't earning anything. Plus have to pay extra for hold luggage because they can't cram the clothes and the nappies and the nintendos and the sweets and the blankies and the books into a carry on bag the size of a pea.

Try.As.They.Might.

Mudwiggle Thu 07-Feb-13 12:59:41

I'd have agreed with this a few years ago when kids paid half the adult price, but considering how much it costs to fly a 2 year old now, they can bugger off.... [grumpy]

CaptainVonTrapp Thu 07-Feb-13 13:12:30

So Air Asia will fly their planes with empty seats rather than allowing children in rows 1-7?

Given that childrens tickets are virtually full price, I very much doubt this will succeed if that happened even once.

And what about the drunk, snoring 'business man' in row 1? Will they roll him to the back with the feral animals children?

As for all the claims that people are "working" and flying for business, not for choice and can't be disturbed by crying children. Your self importance is staggering. Get a new job if you can't tolerate sharing what is essentially public transport with other people.

Mudwiggle Thu 07-Feb-13 13:14:15

Maryz - now that I would happily pay extra for!

Fillyjonk75 Thu 07-Feb-13 13:27:18

Can I sit in the child free bit while my kids sit in the normal bit? smile

LeonieDeSainteVire Thu 07-Feb-13 13:30:15

I hate this kind of attitude - we are all humans and certain groups should not be discriminated against because they are a bit noisier or less attractive than others.

Besides as so many have said some children are noisy on flights and some are well behaved, same with adults really. We need good behaviour on flights for and from everyone and maybe with a little kindness too.

No alcohol flights would be interesting, you'd have to have no alcohol airports too.

As an aside, I cannot understand by all flights aren't "no alcohol".

I couldn't get through the 8 hour flight to Antigua without my one vodka and orange and the little bottle of wine that comes with the main meal!

Maryz Thu 07-Feb-13 13:31:37

SDTG, that it the most ridiculously radical suggestion I have ever seen shock

Lavenderhoney Thu 07-Feb-13 13:34:22

I fly loads with my dc alone and with dh. Kids don't fly for free and have every right to be on the plane.

Recently I found my and dc seats on the plane and before we even sat down the woman in front started shouting about kids on flights and she had no intention of being disturbed all the flight etc etc. I don't let mine play with the trays, but I could have easily made an exception in her case. She called over the cabin crew who told her that she could not be moved - methinks the lady was hoping for an upgrade, and they pointed out my dc hadn't made a sound yet as they were in fact asleep. That made for a nice atmosphere on the long haul.

Flying home, I was again screeched at by a woman travelling alone with dc. Mine were chatting to each other and giggling at normal volume at a programme on the telly thing. She told me my dc should be like hers and sit in silence so not to disturb adults. She also informed me she gave her dc sleeping pilll!!! So it's ok for adults to chat and laugh then?

If people want to pay extra let them. I don't like segregation though, on the grounds children are annoying. Adults are just as annoying IMO on flights. In fact at least I dont have to worry I will be next to some drunken idiot now. I have my lovely dc instead.

Fowey123 Thu 07-Feb-13 13:37:09

Like many others its certainly not the kids that cause the most problems!

rubyrubyruby Thu 07-Feb-13 13:38:23

Great idea

abitcoldupnorth Thu 07-Feb-13 13:48:03

Whatever. Probably won't work cos there's always going to be the rows behind and in front of the child section which no one's going to want to be in.

Also I agree with Merrylegs

And the toddler's T-shirt which says 'Please be nice to me, I'll be paying your pension'.

BeCool Thu 07-Feb-13 13:54:08

I can honestly say I've never been annoyed by children on a flight. Not even ebfore I had them myselves, And I've flown LOADS

BeCool Thu 07-Feb-13 13:55:30

I have been annoyed on flights by a Nun, a sweaty fucker, idiots taking drugs and drinking on flights, drunks, rampant recliners - all of whom were adults.

I have been very annoyed indeed by children on the train, BeCool. Sadly they were mine! If I recall correctly, on one long, long journey back up from Penzance on the intercity train, I abandoned the children with dh, so he could suppress them, went into the vestibule and screamed silently, then bought myself a gin and tonic from the buffet. The alternative was killing them.

BeCool that reminded me of a very annoying buddist monk I met on a flight. He demanded us to move for him because he wanted our seats! (We were childless back then). DH politely told him we couldn't move because DH has a vegetarian meal. I'd have told him to f off.

Figgygal Thu 07-Feb-13 14:06:22

I am torn by this as i fly across the UK to see my friends and family 5/6 times a year and now take my little boy with me there is no alternative choice other than driving or train for 10 hours a time when i can do it door to door in less than 4. Luckily that flight is 1-1.5 hours long not long haul and i can just about control him in that time (though he is only 13mo his first flight was at 6weeks), i wouldnt want to take him on long haul though.

I used to be very judgey about children on flights as i am sure some people are about me but i am taking him to see his grandparents and have come to appreciate that others are doing the same...that said i am still judgey about parents who take their children on inappropriate holidays with long flights and late nights when they are there. They wont remember the holiday and are going solely for their parents enjoyment, when i had children i accepted it meant exotic foreign jaunts were a luxury and a sacrifice needed to be made. Though i am desperate for a holiday now to go on one would be mightily hypocritical of me so am looking at wet weeks on the south coast for a few more years.

Obviously still conflicted!!!!

Chopstheduck Thu 07-Feb-13 14:12:03

I'd love the idea. I have kids, but sometimes I want a break from them, and then I don't necessary want to listen to other people's children screaming then neither, and I expect other people feel the same about mine!

I went away last year without the kids was loving the freedom, and we went to a very exclusive party. A large group came over with about 10 children amongst themselves, and proceeded to sit all their children on our table. I wouldn't have minded, but there wasn't even the adults, just all their kids! We ran like hell. Being a parent doesn't mean you don't occasionally want a bit of adult time.

Quenelle Thu 07-Feb-13 14:13:01

My first reaction was 'Oh that's a good idea, we wouldn't have to worry about annoying the other passengers'.

But then I thought actually no, I don't want this, I don't want DS to spend the next 10 years segregated into 'family' areas at 'family' times whenever we dare to take him out and inflict him on the public.

If we want children to learn how to behave in society, they have to live 'in' society. Not sectioned off in some primary-coloured, cartoony world until they become teenagers and are suddenly expected to behave like young adults.

We were all children once, and grew out of it. If adults can't bear to be around them for the duration of a flight they can pay extra and segregate themselves.

Chopstheduck Thu 07-Feb-13 14:14:49

I also went to a rugby match with my eldest son a few weeks ago and the kids behind me kept kicking our seats constantly and the mum was standing dead in front of us to take pictures of her little darlings. hmm

I don't think it is so much about even wanting to get away from the kids, it;s the inconsiderate parents. I told the children behind us 4 or 5 times to stop kicking our seats (firmly and politely) the parents were oblivious. They'd stop for a bit, then start again.

FranglaisMaman Thu 07-Feb-13 14:20:06

Let's have a fat tax instead and make the overweight passengers pay more - have lost count of the amount of times I have been crushed in my seat because the person next to me is spilling over onto me. Having skin to skin contact with a walrus thrust upon me is unfair I think.

I can see both sides with children on flights. I fly very often and it's an ordeal if there are children screaming and kicking off the whole time. Especially if you're trying to get some sleep and you get none because of whingy kids. Also get very angry at parents who don't stop their children kicking the back of your seat, urgh! Usually I don't like to confront them so sit there being kicked in the back the whole time angry - why should I? However, now I am pregnant and I am DREADING flying with my baby as I'll be terrified if they make a noise or get fussy on the flight or fill their nappy and stink the place out (shudders). Because I have been on the receiving end and wouldn't want to inflict my child on other passengers. So I think I'd feel more comfortable in a kid-friendly zone with people in the same situation as myself.

PuffPants Thu 07-Feb-13 14:20:15

Does that mean all the families would have to sit together? Gah! I try to avoid sitting anywhere near other people's children tbh.

FranglaisMaman Thu 07-Feb-13 14:21:51

Oh and for the previous posters who mentioned the recliners - TOTALLY AGREE!! My pet hate. I never recline mine, esp on short flights, to avoid being a pain in the arse. Space is at a premium as it is on these flights without having your nose pressed up against the seat in front of you - urgh! Can you tell I hate flying yet? smile

JollyRedGiant Thu 07-Feb-13 14:27:33

I haven't read the whole thread. I would be totally supportive of family friendly flights. Like family friendly cinema screenings. When you don't have to worry about your small child crying or upsetting the people next to you with your 14th rendition of The Gruffalo from memory because the person next to you gives you evil looks every time you take a book out of your bag. It is distinctly possible my last flying experience, with a 14mo has scarred me for life. And also caused the people next to us to think twice before they fly again.

Kooza Thu 07-Feb-13 14:28:27

Agree with the poster who said that the problem is more the parents than the children.
We have flown a LOT with our kids, there are 3 of them and I have had so many "Please God don't let me be sitting near them" looks off people!

At the end of the flight, without fail those same people always give big smiles and comment on how good the kids were.

I take snacks, books, DVD players, puzzles, colouring things and games. I prepare for at least one change of clothes and the children have been drilled that travelling on trains or planes requires that they "use quiet voices, don't run around and NEVER kick anyone's seat".

I personally wouldn't want to be herded into some separate section where we are banded together with all the other families who don't take such measures just because we are "a family" and therefore a disruptive element!

CelineMcBean Thu 07-Feb-13 14:29:42

Brilliant idea. Can I also request that there is a seperate area from me for my children? One where they are kept entertained, safe and fed? Then I could really enjoy my holiday!

LabelsGalore Thu 07-Feb-13 14:35:55

I agree that it would make it much worse to have all the families together. You have one child starting to make noise, they will all want to do the same. One stating to move around, get up and 'why can't get up too?'.

I have seen that happening in restaurant too. Take a ;child friendly' restaurant. The waiter comes and gives some colouring stuff. A few kids gets up, there is some noise and I end up spending most of the time trying to ensure that my dcs 'behave'. Then we go to an 'adult restaurant' There is no colouring sheets, no crayons and I have 2 perfectly behaved children...

The issue here is more about parents that are inconsiderate towards other passengers rather than the children themselves. (ie they could ask them to stop kicking the seat in front of them, be stopped from playing with the tray, stopped when they scream etc...).

And Franglaismaman, when a baby fill its nappy, it just does. It can't stop himself from doing so. It's not horrible, it's not disgusting. It's a normal physiological act. Why on earth should anyone be worried (or annoyed) about a baby being in good health?
Tbh my experience of flying with young dcs is that I've had people commenting on well behaved my dcs were when I thought they have been a nightmare to people around. I also have had people offering help. So perhaps, the issue is more with a few grumpy people rather than the majority?

LabelsGalore Thu 07-Feb-13 14:36:49

xpost Kooza, same experience here....

Zara1984 Thu 07-Feb-13 14:39:40

Bloody brilliant idea. And I say this having just flown to and from NZ with 4 week old and them 14 week old DS. He was an angel and slept most of the journey, but of course sometimes he did cry for a few minutes and disturbed passengers around us. 24 hours is a long time to spend in the immediate radius of a small baby, and I'd totally understand while people would not choose to sit near us!

Yes children are people and their parents have paid for their seats, but people fly for lots of different reasons. Many people travel for work etc and need to try and rest on the flight as much as possible. Some children are well behaved but others are not or their parents seem to think its alright for their little darlings to terrorise others.

I imagine the airline is going to try and charge extra for this, and if I or DH were travelling for work, I'd definitely pay extra. No different from hotels/resorts which don't allow under-12s.

And hmm to the person who said they disagreed with parents taking children on "inappropriate" holidays /long flights when children are young. How do you propose I and DS get to see my relatives otherwise? Most people travelling with young babies I met on the flights were going to visit family too.

exexpat Thu 07-Feb-13 14:51:38

Meh. I've been flying regularly with DCs since they were 3 months old, lots of long-haul flights, and apart from inevitable occasional crying when they were tiny (most often solved by shoving a boob in their mouths) they have been perfectly well-behaved and civilised travellers from toddlerhood - but it does take quite a lot of planning on the parent's part. Personally I have been much more disturbed by drunken businessmen, but I guess they are more likely to be Telegraph readers than my children are.

If an airline had that policy, I would probably choose to fly with someone else.

Zara1984 Thu 07-Feb-13 14:55:50

grin grin Exexpat about Telegraph-reading drunk sleazes....

EauRouge Thu 07-Feb-13 15:03:18

Exactly; choosing to go on a long haul flight with children just for a holiday? No thanks! We also go to visit family. The DDs have only met half of their family twice.

I get so nervous about flying, partly because I've always hated it and partly because I'm worried about someone getting arsey with the DDs mid-flight and not being able to get away from them. I always go totally overboard bringing thousands of sticker books and chocolate buttons to keep them quiet. But this 'children shouldn't be on planes' attitude keeps me on edge.

CarlingBlackMabel Thu 07-Feb-13 15:12:49

"Because then, no fucker can whinge about children on their flight EVER AGAIN"

I fly with children and would be in the 'family' zone and still whinge about some parents and some children. Of course some crying, loud enthusiastic talking and singing, flinging of grapes and wax crayons is to be expected, but allowing your child to vigorously kick the seat in front for 8 hours is too much. As is allowing your children to lean over the seat in front patting the occupant on the head and shrieking with laughter for 2 hours. Or lean over the seat behind and spit and blow raspberries.

But it's true - adults can be just as annyoing anyway.

I don't know why they have set rows - why don't they fill up frpm the front with child-free, and fill up from the back with families until they meet in the middle when the flight is full?

BoffinMum Thu 07-Feb-13 15:14:40

So to sum up:

It's OK to talk, laugh and shout your head off
It's OK for an obese person to take up more space than they are due
It's OK to get completely rat arsed and annoy the person next to you

But only if you are over 12. If you are under 12, you have to sit in a ghetto in case you are annoying at some point in the flight. So if you are a secondary school pupil wanted to read your magazine in peace, or play on your DSi, you are forced to sit surrounded by random babies and toddlers purely on grounds of age.

This actually happened to us on a Lufthansa plane. Some berk of a check in clerk made all the kids sit squashed in about 3 rows at the back on a plane that was less than half full (all the other rows had one person on). She basically set up an unofficial ghetto system. We were boxed in for ages while the stewardesses were fiddling about, and the kids couldn't get out to go to the loo or anything. When we complained the stewardesses gave us an earful. At that point, everyone rebelled, moved and spread themselves out on the plane in a more sensible fashion.

My view with regard to flight ghettos is that these are public transport systems. If people want peace and quiet, they should hire a private jet or put in earplugs.

In terms of keeping children more compliant on planes:

Make departure lounges and security processes more restful.
Allow small children to completely bypass queues and other things that wind them up.
Provide small activities and distractions on planes, like they did until about 10-15 years ago. Allow the cabin crew time to interact with children and give them training.
Prioritise small children for meals, drinks and toilets, etc.

It's not hard.

Pyrrah Thu 07-Feb-13 15:20:05

My worry with a family section is that it would set a whole load of children off and make it potentially worse.

I take DD on long-haul flights - I travel for work and she comes with me as there is no-one I can leave her with (I run my own business so not a problem that way).

She's generally an angel on the plane and a monster in the airports, but I do try and not have seats near other children. She is gregarious and if she is on her own she will sit and do colouring or watch a film but if there are other children to mess about with....

If they do decide to bring it in, then it needs to be done properly. I had a horrible time last year on a train to Manchester: I had to book and reserve seats in advance and while you can tick a box to reserve a seat in the Quiet Carriage, there is no box to tick to ask for one specifically not in the Quiet Carriage. We were assigned seats in that carriage and DD at 2.5 years decided that she was going to throw tantrums and generally be vile the entire way there.

I actually got up halfway through and apologised to the whole carriage and said that I was sorry we were forced to be there (no other seats available - conductor tried).

Contacted the railway and they seemed incapable of understanding why they needed to change the booking system.

Would hate to see what happens if they mess up and put a child in the quiet zone by mistake (and it will happen).

Lavenderhoney Thu 07-Feb-13 15:37:55

Kooza, totally agree with you, that is also my experience of flying. If you are organised, take stuff for the dc, have an expectation of behaviour and engage with them- no you won't be able to read, watch a film or pretend to be single. You have to be on parent duty for hours.

I always get people helping ( with a bag or holding a dc hand when expected to descend a plane down virtually upright steps with dc and bag in the the dark) and sometimes I am very lucky and get a travelling gp who takes a fancy to the dc and asks to read with them.

And I travel longhaul for family reasons. And even if I didn't, I would still think about travelling long haul with my dc if I wanted to. The idea that someone may be on the flight who expects it to be child free or kids to travel in silence is ridiculous.

And putting your seat back as far as you can as soon as the seat belt sign is off is annoying for anyone ESP in the tiny seat sizes of economy. But that's another threadsmile

I really haven't come across anyone who pulled a face at baby changing or bf on board. Why should they? It's normal. What's not normal is seat kicking or parents ignoring a couple of toddlers messing about and being disruptive. I would mention it to the cabin crew myself.

I also don't agree with bundling all families together. Segregation of dc? What next, old people not allowed to disembark til last as they are too slow?

I have a friend who travels business with her dc and their is an on flight nanny for hers provided by the airline as part of biz class service.

Children are the customers of the future. So it makes sense to be nice with them.

GreenEggsAndNichts Thu 07-Feb-13 16:08:32

Some comments here reminded me of what KLM used to do on their flights (might still do, though I assume it's specific to the type of plane they're flying and the layout of it). They had what I called a baby bucket (suspect this isn't their term for it) which was set up behind a row of seats, and parents could put their children in and and it seemed as if they were seated in the next possible row, so they could keep an eye on them. The children played or whatever in this, which was something like a large travel cot.

The only people inconvenienced were myself and DH- we had the seats the bucket was attached to. grin It's the only time I was a bit irritated by children on a flight. Usually, if it's just the same child behind you for a transatlantic flight, they have to sleep or calm down sometime. Not so if the "child behind you" is being refreshed every 20 minutes or so.

GreenEggsAndNichts Thu 07-Feb-13 16:14:14

Pyrrah I had friends from overseas visit, and they booked train tickets for themselves and their infant daughter. When they booked, they were asked to mention any babies or children so that tickets could be issued, even though they were presumably free.

We then met up to take the train, I changed my seat to be near them (I was one, and they were a family of 5, so easier for me to sit with them rather than try to find 5 together elsewhere) and it turned out we were on the quiet carriage. For the love of everything, why would they make a reservation there when they even ASK if you have a baby with you.

And then the conductor decided to chide my already stressed friend about having the baby in the quiet carriage, even though she acknowledged that the system books babies in that carriage... so they obviously know it's a problem

end rant.

zzzzz Thu 07-Feb-13 16:21:55

I remember one flight when I was little when they gathered all they kids up and we got to sit on the floor in the pointy bit at the front and watch cartoons for a bit. It was the 70s. They gave us sweets too.
We still all had seats with the rest of the people though.

ElectricMonk Thu 07-Feb-13 16:29:19

I am 100% in favour of this. I would love for there to be occasional child-free/adult-oriented options for most things - for example, train carriages, zoo talks, film screenings etc - and I would be happy to pay more for the option of using them. I really resent the fact that most daytime leisure facilities/activities that don't involve alcohol or extreme sports are so child-friendly that they become adult-unfriendly. The same applies to necessary travel - I hate flying at the best of times, and the sound of small children crying/arguing/being sick sets my teeth on edge in a way that the noise of older children or adults doesn't (although admittedly, I've never had a single problem with adults or over-10s showing themselves up on flights). I'd happily pay an extra hundred quid each way not to have that problem on long-haul flights.

Also - I think there should be far stricter rules regarding behaviour for everybody on flights. Staying in seats unless you need to use the loo/tend to a family member/walk about due to a medical issue; no alcohol to be consumed on the plane, and no admittance to their aircraft if you are over the drink-drive limit of the country you're departing from; earphones or silent mode to be used with all noise-making gadgets; no conversations loud enough to disturb the people around you (common sense needed here, obviously, as acceptable volume will vary depending on context). Fines/cancellations/bans to anybody who doesn't comply.

curryeater Thu 07-Feb-13 17:03:31

No. Because those who already need to be asked to contain their feral children will just be worse because they will get all "but this is a family flight" when their child is being actively obnoxious.

As a parent, I of course want to book any flight I want with my children and will take great care that they bother everyone else as little as possible.

If travelling without my own children, I would prefer to sit next to a sweet, small 6 year old with a colouring book than a huge man with his knees wide apart who is trying to make banal conversation.

zzzzz Thu 07-Feb-13 17:09:04

What an odd world we live in. Who knew so many people objected to other people just because they are younger! shock

Trills Thu 07-Feb-13 17:10:47

I will happily sit in a zone for intolerant people, and make sure that my headphones are quiet enough that you can't hear any noise leaking from them, and refrain from conversing in above a whisper, as long as everyone near me does too.

Chandon Thu 07-Feb-13 17:15:37

They already do this, I have often flown and they tend to put all the families together at the back !

No" news" as such, imo

LynetteScavo Thu 07-Feb-13 17:20:04

Ewww, no! I would have to sit with all the other families with children, rather than them being spread about the plane.

My DC are obviously impeccably behaved, and I would want to have to suffer other peoples badly behaved children.

wink

TenthMuse Thu 07-Feb-13 17:37:01

At the risk of sounding like a total grump, I think it's a great idea. I don't have kids (yet), but I've lost count of the number of times my partner and I have had to deal with (and in several cases act as babysitter to) other people's children during flights while the parents remain oblivious of/in denial about their children's behaviour. I don't blame the children at all; I realise that all children make noise. But I do blame those obnoxious/overly indulgent parents who think it's fine for their child to inflict continuous noise on the public during a ten-hour flight.

Slightly different context, but we recently travelled back from Paris in the so-called 'Quiet Carriage' of the Eurostar - specifically chosen as my partner had work to do for a meeting the next day. Suffice to say he got nothing done because Eurostar in their wisdom had seated a couple with a six month-old baby directly in front of us, which proceeded to scream its way from Paris to London, before promptly regurgitating its dinner through the gap between our seats. The parents made no effort whatsoever to calm or entertain the baby, but rather spent the journey joking about how they'd quite like to abandon it in one of the luggage racks. It wasn't even the crying itself that I objected to, but the complete lack of apology or even acknowledgement of the noise.

Sorry, but children are a lifestyle choice; they're hardly compulsory, and many people choose not to or are unable to have them. Those who do choose to have them need to take full responsibility for them. I'm by no means anti-child (I'm a teacher with an MA in a child-related field) and in most contexts I'm completely against the 'othering' of children. However, I think that flying is a special case; it's completely different from a short hop on a bus or a meal in a restaurant, as you're effectively captive for the duration of the journey and can't simply move if the noise or disruption becomes unbearable. I wouldn't support totally child-free flights, but a (properly enforced!) Quiet Zone sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

lljkk Thu 07-Feb-13 17:38:52

If I were child-free I'd probably be gleeful. Come to think of it, when DC are adults I'd probably pay extra to sit in kid-free zone, too. So I am probably in the mild approval camp, too.

Fillyjonk75 Thu 07-Feb-13 17:46:18

I agree with you on the behaviour (of the adults!) thing TenthMuse, but disagree on having kids being a lifestyle choice. It's a bit more than that, if everyone made the choice NOT to have children, we'd die out in about 100 years. And it has only been a choice at all in the last 30 or so years, and for some people it still isn't.

Iwillorderthefood Thu 07-Feb-13 17:55:32

8pm I'm restaurants great with me. Child free planes its sad, society really does not like children very much, but they will one day be paying taxes and may become nicer adults if they are brought up to behave well in certain situations. Separate them and once they are able to go on the child free flights will they be able to behave?

TenthMuse Thu 07-Feb-13 19:02:51

OK, I do see your point Fillyjonk (although I maintain that for many people having children has indeed become a lifestyle choice akin to owning a particularly desirable designer pet, which is probably part of the problem we're facing here). What I object to is the attitude of a sizeable minority of parents, who seem to think that not only is having children 'the natural way of things', but also that all of the noise, mess and disruption that often comes with them is also 'natural', and must be endured without complaint by everyone else. Again, it's the parents, not the children, who are in the wrong here.

In theory I totally agree with the argument that ideally children and adults should remain together so that the children can learn appropriate behaviour. Sadly, though, this often doesn't prove to be the case in practice - in my experience of flying, all some children are learning that it's completely acceptable to kick someone's seat from behind for the entire duration of a transatlantic flight, because their parents don't do anything about it.

Yes, our society does tend to view children as 'other' in many respects, which is obviously unhealthy, but I'd argue that equally unhealthy is the similarly prevalent tendency to fetishise childhood to the point that some parents view their children as infallible.

Trills Thu 07-Feb-13 19:21:30

Somehow I doubt anyone has children because they are worried that there will be a lack of humans to populate the planet if they do not.

kohl Thu 07-Feb-13 19:33:03

Not a particularly constructive or adult comment but:
having heard Peter Yorke on PM - I really hope my travel sick 2 year old and I sit next to him on a flight in the near future...

zzzzz Thu 07-Feb-13 20:02:42

I really don't get the "lifestyle choice" idea. Under 12s are human beings, they have just as much right to be in a public space as anyone else. What their parents "lifestyle choices" are is neither here nor there.

If you don't want to interact with children on a plane, don't. How on earth were you babysitting?? hmm. Did you change nappies, comfort, protect, take to the toilet, feed or dress these children? It sounds more like you played with them, got bored and found yourself unable to say "that was fun but I'm going to read my book now".

ItsOkayItsJustMyBreath Thu 07-Feb-13 20:58:24

I don't think this goes far enough, what about on trains and busses? You could have a special carriage for children on trains and the underground and a section on busses too. Oooh, and in all public places, maybe a special zone like the ones that smokers are permitted to smoke in?

How dare children be children?

ShirleyB25 Thu 07-Feb-13 21:02:41

zzzzzzz I'm completely with you on this. What is wrong with the people on here???

Children are part of the human race!They should be allowed to exist even if sometimes it is rather inconvenient for the rest of you!!

No - I don't think it's a good idea to separate out families and 'normal' people onto different flights. As others have said, what happens if you are sitting next to an obnoxious ADULT with bad breath and a big bottom ie me!! HA HA, you'd just have to get on with it.

Rant over

Manoodledo Thu 07-Feb-13 21:03:28

I think some of our fellow passengers recently might have preferred it. While the two DSs were well behaved on the flight itself, on the short bus trip to terminal DS1 kept shouting 'Wheee CRASH' and the more I tried to shush him the more hilarious he thought it was. I felt I should've reassured the other passengers he wasn't know for his powers of prophsesy blush.

stradbally Thu 07-Feb-13 21:05:34

I have no problem with noise, babies are people, they've a right to be there, and listening to a bit of crying never killed anyone. Hate being kicked in the back for hours on end by a kiddie in the seat behind though! Why do parents NEVER try to stop their child from doing this?!

amothersplaceisinthewrong Thu 07-Feb-13 22:01:48

I think it is a great idea - nothing worse than being stuck on a long haul flight with a screaming baby.

louisianablue2000 Thu 07-Feb-13 22:30:07

Sounds like hell, can't imagine anything worse than being on a 'family flight' where the irresponsible parents think it's OK to pay their children even less attention than normal because everyone else is a parent as well. Other people's children are hell, i don't want to be forced into a flight with nothing but.

My children are of course incredibly well behaved and charm everyone wink.

MildredIsMyAlterEgo Thu 07-Feb-13 22:34:23

I wish there could be a no farting cabin.

Someone near me was letting off some unbelievably smelly guffs on the last flight I was on.

I was not impressed.

Child noise would have been much more preferable.

StillStuck Thu 07-Feb-13 22:34:58

I have flown regularly in the past with DS, as our family is very scattered across europe and also sometimes because DH's job takes him all over the place.

I am usually conscious of wary /disapproving glances as we wait for the flight/ board the plane. Then at the end of the flight, without exception, people have actually come up to me to thank me and say how well behaved DS is.
Its not hard - I just make sure his needs (food, comfort, entertainment) are met and if necessary put my own needs second.

I have only ever once been bothered by a screaming baby on a flight. ds kept trying to offer it food/ toys. I could smell from where we were that the poor thing needed a nappy change but its mother just ignored it and read her book. so it wasn't really the child who was the problem there.

did make me chuckle though when we flew a month or so ago, as DS (age 2) protested when he saw a baby on the aeroplane and told me that he wanted the baby to get off the aeroplane and stay on the runway. seems like he will be the first to try and book on a childfree flight.

allagory Thu 07-Feb-13 23:33:07

You wonder what the reaction would be I said there should be an old people only section on the grounds that I can't stand to listen to them moaning on. People would say that it is wrong to generalise about people because of their age and it was age discrimination - there are all kinds of old people and yes, some of them moan but some of them don't.

But people never say that about children: there's only one kind of child and that kind makes a lot of noise and so should be segregated from the rest of society.

AdoraBell Fri 08-Feb-13 01:45:06

I would love a child free flight, but I have to take the buggers with me <wails>

anonymosity Fri 08-Feb-13 01:59:06

My children go to sleep on long-haul flights. They don't take up much room, they don't make any noise or smells and they don't get drunk and harrass the flight attendants.

BoffinMum Fri 08-Feb-13 06:44:24

The kicking thing is hard with small kids because their legs have to stretch along the seat and their feet end up touching the back of the seat in front as they can't dangle their legs down like taller people. We had a terrible flight to Munich once with a grumpy childless woman in front of DC4 complaining every time he so much as shifted position. He wasn't kicking, she just assumed he was, and as the grumpy cow also refused to swap seats with one of us to avoid the problem, I am afraid I ended up giving her an earful (in German, which shocked her!) and also insulted her haircut. shock She shut up after that. I probably shouldn't have insulted her haircut but she was getting on my tits big time.

BoffinMum Fri 08-Feb-13 06:45:51

It was a bloody awful haircut. She looked like a nun without a headdress. Complemented by her cat's bum mouth.

BoffinMum Fri 08-Feb-13 06:46:32

I know that doesn't justify it. DH in fact told me off.

There have been a couple of occasions where we have been the family you see at the little lounge by the gate and think dear god I hope we aren't near them.

Thankfully they are generally fine once on the plane!

BoffinMum I think I would have reacted like that too. Some people have a downer on children before they have uttered a single sound and I think they almost want them to misbehave so they can enjoy tutting loudly, making horrid comments and giving evil stares.

EssieW Fri 08-Feb-13 07:47:50

The most anti social behaviour on flights is either from stag do (short haul) or the overweight lecherous 50 ishmale who takes over half of my seat. I was about to complain about the latter when his own family moved him...

amazingmumof6 Fri 08-Feb-13 08:07:46

fab idea and I also support merrylegs POV

GingerbreadGretel Fri 08-Feb-13 08:10:11

Oh yes, some people definitely have a downer on kids before they have even moved! DS got an earful from a grumpy old bag who told him off for running into her last week. Fair enough, except that he had been completely stationary watching in shock as she walked backwards into him while talking on her phone.

meditrina Fri 08-Feb-13 08:12:46

This thread has just been mentioned on BBC Breakfast.

clam Fri 08-Feb-13 08:38:55

On a flight back from Miami once, there was a poor woman with a screaming baby of a few months old. To her credit, she was trying her best to soothe it and, in order to give passengers nearby a break, she took the baby to the back of the plane, where it proceeded to disturb everyone sitting there instead.

And I ended up sitting with my own youngish dcs on a long-haul flight from KL once, while dh ended up on his own way up the plane (for complicated reasons that I couldn't argue with at the time). My dcs were as good as gold, and slept for the majority of the flight, whereas dh ended up just behind someone else's screaming baby. Karma!

Trills Fri 08-Feb-13 08:48:57

People fart more on flights than they do on trains or buses because of the change in pressure.

Have you ever seen a crisp packet puff up on a flight? That's what the air in your colon is doing.

LayMizzRarb Fri 08-Feb-13 09:16:42

It's not children who are annoying on flights, it's parents who refuse to control them. If a baby cries, there is nothing you can do about it, and if it s a 12 hour flight, the child will fall asleep eventually.
But, you can stop your toddler running up and down the aisles and continually kicking the back of other people's seats. I remember being on a flight a few years ago, and everytime I drifted off to sleep, I was woken up by a couple of 5/6 year olds running up and down the aisle.
My sister thinks it is ok (and actually thinks it is amusing for her kids to sneak into business/first class and take stuff from the bar/buffet on board.
I found the perfect solution (I believe someone suggested cubicles up thread).
Travel Emirates first class. You get your own suite, 40 year old port, and guards to keep the other people out.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Fri 08-Feb-13 09:16:55

I'd love child-free flights. Specifically, screaming-baby-free flights.

But it would make just as much sense to have 'no loud drunken wankers' flights.

Quenelle Fri 08-Feb-13 09:24:30

Peter Yorke on PM yesterday was just acting up. I bet he doesn't actually believe half the things he said. It was all very good-natured and sounded like they were just having a bit of fun really.

Eliza22 Fri 08-Feb-13 09:40:43

What about if you get someone who wants to "chat" on a 7 hr flight when actually, a little polite interchange will so, so you can read your book or watch a film.

And overweight passengers who take up more space than they've been allocated.....ought not they to have a separate plane? Or maybe the old people who fly and are up and down, up and down to the loo!

Christ, what next?

Lavenderhoney Fri 08-Feb-13 10:18:55

Wouldn't it be nice at airports if there was a family check in so no queuing to put the bags through and being shoved out of the way by very important businessmen on their phones?

Nice airport has a soft play. It's small and ok for a play before a flight, not wandering round and round duty free whilst your flight is delayed or fighting for a seat together then having to move as a dc wants the loo and having to take all your bags and dc to squash into a loo. Although I suppose that's the point- nothing to do but spend.

If you want peace when you fly, fly business or upper class. No one is entitled to a quiet flight. It's up to parents to deal with their children and help them learn how to behave. But adults need to behave to. It's all so entitled isn't it?

LadyClariceCannockMonty Fri 08-Feb-13 10:26:35

I would fly business or first if I could afford to, believe me.

Want2bSupermum Fri 08-Feb-13 10:42:36

Have flown a lot in the past year with DD who is now 18 months old - around 30K miles in total....

The airlines don't help the situation at all. Some airlines, such as Air Canada are wonderful. I am happy to name and shame SAS as the most young child unfriendly airline known to man. I loved that we bought a seat for our DD (business class) only to be thrown into the back and given a partial refund instead of a full refund for DD's seat and a partial refund based on the difference between the cost of the economy and business seat on the day we booked for mine. If children are not allowed in business class then why sell us the darn seat in the first place?!? Oh and then I had to have DD on my lap for the 8hr flight. I was 'only' 5 months pregnant. When DD howled because the stewardess made me wait 20mins for water to make up her bottle I was so fed up I let her scream her lungs out as it was the only way to get things moving.

Oh and the other thing is that SAS never let us board first. Every other airline in the world lets you on first so you can get your child settled. Heck, Air Canada provided assistance this summer to help me get from one end of the airport to the other to make a connection. They had someone at the gate to carry the handluggage and help me through security because I was on my own with DD.

curryeater Fri 08-Feb-13 11:05:40

In general I am pro childfree things - I like childfree time. but I think this is different because flying is not about leisure, it is about getting from A to B, and it restricts families' options to do this. Also, it sends bad messages to (bad) parents about children's behaviour - it's a short of shrugged acceptance that children will be horrible, whereas in fact many families try very hard not to be annoying and many childfree people try very hard to be accommodating, and those stances should be encouraged rather than marginalised.

Eg for the restaurant analogy: children should try to be reasonably pleasant when in Pizza Express, where people are just trying to have a nice lunch. They should not be taken into dinner time at elegant restaurants, where people are going to spend 3 hours eating and drinking slowly in their loveliest clothes and gazing into each other's eyes. Once in a while in a hot day they will go a bit mental with ice lollies in the garden in their bathing suits. This argument implies that all child-friendly flights should be like the garden on the hot day. I think they should be like pizza express.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Fri 08-Feb-13 11:40:51

Children can fly in business and first too, y'know.

Oblomov Fri 08-Feb-13 11:49:04

I think this is a fab idea. And am failing to see why people are raising such objections.
There are plently of other places that don't allow children. There are plenty of holiday firms that offer childfree holidays/adult only holidays.
Not everyone has children, likes children, or wants to be with children.
I quite like being without mine, sometimes, thank you very much.

There are plenty of flights. For you, em , our children.
And this is just another option that is being offred, that might appeal to some people.

Child free places and child free restaurants appeal to me. We take our kids to places. But sometimes I go, with a friend or my mum and I don't wish to have children there. I'm tryingto escape them!!

So I think this idea is perfectly fine.

Backinthebox Fri 08-Feb-13 11:50:44

I work on aeroplanes, and have had far more trouble with the adult passengers than I ever had with children. It wasn't families misbehaving, either, that I've had to call the police for! At the end of the day, aeroplanes are just very fancy public transport. Everyone should be able to use it. Even children!

Backinthebox Fri 08-Feb-13 11:52:34

Btw I miss having kids able to come and visit 'the box.' Without exception, children going on holiday are funny, polite, excited and a pleasure to be around. Adults on flights are often a royal pain in the bottom.

TooMuchRain Fri 08-Feb-13 12:03:43

I think it misses the point that children are far from the only annoyance when flying, I have had rubbish flights because the parents of the child behind didn't stop him/her banging the tray up and down or kicking the seat - but also because the person sitting next to me drank for the first hour and then snored for the rest, while falling into my seat and another lovely long-haul next to someone who vomited for about 10 hours...

I have had some hideous flights, but none related to children. Except where it has been for useless parents.

My children are a delight (!!) on flights. Seriously, they are generally good, and love flying. But as others have said, this doesn't always make for an easy flight - I have had to work bloody hard! And DH once read Where's Spot about 100x (and that was only coming back from Dublin!)

I hate the idea of being coralled with other badly behaved children / useless parents.

However, when I am on my own, it is like flying first class (not that I have done so) because all I have to do is read my book and ignore others. When I hear a squawking child, I think, "HURRAH, it's not mine!!!"

Other people's kids don't tend to annoy me. If they are screaming or making a mess, need their nappies changed or require feeding or entertaining, then it's not something I have to do and I just feel empathy with their parents. My child can be a total angel or a holy terror...being 2 and all!

But i have to say people who hate kids / find them annoying or offensive are annoying and offensive to me.

Trills Fri 08-Feb-13 14:43:50

Children are not the only group that are annoying but they are easily identifiable.

higgle Fri 08-Feb-13 14:45:34

A no fat people flight for me please, I'm sick of having a sweaty body pressed up against me for hours on end.

GreenEggsAndNichts Fri 08-Feb-13 15:01:24

fedup you're right, it takes a whole lot of work to keep a child happy on a flight. Flying now for me is far more exhausting than it ever was- not only is it physically tiring but just having to have my brain switched on the entire time is very draining. DS has, touch wood, been excellent on flights so far (transatlantic, to visit family, and shorter flights as well) but it's always a dance of stickers, colouring, games, etc to get him that way. And does he sleep on an overnight flight? heck no.

I also concur, the sound of someone else's child acting up is just the sound of someone else's problem, to me. smile Even if I don't have DS with me and am pretending I'm childless and fancy free. Before I had DS, the vast majority of my irritations on flights (and I flew quite a lot) were caused by adults. Or large groups of teenagers (not hating on teens btw, I did a few flights at that age in groups and remember the excitement of it all).

I would love to request the no-reclining zone. I'm tall but I assume my legs must be exceptionally long or airlines are so fucking focused on profit margins that they cram seats in to inhumane levels, because a reclined seat always bashes right into my knees. Excruciating for a long-haul flight.

Still18atheart Fri 08-Feb-13 15:50:34

I think the idea is great, Could they have a none reclineable seat zone too??

WhatKindofFool Fri 08-Feb-13 17:47:54

I think old people and anyone with mobility problems should be banned from flights. They just get in the way as they are too slow.
Also, certain nationalities who eat too much garlic - they smell.
Men, generally too - they fart too much.
Actually, I think everyone should be banned except for me and my family.

BuntyPenfold Fri 08-Feb-13 21:21:01

I don't mind noise, but I can't stand the back of my seat kicked or swung on. Please someone arrange a solution for this.

Allowing more legroom would sort that. Sometimes there isn't even enough room for my legs and I'm sure my knees in the back of the seat feel like I'm kicking it. So, if you book yourself into 1st/business/premium economy you should be fine.

WhatKindofFool Sat 09-Feb-13 10:37:44

Agreed Dragon.

Want2bSupermum Sat 09-Feb-13 10:59:40

GreenEggs The best advice I can give for flying with children is pick your flight times carefully. I will only do direct when possible. DH likes to fly up to his parents from Copenhagen. I insist we take the train so DD gets a chance to run around outside.

The other thing to remember is that there are no discounts for children now on most flights. People should be thanking families who fly. I joke with DH that if he wants 4 DCs we will need a private plane. It will certainly be cheaper.

To the poster who said children can go in 1st/business... not with SAS. It is up to the crew to decide if you can sit there. They took one look at DD and decided to put me in economy. I had DD in her PJ's and ready to sleep. Would have been a much better flight for everyone if we had been in business with both of us on a flat bed.

exexpat Sat 09-Feb-13 11:34:57

I think it's outrageous if you have paid for business/first that flight crew can reseat you in economy, even if they offer compensation - you chose to fly business, and if you had known you would be moved, you could have booked with a different airline which doesn't have that policy. Does SAS make it clear when you book that that can happen? I would have been livid. (my days of flying business with the DCs are over, but we regularly flew Virgin Upper Class and Qantas business when they were little and were never made to feel we shouldn't be there)

I think it's a fabulous idea, but TBH don't think a 'quiet zone' on a flight will work - it needs to be an entire section of the plane, bulkhead-to-bulkhead. We flew a military transport flight once, they divided the plane in half - front section was solo fliers and medevacs, the back section - about 2/3 of the plane - was families. There was an impromptu 'creche' anywhere there was a space i.e in front of the doors, they had child-friendly programmes on for the entire flight, and when someone's baby was screaming, they got sympathetic looks instead of annoyed ones.

I know they won't do that on commercial flights, but it was the best flight I've ever been on.

coorong Sat 09-Feb-13 12:15:20

I agree it's the parents not the children who cause the problem. Some parents think the cabin crew are child minders and board the plane expecting them to look after their children. The parents get on the plane, stick their headphones on and simply ignore their children for the entire trip, while the kids kick the seats, stand up, jump up and down. It's unbelievable. I've asked parents to ask their children to stop dropping their books on me, and the parents response is pretty dismissive.

I've travelled every year or so to Australia with mine (since they were 6 months) but's it's a marathon. I spent 6 hours playing showing the eldest (at 18months) how to do up and undo her seatbelt .. over and over and over .... but she was quiet. Since then we take loads of little things, watch lots of videos and keep chatting very quietly.

The worst thing was a young, drunk couple, who kept dropping their 6 week old on the floor!!! it was too turbulent to use the cots and she kept sliding off their laps onto the floor.

I've always hated the kid-kicking-your-seat thing. Whilst I will agree that adults can do many annoying things on flights, nothing annoys me as much as the kicking and I've never had an adult kick my seat. (I'm not sure it's anatomically possible given the ridiculously tiny amount of legroom in cattle class!)

I've always done my best to avoid kids on flights because of the potential kicking, and now that I have a DC of my own I would be extremely annoyed if a flight attendant tried to move me into an area with lots of other families. I would be almost guaranteed to have a DC behind me then.

My LO is too young for kicking, but when she's older I will be enforcing a zero-tolerance policy with regard to her kicking anyone else's seat. I'll also be working hard to make sure she is quiet but happy and entertained throughout the flight. So far we've been on two 10.5 hour flights, when she was 5mo, and she was an angel (although keeping her that way was pretty exhausting for me - she barely slept at all!). Naturally I appreciate this will get harder as she gets older! Despite this I fully agree that it's the parent's responsibility (as far as possible) to keep their DC from being antisocial. Being forced into a "family zone" would put me at the mercy of the parenting skills, or lack thereof, of all the other people with kids on every flight I use! Why should parents of well-behaved* DCs be forced to sit with badly-behaved DCs?! What makes this more acceptable than a person travelling without kids having to sit by badly-behaved kids?!

*Please note, I believe 99% of DC (including my DD) are "well-behaved" some days and little terrors on other days! I'm not suggesting there are separate types of "well-behaved" vs "naughty" DC, I'm simply referring to their behaviour for the duration of the flight they're on.

MariusEarlobe Sat 09-Feb-13 14:33:14

I am torn,

On one hand if my dc where younger I would feel more relaxed flying if they were not going to annoy anyone other than other parents who hopefully are more likely to understand.

On the other hand the last two flights I have had the ones causing the problem were the oldies! Having a strop at the air steward, swearing and being abusive!

I do think under 12 is harsh. Possibly 8 and under.
When we flew last my ten year old sat quietly on her console the whole flight while we had our seat kicked constantly and had parents of a four year old and a toddler sicking nursery rhymes for four hours each way and who let their son run up and down aisle and he kept jumping on dd and roaring at her.

Maybe we should do like one of the Asian flight companies who have hello kitty and kids themed planes and great child facilities and sky nannies on board, a small child on a plane for 10 hours in a small space with nothing to do is a recipe for disaster.

JugglingChaotically Sat 09-Feb-13 14:57:44

Ok. This will get me flamed.
I travel lots - work not choice - and badly behaved children drove me nuts. I will say they were in the minority as most were lovely.
So when I had first DC I wondered if I would feel the same about mine on planes. I did! So they behave. There was nothing I could about sore ears when little on way up and down - I fed them when tiny, gave them something to suck when older - but other than that they are brilliant. Because they know both I and DH will flip if they aren't.
Yes we plan well, take things to occupy them, plan meals, chose best flight times etc.
DD 1 was foul once - and was banned from TV on the connecting flight. She has never done it again.
To be fair, it all became much much easier (for DH and me!) when DC1 and 2 old enough to read and better still when we could carry kindles rather than bags of books, colouring, playing cards etc. toys that didn't have tiny bits so I had to crawl around picking them up!
We all take turns with DC3 and all cnt wait for her to read properly - close now, can't waitsmile
So no. I would be v sad if they banned DCs or corralled them in special areas.
I'm with the others who find badly behaved adults worse!
And I should probably have name changed for this .....

littleducks Sat 09-Feb-13 15:37:55

I would worry about the safety point if view. If all the vulnerable parties are grouped together, (without exta staff to help) . I would worry that people with children particularly more than one child per adult would find it more difficult to evacuate the plane in case if an emergency.

EauRouge Sat 09-Feb-13 15:44:33

Wow, I never thought of that littleducks. It's a very good point! I don't think every row of seats has extra oxygen masks either.

CaptainVonTrapp Sat 09-Feb-13 15:48:09

Why do people feel flying for work makes them more entitled?

On the contrary, you've not even paid for your own flight and you're being paid to be there.

No one is on that flight for 'leisure' just as a means of transport to get them to a destination which may be work, family, holiday etc.

Travelling for work is still a choice. Choose a new job if you don't like it. Video conference. But don't imagine yourself to have more rights than anyone else on the plane.

Same applies to parents obviously. Plan for the trip, get stuff they can entertain themselves with, plenty of attention (rather than getting pissed up and ignoring then). Offer rewards for good behaviour at the destination.

RedToothBrush Sat 09-Feb-13 15:52:18

Travelling for work is still a choice. Choose a new job if you don't like it. Video conference. But don't imagine yourself to have more rights than anyone else on the plane.

Hahahahaha! Sorry but I just nearly died laughing at that one.

Its as bad as the 'children are a lifestyle choice' argument.

Both are bollocks.

CaptainVonTrapp Sat 09-Feb-13 16:02:45

Clearly children are a choice although I don't really see why people keep dredging this up.

They're here, they're people and they need to travel just as much as everyone else needs to travel. Not to mention they have paid virtually the full fare like everyone else.

rubyrubyruby Sat 09-Feb-13 16:06:04

Jus because its suggested that people would have the option to travel in a child free area doesn't necessarily mean that all the families will be lumped in together though does it?

Not everyone would choose the child free area.

CaptainVonTrapp Sat 09-Feb-13 16:17:58

No its not an option its a 'rows 1-7 no children allowed'

tallulah Sat 09-Feb-13 16:20:10

The last flight we took without children we were in the second row back. The people in the first row, with tons of legroom decided to recline their seats so that we were squashed (it was daytime). They filled up their own overhead locker and most of ours as well. They were up and down like a fiddlers elbow all flight.

The person sat behind me must have got up about 500 times during the flight. Each and every time they got up they yanked on the back of my seat. I was ready to punch them before we were halfway.

Still the tax on flights is now so high that I don't think we'll ever be able to afford to go again, so it probably won't affect us sad

rubyrubyruby Sat 09-Feb-13 16:22:11

So rows 8 onwards are for everyone and if you are travelling without children you may have the option to travel up the front away from children.

Why is this a problem?

stickygotstuck Sat 09-Feb-13 17:58:04

TenthMuse = "Sorry, but children are a lifestyle choice". Really??? I thought they were people hmm

I find it hard to comprehend this general attitude towards children in this country. Thankfully.

SpecialAgentKat Sun 10-Feb-13 01:59:10

Haven't read the entire thread stopped around pointless lifestyle choice argument I support this but I also...Don't. Helpful data eh? grin I support it purely because my DTs are going through that soul chilling squealy phase. Yes, I am pulling my hair out teaching them not too. But as someone who is already a nervous flyer, the trauma of having a little next to me shriek ended me in tears. I felt so awful as the littlie was just being friendly and the mum was mortified.

So I support it because I would never want my DTs to do that, and also because to this day I feel so guilty how I made that mum feel. I don't support it however because it's not the children who are the issue, it's parents with headphones who ignore them. Then of course they're going to be loud and naughty! Don't blame the child for the adult's lack of parenting skills.

Oh and don't let them ruin my anniversary dinner by having them run around overtired at 10PM winkgrin

TomDudgeon Sun 10-Feb-13 10:34:06

I have flown twice with children.
The first time was with a 7 week old. He was silent, I was crying as I had a migraine. Putting me surrounded by children would have finished me off. I had left my other three at home for a break.
The second time I flew on my own with all four. They behaved brilliantly. Sat and read, played their games or watched DVDs with headphones and didn't disturb a soul. Unlike the screechy slight drunk grown up woman a few aisles away.
I will admit my two year did cry for a couple of minutes as we were coming into land as the pressure hurt him but it was hard to hear him against the noise of the engines. Can't have been that annoying though as a businessman in the row in front congratulated me on my children's behaviour. I can't imagine how idiotically they would hav e behaved if they had sat with a load of other children to mess around with and to show off to. (Btw my children are never normally so perfect, they had just been given very very strict instructions)
Thinking of other flights I've been on its never been children who have annoyed me. Pervy men, drunk stag and hen dos, panicky people, constant complainers, snorers, seat hoggers all have but not children.

BlackSwan Sun 10-Feb-13 14:33:44

No fatties. No body odour. No one who leaves the lavatory worse than they found it.

HollaAtMeBaby Sun 10-Feb-13 14:50:34

I am more often annoyed by children on flights than any other group of people (drunks, businessmen, etc) so I think it's a fab idea. Though what I would really like to see is entirely child-free flights!

Pocketmonster Sun 10-Feb-13 17:14:29

But of course, only those adults who have never been children should qualify to fly child free.

F*** ridiculous - children are a part of life, without children none of us would be here and in the future we won't have anybody to empty our bins, drive our trains, fly our planes, nurse us, doctor us etc When did it become an acceptable part of society to treat children like smoking?

Just makes me bloody cross tbh.

LucilleBluth Sun 10-Feb-13 20:27:05

It will be MY children who will be paying for these miserable peoples pensions/wiping their arses/providing them with vital medical care etc etc......if I want to fly with them AND pay for it then I will, give me all the dirty looks you like, bring it on.

Children as a lifestyle choice, like having a fucking dog, awful attitude.

VenusRising Sun 10-Feb-13 21:32:05

I'm in two minds about this: if it means large clean bathrooms, with proper changing facilities, and well stocked nappies and wipes supply, being allowed to bring food and liquids aboard, having your buggies aboard and having floor space for sleeping children, well then there might be some merit to having an area designated to families.

If it means that families are treated even worse than usual by the airlines, (not having priority boarding, and having to wait for buggies, not being able to bring liquids needed for the infants and children aboard, in case you want to blow up the plane with them?!, (I mean seriously, wtf)) then no.

WhatKindofFool Sun 10-Feb-13 23:26:48

But of course, only those adults who have never been children should qualify to fly child free.

Well, of course!

Though what I would really like to see is entirely child-free flights!

You may change your mind about children being treated as second class citizens should you ever have some.

Lostonthemoors Mon 11-Feb-13 07:27:19

Hate this.

Reinforces the idea that children are a nuisance and don't have to be tolerated.

We all need to show consideration to others and even in my pre child insomniac days I never minded small children on planes, crying or not.

BoffinMum Mon 11-Feb-13 07:46:36

Another approach might be for airline to (shock, horror) INCREASE SEAT PITCH!

Good idea as long as anyone with kids over 12 have to sit away from me. Bloody more annoying than babies IMO.

And they always amble up late, crush your bags and climb over you.

Give me a baby over a bloody teenager any day.

Want2bSupermum Mon 11-Feb-13 08:14:12

Oh and I would also like airlines to resume carrying diapers. If they can carry tampons and sanitary towels I don't see why they can't carry diapers. We got caught short on a trip back from Denmark when the stupid lady at security pulled apart our diaper bag and was inistant that butt paste was a threat to security. DH and I shoved everything back in (yes I told her to go f herself which is why DH was super annoyed with me) and only realized just before boarding when we were changing DD that we only had 3 diapers for a flight to New York after I had packed more than a dozen... Poor kid had sanitary towels strapped to the inside of her diaper and a horrible rash due to no barrier cream. The air pressure does funny things to babies. Luckily on that flight she peed a lot but only pooped once.

LayMizzRarb Mon 11-Feb-13 15:32:49

Wow - want2bsuperman What a vile attitude and atrocious display of behaviour towards someone who was doing her job, protecting the public. No wonder your DH was annoyed.How was the lady at customs responsible for the fact that you only had 3 nappies?
Security do check peoples bags for a reason. Explosives can be carried on board a plane in many different guises. Limits on liquids/lotions permitted are there for a reason.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 11-Feb-13 15:46:42

Frankly, I'd confiscate your 'diapers' if you told me to go fuck myself in the course of trying to do my job.

HollaAtMeBaby Mon 11-Feb-13 18:19:16

Where did I say that children are second class citizens?

I never said you did.

HollaAtMeBaby Mon 11-Feb-13 22:27:07

Actually, you did, by quoting my post and saying "You may change your mind about children being treated as second class citizens". But thanks for backtracking - it's the next best thing to an apology smile

Want2bSupermum Tue 12-Feb-13 02:48:25

Yes I told her to f herself. She went through every single bottle putting her fingers which had been goodness knows where into our daughters food, including her formula. She took everything out of the bag by tipping it over. I had everything neatly organized and in ziplock bags. After going through everything, and I mean everything, she decided we couldn't take the diaper cream, which by that point had been around the world with no problems. She would have been ok with us having diaper cream if it was in a tube that was less than 100ml or if we had a script for it from the doctor. I was ok with her taking the cream. Annoyed but I figured I could change her every 2hrs and wash her with water instead of wipes.

My issue was that she then told us we had to pack everything up and get moving as we were holding people up. As she had tipped things out and pulled everything out of the ziplock bags there were things all over the place. I had an 11 month old squirming in my arms because she was 'testing' the stroller for explosives. I would never apologize for my comment because she could have asked before digging into the bag. She could have let me take everything out systematically, she could have tested the stroller first which would have enabled us to have put DD into a safe place. She didn't need to spoil all the food I had carefully packed down. Instead she 'did her job' which left DD without proper food for the flight and enough diapers.

As SAS wouldn't give us milk on the plane ('Other passengers need it for their coffee') we gave our DD water. Quite frankly if I ever saw the woman again I would happily put one of DD's squidgy pants diapers in her face. DH was upset with me swearing infront of our daughter. Once we got to our destination DD was not well and so much for security. DD wasn't on the flight manifest. So this woman, who was so dilligent about diaper cream, let someone through security without a boarding pass. Something I had raised when our tickets were issued and at the gate when we were boarding. Luckily the immigration officials in the US were fabulous with us (much to our surprise). They got me a chair because I had been sick on the flight (I was 4 months pregnant) and got DD's stroller from the baggage claim for us.

So, basically she was doing her job.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Tue 12-Feb-13 08:50:50

'She would have been ok with us having diaper cream if it was in a tube that was less than 100ml or if we had a script for it from the doctor.'

Yes. Because it's her job to be OK if that had been the case, and not to be OK if it wasn't the case. If you know the rules why didn't you follow them?

How did she 'spoil' your daughter's food? Oh yes, sorry, by putting her fingers in it 'which had been goodness knows where'. What a nasty comment.

Telling someone to go fuck themselves is rarely justified and you're not being very convincing about this case being justifiable.

BoffinMum Tue 12-Feb-13 11:28:04

Clarice, officers are supposed to ask parents to sample the baby food in front of them - putting fingers into it is not following guidelines and scientifically useless, not to mention it is quite common for people to fail to wash their hands after visiting the toilet, so completely breaking every food hygiene protocol in they then subsequently handle food for a baby.

In my experience, exceptions can always be made for diaper cream for babies, as they do for formula milk, as 100ml may not be enough for a long haul flight. Officer could have referred this upwards.

Parents are supposed to be treated with respect and not hustled along when they are trying to hold a baby and simultaneously repack a bag.

I think the security officer was impatient and officious.

Parents are supposed to be treated with respect

As are members of staff.

BoffinMum Tue 12-Feb-13 11:33:33

Yes, but exhausted people have a habit of kicking off. If you don't like it, get a job as a hermit.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Tue 12-Feb-13 11:34:50

I just think telling someone to go fuck themselves isn't good form, really.

I don't like to think that the options are that, or be a hermit.

And if you don't like people doing their job at airport security, don't fly.

Telling someone who is doing their job to go fuck themselves is inexcusable.

KatieMiddleton Tue 12-Feb-13 13:21:34

Wow. What a ridiculous sense of entitlement and rudeness on your part Want2be. Just because you're a parent doesn't mean you can break the rules! Babies and children travelling are given special dispensation already. To think you deserve extra special treatment because you are a parent is breathtaking.

Yes we've flown round the world with baby/children and never had any problems because we stuck to the rules and were polite. When we accidentally left suncream in our bag we apologized and binned it. The powdered talc and formula always caused our bags to be emptied and we would move to the side to repack.

I never took offence because being blown up is a much greater inconvenience than understanding and following procedures.

RedToothBrush Tue 12-Feb-13 13:34:14

Want2bSupermum, no sympathy.

Read the rules on whats allowed in luggage. Airlines publicise them well. Its
especially true if you are flying to the US, as they have extra strict rules and enforce them heavily.

You were poorly organised and only have yourself to blame. You can take cream on flights - provided you take it in the appropriate quantity.

I actually smirk at idiots who have all their really expensive make up and perfume removed from them at security these days as its not hard to find and follow the rules.

KatieMiddleton Tue 12-Feb-13 13:41:57

Muji do really good little pots for decanting product into. Try those rather than inappropriate outbursts. You will all feel better smile

Jins Tue 12-Feb-13 13:42:10

You can buy cartons of formula and baby food in the departure lounge once you've cleared security.

I get very nervous at airports anyway and I was fit to scream after following one family with the attitude described above through security.

The rules are clear. Just pack what you need, get there early and buy what you need for the flight in departure

KatieMiddleton Tue 12-Feb-13 13:47:01

I think I may have been stuck behind entitled mum too. She kept repeating "but I have children!" as if that is justification for massive cans of hairspray and water bottles hmm

You can take as much powder as you like in hand luggage so long as it's within usual weight limits and you declare it at customs for places like Australia who have restrictions on importing food.

Jins Tue 12-Feb-13 14:06:35

It's not as if the rules aren't clear either! I check every time I fly as I was under the impression that I couldn't take food through and there's not much gluten free stuff in departure or on the plane. Turns out solid food is fine. Powdered formula is fine and I've never been refused boiling water on a plane.

I watched a family with twins of less than a year old negotiating the airport last week and it was faultless. They should give seminars!

exexpat Tue 12-Feb-13 14:17:21

Quite agree that want2besupermum has only herself to blame. The rules are clear and haven't changed for ages. I fly with my DCs (and have been flying in sole charge of two of them since the younger was 4months old), always take food, but have never had any trouble with security because I follow the rules.

If you choose to fly with small children you need to be properly organised rather than expecting special treatment just because you have children with you - see lots of comments from people earlier in the thread about how not to disturb other passengers on flights. Travelling with children requires forward planning, organisation and a lot of energy.

Jins Tue 12-Feb-13 14:50:47

How long is the flight from Denmark anyway - couple of hours tops I'd have thought.

How many nappies and bottles woud you need? How much barrier cream?

Want2bSupermum Tue 12-Feb-13 17:03:59

Flight from Denmark to NY is 8 hours. The flight is normally delayed by at least an hour and we have to be there 3 hours before take off. I plan for a minimum of 12 hours worth of supplies for DD. We change her ever 2 hours on flights as she pees and poops so much so I pack a ziplock bag with 6 diapers, a small pack of wipes and a tube of cream. I then have a spare ziplock bag for spares. I have another ziplock with 6-8 diapers in there, more wipes but no cream. Bottle wise I had 4 bottles which were empty. She took the lids off and touched the nipples with her unwashed hands. I then had four sterile pots of formula which were opened and contaminated. The fruit sauces were in foil seals so once opened I had to throw them out as they didn't have lids. For the flight I would have had 4 meals with me. Three for the trip and a spare for emergency/ first meal when we get to our destination.

DD was on lactose free formula which wasn't available at the airport. They also didn't have a good range of diaper creams (choice of two). We use a 40% zinc oxcide cream which they didn't have. They also didn't have sterile bottles. We ended up getting a pack of wrapped straws and bottles of water. They didn't have gripe water and the one we had was contaiminated when she tested it by touching the dropper with her finger.

I do know and follow the rules. I didn't have a problem with her taking the cream as she was right. I had an issue with her attitude towards us. To be clear I told her to go f herself after she pushed our things along (some of which fell on the floor) and told us to hurry up as we were holding others up. We live in the US and had left the US and the UK with said tube of diaper cream.

It is shocking that people on here think it is ok for someone to touch food that is going to be eaten (we are not talking about touching a banana peel) with unwashed hands. The security workers are touching all sorts of things that have been goodness knows where. At airports you have people coming together from all parts of the world, all bringing their unique mix of germs through security. That lady had touched goodness knows how many bags, let alone the contents. There was no way I was going to risk giving DD any of the food that she had touched. Quite funny how I see this as common sense while others see it as entitled. Also, how would you feel knowing at the start of your trip you were going to have to scramble to find food for your DD before getting to the gate?

RedToothBrush Tue 12-Feb-13 17:17:52

I do know and follow the rules.

Well obviously you didn't otherwise she wouldn't have needed to remove things from you...

And none of that makes it OK to tell someone to go fuck themselves.

Want2bSupermum Tue 12-Feb-13 17:43:45

As I said, I didn't have a problem with her taking the cream. I had a problem with her pulling apart everything in the diaper bag. Is it necessary to open up every diaper, every container of food and touch said food with unwashed hands?

As it happens I bought the cream from the travel section of our local baby store. It was a 4oz tube of cream and didn't have ml on it. The lady said 4oz is 120ml not 100ml. I explained i didn't know how many ml it was but that it was diapercream for DD, not for myself or DH, and I didn't expect to have any left by the time we reached our destination as DD gets diaper rash easily. She was short with me and I just said 'Ok - bin it.' It wasn't said with attitude or malice. I 'get' she was just doing her job.

What wasn't necessary was for her to decide to pick on me. She abused her position and the end result was that security guidelines were not met. DD didn't have a boarding card and was able to proceed. If this woman had been competent she wouldn't have let us through for that reason. It was very rude to empty all of my ziplock bags into a big pile and then use her arm to push everything to the side, especially as I had tried to put down one of the trays but was told to stand back and not touch anything. This was when things fell on the floor and were covered in applesauce (which she had opened). When we got on the plane we realized we lost not only diapers but pacificers, a spoon and the spare ziplock bags that use for dirty diapers/clothes/puke bags. She got the fbomb because of this, not because of the diaper cream per se. While I dropped the f bomb I did wipe the floor clean with a wipe so others who were having their shoes tested wouldn't be stepping on applesauce.

KatieMiddleton Tue 12-Feb-13 17:50:35

Fair enough, I would have been annoyed with her behaviour and attitude. I have never been treated with anything other than courtesy and often kindness when travelling with children. I still wouldn't have told her to fuck off but I can understand in the heat of the moment you may have done although I wouldn't be defending it later.

Your subsequent posts put a different spin on things.

Want2bSupermum Tue 12-Feb-13 18:16:29

Dragon I take it you fly with young children on a regular basis?!? I hope you get to meet her with a squirmy 11 month old.

The problem with air travel today is that people who fly 3-4 times a year on short haul flights think they are frequent flyers. They are not. When you fly out at least twice a month and do at least 5-6 long haul flights a year you are a frequent flyer. I have been a frequent flyer up until this year and won't be for the next few years as my new job is local for the time being. DH is a frequent flyer (currently in Dallas/Houston) this week in my 39th wk of pregnancy. He has only gone because United guarenteed him a seat on the next flight back home if I go into labour. They do that for frequent flyers - top tier with United.

When I was downgraded with SAS what surprised me the most was the number of passengers who were buzzing the crew. When I needed water for DD I got up and walked to the back of the plane with my bottle and DD. These passengers were buzzing every five minutes. If you are thirsty then ask for two drinks when they come around with the cart or a full can of whatever you want. Even when flying business or first (not flown first in a while as most flights are now business/econ only) I either get what I need to drink when they are distributing drinks or stop off after a trip to the bathroom.

Want2bSupermum Tue 12-Feb-13 18:27:51

Yeah - can see how it is kinda of a drip feed and apologies for that. On the couch today after running around yesterday. Due this Friday and finished work on Saturday. Exhausted.

kickassangel Tue 12-Feb-13 19:32:42

Flying is public transport, children are part of the public. The cost of airline flights is actually phenomenally low for the distances travelled. If anyone travels by budget public transport, they should expect to meet other members of the public.
Banning people by age, sex, color, religion etc is discrimination.

If you don't like one of those groups (fat people, young people, brown people, etc) then you shouldn't venture out into the public.

I would actively campaign for any airline that did this to be taken to court for discrimination.

In fact, if anyone knows of any campaigns to stop discrimination, please provide a link.

BoffinMum Tue 12-Feb-13 20:01:41

If she did all that I think you should put in a formal complaint about the way you were treated.

choccyp1g Tue 12-Feb-13 20:07:20

I've read most of ths thread and suddenly had an inspiration. Many people complain about the child behind kicking the seat. and asked "why don't the parents stop them?"
Thinking about my DS, who still has to be reminded about kicking the seat in the car, (to be fair, he has moderate sensory issues), I realise it is actually very difficult (without shouting!) to stop a child kicking unless you tie their legs down.

Aha! Why don't they have an extra seat belt at leg height?

Haven't flown for a few years, but we book the seat in front of DS for one of the adults, DP and I argue over who gets the front seat.

Want2bSupermum Tue 12-Feb-13 20:40:33

boffin I wrote a letter and was sent a form back to fill in that was in Danish only. I don't speak Danish and DH is too busy to fill it in. DH told me they are all union employees so no point in complaining as nothing will change. I sent the unfilled form, my original letter and a new letter to the embassy asking them to fill out the form for me.

Want2bSupermum Tue 12-Feb-13 20:57:55

choccy An extra seat belt at leg height?!? Wouldn't that be abusive?!? Would would well for drunks though and I would love to buckle up DH while he sleeps! Oh the fun that could be had.......

Backinthebox Tue 12-Feb-13 21:19:39

OK, I'm going to bite here. I pass through airport security up to 4 times a day (the job, you see,) and have experienced pretty much every kind of security-caused inconvenience going, in dozens of countries across 4 different continents. I am also a mother of 2 small children, and thanks to the perks of the job I have had the delights of taking them all over the place. I know a bit about airport security. I'd say I am a frequent flyer!

Sadly, the massive increase in security over the last decade is almost entirely down to the desire by Al Quaeda to blow Americans out of the sky, and the rest of the world now lives with that. It also means I am now locked in a small bullet-proof box for up to 12 hours at a time. Thank you America!

The first thing to bear in mind about security is that there are rules. They are to be followed by EVERYONE. I fly the damned plane, and even I have to give up my bottle of suncream etc if I have the wrong sized bottle. (The excuse that I am ginger and neeeeeeed suncream is of no interest to them. Neither is the rational that I will be flying the plane and could crash it and kill everyone on board with my bare hands if I wanted to and the suncream will not help me in any way.) The quantities allowed are published and displayed prominently in every airport. It IS an unfortunate fact for Americans that most of the world measures their liquids in metric - however the TSA have thought about that and do display quantities in mls and ozs. For future info - 100mls is 3.4oz. A frequent flyer ought to know that kind of thing.

The next thing to address is the fact that your bags are likely to be searched - there are random checks, and anyone who is found to have liquids in larger than 100ml containers, for whatever reason, will be subjected to a more in-depth search. The more stuff you have with you, the more stuff the security staff will have to search through. Millions of passengers a year pass through the world's airports - they are working fast as they have a lot of people to get through. So they are unlikely to be delicate with your stuff, and they are definitely not going to allow you to stand around and unpack it slowly and methodically yourself. It's worth considering packing light. Even with a child, you do not need that much guff - what did you need 4 empty bottles for? Could you not wash them? I live in constant amazement at the amount of stuff people feel they need on the plane with them for what is actually less than one day. I see families who have everything but the kitchen sink with them - they always seem quite stressed. And I've seen the opposite end of the scale - the flight I operated last night had a woman travelling with her 3 young children, she only had one bag with her for the whole family. Our cabin crew said she was chilled and calm and her children a delight to have on board.

One of the things to remember about security staff is that it is a mind-numbingly boring, repetitive task with very little job satisfaction. They have very little to entertain themselves with other than to exercise their power with people who piss them off. I make it a golden rule never to piss off security. I've seen it happen with airline crew who get cross at them, and even if they are the captain of a flight going in half an hour, they will take as long as it takes to conduct a search. Telling them they are delaying a whole flight will only make them go slower and ensure your pants are waved around in public. Telling them to go fuck themselves is about the best thing I could imagine you could do if you wanted to find your belongings being raked through and thrown around, although you seem to have found this out for yourself!

At 11 months old, it is unlikely your child will need everything to be sterile. I am bemused by your 11 month old needing gripe water - my 2 both suffered from colic but grew out of it by about 3-4 months. I'm also quite amazed that you have an 11 month old and are 4 months pregnant. A medical miracle! Wittering on about travelling in First/Business doesn't impress me much either. Every flight I do has lots of people travelling in them. Some of them are lovely normal people, and some of them are over-privileged, self-important twits. Two out of the 3 occasions I have had to call the police to meet passengers on landing have involved the behaviour of Club passengers. On one of those occasions it was to separate 2 VIPs who were having an argument about who was the most important VIP! You had to see it to believe it.

I think what I am trying to say is calm down a bit, read the rules, and don't expect to be treated like a princess. Having children should not entitle anyone to behave in a poor manner anywhere. But neither should it mean that you are excluded from public transport, which is what the thread was initially set up to discuss.

RedToothBrush Tue 12-Feb-13 21:52:07

I have to say backinthebox, that is one of the best posts I've seen on MN in response to someone.

Want2bSupermum Tue 12-Feb-13 22:28:00

What you miss is that I didn't have a problem with them taking the cream. I had a problem with them dumping everything out in a very disrespectful way. Ziplock bags are clear and I had everything neatly packed. Is there really a need to open up every single diaper? I am no princess but I do expect respect. I dropped the f bomb because she was totally out of line and I was furious. Instead of a relaxed stroll to the gate we left running around trying to replace the contents of our diaper bag.

If you go through security 4 times a day you are on short haul flights. I tend to fly in increments of 2500 miles. NY to Seattle/Vancouver/LA or NY to UK/Denmark/Germany/Spain/Italy. I do carry a bottle brush with me just in case our bags are delayed (which happens all to frequently). It came in handy when we didn't fly direct and we had to wait 12hrs for the next flight. At that point DD was off formula and the starbucks staff kindly offered to wash the bottles for us through their dishwasher. On that trip we were down to the last diaper when we got to our destination so I know I don't overpack. As I often fly on my own DD and meet DH at the destination I can't be washing bottles on the plane. It is also not hygenic to be washing bottles in a public bathroom. I carry the ziplock bags because if DD ends up with a poop exposion it smells really bad. If I double bag in a ziplock then others are not offended by the smell.

My initial post was about being excluded from occupying the seats I had booked for myself and DD. It was discrimination and I lost out financially. It was wrong but apparently the airline were well within their right to put me in a cheaper seat and not refund DD's seat (she sat on my lap instead of getting her own seat) because 'they didn't want to have to move me if the baby started to cry'. I think in general the airlines could do more to accomodate those with babies. Having diapers would be a start. If they can carry sanitary towels I don't see why they can't carry diapers.

Also, the reason I mentioned DD having colic was because she had lactose free formula which we couldn't buy at the airport. They only had regular formula and I wasn't quite ready to sit through an 8hr flight with a screaming baby. As it was she did cry at the end of the flight because she was hungry. I would have fed her milk at this point as we didn't have that long to land but the crew wouldn't give any food or milk to us because they needed it for 'other' passengers. As DH pointed out to the staff person, our DD was a passenger and would 6oz of milk really leave you short when you have 1.5hr left on a flight?

Want2bSupermum Tue 12-Feb-13 22:40:32

We use the gripe water if she gets diahrrea. It worked well when she had foam coming out when we flew to Seattle. The crew found another passenger with a baby who had some and we gladly tried it with DD. It worked so I included it.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Tue 12-Feb-13 22:48:45

The difficulties with carrying nappies would be that they come in lots of sizes and are a fair bit bulkier than sanitary towels.

Backinthebox Tue 12-Feb-13 23:08:11

"If you go through security 4 times a day you are on short haul flights. I tend to fly in increments of 2500 miles." You shouldn't presume to know anything at all about whether I fly SH or LH from the statement I made about passing through security up to 4 times a day. I'm on what is called a medium haul fleet - we fly both long and short haul flights. My flight tomorrow will be over 10 hours long. My flights last week were 55 minutes each.

Security are within their rights to open EVERYTHING YOU HAVE. And if you tell them to go fuck themselves, they probably will open everything you have. I think you are actually quite lucky they didn't ask you into a side room whilst putting on their rubber gloves! I suspect that the Danish lady you were abusive to was far more laid back than a typical TSA operative would have been - I'd love to be a fly on the wall if you told a JFK security staff member to go fuck themselves! I suspect I'd hear the fallout on the other side of the Atlantic.

I have no experience at all with flying on SAS. It would seem from what you write that they are a terrible airline to travel with. I'd be thinking about travelling with someone else in the future! If you have genuinely paid for 2 business seats and are moved into one economy seat you have a very valid case for compensation against the airline. From your post they seem rather bad with delays too. Which is a puzzle to me as SAS have a reputation as being one of the most punctual airlines in Europe.

It does also seem to me though that perhaps your baby isn't really ready to be a frequent flyer. She seems quite high-needs, and perhaps it would be kinder all round if you maybe waited till life was a little easier to be making so many long flights? I know sometimes I find it tiresome, and I get paid to do it!

As for airlines putting nappies on all flights - there simply isn't the room. As parents of children we are expected to be able to make provision for them while we travel. It is not an unexpected occurrence for a baby to need a clean nappy putting on during a flight. It could well be unexpected (and embarrassing) for someone to suddenly need sanitary protection. Only a small number of basic items are generally stocked, and they take up very little room. But if airlines were to stock nappies - how many would you supply? And what sizes? You would get passengers not taking nappies because they expect the airlines to provide them, only to find that someone has pinched the lot of them because it beats buying them once they get to their destination. Then there would be more complaints!

Far better to expect parents to do their jobs and ensure they have packed enough nappies. I appreciate you packed enough, but somehow failed to notice you had left most of them at security, but the airlines can't be held responsible for what you do at security. I am surprised that you felt so rushed though - having got to the airport 3 hours before your flight (which is not a mandatory requirement, btw. Heathrow has some of the strictest security conformance procedures in the world, yet only requires you to present yourself at the airport 40 mins before the flight, and to be at security 35 mins before it.) I've been to Copenhagen many times, and it's large, but not enormous in the way that eg Washington or Rome are.

I would be winding my neck in if I were you, as you sound peculiarly inexperienced for someone who protests how much they fly, and every time you post you make yourself sound a bit more precious. How DID you manage to be 4 months pregnant with an 11 month old, btw?

HollaAtMeBaby Tue 12-Feb-13 23:19:37

Erm, I am thinking that she conceived DC2 when DC1 was 7 months old. But otherwise, your posts are spot on and I am impressed and a bit envious of your glamorous pilot life!

Backinthebox Tue 12-Feb-13 23:26:04

Ah, yes, you are right Holla! Don't know what I was thinking there. blush You're envious of me having my pants waved around in front of all my passengers and my suncream confiscated...? grin

StillStuck Tue 12-Feb-13 23:27:55

If you are a frequent flier you would have known fruit purees are classed as a liquid by security. It is why I take purees in the pouches with a screw on and off lid.

By the time ds was 11 months he would happily lick anything he could reach, fretting about a bit of hand contact seems excessive.

Having to buy some diaper cream is hardly the end of the world

(I have flown very regularly with ds since he was 2 months old. He has severe allergies (some anaphylactic) and eczema which mean I have to take all his food and drink for any journey and special formula. I also have to take a collection of other medicines and skin creams for him so I do know about complicated travelling. )

StillStuck Tue 12-Feb-13 23:44:04

Back in the box I meant to say thank you for your sensible post. Agree with it all. Except re copenhagen where we experienced nightmare queues for check in and security and nearly missed our flight despite being there 2 hours before.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Tue 12-Feb-13 23:59:29

I'm pretty sure when we've had our change bag checked, they've "flicked" through all the nappies, which are presumably a really good place to hide things. I definitely have to open all the zips to wipes compartment, sippy cup compartment etc.

I don't think she had much choice if doing a full check but to access all sections of your stuff ie go through your Ziploc bags.

Want2bSupermum Wed 13-Feb-13 03:19:44

Accessing ziplock bags is not the same as pouring them out into a huge pile. I tried to put a tray down and was told to back off which I did. It was at the end when I told her to go f herself when she told us we were taking too long and shoved our stuff to the side causing it to fall on the floor. We had 45mins until our flight was due to take off which left us about 15mins to sort out food for DD. Not a surprise that we left some diapers on the floor at security.

The lady was not a government employee. She was supervised by a government employee and was wearing SAS uniform. SAS operate CPH airport and rather a lot of the agents are not directly employed by the government.

We have never had any issues with the TSA or going through security here in the US. In fact it was a TSA agent who suggested the applesauce pots. He said that if something is still sealed by the manufacturer they don't have to open it and won't because it opens them up to being sued if the child is sick or doesn't have enough food for their trip. Considering that I had flown to Seattle, Vancouver, Manchester and Madrid with these containers and had no problems I really wasn't expecting it to be such an issue. Also, a 4oz tube of cream is just over the limit and I had travelled with these tubes for the preceeding 8 months. It is easily done when they don't have ml on the tube and it is stocked in the travel section. I don't know how many times i have to say that I did tell the lady to bin it after she denied my points about it being for our DD and that it would probably be all spent by the time we arrived.

It isn't as if they didn't know a child wasn't going to be travelling or their age. I wouldn't expect the plane to have more than 2 or 3 diapers in a uniform large size. You can always fit a smaller baby into a bigger diaper.

As for washing bottles while travelling... words fail me. There is a reason why that isn't allowed. It is extremly unhygenic to wash bottles in a bathroom and given that our daughter has had issues in the past with flying plus the global mix of germs that you get at an airport, I would never take the risk.

Finally, SAS have managed to get their flights ontime by extending the length they are supposed to take. It was DH who noticed they added about 5% on to the flight times a couple of years ago now.

FellatioNels0n Wed 13-Feb-13 03:28:45

I'll be needing a no BO zone please.

Trills Wed 13-Feb-13 08:18:34

a 4oz tube of cream is just over the limit and I had travelled with these tubes for the preceeding 8 months

"Nobody else carries out the job according to the rules" is not a good argument.

rubyrubyruby Wed 13-Feb-13 08:26:15

They took my exercise hand weights once in case I smashed the pilot over the head with them.
It was awful, I had to sit by the pool and do fuck all for 2 weeks <<sigh>>

Thankfully, because we didn't pay for early boarding I couldn't get seats anywhere near my DCs so spent the flight reading.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 13-Feb-13 08:28:25

A frequent flyer like yourself really needs to get over the obsession with hygiene and the 'global mix of germs' you're so terrified of.

Want2bSupermum Wed 13-Feb-13 11:15:22

Clarice I don't think I am being obessed with hygine for not thinking it suitable to wash bottles in a public bathroom. Think about it..... Restaurants are not allowed to wash crockery in bathrooms for a good reason. Why would food hygine be any different for a child?!?

Trills If you read my posts you will see that I told the lady to bin it after I raised the point. I didn't know 4oz was more than 100ml and I was indirectly asking the lady to make an exception based on the fact that 120ml of diaper cream isn't a lot for someone who has a longer journey. When she denied this I said 'Bin it.' I wasn't arguing with her or being rude. It was after she dumped out the contents of our diaper bag, touched all of DD's foods with her bare hands and then scooped everything to the side that I lost it. We were left with no food for DD for the flight as at least the applesauce ended up on the floor and the rest had been touched. We were then told to hurry up because WE were holding people up. If anything the security person had held everyone up by being totally obnoxious. Also, she didn't follow the rules or maintain safety. The rules say that we should have been asked to open and taste the food. Also, DD didn't have a boarding card for the flight. We should never have made it through security for that reason. Instead we made it all the way through to our destination.

I think the responses to my experience highlight the discrimination that many parents of young children face when travelling. I also feel sorry for the disabled when it comes to air travel. It is no wonder you don't see many wheelchair bound people on planes.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 13-Feb-13 11:24:11

I'd wash drinking bottles in a public bathroom. I don't think it's a child/adult thing. I always thought restaurants weren't allowed to do it because public health/safety/hygiene rules are very stringent.

Also this 'By the time ds was 11 months he would happily lick anything he could reach, fretting about a bit of hand contact seems excessive.'

and this 'At 11 months old, it is unlikely your child will need everything to be sterile.'

RedToothBrush Wed 13-Feb-13 11:36:42

Want2bSupermum you are funny and definitely one of those who would entertain me.

I can't blame security staff for the way they do things. Nor for being difficult with the 80th person that day who hasn't followed the rules about liquid limits and think they know better than security.

Its funny, you can spot with a certain degree of accuracy miles before you reach security who is going to get stopped. It does make me smirk as you can tell how these people are going to react in abject horror and disgust and when they carry out a text book execution of how not to do security. Its priceless.

When you no longer get free food on a flight as standard and even those who do are having to cut costs at every opportunity, I think expecting the moon on a stick and nappies to be carried by the airline is living in the past and in cloud cuckoo land.

I've flown with SAS a few times. They are well above average in my experience. And definitely not the most strict by a long shot.

BoffinMum Wed 13-Feb-13 11:48:15

The wheelchair people are there actually - we get to go through a separate screening place a lot of the time, and many of us can actually make it up the stairs if we're not being jostled, if not, they hoist us on before the other people board the flight.

When I am with kids I have started paying to use special lounges and fast track facilities as I am rubbish at coping with airport stress.

Backinthebox Wed 13-Feb-13 21:01:31

If I were that worried about washing a bottle in a public loo I'd stick a couple of Milton tablets and a tupperware tub in. See? there's a way round most things!

And yup, we had a wheelchair passenger on today's flight. Treated with care and respect, as usual.

As for SAS adding about 5% on to their flight times - would you like me to give a really long and detailed explanation as to how airlines calculate flight times, to include debate on airport weather, air traffic slots, the North Atlantic Track system, headwinds and tailwinds, and a myriad other issues that mean only an imbecile wouldn't add a couple of extra minutes on to a schedule here and there to ensure the passenger can have some degree of certainty that they will arrive by the scheduled arrival time? Let's face it, if you were drive 50 miles at 60mph, it would take you 50 minutes if you were not slowed down by any other traffic, had no junctions to negotiate, and went from 60mph to parked without having to consider your parking place. But you'd most likely tell anyone who asked that it would take you about an hour to drive. You've just added 12% to your journey time. This does not make you dishonest - it makes you realistic.

Want2bSupermum Thu 14-Feb-13 18:21:10

Boffin Didn't know you were disabled. Great to hear that you are able to make it through airports and are able to board the plane first. With DD when we have flown from CPH/ Madrid and Rome we were not been able to board first unless we are in business. It drive me nuts when I am trying to put the activity bag under the seat and find a spot for the diaper bag above while holding DD. It is a major pain when the diaper bag is 2 or 3 bins away (and always in the wrong direction from the bathrooms too).

back Flight durations shouldn't increase by 5% when you are travelling the same route at the same time. 5% of 8hrs is 24 minutes which is an awful lot of time to be adding to a flight where all the variables have already been taken into consideration. As I said, my timings were gate to gate, not wheels up to wheels down.

As for milton tablets and tupperwear... you tell me I have too much stuff with me and then suggest a way around bringing 4 bottles is to bring Milton tables (which I have not seen for sale here in the US) and a tupperwear tub! So, if I were to be able to source milton tablets here in the US (I am sure amazon sells them), I would then be walking around with a tupperware tub full of water. That is a great work around, especially when I am travelling on my own with DD. I think I will stick to bringing 4 clean bottles.

Red I do blame security when they don't do things properly. Our DD had no boarding pass yet the big issue was a 4oz tube of diaper cream. Also, the rules are that the parents are supposed to test the food, not the security person. So I did one thing wrong.... I carried a 4oz tube of cream with no ml markings on it. It doesn't justify her failures to ensure DD had a boarding pass and that proper procedures were followed with regards to searching our belongings.

BoffinMum Thu 14-Feb-13 18:48:10

I travel incredibly lightly, even with babies/toddlers/tinies on long haul flights. My tricks for anyone over 6 months are:

Two bottles, just rinse with a bit of hot water when necessary. They survive. Roll up disposable bottle tucked away in case of disaster. I've even used Fruit Shoot bottles for formula when stuck. The world didn't end.

Break all the rules on formula - take 7 scoops per feed in a container with compartments, add 7 fl oz hot water or Evian as required. Shake. Again, they survive, amazingly.

Take nappies for 24 hours in case we're stranded, full pack wipes.

Take 2 day outfits as well as 2 babygros that could just about pass for daywear.

Big carrier bag tucked away in case of big mess.

Packet of raisins, one or two Farley's rusks.

Soap leaves and smallest size travel towel.

Spare t-shirt for me.

Extra blanket for on the plane.

That's about all I take. Food wise I just feed them bits of whatever they have on the plane, than I am eating (I chew it up for them, if necessary).

Backinthebox Thu 14-Feb-13 18:57:44

Flight durations DO vary by more than 5% though. I can't be bothered to explain it to you, because I have a feeling you won't take it on board anyway.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Thu 14-Feb-13 19:17:49

Eh? Wind, holding patterns, runway slots, offloading passengers, taxi time if you are at the furthest gate? Loads more that passengers are never even aware of? One of these alone could give a variation of more than 24 mins.

Many flights I've been on, not just SAS, say they've caught up time en route after an hour 's delay on take off - I simply assume the schedule contained considerable delay allowance in the first place.

Want2bSupermum Thu 14-Feb-13 21:11:06

boffin I don't have that much more with me (4 bottles but no blanket, 1pr pyjamas + 1 outfit, a spare top for DH and I and we use a changing mat by kushies which is a piece of flannel with a waterproof layer on the back - we use it as a liner during take off after DD pooped so bad once it hit the back of her neck). We then carry medicine (paedilyte powder, baby paracetamol, teething tablets and gripe water) and 3 pacifiers (we always lose one). I don't carry a blanket (use my coat/ DH's spare top or the blanket provided) or soap. I put soiled clothes in a ziplock and use the mouthwash cup in the bathroom to mix water and soap and pour that onto the clothes. Close the ziplock and wash or chuck at destination.

Our diaper bag allows me to be quite organized and I use a backpack for myself which has three pockets, one which I use to hold DD's activity bag. The diaper bag we have is great. It has lots of pockets which is why I use the ziplock freezer bags. Instead of rummaging around in the pocket I pull out the ziplock bag, its see through so I can identify why it is I need and if is leaks it doesn't spoil the bag. The ziplock bags can easily be opened with one hand and the seal prevents icky smells from escaping. The gallon sized ones are great puke bags too.

Back Whatever...

mooniy Thu 14-Feb-13 22:29:44

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

somanymiles Thu 14-Feb-13 23:07:31

I definitely support the idea of "quiet areas" and family areas, not for the sake of the people who are annoyed by noisy children (I'm thinking of my dear but very grumpy mother, for example) but really for my sake. I have three children. The older two are usually very well behaved on planes and always have been, despite my DD suffering from travel sickness. My DS2, 24 months old, is a nightmare. He is a very active child who really wants to run up and down the aisles screaming loudly with joy. If forced to sit still he will scream loudly with rage and throwing anything he can get his hands on. It is not that I haven't trained him to be a good traveller, but that he is a different child with a different personality, so I do take umbrage at people who pat themselves on the back and take all the credit for their children behaving on planes, in restaurants etc - it really is sometimes a question of nature rather than nature. Like others on this thread we live overseas and take a long haul flight every year to see family, some of whom are too old/brassick to fly to us. Last year on one of our flights, while DS2 was somewhat disruptive he was in no way as disruptive as a very obese man with a lough hacking cough sitting next to us. Having said that I would feel a lot more relaxed in a "family zone" where at least I would feel that I was surrounded by other parents who at least in part understood the challenge presented by keeping a toddler quiet for a 10 hour flight. If I ever see a parent struggling with a crying baby or tantrumming toddler on a flight or in a restaurant I thank my lucky stars it's not me and wonder what I can do to help, if anything. If only more people were like that. And while some claim having children is a lifestyle choice, it is my children who will be giving them medical care, spoon feeding them and paying taxes to support their care homes when they get old, so they can bloody well put up with them on the occasional flight or meal out IMHO.

BoffinMum Sat 16-Feb-13 17:09:56

It would be brilliant to be able to pre-book nappy and food packs for babies and toddlers on planes, and/or be able to buy them from the trolley.

Want2bSupermum Sun 17-Feb-13 16:57:12

Boffin When we fly with United we get offered a special meal with DD and they ask us what DD likes to eat. It is fab but I don't think they do it for regular economy passengers (def worth asking when you book). I am fortunate that DH flies with them so much that they offer these services.

Flight to Manchester where we flew business they gave me her meal shortly after take off. It was all wrapped up so I could feed her as she needed feeding rather than having to bother the crew. They had little packets of cheese, apple sauce, rice balls, chopped pear, a banana, two rolls, little crackers, salt free pretzels, carrots, celery and cold chicken. They had cartons of milk (like a juice box) for her and gave me a 1.5l bottle of water. Before landing they gave us a packed lunch for DD of cold salmon, apple slices and a bottle of water. Was fabulous I tell you. It costs a lot to travel this way, but short of hiring a nanny, it makes life so much more pleasant. Oh and my mantra towards parenthood is 'Sanity comes at a cost that I am willing to pay for.' I don't think airlines realize this sometimes.

Tortington Sun 17-Feb-13 17:28:54

yes please. i don't want to have to smile at children who kick my chair and scream for 4 hours.

rubyrubyruby Sun 17-Feb-13 21:18:03

Want2bSupemum - I'm surprised you can't fly to your destination without needing a plane.

Want2bSupermum Mon 18-Feb-13 11:05:59

ruby We live in the US and travel to visit family, so yes we need a plane to get to our destination.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 18-Feb-13 12:53:49

Supermum, I fear you've misread ruby's post.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Mon 18-Feb-13 17:46:19

Hums Superman theme.

De-de-derrrr, de-de-de-de-derrrrr...

Want2bSupermum Tue 19-Feb-13 20:27:02

I would like to think that her post says more about her than it does about me.

Saxie Tue 19-Feb-13 20:31:40

Yes. And childrens carriages on trains. Why not? Other people's children may be my idea of hell but at least this way you don't have to apologise if your baby is crying to some grumpy bugger who (unrealistically) thinks children should be seen and not heard.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Tue 19-Feb-13 21:06:50

I think it was a joke, Supermum!

GreenEggsAndNichts Wed 20-Feb-13 09:34:54

It might help to envision yourself in a cape, Supermum. grin

(even though Edna from the Incredibles says NO CAPES! love her.)

GreenEggsAndNichts Wed 20-Feb-13 09:43:05

oh but seeing this pop up again on my threads, reminds me: We just took a trip to the Canaries for half term, so, a 4+ hr flight each way. It was Ryanair, so most of the process was essentially hell, however, one of the really good things about the flight was that it was packed full of families with children. It wasn't noisy at all (I recall one child screaming a bit on the way back but only for the amount of time his ears would have been hurting) but I felt so much more relaxed because I knew 90% of the flight was in the same boat as I was.

rubyrubyruby Wed 20-Feb-13 10:07:55

I'm glad my extremely bad joke wasnt entirely lost grin

I think its fine greeneggs on flights and in situations like that. All families off on a nice holiday and the buzz all adds to the excitement.

However, not all flights are for pleasure. My DH has to travel a lot for work at short notice. They are long haul flights for short trips. He is not going away to relax or lay on a beach, he is probably due to land, alone, in a strange country and go straight to an extremely important, stressful meeting. He then moves onto another country, different time zone etc and so on. On his return, he doesn't come home and lounge around to recover, he goes straight into the office.

It would be nice for him to have this option.

rubyrubyruby Wed 20-Feb-13 10:10:47

I'm not speaking specifically to you greeneggs btw smile
.......... just throwing my general thoughts in.

GreenEggsAndNichts Wed 20-Feb-13 10:38:57

Well, it's a shame his company won't spring for business class, as that's exactly the situation that section caters for. Even without children, traveling economy class is terrible, and I can't imagine he'd be rested and ready for work the next day. I am incapable of sleeping for more than an hour or two even on a very long flight, in optimal-for-economy-class conditions.

I am an expat so I have to fly transatlantic, and yes, unfortunately with my DS, which is why I'm in the camp of "well, sometimes children do need to fly, as grandparents aren't always capable of coming to them."

I do know what you mean about general thoughts, I didn't take it personally!

It might have been bad, btw, but the joke made me smile regardless. grin

rubyrubyruby Wed 20-Feb-13 10:44:34

The company are prepared to pay for first/upper or premium but, unbelievably, despite the inflated prices he can't get booked on!
It's nice when he has more than a few days/week notice and has that option

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