Summer Travel

7 Biggest Complaints Airline Passengers Have About YOUR Kid & How to Make It Better

Being a Mom 51

kids on airplaneFlying with kids -- just hearing those words gives parents anxiety, and any passenger on the plane with you would cringe. An airplane is an enclosed space. You are essentially trapped high in the sky in a tube counting down the minutes until you land while hoping the turbulence or air pressure doesn't make your kid vomit on the person next to you or scream the whole time. It happens though. And it's one of our biggest fears as parents. It's why so many people choose short (or cross-country) minivan trips with the family.

But it doesn't have to be so dreadful. Perhaps if we identify the problems, we can solve them. Maybe. Here are the 7 biggest complaints airline passengers have about your kids and how to make it all better. Or at least more tolerable.

  1. Crying. Kids cry sometimes. Put a child on a plane and the chances of a kid crying go up exponentially. Crying annoys others. It gets them tense and upset. So how do we stop our kids from crying? Well that's a tough one. You can try candy. Candy sometimes works, but then you may have to deal with ...
  2. Tantrums. Once that sugar high kicks in, then comes down, tantrums might begin. No one wants a whiny, tantrumy kid while trapped in a flying metal thing in the sky. Not even the parents of the child. What to do? Use your bargaining chips. Make deals to get your child to stop being that way and you might get lucky.
  3. Kicking the seat. Ack! Please dear child, don't kick the seat in front of you! It happens though. If it does, you know what to do, right parents?
  4. Poop diapers. Mostly for the parents of the younger ones of course. It's stinky with all that recycled air. You are kind of SOL in this situation. Sorry passengers.
  5. Boogers on seats. Kids are gross sometimes. Kids love boogers. They like to pick them and eat them or put them on others. If this happens, work on that apology.
  6. Putting the window shade up and down and up and down. We discussed how kids can be annoying sometimes. So can adults. We kind of wish adults would realize that and just deal. If they can't, a smile and apology work well here, too.
  7. Walking the aisles. If you let your child get up and walk the aisles, they may start running, getting you in trouble with the flight attendants, or they may just walk and bump into people along the way. This may be one of those times where you should have candy on hand for everyone to enjoy.

Apologies and smiles do work wonders -- not just from you, but from your child. Bringing their favorite toys, and many of them, is great, too. It's also best to not give off any tense or negative energy to your kids because they pick up on it and that's often when they act out the worst. Try to make the flight as exciting as possible and get the kids involved in how the plane is flying, what you see outside the window, and maybe even bring along a book or two that has all that information so they are happy to be there. Happy flying!

What do you do if you are ever in any of the above situations? What's the most annoying thing you've had a child do when you were flying?


Image via xersti/Flickr

activities, behavior, family


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

nonmember avatar kdelano

these are all of the things I'm nervous about with our upcoming flight! we'll be flying from south korea to the states this november with a 1 year old and I am so worried about it! its a total of 15-18 hours in the air, and since my daughter was born here in soko, it will be our first flight with a child!

nonmember avatar NoWay

So far I've been fairly lucky on my cross country flights. On my last trip home from CA to the east coast, there was one fussy child, but I couldn't blame her because I know her ears hurt from the pressure. THe flight attendants were very good at showing the parents how to get her ears to pop. (They gave her pretzels to chew on). After that, she was fine.

Fondue Fondue

Other passengers are SOL when there's a poopy diaper?  I don't think so.  Go to the restroom and change your little snowflake's diaper.  Do not change it in your seat; go to that tiny, cramped lavatory and do it.  Yes, it may be tricky to maneuver around in there, but it's your kid, deal with it.  The rest of us shouldn't have to.

4kidz916 4kidz916

I've never flown with my kids.  The thing that would annoy me the most is kicking the seat.  I hate that.

miche... micheledo

We flew with five kids, ages infant to six, last year. I could tell the guy in front of us was not happy. One of our kids bumped his seat one time (none of them started kicking the seats thankfully) and the a few minutes later I leaned down to pick up a toy and bumped his seat again. It was funny to me, 'cause he spun around SO fast amd so angry, then he saw me there and not a child. Ha ha. He calmed down after that and the kids weren't bad.

For the most part, passengers were very kind!

Have to say, international flights are much more accomodating to children - the attendants and the passengers. I have only seen people offering sympathy and help on those flights!

Leele... Leelee1008

I have never flown in my life. I dont know if I ever want to. but you know what, if you have kids, you just kinda deal with melt downs and such, it comes with the kids.

Madel... Madelaine

Never encoutered these while flying.  Glad I didnt!

tessi... tessiekat

I was in a pretty interesting (and hopefully rare) situation, a while back.
I was sharing an aisle on a red eye flight with a Mom and a toddler, where I had the window seat.  We hadn't even left the tarmac and the Mom fell asleep, face mask to block the light and all, leaving me with a toddler I had never met. I understand Moms don't get much sleep and even five minutes is a gift, but leaving a stranger with your toddler?? She wouldn't wake up or respond to me when I tried to tell her her daughter was crying.  I was happy to let the little girl look out the window for a bit to calm her down, but the entire 6 hour flight she climbed all over me, and wouldn't stay in her seat.  The flight attendants wouldn't help me wake up the mother either.  From the looks they were giving me, I assume they thought she was MY daughter. It was infuriating. The little girl and I were both tired, and upset and had to pee. (We both held it. Thank God.) The mom woke up as we were getting ready to get off the plane, grabbed her girl's hand and walked away without a word. I'm still angry with her to this day, and hope to God that she doesn't do that to anyone else...
I was getting paid $10 an hour for normal babysitting hours during those years, $20 for overnights, and I completely believe she owed me at least $100 for that nightmare.

nonmember avatar April

We flew cross country with a 2 year old and a 5 year old a few years ago. We bought small toys that they had never seen before and kept them hidden until the flight. We also stocked up on crayons, coloring books, activity pads and blank paper. We took little snacks like trail mix and pretzels with us. The kids were surpisingly well behaved. Both ways. it was more a matter of staving off boredom than anything else.

godde... goddess99

There were not kids on the flight I took.

1-10 of 51 comments 12345 Last