How to Keep Your Kid From Getting Kicked Off a Plane


getting kicked off a plane
Don't worry, I can fly us to New York
Whether you felt the toddler deserved it, or still can't believe no one was fired when a mom and her little boy were kicked off a plane, we can all agree that we never want to see this happen in our own family. Since I have a particularly verbose toddler, and we're boarding a cross-country flight this week, it's on my mind constantly. I'm truly frightened of the havoc my two-and-a-half-year-old might cause because that kid is active, talkative, and airplane seats cannot contain that boy.

But since I'm already committed to not leaving my child behind every time I go somewhere, I've got some tricks up my sleeve when the excitement of being on an airplane wanes, and reality kicks in. Ugly, ugly, reality.

Here's my emergency toddler travel preparedness list.

The Childhood Songbook

Before you travel anywhere study up on your "Wheels on the Bus," "Twinkle, Twinkle," "Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee" collection. Because a familiar kid song sung softly into a toddler's ear can be the difference between nap time and screaming time.

Any Food He Wants

I don't care if it's loaded with fat, sugar (although probably not sugar if you've got one of those kids that goes nuts on a sugar high), or some food you're morally opposed to -- stuff kids full of food so they are comfortable. Over-stuffing could even bring sleep. Blessed, blessed, sleep.

iPhone, iPad, Any cutely named electronic

Load up your digital device with movies, games, talking cats, really anything. I don't care if my kid has to wind up looking at my cooking apps, he will be entertained by the magic screen. Even if that means six hours of screen time and it stunts his growth. We're talking emergency here, people.

Singing songs repeatedly, loading up your kids on carbs, and letting them zone out in front of screens may sound like failed parenting. But getting kicked off a flight because your kid can't hang -- well, that's much, much, worse. Don't worry, the holidays will be all over in 55 days.

How do you handle travel with your little kids?

fun & games, gear, travel


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mjande4 mjande4

If you are going to cite a story as a reference, it might be more persuasive if you used a current one.  The link for the story you used was from 2007.  Give me a break!!  Lazy journalism at it's finest.

fraoch fraoch

Man the people who respond to these blogs are some hard to please folks, huh?

She's giving an example, if that confuses you I'll help. An example is a demonstration to reiterate a point being made. In this case, she probably came across the article and thought, huh, I bet my cafe mom's would be interested in seeing how I keep my son calm on a plane trip b/c I'm sure I'm not the only person in the world who has an active child who'd be a bit crazy on a plane!!! Then cited the story the prompted the idea for the article.

nonmember avatar deal with it

I say we kick the cranky adults who act like they've never seen a child off the plane. for real, who are you to get mad that a toddler makes noise. Just bc your parents didn't love you doesn't mean you get to take it out on the rest of the world

nonmember avatar Amber

"Even if that means six hours of screen time and it stunts his growth. We're talking emergency here, people." Thank you! 6 hours of TV and a happy family is FAR SUPERIOR to 6 hours of frustrated Mommy who is going to unwittingly take it out on her family for the next two days.

nonmember avatar lisa

When my children were toddlers, I had them convinced that if they misbehaved the flight crew would make them jump off the airplane with a parachute! Say what you will, it worked, and my kids are 7 & 9 now and think it's the silliest thing in the world that I ever told them that.

mjande4 mjande4

I'm not hard to please, I just have expectations.  There is a difference.  I stand by my original statement.  If  you are going to use a story as a citation, make it current.  The one she used is nearly five years old.  She was trying to incite empathy and it didn't work.

fraoch fraoch

You could always create your own blog and tell your staffers how to write their information :)

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

A notebook or sketchbook is great too. Bring a pack of crayons and your imagination and they will be entertained for hours. Comfy clothes are a must, something cozy because those cabins can be chilly.

My best tip though is to just be insanely lucky. My kid is just a natural born plane passenger. It once took us over three days to travel to my mother's house, a trip that should have taken about 16 hours, thanks to a variety of technical amd weather issues. He never complained and I saw plenty of adults screaming and crying on that journey. I wish I could bottle whatever it is that keeps him calm because I'd make a fortune even after giving free samples to parents who have screaming whiny kids on whatever flight I'm on.

Lisa Moore

I dont know how I did it but I got through a total flight time of 10hrs (atlanta to honolulu) plus a 9 hr. layover right in the middle (I'm sorry but I now hate seattle) with my 3kids (ages 7,5 and 6months) without ANY misbehavoir. It was their first time flying and I was really anxious as I've heard so many horror stories of how people react to kids on a plane. It was perfect (except for the layover...ugh). I hope I get that lucky next time. They are a little older now and I don't know if that will be good or bad for me.

Fallaya Fallaya

1. Pre-board.  Get yourself settled into your seat.

2. Have lots of snacks, new books, markers, paper and stickers.

3.  PLAYDOUGH.  That will guarantee at least one hour of quiet play!!

4. If you have a portable dvd player, that's a plus.  

5.  Lollipops and somewhat healthy fruit snacks.  This is no time to worry about nutrition.  When you feel a freak-out coming on, pull out one of these special treats.  I'm not talking about "rewarding a tantrum" are giving the treat to head-off the tantrum.  

6.  Walk up and down the aisles every 45-60 minutes.  The child needs to stretch his legs.


Don't worry about rude stares.  You'll never see these people again.  

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