What do we all hate about traveling over the holidays? It's expensive to fly the whole family, and it's a huge pain in the tookus to keep all the little ones reasonably quiet and unharmed through the flight. Oh, if only there were a magic spell that could shrink down the kiddies to Lego-man size so we could just stow them quietly in our carry-on luggage!
Okay, I'm just kidding. But one family's attempt to get around the expense of flying is almost as ridiculous. Two parents bought just three airline tickets for a family of six. Since three of their kids qualify as "lap infants," they figured those kids could all just fly free. So you're picturing that older, fourth child as a teenager, right? Nope. Their oldest is 3 years old. Are you as confused as I am?
Let's go over it again: Two parents plus a 3-year-old, 20-month-old twins, and an 8-month-old baby, all sharing just three seats. "We were going to have one of the twins sit with my 3-year-old and my husband and I each hold one of the two remaining children," claims the mother. Which totally makes sense if you think it's a good idea for a 3-year-old and a toddler to share a seat on a cross-country flight. And if you're serving everyone else on the plane free, unlimited Bloody Marys. Needless to say, the crew kicked the family off the flight.
Let's ignore the argument over whether this was legal or not. (The airline says lap infants can fly free only if there's an accompanying adult for each.) This family was flying from North Carolina to Chicago -- that's too long a flight for a family of six to fly squished together in just three already-too-small seats! Those kids are going to be miserable and whiny, and then the rest of the passengers are going to be miserable and whiny. I think it's just unbelievably inconsiderate of these parents. And it's parents like these that make the rest of us more reasonable parents look bad!
Look, I feel for this family. Flying with kids is expensive. But if they chose to have so many kids so close in age, they need to accept the consequences of that decision. Either you shell out for another seat or two, or you say, "Well, we're not flying this year." But inconveniencing everyone else so you can have it all just spreads ill will through the holidays. Bah humbug!
Do you think the airline was right to kick this family off their flight?
Image via Pylon757/Flickr