Thursday, February 23, 2012

Why Is Your Child on This Airplane?

I recently read a column that purported to advise parents how to deal with "child haters" who mistreat them just for bringing their kids on an airplane trip.

Excuse me? In a conversation a few years ago, my co-blogger Crosscheck said something that was like a revelation to me:

There is no reason for young children to travel on an airplane.

I have thought about this almost every time I've flown for the last several years. And after all that thinking about it, I have come to the following conclusion:
In the vast majority of cases, there is actually no reason for young children to travel on an aircraft (i.e., kids too young to understand the expectation of civil behavior). The exceptions would be the following:
  • an ill child traveling to see a specialist for a severe disease; 
  • a family paying its respects to a dying grandparent; or 
  • a family relocating permanently across the country.
Otherwise? Why subject yourself to the agony of lugging all that crap around with you (strollers, diapers, wipes, formula, pacifiers, toys, books, video games)? 
Why subject other passengers to the avoidable interference in what is already a stressful pursuit (being cooped up in the tube in the sky)?
Why make the kids go through often-painful sinus compression and decompression (that they don't understand how to remedy), dehydration, and other deleterious effects of air travel? 
Just stay home, or take a driving trip, a train trip, or a boat trip.

Photo via Creative Commons 

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