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Family Sections on Planes: Good Idea or Segregation?

I was watching TV the other morning and one of the news anchors made a comment about how there should be a “family section” on airplanes because you know, people with kids are like lepers or something.  I’ll admit, before I had the Tiny Dancer, when I traveled on airplanes I would cringe when I saw a kid sitting near me.  But, most of the time, the kids were fine.  And between my snacks, my movies, books, work, music etc., I was busy and barely noticed them.  The worst it ever got was a kid kicking the seat behind me and if anything, I didn’t blame the kid – I blamed the parent for not stopping the kid.

Now that I have a child, the comment about a family section struck a nerve.  Why should we lump people with children on a separate section of the plane?  I pay just as much as anyone else on that plane – for my ticket and the tiny dancers (gone are the days of discounted tickets for kids!!). Not to mention, my child is pretty well behaved – what makes you think I want to sit amongst the poorly behaved, unruly kids?

If, as a society, we were going to separate people on planes, I myself would like to see a section for the following groups: people who snore loudly, people who spill onto your seat and armrest, loud talkers, rude, inconsiderate adults, people with bad body odor; and drunks.  Um, do we see how dangerous a slippery slope “separate” sections would create? I thought we realized long ago separate was not equal.

I think what we need to remember is that everyone has paid to be on the airplane. If a kid is acting up, instead of thinking about how miserable you are, think about how miserable that kid is being cooped up on a plane. We were all kids once and I think it helps to remember that once in a while.  It may be the adults that complain so loudly about kids on the plane are just grown up bratty toddlers themselves.

To read more, check out my tips on traveling on an airplane with infants and free downloadable travel checklist.

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