My family has relatives sprinkled in Maryland, North Carolina and Florida, so traveling to see them is just part of our normal routine. And our boys are now 8 and 13, so the tough-traveling years are pretty much behind us.
But I feel for those parents with younger kids, particularly when they have to keep their kids cooped up on planes to see Grandma and Granddad, Auntie or Uncle. I’m thinking about a recent radio commercial I heard for earphones, in which the announcer brags that his high-quality earphones even block out a howling kid sitting nearby. Nice.
I think most parents – except those of us who are perfect – empathize with a parent whose kid simply loses it on a flight. We realize that there before the grace of God goes us.
Apparently, that’s not the case with AirTran, which threw a mother, father and 3-year-old girl off a flight when the child had a tantrum before the plane took off. You can read complete details “here,”:http://www.telegram.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070121/COLUMN01/701210459/1008/NEWS02?page1in in this column by my longtime friend and former reporting partner, Dianne Williamson of the Worcester (Mass.) Telegram & Gazette.
Here’s the abbreviated story: The little girl apparently enjoyed the flight to Florida to see her grandparents, but when she got on the plane to return to Boston, she had a meltdown. Instead of being shown some sympathy, the parents were shown the door of the plane. AND, they were banned from the airline for 24 hours, meaning they had to spend an extra day in Florida, which they weren’t counting on. An AirTran supervisor had the gall to tell the dad how she would never tolerate her child acting in that manner. (Can you believe this?) Later, AirTran officials apologized and refunded the family’s ticket costs and offered them free tickets elsewhere, which they rejected. Good for them.
I know many parents take along activity bags, games, books, all kinds of things to make Junior’s travel time less arduous for everyone. But sometimes, just like for Felix the Cat, even that bag of tricks simply won’t work.
What tactics do you use to soothe your kids’ nerves while traveling? Or yours?
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