Tuesday, January 22, 2013

10 Things that would Dramatically Improve Air Travel with Children

  1. Lap Protectors. Ginger ale met my crotch twice in our most recent plane ride thanks to my little sweetlings. Lets just say it's not one of those situations that's going to improve anything for anyone. 
  2. Airplane Food my Children will Eat. Sure they have those super fancy and overpriced cranberry nut bread turkey sandwiches (which to be fair, I didn't even try to offer them) and gummy bears, but neither of those are really going to cut it for the "oh crap, I forgot you need dinner and now we're on a 4 hour flight and it's dinner time" moments for those with small children. Really now, would happy meals (or even like, a  kid friendly sandwich and apple sauce cup) be so hard?
  3. Car Side Car Seat Pick Up and Delivery Service. The off site airport parking is getting close, where they pick you up right at your car. But I think a more universal approach could be implemented as standard operating procedure. Or at least something where I didn't have to choose between signing away the integrity of the seat for checking vs. the challenge of hauling these large, cumbersome, heavy things through the airport on top of luggage and children.
  4. Complimentary Bathroom Escort Service. I don't know when most people think children are totally old enough to handle a potty trip in an airplane by themselves, but I'm going to guess about the time they can figure out how to work the door locks without locking themselves in and subsequently freaking out. Lets just say my five year old isn't there yet, and therefore needs to be accompanied on every potty trip. Therefore, all subsequent younger children also need to be dragged along on this venture. Have you been in an airplane restroom recently?
  5. Dropped Toy Retrieval Methods. Some of us don't have a lot of patience for climbing around under airplane seats searching for teeny tiny little princess dolls. Also, some of us are slightly self conscience about the view of ones (possibly ginger ale soaked) rear end this searching gives the rest of the plane passengers. 
  6. Automatic Upgrade to First Class for Nursing Mamas. You see, the thing about nursing a baby any larger than a newborn is that they take up a certain amount of lateral room in the standard boobie clutch hold, and things like heads extend out past the shoulder. This means that your baby has their feet on the poor stranger next to you and their head in constant fear of being taken out by a flight attendant with drink cart. The standard airplane seats are simply not wide enough to be remotely comfortable for anyone involved. 
  7. Arm Rest Button Lockout Mode. There is a reason cars have them for the back seat. Planes should get on the ball here.
  8. No Window Rows. This may sound like an odd one, as many a young traveler has enjoyed looking out the window for many a plane ride. However, many a mother has nearly lost her sanity as a direct result of her children squabbling over who gets the window seat.
  9. In-Airport Playgrounds. These exist, but not nearly in such a quantity as to make life SOOOOO much better for the unfortunate souls traveling with little children.
  10. Security Check Point Baby Holders. It doesn't have to be fancy, but it is ridiculously hard to get through security check point traveling solo with a small baby or fast sprinting toddler because you are trying to do EVERYTHING one handed (take off your coat, fold up the stroller, get your shoes back on) and having a place to put the baby or constrain the toddler would make such a difference. And really, if TSA is going to have all this time and energy to spend taking vapor samples of my baby's sippy cup, couldn't a small pack-n-play be somehow worked into it?

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