Should airline passengers with children sit in a separate section?

There are at least two groups of people who would eagerly agree that there should be a separate section on the plane for passengers with children: parents/guardians traveling with children and passengers who had a bad experience sitting near a child, in the past.

airplane-734363_960_720Have you ever hesitated to take your seat after you found out that a child would be sitting next to you? Have you ever pitied a family traveling with young children? Or, were you ever the passenger with a rambunctious child? In either situation, you know how difficult it could be.

It is not an easy task to keep a child occupied and quiet while confined to his seat for hours at a stretch. It is not in children’s nature to sit and be quiet. Especially, this is true for young children. It took so much effort for them to walk, talk and jump and now, they have to give it all up. They do not understand that they have to respect other passengers. Many parents plan ahead by bringing a few toys, books, electronic games, portable DVD players, etc. It helps the children to stay busy in their seats and to keep them out of trouble,at the same time.

Unfortunately, children’s attention span and patience is short and there are situations that no matter how hard you try, your child won’t sit still, let alone be quiet. He could be overstimulated, sleep-deprived, hungry, or bored. All the other passengers keep giving you and your child dirty looks, but you are truly helpless and just pray for this flight to be over.

So, here comes this vision of a separate section for airline passengers with children:

child-361052_960_720 Seats are comfortable and recline almost into beds where your child could take a nap. Children are known to cooperate a lot easier when they are well rested.

There is plenty of room between the seats. You cannot expect young children to sit still for an extended period of time. They need to be able to stand up and move around a little.

Lavatories are close by and are equipped with quietly flushing toilets (many toddlers are afraid of such loud noises) and diaper changing tables. When you are far away from the lavatories, trying to potty train your child is almost impossible. Hello, stinky poo diaper. Everyone is sure to get a whiff, unless the potty is really close. Changing diapers isn’t easy, either. Most of the time, you have to do it on your lap, or in an empty seat. Some larger planes, though, do have baby changing stations in lavatories.

Flight attendants are available and so are the refreshments. It’s not just for the children. Parents, trying to keep up with their kids, also need a snack and an occasional Tylenol.

There is entertainment suitable for children, such as children’s movies or TV programs, toys, books and other quiet activities. Some airlines do provide children’s TV programs during overseas flights. Lufthansa Airlines and LOT Polish Airlines even offer little puzzle books and toys to keep children busy. Hats off to them.

Suddenly, this imaginary section may seem like the first-class section. But, of course! With a lack of a separate section, the first-class seats are, so far, the most suitable for passengers with children. Unfortunately, there are very few parents who can afford to travel first-class.

Will any of the airlines ever try to accommodate passengers with children by creating child-friendly sections on their aircraft? Probably not. You have to rely on yourself to make your flight bearable. When buying airline tickets, you might request seats in the back of the plane where it isn’t as crowded and it’s close to the lavatories. During the flight, give your kids something to do and pray for the best. Should airline passengers with children sit in a separate section?

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