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    Monday, 04 June 2012

    Small children on long-haul flights...

    ...should be banned. On the flight back from Hong Kong to London, a collection of about half a dozen small children conspired to cry, shout, wail and shriek nigh-on constantly. For twelve hours. :-(

    I think it's incredibly selfish to take kids on planes when they're too young to understand what's going on, or to behave reliably. Children make noise, that's natural and expected. Forcing hundreds of other people around you to deal with that noise in an enclosed space for extended periods with no way to escape is just wrong, in my opinion.

    </rant>

    22:20 :: # :: /travel :: 21 comments

    Comments

    Re: Small children on long-haul flights...
    Benjamin Kay wrote on Mon, 04 Jun 2012 23:10

    As much as noisy children and babies annoy me too, remember that you and I were noisy and annoying once. How would you dictate that parents transport their children long distances -- by boat? By private train car?

    BTW, Solar Queen is awesome. I wonder if she runs Linux ;-)


    Reply
    Re: Small children on long-haul flights...
    Anonymous wrote on Mon, 04 Jun 2012 23:33

    I know more than one parent that swears by Benadryl and similar; helps control allergies on a long flight, and as a "side-effect" tends to induce a deep sleeping stupor.

    But I agree with the other comment: what alternative would you propose?


    Reply
    Re: Small children on long-haul flights...
    ana wrote on Mon, 04 Jun 2012 23:45

    I don't have childres myself and I have had very bad trips myself because noisy kids. However I fully agree with the two comments above. How do you expect kids to travel? Honestly, I think it is a bigger pain for the parents and if they do this is because they do not have a choice.


    Reply
    Re: Small children on long-haul flights...
    Tilo Werner wrote on Mon, 04 Jun 2012 23:46

    Hi Steve!

    I think it's selfish to complain about children at all. Young children do not go by train, boat or plane by them self. Their parents decided it. Complain to them.

    And maybe there is a chance you can understand them, if you imagine to be a parent.

    Best regards, Tilo


    Reply
    Re: Small children on long-haul flights...
    Anonymous wrote on Tue, 05 Jun 2012 00:02

    On a related note: headphones considered useful. I find that any decent set of headphones and some good music will shut out both engine noise and annoying people, children or otherwise.


    Reply
    Re: Small children on long-haul flights...
    Drink wrote on Tue, 05 Jun 2012 00:18

    tag: wontfix

    suggested work-around: music player / headphones

    kthxbye


    Reply
    Re: Small children on long-haul flights...
    wrote on Tue, 05 Jun 2012 00:20

    My wife's family lives in Hong Kong. So in order to make you a little bit more comfortable, we should ensure that their grandson never visits them? Who's being selfish again?


    Reply
    Re: Small children on long-haul flights...
    bowser wrote on Tue, 05 Jun 2012 01:58

    So why don't you travel by car, boat or train. Or do you want everyone else who might annoy you to just get out of your way..because you're so special an' all.


    Reply
    Re: Small children on long-haul flights...
    no wrote on Tue, 05 Jun 2012 03:18

    Will you explain to my children why they werent allowed to meet their grandparents?


    Reply
    Re: Small children on long-haul flights...
    Christopher Browne wrote on Tue, 05 Jun 2012 04:29

    I appreciate that it is desirable to be able to have "quiet enjoyment" <http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Quiet+enjoyment> of one's space on a voyage.

    Broadly, this is a situation of having rights in conflict. It's reasonable to hope for quietness. Unfortunately, children aren't necessarily going to behave reasonably when under stress.

    Of course, their families paid for their tickets, and didn't have an option of stowing the loud little ones in cages in the cargo hold. Realistically, they had little option but to place them where they were.


    Reply
    Re: Small children on long-haul flights...
    Martin wrote on Tue, 05 Jun 2012 09:00

    Well, most people long-distance-travelling with small children don't do this for fun. They don't go to holidays in the traditional sense. This is a result of globalistational aspects of modern capitalism. My SO is from America, I'm European. No children are planned, but if we had, both parts of the family would want to meet the children.

    My advice to you: Let the parents and children go by plane and take the train/boat. It's more ecological by the way.


    Reply
    Re: Small children on long-haul flights...
    Douglas wrote on Tue, 05 Jun 2012 10:02

    Thanks for the post. Had to "enjoy" this situation multiple times already...


    Reply
    Re: Small children on long-haul flights...
    battlegarden wrote on Tue, 05 Jun 2012 11:23

    I understand your pain, but your (surely deliberately exaggerated) demand is just as selfish. You pay for a seat and your dislocation, not for a guaranteed calm environment. There really is nothing you can do.


    Reply
    Re: Small children on long-haul flights...
    James Livingston wrote on Tue, 05 Jun 2012 14:05

    I don't expect children on flights to be overly still and quiet, but I think parents need to take some responsibility for ensurely their children aren't overly disruptive.

    Things like babies crying can't for the most part be helped. Children will make some noise which is expected, but they don't need to be making an excessive amount of it.

    > Young children do not go by train, boat or plane by them self. > Their parents decided it. Complain to them.

    Here's the problem - the people who this would be effective with are probably taking some responsibility for their children, so I don't mind. The ones who I'd complain to are likely to either ignore me, tell me to bugger off, or start an argument which is going to disrupt everyone even more.


    Reply
    Re: Small children on long-haul flights...
    maurizio wrote on Tue, 05 Jun 2012 17:53

    It seems clear that on average kids have much more good to bring to society than bitter old men complaining about loud kids. Are you really sure mankind should ban some category in planes or elsewhere? Which one?


    Reply
    Re: Small children on long-haul flights...
    Anonymous wrote on Tue, 05 Jun 2012 21:34

    What a spoiled grumpy old man you are.

    If you cant stand the contact with other human beings, maybe you should not be allowed to travel!


    Reply
    Re: Small children on long-haul flights...
    Riku V wrote on Wed, 06 Jun 2012 07:21

    What amazing amount of hate your posting created ;)

    I had the most silent flight ever since getting Bose Noise Cancelling headphones. However, while it probably cancels about 80% of both plane noise and baby crying, the remaining 20% of crying will still be noticeable as human mind is tuned to notice baby crying.

    Malaysia airlines solved this issue by having a "kids free upper deck" and "Family friendly area" in the lower deck in their A380 planes. Sounds like win-win and a great way to extract extra money from "grumpy old men" ;)


    Reply
    Re: Small children on long-haul flights...
    Chris K wrote on Wed, 06 Jun 2012 22:15

    I understand where you're coming from and had a similar experience on a flight to Hawaii some years ago, where a nearby child in the lap of his mother screamed for a solid 8 hours. It was agony.

    My understanding of the problem is that children don't have the ability to relieve the pressure in their ears, so the plane flight is physically painful for them. There's no way to explain to the child how to "yawn to let your ears pop" when the child isn't able to speak yet. And there's no good alternative transportation for getting to Hawaii. And unfortunately the pressure inside the cabin of a high-flying aircraft varies.

    Having experienced this myself, I don't think "headphones" are the answer. (You'd need either sound canceling or sound reduction headphones for them to really help, which would require planning for this issue in advance.) Earplugs help /some/ but even with them the sound is amazingly annoying.

    After the flight was over, as a joke we came up with the idea of marketing a can of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) with a baby nipple on the front of the nozzle with the label "Scream Away". Probably wouldn't help if tried literally, but the thought was worth a laugh. Later we played with the idea a bit further and came up with the idea that pirates could use cans of "Scream Away" when marauding nearby ships. :-P


    Reply
    Re: Small children on long-haul flights...
    Lon wrote on Fri, 08 Jun 2012 14:04

    Remember the the main purpose of the reproductive system is to create children, and that the closest you get to a "meaning of life" is to have children to avoid the death of the human species. ;-)

    Be glad that someone are unselfish enough to carry the extra work of bringing up children. When they cry you should just sit back, relax, put on your headphones (as several mentioned before) and think "ah... glad those children are not my problem". I have one, and rest assured: Parents are usually not happy to make those flights either, but some times there are no alternatives. Think about how you, as a parent, would feel if it was your child on your lap screaming for hours.

    And by the way: Children almost never "behave reliably" ;-)


    Reply
    Re: Small children on long-haul flights...
    sadig wrote on Sat, 09 Jun 2012 15:50

    Honestly,

    there are more adults with more issues on a plane. All my last travels with a plane were interrupted by adults who had heart attacks, or just fainted during the flight, needing more attention then a small child or baby means a doctor or a hospital.

    So for me, I would like to see more children on planes, because then you know, that you are still alive and you don't need a doctor.


    Reply
    Re: Small children on long-haul flights...
    krystan honour wrote on Mon, 30 Jul 2012 10:35

    I'll jump in here, full disclosure, I know Steve but we haven't met really since 2003 :) I now live in another part of the country and have 2 small children, I have avoided long haul flights as long as possible because I beleive its not optimal for children of a certain age to be on those flights.

    When children are very young they sleep a lot of the time, great for being on those flights :) When they hit about 2.5 years old its time to make the decision are coloring books, cartoons and stories going to be enough to keep them occupied or are they going to want to run about. Well the answer is they're going to need all of that to stop being really annoying.

    The long and short of it is if you can what I'd call elective flying on long haul flights this is what i'd do but if you have family or whatever you need a long term plan for what the kids are going to do and how you are going to keep them from annoying all the others on board.

    Everyone on that plane has a right to fly including the children, but everyone also has a responsility to try and get on with their fellow humans. Just for the record though sometimes at some point I am sure every parent has had that "oh back in your box moment", just remember we are more practised at this :) An a plane is a confined space


    Reply

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