We have been hearing a great deal about flying with the family lately and we will probably hear a great deal more about it in the future. Not only is it the sweet summertime, but with more families living further apart and high gas prices sometimes flying actually is the best (and budget-friendly) way to go. Usually our flights are all happy ones with only a minimum of travel tantrums (one or two may even be from mom) and this trip was not much different, with the exceptions of some adult drama. So, sit back, relax, put tray table in their full and upright positions and enjoy flying with Money Saving Parent.
Off we go with what I like to call the hurry up and wait travel game.
Arriving at the airport we get through the security checkpoint fine, however, I admit that putting me through either the scanner or the pat down and then sending my husband through the metal detector and leaving my children on the other side was poor execution on the TSA’s part. Note to TSA agents: we do not like to leave our children without one parent keeping an eye on them. They did not appreciate my suggestion that the children walk through behind me and then their father follow. But all’s well that ends well, since mommy then just kept walking backwards to keep her eye on her little prizes.
Our day now begins with a Baskin Robbins and a Dunkin’ Donuts right outside our gate. Oh, yeah baby good airport planning because yes even though it’s 5 a.m. BOTH of them are open. Try dealing with children with that temptation staring them in the face. We compromised and they were allowed one donut each with milk. Note to airports: You don’t want nasty, angry, over active children on flights then consider placing healthy foods somewhere in the airport near the gates. Yes, it’s my job to reign them in but even my little angels have their limits.
Adult temper tantrums in the concourse
The kids walk around and take pictures at the airport and are quite well-behaved, I wish I could be in such a good mood this early in the morning. A shriek fills the air as a woman runs screaming up and down concourse B “Where the F—? is everyone?” “What no one F-in works here.” Running, screaming, “Do you work here, do you work here?” The way she was acting I thought she had lost a child. I mean that would be why I was hysterical. She ran up to the counter where we were sitting and starting screaming at the agent. ”Where are the AirTran people!? Does no one f-in work here? What do I have to do to find someone who works here?” The agent asked her to calm down and tell her what was wrong (btw we were flying Delta so that was actually pretty nice customer service). She stands screaming, gesturing and cussing. “No I didn’t miss my d— flight!” (actually she did). Our customer service rep said, “Ma’am if you don’t calm down I’ll have to call security. ” ”I don’t want security call me an f-in coworker to the AirTran counter.”
“Mommy that lady was saying bad words!” (Yes honey I know. I think she needs a time out.)
Yeah, and they talk about kids throwing tantrums in the airport and on the plane.
Cry babies – and I don’t mean the kids
The grumbles begin as stroller and car seats take the additional time to get settled. It was liking walking past an angry mob. ”Great this flight is like the Brady bunch.” ”Did you see all those kids, get ready for the screaming.”
Instead our flight held children that were actually pretty well-behaved. Most of them slept. They wore their seat belts, said please and thank you and the flight attendant even told us how well the children on the flight did. Our girls were even awarded with wings to wear (see they were “angels”).
However, during our second flight take off one baby started crying and screaming (cabin pressure can be hard on baby ears) and an adult near me grumbled, “Would someone throw that baby off the plane?” Did I mention that this was after we were stuck at the gate for almost an hour in our seats with an electrical problem. I wanted to cry, I can only imagine how a baby must feel.
Do we complain when you adults smell bad (especially like you spent the 90 minutes before the flight in the bar on the concourse?) Not to mention some of the adult aromas that are a result of “recycled” air. Or the fact that our children hear you cussing on your cell phones about the delay? You don’t see many adults get kicked off planes for those annoyances.
Our most recent travel plans don’t get off to such a smooth start. Delta once again decided to change our flight times for us. So, at 3:30 AM our family makes the almost 1 hour drive to the airport. And yet, after traveling for almost 17 hours straight our children actually acted much better than some of the adults we encountered.
So, the next time you are at the airport and an adult “acts out” maybe we should give them a spanking, ask them if they need a time out or kick them off the flight.
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Do you have any travel trauma stories to share? We would love to hear them in the comments.