Summer time is vacation time -- time for visits to family, nature preserves or historical sites. Being there is great, but getting to and from can be a challenge, especially with young children in tow.
Malaysia Airlines touched off a firestorm recently by announcing a ban on babies in the first class section of its Boeing 747-400 jets and the new Airbus A380 superjumbo jets. It soon emerged that British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are also mulling keep-out signs for young children.
The announcements were greeted with wails -- not from children, but their parents, who say the restriction makes no sense: They ante up plenty to fly first class, where their toddlers are not as confined -- hence, are more likely to remain quiet and content.
A survey last August of 2,000 travelers revealed that 59 percent of passengers would like to see airlines create special family sections on flights. The survey by consumer site Skyscanner showed nearly 20 percent supported child-free flights.
Parents complained that babies are unfairly bearing the brunt of an impatient culture. Profane, boisterous or drunk passengers can make a trip unbearable, yet aren't targeted for restrictions, they said.
The Malaysia Airlines ban only applies to long-haul flights from Kuala Lumpur to Amsterdam, London and Sydney. Those traveling with babies are still welcome aboard, but only in economy or business class.
What do you think? Are these bans unfair to parent and offspring?
And what are your air travel experiences?
- Juggling buggies, safety seats, and diaper bags on top of suitcases can seem to require more hands than you've got. How do you manage?
- Do the recriminations of other passengers add to your stress when you are flying with irritable children?
- And what are your techniques for keeping your children content in the air?
Join the conversation.