Flying With Small Children

I have never had to travel with small children but my recent visits to airports have demonstrated to me just how difficult that is. It was my skiing trip over the festive period that highlighted how easy I had it in comparison to the many parents who were struggling in the airport.



There was a rather lengthy queue to check in for EasyJet flights which appeared to be caused by a chronic lack of staff. This was immensely frustrating for everyone and I was having difficulty manoeuvring my luggage and equipment through the twists and turns of the line. My troubles, however, were nothing compared to those with small children. In addition to managing their trolleys and wrestling with their documents, they were also having to keep their kid’s entertained and the kids were getting restless and ready to revolt!


Once at the desk the parents were then having to present their documents and lift their luggage onto the weighing machine whilst ensuring that their children did not wander off. To add insult to injury, those with pushchairs were being redirected to another bag drop to deposit them into the system.


Airports are large and confusing places for anyone but for a small child they must be truly intimidating not to mention boring. The place was full of youngsters crying and exasperated parents yelling at their offspring to sit down. A child could be lost in the blink of an eye and delayed flights and early check-ins mean a lot of waiting around which is never good with kids.


By the time my plane was boarding there was a chorus of crying toddlers and babies and all childless travellers were earnestly hoping that they were not seated next to one of the screaming kids. When called to board the poor parents were struggling to manage the kids and their hand luggage and there was a trail of mothers walking out onto the tarmac wrestling with changing sac and tearful babies. I was beginning to wish I had invested in some noise cancelling headphones because I feared I was going to need them.

The Flight

Once boarded those who had not paid for an extra seat for their child faced the prospect of a flight with the youngster on their laps. The kids with seats had to be belted up and sit still for a fair period of time which only served to make them more irritable. Many of the kids probably hadn’t flown before and were naturally nervous making them more irritable still. It was matter of great relief to me, let alone the parents, when we were finally in the air and most of the toddlers seemed to have settled down with the assistance of their parent’s tablets on which they were playing games and watching cartoons.

The forthcoming changes to the rules regarding electronic devices on planes are very welcome in this regard. Soon it will not be necessary to switch them off during take-off and landing and this can only be a good thing if there are kids on board.

Having watched the trials and tribulations of the parents I feel fortunate indeed that I have never had to travel with young children. Parents have their work cut out and it must be a great feeling once they have exited the airport at their destinations and can start their holidays.


Article by Sally Stacey