Before I had kids, I hated being seated next to them on planes. But just because I now have them doesn’t mean that I should expect special treatment for inflicting them on everyone else. Some parents are up in arms because airlines have started to rescind policies of letting families with small children board early, or exempting families from being charged extra to pick their seats. These parents seem to expect that everyone should bend over backwards to accommodate them, as if bringing very young children on long flights (and to restaurants and movies in theaters) is their right and not something that should be carefully weighed and perhaps, erring on the side of caution, decided against. (Doing any of those things after a child’s bedtime is simply asking for trouble.) When I’ve traveled with my children, I’ve been amazed at what the airlines put up with—requests to rinse sippy cups, 2-year olds ceaselessly wandering the aisle—and the obvious indulgences such as visits to the cockpit and blatant favoritism of bumping us to the top of a standby list. “Family-friendly” policies are only great for people who have families. No wonder there’s a movement to create kid-free zones on certain airlines.
Should some flights be kid-free?