Inspirational Words from a Wise Colleague (and Family Traveler)

Carol Cain, at her joyful best. (Photo by @TravelingLatina)

Carol Cain, at her joyful best. (Photo by @TravelingLatina)

Many of my travel writer friends are wiser and more eloquent than I, and Carol Cain, of Girl Gone Travel (and a fellow Expedia Viewfinder blogger), is one of them.

Earlier today, Carol took time from her busy travel schedule to dash off a beautiful post for an inside baseball-type Facebook group for fellow travel bloggers. The piece moved me so much, I had to share it (verbatim) here:

    “On the flight over here I tried to take a nap but a crying baby made it impossible. I could’ve thrown a tantrum. I could’ve judged the parents and criticized the system that allows crying babies on flights…near me. There’s no denying I was exhausted as I’ve been traveling tons and had a rough morning of my own. So I turned around to look at the young parents who immediately noticed my looking and started to apologize in union. Yes, they were apologizing to me for their crying baby. I smiled and asked about their little girl. “What’s her name?” “How old is she?” “She’s precious,” I told them, “A beautiful child,” I said. The mom relaxed a bit. The dad sighed. The mom turned her still crying baby to face me. I started talking to her and gently caressed her little hand. She immediately stopped crying and smiled. “She’s mesmerized by you,” the mom said. It took a moment, just a small gesture of kindness. The parents still had their hands full but the baby didn’t cry again after that. Just be kind.”

I thought this travel tip was particularly fitting in the wake of the news that yet another airline has decided to offer child-free seating (this time the offender is Singapore’s Scoot Airlines; if you’re curious about my outrage on this subject, read my posts for Parenting here and here). The lesson: It’s not about the kids, people. It’s about the grownups. And all of us can be a bit nicer from time to time.

What’s your take on the trend of airlines offering child-free seating?

4 replies
  1. Robin
    Robin says:

    As a parent, seeing a child free seating area makes me angry and embarrassed. As if we are looked at as people who can’t control their kids, even though its usually age appropriate.

    As a marketer, I don’t see the trend going away. Airlines highest paying and most profitable customers are business customers. Business customers are flying alone, have expense accounts to charge the service fee, and want quiet during flights. I fly a lot for business and while I’m not rude and always help mothers, I also use my expense account to get better seats and service. And I want to sleep and relax, unlike when I travel with my kids.

    I heard one travel blogger suggest they make rebrand it as a child friendly area. But the reality is many families that fly only do so once a year if that, and already see checked luggage and fees at select seats together as a tax on families. Now they have to pay extra to sit in the”family friendly” area?

    As long as those who are the profitable customers pay for a service, expect other airlines to adopt it. 🙁

    • Matt Villano
      Matt Villano says:

      Sadly, I think you’re right, Robin — this trend is only going to gain momentum. Just means people like you and I (and Carol!) need to be more vocal about our opposition to it!


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *