Should kids be put in segregated seating on airplanes?

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A friend of mine is a political talk host named Neal Boortz. He gets so upset on a plane when there’s an unruly kid on board, especially if the child is in first class. It turns out Neal is not alone.

A British poll shows three-quarters of business travelers think kids should never be allowed in any premium cabin section of the airplane. And a separate poll from last summer cited by USA Today found 6 in 10 people say kids should be relegated to a penalty box section in coach!

Now, I’ve been on lots of flights traveling with my kids at different stages. And they might have a case of the screams, particularly when they’re younger. Or maybe I’ll be sitting in my seat and someone else’s kid will kick the back of the seat. It’s not a pleasant thing. But we were all kids once. And if you fly a lot, you know most adults act like kids anyway.

So I’m not excited by the idea of segregating children. Travel has certain tension to it and I believe kids can sometimes help us take a chill pill.

I was on a flight recently where there was a colicky baby. A group of passengers took it on themselves to help the mom, some even holding the baby. Boy, did they get a serene look on their faces as they held that child. Then the baby was passed to me and that child started kicking and screaming right away! I obviously didn’t have the right touch.

The real problem here is that we’re crammed into aluminum cans in the sky in seats that are too small. At a time when the average American has put on more weight, airline seats are getting narrower. Boeing is the king of this, trying to shoehorn us into seats that are just 17″ wide. And many airlines put the next row so close to us that it’s right up to our nose. So it’s normal that people are starting to feel cranky in a restricted space.

You’ve heard what I think about kids on flight. How about you? Be sure to vote in my poll and let me know.


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