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Article on Family Plane Travel

The New York Times had an article in the November 6 edition of their magazine on plane travel for young families:


It's a bit long, but it has some helpful information on the last 2 pages about what specific airlines offer for children.

My family can definitely relate to some of the experiences detailed in the article, especially the story of asking for milk for your child. We have been on domestic flights where milk was not available at all. On our overnight flight from Philadelphia to Munich, the flight attendant served my daughter milk at dinnertime, so we asked again at breakfast. The flight attendant found us one, but served it with a dirty look and told us it was the last one on the plane. Passengers should not be made to feel guilty about a reasonable request.

We have had varied experiences with pre-boarding for families with young children. Some airlines offer it, but others don't. Our most recent experience was with Delta, which offered it. The flight staff didn't give us any problems, but some of the first-class passengers did. They griped within earshot of us because we were boarding before first class. One of them complained, "They give pre-boarding to everyone who doesn't pay full fare." It bothered me so much that I turned around and informed him that my daughter had paid full fare (well, I don't know if it was what the airlines call full fare, but she paid what I paid as an adult). I don't see why people like him should be complaining about a policy that helps everybody be ready for takeoff faster.

Finally, although the article is right to point out that some foreign airlines are more kid-friendly, what they don't mention is the more restricted availability of these flights. We have heard that Lufthansa is good for young kids (bassinets for infants and some discounted fares for kids over 2), so we looked at their rates and itineraries when we were planning our trips to Spain and Germany. Each time, their itineraries didn't work for us: the adult fares were more expensive, and they required more and/or lengthier stops. Flying Lufthansa or another foreign carrier can be a great alternative for some families, but how well it works for a specific family will depend a lot on the the availability of the carrier's flights out of their home airport.

Posted by amikulski 20:05 Tagged children planes article

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