Flight attendant Caroline Kneitz revealed the top things parents flying with children should never do after American baseball player Anthony Bass recently shared his frustration over a flight attendant who made his wife clean up the children’s mess on a flight. The professional player explained on his Twitter account that his wife, who is pregnant and was travelling alone with the kids, was made to clean the mess that her children had left on the seat. “Are you kidding me???” he wrote.
Caroline, who works as a flight attendant for Emirates, clarified that it is the cleaners’ responsibility to clean up the plane after a flight.
However, passengers should be respectful and control their children. She said: “In my personal opinion, it’s important to treat public spaces as if they are rooms of your home. So yes, I do believe a parent should take care that the kid doesn’t mess up the space. Like imagine you’re on a 13-hour flight, would you want to sit on a dirty seat for that long?”
The flight attendant explained that it is not the cabin crew’s responsibility to clean the plane but parents should also not be forced to do so. Instead, cleaners come on board after every flight and clean the whole aeroplane, she revealed.
This is with some exceptions, as low-cost airlines sometimes ask flight attendants to collect the rubbish in the seat pockets after a flight in order to save money and speed up the boarding process.
Caroline asked passengers to always avoid chips or crumbly foods, especially when travelling with children. “It’s best if parents pack some home made food which is easy to eat and something the child is familiar with. Chopped fruit and vegetables are great, as they generally leave little mess and they are refreshing to nibble on in the air,” she recommended.
However, she warned against giving children sugar. “I have seen many kids on flights that are completely out of control. Unfortunately, I put this down to bad parenting. I’ve seen parents filling up their kids with soft drinks and only sugar.
“I had one mother who requested a coffee for her four-year-old with three sugars in. As crew we are trained not to educate our customers, so even in this case I couldn’t do anything. Shortly after serving the beverage, the child was wild.”
She also advised parents to think about their children’s sleeping patterns as although a flight might be cheaper at a “weird time of day” if children are tired and grumpy and misbehaved, “is it really worth it?” she told DailMail.com.
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The flight attendant suggested taking the kid for a walk around the plane but don’t let them run around as this “often irritates other passengers”.
Instead, parents can take their children on “guided exploration trips up and down the aisles, as long as you stay in your cabin and class, nothing is generally off-limits”.
In terms of parents travelling on their own with the children, the flight attendant revealed that they can ask for help and the crew can be “temporary babysitters” when the parents need to go to the toilet, for example.
If the baby cries nonstop on the flight, it is advised parents carry them and rock them to sleep to avoid disturbing other passengers, she said.
Her final tip was to always “disembark the plane last” as parents often have a lot of items to collect and carry and they often “end up holding other people up”.
American flight attendant Patrick added that parents show always “show some appreciation” for dealing with toddlers.
He explained: “Any kind of chocolate found in an airport, handed over at boarding, does wonders.
“It will be so appreciated,” he says. “And we will remember you and look out for you. And not only that, you’ll probably score a free drink out of it.”
Travel experts at Parents.com shared some tips for flying with young children including:
- Book an early morning departure
- Talk to your kids about what to expect
- Dress in layers, and skip shoes with laces
- Bring surprises
- Consider using a smaller stroller
- Pack just enough and plan your packing list
- Seat kids away from the aisle
- Be ready for security
- Be aware of germs
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