Kid-free flights and kids-only sections of planes have been hot topic lately. I originally wrote this post back in 2008, but am posting again with updates as it is relevant…
Window, aisle, front, back – where should you sit when flying with kids? I thought about this topic yesterday as we boarded our American Airlines flight. The 4 hour flight ahead of us meant good seats were vital to a good flight. Since I had changed our itinerary to this flight just the night before, I was unable to secure 2 seats together. However, I was able to get 2 aisle seats (good bartering material if needed).
Arriving ahead of time for our early morning connecting flights, I was able to change both flights to my preferred seats…
The very last row.
I know for most people this is shocking – who wants to sit in the back by the stinky bathrooms?
Well, as I wrote in Jet with Kids, seat preferences changed when I became a parent. No longer do I add my name to the upgrade list – I am too busy on flights to enjoy the quiet of the first class cabin.
Here are 7 reasons I like the back row:
1. Nobody is behind me or being entertained by my parenting. That is great when parenting becomes challenging. A tired toddler, a hungry infant, an independent preschooler… always handled better without an audience.
2. Our row and the wall behind us are “our private corner”. It is about the only place on the plane where you have a bit of privacy (until the bathroom lines form). Most of the time it is our peaceful corner.
3. Easy and fast access to the bathroom. No carts in the aisle to prevent access when your little one has to go.
4. Full view of the entire plane ahead of me. Maybe it is because I grew up as a Lutheran and our large family always sat in the last row! Whatever it is – I like sitting in the back and not wondering what is going on in rows behind me.
5. First to board in economy. Without having to worry about pre-boarding policies, I know that we have time to get settled; there’s always overhead storage for our bag, and we have “breathing room” before it gets crowded and hot.
6. Time to make eye contact and interact with the flight attendants. I value good flight attendants and respect their role. I always let them know that we are using the CARES harness and make sure that they are familiar with it and will allow the FAA approved harness. Plus I like to bring a “basket of goodies or chocolate” to show appreciation for all they put up with…
7. When the flight is not completely full, the back row may be blocked off for flight attendant use. This means less people in our area! Less stimulation and noise helps to get overstimulated travelers to sleep!
Of course there are some negatives to sitting in the last rows. But overall, my son and I enjoy this area and request it on every flight.
Every traveler is different – think ahead about what your needs, desires, and preferences are.
Then keep in mind that flying with kids means parenting with a captivated audience.
Make your decision wisely – and don’t take the last row if you’re on my flight!
Bulkhead Seat Myth: http://www.jetwithkids.com/blog/bulkhead-seats-not-for-families
Kid-Free Flights: http://www.jetwithkids.com/blog/kid-free-flights-reaction-to-survey
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