Do You Dread Flights with the Kids?

Posted by Sue Anderson, 18th Mar 2014

The excitement of an approaching family holiday can be overshadowed somewhat when you remember that to get to your destination you must endure a long journey, usually on a plane. Long journeys are bad enough without the kids in tow, so when you do have to travel with youngsters it can be a stressful time.

We spoke to 1,762 parents from around the UK, each with at least one child aged five or under, in order to find out more about the challenge of travelling with little ones.

1 in 4 parents are 'too scared' to take kids on plane, fearing criticism

When we asked how they felt about taking their children on a flight for a holiday, a quarter of the parents taking part, 23%, said that they felt 'too scared' to do so. We wanted to know why, so we asked these people to explain their reasoning and the majority (77%) said that they'd had a bad experience previously, which had put them off travelling on a plane with their children again. Not every journey is the same, but we can see how a bad experience would make you more anxious in future.

When we asked why they felt 'too scared' to fly with their children, the most common answers were as follows:

Fear criticism from other passengers - 45%

Stressful trying to entertain them - 31%

Flying scares the child/children - 23%

Fear criticism from airline staff - 16%

Concerns about facilities - 7%

More than half of parents have previously become annoyed by other children on a flight

44% of the parents taking part said that they were perfectly happy to take their child or children on a flight for a holiday, with 67% of these people saying that their youngsters had enjoyed the experience previously. Plenty of kids love to fly, but the longer the journey the harder it is to entertain them!

When the parents taking part were asked if they'd ever become annoyed by other children on a flight, such as babies crying or loud kids, 56% admitted that they had. However, 41% said that they simply sympathised with other parents and hadn't been irritated by anything like this. That's good of them! 78% of the parents polled said they would be in support of 'family sections' being introduced on airlines which would keep them apart from other passengers.

Plenty of airlines have already given this a go, so it is an option for some passengers. As long as you do all you can to keep your children entertained and prevent them from chucking their in-flight meal at a member of the cabin crew, we're pretty sure you'll be just fine. Other passengers should understand and if they don't then it's probably because they don't have kids of their own!
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