It’s just about time to board a plane and go visit your family for the holidays! But that means you gotta fly with your kids, and everyone knows how much fun that is. Here’s my top ten list of terrible things about airline travel with kids.


1. Getting Your Older Kids to Lie About Your Lap Child

Your 2yo is pretty close to 3, but you’re telling the airline she’s not quite 2. That way she travels as a lap child and you don’t pay for her ticket. Only problem is, you’re going to have to train your 4-year-old to lie about his sister’s age.
“Say your sister is 1.”
“But she’s almost 3!”
“I know, but we’re just pretending for the nice lady at the counter. So you say she’s 1.”
“She’s 2 and a half!”
“We’re pretending, remember?”
“We’re pretending she’s 1 but she’s really 2 and a half.”
“Okay, don’t say ‘we’re pretending’ just say she’s 1.”
“Are we pretending?”
“Yes, but we’re not saying we’re pretending. Just say she’s 1.”
“She’s 1…. For pretendsies.”
“No, just, alright, fuckit, just don’t say anything. Okay? If the lady asks, just don’t say anything.”

2. The Terror that the Woman at the Desk Knows You’re Lying about your Lap Child

Your wife stands sheepishly behind you with a guilty look, desperately “shhing” the kids to be quiet. You know your oldest is gonna rat you out any second, your “lap child” is speaking in full sentences, the woman looks you up and down. She knows. You know she knows and she knows you know she knows. “Here are your boarding passes,” she finally says with a grimace. You can almost here her say “douche bag” as you walk away.

3. Flying with a Lap Child

Okay, who’s bright idea was it to pretend you 3 year old would sit quietly in your lap for a 6 hour flight? Oh, it was yours. Your wife demands you carry her in your lap, it was your idea to lie about her age so you wouldn’t have to buy a ticket. She wants to stand on your lap, and half the time she climbing on top of your shoulders like she wants you to wear her as an asshat. Thank god for the ipad, or this situation would be truly intolerable.

4. When Your Lap Child Announces to Everyone You’re On Your Second Beer

“Are you having another beer?”
“Yes, quiet please.”
“Is that another beer?”
“Yes it is.”

“Hey daddy, is that another beer?”
“Yes, quiet please.”
“Daddy’s having another BEER!”

5. Your Wife’s Disapproval of your Second Beer

disaproveAfter your lap child has made her PSA, you look across the isle where your wife sits with the older child in what appears to be luxurious space, and she’s looking at you with that LOOK. That FROWN. That “are you really having another beer?” look. You try to give her a look back. The “Yes I’m on my second beer and before this flight is over, honey, there will be a third” look. We’ve got HOURS to go, and I have a 3 year old lap child, and the fat man sitting next to me is clearly suffering from some gastrointestinal disease. Besides, do you know how hard it is to down a couple of beers with a lap child? You should be giving me the “I’m impressed” look.

6. The Annoying Kids on the Plane that Aren’t Yours

They put you in the back of the plane with all the other families, and of course there’s the one family with the toddler that’s screaming. Your kids are quiet, you were smart enough to bring media and headphones, what is that family’s fucking problem? Don’t you people know how to calm your children? That kid wants to stand up. Let the kid stand up for chrissakes. Do you see me? I’m wearing mine as an asshat to keep her quiet. You do the same! Do something! For the love of god, will you please do something?! That’s when you and your wife smile at each other. Your wife smiles for the first time of the trip. “At least our kids aren’t that bad,” she mouths.

7. When the Ipad Battery Runs Out

Oh shit. Honey, didn’t you charge it? I thought you said you charged it! I thought it had a full CHARGE. Quick, give me your phone! Yeah, your phone hand it over, mine is totally dead, I was playing Candy Crush Saga for old times sake’ while I was drinking that second beer and wearing my lap child as an asshat. I was desperate and I ran the battery out on my phone so gimme yours. The 4yo is using it? SCREW THE FOUR YEAR OLD. I have a lap child that is about to go thermonuclear here! GIVE ME YOUR PHONE. Oh no. It’s dead too. We’re fucked here, people. We are totally fucked.

8.Your Kids Become the Annoying Kids on the Plane

You were feeling cocky, weren’t you? When that other kid was screaming, and you thought, “Those are some bad parents. We’re good parents.” Guess what. You’re not a good parent. You lied about your lapchild’s age so you wouldn’t have to pay for an extra ticket. This action was not only immoral, but it was a complete disservice to the paying person sitting next to you, and now the entire back half of plane. If your lap child woulda had her own seat she wouldn’t be screaming bloody murder now, would she? If you’d double checked the charge on the ipad, she wouldn’t be beet red and jumping up and down on your lap right now, would she? Everyone is looking at you. You’ve made everyone suffer, asshole. Everyone.

9. The Flight Attendant’s Disapproval of your 3rd Beer

She can’t believe you flagged her down for another drink. She’s not evenĀ serving drinks right now. You have a screaming kid on your lap. Why don’t you do something about your screaming kid? Because you’ve tried. And while everyone else is suffering because of your bad decisions as a parent flying over the holidays, you believe the only thing between you and a stroke is another beer, so hurry it up!

10. When your 4 Year Old asks you the Difference between Lying and Pretending

“You said she was under 2, but she isn’t.”

“We were pretending.”
“What’s the difference between pretending and lying?”
“Like, I think pretending is when everyone knows you’re pretending. But if someone doesn’t know you’re pretending then that’s a lie.”
“That’s…. Yeah, that’s pretty much it.”
“So you were lying.”
“Yeah. Yeah I was.”
“Was it worth it, Dad?”
“No. Next time I’m gonna pay for her seat.”

12 Thoughts on “10 Terrible Things About Flying With Kids

  1. Were you on that flight to LA with us???

  2. My son who is 21 now, but was 8 at the time had a massive fit in the airport. I wound up picking him up like a piece of luggage and carried him through security and sat him down on the plane. Another time my daughter was 2 and had a fit on the plane. She wound up throwing her sippy cup about a third of the plane forward. fun times.

  3. I swear to you, #6 happened to me once. They shoved us in the back with like 4 other families. This was back when I had just one very well-behaved child (not my boys obviously) and I was pissed! I felt like I was discriminated against by the airline. For reals. #8 would be me now, so I’m driving 12 hours for our next visit to family, which will be equally as terrible. Just in different ways!

  4. Holy crap. My husband now thinks I am possessed, because I have been sitting on the couch cackling like a maniac while reading this. Thanks a lot. The chances of us having sex tonight were slim enough as is.
    On our first flight (NY to CA) as parents, all went extremely smoothly, with my four month old sleeping like an angel in my arms. Then I had to go and ask for a cup of Sprite with lots of ice, which I proceeded to spill all over my sleeping baby. She was not very happy. And then the rest of the plane was REALLY not very happy. Flying with children is obviously not my forte.
    We are planning possible travel in the fall which would include an eleven hour flight with a four year old drama queen and a one and a half year old who likes to squirm. Should be freakin’ amazing.

  5. I get to do this in 5 days. iPad charged! Please pray the 6-year old doesn’t throw one of her 6-going-on-3 tantrums. And a seat for a toddler is totally worth the $$.

  6. findingninee on December 31, 2013 at 1:12 pm said:

    I’m cracking up! We just flew with my 4YO. Thank God for the iPad is all I have to say!!! Happy New Year!

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