Have you ever boarded a plane and realized that the flight is full of kids and babies? A child-less person's worst nightmare... I'm sure! But even before I had kids, I was always patient with kids kicking my seat or a baby crying. Now that I am a parent, I am even more sympathetic towards parents flying with kids because I know how stressful it can be. Traveling with kids is not easy and we parents try to make it as pleasant as possible for all involved parties, even perfect strangers.
We've been flying with Bella since she was about 5-months-old and it's gotten progressively worse. When she was an infant, we would give her a bottle and she would sleep for the 2-2.5 hour flight. It was great, although our arms usually fell asleep, but she was an absolute angel the entire duration of the flight. I didn't dread flying with her, kind of like I do now. The groans, sighs and dirty looks when Bella is not happy are super annoying. I usually give a dirty look or say something smart in response to the rudeness. I'm not going to apologize for something beyond my control. I try my best to keep Bella entertained and console her when she's upset, but there's only so much I can do on a plane. We have to get from point A to point B and flying is the most efficient means of doing so. If you don't like excess noise on a plane, buy a private jet.
The past three trips we've taken have been pretty rough with the exception of the flights in which we were allowed to carry on her car seat. Bella isn't much on snuggling or cuddling, so when she has to sit on one of our laps for an extended period of time, it isn't pretty. But, when she's strapped into her car seat, she is content and comfortable... as are we. We have never actually purchased her a seat until this week, we've lucked out several times with fairly empty flights and simply carried on her car seat. This isn't a chance I'm willing to take for our next flight, so I called Southwest this week to amend our travel reservations. I booked Bella a seat for our upcoming trips and our little frequent flier is now a member of Southwest's Rapid Rewards Program. Knowing the we will both be comfortable flying on our next few trips alleviates any anxiety I was feeling about these trips.
I was looking forward to six more months of "free" flights for Bella, but I'm more than willing to pay for a seat at this point. Traveling with a toddler is difficult but this makes it a little easier for us. We can know in advance that Bella has a seat on the plane and carry on her car seat. Bella enjoys having her own space, which I can appreciate, so the extra money is totally worth it to me. And Bella will now be racking up frequent flier miles, just like the rest of us.
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2