Airlines ban kids’ travel sleeping devices
Shelley Hedgecock Starks was on a Spirit Airlines flight from Ft. Lauderdale to Dallas when another woman sitting near her gave birth. Nurses and other medical workers who happened to be on board all pitched in to help. Shelley captured this video of the newborn baby on her phone with permission from the mother. Credit: Shelley Hedgecock Starks via Storyful
FLYING with young kids can be a challenging — I know I’ve been there and barely lived to tell the tale.
I travelled to Europe with two young kids, who by that stage were too old for the baby basket, but too young to listen when I begged them to sit and be quiet. For hours on end.
I recall that most of my time was spent anxiously lugging my son around the aircraft as he just couldn’t get comfortable, while getting death stares from exhausted passengers who hated us.
It’s no wonder parents have embraced travel accessories that promise to eliminate some of this dread.
WE’LL TRY ANYTHING TO HELP THEM SLEEP
Flytot, Jet Kids BedBox, FlyLegs Up and Plane Pal are just a few of the popular contraptions that promise to make kids (and parents) more comfy when they’re trapped in a small confined space in the skies.
Some are cushions, others hammocks and the BedBox is a three-in-one gadget: a suitcase, a ride-on toy and a device that turns economy-sized seats into a bed.
Plenty of parents who have loved using them so their infants could stretch out and have a comfy sleep, will now have to get used to going back to how it used to be.
Qantas and Jetstar have updated their travel policy and these in-flight travel accessories have joined the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 as a prohibited device. However, the final say seems to go to the crew you score on the day according to some parents who took to social media to comment.
“Examples of prohibited in-flight accessories include, but are not limited to, inflatable cubes, ‘bed boxes’, and ‘leg hammocks’. This list is not exhaustive, and the decision to permit use of a particular device rests with the cabin crew on-board,” states Qantas’ Facebook page.
Qantas has been responding to customer queries about why they consider JetKids BedBoxes, Plane Pal and Fly Legs unsafe on their social media pages with a standard response.
“Safety is and will always be our top priority, Bed Boxes are considered an evacuation hazard as they block the walkway area’s off which will cause major problems in the case of an evacuation.”
This prompted one parent to respond that from now on she would consider choosing whichever airline allowed her family to fly with the travel accessories.
Parents have taken to social media to express disappointment and dread at having to fly without the creature comforts they’ve grown accustomed to.
Some wrote a simple, poignant “Noooooo!” in response to the news. Others recounted their stories of happy travels with their children thanks to the gadgets in recent times.
BUSINESSES NOTIFY CUSTOMERS
A family about to board an aircraft promised to share if the crew allowed them to use the products, once they’d reached their destination.
The ban has also been a popular discussion on the social media pages of travel agents and people who rent them out as a business. Multiple agencies were keen to notify their clients to be careful if they’d been planning to bring them along on their trip.
FlyLegs Up still maintain that most airlines and cabin crew are more than happy for you and/or your child to use the Flight Hammock.
“The hammock is such a NEW concept and on some occasions, you may be questioned by a cabin crew member.’ they state on the website.
They ask that if you were to be questioned, to let the crew know that the Fly LegsUp has been comprehensively tested by a CASA authorised aviation engineer.
WHAT’S THE SOLUTION?
So what’s the answer aside from only choosing travel accessory-friendly airlines? There’s clearly a demand. Perhaps the airlines can work together with the inventors of these parent lifesavers to come up with a safe, acceptable product.
To save you the trouble in the meantime, please check the guidelines for your preferred airline before travelling.
This article originally appeared on Kidspot and is republished with permission.