Guest blog: Crap things seen while travelling no.6 Babies on planes

While most of us audibly groan when we realise we’re sitting near a baby on a plane, this week’s Crap Things guest blog comes from Michael Green who runs football blog clarkeonenil.co.uk who may have a reason for some of the little darlings making so much noise.

No matter how much love you surround yourself with after a birth of a child nothing quite busts your bubble like someone being over-officious when it comes to your baby.

Some years ago, in October 2003, I was travelling to Cephalpnia to see my then 12-week-old’s grandparents with no idea just how unbaby friendly flights really are.

Flights to the island are limited enough (two a week at the time I recall) so we expected some discomfort and asked if we could book a seat for the baby and offered to pay full fare. But no, we were told the baby had to sit in the lap of a parent.

While long haul flights might have some cot provisions between cabin sections, on short haul flights where every bit of space is filled there is no such provision. But why is it that when you have to drive in a car, a baby needs a car seat but when you fly in a plane, a baby can’t have a ‘plane seat’. Surely something could be done to get the seatbelt around it giving the baby and mum and dad some room?

Now I and the child’s mother are no wallflowers so we just about managed to communicate our expectations on the day in terms of making the flights as stress free (and most importantly cry free) as possible. To be fair both flights went well but you can be sure that when we returned to this idyllic island the next year, the child got a seat because we lied about age. Once they are three, they pay full fare.