February 9, 2010

Up In The Air

As many of you already know, I am in the airport as much as my own home. And the security process seems to change on a pretty regular basis. And for the most part I am very sensitive to the process.

Last Friday I posted this on my facebook page, "Okay lady, YOU may be an expert traveler but the children with you are not! You need to go through family security please." And boy did this apparently offend quite a few people!

I received all sorts of comments (and mostly through message) about how I just wouldn't understand what it was like to fly with a child. One of my dear friends told me that I should learn to have patience with the people with children. Another told me that until I have one of my own not to judge and so on and so on.

Here's the thing. I have no problem with noisy screaming children on my flight. My ears give me insane trouble and I can only imagine what it is like to not know how to pop them or express the feeling. I also don't mind when children just need a little time to play on flights. I traveled as a kid and know that I must have been the same way. I didn't mind standing behind children in the security line when it was all one big line but... now is a different story.

To expedite the security screening process, they now have 3 lines. Families & Special
Assistance, Casual Traveler & Expert Traveler. Now, when I tell you that I have patience for people traveling with children it does not mean that I have patience for the woman in front of me who got in the expert traveler lane with her 3 kids. One of which decided that taking off his shoes was not an option and had a melt down. I do think it is a bit crazy that a 2 year old must walk alone through the metal detector and present his boarding pass. I mean, at least let the kid hold Mommy's hand.

However, I stick to my statement and feelings. You have your own line now lady. I would not stare daggers into your back if you chose to go through security in the appropriate lane. While when traveling alone you may be an expert, today you are not. And just for the record, if ever I have a child, we will use the family lane when we go through security. That is why it is there.


  1. I agree with you. I think anytime there are high volumes of people it becomes more important to follow the rules to organize the chaos. Otherwise, there are too many unnecessary headaches.
    Kelli S.

  2. Okay, so I have two small children and have flown with both of them, Maggie was six months old when we first took her along with Hattie at 3 years old. I for one was grateful for the family line. It allowed me to fold up my stroller, throw the baby carrier, backpack (which when you do have children is the only way to travel)take Hattie's shoes off, my shoes, Chris's shoes, maintain id, boarding passes and sanity all without feeling the pressure to hurry up and go. It's perhaps because I knew the people behind me in the line were doing the same thing and feeling the same way. I'm an expert traveler, I know the rules, take my time and have come to the understanding that TSA is the boss so just strip down everything and go on.
    I can't see why this would offend parents, maybe I'm the crazy one...The line is there for a reason, to smooth the process and help the parents along. I'm also the first one to say that traveling with kids is not fun at the airport, but it's a must so it's up to us PARENTS to do OUR best to make it easy on our children. i.e. maybe you should tell your children DAYS before you are leaving that they will need to take their shoes off at the airport. It worked for my oldest when we flew with her for the first time, she was so excited by the time we got to the point of taking her shoes off, I'm pretty sure she already had them off inline at the airline check-in.
    What more can I say? Just follow the rules to help the process, it's not like you were asking the lady to take her crying kid off the plane. I know as a parent that you do your best, but I've also seen kids who were being so obnoxious and their parents were oblivious to their behavior. So, I guess parents, I know the job is tough but keep on being a PARENT!

  3. See! I would think that life would be easier for you while traveling if you didn't think people like me were staring at you in anger! And I do not envy the women walking around with all that stuff. I mean, tons of crap! And I am pretty sure they need every bit of it. Ugh. Add travel to the long list of why I would make a horrible mother!

    Btw, It does not surprise me that Hattie enjoyed stripping off her shoes.

  4. I would never consider anything else, especially with Addi in tow! I couldn't agree more with your comment...in fact, it made me giggle! The family line is so wonderful...they are very understanding and patient. they even offer a hand when you can't juggle your child, your shoes, your purse and your diaper bag!

  5. You know, after I ranted above, perhaps the mom was going by the saying "ignorance is bliss"?????

  6. I agree with you. I do have a kid and consider myself an expert traveler... where I live we do not have the family line and I would be thankful for it, because even when my 3 yo son is an expert as well (he knows to take off shoes and stuff) he also takes a little longer to put them back on.. and I would think people behind us without kids would be pleased to know there is another line for them

  7. I am an expert traveler. We fly at least once a month and my 3-month-old has now flown 6 times.

    I ASSURE you that the woman probably didn't even notice you staring at her angrily. It seems that many parent's take a somewhat snooty and/or victim approach when they have children with them.

    As a traveling parent, I try really hard to walk a fine line between being overly apologetic (pathetic) and deciding the rules don't apply to me because my travel day is "harder."

  8. I actually saw your post originally on your FB page and had to giggle. Seriously, we have flown multiple times with Owen and we make sure to prepare him (take off shoes, jacket, etc) way in advance, so we won't hold up the line. And you are so right, just because the mom is an expert traveler does NOT make her offspring expert travelers. It always surprises me how oblivious some parents are with their kids. I feel I'm super accomodating when flying with Owen (apologizing 30 times to the guy next to me for Owen wanting to "pet his fur" on his face. omg.) I feel other parents should be prepared like we are. :)



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