Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Fly the Child-Free Skies

Have you read this story? Little Elly Kulesza, age three, was kicked off of an AirTran flight along with her parents because Elly wouldn't get into her seat, and was crying and fussing about it all.

The airlines treated her like they would any disruptive passenger. But should they have done so?

After all, three isn't exactly the age of reason. Elly's parents say they were trying to calm her down and get her into her seat, but the airlines didn't give them enough time. I believe them. Time passes pretty quickly for the parent trying to deal with a tantrum in public, when all the normal tools of discipline are forbidden to them.

Spanking? Out of the question. Scolding? Likewise. Forcibly putting little Elly in her seat, and holding her down? You might as well plan to spend a week with Florida's notorious Department of Children and Families (you remember, the ones who lost little Rilya Wilson).

Even bribing, that old standby of parents in a pinch, is pretty hard to manage on a plane before takeoff, when all luggage is stowed away and even sippy cups of juice are forbidden these days.

So what were Elly's parents supposed to do? What would you do?

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