I don’t think flying is anyone’s cup of tea — it may even be worse than the subway. And we all know what it’s like to endure plane rides with crying babies on board. They’re cute, they’re cuddly, but when the blood-curdling screams come out and you can’t escape without falling thousands of feet to your doom…well…it’s not a great feeling. So, if you’re wondering how to avoid babies on airplanes, we’ve got the answers you’ve been waiting for.
How to avoid babies on airplanes
The biggest tip? Don’t sit near bulkheads.
Former flight attendant Annie Kingston included this in a list of the top six tricks she’s learned over the years for the British site Oyster.
“While there’s no escaping (or blaming) the shrill of an upset child, you can lower your odds of sitting directly next to one by choosing a seat that’s located far from the partitions on board. These partitions, which go by the technical name ‘bulkheads,’ are the only places on an aircraft where a parent can safely secure a baby’s bassinet — and are, therefore, where most children under one year old will be situated.”
Thank you, Kingston.
Other tips for how to avoid babies on airplanes (because we need more)
Besides avoiding bulkheads, she suggests choosing airlines that have the biggest baggage fees because, “Parents have to travel with luggage for themselves and for their children, so higher fees would mean greater costs to traveling families.” Thus, these families would be looking elsewhere.
In addition to this, McDermott suggests avoiding “typical” family vacation spots like Walt Disney World. “Florida is also a top destination for boomers and senior citizens, who may be looking for a child or grandchild-free getaway,” she noted. “If your snowbird hideaway is in the sunshine state, look to smaller airports like Daytona Beach instead of Orlando and Sarasota/Bradenton instead of Tampa.”
As Travel and Leisure pointed out, one travel message board user also suggested booking night flights. “Some parents may be sure their child will sleep (and not bother you) but others are worried the child will not sleep and will cry,” the user wrote. “So they take a daytime flight and are willing to entertain them for the length of the flight.”
Another tip? McDermott says to avoid eye contact: “If you’re not going to offer an understanding smile or distract a baby with a rousing game of peek-a-boo, keep your eyes to yourself.”
Easy enough, right?