6 questions I have after watching the JetBlue "FlyBabies" video

You may have seen this video that JetBlue put together as part of a new campaign released ahead of Mother’s Day called  JetBlue “FlyBabies”. To the airline’s credit they are sensitive to the increasing negativity out there for parents traveling with babies and young children. Parents just like me.

In the video, JetBlue profiles a couple of moms flying with their babies from New York to Long Beach, CA. Then on the flight, the attendant announces that every time one of the babies cry, each passenger will get 25% off their next JetBlue fight. so four cries equals a free trip. It is a touching video, well worth watching.

I sympathize greatly with these moms who are more nervous about the children acting up more than anything else. The last thing we want is to be a burden to everyone else on the plane. I really wish more people would remember that.

Still watching the video left me with more questions than answers about the FlyBabies campaign.

1. Why didn’t the passengers applaud more when the flight attendant announced the discount? There wasn’t much clapping on the video after the flight attendant made the announcement. Now, I’ve flown from New York to LA and surrounding airports like Long Beach, Orange County, you name it, several times. We’re talking about a long 5 1/2 hour flight here. Unless the kids are under some serious sedation, it’s virtually a guarantee that the passengers will hear those four cries and get their next trip free.

2. Is money the only way to get people to be more understanding that flying can be rough on babies? Apparently it’s too much to ask for the general public to be more understanding without a monetary reward. Should we pay people to do what they should be doing anyway? Even though it was just this one flight ,now a precedent has been set. I worry now that not paying people will give them a carte blanche to act like an asshat when kids act up on the plane.

3. Am I the only one who uses a car seat on the plane for the baby? I noticed none of the parents I saw in the video used car seats for their babies on the plane. Look, I know it’s more expensive because you have to buy an extra ticket. I realize it’s a royal pain carrying an extra 30 pounds over the seats because the damn seat doesn’t fit through the aisle. I really get it. But the thing is, strapping your baby or toddler in a car seat on the plane is so much safer for them. Hard turbulence and tough landings do not announce themselves ahead of time so better to be safe.

4. What’s next, a FlyPets campaign? Children do not bother me on planes and I felt that way even before I had two of my own. But I think people forget that some people can bring small pets with them and often those pets are louder than babies. On my last trip from New York to LA, a JetBlue flight I might add, there was a small dog three rows behind me . The poor dog squeaked pretty much most of the way out and after awhile I tuned it out. I think it’s harder for a pet parent to calm their pet on a plane.

5. Where will the next JetBlue “FlyBabies” plane go? This was a one-time perk and it remains to be seen if JetBlue will repeat this perk, either as a surprise like this flight or as an announced promotion. I ask because I want to be on that flight! Children pick up on expressions so easily so having a positive environment in the cabin is a win-win. Of course, a free trip would be nice.

6. Why was the pilot the only one thanking the moms on the flight? Maybe there were passengers who expressed their thanks but if there were those clips didn’t make the video. Shouldn’t the passengers express their gratitude not only for their free flight, but to the moms who are really doing their best to handle their babies on the plane? As moms, we do so much on and off the plane behind the scenes to avoid those cries, whether it’s striking that fine balance between taking all the gadgets and toys to comfort our children and carry-on space, to tiring them out in the terminal so they fall asleep easier, to multiple calming techniques often used in desperation, sacrificing our own comfort in the process, and more. That kind of thank-you would make an awesome Mother’s Day gift.

What do you think about the JetBlue ‘FlyBabies” campaign?

I’ve written before about flying with young children. You may also like this post on why it’s important to take our children on flights or this post which contains some tips on flying with children.

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Tags: parenting

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