Won’t someone think of the Parents? Travelling with kids and a gadget ban

There’s a new restriction on flights to the US and flights to the UK which there is now a gadget ban on some airlines…

It says:

“Electronic devices larger than a cell phone/smart phone will not be allowed to be carried onboard the aircraft in carry-on luggage or other accessible property.”
For UK-bound travellers, it affects all flights coming from:

* Turkey

* Lebanon

* Jordan

* Egypt

* Tunisia

* Saudi Arabia

(Taken from BBC news)
The thinking behind it is that small explosives could be taken onto the flight via hand luggage and it’s being done for safety. Anything bigger than a mobile phone will have to be checked in and go into your cargo hold luggage.
I understand the safety aspect, but can’t they just…like…scan them at check in? Isn’t that what those huge machines through security do? And if that device is carrying an explosive then isn’t it still a massive security risk to check it into your main luggage? That thing is going to go off anyway, right?
I have to say, one of the first things I very selfishly thought of is “Won’t someone think of the parents? HOW ARE WE GOING TO ENTERTAIN OUR KIDS ON FLIGHTS?!”
We fly to Turkey in May and it means that flying over won’t be a problem (unless Turkey gets mad and imposes the same rule before then) but flying back will mean we can’t have the iPad for the toddler with 25 episodes of Postman Pat and Sarah and Duck on them. Whilst I do want to punch Postman Pat because of his incompetent parcel delivering skills at times, it means that we have a way to keep toddler quiet and in one place.   

I fear that parents across the world are now fearing for their sanity and quaking in their boots as a LOT do rely on a gadget bigger than their phone to provide some suitable inflight entertainment for their little ones. And if planes had chandeliers I reckon you would see some kiddies (possibly some parents) swinging from them in weeks to come whilst frazzled cabin crew tries to keep order for 5 hours straight in a confined space. 

If you’re a terrified parent / airline company / frazzled cabin crew wondering how to save everyone’s sanity on these gadget free flights then here are some suggestions….

1. Airline companies – Stock up on brown paper bags and cool damp cloths. Parents and fellow passengers are going to need them once hyperventilation starts from kids asking “are we there yet” approximately 736463782888 times. Per hour.

2. Airline companies – Possibly hire a kids entertainer such a clown, balloon artist or someone who just sings wheels on the bus gleefully for a while. You should be aware that some adults don’t like clowns and may end up having said clown in a head lock and start a full on brawl.

3. Airline companies РPossibly consider an onboard cr̬che? Cash in on those parents that look terrified and charge rates similar to nursery fees, if not more. Kerching.

4. Parents – Teach your children lots of card games or something that requires a lot of time and strategic thinking. Like poker or chess. Hopefully 5 hours will tick by in no time.  

5. Parents – colouring books, sticker books, pop up books, any book. The more the merrier. They keep mine entertained for about an hour at least.

6. Parents
– Take absolutely every app off your phone (which IS allowed on board) and load it with your toddlers favourite programme. All those selfies and social media apps can be put back on later. Your sanity is everything right now.

7. Parents – Think of it as a Postman Pat detox for your kids, and yourself. You’re one step away from having recurring nightmares about misplaced parcels anyway so this might be therapeutic for all of you.   

8. Fellow passengers with no kids
– Consider taking a safe sleeping pill that will last till you land. It’s going to be noisy. Sorry.

9. Airlines – Consider free inflight phone toddler calls to grandparents. Grandparents are magic at entertaining offspring. 

10 Comments

  1. Nikki Thomas March 22, 2017 / 10:15 am

    Having experienced a nine hour flight with my kids for the first time last year, I would not have survived without ipads. The inflight entertainment is okay for older ones, but younger ones would find it very hard without gadgets. You would have to fill all of your cabin bags with colouring, stickers and various other things to keep them amused but that wouldn’t make it a particularly relaxing flight for the parents. It is true that they haven’t thought about the parents and I agree, surely there is a way to scan things before you fly. I guess security is the most important thing and I understand why the legislation has come in but it is tough on families and people who like to work on flights too.
    Nikki Thomas recently posted…Can I bring a friend?My Profile

  2. Tanya March 22, 2017 / 6:27 pm

    I don’t have children so my life is easy and carefree, especially when it comes to travel. I can’t for a second, though, imagine trying to entertain a toddler on a long flight (or short flight for that matter) without an iPad at my disposal. My heart goes out to all you parents. If one day I find myself on a flight with a displeased little one, I promise to get up and sing the ‘the wheels on the bus go round and round’ without my clown suit on – nobody needs to get punched out on top of it all!

  3. Sarah MumofThree World March 23, 2017 / 9:56 am

    This made me laugh! Can you imagine a madcap clown singing The Wheels on the Bus for six hours while making dogs and swords out of balloons? It would be enough to drive a person isane, but I would love to be a fly on the wall. In the meantime, you’d better stock up on colouring books…
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted…A lack of PEMy Profile

  4. BySarahMostly March 23, 2017 / 11:06 am

    Haha! I’ve been doing this parenting thing for so long that I can remember flying – heck not just flying but PARENTING without iPads. I know, right?! From what I remember, it wasn’t always pretty but back in those days, we had to be inventive. I seem to remember entertaining them with a rice cake and some broken crayons on a never ending flight to Greece one summer. It will be just like the olden days you’ll be fine! 😉
    BySarahMostly recently posted…Happy Mother’s Day (with a little help from Tesco)My Profile

  5. The Informal Matriarch March 24, 2017 / 6:46 pm

    My first thought when they announced this was “racist pigs”…my second thought was about how much they’re going to regret that when they have hundreds of bored and angry children on their flights. I guess that’s karma for being racist pigs.

  6. Tracey Williams March 24, 2017 / 10:30 pm

    Our very first flight with the kids was pre devices AND it was to Florida. What an earth we were thinking. In our defence we were on the same flight as the grandparents, which are great for passing kids to whilst you try and get 4 gin and tonics down your neck lol x
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  7. Susan Mann March 25, 2017 / 8:16 am

    I think it is tough as we have become so reliant on giving them ipads to keep them occupied and devices. It really does help, but we may be a little reliant on them. I made packs for the kids as toddlers when we took 4 2 and under to america. They coloured and had snacks and it was fine. But I know what you mean xx

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