This week, Toronto Blue Jays player Anthony Bass added much more fuel to the fiery debate over airplane etiquette after he tweeted about a flight story involving his wife and their two children.
The 35-year-old, who is from Michigan but plays for Canada’s MLB team, revealed on Twitter how his husband – who was traveling alone – was “made” to clean up their kids’ food mess despite being 22 weeks pregnant used to be .
While receiving backlash for expressing his outrage, Caroline Kneitz, 34, who spent six years as an Emirates flight attendant, told DailMail.com that he was right about this and that it should be the cleaners’ job to clean up the mess. clean up: not the parents or cabin crew. However, respect for the public space must be observed.
Here, the travel professional, who is originally from the Netherlands and currently lives in Dubai, reveals her ultimate etiquette do’s and don’ts about cleaning and other matters for parents flying on a plane with their kids.
Caroline Kneitz, 34, worked as a flight attendant for Emirates for six years and during that time she got all sorts of insider tips
It’s not a parent’s or crew’s responsibility to clean – but keep your kids under control!
In my personal opinion, it’s important to treat public spaces as if they were rooms in your home. I don’t understand what gives people the idea or the right to screw up the plane to the extent I’ve seen. It’s like a form of vandalism.
So yes, I do believe that a parent should make sure the child doesn’t mess up the space. Imagine being on a 13 hour flight, would you want to sit on a dirty seat for that long?
The crew is not paid to clean and the parents are not responsible for cleaning either. The airline employs cleaners who come on board when all passengers have disembarked.
I’ve heard that some airlines ask their crew to clean, especially budget brands, but generally the rule of thumb is to leave everything to the cleaners. So that changes the story quite a bit. At Emirates, we were responsible for picking up plastic and other rubbish from the aisle in case someone slipped or fell. A cluttered cabin can also be a safety hazard!
Avoid chips or crumbly foods
The worst offenders when it came to children and the dirtiest snacks on airplanes were chips and cookies. There were often crumbs left by children on the seat and around the footwell.
It is best if parents bring some homemade food that is easy to eat and something the child is familiar with. Chopped fruits and vegetables are great because they generally leave little mess and are refreshing to nibble on in the air.
This week, Toronto Blue Jays player Anthony Bass added much more fuel to the fiery debate over airplane etiquette after he tweeted about a flight story involving his wife and their children
Caroline (pictured third from left) said she enjoys babysitting children on flights, so parents shouldn’t be afraid to rely on cabin crew
Time flights to your children’s sleeping patterns
I think it is very important for parents to think about timing before booking flights. Sometimes a flight might be cheaper at a weird time of day, but if kids are extra grumpy or misbehaving due to lack of sleep, is it really worth it?
In my experience, the worst-behaved children on flights were the overtired children whose sleep patterns were disrupted.
Never rely on onboard entertainment to distract your child
The entertainment systems really vary from airline to airline, so relying on them to distract your kids is not recommended. Some airlines have great deals, with games and a large number of TV programs for children, but others are very sparse with their selections.
Some airlines carry toys on board, so it’s worth asking the cabin crew. I know we had teddy bears and things like that, which would always be a treat. I found that coloring books would also keep kids mesmerized for quite some time. Budget airlines usually don’t have screens in the back seats, so always take an iPad with you.
Take your child for a walk – don’t let them run around
Countless times I saw children being allowed to run around mid-flight and this often annoyed other passengers. I would always recommend that parents take their kids on guided explorations of the aisles. As long as you stay in your cabin and class, nothing is generally off limits.
Walking up and down a bit will tire the child and also help adults stretch their legs. Passengers are generally more likely to be taken in by a child with a guardian than by someone left to go rogue.
Parents should be well rested before traveling, Caroline says, as their problem-solving skills will be tough (stock image)
Make sure YOU are also well rested before you travel
Often I saw parents bickering and looking exhausted when there was a problem with their child or children. I would advise parents to make sure they are well rested before traveling.
Then half the work is done. It’s really amazing how much sleep can help ease problem solving.
Be the last to get off the plane
As soon as the plane hits the tarmac, everyone is in a hurry to get off. But if you are traveling with children, I recommend taking your time and disembarking last.
Because you have more stuff to carry, you will end up holding other people back. If you’re in a hurry, you’re also more likely to accidentally leave things behind. Take into account the longer disembarkation process during your trip and don’t worry!
If possible, also try to pack less and be more efficient.
Rely on the crew as temporary babysitters
Crews love to take a break from their duties to become temporary babysitters. I loved it! I had kids wear my uniform and we had a Polaroid camera for fun pictures.
So don’t hesitate to take your child to the galley for some entertainment between shifts. I found taking care of kids in the middle of the night helped me stay alert and awake, so I always appreciated parents asking for help.
Carry and rock your baby when he cries
I’m sure you’ve had a conversation with a friend or relative where you ask how the flight was and they said it was great, but they had a baby next to them that cried all the time. If a child cries, you just have to deal with it, unfortunately.
I was on duty from Dubai to JFK once and this one guy didn’t stop crying from takeoff to landing. I handed out earplugs to everyone around until I ran out. The flight was full so I couldn’t reassign the seats either. Solution: noise canceling headphones!
Crying babies also like to be carried around, so as a parent, from what I’ve seen, it helps to carry your baby around the islands to lull them to sleep. I found that when parents did this it helped so much!
Do not give sugar to children
I’ve seen a lot of kids on flights that get totally out of control. Unfortunately, I blame this on bad parenting. I’ve seen parents stuff their kids with soda and just sugar.
I had a mother who asked for coffee for her four-year-old with three sugars in it. As a crew we are trained not to inform our customers, so even in this case there was nothing I could do. Shortly after serving the drink, the child was wild.