Tag Archives: airplanes

How to Fly With Small Children

3 Feb

It’s not all overwrought musings about bike racing around here.  If air travel with small kids doesn’t qualify as a form of discomfort, voluntary or otherwise, I don’t know what does.

My wife and I decided early on that not traveling once we had kids was unacceptable. For starters, our jobs require a nomadic lifestyle. Secondly, we knew we would have to compromise on so many other areas that letting go of travel — one of our shared loves — seemed a bridge too far. Finally, kids today are coddled and mollified in virtually every way imaginable. Becoming part of that by saying, “ok, we’ll bend to the whims of this child and never go anywhere” seemed like it would send the wrong message to our children about who we wanted them to be.

That’s not to say travel, especially air travel, with kids doesn’t suck. Quite often it does, even when the baby doesn’t throw up all over you while you’re solo parenting two kids on an all-day trip.  (OK, that happened to my wife on the train, but the point is the same.) My rules for how to cope:

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An old and familiar seduction

25 Feb

Oh, Austrian Air. How I’ve missed you these past five years.

It began with those first Euro-tranced notes of “Summertime (and the livin’ is easy)” as I boarded. I knew you hadn’t changed.

You still serve me real food and ply me with complimentary liquor, even in coach. And though I could have used an extra inch or two of seat recline, you gave me a blanket and a pillow. For free, even.

Your pre-flight safety video is still that CGI animated thing with the guy who keeps staring lewdly at the woman with the curvy ass and the mannish face, and I still can’t decide whether it’s funny or demeaning.

In short, you charmed me in the old, familiar way, you sly emissaries of a fallen empire.

And then, over breakfast, you sweetly, tenderly fooled me yet again with a spoiled cup of orange juice. WTF?

But I’ll probably still sleep with you again anyway.