This Mother’s Day, JetBlue is Helping Moms with One of Their Most Difficult Challenges – #FlyBabies

BY: - 4 May '16 | Parenting

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I can remember the first time I flew with one of my kids.  I was flying from Georgia to Washington, D.C. to visit a good friend, and my daughter was about 2-months old at the time. And, to say I was nervous and filled with anxiety was an understatement.

First of all, the amount of preparation it takes to pack for an infant is insane. Juggling the bottles, infant car seats, strollers and baby bags, had me exhausted when I finally sat down in my seat on the plane with my baby.  Whew…the worst was over right?

Wrong!

Secondly, don’t think I didn’t see you looking shell-shocked and praying that I wasn’t seated next to you. And don’t think I didn’t hear your sighs of relief when I walked past your row and sat next to some other unlucky individual.

You were so afraid that I would sit next to you on the plane with my baby…that you forgot to ask if I needed help with any of my bags.

Finally, you must know that I was praying too. Yes, I was praying that my baby didn’t cry and disturb your flight. But more importantly,  I was praying that my baby girl was not experiencing any type of discomfort from flying such as motion sickness or ear pain. I was praying that she didn’t poop or throw up or get too hungry. There’s a lot to be concerned with when you are traveling with an infant.

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And this is why I think JetBlue’s new Mother’s Day campaign, which celebrates moms as they face one of their most difficult situations (flying with their babies), is so awesome. You see, JetBlue recognizes that crying babies are out of a mother’s control (despite all of the hours she prepared and all of the snacks, toys and bottles she packed).

And so JetBlue decided to show empathy toward moms traveling with little ones. They want moms traveling with babies to know that air travel can be worth it, and they’re asking fellow travelers to think twice before giving the occasional side-eye. Check out their awesome video below.

Here’s what they did:  JetBlue designated a cross-country flight from New York City’s JFK Airport to Long Beach, Calif., as their “FlyBabies” flight and followed moms and their babies on their journey. Upon departure, it was clear this was no ordinary flight and customers were surprised to find out they would be rewarded with discounts on their next JetBlue flight every time a baby cried. The “FlyBabies” flight was a success with customers rallying around moms and babies on-board. Their tears earned the whole flight a free one and grimaces were transformed to cheers.

JetBlue gives an important reminder to have empathy for mothers traveling with babies.

Watching that video touched me in two ways: 1. It made me remember exactly what it feels like to be a mother traveling alone with a baby, and 2. It gave me a wake-up call.  The last time I was on a plane, I was the one giving the side-eye to the traveling mom with her baby.  You see, all of my kids are older now, and I really needed this important reminder to have empathy for moms traveling with babies.

And I am not the only one that needs this reminder too.  In a recent survey conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of JetBlue, 65 percent of U.S. adults report understanding parents have no control on whether their baby cried in-flight, despite this 40 percent of U.S. adults who ever travel by airplane still report being annoyed when being on a plane with a crying baby.

Whether you’re on a “FlyBabies” flight or not, JetBlue has made it their mission to make the trip a comfortable one for your child and a peaceful one for you with the following kid-friendly offerings:

Courtesy Boarding

JetBlue offers Courtesy Boarding for families with children under the age of 2, so customers can have early access to overhead bins, secure car seats and get children comfortably seated on the plane. This Courtesy Boarding is offered immediately before general boarding.

Channels for Kids

With a TV at every seat, your child can choose kid-friendly programming like Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network or Animal Planet from the 36 channels of free DIRECTV®.

With their A321 aircraft (coming soon to their A320s), they offer 100+ Channels of DIRECTV® and even more kid-friendly options.

JetBlue Features®

On all flights longer than two hours, they offer at least one kid age-appropriate movie at every seat. Wings Crews often keep promotional wings on hand for the littlest customers. Supplies vary, but check with your crew for availability.

Kid-Friendly Snacks

In addition to a number of EatUp boxes and EatUp Café items available for purchase, JetBlue provides a wide variety of complimentary and unlimited snacks and drinks for children (and their parents) including nut-free options.

For Mom

In 2015, JetBlue partnered with Mamava and Seventh Generation to bring the first private nursing pod to JFK Airport. This private lactation suite provides another option for nursing moms who seek more privacy when nursing their little ones while traveling through T5. The nursing pod is available at T5 next to the Kids Play area near Gate 12.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by JetBlue.  I’ve partnered with them to help spread the word about their #FlyBabies video.  All opinions are my own.

BMWK, how do you prepare to fly with a young child or infant?

About the author

Ronnie Tyler wrote 517 articles on this blog.

Ronnie Tyler is the co-creator of BlackandMarriedWithKids.com and co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing. The proud mom of 4 has been selected by Parenting Magazine as a Must-Read Mom and is one of Babble's Top 100 Mom Bloggers.

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A Writer’s Emotional and Loving Open Letter to Her Deceased Mother

BY: - 4 May '16 | Faith

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Dear Mama,

As I sit here on our brown comfy sofa sipping my mocha coffee, so peaceful this early in the morning or at least until Makayla’s feet hit the floor, I reflect about you. I wish you could have met her, though I’m grateful you’re her heavenly angel watching over her.

Truthfully, sometimes I worry about my baby—even though we moved from Chicago and now live in what Great American Country refers to as one of five great neighborhoods in Charlotte.  Still life has taught me there are no guarantees no matter where you live as we have seen countless times on the news all over the world. Sometimes, I worry will there be violence at school today? How will my baby handle it? Will my baby fight back or run?

Oh, Mama, I realize now, that even in the quiet respite of those peaceful mornings when I would find you sitting in the kitchen that you never had any peace. All that time I thought you were having “you time”, that you were “taking time for yourself.” I know better now, Mama.

Now, I know what you were doing. You were worrying about me, just like I worry about my baby. You worried about my grades. You wondered if you were doing everything you could to make sure I was learning–so much as to volunteer at my school (only you, mom). You worried if my friends were a good or bad influence on me. And those boys—you always referred to as “peanut head” (LOL), you surly thought they were no good and one would eventually steal your baby away from you. You would be pleased with the “peanut head” I chose for my husband mom.

I gave you so much to worry about. And I know you wouldn’t have it any other way. I know because I wouldn’t have it any other way either. I take my coffee with one teaspoon of sugar and cream, just like you did.

It’s evening now, and my phone is silent. Makayla is spending the evening with her aunt Jody. I text my baby (via Jody’s phone) and I haven’t heard back. The silence is getting to me. Sometimes, my baby sends me loving texts but she is unresponsive tonight. Why doesn’t my baby answer me? Why didn’t I answer you?

I try to think of the reasons why I didn’t check in with you when I was supposed to. I was too busy doing teenager things. I was embarrassed to be checking in with my “mommy” in front of my friends as a youth. I was too adult to have to be checking in. I realized now they were all poor justifications really. God how I wish I could check in with you right now!  But heaven doesn’t have phones or text messages.

Sometimes, I wish I could send you a quick text to ask you small things. Do you have wings? Are you singing in Jesus’s choir? You had a great voice, Mama (I wish I would have told you more often). I especially loved when you sang “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole to me. While these memories take me back to happier times, truth be told I’m holding back the tears (now reminded of that Simply Red song you loved so much)…wow memories of you surround me at every turn, Mama.

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I’m sorry I made you worry so much. I know you’re with me—after all those were your last words to me before you lost consciousness due to your cancer. I feel you in my heart often. You keep me company still today and always by loving me while I go through the same trials that I put you through. I realize now what it means to REALLY be a mother! You tried to show me and tell me, but I never quite got it. Personally, I don’t think you can ever get it until you go through it.

I remember just last year I attended my baby’s first real concert. Oh Lord! My ears! The music was so bad, but I would never tell my baby that. It was easy to smile because I watched my baby up on stage, working so hard to try to sound so good. I cannot imagine the racket you had to put up with through all my years of trying to sound like Mariah Carey (LOL).  Truth is your baby girl can sing now!  Minus getting stage shy when it comes to singing in public, as you may recall from my high school graduation having to do a duet because I was far too shy to do a solo.  Yet, every time I practiced you’d smile and tell me how good I was. That your baby was going to be a star. You supported me so much with everything I did, and I only wish you knew just how eternally grateful I am for that!  The irony now is that I get paid to speak to the masses on stage, but just don’t ask me to sing, haha.

I know you thought I didn’t listen and didn’t care a lot of the time. I did learn from you, Mama. I support my baby too. I make sure to give her all the encouragement you gave me, and then I apply even more. You did real well with me, Mama, even though I know you second-guessed yourself often having me later in life. You did the best you knew how to do, and I’m grateful.

I remember all those times I never wanted to be like you. I denied that I would ever grow up to be “just like my mother.” Now, my goal is to adopt your loving ways, to be the wonderful mother to my baby that you were to me. When I catch myself saying something that you said so many times, so long ago, I laugh in love.  I know that your spirit is moving in me, inspiring me to raise my baby strong. And I try, Mama. Lord, do I try!

I pray for your strength, you had the strength of a warrior—must have come from our Native American side (LOL).  When I have to discipline my baby, it hurts me.  From time to time, I hear your voice saying “this hurts me more than it hurts you,” and now I fully understand what you meant and exactly how that made you feel.  I don’t want to be the “mean mom” though I do what I have to do for the sake of Makayla. I remember telling you “I hate you” when you had to stand strong as a mother. While I’m optimistic most days, I’m realistic too. And I know the day will come when I’m sure to hear those heartbreaking words too. I know my baby will not mean them, just like I never truly meant it either.  I must have hurt you so bad, and for that I’m sorry, mommy.

Through the pain, I feel the love. I’m proud to be able to stand strong, just like you taught me to do by being strong yourself when you were disciplining me and leading by example even when you did not know it. When I take the hard road and be the mother I have to be, I feel you standing strong with me, lending me your strength. I know you’re with me every day, not just in spirit but through all of the things I’ve come to appreciate about being a mother–many of those things that I learned from you mama.

I love you so much, Mama!!! HAPPY Heavenly Mother’s Day!

Love,

Da-Nay
Your Daughter Always & Forever

BMWK, what message would you wish to say to your mother? Whether, she is with you on earth this mother’s day or in heaven, write her a letter to show your love.

Hey, moms with little ones. Were you thinking of traveling to see your mom this mother’s day but didn’t want the hassle of traveling with your young kids? Then read this.

About the author

Da-Nay Macklin wrote 41 articles on this blog.

Coach Da-Nay Macklin is a Certified Christian Life & Relationship Coach, founder of the Courageous Conquerors Mastermind and Author of Love After Adultery: The Breakthrough Journey of the Brokenhearted Available on Amazon She is one of the nation’s leading experts on infidelity and a thought leader on maximizing potential as she assists couples and individuals to live life by design and not default. Da-Nay has been has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network’s show Unfaithful: Stories of Betrayal after successfully navigating adultery in her marriage, and named one of the 15 most powerful women on the south side of Chicago. She now resides in Charlotte, NC with her loving husband and daughter.

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