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?
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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?
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