4 in 10 parents would ditch their kids in coach if they could move up to first class

LONDON — Traveling can be stressful. Traveling with kids can be very stressful. So, while it’s understandable that parents would love some peace and quiet while traveling with their families, it might surprise you how far some moms and dads will go to get it. A new survey finds four in 10 parents would leave their kids alone in coach if the airline offered them a free individual upgrade to first class.

Put together by private COVID-19 testing company Medicspot and conducted by OnePoll, the survey talked to 2,000 adults with kids under the age of 18. More than (55%) flat out say they dread the very thought of stepping onto an airplane with their children. Consequently, nine percent say they would leave their child, regardless of age, in coach for a free chance at first class. Yes, that means they would even leave a newborn or toddler with the flight staff on an airplane.

Another 10 percent would only leave a child older than five and an additional nine percent would leave their 10-year-old child alone in coach. Finally, 12 percent would leave their teenager alone in coach and move up for first class. Cumulatively, researchers say the average age that parents consider acceptable to leave a child alone on a flight is 13.

“Family holidays are fantastic but there is no doubt that the time spent at the airport and on the plane can be amongst the most daunting for parents,” says a Medicspot spokesperson in a statement. “We love taking our kids on holiday with us, but given the opportunity, many of us would relish the opportunity to have some free time and a bit of luxury at 30,000ft.”

Despite most parents stating how much they hate the thought of air travel with their kids, 76 percent conceded that they had been on an airplane with their entire family in the past. As far as what worries parents the most, the top concern is “general misbehavior,” followed by travel sickness and fear of flying. One in three parents say their kids have thrown a tantrum at the airport before boarding and 36 percent have felt embarrassed by their children’s behavior while on a trip.

Humorously, many parents actually feel bad for everyone else stuck on a flight with them and their kids. Over half (55%) believe kids and their parents should have their own portion of an airplane so everyone else doesn’t have to deal with the noise.

Interestingly, despite all these worries, one in five parents are still planning on traveling sometime soon. Still, 62 percent are very nervous to bring their child on their first trip. There’s clearly a reason why families still travel, though, as evidenced by 83 percent of participants admitting the best memories are made while traveling.