Would you fly right now? Would you let your kids? - Mothering Forums
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Parenting > Would you fly right now? Would you let your kids?
Dr.Worm's Avatar Dr.Worm 08:06 AM 05-12-2011

Grandma wants my dd to fly with her on a trip to North Carolina to visit DD's cousins.  At first, dd was concerned because of the pat down.  DD didn't like that and wanted to ride down with hee dad who we thought was meeting them in North Carolina later. (We are separated).  So a couple weeks ago when he came to pick her up for the weekend we asked him about her going with him.  He said he can't go because of his school and that grandma's plan was that dd was going to fly alone because she wasn;t going. 

 

DD was very upset because she has never been on a plane at all, and she didn't want to go alone.  She is eleven, by the way.  Dad and I said that she didn't have to go if she didn't want to and since that time with the whole Bin laden thing I have been even more afraid.

 

I told DD next time she sees Grandma or Dad to tell them she decided she doesn't want to go, so they dont think I'm just not letting her and that Grandma can call me about it also.  Now this morning Grandma calls, my mom talked cause I was getting ready for work.  Mom said dd is terrfied of flying alone and grandma said she was going too, she doesnt know why dad thought she wasn't.  Mom said she would have me call her later.  I know she is trying to make her plane reservations but I cant tell her anything until i talk to dd about this. 

 

So, whew, sorry this was so long....to sum up, grandma would be flying with dd both ways. while that makes me feel better then her going alone(which i wouldnt allow) I am still worried because I'm scared about possible terrorist attacks and dd is very upset about pat downs.  I am not going to make her go if she doesn't want to but wanted to know what you wise mommies would do.  Thanks soooo much!!!



tabrizia's Avatar tabrizia 08:46 AM 05-12-2011

I'd let her fly if she wants to.  In August my 2 and 4 year old will be flying to Georgia with my Mom, and not me, and I'll be following a few days later with the 4 month old.  I am not to worried about the while Bin Laden thing though.  I am a bit worried about the advance scanners and pat downs, but even they don't worry me too much.  If it is something I was looking forward to doing I would fly and let my child fly without any issue.


Agatha_Ann's Avatar Agatha_Ann 08:54 AM 05-12-2011

My oldest kids are flying at the end of this month by themselves to visit grandma and DH and I are taing a trip with the youngest two at the same time. I honestly hadn't given it a second thought. So far my only concern has been if DS and DD start bickering on the plane alone because that seems to be what they do now nut.gif

 

My kids have all flown quite a bit though so that is a little different.


Dr.Worm's Avatar Dr.Worm 09:03 AM 05-12-2011

Thanks guys..makes me feel better to know you guys are doing it.  I have only been on a plane once in my entire life and that was back in the late nineties...so no experience with 9/11.  Yeah, it's a tough call because I don't want to make dd worry so I am trying to be cool about it but I also don't want to force her to go if she doesn't want to.  And I dont want to ruin the plans for everyone, she loves her little cousins.  What should I tell her about the pat down?  She says she thinks its bad that kids aren't supposed to let strangers touch them except doctors but then these people are allowed to.


Doodlebugsmom's Avatar Doodlebugsmom 10:17 AM 05-12-2011

My dh, our kids and I flew in March. There were no advanced scanning machines or pat-downs at either airport. It was just business as usual. Our trip involved Pittsburgh International Airport and JFK in NYC. It may not even be an issue worth worrying over. You could find out if the airports your dd would be traveling through use these techniques. Not every airport does this.


mamazee's Avatar mamazee 10:35 AM 05-12-2011
I've travelled lately. We were only patted down once, and it was done very professionally and the kids didn't care. I think we project our own fears on our kids sometimes - I don't think they care about these pat downs as much as well do, though your dd is 11 and might be getting to an age where she's more sensitive about being touched. Still it was very professional and not at all equivalent to "groping".
nextcommercial's Avatar nextcommercial 10:48 AM 05-12-2011

I'm not worried about the pat down or terrorists.  

 

But, at 11, I'd have been scared to fly too.  Just getting through an airport seems daunting.  I might have done it, but if it was optional, I probably wouldn't have.


Linda on the move's Avatar Linda on the move 10:48 AM 05-12-2011

My DH flies often with his job. He just got back from a flight last night!  I really don't worry about it a bit. I agree that your DD's first flight shouldn't be alone, but I think that not letting her go at all is just passing your fears to her.

 

We are considering letting the kids fly without us this summer for the first time (they are 13 and 14 and seasoned travelers). 

 

Flying is still pretty darn safe, as least as safe as driving in a car. It can be unpleasant and a PITA, but it lets you do things you wouldn't get to do otherwise, and therefore is still worth it for our family.

 

Refusing to fly again ever would require a complete change in our whole family. It's part of how my DH earns a living.


Dr.Worm's Avatar Dr.Worm 10:51 AM 05-12-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Doodlebugsmom View Post

My dh, our kids and I flew in March. There were no advanced scanning machines or pat-downs at either airport. It was just business as usual. Our trip involved Pittsburgh International Airport and JFK in NYC. It may not even be an issue worth worrying over. You could find out if the airports your dd would be traveling through use these techniques. Not every airport does this.


Oh wow, that would be great..thank you!
 

 


Dr.Worm's Avatar Dr.Worm 10:55 AM 05-12-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

I've travelled lately. We were only patted down once, and it was done very professionally and the kids didn't care. I think we project our own fears on our kids sometimes - I don't think they care about these pat downs as much as well do, though your dd is 11 and might be getting to an age where she's more sensitive about being touched. Still it was very professional and not at all equivalent to "groping".


She actually saw it on tv and said how gross it was...that was a couple months ago before we knew anything about this trip.  But I do agree with you that we can project our own fears on our kids.  I haven't said anything to make her afraid, i rant in private lol.  But she is sensitive and we are very close so she probably picks up on it anyway.  Yes, she is sensitive right now about her body but I think it will help if I tell her people from here have gone thru it and it wasnt a big deal.  She knows i come here.
 

 


Dr.Worm's Avatar Dr.Worm 10:57 AM 05-12-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post

I'm not worried about the pat down or terrorists.  

 

But, at 11, I'd have been scared to fly too.  Just getting through an airport seems daunting.  I might have done it, but if it was optional, I probably wouldn't have.



 Yeah, I think she is overwhelmed by the whole thing.  I am happier that Grandma is going so she can talk her thru it.  If she gets really upset though I guess she wont go...Grandma will be very mad at me though lol.


Dr.Worm's Avatar Dr.Worm 11:00 AM 05-12-2011



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

My DH flies often with his job. He just got back from a flight last night!  I really don't worry about it a bit. I agree that your DD's first flight shouldn't be alone, but I think that not letting her go at all is just passing your fears to her.

 

We are considering letting the kids fly without us this summer for the first time (they are 13 and 14 and seasoned travelers). 

 

Flying is still pretty darn safe, as least as safe as driving in a car. It can be unpleasant and a PITA, but it lets you do things you wouldn't get to do otherwise, and therefore is still worth it for our family.

 

Refusing to fly again ever would require a complete change in our whole family. It's part of how my DH earns a living.



 Yeahit sure would affect your family.  Yeah I have to be careful, trying to make it sound fun and not scary.


ZakareyasMama's Avatar ZakareyasMama 11:22 AM 05-12-2011

As a hijab.gif I have been pat down every single time I've flown for the last 3 years so I've had some experience. Your daughter will first go through the metal detector. If she beeps or if she was "selected for random screening" she will be asked to pass through the body scanner. She can do the scanner or refuse it. (*Not all airports have the scanner. I'm not sure about Pittsburgh, but the Raleigh airport does. If there is no scanner and she beeps or is selected she will just be sent straight to pat down.) If she decides she doesn't want to do the scanner (it is her right to refuse) she will be asked to stand in this little area with glass walls. Her stuff will still be going through the conveyor belt and they will ask her to turn and watch her items. Someone will take them and put them aside for her when she's done. She can also ask not to have the pat down done in public view and they would take her to a different room. I've never done this so I don't know how that is. The pat down will consist of her standing with her feet spread apart and arms raised to shoulder level and the lady will touch all over her body. The lady will say what she is checking before she touches it "I am going to touch your back now" etc. When she feels in the bum and chest region, she will use the back of her hands. To me I find the pat downs completely humiliating and they feel like an attack on my freedom of religion. It's not really that I feel "groped" but more the reasons behind their doing it that bother me. I absolutely hate it and dread it every time I fly. However, I have to live my life and go see family living in different states etc., so I live with it. It's unlikely your daughter would have to go through a pat down anyway. Make sure she has on shoes that are easy to slip on and off (I always like to wear socks bc I don't want to walk barefoot on that dirty floor!) and that she's not wearing anything like jewelry that may beep. I hope she doesn't have any problems and has a great visit with Grandma in NC!!


Dr.Worm's Avatar Dr.Worm 01:14 PM 05-12-2011



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZakareyasMama View Post

As a hijab.gif I have been pat down every single time I've flown for the last 3 years so I've had some experience. Your daughter will first go through the metal detector. If she beeps or if she was "selected for random screening" she will be asked to pass through the body scanner. She can do the scanner or refuse it. (*Not all airports have the scanner. I'm not sure about Pittsburgh, but the Raleigh airport does. If there is no scanner and she beeps or is selected she will just be sent straight to pat down.) If she decides she doesn't want to do the scanner (it is her right to refuse) she will be asked to stand in this little area with glass walls. Her stuff will still be going through the conveyor belt and they will ask her to turn and watch her items. Someone will take them and put them aside for her when she's done. She can also ask not to have the pat down done in public view and they would take her to a different room. I've never done this so I don't know how that is. The pat down will consist of her standing with her feet spread apart and arms raised to shoulder level and the lady will touch all over her body. The lady will say what she is checking before she touches it "I am going to touch your back now" etc. When she feels in the bum and chest region, she will use the back of her hands. To me I find the pat downs completely humiliating and they feel like an attack on my freedom of religion. It's not really that I feel "groped" but more the reasons behind their doing it that bother me. I absolutely hate it and dread it every time I fly. However, I have to live my life and go see family living in different states etc., so I live with it. It's unlikely your daughter would have to go through a pat down anyway. Make sure she has on shoes that are easy to slip on and off (I always like to wear socks bc I don't want to walk barefoot on that dirty floor!) and that she's not wearing anything like jewelry that may beep. I hope she doesn't have any problems and has a great visit with Grandma in NC!!


Thank you so much for this. And I gotta say that people still thinking of Muslims as terrorists makes me very sick to my stomach and something dd and I discuss a lot. 
 

 


alittlesandy's Avatar alittlesandy 01:31 PM 05-12-2011

I sympathize with your fears, but I think you should encourage her to do it and be positive about it. I would worry about instilling a life-long fear of flying in her. I know several people who refuse to fly, and it is crippling to them. They have passed up promotions, avoided family members, etc. because of this fear.

 

Statistically, your daughter is MUCH, MUCH, MUCH safer in plane than in a car.

 

Lifetime odds:

 

Odds of dying in a plane crash: 1 in 9.2 million

Odds of dying in a terrorist attack: 1 in 6.2 million

Odds of dying in a car accident: 1 in 82

 

ETA: I forgot to add that we fly with our son all the time. He has flown eleven times (he's two), twice out of the country, and he will be flying next month to visit grandparents (though not by himself).


Chamomile Girl's Avatar Chamomile Girl 01:47 PM 05-12-2011

Here is a list of what airports are using what security technology.  HTH!


Mommyofalmost6's Avatar Mommyofalmost6 01:48 PM 05-12-2011

At the end of June I have to put my then will be 10 year old step daughter on a plane. I wont lie, I hold my breath and say a prayer. Its scary putting your child in to any situation with out you. I will not let my children go through the body scanners. Those almost seem more invasive to me then the pat downs. We have never encountered a full on pat down and my husband will be taking her to the airport this time so I will have to make sure to ask him this time. If this is somethign she wants to do then I would fully encourage it and stay upbeat :)


NYCVeg's Avatar NYCVeg 02:13 PM 05-12-2011

Between the two of us, dh and I have flown at least 15 times over the past two years. I've found the security to be really not that much different than it was pre-9/11. I've been to a number of airports (Boston, Salt Lake City, Chicago, Orlando, LA, San Francisco, etc.) and generally I was just able to walk through a metal detector. In one airport (can't remember which), they had body scanners and I opted for a pat-down, which was done completely professionally and did not make me feel "violated" at all. We recently flew with dd, and again it was just metal detectors, nothing that she found scary or unusual. 

 

My sister and her two kids fly many times a year, often internationally. No problems.

 

The odds of a terrorist attack are infinitesimally small. I'm a New Yorker, and the threat of terrorism does not impact my choices, including my choice to fly, whatsoever. As a PP pointed out, one is far, far likelier to be injured or killed in a car accident.


LynnS6's Avatar LynnS6 02:38 PM 05-12-2011

We're going to fly in July. We fly 2-3 times a year. We've had to do 'extra' screening once or twice because our flights were changed at the last minute. Anytime your flight is changed at the last minute, even if the airline did it because they canceled a flight, you're a candidate for extra screening. We haven't had the pat downs, though, but even the possibility of that wouldn't stop me.

 

I'm glad that Grandma is going with her. If I were you, I'd tell her what the screening procedure is like, assure her that grandma will be with her the entire time (even when we had to do the extra screening where we stood in a booth and they checked us for explosives residue (I think) with a strong puff of air and some sort of quick analysis, I was with my kids). Then focus on the fun she'll have with her cousins and family. One way through anxiety is to acknowledge the anxiety, but not to dwell on it.


Dr.Worm's Avatar Dr.Worm 02:56 PM 05-12-2011

Thank you sooo much everyone.. we talked, I told her Grandma is coming and that I talked to you guys on here and how the procedure would go and that Grandma would be there the whole time.  I hid my fears and made it sound fun and she wants to go.  Grandma is also happy.  I thank all of you for giving me your opinions; links; etc.  You guys are great...and I agree about the car thing too....highways are scary.


mattemma04 04:14 AM 05-13-2011

I would let her go with grandma,but I would not let my child fly alone. I understand your concern.When my dd and dh went to Turkey it was 3 or 4 plans there and the same back.Any plane could have been highjacked.Any plane could have crashed. We face the risk of death the moment we are born. I was scared to let them go,but they had a great time and are back home safe.

 

You never know the last time you will see your loved ones.We had an accident occur right in front of us (2 days ago)on the way home from school.Could have been us that was hit instead of the car in front of us.Love them and enjoy life while you can!

 

Pat downs are a momentary discomfort,and your dd will understand that it is done to protect her and others.


Dr.Worm's Avatar Dr.Worm 09:58 AM 05-17-2011

I so agree with you.  We don't know what will happen at any time. We also had a horrible car accident last weekend where we live.  I don't want her to live in fear.  Thank you so much.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattemma04 View Post

I would let her go with grandma,but I would not let my child fly alone. I understand your concern.When my dd and dh went to Turkey it was 3 or 4 plans there and the same back.Any plane could have been highjacked.Any plane could have crashed. We face the risk of death the moment we are born. I was scared to let them go,but they had a great time and are back home safe.

 

You never know the last time you will see your loved ones.We had an accident occur right in front of us (2 days ago)on the way home from school.Could have been us that was hit instead of the car in front of us.Love them and enjoy life while you can!

 

Pat downs are a momentary discomfort,and your dd will understand that it is done to protect her and others.



 


choli's Avatar choli 10:33 AM 05-17-2011



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alittlesandy View Post

I sympathize with your fears, but I think you should encourage her to do it and be positive about it. I would worry about instilling a life-long fear of flying in her. I know several people who refuse to fly, and it is crippling to them. They have passed up promotions, avoided family members, etc. because of this fear.

 

Statistically, your daughter is MUCH, MUCH, MUCH safer in plane than in a car.

 

Lifetime odds:

 

Odds of dying in a plane crash: 1 in 9.2 million

Odds of dying in a terrorist attack: 1 in 6.2 million

Odds of dying in a car accident: 1 in 82

 

ETA: I forgot to add that we fly with our son all the time. He has flown eleven times (he's two), twice out of the country, and he will be flying next month to visit grandparents (though not by himself).


I agree with this.

 

I flew last week. There were advanced scanners at Boston Logan, which didn't bother me at all. You could choose a pat down INSTEAD of the scanner if for some reason you have issues with it. On the way back, no scanners, no pat down.

 

I think the ability to travel independently is an important skill, and one that I tried to instill in my daughters pretty young.
 

 


Dr.Worm's Avatar Dr.Worm 11:38 AM 05-17-2011

Thank you choli.  You guys are making me feel a lot better about this.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post



 


I agree with this.

 

I flew last week. There were advanced scanners at Boston Logan, which didn't bother me at all. You could choose a pat down INSTEAD of the scanner if for some reason you have issues with it. On the way back, no scanners, no pat down.

 

I think the ability to travel independently is an important skill, and one that I tried to instill in my daughters pretty young.
 

 



 


Dr.Worm's Avatar Dr.Worm 11:40 AM 05-17-2011

My mom said that kids under 18 don't need a photo id to travel in the US.  Dd's grandma thinks she needs a birth certificate and a photo id....who is right?  And does it make any difference that she is traveling with her grandma and not a parent?


Dr.Worm's Avatar Dr.Worm 12:41 PM 05-17-2011

bumping so i know what to tell grandma lol


Sourire's Avatar Sourire 01:18 PM 05-17-2011

I can't comment on the photo id thing since I'm from Canada.

 

However I'd like to chime in with those that are saying that pat downs are nothing to be worried about. I fly all the time and I always choose to get a pat down instead of the scanner (on the rare times that I have to make a choice). The pat down will be done by someone of the same sex as you who is very professional, and it only lasts about 10 seconds. It never even occurred to me that someone might be worried about it, and I don't feel the least bit "violated" when I get one.


Dr.Worm's Avatar Dr.Worm 01:29 PM 05-17-2011


Thank you Sourire!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sourire View Post

I can't comment on the photo id thing since I'm from Canada.

 

However I'd like to chime in with those that are saying that pat downs are nothing to be worried about. I fly all the time and I always choose to get a pat down instead of the scanner (on the rare times that I have to make a choice). The pat down will be done by someone of the same sex as you who is very professional, and it only lasts about 10 seconds. It never even occurred to me that someone might be worried about it, and I don't feel the least bit "violated" when I get one.



 


les_oiseau's Avatar les_oiseau 05:41 PM 05-18-2011

My personal opinion... I would find a way to make a road trip work.  Not that I agree with refraining from doing something based on fear, but rather based on the principal that the pat downs (maybe not always implemented but the ones they have declared they have the right to perform) are unnecessary and violation of personal rights, and if you support them by buying their products (tickets) right now you are basically agreeing that they can take this right to privacy away from anyone flying.

My kids are 4 and 2, there is no way I would take them on a plane and risk them being touched, however non intrusive or non groping it feels. No one has the right to violate my kids privacy like that. At 11 I would nurture my daughter's desire to keep her private places untouched by strangers and encourage her to feel protective of those areas.

 

Not meaning to put a damper on your plans which sound fun, and I totally understand why you want to let her go. Just adding my 2 cents.


Doodlebugsmom's Avatar Doodlebugsmom 06:34 PM 05-18-2011

We took the kids' birth certificates, but nobody asked to see them. No photo id required. At JFK, a check-in lady did ask my children their names to make sure they matched those on the ticket. She was very nice about it.


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