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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Airline Survival Kit

My daughter and her college friends will be heading back to school in a few days, flying across country to return to school. When they arrived, several had a cold and some had runny noses. In just a few days, they are all feeling much better. But I worry about them sitting on the plane next to some person that's going to sneeze all over them, without the least little attempt to cover his mouth and they will get sick again.

It seems that just about everyone who flies is sick and has a burning desire to share his sickness with everyone around them. Maybe the airlines are giving discounts for those who can prove they have a fever or a bad cough, when purchasing their tickets. It does seem that way. I fly Southwest often and they have an open seating policy. So, I literally walk the aisle checking for signs of a cold: bloodshot eyes, runny nose, rosy-cheeked, then avoid sitting by them. Of course, most airlines have assigned seating and you just know you are going to be screwed.

Now, I do not get sick...ever. Just ask my kids. I WILL it away. It's true: I believe you can will away about 90% of all sickness; the other 10% you have no control over. But my kids think my philosophy is nuts and so they DO get sick. For this reason, I put together my airline survival kit for my children to use, to avoid catching an airline cold. Teach your children to practice these few items in the "kit" to avoid the airline cold:

  • Try to separate the other people from your children. If we were not taking every seat in a row, I would always take the middle seat. A little discomfort on the flight is well worth not sleeping the whole vacation being up with a sick child.

  • Take towelettes and once everyone is settled in their seats and buckled up, have everyone wipe their hands clean. Offer one to the sick traveler as well.

  • When the sick person blows his nose at you or sneezes without covering your mouth, have everyone on cue yell, "Ouhee" or maybe "that's so gross". You are trying to embarrass the person as badly as you can. Have your youngest say, "aren't you supposed to cover your mouth when you cough"? You answer in your most polite, Grace Kelly voice, "yes, dear...that is correct".

  • If the person continues his rude habits, ring the bell for the flight attendant. Again in your gentle voice, ask if you are sitting in the "sick section" of the plane. Tell her/him that if that is so, you and your family would like to be relocated.

  • Order a glass of wine, pull out a book and ignore your children at this point. I am a firm believer that if you want your children to be quite and maybe even fall asleep, you should not make the flight seem exciting and wonderful. Bring their quiet, dull play items, including a book. Nine times out of ten, my children would be lulled to sleep and still to this day, they sleep well on plane trips. This also doesn't allow the sick ones to communicate with your children.

That's it. Simple but works every time. I wonder if my daughter remembers this simple points and if she will teach her children how to avoid the airline cold, too?

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Blogger Casey said...

Ha, thanks for the pointers. I'm always getting coughed or sneezed on by some random stranger. The first time I took Graham in public, some lady at the mall coughed on him and I screamed "cover your mouth!!!" before I realized what I was saying.

March 11, 2009 at 8:49 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I don't fly too often....but, those are some funny and great tips!!!

March 11, 2009 at 11:26 PM  
Blogger Captain Dumbass said...

I need the chance to travel somewhere so they can possibly get sick.

March 11, 2009 at 11:58 PM  

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