Travel expert shares seven tips to stop kids from kicking your seat during a flight

A young child on a flight looking back at another traveller. Picture: Unsplash

A young child on a flight looking back at another traveller. Picture: Unsplash

Published Jun 19, 2024


The school holidays usually mean winter breaks are on the horizon with many families gearing up for travel.

Vacations are delightful for everyone; however, the experience can quickly turn sour if you find yourself on a flight seated in front of a child who seems determined to turn your seat into a soccer ball.

According to entrepreneur and experienced traveller James Dooley, misbehaving kids on planes can be a significant source of annoyance for travellers.

To help reduce this travel hassle and ensure a more pleasant journey for everyone, the seasoned traveller has a few tips.

Communicate politely

According to Dooley, a gentle and polite request often works wonders. “Parents are usually unaware of their child’s actions and are willing to intervene once they are informed,“ he said.

Engage with the child

The seasoned traveller said that sometimes acknowledging the child and engaging them in a friendly manner can help.

“A simple, ‘Hi there, are you excited about your trip?’ can create a positive interaction, making the child less likely to kick out of boredom or frustration,” said Dooley.

Offer to swap seats

He also advised that if the child is having difficulty settling down, offering to swap seats with the parent can be effective.

“Parents often appreciate this gesture as it allows them to better manage their child’s behaviour,” noted Dooley.

Distract the child

Dooley also said that carrying small toys, colouring books or electronic devices with child-friendly content can be a lifesaver. “Offering a toy or suggesting a game on their device can keep the child entertained,” he said.

Use a seat cushion

The seasoned traveller also recommended that placing a cushion or blanket between the seat and your back can absorb some of the impact and make it less bothersome.

“This physical barrier can reduce the sensation of kicks, making it less irritating,” he said.

Speak to a flight attendant

Dooley said that if the problem persists, speaking to a flight attendant is a good next step.

“Flight attendants are trained to handle such situations and can often assist in finding a resolution,” he said.

Remain calm and patient

And, finally, Dooley advised travellers to remain calm.

“Reacting angrily will often escalate the situation. Patience and understanding go a long way in resolving conflicts,” he said.

In conclusion, Dooley said that by employing these strategies, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of being disturbed by a child’s misbehaviour on a plane.

“A little empathy and a few proactive steps can make all the difference in ensuring a pleasant flight experience,“ he said.