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I’m So Excited for This Flight on Saturday…

I’ve never been more excited for an upcoming flight, and I won’t even be on it…and it’ll be in coach.

One of my 8-year-old daughters will be flying alone this Saturday from Washington, DC, back to New York. I don’t usually get all choked up about parenting stuff, and God knows I don’t share it here, but I cannot believe that I now have a daughter who can fly alone.

OK, so I paid JetBlue the $100 unaccompanied minor fee to make sure that she’s fine. My father’s response to that was that when he was 6 years old his mother used to stick him alone on a bus in Chelsea, MA, to go out to the beach in Marshfield, MA. Times have changed. I don’t know if there’s a bus to Marshfield anymore, first of all…

Anyway, if you’re a parent of a young child I think you probably know the mixed feelings you have about your children becoming more independent. As an airline guy, this is such a major step – next thing I know she’ll be mileage running to Singapore. Without me.

When my parents used to stick me on an Eastern Airlines flight down to Florida to visit my grandparents, I’m pretty sure I went on board with nothing, hoping that they’d give me some playing cards when I got on the plane. Sage will have an iPod and JetBlue’s TVs – that should make the 40 minutes fly by (assuming she can squeeze in 7 episodes of Jessie in 40 minutes somehow). But if anyone has helpful ideas about sticking an 8 year old on a plane alone, I’d love to hear them….

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  1. No advice, unfortunately, but congratulations on this milestone! It’s bittersweet, as you said, but overall, it’s a very good thing.

  2. Ah yes, I remember the days of flying Eastern to Florida to see my grandparents, too (from PVD)!

    My daughter flew alone when she was a bit older but not much. What I did was to be sure SHE knew what to do if the person(s) I paid to look after her somehow dropped the ball. I wrote out her itinerary on paper, along with a million of our phone numbers, and had her keep it in her pocket. That way if she needed too, she could show it to any airline employee. I also told her that she was supposed to be escorted by an employee, and to let someone in uniform know if that didn’t happen (if nobody showed up at the gate to collect her). Overall it was a totally smooth experience, no issues at all, but I can understand the anxiety for sure.

  3. “hey, jessie!”

    Bad parent award here, but I’d just be thrilled to not have to watch 40 minutes of Jessie.