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Dad Thinks It’s Okay To Send Five-Year-Old Son On Solo Plane Ride From Aspen To Paris

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Airplane travel has become an essential part of life.

Most of the population uses that mode of transport frequently.

So is there an age limit on how young is too young to join the friendly skies?

Are parents right to let kids fly free?

Definitely a question couples should be on the same page about.

Case in point…

Redditor atlantis902 wanted to discuss their experience and get some feedback. So naturally, they came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

They asked:

“AITA for making my husband fly with our son instead of sending him alone?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My husband took our 5-year-old son on a ski trip with his friends.”

“A few days before they were supposed to come home, he called to tell me he had to go to Singapore for a meeting and that he was going to fly our son to me alone.”

“I was in Paris and they were in Aspen, so it isn’t exactly a short trip.”

“So I told him no as it was too long for him to be without one of us.”

He tried to convince me to agree as he would make sure he was on the plane and the crew would look after him during the flight.”

“And then I would be there when he landed but I told him I didn’t like the idea at all.”

“And he needed to fly with him or take him to Singapore with him.”

“After a long heated discussion, he agreed to accompany him to Paris even though it would mean he was cutting it close to the time he had his meeting.”

“I didn’t realize how upset he was by this until he landed and he made a snide comment about how ridiculous all of this was and how our son would’ve been perfectly fine coming on his own.”

“So AITA?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“NTA. I was on a flight from Paris to Canada a few years ago and my seatmate was an unaccompanied six-year-old girl.”

“She was lovely and better behaved than some adults but I still ended up being thrust into the parenting role for her because there was a lot that she needed help with.”

“Five is way too young to be flying alone.”

“I can’t imagine how she would have managed had I not been willing to help her out with stuff.” ~ gallopmonkey

“This happened to me, too.”

“Thought they used to have one of the attendants tasked with making sure the kid gets on and off the right plane, but no one was watching out for this little girl.”

“She was in just shorts and a t-shirt and the plane was freezing, she didn’t know to ask for a blanket or what to do about food.”

“Glad I could be there to help, but couldn’t believe someone would pop their child on a long haul flight without preparing them or sending them with supplies/snacks.”

“Ended up sitting with her in passenger pick up until her mom showed up.” ~ Minerva9544

“I once flew on my own at 17, and at the time the airline had a policy that I must wait on the plane after everyone else left to be accompanied off by staff since I was a minor.”

“It was impressed upon me multiple times that I must wait to be escorted.”

“I had been flying (with an adult) all my life so this wasn’t very necessary, but hey, whatever.”

“So after we landed, I sat and waited.”

“Staff came on and off the plane, doing various tasks.”

“People walked up and down the aisles, but no one got me.”

“At this point, it’s a fully empty plane and literally just me sitting there near the front.”

‘At least twenty minutes pass and I’m wondering if I’m ever going to get to leave when finally someone asks me if I’m the unaccompanied child.”

“They then told me that everyone who came to check had mistaken me for a flight attendant.”

“I was wearing a long coat so the uniform was just assumed.”

“My mom got a huge kick out of that!” ~ saltpancake

“A family which can afford a ski trip to Aspen has one parent in Paris and the other jet setting for a last-minute meeting in Singapore can very likely afford to have a nanny service available to deal with these sorts of situations.”

“NTA, but it really feels like this post just called me poor.” ~ 0biterdicta

“I started flying cross-country unaccompanied 2-3 times a year at 5.”

“I was always assigned a specific attendant and they checked on me frequently.”

“That said, I wouldn’t let my daughter do it now.”

“I don’t feel like the same care and attention is given.” ~ TheEndisFancy

“NTA. That is waaay too long of a flight for a 5-year-old to do alone.”

“Yes airlines do have protocols for unaccompanied minors, but they’re not licensed childcare workers.”

“If your kid doesn’t feel well, throws a tantrum, become hyperactive, etc.”

“They do not know how to deal with that and they have other jobs to do on the plane.”

“5 is too young!”

“I recently went on a flight with my little one and he was scared and upset I was just sitting across the aisle and not right next to him.”

“5-year-old kids can get very scared and worried when their parents aren’t around.”

“Your kid could’ve been terrified and crying all day.”

“He NEEDS one of you with him.”

“Your husband was selfish and unreasonable.”

“Why couldn’t he just schedule a virtual meet.”

“A lot of places can easily accommodate that these days.”

“He has 0 excuse.” ~ Holmes221bBSt

“I flew alone a few times at five years old and it was fine, but it was also a very different scenario than what OP’s husband was proposing.”

“A short, domestic flight with no connections for a kid who’s excited about the trip?”

“That can work out okay.”

“And in my own case this was pre-9/11 so there was little-to-no security to get through and if I remember correctly my mother was even able to board the plane long enough to get me buckled in.”

“But I can’t imagine leaving a child to their own devices for half a day in a situation even adults can find pretty stressful.”

“He’d have needed much more than the occasional check-in from the flight crew.”

“NTA, OP.” ~ scheru

“I just went on a flight with my 6-year-old.”

“He was well-behaved, but when he got excited, his feet kicked and he needed reminders that people were in front of him.”

“When we were landing he didn’t know how to clear the pressure from his ears… even after multiple explanations and a sucker.”

“He started sobbing that it hurt.”

“Not loudly, like an infant… but just quietly sobbing and anxious he could never hear again because of the pressure.”

“My God. Go with your BABY!” ~ BinxyDaisy

“And what would have happened if something had gone wrong during the flight?”

“Plane A had delay and the connection was missed?”

‘Look up ‘child on flight sent to hotel with strangers’ and you see so many stories and lawsuits/ apologies from airlines about the handling of unaccompanied minors.”

“No way! NTA.” ~ Physical_Ad5135

“I looked up how long that flight is out of curiosity and it’s 13 hours 40 minutes+ and every flight I saw said ‘connecting’ so your husband could make sure he gets on the first plane.”

“But if he had to switch planes at the connect then you’ve got a 5-year-old trying to navigate an unfamiliar airport alone.”

“Plus ~14 hours is way too long to expect flight attendants to be watching a child, they’re not nannies.”

“Sounds like your husband really only thought about himself if he was mad at you for this, NTA.”  ~ Swampman5000

“NTA. It’s expecting WAY too much of a five-year-old to take an 11.5 hr (minimum) flight by himself.”

“What if there was an issue where the flight had to make an unscheduled stop and passengers had to change planes unexpectedly?”

“Also, there are some airlines that I won’t even trust with my baggage… I definitely wouldn’t trust them with my children.”

“Your husband had unrealistic expectations with his demand and has no right to be upset.”  ~ Key-Bit1208

“That is a very long trip for a very young child.”

“I was put on a plane by myself at 6 years old.”

“It was a short hop, and back in the old days before flying became an insane adventure in sardine can inhabitation.”

“Nothing bad happened.”

“And everyone was very friendly and understanding.”

“I still remember it clearly because I was terrified the entire time, but knew I had to keep a stiff upper lip for my parents. NTA.”  ~ BatleyTownswoman

“WTF, kind of trash father really thinks it’s ok to put a 5-year-old on a super long flight alone?”

“NTA, but boy howdy your husband is an AH, for putting his convenience over your son’s safety.”

“I bet even if nothing happened to him, at the very least your son would be so scared.” ~ RT-R-RN

Well OP, sounds like Reddit thinks you made the best choice.

That does sound like a long distance.

Hopefully, you and the husband can get past this and plan better in the future.