Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Boy with wings

I've made an apparently controversial parenting decision.
Later this month, Daniel will fly, unaccompanied, to my mother's in Virginia. That means I will put him on a plane in Atlanta, a flight attendant will check on him regularly (this is a service the airline offers), and my mother can go through security to pick him up at his gate in Newport News. He'll be the first one escorted off the plane, and she'll have to show the pass the airlines give her to take custody of him. It all seemed relatively innocuous to me; after all he's been flying since he was five months old. And Newport News isn't exactly a big airport - six gates, last I was there.
But everyone I tell (including my husband's family) is horrified. I'm guessing they've never witnessed all the divorced mothers at Christmas, standing in the airport after putting their children on flights to visitation with dad. Or maybe they aren't used to flying. Me - I'd rather fly than drive any distance more than six hours. And with the price of gas, it's now cheaper to fly if you watch for a Travelocity sale. The cost of flying Daniel to Newport News? $69 plus the $25 unaccompanied minor fee. The cost of gas for a 1200-mile round trip? $300 And that's not counting meals on the road.
So he's flying to grandma's, alone. For the airline's sake, I'm sending him with his DVD player, headphones and a selection of movies. He's gotten adept at changing discs and starting the movie on his own. It's a 9 a.m. flight, a time at which he is usually pretty calm. I'm not worried.
But go ahead, tell me what you think. Have I lost my marbles?



john said...

Misty - you did not state the age of your son. I am just curious in case we decide to do the same thing with our son one day. I believe this experience will help Daniel become more independent as he grow up. It's not like you are sending him across the country with several connections!

Sharon's New Life said...

I think it's a great way (and much cheaper) than having to drive... and Daniel is old enough (isn't he now 6 or 7) to fly by himself (they will take good care of him too).
I flew on a flight a few years ago and there were twin girls going to see their father for the holidays... they were about Daniel's age... and kept themselves entertained with a DVD.
He'll have a blast!

Misty said...

Daniel just turned 6. He's always been very independent, but he does take medication for ADHD. It was one of the considerations when chhosing a time for his flight: I picked a morning flight, when he's usually very clear-headed and well behaved.

john said...

It sounds like a very well planned trip. As long as you and your husband approve that is all that matters - you two are Daniel's parents after all. Grandparents are usually a generation removed and do not always change with the times.

Lisa said...

Has he ever flown before? When my sister and I were 6 and 8 we flew from San Francisco to Atlanta by ourselves. We had flown out with my mom. This was a long time ago, before DVD players and in flight movies. All we had was the in flight radio and books to read.

The flight doesn't sound too long and I'm sure he will do just fine. There are hundreds of kids flown every day under the watch of the stewards to visit their parents.