I flew alone with my newborn daughter on a 3 hour Delta flight from Hartford, CT to Atlanta. I was prepared for every complication -- had the extra clothes, the diapers and wipes -- but what I didn’t plan on is not having a changing table.
When the flight attendant suggested I change her on the toilet, my heart started racing. I was a new mom, and I could barely change a diaper well to begin with. The toilet was obviously unsanitary, and what if the baby slipped in turbulence? I ended up changing her on the galley floor because the flight attendant felt sorry for me. On the way back, I had no such luck, and my daughter sat in her dirty diaper.
The flight attendant claimed the airplane was too old to put a changing table on it (not too old to put wi-fi on it, apparently). I wondered if she was aware that babies preceded the invention of the Internet and the airplane.
What I’ve learned since having my first baby a year ago is that air travel is one of the most inhospitable experiences for parents with small children. We would never expect adults to fly 2-3 hours without a bathroom. Why do we expect babies to do the same?
Delta is one of the worst offenders. Will you please join me in asking them to put changing tables on all their aircraft?
It’s hard enough to be a parent without having to worry about your kid’s diaper getting on the guy in the middle seat. Delta’s competitors seem to understand that helping passengers with the basic necessities for travel with small children makes good business sense -- for example, according to JetBlue’s website all of their planes have changing tables and United helpfully lists on their website which planes have changing tables. But Delta’s website is silent on the subject.
Delta says a child’s “safety and comfort” and a parent’s “peace of mind” are important to them. Not having to worry about my kid falling off a toilet while I change her diaper ranks high on my list of safety concerns. If you really care about a parent’s peace of mind, give her a place to deal with a number two emergency.