It was 7am when we got the call that my father-in-law had died suddenly.  While my husband worried about long-term loss and being an orphan forever, I fought the task of finding a flight to Philadelphia immediately.   

The cheapest flight I found was on US Air for $985. Virgin America was $1,010 (both back-of-the-plane).  Times that by 5 people and visions of saying no to that Hawaii trip cause it was too expensive come up quickly. 

Bereavement fares? The cheaper/kinder emergency fares once offered by airlines to distraught family members to help ease the stress and surprise financial burden, (HA) don’t exist. Well….American Airlines and Delta still have them…but both don’t fly to Philadelphia. 

So we coughed up the credit card and paid the first-class fares for middle seats in coach.   Traveling with small children is never easy, and in my rush, I forgot to pack the head-phones (I bought on the last flight) for free entertainment.

Which didn’t matter anyway, because did you hear…US Air has taken out all televisions from all of their airplanes?

All airplanes.

No TV’s.

Are they ill?  Did someone go crazy?  Why remove all the TV’s? A flight attendant said, “Cutting back…and these days everyone has their own TV’s they bring with them anyway…” (which die after they run out of power and airplanes don’t have the many ‘plugs’ like Starbucks.)

I wanted to run off the plane, ask for a refund, change over to the tad bit more expensive Virgin America flight with personal televisions and texting access to anyone on the plane!

Yes.  Yes.  Yes.  I am aware a bit of quiet sitting is good for every kid. I get that. But for FIVE hours, on a skinny cylinder tube?  My father-in-law just died.  I’m in no mood to entertain, yet alone discipline 3 kids bored out of their minds.

At one point a flight attendant got on the intercom and yelled, “Will the child in Row 7B sit down!” I turned to see, whoops, that was my kid, trying to turn that knob that controls the stream of circulated  air.

That flight….LAX to Philadelphia was the longest, most stressful flights I’ve ever taken.

Not because they weren’t nice.

Not because they weren’t kind.

But because someone in upper management made the cost-cutting mistaken decision of removing perfectly good TV’s and putting Moms like me in undue misery.

If you get anything from this article it’s this:  If you have children under age 12, don’t fly US Air.  Pay extra for the entertainment.  You’re sanity is always top priority.  Pay handsomely to keep it.