Newsflash: Having twins is hard. Like, really hard (hi, mom of a set of five-year-old twins over here). So when Canadian mom Tara Stemoski booked an Air Canada flight for herself to fly solo with her five-year-old daughter and five-month-old twins to visit her ailing grandmother, she was already defying the odds of what life looks like in the first two years of twinfants.
But here’s the rub: After clearing the one-adult-to-three-kids situation with the airline, paying for tickets (one for herself plus one for her older daughter and one for a twin), going through security and then getting as far as having boarding passes in hand at the airport, she was stopped from actually boarding the plane due to a little-known Transport Canada rule: Each infant flying must have their own adult accompanying them.
So they went home. All four of them, with all of their luggage and the array of bulky items that comes with travelling with kids.
On the one hand, I get it. Truly, I do. Rules are there for a reason, and if one adult per infant is the rule, then one adult per infant there shall be. Hell, this is why my own twins couldn't take swimming lessons until they were over four and why we were asked to leave a parent and child music class that had a strict one-to-one ratio rule. Three feet of tepid water and bamboo tambourines are one thing—air travel and safety are an entirely bigger thing not to be messed with. But where my heart breaks for this woman is that nobody had her back in this situation. She was strung along until boarding and left solution-less with three unhappy kids, a diaper bag full of things thoughtfully packed and a colossal waste of time that could have been so easily avoided.
When I flew solo with my No Sleep Till Brooklyn oldest daughter, then three months old, to visit family in Amsterdam, the—ahem, “gentleman”—in the seat next to us had many “helpful hints” on how to get her to stop crying. Three hours in, I finally told him he was making it worse and what would really help would be for him to open a bottle of wine and pour it for me.
Straight up, travelling with kids is stressful. I feel so bad for this mom who surely would have followed the rule had she been told about it.
Knowing that to err is human, do you think the airline should have done something to make this trip possible for her?