Children and Inappropriate Airline Movies

On a recent trip, my husband was on a plane where an in-flight movie was shown. He said suddenly realized that if we were to travel with the grandkids on such a flight that they would be a captive audience to something that they would never otherwise be exposed to–sexual content, crude humor, and a total misrepresentation love. They don’t watch TV at home and the only movies that they see have been parent-approved.

Have you ever been in this situation and if so, what did you do? Is there any way to distract little eyes from wandering to the big screen? I’m talking about curious kids from first grade and younger.

There are several possible solutions.

  1. You can usually request a flight without a movie when making your reservations and avoid the situation entirely.

  2. Generally, you’re only going to have to worry about the images, not the audio, since the headphones are not free.

  3. Little children (ages 5 and under) probably can’t see above the seat to see the screen anyhow (unless you have screens in the seat in front of you. In that case, you can generally change the channel or shut them off.)

  4. Place them in a window seat so that they can be distracted by the view. It also won’t give the a view down the aisle to the screen.

  5. Airlines try to show movies that are fairly non-objectionable. I’ve seen a lot of G rated films on flights, although I’ve seen PG ones about 1/2 of the time, too. All things considered, I would think the problems would be fairly minimal.

Oh… and if you go online to the airline’s web site, they’ll list the movies and what routes they’re on for that particular month. It will also be listed in the in-flight magazine.

1.) Bring your own entertainment for kids, and lots of it. It doesn’t have to be a portable DVD player or computer. My granddaughter and I played with Silly Putty a good 2 hours on a plane. The other enjoyed playing Uno with cards.
2.) Don’t rent the earphones.
3.) If it gets too bad, ask to be reseated in the back.
4.) Buy at least one share of the airline which you travel the most. As a voting member as well as member of the consumer public, you have a right to be heard. And don’t let htem proxy you. Vote for yourself.

Or move to Australia, where Qantas will not show you anything other than advertising, news bulletins and sitcoms unless you’re on a flight longer than three hours!

This has bothered me too. I haven’t had the issue of having little kids with me, but I guess I would bring quiet toys to entertain them. If it was too offensive I would say something too. Fortunately, if the only problem should be the images since they would need headphones to hear.

as a side note…children flying as unaccompined minors(5 and older unless you lie about their age…has been done) get the head phones for FREE and they are usually seated where they have a nice clear view of the screen

Heh, the airlines in the USA are pretty much the same way.

Unless you’re flying between the coasts or across the ocean, you really don’t need to worry about this, because your chances of actually getting a movie in the first place are slim.

(I think I’ve flown a few dozen times in the past few years, and I’ve never been offered a movie except in the above situations.)

In some newer aircraft (like the 777) you actually get TV screens in the back of your seats which can be turned off. So, if you have to book a long flight, you might look for flights on these aircraft (and don’t seat your kid next to a stranger…who knows what they might be watching!)

Headphones must be next on the list for Qantas. They’re currently free but I’m sure they’d charge for them if they could organise a cash handling system on the plane. Currently they don’t sell anything on the plane - food is included - but if they introduced a till of some sort they could sell headphones. Not that I’d buy any when I can use my own.

Well, if you fly Southwest, they don’t have screens to even show movies. As for other airlines…I once took a flight on United and they showed My Big Fat Greek Wedding (talk about a while ago) and the one iffy scene where they’re in the bed and he proposes, was cut out. On flights they usually show the edited, non-graphic, family friendly, approved versions of the movies. The language isn’t always edited, but if it’s a movie with very little questionable scenes, those are deleted. Also, movies are usually only shown on flights that are 3+ hours. The tv show/news/documentary tv programs shown on most flights are even too boring for adults to watch, no need to worry about the kids (they usually have a kids music station to listen to, though).

Worst case scenario:

My parents lead missions trips to Russia. Last trip, the entire group is on the plane home, and guess what movie was shown on the plane … BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN! From now on, they will check the movie before booking the flight.

Sorry about the typos in the original post.

We always look for the cheapest tickets. The movie (“My Super Ex-Girlfriend”) was shown on a trip from Denver to the west coast. The kids would be in their carseats on the plane, so they might be able to see above the seats.

We’ve complained to the airline, and are waiting to hear back from them.

What airline was this?


Interestingly, when my husband commented to the 20-something gal in the seat next to him about how offensive the movie was (and he didn’t even have a headset), she agreed, saying that she’d be embarassed if she had kids with her. Then she took her headset off and read a book.

Thus the reason each of my 3 kids has their own DVD players on every flight we take. It’s not a luxury–it’s self-defense!!!

But if the kids get too bad for the nerves, Southwest does whip up a mean mini-bottle martini!:smiley:

Philip, how does the flight attendant sell adult beverages on Qantas if she or he can’t make change??

Food is included in the ticket price on Qantas flights, but now that you mention it they do charge for alcohol, and, digging deeper into my memory, I believe they carry a pouch of cash and an EFT machine. So I was wrong. They can handle transactions.

The reason they don’t charge for headphones must just be that they haven’t got around to it yet!

One amusing thing I’ve noticed is in the way they edit films. On the way to London a few months ago I watched Last Holiday. That was a pleasant film with no bad language or anything like that. But Qantas did cut a scene.

Those of you who have seen the film are probably wondering what on earth would have been ‘inappropriate’ for airline viewing. Well, it was the scene where Queen Latifah’s character is sitting in her economy class seat and having trouble with the passenger in front of her reclining his seat into her knees. An argument ensues and the result is that she asks to buy a first class ticket instead. The other passengers cheer when she mentions the ‘greedy airline putting all the seats so close together’. The next shot is her in a first class seat. That whole economy seat argument is cut from the Qantas airline version of the film! I found out when I rented the DVD last week.


HAHA… I saw that movie on a flight to Mexico City this summer on US Airways and they cut it out as well! Hilarious!

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