A New Twist on Keeping Kids from Crying Inflight: Clowns

Here’s how not to handle crying children on a plane. Because while crying children who just won’t stop is a perennial challenge for both parents and for other passengers, beating up other peoples’ kids just won’t end well for anybody.

El Al has an innovative solution, though. Clowns.

On daytime flights with clowns, including Westbound to New York during the summer, a clown:

…roams the aisles, telling stories and riddles to children and handing out coloring books, crayons and games. The clown also selects 10 children on each flight to serve as clown assistants and, as a reward for completing a variety of assignments, those children get to visit the captain in the cockpit.

This is apparently not even new. And somehow I didn’t know about it.

Presumably the endeavor continues because fear of clowns must not materially increase crying by kids inflight.

It doesn’t however solve the problem of crying on overnight flights. For that we rely on parents.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. While not the scariest clown I’ve ever seen this would make me nervous as an adult. I don’t like clowns and would not be able to sleep on a plane that had a clown on-board (well you know an actual in costume clown not the other version we see all the time).

  2. Interesting concept–I wonder if these same clowns also moonlight as TSA agents, because the TSA is notorious for hiring clowns. Thanks for the post Gary! Very amusing!

  3. This is El Al- you know the guy is a roving Mossad agent. Look at him- what airlines would hire a 6’6″ beefy clown? And those “visits” to the cockpit? Secret interrogations!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *