Is It Ok To Let Kids Draw On Their Airplane Seat With Crayons?

A mother let her child draw all over the seat of a Delta Air Lines flight in order to keep them entertained. They were erasable, and wipes took care of the Crayola drawings. She says that a flight attendant was relieved the drawings came off the side of the aircraft, and off of the back of the tray table in front of them – while Qatar Airways crew were far more chill when she does this.

@crayola saved my life on a 15 international flight with my toddler and baby!

This is NOT an Ad! Giving real life advice. For those parents with toddlers and babies, thank me later! These are a great tool to pull out when the iPad has run its course. I prefer to let my toddler use these when I want him to go to sleep, because the iPad stimulates him and I find it’s harder to get him to sleep. And we all know a sleeping toddler on a long flight is a MAJOR WIN.

* This footage is on our Delta domestic leg. I was proactive to tell the flight attendant they wipe off. She gave me a sigh of relief 😂. However, @qatarairways didn’t even bat an eye when I used these!

For and a half years ago a mother helped their child draw on the back of the tray table in front of them. At the time I thought at least they could’ve used erasable markers? It seems to me that the principle here is that if you damage someone else’s property, you owe them compensation. If there’s no damage at all – and some erasable drawing tools genuinely won’t leave anything behind anymore, technological advances are amazing – while others can leave marks even when dubbed erasable. Just think of what happens to white boards and chalk boards over time, or at least used to.

I’d be worried about leaving marks, but as long as the passenger leaves their seat in as good condition as they found it then I think that is ok? After all plenty of passengers leave their seats in pretty rough shape without drawing on them at all.

(HT: Dennis Y)

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, 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 »

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  1. If you can’t control your crotch goblins, stay home or road trip to where you’re going. The loud, rude, whining and disgusting walking snot balls you refer to as “your precious little angels” are loathed by the rest of humanity and it should be a crime against humanity to expose other people to your feral crotch-beasts for any longer than 60 seconds.

  2. NO. The parent should respect the airlines property and teach the kid not to write on everything. There is paper that the mother can supply for the child to write on without messing up the seats, walls or trays. Respect the airplane as someone else’s property. I wonder if she also lets her child write over her family and friends walls. As a parent you need to teach your child respect for other people’s property.

  3. This is the most selfish and ridiculous thing I have ever seen. I have flown with my daughter when she was a baby AND a toddler, on 5+ hour connections. We never had an issue keeping her entertained in either scenario. It’s called being a parent.

  4. So anybody’ s house you visit you will allow them to draw? While you are shopping you will allow them to scribble inside the shop? Next you will allow them to draw at each and every public place just because you can wipe it off afterwards? Why don’t you just get them some paper.

  5. No, no, & no. Just because there is no permanent damage doesn’t mean it’s not a breach of decorum. That isn’t an option and I can’t believe this is even a conversation.

  6. It’s not ok. Children should be taught that walls, tray tables etc are not things to mark on, esp when it’s someone else’s property. Besides, even thought they are using erasable markers, one day they’ll be using regular permanent ink on something they shouldn’t. Erasable markers are great for mistakes not for children’s graffiti on airplanes! (Can’t believe we have to have this discussion!)

  7. Bottom line. It’s wrong. Most parents are going to get up gather all their stuff and walk off the plane. Maybe they spit on a napkin and give it a little wipe. Meanwhile the cleaners come on board and what they have won’t clean it off, then aircraft maintenance gets the call. Maybe it gets the job done but most of the time it does not. Parts need to be repaired or replaced. Cabin seats, window panes and reveals, side wall panels, armrests, tray table are not cheap to replace. They are FAA certified parts. All of them. That certification is why every aircraft part is expensive. Maybe the child graffiti is now just an eyesore or maybe deemed too defaced that the tray table is deferred unusable and now a passenger in that seat has none. Or the seat cushion, seat back headrest is so marked up the seat is taken out of service and can not be occupied. It happens a lot with aircraft cabins with cloth fabric seats. No seat covers, no seat. Seat is taken out of the inventory. So, no, it’s just not an innocent doodling, what the harm is there? Don’t worry it should clean off. By the way we have to catch a connecting flight so I’m sorry I can’t clean my kids mess.

  8. Ex flight attendant here this is because Qatar airways will have cleaners come onboard after every flight and delta as a budget airline probably wont meaning the cabin crew probably clean the aircraft before the next flight. I worked in europe and never flown either so this is just my assumption.

  9. Not to mention the person in the seat being written on – if I was that unfortunate passenger, I would have reclined my seat as far as it would go.

  10. What did I read? I fly with 4 children as I’m a single mom they all come prepared with a tablet they are all under 6 all boys grantee our flight never goes over an hour but still I have never thought about letting my kids draw on anything but paper or dry erase board….. this is called laziness. Just simply be a parent and stop trying to find ways to get out of being one sincerely a mother of twin 3 year old a 5 year old and 6 year old. No being a parent isn’t easy that’s why it’s not for the weak

  11. Absolutely out of order to have toddlerd roamimg screaming pooing in smelling dispersion, drawing in flight Windows trays seats, that mum should be thrown off and be barren fromnfurthwr flights
    Children at any age should be taught and disciplined behavior among other people, we pay high price for flying and want to enjoy, not to witness such rubbish, your a bad patient, lucky I was not close to you

  12. No people are rediculous, go to the dollartree and buy some cheap construction paper and teach your child respect. After all who is the parent????

  13. Absolutely not She could have provided a dry erase board for the child to draw on This is teaching the child to draw on any surface they choose not a wise choice

  14. It’s simple, this parent is teaching the child that it is ok to disrespect other peoples property,, how’s this child going to behave in the future.
    If you can’t be bothered to teach and control your children, then don’t have them.

  15. No it’s not OK. Why should it be . Let them draw all over your house or better your car . If you think its OK

  16. No. What a ridiculous question. Have we really dropped standards of public behavior so low? Why not just let people do whatever they want whenever they want?

  17. @Sean: You wrote, “Have we really dropped standards of public behavior so low? Why not just let people do whatever they want whenever they want?”

    For adults and kids who desire to do whatever they want, whenever they want, Spirit Airlines, Frontier Airlines, and Allegiant Air are offering flights for you, your loved ones, and your neighborhood gang of undisciplined passengers. Pro tip:
    Charge your flights to the Chase Ink Business Preferred Card to earn bonus benefits like three points per dollar spent on travel.

  18. One of the comments states are we just letting people do anything they want whenever they want? Isn’t that kind of where America is headed? It’s pretty scary to me – but that’s what I’m seeing. The smaller the group the bigger the voice and the more acquiescent society is to their wants, feelings, ideology and expectations. We’re living in a very weird world!

  19. Are we serious right now. My goodness, I can’t believe this is a topic of discussion. Wow!!!!!!!

  20. Not certain whats more offensive…this parental entitlement, or the writer covering the topic who cannot be bothered to proof read his own work….”four”…not “for”

  21. Absolutely No. The parents have a responsibility to teach their kids not to draw on walls, tables, windows, etc. Washable markers are great for when kids draw on something they shouldn’t. They are not ment to allow kids to graffiti someone’s eles property.

  22. Oh, so this is how vandalism and graffiti start. If you want to draw on something, there’s this new invention called PAPER!

  23. I feel that if you Allow your child to vandalize and write or color on anything other than paper or coloring books your child is not home trained and that they will grow up and not know how to respect property and your teaching them that vandalism is ok. Let them write on you walls at home not on a Airplane

  24. @Gary Smith. C’mon Gary. Tell us how you really feel. By the way, I agree with your commentary.

  25. Parents are responsible for their children. If you allow them to run amuck and vandalize an aircraft, you are telling them they are “entitled”, which they aren’t.
    Be a parent! Teach your children they are not entitled, but rather, they must adhere to all of the laws and rules that the rest of us must. Do them a favor; teach them how to exist in a society.

  26. Some of you people who stated this is not good behavior you stated this by voting for a party that glorifies bad behavior and entitlement and an attitude of ill do or say anything i want regardless of right or wrong so you got what you wanted

  27. Absolutely insane!!!! Parents like these should be investigated upon by social services.

  28. Whether the makings come out is not the point. Establishing what is permissible and what is not is the point. What see in the public today are generations dragged up as opposed to being brought up. Having a child and setting examples and teaching the child is 24/7.

  29. it doesnt matter if it comes off or not, its still vandalism. have some respect for property thats not yours. and why on earth are they travelling so much with an infant/toddler?

  30. This is NEVER ok…EVER. Another example of horrible parenting and screwing up a child. Your child needs boundaries which clearly you are too lazy, enabling or incapable of enforcing. If the child can’t behave and respect others property, then they should NEVER fly in a public transportation system. This is just wrong on so many counts

  31. Flight Attendant here.

    Lots of parents let their kids use stickers. So far I’ve only had one flight where the stickers weren’t removed before deplaning. As long as the drawings wash off, and as long as the parents wash them off before deplaning, what’s the harm?

    The worse issue is people leaving chewing gum in areas that range from disgusting surprise to unremovable art piece. It’s so bad that the shops in my airport aren’t allowed to sell it.

    So crayons? No problem.

  32. No this is not ok. The child needs to be taught to respect other people’s and business property. What happened to common sense?

  33. This is far from ok. I would back the hissy dude from two flights ago to LAX instead of telling him to worry about other things (kid crying when parents are trying on a flight).

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