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. …. and you guys are worried about bringing dogs on planes and letting them quietly stretch out over 2 seats?

  2. I wouldn’t trust the erasable part. Kids may assume all markers come off. I would feel better using materials I brought for my children to mark on. Paper, cardboard, etc.

  3. AH! Future graffiti writer on public bathroom’s, freeway overpass and buildings. All because my Mom said it was okay!

  4. So now they are told they can draw in public on airline seats. So what happens when they come to somebody’s house and draw on the furniture or the wall? I had a friends kid just stand pushing the water and ice levers on my fridge. Because at their house the water had a drain from the door versus just a drip pan. “But they’re just curious” and so is my backhand.

    Does the residue from the crayons/markers or the wipes used mete engineering standards including flammability like the cleaning chemicals the aircraft cleaning folks have to use?

  5. I have a guess … those crayons will end up on my pants/shirt/… as they are supposed to be able to be wiped off imagine how often that it is done and all is removed
    Somehow it seems only entitled people fly and teach their kids to be even more entitled.

  6. Yeah, no, it is absolutely not okay to let your crotch goblin deface a public space and make a flight attendant’s already difficult job even harder because you’re too lazy to take care of your own kid. If you can’t handle your child on a plane, don’t take them on a plane. How is any of this even a question?

  7. No dogs should ever be allowed on planes except for my pitbull as hes the only one that is special and a qualified licensed emotional support animal.As long as you don’t act scared he won’t ever bite anyone.As for crayons why use the tray tables when there are walls all around a plane to showcase artistic endeavors of future up and coming artists.

  8. I’d be more OK with this ***IF*** I thought parents would be responsible when things go wrong.
    So, what happens if the coloring DOESN’T come off? They should pay a cleaning fee similar to what I would expect if their kid colored all over the wall of a hotel room.

    But I suspect the parent will blame the airline for having the wrong type of material, or ignore the mess they’ve made and simply shrug it off. I seriously doubt they will take any responsibility for what they’ve done.

    So they make a mess, and either the airline eats it and pays to clean it up, or just leaves it a mess.

  9. The comments on Gary’s articles (mostly) are really better than the original piece! LOL…thanks, all, for the laughs.

  10. I think it’s more what they are teaching kids – the lack of respect for others. The kids don’t know the difference between erasable and not – and they’re being taught it’s okay to deface other people’s property. Yet again, perceived personal need trumps common decency.

  11. Why not just bring a roll of Ikea MALA paper? It’s $4.99 for a 100′, 18″ wide, and can be draped over the fold-down tray. (And if no Ikea near you, buy a roll of gift wrapping paper). No clean-up needed, no flight attendants questions. Problem solved.

  12. I am willing to bet a year’s worth of erasable markers that these parents don’t let their delicate snowflakes do this to the interior of their cars. So they teach their children that other people’s property is worth less than theirs. Seems to sum up American society. Multi-generational narcissism.

  13. Stupidity & laziness rears it’s ugly head again with regard to teaching your child how to behave.

  14. Why not just teach your children good respectful activities? You know they are not going to grow up to be the next Banksy. Probably be spraycan graffiti vandals at best.

  15. What a terrible thing to teach your child. So easy to get a coloring book or something just a sketch pad to let them be creative. You remembered to bring the markers so make that a “set”. Allowing them to write wherever they want is just asking for trouble in the future.

  16. Nope. Erasable or not, poor parenting to teach your children they can mark up any space they want.

    A tablet of drawing paper doesn’t cost much.

    Entitled parent, entitled child.

  17. Not commenting on whether this is a good habit to get kids into (frankly not sure if it matters that young, but I can see the potential concern), but as long as it can be (and actually is) returned to the same state it started in, no one should have a problem with this. Easy to see the source of alarm though- before you know it’s erasable it definitely looks, well, alarming.

  18. Haven’t the parents heard of coloring books? Ugh. Some people just shouldn’t have children. Kid will not learn that it’s wrong to deface other people’s property.

  19. I. Just. Can’t.

    This kind of parenting is exactly why we have two generations of adults who think they can do whatever the F they please and don’t have to worry about how their actions impact others. If this mother can not find a better way to keep her kid engaged than writing on walls she has no business with a child.

    Somehow we’ve found ourselves in a place where dude running around in high heels are greater threat to kids than parents who won’t parent. It boggles the mind. Kids need to be taught boundaries. This mother is a complete failure. But I;m sure in her mind it’s the airline’s fault for not providing things to keep her kid entertained.

  20. What about the impact to the person sitting in that seat who has to deal with the sounds, pushing, etc? Kids young enough to be distracted by this activity aren’t exactly known for their finesse.

  21. First if all, kids should not be on airplanes if they are to cause noise or a mess like this! The airlines should figure out how to keep them away from the quiet and clean area FOR ADULTS ONLY.

  22. I have to tell you that the children of crew members that passride do not write on walls or climb over seats or create disturbances. Why? Because their parents don’t allow it. They are not special (only to us). They are trained. They grow up to go to college and have careers. You can do this as well.

  23. Hell to the No

    I am exhausted with the “Little Prince” syndrome that some parents have with their children

    Failing to discipline or control behavior in public places and assuming others think thir kids acting out is cute. It’s not

  24. @Tony n. Kids and noise and messes usually go hand in hand. You got one, you got the others. Not always but usually. The adults that make negative comments about kids being kids never ceases to amaze me. These are usually the ones that were holy terrors themselves as children. They forget what it was like to be a child. I love Chuck E. Cheese because it was true that it’s where a kid can be a kid. My kid ran and screamed and nobody cared. It was a relief for once not to have to correct him with every breath. Usually when I see adults only I say if my kids aren’t welcome I don’t need to be there either. From what I’ve seen lately on airplanes and airports these quiet and clean adults have been acting worse than any child.

  25. This article’s title is designed to insight argument and be controversial when there’s obviously nothing to be upset about here. They mom let everyone know what’s up and proved that the”art” could disappear before the family left the plane. Anyone really upset about this needs to get a hobby and learn what it means to trust people “in good faith”.

  26. Some airlines claim to put an anti microbial coating on touch surfaces. What is to say wiping off the markers doesn’t remove the coating?

  27. Sooo sick of irresponsible parents! So it says that it comes off with wipes. I can guess that it wasn’t the mother that cleaned it off. Why should the flight attendant who already has a hundred other things to do have to clean up after your kid?! The rest of the world isn’t here to cater to you just because you’re a parent.

  28. No it’s not ok.
    My youngest took crayons and drew on the wall. Very pretty pic.
    I turned around got washable coloring stick wrote on her arm.
    ( don’t draw on walls).
    This was over 30yrs ago, u know when the word parent meant parent.
    Let the lil darling draw on the walls of the next play date. Spinless What joke.

  29. This dumb lady is rearing a trash family. That shit doesn’t all come off no mater what her ignant ass thinks. I’d ban her from flying and make her walk.

  30. I call that bad parenting. Hello Mom? Hello Dad?
    Haven’t you ever heard of a freaking coloring book?;?!?!

  31. Very encouraging to read that the “Nays” vastly outnumber the “Yeas.” Additionally the days of 2 years old and under traveling free should be terminated. Car seats should conform to NTSB safety standards for vehicle travel and be a requirement for children on commercial aircraft.

  32. So the question posed is: if something harms literally no one, should we care?

    The fact that so many people in this comment section seem to have an issue here is more telling about themselves than this mother. And heaven forbid she had given this child an ipad instead of the markers.

    1) This doesn’t teach the kid anything other than creative skills. Being a good parent means teaching kids the nuance of life. Explaining “We can mark on things with this marker because it’s the one I gave you and it’s special and you asked permission.” When you constantly tell a child “no” that’s when you get disobedience.

    2) To all the people making this a generational thing, if it is such a failure of the younger generation as parents… I wonder where they learned their sub par parenting from? Maybe you screwed up first.

    Here’s my hot take: I don’t like listening to whiny kids on an airplane. Above all else, I don’t want to hear basically anyone on an airplane. If you do whatever you have in your power to make that happen for me: Thank you. I’ll make the trade-off if that eventually turns your kid into a bathroom tagger (it won’t, but it’s still worth it).

  33. Another entitled black mother that thinks because they paid for their tickets, which is what everyone else did, then they should be able to behave however they want. Everyone is too afraid to say anything because then she’ll play the race card and start screaming and hollering like an animal.

  34. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND YOUR CHILD .. discipline your kids. Teach them how to treat things that do not belong to them. STOP taking the easy way out and DO the WORK of parenting your children.

  35. Never! You’re teaching them it’s ok to deface property not owned by you. It can and many times will stain fabric permanently. It can be missed during flight changes from inbound trip to the outbound flight. Do you really think the parent is going to look for every mark left behind?

  36. This is outrageous. Another twat parent thinking their brats can do what they want without consequences.just because it can be removed is no excuse.what happens in America comes here.god help us

  37. I hope some brat comes round your house and draws all over the walls and it don’t come off. Such Disrespect and disregarded for property.

  38. “Well, it says on the packet they wipe off, so don’t blame me if you’ve got to replace $50,000.00 worth of seats and panels”. Duh! You’ve got the passenger’s details, just put a universal airline ban on them.

  39. Horrible parenting. Honestly, what is wrong with people? No respect for others property. That kid is going be one of those entitled twits 20 years from now. Gee, thanks, parents for unleashing that upon the world.

  40. Is this even a question? The answer is always NO. Airplanes are not your private home, learn to control your kids. Some of you act like savages I swear!

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