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Canadian Airline To Ban Kids on Flights. Not!


No matter how seriously you might take life, no matter how passionate you might be about an issue, you’ve got to love the sarcastic wit behind a good April Fools’ Day joke.

Case in point: This weekend’s brilliant “announcement” by a Canadian airline that it was launching kid-free cabin service on select flights.

In a classic YouTube video released Sunday, the airline, WestJet, describes the new offering explicitly. A company spokesman also details a related program dubbed “Kargo Kids,” through which children get to sit in a “special VIP section” of the plane—a.k.a., the cargo hold.

At one point, the video shows footage of two kids being plopped in a “Travel Toboggan,” or cargo bin. The bin then zips down a baggage belt, the same way checked luggage would go on its way from the check-in counter to the belly of a plane.

Of course those two kids don’t actually end up in the cargo hold. And WestJet didn’t actually launch the services—the video ends with a kid wishing everyone a Happy April Fools Day.

Still, the piece (which is embedded at the bottom of this page) is genius for three reasons:

    1) It mocks a legitimate issue; many (mostly childless) people honestly believe airlines should offer flights without the prospect of children on board (and, as we've reported here, at least one airline already has banned kids from first-class).
    2) It got people talking; the video received nearly 300,000 hits in 48 hours.
    3) It was almost believable; Richard Bartrem, the company’s vice president of communications, plays the thing as straight as can be.

Personally, I like to think of the piece as a reserved and distinguished middle finger to all of those fools out there who hate on family travel. This time (and always, really) the joke most definitely is on them. For that, WestJet, we salute you.