. tonight on "nightline," midair meltdowns. aside from the invasive pat-downs and luggage shake-downs, tension between flying families and the people who resent them is higher than ever. so how to make it better? we present "nightline's" mile high survival guide. the passion of angelina. an interview with hollywood royalty, angelina jolie tells christiane amanpour about brad pitt, why their kids want them to get married. and sun, sand, sin. the most unusual playground for las vegas holding on to
childhood dreams. tonight we dig in. good evening. i'm bill weir. if a journey in good company makes the way seem shorter, what about the company of other people's children? chances are you're going to find out in that masochistic exercise known as hollywood travel. u.s. airlines imposed about a dozen fare increases in 2011 and of course they charge full fare for kids, but families will pay, meltdowns will ensue and blood pressure will rise so tonight's abc's david wright bravely asends to cruising altitude in search of survival tips for all. >> reporter: the midair meltdown is now practically a special category on youtube. most of the videos filmed not by
parents but by people who got stuck sitting next to them. i used to be the guy that would roll his eyes when the baby walked on board, please. and now i'm the guy stuck with three kids. i guess it's karma. >> people don't like listening to other kids cry. we can all sympathize. >> reporter: families traveling with small kids make up 30% of the traveling public and during the holiday rush it can often seem like us against them. >> get the look when you're boarding on the plane, people are afraid you're going to sit next to them. >> reporter: one travel survey suggested what amounts to a flying family ghetto. the families should have their own separate section. or even their own separate plane. so this weekend we set ourselves a challenge. >> i'm so excited. >> reporter: traveling cross country with our three kids. >> my bag packed. >> reporter: our own little
version of baby and toddler survival. documenting the journey was "nightline" producer alyssa toting her brand newborn. >> are you excited for your first trip? >> reporter: if only air travel were more like the days of pan am. >> welcome aboard the spacious cabin. >> reporter: was it ever this nice to fly? these days not so much. more kids means more baggage and more expense as the airlines nickel and dime travelers to death. fee, huh? everyone with a seat pays full fare. no exceptions. as far as the airline goes if you're over age 2 you might as well be an adult. so round one. everybody accounted for. now -- the tsa promotional video makes it look easy enough. >> remember, your safety is our priority. >> reporter: of course, real
life can be a lot messier. >> the 6-year-old girl forced to undergo a patdown which leaves her sobbing at security. >> reporter: for us so far so good pleasantly surprised to discover kids can keep their shoes on during the screening process and all u.s. airports have special family lanes. and it was totally smooth. >> yeah, the family lanes are really just a brilliant idea to get you through those security checkpoints a lot faster. >> reporter: no sooner did we get through security that we realized the airline had seated our family of five in four separate rows. we've got seat 25, 40, 30, 23. when we checked in. >> reporter: apparently that's a common complaint. >> reporter: a bit of a nightmare but the extremely nice guy at the delta counter. >> i have three of you together in a whole row. >> reporter: all right. 25, 25, 25. 25. >> reporter: of course, our journey was just beginning.
>> i need to go to the bathroom. >> reporter: 3-year-olds struggle with bladder control as it is. >> you can't go yet because the seat belt sign is gone. >> reporter: to them the fasten seat belt sign doesn't seem like a good reason to wait. >> please. >> reporter: and just try changing a diaper in there. >> this is kind of a new version of the mile high club. >> reporter: five hours is a long time for anyone to sit still. the kids do seem to find their own way of getting comfortable even in the tightest of spaces. we came expecting the worst but this is as good as it gets traveling by air these days. the quietest traveler of all turned out to be 9 youngest. >> the baby is good if it weren't on camera no one would believe it. >> reporter: in fact, our journey was unlike we've ever taken with kids. and we wondered if our camera might have something to do with it. delta not only gave our kids those cute little wings --
>> to new york. >> reporter: they even made a special announcement for the little ones. >> deanna, natalie, i'd like to you join me as we welcome them to the delta family. >> reporter: is the moral of the story travel with a camera? >> yeah, the moral of the story is if you can travel with a camera, great but if you're just traveling with your family i'd say keep your fingers crossed. >> reporter: even though it all went better than expected. we still have to get everybody home. i'm david wright for "nightline" in new york. >> yeah, your luck only lasts so long. thanks to david wright. would anyone roll their eyes if angelina jolie popped her broad onto your flight? coming up why the superstar's kids' think she should marry brad pitt and what she thinks about that. lilililililililililii
she has the hollywood lineage, the bee-stung lips, the acting chops, the swoon-inducing partner and the kind of kids magazines pay eighting ifs to photograph. angelina jolie is also an unflinching humanitarian and a member of the council of foreign relations, and that's where christiane amanpour found her, found one of the most famous women in the world taking another chance to deflect the fascination. here now the "nightline" interview. >> reporter: do you ever get to walk outside? >> what's funny is we're so clear now, the cameras leave we may actually have a normal day. >> reporter: if angelina jolie seems a bit guddy about an
undisturbed saturday morning in new york city, it's understandable. after all it's not often she or her partner brad pitt get to step out of the limelight. >> you find ways. i think we're getting older too. we're, you know, we're mom and dad. we don't go clubbing. we don't do interesting things. so you start to feel like -- >> reporter: are you a boring couple? are you a boring couple? >> we're not boring, but we're -- but we're private. >> reporter: do you guys have date night? >> we do. we go -- we go on date night sometimes to, you know, to a hotel, and we have -- but first thing in the morning we start talking about the kids and rush home. >> reporter: the couple met on the set of their movie "mr. and mrs. smith." >> there's nowhere i'd rather be than right here with you. >> reporter: one of more than 30 films jolie starred in from the blockbuster "lara croft" franchise to an academy award winning portrayal of a psychiatric patient in "girl, interrupted."
>> no, no, no. >> reporter: along the way she's become the highest paid actress in hollywood and one of the most famous women in the world. >> angelina, right here. >> reporter: but you won't even see jolie in her latest movie. it's her debut as a director and a writer. the film, "in the land of blood and honey," is about the 3 1/2 year war in bosnia in which 200,000 people were slaughtered. >> this was something in europe. this was not -- this is the worst genocide since world war ii in europe, and what were we all doing? and did we we do enough, and why do we not speak enough about this, and why don't i know enough about this? so i wanted to learn. i felt a responsibility to learn. >> reporter: she hired only local actors who had lived through the war and tried to tell their stories. she even made two versions, one in english and one in bosnian. >> the cast is my family and my friends now, and we had this
journey where i learned so much, and i was so changed by them. >> are we so terrible we should be exterminated? >> reporter: it is an unexpected and courageous choice for a first film. this is a war i know about, having covered the entire conflict and the genocide it unleashed on europe. the international community estimates that serbs may have systemically raped as many as 20,000 muslim women as a weapon of war. jolie unflinchingly depicts life in the camps where women were abused and raped. it is a controversial thing to do to tackle the idea of camps of ethnic cleansing, of women being raped as a tool of war, the different ethnicities. >> there's no safe way to tackle these subject matters, but i think the important thing is to discuss them and tackle them. >> reporter: two of the actresses joined us to discuss the movie and the concerns in bosnia about such sensitive
material being written about by an outsider. in fact, jolie kept her name off early versions of the script so she could gauge reactions. zana marjanovic, the film's star, remembers her first impression. >> i thought it was so -- it was just so true, and i felt it was, you know, it had to be written by a bosnian because it was -- it was just unbelievable. >> reporter: and this summer bosnia said thank you. she was presented with a special award at a sarajevo film festival to recognize the attention she's brought to the continuing impact of the conflict. jolie sees her celebrity as a tool, a means to an end. >> i wouldn't have been able to get this film made if i didn't, you know, have the success i'd had and many situations around the world, i wouldn't be able to go and do any of the work i've been doing the last ten years if i couldn't -- if i didn't have
that. so i'm very grateful for it. >> reporter: whether visiting refugee camps in her role as goodwill ambassador for the united nations or trying to help these children in afghanistan, she's a tireless advocate who tells me that she finds this work more rewarding than acting, and it's taken her around the world opening her eyes to conflict and the joy that can rise from the ashes of war. three of her six children were adopted from post-war countries, cambodia, ethiopia and vietnam. it's like a mini united nations. >> strangely. >> reporter: i read they have flags, national flags. >> they do have their flags, yes. >> reporter: is that how they stay connected and know about it beyond -- >> we travel to their countries. we have projects in cambodia that have been there for years where we've just broken ground on our tb/aids clinic, and we're just starting a project in vietnam. so all of our children will have something that they will go back to, volunteer with, and have
their -- they're responsible to, and it will be part of their country. >> reporter: lots of people want to know, do you plan to get married to mr. brad pitt? >> these kids asked me the other day. i asked them if it was because they wanted to have a big cake. >> reporter: did they ask you that? >> they have asked because they see movies that have, you know, people get married in the movies or somebody's, you know, the happily ever after. shrek and fiona are married, and we've explained to them our commitment when we decided to start a family was the greatest commitment you could possibly have. once you have six children, you're committed. >> reporter: while she is still committed to acting, jolie says there is much more on her road ahead. >> i just feel there's so many great actresses in the world, and they have so much to do, and they are doing great things, and they don't need me. i'm not -- i don't feel needed in a position of being an actor. i feel like i'm needed at home as a mom.
i'd love to be able to write or direct or work on or produce more projects about issues dealing with situations that i feel passionate about. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm christiane amanpour in new york. >> angelina's new film "in the land of blood and honey" opens in new york and los angeles on december 23rd. our thanks to her and christiane amanpour. and coming up next, fun lovers in las vegas give new meaning to the term party with a backhoe. the right relieftussin® makeg simpler than ever. click on the robitussin® relief finder. click on your symptoms. get your right relief. ♪ makes the cold aisle easy. ♪ robitussin®. relief made simple. and introducing nasal relief pills, now for the very first time from robitussin®. ♪
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of the times." >> reporter: as childhood dreams go they don't get much more down and dirty than this. >> go ahead and turn that key to the right. >> reporter: oh, yeah. >> there you go. >> reporter: i'm behind the controls of a $100,000 excavator, you know the kind you've had all the time at construction sites. the kind you may have had a toy version of to play around the sandbox when you were little. this is no tonka toy but it is what they call an adult-sized sandbox. >> i can remember tonka toys when i was little and would dig holes in my front yard. >> reporter: rich is a chief engineer at an aerospace company. >> he is in charge of 500 people and all he wants to do is dig a hole. >> reporter: full disclosure, i am a child. but it turns out lots of other grown-ups are too which is why
new zealand transplant ed mum created in unique playground on a vacant lot in las vegas. what does it cost to set this up? >> over a million dollars in my last four years. we get a lot of lifters that come here. >> reporter: it is no cheap thrill. classes go from $200 to over 700 depending on how many hours you want, which may explain why this is probably the only place you'll see a woman in prada flats running heavy machinery. >> good luck. >> reporter: this guy is on his honeymoon from saudi arabia. >> i'm just trying to do a different thing which i never have before. >> what's a nice girl like you doing in a bulldozer like this. >> i want to play with dirt. girls can play in the dirt too. >> reporter: we started off doing what any child would do, digging a hole. the hardest job was picking up basketballs without popping them. so? >> awesome. you realize how little dexterity
you have and to cuss on one, i forget about the other. >> reporter: which brings us to an interesting observation and battle of the sexes hard hat edition. >> guys are a little more intent if they want to do the job right. women are better operators. >> reporter: just remember what happens in the adult sandbox stays in the adult sandbox, i'm neal karlinsky for "nightline" in las vegas. >> good training for a second job if you lose everything. thanks to neal for that. join us for tomorrow when patricia cornwell instructions terrymoran in the finer points of cutlery. >> this is more for decapitating people. i don't mean to be gross but it's a good knife for cutting someone's throat. >> she talks about the perfect crime. patricia cornwell tomorrow night. we thank you for watching abc news on this night. please check in with our friends at "good morning america" working while you rest. we're always online at