This past Wednesday I was flying home from Baltimore on Southwest Airlines. Nobody should ever fly on Southwest. They’re considered to be a discount airline, but with the exception of their clearance sales, they’re often no less expensive than a typical airline. Sometimes they’ll have special tickets at a low cost, but it’s almost impossible to get them and you usually can’t get them to fly anywhere that you’d want to go to. Also, everything is a fucking joke to the crew members. Every problem is confronted with a brief, but not brief enough, song by the flight attendants and crew. They also don’t pre assign seating so once you get onto the plane it’s a very disorganized endeavor and everyone is scattered every which way trying to find an empty seat and cramming their shit into the overhead compartments. You are randomly assigned a group and passenger number at check-in and if you’re assigned to a high number in a late group, it sucks for you because it means you’ll probably be sitting next to the bathroom and between a baby and a guy who hasn’t showered in 19 years.
I hate flying on Southwest, but that isn’t what I intended to write this article about. What I want to propose is a new rule for airlines that will make air travel significantly less annoying and miserable.
My idea is this: parents traveling with children under six years of age need to sit in a separate designated section of the plane, away from other travelers. They should be assigned to the rear seats with a curtain, at the very least separating them from the other passengers. Ideally there’d be some kind of soundproofing system as well, but money wise that may not be feasible. On second thought, screw feasibility, I want the sound barriers.
Several of my otherwise mildly unpleasant flights have been made into 3 hour trips to hell by little kids and their parents who won’t discipline them. On my last flight, I was seated next to a 2 year old who spent the whole flight kicking and scratching me. He only stopped doing this for two brief periods. One was to sneeze then wipe his snot on my arm, and the other was to start climbing the back of the seat in front of him as the plane was landing. The other passengers were all gawking and going on and on about how adorable the little shit was, but I’m sure if they were seated next to him they’d be singing a different tune. The kid’s mother did nothing to stop this and was not admonished even once by the cabin crew. On another flight, I was directly in front of one kid who kept spitting on me while making machine gun sound effects and next to another who shit his pants not once, not twice, but thrice during the flight. As annoying as all of these experiences were, there was one flight that was even more annoying than all of these put together. This one I don’t even blame on the kid but rather on his dumbass mother. I was flying from Minneapolis to San Diego about 3 years ago and was next to a hot but annoying woman who had a toddler with her who I would guess was about a year old. For a kid that age, he was pretty well behaved and wasn’t doing anything annoying. Surprisingly, he kept quiet through the boarding and takeoff and wasn’t making a nuisance of himself. About five minutes after we got up into the air, the trouble began. The hot but retarded mother of the kid started needling him, actually trying to make him cry. She kept saying shit like, “Oh honey it’s okay if you cry, it’s only natural and I won’t be upset. Come on Connor, don’t be afraid to cry. It won’t upset anyone else, they’re all expecting it and they won’t be bothered. Cry, it’s okay, start crying.”
This went on for about an hour, and the entire time I was pretty much in shock. It’s one thing to be near an annoying, loud mouthed kid on a plane and for the parent to not do anything about it, but actually encouraging your kid to be disruptive and annoying brings rudeness up to a whole new level. After about an hour of her prodding, the kid eventually did start crying as loud as he could and didn’t stop for the duration of the flight, which close to three hours. Once the kid started crying, his mother congratulated him, then she turned to the other passengers and started beaming with self satisfaction and going on and on about how she worries that her son doesn’t express his emotions enough and how you can’t stifle the beautiful natural actions of a child. Anybody who commits a violation like this should be automatically sterilized on the spot. Everyone around her was pretty fucking pissed off, but I think it bothered me more than anyone else. I was hoping for the plane to crash because even though it would mean that I’d meet a gruesome and painful death, it would stop this bitch before she could reach an orgasm from self congratulation and that would be well worth it.
In closing, I urge you all to write your congressman or whoever the hell else you think you can write to about this matter and hopefully within our lifetimes, experiences like these can come to an end. (Except for people who have little kids, but I guess they can sit back there and have fun with the beautifully naturally hellish behavior of their offspring.)