Sunday, July 6, 2014

My airline will roll out a family section

My airline

Yes - my life is family-centric, and, so accordingly, I propose that my airline would have a family section.

Three rows of the plane could be dedicated to “family travelers”.  Parents with children could book these rows with a sigh of relief that their little ones could loudly ask for cheerios without grimace from other passengers.  There would be dvd players in the seat backs, trays that didn’t depend on your neighbor’s sleeping arm blocking the tray, a small curtain to keep the area private, and perhaps a visit from Chica. The little babies could sit on their trays and play pat-a-cake.  If this utopia does not book, other travelers could receive a discounted rate to sit in this section.  That way — they enter the relationship expecting Chica.  Perhaps, the area will have couches also to make the experience more comfortable.

I understand, as I am also a business traveler, that you enjoy your time on a plane; that you look forward to reading the book that you’ll have a few hours with; and that you feel disappointment when you sit down next to young children.

I, too, when separated from my husband on a flight, while ushering my two young children into the row, am extremely disappointed to be sitting by you instead of my family.

To the stewardess on Tampa to Detroit, your nonverbal interaction with a fellow passenger in my row was very clear to me.  When you sat the gentleman in the same bulkhead row, you looked at my children and I, then at that passenger, and gestured so clearly that you apologized that he needed to sit in the row with us - across the aisle.  That isn’t a very welcoming introduction.  We paid for bulkhead, just as the other passenger.  You also shared the same interaction with the gentleman who sat next to us.  

After the flight — as with flights to date — the gentlemen next to us commented on how good the children did on the flight.  

And yes - I plan activities for the kiddos on the plane — as parents do — I strategically plan snacks, activities, and more so that the flight can be more enjoyable for them and you.  What did you do?  You fell asleep and your arm was fixed on the armrest holding the tray table for my son.  It was time to watch Happy Feet - past nap time - missed nap time (which is a big deal when you’re 2.5).  So, as a considerate person (and traveler), I let you sleep and held the Mac Book air with my left hand over my son’s lap while my younger son slept in my lap, utilizing my right arm.  We did this for 40 minutes while you slept.

Arrogance is not becoming.  To the arrogant gentleman seated in row 10 - who shared the sorrowful look with the stewardess  re: sharing a row with our family, I think that you would seek comfort in my airline with the children’s section.  You looked at us as though we less-deserved to share the bulkhead row with you.

I have sat on flights with other children - before I had my own.  One time, I even sat between a mom and dad who passed the baby over me throughout the duration of the flight.  Children will behave — and other times — they will just need to scream out about Mickey Mouse.  I have also traveled first-class and non-commercial.  So, to you, fellow passenger in row 10 — you are no more deserving of the bulkhead row.  

My children now watch movies and (almost) carry their own suitcase — so perhaps in a few years I will want to share the row with adults.  But, in that case, I still would support those families with young children in my family section.