Before ash clouds and cabin crew staff strikes and recession I read that a couple of airlines were thinking of introducing child free flights. It seems that they thought that childless, lone adults or child loathing passengers would pay an extra few quid to not have to be near horrible sticky whinging children on a long haul flight. Fair enough, if there's a market- but why not go the whole hog- why not have child only flights? I bet the air staff will be queuing up to get on that rota. You think I’m joking? No sir, I am not. Think about it. Which one would you rather work in? Intolerant Adult Airways (the child-free option) or Lord of the Fliers (the child-only option).
For me, there's no contest. The other week the world heard about US air steward Steven Slater who did what so many of us have dreamed of and quit his job with a flourish and jumped out the plane door. Don’t panic- the plane was on the ground at the time. This happened after he had just one too many spats with an awkward passenger who refused to sit down when all passengers were told to remain in their seats whilst the plane taxied. Instead of sitting on his arse, the man proceeded to get his heavy bag out of the over head locker. When he was approached by the Steven the man ignored his pleas for good behaviour he pulled his bag down and hit the steward squarely on the head. This was after repeated polite requests to sit down from both passengers and staff. The steward lost it and exited the plane via the emergency shute, scuttled off the runway and got in his car and drove home, just in time to meet the police cars that were there to greet him for his safety and security breach.
Poor guy. What else must he have had to put up with over the years to get to this state? And here’s my question- how much worse would passengers be on a child free plane? In my opinion people who don’t like kids fall into the same category of people who don’t like cats and dogs. It’s like there is something wrong with them. Crying babies might be slightly annoying when you are trying to get to sleep, not least to their parents, but would you really want to share a cabin with 200 folk who don’t like kids or who lose it at the sound of a whimpering child? These must be the most horrible people on the planet. Why would you want to sit next to them? You’d probably have a better time at the a sleepover hosted by Fred and Rose West.
What’s more, adult passengers behave like morons on a plane (coming to a cinema near you, Samuel L. Jackson in”Morons on a Plane”). They sexually harass stewards and stewardesses, they get hammered on the free booze, they go off with strangers to have a sneaky shag in the toilets, they hog your arm rest, they recline their chair when you are trying to eat your meal on the traytable behind them and they piss all over the bathroom and leave it for someone else to clean up. In fact, I was listening to an air stewardess on the radio who said she once caught a drunken male passenger pissing all over the stewardesses seats in the galley area. And then complained when he was told to sit down!
Adult plane travellers can be the most territorial, mindless and selfish people on the planet. They don’t do what they are told, they ignore the safety briefing (except my friend Jane- who is always tempted to ask them to play it a second time in case she’s missed a bit) and they complain about mundane stuff that it wouldn’t occur to a kid to be bothered about. I have sat next to some of the most demanding and horrible people on flights and have seethed with hatred- any I didn’t even have to serve them! I have never found myself getting annoyed at a crying child.
So here it is, my business plan for Lord of the Fliers, the kids only airline . An airline where the passengers:
- Do as they are told, as they are trained to
- Are happy as long as there are cartoons on
- Think getting a free playpack with some colouring books and pens is the best thing they've ever got
- Are toilet trained (or have nappies to catch the wee in)
- Will not bore fellow passengers with details of their divorce
- Are placated by the offer of a visit to the cockpit
- Once conked out will stay in the foetal position on the floor until their destination
- Can be controlled by the promise of sweeties
- Are never really in a hurry, so only get impatient for things that can be controlled, like “I want more sweets/cartoons” rather than having a strop because the passport control queue is too long.
- Have no loud boorish opinions on homeland security
- Drink nothing stronger than milk
- Don't smell of BO, just Johnson's shampoo
- Love going through turbulence cos it's like Space Mountain at Disneyland
- Aren’t going to be carrying Semtex or other explosive devices so security is a breeze.
- Are responsive to Medised (other sleep inducing concoctions masquerading as cold medicine may be available)
- Can be placated with a hug
Ok Ok, you might have to deal with them pressing the call button repeatedly, shoving their unwanted dinner down the gaps inbetween the seats and the occasional vomit/jobbie accident but I reckon many stewardesses would gladly choose that over getting their left tit grabbed as they lean over to put someone's tray table up.
How do you deal with exasperated and impatient passengers when your kid is having a strop on an airplane?