It has been reported in the Daily Mirror today that there are calls for airlines to introduce ‘Adult Only’ flights, for the sake of peaceful journeys for passengers, according to a survey carried out on Business Class fliers. Seventy-five percent of those questioned cited unruly children and the sound of crying coming from Economy Class as their biggest gripe.
It’s funny this should come up now, because something similar crossed my mind while on my journey back to London from Ghana last month. I actually enjoyed my Economy Class flight – the staff were friendly and helpful, the entertainment was good, and the turbulence was at a minimum (I despise turbulence so you did well that day Virgin!). The only problem was that there were three families around me with children under two years of age, and throughout the flight, at different times, these children were crying (or shall I say screaming!) for whatever reasons. It was jarring my bones. In my head I think I had a few fantasy Scrubs or Ally McBeal moments, where I got out of my seat, went over to the offending child and just screamed continuously in their face to see how they like it. But in real life I just tolerated it, because I could see the parents were feeling bad enough.
Most of us don’t have the luxury of flying Business Class for every journey, like some of those surveyed probably do, so they should just imagine that the irritation they feel is two-fold for the rest of us. I love kids (well those I’m related to and my friends’ beautiful children) and I fully intend to have some of my own some day, but I don’t see the problem in having a specific area on a plane for families with young children, and adult-only long-haul flights wouldn’t be a bad idea either. Of course a lot of parents are up in arms about such a suggestion, but no one is saying that children should be banned from flying full-stop (I’m certainly not saying that), there should just be consideration for others. Just because you think your little Timmy is the most adorable thing ever created, doesn’t mean everyone else does. He may be a complete angel when you’re at home, but unfortunately he’s not communicating this to me on right now in these close quarters.
My journey made me come to the decision that when I do become a mother, I will not be taking a long distance flight with my child until he or she can speak clearly and understand fully the instructions I give them. And know that crying and screaming won’t stop your ears from popping, but it will get you a spanking when we get off this plane. Just be quiet and chew the gum.