Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Should Kids Be Banned From First Class?

As a dad who just flew halfway across the world with two young boys, I can tell you that flying with kids isn't easy. While the older one kept himself busy with movies and games and toys (thank you Emirates!), the younger one couldn't understand why he was cooped in that small place without any seat (that's why we flew when you are less than two, kid, coz it's cheaper!).

I think 8 hours was our longest flight (Toronto to London) and it was the maximum we could really handle. We broke up our flight to India into pit stops. Couple of days in London, some days in Dubai, and then to India, and same on the way back. And I think this kept us sane; we wouldn't have been able to handle a 15 hour direct flight back with a screaming infant. And then a screaming toddler because the screaming infant bit him. Fun!

So when I read on the news about a bunch of passengers miffed about a crying baby in first class (and Delta's awful reaction to that), I could understand. You paid $10,000 to ride first class, and you want to ride in comfort. Screaming baby, especially someone else's screaming baby, does not equal comfort. Though if you paid that much for a Delta seat of all airlines I really have to question your logic, I mean Delta?!!

But you know what, deal with it. You paid for your seat, not someone else's. An aircraft is a shared place and there's all types of people. Just like the uncle who keeps burping in the mosque (and who I really want to take out ban, but can't), you have to tolerate noises from other folks that are discomforting to you.

One flight I spent next to someone who wouldn't take the hint and kept trying to make conversation with me (in case you can't tell, I am an introvert kind of person on a flight, and also not on a flight). Another time this lady behind me did nothing to control her wild toddler who kept kicking my seat. That's what goes on in a public space - you have to deal with inconveniences.

I have noticed this same trend go to other discussions, such as the insane proposal to ban strollers on public transit. Now, granted, some strollers look like SUVs, and some inconsiderate moms really just "park" their stroller at the entrance while blocking the pathway on the bus for others, but most are simply ordinary folks trying to use the public transit just like you and me.

I am often trying to sleep on the subway ride home, but sometimes there's two chatterboxes who sit adjacent to me and talk in a loud voice all the way. I mean, like, you know, it's like ... what the hell .. you spend the entire Islington to Kennedy talking about nothing. But you can't really start implementing "quiet zones" on the TTC subways.

So if a parent wants to pay and take their screaming kid on first class, why not. Deal with it.

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