In order to fly out of the eminently civilized Westchester airport I made the concession that my flights to and from Portland would not be direct. I was ok with this as the price was the same as a direct from JFK and the connection times were reasonable. But sometimes simplicity is just not attainable.
I was scheduled to leave Thursday afternoon. I ended up leaving Friday afternoon and, trust me, this was the best of all possible scenarios. Combine FAA rules governing presidential visits and airspace with a thunderstorm of significant proportions and you end up with a plane waiting on the tarmac with sporadic air conditioning for nearly three hours. I'll have you know I was among the calmest people on board. I even wrote a letter to Delta telling them how well their people handled things. While the mumblers were carrying on about the ridiculosity of our being trapped in this maelstrom, I did some critical thinking.
The airport knew that there was going to be a mandatory closing of airspace and they rushed like hell to get all the scheduled planes out ahead of it. We would have been among them had it not been for one teeny tiny thing that in other circumstances would not have occasioned a three hour delay. There was a family with three small children who successfully convinced the gate agent that they could schlep all of their strollers on the plane; then they encountered our more vigilant flight attendant who told them that they must be out of their minds and that it was highly illegal to have their behemoth child carriers blocking the aisle of the plane (she said it way nicer than that). In the ten or so minutes it took to sort out that mess, we missed the window of opportunity to get off the ground before the airport was temporarily closed.
I'm not opposed to children qua children, but I'm really really opposed to being around them. In certain circumstances. Since, with the exception of a family's moving to a new home, there is no REASON why young children need to take planes, I'm at a loss to explain why so many do. Or rather why so many parents blatantly ignore the inconvenience their children are about to occasion and take them flying anyway. I read travel websites and know that whenever the subject of kids-only flights or adults-only flights or anything that infringes on the rights of our non-tax paying toddlers, eruptions occur. In a culture of entitlement, how could it be otherwise? I've started to consider just how much money it would be worth to me to travel on adults-only flights and I'm currently at $100. Airlines, take note.
But while you're noting that, allow me to make a possibly less radical suggestion:
CHILDREN SHOULD NEVER BE ALLOWED ON RED-EYE FLIGHTS
On my return trip I was shocked and appalled to see not one but two very young children in the boarding area. If you must take your pre-verbal, pre-logic, pre-toilet-trained larva on a plane, what possible lapse of reason and etiquette prompted you to book your mewling progeny on a flight where EVERYONE ELSE ON THE PLANE WILL WANT TO SLEEP? I'm assuming you have to declare your infant when making a reservation and airlines should refuse to give you one if it's an overnight flight. This seems a no-brainer. And parents should exercise a modicum of good taste in never trying to book those flights. Your kid has a bad day and an entire plane load of people suffers. Why would you do this? How did it come to pass that you arrived at that level of selfishness? 100 businesspeople should lose a night of already uncomfortable sleep so that you can drag your kid cross-country? It just boggles the mind.
I'm not a parent and who knows if I will be someday, but I vow this to you, and waybackmachine will have it on record, should I be a traveling parent, you will not hear my child. If I MUST travel somewhere with little Ghengis, he will be appropriately, well, drunk. Yes, you heard it here. I will be doling out the thimblefuls of wine so that he may sleep, you may sleep, I may sleep. European wine producing countries routinely give their children little doses of wine and they haven't yet discovered that those children are horribly scarred, so I'm going to go with that. And I'm counting on you all to back me up when they arrest me!
3 days ago