I find myself sitting in airport lounge areas frequently. They are mostly the same, though some of the newer airports have upgraded their lounge areas with massage chairs, Wi-Fi, conversation nooks and other things to make the wait not quite so tedious. I don’t care about any of these things; give me a chair close to the boarding area with a view of those who I will be flying with, that is my only requirement. Sounds odd doesn’t it? I have my reasons.
Ill Mannered Imps and their Minders
Scanning the airport lounges allows me to identify the worst of the worst, out-of-control children. These children usually between the ages of four and ten who have failed to learn basic social skills. They scream, throw their toys, demand attention from their parents and strangers. They run through the lounge tripping over carry-on bags and even tripping other travelers as they attempt to navigate the terminal and the lounge. Their voices are akin to nails on blackboards as the screech their demands.
They are not angels. They are not sweet cherubs. They are YARD APES. Their parents often have that faraway look, one seen usually on soldiers returning from war or victims of crime. It is these imps of destruction that can and usually do ruin trips for at least those in their immediate vicinity on a plane. They kick the back of seats; they twist and turn, look over at their neighbors with ugly faces, talk to neighbors unceasingly, throw food and otherwise act in ways that prove children are born horrifyingly unmannered.
One of my favorites –
I had boarded the plane from Brussels to Houston, it’s a long trip but I had upgraded to first class and so I was looking forward to a somewhat pleasant flight. This was long before the time beds in first class and better food. I was in seat 1A, bulkhead window. Suddenly, oh no my worst nightmare a woman sits down beside me with a small child, small as in approximately 18-months. Her husband takes the seat across the aisle. Thinking I was being kind, I offered him my seat so they could be together during the flight, no they said they had planned it this way so he could work during the flight without being disturbed. What?
The mother plans on holding her child throughout the nine hour flight, in the meantime the child is on the floor playing while the announcement to prepare for take-off is blaring. Flight attendants walk through the aisles not once, not twice but four times telling this mother to pick up her child so we can take off. Each time she does the child shrieks and the mother puts her back on the floor, finally I offer to hold her so she can look out the window, which solves the problem, she doesn’t shriek we take off and all is quiet in first class. Does mom offer to take the child back? Well no, in fact when drink service begins she and dad order drinks and start chatting while their infant calmly stays on my lap. I had to tap her on the shoulder and hand the bad baby back explaining that they made the decision to not buy a seat or bring a nanny with them, they had the responsibility to entertain and keep their child quiet and if it disrupted their travel, tough.
It was a miserable flight! Screaming, diaper changes and other disgusting disruptions (Dad wasn’t bothered though).
This is one of the reasons I firmly believe children under the age of fourteen do not belong in First Class, ever and under any circumstance.
I have many other stories of the misery of travel which I will share from time to time. Some are children in the air. Some are simply horrible airline service. Hope you will join me in my travels around the world.