New call for kids to travel in a separate section on planes
A RECENT survey from Airfare Watch Dog revealed something those of us with kids already knew: 52% of travellers dread being near us and find us so annoying with our pesky kids that they want us to travel in a separate section of the plane.
"More than half (52 percent) feel that families with young children (age 10 and under) should be required to sit in a separate section of the plane."
As a mother of three boys, I've done the walk of shame up the aisle with everybody silently willing us not to sit near them. I don't need a survey to tell me that everybody on the plane hates us.
However I would refute the equation that families with small kids = annoying on planes.
It's not that people with kids are universally annoying, it's that some people are just inconsiderate arseholes and they also happen to have kids.
Case in point: I'm a pretty intolerant person (brace yourself for my list below) but kids on planes are not even top of my list of flight travel annoyances. They are but a minor subsection.
Which is why I think the cordoned off section of the plane should not be for kids and families, it should be for inconsiderate arseholes, within which some parents and families would fall.
I would call this class of flying:
Inconsiderate Arseholes Class
Here are some of the things that would land you in Inconsiderate Arseholes Class at the very back of my plane
1. Someone who watches porn or inappropriate content on an ipad
This happened to a friend of mine. On a flight to Melbourne, the guy next to her just started swiping through porn on his i-Pad. I think most of us in 'considerate class' would agree that porn, along with movies with graphic nude humping in them, are "for private."
2. People who recline their seats on a short-haul flight
I would define "short-haul" as anything under two hours. Do you really need to sleep? Just sit up and get the greasy crown of your head out of my face. (I'm not surprised Grant Hackett allegedly tweaked that guy's nipples.)
3. Manspreaders and seat space imperialists
In my experience it is mostly business men who do this. They sit down, spread their thighs into your already confined seat space and then as the kicker, they claim both arm rests in the ultimate seat-space imperialist move.
4. People who make a myriad of loud, sudden yawning noises
You know that loud, gasp/sigh/yawn noise that some people like to herald their tiredness with? Well it s***s me. And some people do it repeatedly, all the way from Sydney to Melbourne. It's like they need to constantly signal to the rest of us that they have done a hard day's work and are now all tuckered out.
5. Having loud, "getting to know you" conversations with your fellow passenger
I know. I'm such a fun person. But I don't want to be part of one of these conversations and I don't want to have to listen to one from the seat behind. There's something about the very unrelaxed tone and volume of two strangers talking that really grates on me. Plus, people tend to speak in really dull, not-worth-saying-out-loud platitudes when they're talking to strangers and it makes me despair for humanity.
"Be good to get home ay?"
"Oh yes, there's no place like home."
6. Big wet sloppy sneezing
There's nothing that says, "I just gave everybody swine flu" quite like a big wet sneeze projected into the recirculated air. It's a confined space, we're all stuck here for a good two hours and you just added about one million droplets of toxic antigens to the pea soup of humanity. F*** you.
7. Bunching in all its forms
"Bunching," in case you didn't already know, is when people bunch up behind you in the myriad of queues that getting on and off a plane involves. And while families, with their lack of group control, can be repeat offenders on this one, believe me, they are not the only ones doing it.
There's that person who tries to reach over you to grab their bag off the belt when you're going through security, followed by the person who "ghosts" you all the way down the accordion passageway to get on the plane.
There's also the bunching when the plane lands: people jump up in a bunch and start rummaging in the overhead lockers to be the first off the plane. Then they all end up just bunched in the aisle for about 10 awkward minutes wondering why their "ready-set bunch" manoeuvre has not delivered them a "first off the plane" triumph.
(Listen up, people: the only way to be first off the plane is to book a seat in business class.)
The worst bunching of all however, is the bunching that occurs around the baggage carousel so that no one else can see if their bag is coming out.
Along with the no smoking sign on planes there should be one that says, "No bunching."
8. People who choose the smelly food
Any variety of smelly food should not be consumed on a plane and even when it's the airline handing it out for free, DON'T TAKE IT. If the food choices are pasta or steamed fish, for the love of humanity have the pasta.
9. Parents who let their kids kick the back of your seat/watch Ipads on loudspeaker or play peek-a-boo for a length of time that pushes the friendship
With regards to peek-a-boo over the back of the seat, three times is okay but anything beyond that and I'm all out of enthusiasm for other people's offspring.
Any perpetrators of the above annoying in-flight behaviour should be cordoned off into Inconsiderate Arseholes Class
They can recline their seats into each others faces, ask the person next to them if they're travelling for business or pleasure and eat steamed fish to their heart's content.
When they get off the plane, they will have their own baggage carousel where they can all bunch around it gleefully so that no one can see whose bag is coming out.
Meanwhile, the rest of us, including families, can enjoy the pleasure of flying with a group of considerate human beings. We can then stand back from the baggage carousel politely until our own bag comes out, step forward, collect our bags and move back out of everybody else's way.
This article originally appeared on Kidspot and has been republished here with permission.