Six and I recently took a trip to visit family in Austin. We have only ever flown together once before and that was a nightmare best left unshared. I asked Older Son for some travel tips since he travels all the time for work and fun. Older Son is not one to give away his secret tips but he did give me a good one. He said that he often gets Southwest First Class and I said that isn’t a thing and he said that Southwest First Class is when you get either a row to yourself or the middle seat free.
“How does one attain this heavenly state?” I asked.
Older Son pointed to his long legs and size 13 feet. “Be a tall guy in the aisle seat with your laptop out on the tray table. Everyone assumes the two inside seats are taken or they are too polite to ask you to move.”
So when Six and I flew to Austin and we got on the plane, the first tall guy in an aisle seat who I saw with his laptop out I said a loud but polite, “Excuse me! Are these seats taken?”
And they weren’t. We were in the B boarding group and this was aisle 6. Poor business casual wearing man with the laptop. He was stuck with a wiggle worm 6 year old next to him. Felicia had no such sympathy. Her response was, “It takes a village.” Then she mimed putting earbuds in and leaning back in a seat. Then she mimed taking the earbuds out and leaning forward as if to talk to the man with the laptop, “And this little guy is going to have some questions, comments and concerns.” Then she mimed popping the earbuds back in and closed her eyes.
We laughed so hard we startled a young man who was waiting with us to cross the street.
But it is true. Raising kids takes a village and that includes travel. Having a chatterbox wiggle worm six year old next to you on the plane is not ideal.
Suck it up, Buttercup. Six didn’t have a cold, I brought him enough crap to keep him occupied, he didn’t spill anything or vomit. At minimum, at the end of the trip, you can congratulate yourself for either not having kids or if you have kids, enjoying a trip without them.
There are calls for instating kid only aisles on the plane. I would be fine with that but what is the cut off age? 5? 10? Given the choice between a wiggly 5 year old next to me and a 13 year old who hasn’t quite got his personal hygiene together, I’ll take the 5 year old.
And here’s a newsflash: We aren’t entitled to the entire plane nor the entire aisle. You get your seat and sometimes you have to share a portion of that. If other people bother you so much, stay home. Why do so many cranky people travel so damn much? Have to travel for your job and happen to hate other humans? Unemployment is at record lows. Get a new job, you will be happier and so will everyone else at the airport and in the plane. Please stop making the rest of the world miserable because you’re unhappy.
The worst part about plane travel isn’t the chatty woman seated next to you or even the screaming baby. It’s the cranked up asshole wearing business casual and scowling at everyone who dared to plan their travel on the same day they had an important quarterly meeting that went to hell. Clean up your attitude or get a job that A) doesn’t involve travel or B) coughs up the cash for business class. Take a deep breath. Better yet, take a tranquilizer and take a nap. If you can’t be nice, be catatonic.
You are not the center of the universe. Act accordingly.