Trapped On A Plane With A Feral Toddler Adult

November 24, 2009 / 1:25 pm • By Dr. Melissa Clouthier

Before kids, I’d board a plane looking for my seat, beg, beg, begging the airplane god that no kid was near me. Once I had kids, my judgmental superiority came back to me in a rush. Now, people looked at me and my delightful cherubs as devil’s spawn and prayed to their gods for mercy. The wheel of life and all that.

So Amy Alkon, falls into the former category and wishes to banish bad babies having bad days. In that case, I’d like to banish bad old people, bad NSA people, bad flight attendants, and really, pretty much 90% of my fellow passengers on airplanes. Why? Because they suck.

Most air travelers are tired, angry, irritable or sick. Most airplanes are now bovine-packed breeding grounds of festering frustration. It’s likely I’ll catch a cold or a bad attitude, or more likely both, on an airplane.

It’s pretty to complain about the errant toddler but that would take the focus off the menopausal chick screaming at her husband a couple flights ago or the mean old lady swearing in Spanish at anyone who touched her bag in the overhead bin. You know, the nice, civilized adult people who ride planes. Don’t forget the guy who drops his nervous fart that just won’t go away and from which there is no escape.

Air travel used to be a nicer, more refined experience. People dressed up, and sat a couple people to a row. Flights weren’t overbooked. Planes were new. They fed you. The stewardesses actually seemed to like people and aim to please.

Now, you get more respect and less hassle on a city bus and that is no exaggeration. At least you can get on a bus without having to throw out your bottle of water and being frisked and x-rayed down to your undies. Plane travel is demeaning and annoying.

But I’m not going to blame only the environment, the procedures, the staff and the experience. I’ll blame the passengers, too.

There are two sorts of passengers: The ones who travel all the time and the ones who travel for special jaunts. The regular travelers suffer the special jaunt travelers. The regular travelers have a routine. They know how things work. Then there are those who bumble around, pack wrong, take forever through security, seem lost in space and generally monkey up the works for everyone.

I’d like to set aside special planes for the casual travelers.

So, here’s my list of people I don’t want anywhere near the travel experience: NSA staff, flight attendants, casual travelers, crotchety old ladies, farting men, screaming middle aged couples and really anyone else unwilling to stoically endure a two hour trip.

Fact is, as much as I’ve traveled, I’ve seen far more annoying adults than annoying toddlers. Toddlers get a bad rap, but it’s mostly undeserved. Far more often, kids and babies are a welcome respite from the hell promulgated from some acting-out adult.

And I eagerly await the day when Amy has a kid of her own. She’ll then be praying to the please-don’t-cry, please-don’t-cry, please-don’t-cry god and making a trip she may not want to, but will have to make. She’ll have the pleasure of the apprehensive stares and the judgmental glances. She’ll get to change a diaper in a 2×2 foot closet and try to entertain her child when the flight is three hours delayed on a runway with no food and water and no hope of escape. Yeah, that’s heaven, right there.

Air travel is no fun. No reason to single out toddlers. The whole experience is usually pretty awful.

H/T Instapundit

  • 11B40


    As my father said to me more than several times, “Practice your patience; Enjoy your deprivations.”

  • Dude in Seat 14B

    As one of the folks that travels alone pretty regularly for business, I can tell you that even I struggle when traveling for “pleasure” with the family.

    My “favorite” traveler is the person that rudely tells you that you are in their seat and then realizes that seats D through F are on the right side of the plane. Or how about the guy that watches the old lady struggling with her carry on and just sighs as he waits behind her to pass?

    Air travel is exhausting. I can say that the reason people do not dress up any more is because of the security process. Pre-9/11 I used to wear my dress boots and neatly pressed shirt. Now, I wear shoes that can get off and on quickly and a t-shirt.

    Either way, I would say the old man that I watched on Monday tell another man to “f-ck off” while the latter was trying to pass him in the aisle is more a nuisance than the crying baby.

  • Chalmers

    My comment at the original LA Times story:

    As a frequent business traveler and a relatively frequent family traveler with a 2 year old (she flew the first time at 3 months and has flown 20 times since), I can say that I have experienced rudeness on many levels from many people. Since becoming a parent, I have a new perspective, but am still aware of the world around me. My daughter has had 1 bad flight out of 20, so she is a pretty good traveler. We consistently get positive comments, but she is not perfect.

    My question is this, which is more offensive, the crying baby, or the old man that tells another passenger to “f-ck off” when another passenger is not moving quickly enough? It is easy to take shots at crying kids, but adults are rude and selfish too.

    As for the “social thuggery” mentioned here, shall we outlaw cell phones too? So let us go through the list: no more public cell phone use, no more babies on planes, no more rude drivers, no more loud iPods on public transport, etc. Where does the list end?

    We have read that Ms Alkon was an amazing child that never misbehaved in public, but is she such a wondrous example of public wonderfulness today? With such an insanely ego maniacal world view, I would have to guess that she is not.

  • OBloodyhell

    > bad NSA people

    Don’t you mean “bad TSA people”, there?

  • I love plane travelling but bus trips are much cool! You could do things that you could not do in a bus.

    And I love being in the road cause I love Jack keoauc.

  • I had a good laugh when I read this. I used to be the same way until my son was born. Now he’s 3 and we’ve been lucky that he has been good on flights (it doesn’t stop the evil eyes though!) Fortunately my little toddler is oblivious to all that negative energy on airplanes.