Now before you go off on one I need to point something out right at the outset. This is not me saying that children should not be allowed on planes.
I don’t want you thinking that this is me ranting about a crying baby disturbing my sleep on a night flight back from Barbados last weekend.
That would be ridiculous, wouldn’t it? To suggest that children shouldn’t be allowed on planes because I had to go to work on Monday morning would make me an arrogant <insert rude word>
Well I didn’t say it.
But the woman in seat 19A did.
Let me explain
The return flights with both BA and Virgin Atlantic from Barbados are overnight. You leave at teatime, fly overnight and arrive,
bright eyed and bushy tailed wrecked, the following morning at 6am. That’s how it is. And if you don’t like it, well you go via somewhere else I guess. Or go to Europe.
We boarded our flight and were somewhat puzzled to see that we had been split up. The girls together, J behind (with an empty seat next to him so a bit of a result) and then Mr B and I together six rows back. Only Virgin can explain that one to us and despite me asking them on Twitter what their logic is in splitting up a family who have booked together, I have not had a response.
Still at 19, a week shy of 18 and 14 the teens are more than capable of looking after themselves and probably quite like the idea of being away from us, certainly after two weeks on holiday. By the time we took off the seat next to J was occupied by a lady who had been moved, for reasons we are not a party to.
Well that’s where the problem started. We hadn’t even taken off and she had complained to the cabin crew “about being surrounded by children who will be chatting, giggling and making a lot of noise”. The crew advised her that if there was any of that the children would be told to hush.
Seriously. You see the teens are polite and well mannered and didn’t want to upset her so all then decided to try their hardest to not annoy her.
This meant that the three of them were then unable to enjoy the flight, or chat to each other or point something out in the magazines or discuss a film, for fear of this woman getting arsey with them.
During the flight every time a child cried she sat up straight, turned around and glared. Yes glared, at said child or baby.
At the end of the flight she asked the cabin crew to whom she should address her complaint about children being on flights. She had to go to work that morning and children really shouldn’t be allowed on flights.
“Children should not be allowed on flights”.
Well I am sorry to say that this made me see red and I couldn’t contain myself dear reader. I made a point of seeking her out at baggage reclaim.
I am not proud but I knew that if I left Gatwick without having said something to her I would have never forgiven myself.
“Excuse, me I am really sorry but could I just clarify something with you? Did you seriously say to the cabin crew that children shouldn’t be allowed on flights?”
Mumble mumble something blah blah “well yes I did”
“Can I just point out that my children are 19, 18 and 14 and have every right to be on that flight. A flight back from a holiday destination. Where families go, you know, on holiday”
“oh I didn’t mean your children. Your children were nothing but polite”
“So you mean small children? You mean small children should not be on flights”
“yes, I travel alot and I have to go to work today”
“Then why did you fly back on the Sunday night flight? Why didn’t you fly back on Saturday night and then sleep all day Sunday? Why were you even in a holiday resort where children need to get back from then?
And can I just point out to you that you have ruined the end of our holiday? You specifically said children within five minutes of sitting down next to my children. They assumed, rightly, that you meant them. And that they were, therefore, not permitted to speak because you need your beauty sleep. You have no idea how angry you have made me. And the very idea that you are writing a letter of complaint about children being on flights shows just how arrogant and stupid you really are””
I have to say, her friend who had appeared from nowhere, looked embarrassed. Good.
There was talk in the press recently of an airline offering “Child free zones” on planes that passengers can sit in for an extra fee.
I hate that idea.
But what I would pay for is a zone that excludes arrogant, conceited, contemptuous, egotistical women who think they are better than anyone else
Mr B put it very succinctly in baggage reclaim when he saw this woman walk past us before I did:
“some people have a really over inflated view of their own importance”.
Give me a crying baby over people like her any day of the week.
The lady next to me laughed at every joke in every film she watched on that 8 hour flight. Out loud. Repeatedly. And then listened, and sang along, to David Bowie for forty minutes. Are we supposed to ban that too?
No, of course we are not.
It’s called having fun.
Or being a baby.
I am sure the families who had babies (including the lady with the gorgeous pair of three month old twins) would love for this woman to say to their babies “now, come along, please go to sleep now like a good baby. I am a very very important person who has very very important things to do and needs her night nights” and then watch as their babies all think “oh yes, yes we will” close their eyes and sleep solidly for the next eight hours.
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