I’m not a regular traveler, but my husband and I have been known to decide to go across the country “just because we can” a week before we leave. So, airlines have become our go-to transportation. Since we now have young children (4 and 5) we have yet to take them on a “real” vacation. But, as they get older, I wonder, where we will go and how will they like being on an airplane.
Turns out, I may never know, or at least, not right away. Why? I’m so glad you asked. A few weeks ago, the news let us know that the airlines are now starting to charge a “sit together” fee. So basically this means you will buy tickets, get to the gate and pray that your kids’ big puppy dog eyes will make the disgruntled attendant put you all together. Without an additional fee.
Many people have complained, of course, because first, the news is an instigator and makes people more upset than necessary. Second, who wouldn’t want to sit next to their family on the plane? I am raising my hand, in case you don’t see it. Look, the customer is always right. It may take a few customers to get a business to realize this, but, trust me, I have a plan and I guarantee it will work. So listen closely.
The next time you go on a plane with your children, tell the attendant you most certainly do not want to sit with your children. Especially, if they are under six. Follow me on this. Imagine this, I have my little Jack and little Jill. I am in row 8, my husband might be in row 21, somewhere in between are Jack and Jill. Now, they are hysterical that they are sitting next to complete strangers. Well, maybe.
My “Jack” is little Mr. Personality and he will talk you to sleep, wake you back up, and then talk you back to sleep again. He doesn’t know how to turn his motor off. So, he’ll be sitting next to Mr. Grumpy and Ms. I-hate-kids, and telling them all our business, where we’re going, the name of the hotel—whatever. Then he will start asking them personal questions: What’s your name? Do you have kids? Why are you wearing that? Do you watch The Octonauts? Do you watch Wipeout? Can I have a mint? Can I have two mints? I don’t like those mints, I want some gum. Can I have some juice?
Meanwhile, I’m in row 8, sitting by the window, listening to my MP3 player, with a People magazine. The plane hasn’t moved yet, but I’m pretty sure my husband is sleeping. I can’t confirm this because he’s not next to me. Oh, Jill…. She’s probably going to get a stomach ache, freak out when the plane starts to move, and cry for me. What to do, what to do? Well, I can’t do much because I couldn’t pay the “sit together” fee. And, furthermore, the captain just put on the “fasten seat belt” light, so naturally I don’t want the U.S. Marshall to grab me and tackle me to the ground. So, I’ll just mind my business and read my magazine.
Once the plane starts rolling, Jack will decide he has to go to the bathroom. I told him before I found my seat to use it, but he said he was good. But, I know a secret: He’s going to pee on himself in about twenty minutes. I can imagine Jack and Mr. Grumpy having this interaction:
“Well, Jack,” Mr. Grumpy begins, “Maybe you should’ve used the bathroom when your mommy told you to. Because see that light? That means you can’t get up. So, you have to hold it, until the light goes off, Buddy.”
“I have to go! I’m going to pee on myself. I have to go. I have to!” Both my children are a tad bit dramatic.
Ms. I-hate-kids will butt in, “Jack, you better not pee. Hold it in! Be a big boy. Gosh! Why aren’t you sitting with your parents?”
Jill, still screaming, is inconsolable by now. The flight attendant is begging her to quiet down, trying to soothe her, trying to gain some control over the 5 year old screamer. I can hear a faint commotion in the back, but with my music selection so wonderfully picked, I am wrapped up in the soothing music. I have a couple of juice boxes, but since there are no kids in my aisle, I drink one.
You get where this headed. You understand what will happen if parents decided against paying this fee. All the other passengers are going to boycott the airlines, then either the fee is waived, or we get the plane to ourselves. Either way, we win. Except for the fact, that now I have to put down the magazine, put away my MP3 player, and be a mother.
Oh, and now I have to give up the juice boxes…