It seems like a lot of flack has been directed towards traveling kids these days. From mainstream media to the blogosphere, everyone’s got an idea of how to eradicate the evil of children of a plane. The ideas range from mild (shove them all the back of the bus) to extreme (ban them from planes all together). To me, this anger and energy seems a bit misdirected. To put things back in perspective, here’s a list of ten things worse than kids on a plane, starting with our favorite, airline fees:
1. Airline Fees: Today airline fees exist for checked baggage, for legroom, for food, for beverages, for priority boarding, for reserved seating, for joint seat assignments, for phone bookings, entertainment, the list is endless. In one particularly egregious case, passengers were asked to pay for fuel while on the plane in order to get to their destination!! Don’t forget the fact that you should get a medal if you can actually use your frequent flyer miles.
2. The Food: It could kill you. Literally.
3. The Service (or lack thereof): It’s no secret that the glory PAN AM days are behind us. Airline staff is overworked, underpaid, and motivated to be mean. To make things worse they can get you arrested if you piss them off.
4. The Seats: Aside from having to pay to pick a seat, airlines have shrunk seat sizes so passengers are more snug than ever, a situation bound to tweak already frayed nerves.
5. The Delays: Even though airlines are supposedly being penalized for tarmac delays, passengers ultimately pay with increased flight cancellations and higher fares.
(Here are some great free mobile apps for travel that can help with points 4 and 5.)
6. Mergers, Acquisitions and Codeshares: With the entire airline industry being in a state of mergers, acquisitions or bankruptcy, we are left with dysfunctional partnerships, overbooked flights and worthless miles.
8. Lost/Damaged Baggage: Airlines today lose or damage your baggage without compensation. Remember Jack (RIP).
9. Cancellations: Weather, delay fees, costs, the number of reasons flights are cancelled are unlimited. Leaving you all packed up and nowhere to go.
10. Hiked Fares: All this and you get to pay more please!
See? So kids are hardly the worst thing that can happen to you on a plane. BTW here’s a summary of your rights and recourse when confronted with the above unfortunate events on your journey.