I nearly choked on my cornflakes when I read a piece in the weekend's Irish Times, stating a recent survey which shows that 74% of all business class travellers get annoyed by screaming children on flights (cough, splutter).
It goes on to say that over half the business travellers surveyed want a 'family-only' section on flights where, and I quote, 'screaming children and their parents could be separated from business class passengers.' (spurts tea). One woman even sued Qantas last year after claiming a 3-yr-old screaming child damaged her hearing. The woman was 67.
Well, I've thought about this and have come up with a better idea.
Why not have a caged area at the back of the plane with some barbed-wire and electric fencing where all the 'screaming children' and their parents are corralled and guarded by the SAS just to make extra sure that nobody escapes and starts annoying the poor business people trying to concentrate on opening their tiny packet of butter to spread on their pumpkin-seed encrusted bread roll.
The piece then goes on to say, 'screaming children are not just an annoyance for passengers, but can be a mortifying experience for a child's parents.'
This statement is completely flawed.
It may surprise some business class travellers to learn that screaming children are not just an annoyance to passengers; they are an annoyance to parents too. Yes, really. We find it very, bloody annoying. You see, parents are human beings as well and would also love to enjoy a peaceful, relaxing flight where everyone is on their best behaviour and doesn't hit their brother or wriggle or spill things or throw up all over their mother.
I wonder what the 'business class' travellers have to say about giggly, excitable teenagers, screeching lasses and drunken lads going on stag and hen nights, couples who won't stop snogging all the way to Paris, people who are just a little bit too large for the average airline seat and spill over onto your side, old people who chatter to you about their health problems for the entire flight, or pervy businessmen who try to chat you up.....should we maybe put all of them in the cage at the back of the plane as well? Oh, and while we're at it, why not re-introduce smoking in the back four rows, just to make life really unpleasant for them?
Then again, if a family-only area was introduced, you can bet the parents would be slipping the flight attendants wads of crisp notes in a desperate bid to join the 'proper' people at the front and get away from the screaming kids; their own screaming kids.
What do you think? Is this nonsense or a good idea (the separate area, not necessarily the cage thingy!).