Friday, January 11, 2008

Ban Babies from Planes


I know I've written about this before but I'm compelled to write about it again.  I think children under the age of 5 should be banned from long-haul airline flights.  In the case that a child absolutely must be transported this distance the baby should be put in a cage and transported along with the luggage.

This might seem like a crazy idea but hear me out.  You would not allow a person to bring a loud uncontrollable noise machine into an airplane cabin.  In essence this is what a baby is - a noise producing machine that has the added bonus of producing shit and piss.  Sometimes it is a necessity to bring your baby.  I agree.  The airlines and regulatory bodies have come up with a solution for pets that works pretty well.  Why not extend the same treatment to little children?

Here is my problem with babies on planes.

When I am on a 13 hour flight from New York to Tokyo and there is a baby who is ruining the peace and quiet of everyone in the plane I am a ball of resentment which gets bigger and bigger every time the it wakes me up bleary eyed throughout the flight.  I remember I was on a flight from Singapore to England and a little baby was sitting one row in front of me wailing away for at least 12 of 16 hours.  I am not proud of this but all I thought about during this flight was to take this precious little baby and bludgeon it to death. Seriously.  I wanted to take this child by the head and smash it repeatedly into a hard jagged rock until its skull cracked.

But, because I'm a nice guy (and there are no jagged rocks on an airplane) I sit there and accepted the fact that I will be stressed and exhausted for the entire flight as well as the next two days thereafter.  Of course, my anger is misplaced.  An airline flight is an extremely foreign environment for a baby.  It is a cramped space with wild fluctuations in cabin pressure.  Often it is bumpy because of turbulence.  The real assholes are the parents.

Why are parents subjecting their child to such an environment?  For that matter, why are they subjecting me to their child?  We live in an era of supreme bureaucracy and regulation.  There was once a time in airline travel when you could pull up to the curb of an airport, check your luggage, get into your plane, eat a meal and then relax with a cigarette.  No more. These days you basically have to undress yourself for the security and you can't even bring a bottle of water with you.  All the rules and regulations have made airline travel suck harder and blow bigger every year, year after year.

If I sound bitter, it's because I am.  I travel a lot.  I have taken a job where I will be on a plane at least twice a week.  Regulations and rules have made what was once a pleasant experience into monster sudoku.  For once, I would like to see a regulation put up that would actually improve my life. 

I have petitioned my Congressman to create legislation to ban babies from planes.  Realistically I don't think it'll ever happen.  The past century of legislation in America has been to make life easier for mothers and children.  This is because family-oriented pandering is like crack-cocaine on the campaign trail. 

People have told me that the nano-second my future wife passes a child through her vaginal canal I will see things differently.  I don't.  I hate babies on planes.  What's more, I am a considerate person.  I am terribly self-conscious of disturbing complete strangers.  I don't think having a baby somehow entitles me to be obnoxious and annoying.  That's the thing.  I get the feeling that parents who bring their children on planes feel entitled.  That pisses me off. 

Something needs to be done.  End babies on planes.