Our flight to San Diego was nothing short of miserable. The travel day went very well until we boarded the flight – I got some writing done on the way to Atlanta, we chilled in the Sky Club and ate free Nutella, I met up with a friend also in the airport and had a wonderful, movie-like send off. And then we met Dennis, Eric, Evan, and God only knows the mother’s name, the only reason I know their names is because she must have said them seventy-three times per hour. This family of four, one father, who looked like a lost Belushi brother, with noise-canceling headphones that only served to deafen him to how loud his own voice was, one doofus baby brother that looked like a warped Kewpie doll, one Disneyfied mother who overcompensated in conversation at any given opportunity, and one raging Dennis, complete with a whopping 35 colorful spiderman band-aids down his arm and fold-out tray tables at his disposal. Sometimes, there is a black sheep in a family…and sometimes, the whole family are black sheep in society.
Statistically speaking, it’s not possible for a more annoying family to be on board this flight. Today, we are in row 27. Dennis and friends are in row 28. You do the math. The great thing about our bulkhead seats is all of the legroom and those really nice tray tables that fold out from the arm rests. We get to stretch out and don’t have to crawl over each other to leave the row. However, none of that really matters when you’ve got Dennis’ family behind you. You just can’t enjoy a thing about the flight. Not. One. Thing.
This all comes at a time that I’m reading Conde Nast’s recent article on “Sexy New Airlines” – I’m drooling over the large, space-age fold out seats and the beautiful people in Armani suits and Chanel heels enjoying their travel experience. That is such false advertising. If you want to see the reality of the modern day flight, you need a photo of me and my parents, ear plugs tightly shoved in and eyeglasses pressed against noses, trying to read under the dim overhead lights, complete with Dennis in the background, jumping from one tray table to the next, using the backs of our seats as stepping stones into Dennis-land.
Don’t go looking for that photo. Just watch this video:
I say all of this, not to bash families traveling with children – I know it’s got to be difficult to have an entire plane full of people glare in your general direction for five hours – but to say that I fully believe the first air carrier to implement a designated “Kids Zone” at the back of the plane, where families with young, ill-behaved children are required to sit, well, they would probably win airline of the year. I’d like to copyright the idea and receive a little off of it, but if it helps the population as a whole, airlines should feel free to steal this idea from me.
In case you’re worried we really had a bad flight, don’t worry too much. We got rid of the problem. We just squished the whole family. Please observe the following vids: