We’re flying to Utah for the holidays. In preparation for flying with fifteen-month old twins, I have developed a massive case of anxiety & a few theories about how air travel might be improved.
You probably know that kids under 2 can fly in your lap. This saves you the cost of paying for a seat they will refuse to sit in & earns you the disdain of your fellow passengers. (Except the old lady that reeks of cigarette smoke & coughs like the she has the plague. She wants to kiss your baby, probably on the mouth.)
You may not be aware that the airlines only allow one lap infant per row – nod knowingly with me, twin parents. So, Craig & I will be sitting across the aisle from each other, each with a kid in our lap, on most of our flights. For one flight, we could only get two aisle seats in sequential rows. Which means the kid in the row further back can torture both parents simultaneously by kicking the seat in front of her. Perfect.
Anyway, this brings me to my first suggestion. The airlines have to keep track of which seats have lap infants because they cannot have two in one row. The airlines also keep track of which seats have been purchased. I propose that airlines indicate which seats, if any, will have lap infants during the seat selection process of purchasing tickets. Let’s be honest – nobody wants to sit next to the parent with the lap infant. You can be a perfectly nice human being and still not enjoy the prospect of being squished up next to a baby, doing normal baby things like crying & pooping, for HOURS. I expect to hate it & they’re my kids.
I’m willing to bet some people would look at different flights rather than sit next to a baby. At the very least, forewarned is forearmed. If I knew I was going to be seated next to a lap infant, I’d bring noise-canceling headphones, sleeping pills, and a $5 pashmina from a street vendor that I could throw away if, let’s be honest – when, it ends up covered in baby excretions.
My second suggestion is to help counter that anxiety I mentioned. Imagine: the moment you confirm that you are flying with children your itinerary gets forwarded to your primary care physician who writes you a prescription for the anti-anxiety medication of your choosing. Brilliant, right? Then you might be able to figure out how to pack extra clothes, toys, food, diapers, bottles, and the all-important Benadryl into your carry-on luggage, without innumerable panic attacks. Maybe. As long as you stop picturing your child having a complete meltdown mid-flight because you packed the wrong color pacifier, while the asshat two seats over loudly expresses that HER kid wouldn’t dare act like that.
Speaking of that lady, my final suggestion grew out of a desire to ingratiate myself to her, as well as the other hypothetical passengers I keep imagining. I thought it would be a nice gesture to buy them all a drink. Then I remembered that the cost of airline tickets during the holidays ate all my money. So, I propose that the airlines offer a complimentary alcoholic beverage to any adult passengers seated within two rows of a lap infant. On any flight with more than two lap infants, ALL adult passengers should be given a free alcoholic beverage – except those within one row of the lap infants – THOSE poor sods should get two free drinks, minimum.