You can't bring a four ounce bottle of sun tan lotion on a plane, but you can bring a 12-pound screaming poop machine. Most of the time, that's fine. On the redeye, it should be a felony.
Crying babies on planes are the bane of pretty much every flyer's existence, and that includes the people that brought it. They know that a crying baby makes people on the plane upset, which makes it a stressful experience for all involved.
Babies need to travel, too, so in most cases during a daytime flight I say it's just a necessary part of life and while a crying baby is an inconvenience, it can easily be ignored and forgotten.
Then there's the overnight flight, aka, the redeye. This is the one flight where 100 percent of people will be sleeping or trying to sleep. Babies have a reputation for sleeping deeply and quietly through the night in the same way that Michael Vick has a reputation as a fierce defender of animal rights.
Let's set the scene, which is definitely not based on a true story that occurred yesterday. You have to take the redeye, which already pisses you off. So you go to the airport bar, eat a plate of pasta that costs you approximately $53, and then go sit at the gate regretting your existence. A man sits down in front of you. He smells like BO and rail vodka. That's when you assume that's who you're sitting next to on the plane and you get upset.
But then you see the cutest little baby with its hipster parents. It's quiet, actually already dozing, and everyone is cooing like it's the first baby ever. And when you board the plane, right after taking your sleeping pills, you realize the baby is behind you. And now it's crying. And crying. And yelling. And kicking. And probably shitting.
So to calm it down, the parents talk to it, bounce it up and down, dangle keys, give it toys. Basically anything to shut it up. But all it does is shake the seats nearby, and that's something headphones can't block. A lot of the people on the redeye are taking it because they have a long day of work ahead. Why should they be punished further?
And what about the parents? They're not only keeping the people on the flight up, they're punishing themselves. That makes all parents who bring crying kids onto an overnight flight sadomasochists. But you say you'll be tired if you take a daytime flight? Well, staying up all night caring for a little crier won't make you any less tired, will it?
If you notice that "hey, my kid doesn't sleep through the night very well," elect to make different plans that aren't during the night, when y'know, your kid doesn't sleep. A plane isn't going to be a magical sleeping chamber. If anything, a plane will make it way, way worse.
But some people are too stupid or selfish to realize they're inconveniencing others and will make that reservation anyway (of course, I'm not a monster, there are some extenuating circumstances). This is where the airlines need to step in to protect the majority of their passengers, even if it means pissing off a select few.
Airlines make all sorts of stupid regulations and charges in order to make themselves more money and generally annoy the people traveling on their planes. We pay $50 to check a bag and $10 for a bag of chips, and then we also have to deal with a child crying and yelling for the entire night. The first airline that says children under two cannot travel on a redeye flight will have me as a customer for life. Imagine, instead of getting kicked in the seat, all you get is some rest before you land. And even though you won't be getting enough sleep to be truly refreshed, at least you'll have more than none. And you won't have a baby's cries echoing in your head all day.
United, are you listening? Because I'm running on coffee and pure, unadulterated anger right now. And this is not a good look for me. Or anyone.
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