The Mule on the Plane / by vanessa

I'm about to become even more unpopular since everyone knows I hate children (and small people since they just make me nervous).  Did you hear about this story?  It's where the 2 yr. old and his mom were kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight for being annoying.  Difficult as it may be to believe, I'm torn here.  On one hand, one of my least favorite things in the world is a crying baby on an airplane.  As a passenger, you're basically held hostage -- you can't drown out the noise until 10,000 feet, you can't change seats to get away, and it's still illegal to toss a child out the window.  I don't understand why moms don't schedule flights around nap time or put a little Children's Tylenol in the bottle.  Just sayin'.

On the other, there are equally egregious offenses that slide by all the time to a blind eye, e.g. excessive perfume, being smelly in general, talking too much, and grandmas who take my seat.  But since I'm not the sort to complain without thinking up solutions, I'd like to offer a couple of ideas:

  1. Install sound-proof, air-tight containers on planes -- temporary holding cells, if you will -- where criminals passengers can be locked up for the remainder of the flight. 
  2. Give the offending passengers a choice:  Hey, lady, the plane can return to the gate and you can exit, or you can pay reparations to the other passengers.  Seventy-five dollars a head seems a fair bargain.  That's right!  We're the "choice" airline!

I guess lastly, we can all just deal with it, since it's pretty likely that one time or another we're going to be in that situation (or something similar) and a little compassion goes a long way... or so I have to remind myself.  Repeatedly.