Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
You can imagine the looks.
Actually, I fancy you’ve performed the looks yourself.
You get on a plane. You just want a little peace. You pray for a little space. And then a baby starts crying.
It’s not the first time you’ve ever heard a baby cry. You’d just rather not have a baby cry right here, right now.
So you begin to look over to the parent. And the look says: “Please, dear parent. Not on my flight.”
Usually, tolerance prevails. However, Arielle Noa Charnas says she had a novel experience when her daughter Ruby had something of a bawlfest when they got on a Delta flight in New York.
Posting on Instagram, Charnas said that she and her husband had booked First Class seats, so that they could enjoy a little comfort.
It seems that Ruby didn’t find First Class comfortable at all. She’d never been on a plane before and, as far as she was concerned, First Class-Schmirst Class.
The more experienced First Classers weren’t happy. And being First Classers, they’re unlikely to be classy about their unhappiness either.
“I tried to ignore the people until 10 minutes passed,” said Charnas, “and a flight attendant came over to me and asked me and my baby to move to the back of the plane (as if the people in the back didn’t matter).”
That’s a new one.
It’s unclear whether the plane was half-empty and therefore Charnas and Ruby could have even more space back there — though I somehow doubt it.
Indeed it’s a curious, snobbish logic that says: “Oh, look. If you’re going to annoy someone, go and annoy the plebs. They didn’t pay very much.”
Delta didn’t reply to my cries for elucidation. The airline told People magazine: “We fully support all passengers traveling in the class of service for which they’ve paid.”
Which doesn’t exactly address the notion that some Delta staff might fully support all passengers until high-rollers roll their eyes.
Charnas herself admits that “I don’t know what’s right and wrong when it comes to flying with a baby.”
However, look at the replies to her Instagram post and you’ll think you’re scrolling down your average Donald Trump tweet replies.
“I think youve been treated fairly,” said one. “Clearly you don’t and are probably a selfish person. You want to blame everyone else for your situation. Good job by the stewardess.”
Then there was: “bathroom, luggage compartment under plane, eject button, or give it some NyQuil or spike milk w/brandy to knock em out… where there’s a will there’s a way.”
On the other side were people who had endured similar experiences — but perhaps not all in First Class.
“Children and Moms deserve to have their seat, their place so my thoughts are Delta should step up and society needs to take an attitude check,” said one.
A former First Class flight attendant with Emirates and Qantas offered: “Showing empathy for your situation and trying to be accommodating to your needs would of [sic] been the first class way to have managed this situation.”
There was even a tale from someone who said they’d flown First Class with their baby and actually booked two seats, so that there would be complete comfort. Still, the cabin crew had been rude, even though the child hadn’t even bothered to start crying.
Charnas didn’t give up her seat and Ruby did stop crying and fell asleep during takeoff, never to bother anyone again.
But as flights become increasingly uncomfortable — even First Class isn’t what it used to be on most airlines — reactions to disturbance will increase.
Is it an idea to have some flights that are child-friendly and some that don’t allow kids at all?
What about having kids’ sections on planes that are somehow sound-proofed from the rest of the plane?
Oh, what am I saying? Such things would cost the airlines money.