After Southwest's recent family boarding testing —which the airline swears up and down is not about separating children from other passengers, but just new ways to board families—many have wondered if a family section is really such a bad idea.
And, believe it or not, it's not just people without kids. Sure, sitting next to a crying baby for hours or getting repeatedly kicked in the back may remind passengers of certain torture devices used in medieval times, but many parents also feel the judgments and angry glances of other passengers are too stressful to handle. A recent Msnbc.com article notes that "730 of the 1,000 travelers who recently took an online survey...thought [airplanes should have a separate section for families]."
Why do so many people feel this way? Traveling with a child is just not easy, because, well, they're children. They don't understand that the entire world isn't a playground. Add endless amounts of energy while being trapped in a small space for hours, and it's a recipe for disaster.
Would a special section catering to all that is parent- and kid-friendly really be such a bad thing? Remember, we've been separating first class and economy for years. You just pay a little more and you get to see what's behind the curtain. Would this really be any different? Probably not, except instead of filet mignon and champagne, passengers would be served animal crackers and apple juice.
It seems unlikely that a separation of the ages is on the horizon just yet, though. For now, we must continue to travel alongside one another, parents and non-parents, in harmony. People must remember that a kid is just being a kid, and it's up to the parents to make everyone's flight more comfortable.