Saturday, February 9, 2013

Flying Home -- Children on the Airplane


Before boarding my flight to Minneapolis form Anchorage, I was concerned about the family with two small children in the waiting area. The children were screamers. Not just your average run of the mill unhappy children, but first class, top of their lungs screamers.

Their ability to create tension once on the plane was unsurpassed. The small children screamed so loud above the volume of the music in my earphones that often I could not hear the song. Who knew kids could scream with such intensity for so many hours.  I was numb and trapped in the airplane at 39,000 feet.

I don't know whether I felt worse for the parents or the other 200 plus passengers on the flight. And one kid was a toddler. It was a five hour flight. I actually was trying to determine how much hearing loss would occur if I turned up the Billy Joel music I was listening to in order to effectively mask the noise.

The only one relaxing on the flight was Sweetie, the golden lab working dog seated behind me. She didn't seem to mind the noise. I couldn't even read my book or think of anything other than getting off the plane and hoping that they were not heading to Baltimore. Which, thankfully, they were not.

I tried playing solitaire on my iPad, what a disaster, I couldn't even think about the cards.

Maybe if the airline had offered free alcohol I could have overcome the noise. Or shared it with the parents. Suffice it to say, it was the longest five hour flight I have ever taken and those kids set a record for the number of hours they agitated over 200 other people who were trapped in the aircraft with them.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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