Thursday, November 23, 2006

Bizarro Airlines are seemingly becoming the norm...

...when it comes to such things as how they try to label threats on their aircraft. You might guess that I am talking about the recent removal of a few male Muslims from a flight in the U.S. because they stood up to pray and disrupted the flight. No, that is not to which I refer; and as a matter of fact, that may have been justified no matter what the basis of their standing if their doing so caused a disturbance in the mind of reasonable folks.

What I am writing about here is another thing altogether. It is a right thing being done in the wrong way for the wrong reasons. The right thing is that the airlines are attempting to protect passengers who are children from harm. The wrong way that it is being done is that the airlines are being discriminatory based upon gender. The wrong reasons it is being done, are probably that the airlines have gone Bizarro in their interpretation of what poses a threat to a child.

If you have no clue yet as to exactly what I am writing about, then see this article: Segregating Children From Men at It seems some airlines are asking adult male passengers to change their seats when said male passenger is seated next to a child. Why are they asking? Well it is because the airlines believe that the male passengers are a threat to the children, a danger to them. No other reason, other than the adult being male, is needed for some airlines to ask you to change your seat.

Could you imagine the embarrassment you would suffer if you were on an aircraft, flying along, the fasten seat belt sign goes off, and suddenly the stewardess (no I did not say flight attendant because if they are doing this they are in essence being stewards and stewardesses not attendants) comes over to you, in front of anyone else on the aircraft who can see you, and then asks, then asks more forcefully for you to change seats to protect the welfare of the child next to whom you are seated? This would be okay if there was some justified suspicion that you may have attempted to disturb the child, but this is being done simply because it is a male passenger seated next to the child.

Imagine for a moment that a European American (white) was asked to change his seat in order to protect an African American (black)because the airline believed whites posed a threat to blacks. Imagine that one switched around. The black community would be up in arms. Doubt it, then you are not a realist, not at all. I would not blame them either. So why is this not like the praying in the aisles, because the praying is not normal in the confined spaces of an aircraft when it requires one to stand, chant or pray out loud and bow; that could easily be seen as odd behavior. If a Christian did that in Mecca aboard and aircraft, he would no doubt be arrested.

I digress though, the issue is moving passengers away from children because of the passenger's gender. This is ridiculous. As a point of fact, the article points out that at least one passenger was asked to change his seat in order to protect the children next to whom he was seated. That passenger then had to explain to the arse hat steward(ess) that those same children were his own children. Yes the airlines are living in Bizarro world.

I see a simple solution to this. Any male passenger who is asked to change his seat should tell the airline no. If the airline insists, or goes as far as to remove the passenger from the plane, then that person should sue the airlines. I would, and I am not the suing type. As a matter of fact, a class action lawsuit, brought on the behalf of all male passengers on the airlines using this policy would be a big money maker for the attorneys who brought such to court. Come on you lawyers, don't you already smell the blood in the water.

In addition the passenger asked to give up his or her seat should request that the airline inconvenience the child. Furthermore the passenger should insist that the steward(ess) get on the PA system on the aircraft and state this is airline policy and not anything indicative of any wrong doing by the passenger. This would of course only help to fuel the lawsuit, but so to would not making such an announcement and leaving it to the passengers imaginations. The statement about this policy should be made before anyone is actually asked to change seats, hopefully avoiding the embarrassment that will no doubt accompany such an absurd request; but at least it will be stated as policy beforehand.

There is of course, another way to solve this even if the airlines insist on such a ridiculous policy to 'protect' children. The airline should make certain to seat children only with their parents, or next to women. Hmm, I sure would not want my little boy seated next to one of those hot as all heck school marms who molest little boys, no matter what my 16 year old son thought about it. See how ridiculous this gets. Sure women are sexual predators too, probably in greater numbers than we can imagine.

The truth is the inside of a passenger airplane is a densely populated small space. Steward(esse)s walk the aisles routinely. Other passengers peer about. It is not likely a sexual predator would take action on a flight. No I am not saying it is impossible, of course it is possible, but let's be reasonable here, it is unlikely - and it is even more unlikely that your average male passenger would offend in such a manner. So, as I see it, and as I hope you see it, this policy is just plain foolish, ridiculous, and a product of Bizarro world. Let your airlines know what you think about it.

Happy Thanksgiving...

...and I mean that with all my heart to each and everyone of you other American Citizens and legal American residents - this is afterall a truly American (as in country not as in continent) holiday that can be celebrated by those Americans of every conceivable background..

Special wishes go out to all of those who proudly serve our nation in the U.S. military, they are very special indeed, and they do us a service that requires thanks every day not just today. I wish you all a peaceful day, and if that comes true, what better thing than for which to give thanks.

Best regards,
Glenn B