Would You Pay to NOT Sit Near Screaming Kids on Planes?


Speaking of screaming, Jim Cramer of "Mad Money" and I were both appearing on a TV segment devoted to this topic when the King of Shriekers told me that he, too, would pay to get away from noisy kids (he also said he'd pay to avoid sitting near FWI: people who Fly While Sick).

I doubt we'll ever see adults-only flights aside from a charter or two, and that's because so many of us are parents. We may not like hearing other peoples' children screaming, but we've all been there and most of us can sympathize with parents who are desperately trying to calm the kids. As for adults who ignore misbehaving imps, I like to think there's a spot reserved for them on a plane that's been stuck on a tarmac for hours with no air conditioning and overflowing toilets.

OK, so no separate planes, but I do think fee-based separate sections are on the way. And to an extent, these sections are already here, and I don't mean first and business class. Next time you select a seat, take a look at where the priciest ones are: that's right, just behind the upper cabin. The cost makes them unattractive to a lot of families, which may make them extra attractive to serenity seekers.

Yet there are worse things than screaming kids. Sometimes air travel literally stinks, and I'm thinking of the fellow who was tossed off an Air Canada Jazz flight last year because of seatmates' complaints that he was "too smelly." Sitting next to drunks can be even worse. Some have even been known to lunge and snap like dogs at passengers and flight attendants.

Even Ed Hula, who hates the "shriekers" says there are more irritating seatmates, for instance, slobs: "Men in tank tops, women dressed in gym shorts and anybody wearing flip-flops."

So who (or what) is the seatmate of your nightmare?

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