Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Amy Alkon on Negative Externalities of Breeding

Pamela Root got [a] free flight and [a $300 travel] voucher, plus an apology from Southwest, after her 2-year-old kept screaming ["Go, plane, go!" and "I want Daddy! I want Daddy!"] at the top of his little lungs as their San Jose-bound flight was about to take off. In fact, little Adam reportedly screamed so loudly that the safety announcements couldn't be heard and the pilot turned the plane back to the gate in Amarillo, Texas, where the two were booted off.

. . . Unbelievably, Root demanded the apology she eventually got from the airline (shame, shame, Southwest) and hit it up for the cost of diapers and the portable crib she says she had to buy for the overnight stay. Even more unbelievably, there's still no word of any apology from Root to the other passengers.

There is a notion, reflected in numerous blog comments about the incident, that other passengers should "just deal" and "give a kid a break." This notion is wrong. Parents like Root and others who selfishly force the rest of us to pay the cost of their choices in life aren't just bothering us; they're stealing from us. Most people don't see it this way, because what they're stealing isn't a thing we can grab on to, like a wallet. They're stealing our attention, our time and our peace of mind.

From "Screaming kids and airplanes: Mayday! Mayday!" in the Los Angeles Times, November 24, 2009.

Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. I hope you don't have to fly anywhere for the holidays. You've reminded me how thankful I am to my insurance company for covering Essure. I think I can have it done for $5.

    I hope this day of optimism bias celebration amidst a graveyard of turkey carcasses is not entirely unenjoyable for you!

  2. Both parents and homeowners seem to be viewed as admirable people that the rest of society should be happy to subsidize.

  3. Curator/Sister Y,
    Are you still alive?
    - a fan

  4. I am entirely alive. For good or ill.

    Didn't realize I had fans. I should send out autographed pictures.

  5. Hi.
    Jack here.
    Is this a logic puzzle?


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