I am what you call a wandering Bubby. Every other month or so I find myself on an airplane visiting my children’s children. They are still young enough to enjoy the extra attention and praise that I shower on them and that I hope will be another brick in the foundation of their self-esteem. I totally believe that a positive outlook and liking of oneself is crucial in building emotionally-healthy individuals who are able to like and be kind to others. My job as a bubby is to bestow unconditional love – no strings attached. I often tell them they are perfect just the way they are! (Well it is true!)
I know that all the children of Holocaust survivors who were deprived of basking in the warm embrace of a bubby and zaiyde are stunned by just how much we missed out on, our eyes opened now that many of us are grandparents. I told myself that if I lived to see grandchildren and was in good enough health to be part of their lives while they were young and before they outgrew me (busy with friends and after-school activities) that I would do so.
Hence, I find myself on an airplane every few weeks to submerge myself in diaper changing, early-morning feedings (any time before 8:30 a.m. is early) and park excursions (a good workout when you have several toddlers running off in different directions, and are trying to push two swings at the same time while running to the monkey bars to stop a swinging mini-super hero from falling head first onto the ground).
Being a plane person (but not a plain person by any means) I have some ideas as to how airlines can make a flight more user-friendly for its passengers. Of course delays or cancellations due to weather or mechanical problems are not situations airlines can control – but there are several that they can.
I find that an aggravating aspect of plane travel is boarding the plane and actually getting to your seat in a timely manner, and with no bruised heels. I believe there is a more logical and efficient way to board regular passengers. Once families with young children and people who require pre-boarding due to age, health or mobility issues are boarded, it would make sense to board the rest of the passengers in a certain sequence that I think would be more efficient and less of a hassle – especially because many people have carry-on luggage.
I know that many passengers stand in the aisle anxious to get to their seats but they can’t because they have to wait until the passengers ahead of them put their luggage in the overhead bins or seated passengers have to get up from their aisle/middle seat to let the window passenger get to his seat.
This is what I propose: All the passengers with window seats in the last 10 rows or so go on first. When those passengers have put their carry-ons in the overhead compartments and sat down, the next group of window-seaters board until all passengers in window seats are settled in. Then the middle-seat passengers in the back rows should board, followed by the next group closer to the front etc. until all middle-seat passengers are seated. After them, the back rows’ aisle-seat passengers should be called up to board, then the mid-plane aisle passengers and lastly, the front rows aisle-seat passengers.
I can’t say for sure if my idea would work, but to me it makes sense to fill the plane back to front with the window passengers getting to their seats first, followed by the middle-seaters. This would avoid aisle congestion and possibly save some passengers from being hit by luggage as it’s being raised to be put into an overhead bin.