I have an idea for a business. The market is specifically women who fly alone with their kids. For a small fee, a man between the ages of 25 and 40 will pretend to be your kids dad and take them from the car, all the way to your gate. Meanwhile, stroll through the airport at your own leisure, enjoy a cup of coffee, or just go to the bathroom in peace. You just show up minutes before boarding your flight.
I know it’ll be a success, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned from flying with little kids is that men get treated like royalty and women get treated like shit.
When my kids were little and I flew alone with them, I was treated like father of the year. Complete strangers would commit acts of total selflessness. I had a guy give up an entire row to himself so my kids and I could sit together.
TSA agents are the best. When going through security, it’s always, “Oh honey, you take all the time you need”, and “don’t worry about taking off your belt and shoes.”
On the plane, the staff couldn’t be any nicer. When my son was 18 months old, we took a red eye to Chicago. He was wide awake, and I was totally exhausted. The flight attendant said, “you get some rest, I’ll take care of this little guy.” Flying as a father is amazing!
When my wife flew alone with the kids, people didn’t even make eye contact. If someone had an empty row and saw her coming down the aisle, they’d put their laptop on one seat and shoes on the other, then look out the window until she passed.
If she asked for help in the security line, the TSA agents would say, “You should have thought of that when you had those kids.”
Pre-boarding was the worst. They’d let anyone in that line – people with giant stuffed animals, sixty-something triathletes with cartons of wine. But when she got in line with a toddler and a 6 year old, they would be sticklers for the rules. “Ma’am, your son is too old for this line. He can go in the regular line, but not this one.”