If you follow the points & miles blogosphere, chances are you’ve seen at least one person (with a bunch of kids) tweet something like “Amex announces they hate your children and also VACCINES CAUSE AUTISM!” (Okay, maybe not that last part.) Apparently to cut down on overcrowding in Centurion lounges, Amex is only going to let you bring in a total of two hangers-on, whether they be your friends or your kids. If you have three kids, you have to leave one sitting by themselves in the terminal with a sign around their neck that says “Not abandoned, just waiting for my parents and the two children whom they love more than me to get back from the Centurion lounge.”
I don’t have kids, nor do I plan to have kids, but I’m not one of those people who bitches about kids incessantly. I get annoyed when some parents (*SOME*) act like they’re doing me some great favor by perpetuating the species. (The planet has enough people, thanks.) I get really annoyed when parents don’t sufficiently plan their travel and expect other people to accommodate them simply because traveling with children is hard. HOWEVER, before you get your pitchforks, I also hate smug childless people who go on and on about how terrible kids are. People who shoot mean glances to parents whose kids are crying deserve their own place in hell. And don’t get me started on whatever intolerant asshole convinced parents that they have to hand out fucking goodie bags before a flight. Basically, 70% of humanity is a piece of shit, and that includes both the parents and the non-parents.
Personally, I don’t mind kids when I travel – I mean, if a little kid is crying and whining on a transatlantic flight, that at least means that the kid is seeing the world and being exposed to other cultures, and I appreciate his or her parents trying to make sure their child doesn’t turn into a xenophobic Trump supporter. That being said, because I have this magnanimous, noble attitude in general, I reserve unbridled disdain for parents whose kids are obviously misbehaving while they tap away at their phones. (And again, before you accuse me of being a child-hater, remember that I made the same claim about people with their emotional support dogs.) The last time I was in the SFO Centurion lounge, there were two separate large families, both of whose kids were running (literally running) around the lounge being loud and annoying. AND THE DESIGNATED FAMILY ROOM WAS GODDAMNED MOTHERFUCKING EMPTY. That gave me an idea: maybe instead of cutting off free access for families, there should be a rule that any group with more than three people needs to stay confined to the family room the entire time. That way, they don’t have to pay fifty bucks to enter the lounge with their kids, but Amex gets to solve its overcrowding problem at the same time.
I’m being snarky in this post deliberately, so I hope the parents out there don’t get too riled up. I realize that traveling with kids is a special kind of difficult, and a confined space like a lounge makes things less stressful, at least until it’s time to stuff the rugrats into a pressurized tube. It sucks that Amex is imposing this change without much notice, and it does seem kind of ridiculous that they’re placing the blame for overcrowding on families. In all honesty, I can’t see this helping all that much, and I personally wouldn’t care if they just cut the guest allowance to one person or immediate family (something that I’m pretty sure would have a more pronounced effect on capacity than kicking out the kids).
Still, the thought of those sugared-up banshees swooping here and there while I tried to get centered before my last flight sticks in my memory, and I’m not going to miss that. #sorrynotsorry