Thoughts on EasyJet’s Speedy Boarding service

When you fly, it’s traditional for two groups of people to board first: people with mobility problems, because they need extra time/assistance to get on the plane; and parents of very young children, so that everybody else can avoid sitting anywhere near them. This is particularly important on evening flights, where the children are up way past their bedtimes and they express their displeasure in the only way they know how: yelling.

In its great wisdom, though, EasyJet has changed the Natural Order Of Things with Speedy Boarding, a service designed for… well, bastards, really. If you pay a couple of quid extra for SB, you board *before* the people with mobility issues and *before* the parents, smiling smugly at them as you breeze past.

If it weren’t for the smug smiles, they’d probably get away with it. But they don’t, because even the most sleep-deprived parent is still capable of remembering a face for ten minutes. So we take a mental note of the smuggest speedy boarders, and when we get on the plane we make a conscious effort to put our overtired, overstimulated, teething babies in the seat immediately behind them.

Of course, not every parent can arrange this. Some of them are further back in the cabin. But they can still play their part. Because the smuggest Speedy Boarders sit right at the front of the plane, guess where the parents of the screamiest babies go to try and rock their little darlings to sleep? Yep!

That SB on your ticket? It stands for Screaming Baby. In your face!

[Tangent: if EasyJet actually dimmed the cabin lights at night and refrained from yelling “BUY THINGS!” messages through the intercom every ten seconds, the babies might actually sleep. But instead, you get a chain reaction: one baby gets furious because it wants to sleep and can’t, and all the other babies get upset by it. Which is shit for the babies, shit for the parents and shit for everybody else on the plane. Nice one, Stelios.]