Thursday, December 27, 2007

Southwest Airlines: go ahead and change your baby on the toilet lid

Normally I'm a pretty big fan of the Southwest Airlines. They have funny flight attendants and the prices generally can't be beat. I've flown them countless times over the last five or so years. This Christmas was no different.

Last night as my wife and son flew back from Oregon my son did something very characteristic of himself: he pooped. While this isn't a good thing, it's a normal thing. We dealt with it on the way over (or, I should say, my wife did). However, on the return flight it was my turn. My wife informed me that there was a changing table in the "forward lavatory". So I picked up my very cute, but reeking son and made my way to the front.

When I peeked into the lavatory there wasn't a changing table. I asked the flight attendant who was dutifully doing whatever it is flight attendants do when they aren't distributing beverages and crackers, if the changing table was in the rear lavatory.


A bit surprised, I asked where I should change him, thinking I might be able to do it on the floor in front of the door we boarded through - inconvenient, but roomy. She told me to do it on the toilet lid.

Now, I'm 6'4" and moving around in those little bathrooms is fairly uncomfortable. But when you're trying to balance a 28-inch wiggling baby boy on a dirty toilet in a moving can imagine.

I must have given her a "look" because she said, "I can give you a garbage bag to put down if you want."

You're too kind.

I took her little garbage bag and made my way into the lavatory. The short version is that Jake was screaming, his legs hanging off one end of the toilet and his head and hands touching the disgusting backdrop behind the toilet. I wish I'd been able to take a picture because I'm pretty sure it hadn't been cleaned recently as it appeared there was something (I'm trying not to think about) that had splashed up behind the toilet and run down the backdrop.

The backdrop my seven month-old son's head and hands were touching.

Needless to say, I'm quite disappointed with Southwest's lack of consideration for parents and I feel much worse for those who have kids older (and taller) than my son who need to change diapers on their flight.

Photo courtesy of here.