WASHINGTON, D.C. – In an effort to make flying as unbearable as possible, the Transportation Security Administration is now handing out babies to passengers if there are none already on board.
“To continue our stellar track record of making flying a living hell, we have instituted our new ‘Flybaby’ program,” TSA Deputy Administrator Gail Rossider said at a press conference. “Ensuring an infant is on all flights will help raise the ire of at least one of the passengers. And if that happens then we’re doing our job.”
The new program is being implemented in stages, and a test has been conducted at Ronald Reagan airport in Washington, D.C. If there no are babies scheduled to be on a flight then a TSA representative will be at the gate ready to hand a random passenger a fully-stocked infant. The baby will come with diapers, a pacifier, and a set of basic instructions.
Don Goldfarb of Duluth, MN was leaving Washington after a business trip when he was randomly selected to participate in the pilot program, even though there was already a baby on the flight. “I was boarding the plane and suddenly this woman hands me a baby. She told me it was very important that I take care of it,” Goldfarb said. “The next thing I know we were in the air and the kid wouldn’t stop crying. Everyone was giving me dirty looks. I tried everything to make the baby shut up, like making him watch Two And A Half Men. That made him cry harder,” Goldfarb said.
The rationale behind the program, according to the TSA website, is ultimately the safety of the passengers. A slogan on the website reads, “A crying infant means an awake adult. And an awake adult is a vigilant adult.”
However, not everyone believes the outcome of the program will be successful. Catherine Hannin, of the activist group FlyersRights.Org, thinks the policy is ill-conceived. “This is another example of the government not acting in the peoples’ best interests. Instead of attacking the root problem of airline safety they just address one small concern,” Hannin said. “Besides, this will probably make flying more dangerous. I mean, there are times when a crying toddler makes me want to jump out of the plane.”
Representatives for airlines welcome the new measure after making a deal with the government allowing them to start charging fees for each additional baby on board. “Now we can actually make people pay for bringing babies. It’s wonderful!” exclaimed Albert Simmons, a spokesperson for American Airlines. Under the agreement, TSA babies will not be charged, but all other babies will.
So far, the TSA has not had to hand out any babies, since every single flight seems to already have a couple of toddlers booked.