While I partly understand where you are coming from, I also think you miss the irony in what you say and how you completely corroborate what I previously posted. You say that the child doesn't actually need to travel (and depersonify the child by referring to the child as "it") when you completely overlook the fact that these "people" (presumably differentiated from children, not people) who are on an "already uncomfortable journey" also don't actually need to holiday so far away if they can't hack a) the discomfort of a plane and b) coexisting with others in a social environment!
What you suggest, even if playing devil's advocate, is shockingly discriminatory. You are first assuming that all children will be little terrors and therefore grouping all those little muskrats into one category with their parents, the evil spawners who had the audacity to think that they
have the right to determine where their children go with them, rather than total strangers. Therefore parents with a perfectly well-behaved child should be sent to airplane purgatory, where they will be punished with all the seat-kicking those little impish beings will inevitably dole out, for being brazen enough to set foot on a plane with their child. (Who, by the way, are not all necessarily traveling for holiday purposes.)
More to the point, though, this is encouraging mandatory segregation of different social groups, based on the prioritization of one group over another, by saying that certain people should not have the same right to inhabit a particular public space as others. Assuming that single adult Western holidaymakers’ rights trump those of children's or other adults who happen to be parents demonstrates a real arrogance on the part of independent travelers....an arrogance of this type is one that most travelers on this site would probably be loathe to demonstrate in the third world where they would be viewed as culturally insensitive and probably racist and imperialistic (for example, would you suggest that women with children in Mali not be allowed on the same sardine-packed 10 hour minibus ride as you?), but we seem to deem it acceptable in the confines of our "own" society (which is arguable anyway if you are on a long-haul flight transversing the globe).
Yesterday I went into the card shop and a mentally retarded man came in and was singing a Backstreet Boys at the top of his lungs the entire time and unfortunately didn't have much of a talent for pitch. However, it really wouldn't be appropriate for me to suggest that he be kept away from the public sphere so as not to cause an uncomfortable shopping experience for me, to segregate him from the social atmospheres that we "normal" people inhabit. Neither does it seem appropriate for me to bemoan someone in a wheelchair getting on an already crowded city bus which is just going to diminish the standing space even more, even if it impacts my discomfort. Yet you seem to say we should apparently not have any extra understanding for people in different developmental stages than ourselves, like the disabled
What is really boils down to here is that whatever the travel offense -- a loud snorer, a chronic bathroom goer, or my personal pet peeve, the guy with a cold who ends up not only negatively impacting your 12 hour journey but your health for a week afterward (none of which, by the way, would be tackled and cuffed by an air marshal but can be just as annoying as a seat kicker) -- the complainer must really ask himself one thing. Who is the problem here, everybody else that I can't seem to deal with, or me? It is society that creates the "problems" of the child, the disabled, the racial inferior, etc. that one doesn't want to sit near, it is a socially constructed individual view that certain “problem” groups’ rights to mobility should be subjugated to the comfort needs of “normal” groups, and it is a uniquely societal view that an answer to these "problems" is segregation or medicalization.
(By the way that is a huge can of worms to open as well, as you will find many even in the West who are staunchly opposed to medicalizing children just to make adults more comfortable in their little adult world and to "ease" the job of parenting. I'm not convinced that putting drugs into a child would be for the child's
best interest, but what you would do with your kids is your choice.)
I've had many an uncomfortable flight, and many an awkward, anger-inducing, and downright horrible travel experience as well....but at the end of the day, this is life, with all its fascinating and desirable aspects come the less comfortable and irritating aspects too. If you (not you personally Ali, but the proverbial plural 'you') are unhappy about it and can't find a way to change your own perceptions of the "problem" perhaps it is a sign to either a) find a different mode of travel yourself, like hiring a private charter so you don't have to deal with all those undesirable people mucking up your
social world, or to b) stop traveling!
Happiness mainly comes from our own attitude, rather than from external factors. If your own mental attitude is correct, even if you remain in a hostile atmosphere, you feel happy. -- The Dalai Lama
If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment. -- Marcus Aurelius