Airline CEO: No babies allowed in first class

Dad Days of Summer: While Momania’s Theresa Walsh Giarrusso takes a vacation, local dad and sportswriter Andy Johnston will be filling in. You can e-mail him at ajcmomania@gmail.com.

I read the other day that Malaysia Airlines, which has banned kids from first class on its 747s since 2004, will not allow them to sit in the pricey seats when its Airbus A380s are introduced next year.

According to a New York Times blog, CEO Tengku Azmil said the decision was based on the complaints from passengers and having no room for changing tables in the bathrooms in first class.

Having kids in first class is an extremely touchy issue for flyers who prefer that area be reserved for adults, or at least older children, who would enjoy the comfy seats, extra space and other luxuries. We’ve flown with Ty several times since he was 2 months old, and I couldn’t imagine him sitting in first class on a couple of those trips, even though he’s an excellent flier, for the most part.

When he was younger, we tried to sit as far away from other passengers as possible for two reasons:

  1. To give us more room
  2. In case of some unruliness, to have a buffer between us and our fellow passengers

And I couldn’t imagine spending the big bucks for a first-class ticket for a toddler.

An MSNBC article from two years ago sourced the results from a couple of surveys that supported keeping children out of first class.

An overwhelming majority of air travelers to a recent survey by Skytrax — 9 in 10 respondents — said families with children should be seated in a separate section on flights, presumably not in first class.

Another poll by corporate travel agency Carlson Wagonlit found that business travelers, who are most frequently found in the business- and first-class cabins, believe crying babies are the second-most annoying aspect of air travel. The first? Air travelers who carry too much luggage on board.

If people can afford it, they should be able to buy first-class tickets for their kids. But before clicking on the confirm button, hopefully they would employ some sort of common sense and realize if it’s truly the right decision.

Should babies and toddlers be banned from first class on all airlines?

Do you think airlines should have family-only sections on planes?

Do you have any kids-related horror stories from your first-class flights?

- By Andy Johnston, for the Momania blog

140 comments Add your comment

fred

July 5th, 2011
12:53 am

I dont want to even be on a plane much less next to one in first class

Travel Mom

July 5th, 2011
4:27 am

I flew first class with my sone when he was about 6 months old. He had his own paid for seat for his car seat because I do not belive in LAP BABIES on the plane. A business flyer wanted them to “bump” us and the flight attendant said that we had paid for that seat and she wasn’r going to make me hold the baby.

He slept the whole time. It was an expensive nap but I would do it again in a heart beat.

ptcitychick

July 5th, 2011
6:34 am

I DO have a horror story re: babies in first class. I was travelling to London in business elite (Delta’s international first class) and a couple with an 18 mo. old baby sat behind me. The baby was cranky from the get-go so I knew it would be bad. The child cried and pitched a fit the entire way to London (in the middle of the night). The flight attendant asked the dad to walk the baby to quiet him, but the dad said that “no” he didn’t want to. The flight attendant proceeded to tell him that “yes” he was going to walk the child because we all (in first class) needed a break. You think? Even my noise cancelling headphones didn’t help! There needs to be a family zone on the airplane, and not in first class.

shaggy

July 5th, 2011
6:42 am

One vote here for a “family only” section, with a partition of some kind. It is such a pain to sit near a screaming child.
What is worse, are the parents that won’t control their older kids and have that vacant smile that says, “you should be honored to watch after little Timmy, while I watch the movie.” I throw peanuts at these numbskulls and whisper to little Timmy that the plane is crashing and were all gonna die.

flyer

July 5th, 2011
6:44 am

Wealthy people and business travelers don’t need to be shielded from crying babies any more than the rest of us. Malaysia Airlines can do what they want, but first a class tickets doesn”t buy silence. This is American and the rich are not royalty. Let em deal with it like us lower class folk in the back.

Anne

July 5th, 2011
7:14 am

Maybe Disney could come up with an airline where only families could fly and then all the screaming children and parents can be on one flight and have to deal with the chaos. The other lines could be adult only or have a minimum age limit to fly (12) and if the kid becomes unruly just throw them out.

Michael

July 5th, 2011
7:25 am

I don’t mind crying, it’s the incessant, inane talking I hate. Those moms need to shut up.

Aquagirl

July 5th, 2011
7:36 am

Flaming posts from angry, entitled parents in 3…2…1…

Mitzymy

July 5th, 2011
7:42 am

One year we took our children to Disney World in Florida, and we flew the DisneyWorld express (2 hrs) with a plane filled with children and their parents. My granddaughter was even allowed in the cockpit and sat on the female pilots lap, while we took pictures. Before the plane took off the children were as noisy as they could be, but it was exciting. When the plane left the airport they all went to sleep, including the babies The babies ears are affected sometimes when they fly, and the pain they feel is why they cry and cannot be controlled.

Producer

July 5th, 2011
7:44 am

What ever happened to the saying that “children should be seen and not heard…” Dang right they should be nowhere near first class. It’s bad enough to be near the squalling, unruly brats in restaurants, let alone an airplane! Oh, and I’m talking about the parents, too.

BlondeHoney

July 5th, 2011
7:54 am

Flew from Seattle to Atlanta non-stop on a red-eye next to a crying squirming toddler the entire flight. No sleep to be had on that flight, needless to say. I never stepped on a plane with my boys until they were old enough to not annoy anyone else on the plane so I’m all for a kid’s section.

Beck

July 5th, 2011
7:56 am

Amen Anne!

I love that quote from an AJC Food 101 article several months ago: Hostess: “Will that be smoking or non?” Patron: “How about child free?”

Animal

July 5th, 2011
8:15 am

One first class trip I flew had a couple with a lap top baby in the last row of first. There were screams, tears etc fror much of the last part of the flight despite the best efforts of the parents. While waiting to for the plane door to open, I noticed them sheepishly avoiding eye contact with anyone else in the first class cabin. When I caught the dad’s eye, I simply said, “I’ve been there before” with a smile. Just about everyone else chimed in with similar comments, an the family deplaned with their heads held high. The first class cabin that day was composed of far more adults than that have posted here.

Tiffany

July 5th, 2011
8:19 am

I would never waste the money on first class for a toddler/child. I have flown with both of my children since they were babies – at least once a year. I always try to sit in the back of the plane. I bring PLENTY of snacks/entertainment/distractions. I do not board until the very END (never during that pre-board time period)!!! I see people’s look of fear as we board sometimes. I have also had people comment on how good they were during the flight. I correct any misbehavior immediately and have even explained we won’t get to stay at our destination if they bother people on the plane. I would not want to be stuck in a “family” section with some people – just because my kids are 9 and 6. That’s a HUGE part of why we homeschool! …that and the opportunity to travel – often on a plane!

The dad in first class who wouldn’t walk the baby on the overnight flight was wrong to a degree that can not be defined. I would have bent over backwards not to bother others on the flight.

Entitled Kids

July 5th, 2011
8:23 am

I upgraded my family’s tix to first class when they flew cross country to meet me. My son was 5 and my daughter was 9 months at the time but since it was only my husband, I wanted him to have the extra room for dealing with two kids. We already knew my son was a good flier( he’s done trans-atlantic flights no problem) but hubby was prepared to walk our daughter if need be. And yes, he got death glares as soon as he sat down but both kids were quiet and were complimented by other passengers at the end of the flight. It all boils down to parents knowing what their kids can handle and taking responsibility for their behavior. We also booked that flight in the evening to ensure the kids would sleep.

BlondeHoney

July 5th, 2011
8:31 am

Also agree totally that it’s not so much the kids as it is the parents who make no effort to soothe/amuse their children; they give all flying babies everywhere a bad name. A family section is a good compromise; maybe the good parents can exert peer pressure on the not-so-good ones.

Lori

July 5th, 2011
8:33 am

If I pay for a first class seat, then my child has just as much right to it as anyone else. All this talk about “family sections”, really grumpy people just need to get over it. Sometime you have to fly and sometimes that includes with kids/infants. I’ll try my best to keep my child occupied so as not to disrupt other passengers, but honestly, I’ve been more annoyed by the other ADULTS flying than by any kids I’ve encountered on planes. Adults get drunk, can be loud, snore on you while they sleep, block you way when you need to use the restroom & are rude to the flight attendants.

Andiamo

July 5th, 2011
8:34 am

Both of my toddlers have racked up frequent flyer miles well into the five digits (what happens when one has family scattered about the globe). I’ve flown with them in business class and in coach, and the rare meltdowns they’ve had have been in the coach section, not first class.

If the parents are absolutely trying their darnedest to settle a fussy child, give them a break. They know how stressful it is for everybody else around them and the huffy sighs, rolled eyes, and snotty remarks are only dogpiling folks who are already in a rough situation and doing their best to make it better. Now if the parents are utterly ignoring their offspring’s behavior, feel free to make it very clear that they’re creating a problem for people around them.

And to the sanctimonious pearl-clutchers who wouldn’t have dreamt of flying with a small child — it must be so nice to have all your friends and family within easy driving distance!

Fred

July 5th, 2011
8:47 am

While no one rally wants to sit next to a crying baby the whole trip, I’ve been near adults who were much more of a problem than any baby! :(

Sid

July 5th, 2011
8:54 am

I still don’t think they should be there but I’ve done a pretty big 180 otherwise since we’ve had our kids (now 8 & 6). before we had them my blood pressure would spike whenever I heard a screamer in 1st (or even coach), at a nice restaurant, etc but now when I hear one I think “YEAH! it’s not MINE!”…

The Big Bopper

July 5th, 2011
9:07 am

“If I pay for a first class seat, then my child has just as much right to it as anyone else.”

Sense of entitlement recognized and noted.

Black and White Smiley Faces ☺☻

July 5th, 2011
9:14 am

Wealthy people and business travelers don’t need to be shielded from crying babies any more than the rest of us.

Your wealth-envy is starting to show; not just “wealthy people and business travelers” use first class. People don’t “need” to be “shielded” however it is reasonable and prudent to avoid travelers having to suffer the noisy & distractions an unruly child can create. In a confined, small space the effects are even more difficult since the passengers are captive.

The whole point of the first class seating is a more relaxing, pleasant ride. Allowing cantankerous children into first class defeats the purpose of it.

If people can afford it, they should be able to buy first-class tickets for their kids

Strictly being able to afford the tickets does not justify causing great inconvenience to other passengers.

There seems to be a great lack of tact and consideration for others in some of these posts.

This one of the reasons people fear traveling near children. Parents who simply do not care about the stress & grief they cause others simply “because they could afford the ticket it was their right to..”

I speak from personal experience during travel, as well.

Name (required)

July 5th, 2011
9:23 am

I’d rather sit next to a screaming baby that takes up 1/4th of the seat than the fat guy I had to sit next to from BOS to ATL that spilled over into my seat and was sweaty the WHOLE flight. I couldn’t even sit straight up and had to lean out into the aisle, getting pounded by drink carts no less than 4 times. Airlines need to make fat people buy 2 seats before they designate “family” zones.

justmy2cents

July 5th, 2011
9:24 am

Airlines can choose to restrict children from first class/business class, and families can choose to fly or not fly the airline. Mine are long past the days of toddler meltdowns, but I recently flew to Boston and had a fussy toddler one row up from me. It didn’t help we were stuck on the tarmac for over an hour. By the time we made it to Boston, that child was DONE. All out tantrum, and I can’t say I blamed him. :o)

An easier solution (although probably not cost effective for airlines) is to section off about 1 row, and enclose it with soundproofing material. When any child, or adult, has their meltdown, put them in there so it does not disturb the rest of the passengers.

Spacey

July 5th, 2011
9:36 am

I cannot imagine wasting the money on First Class for a small child. It never occurred to me that someone would.
We are about to take our first flight this fall with a almost 3 year old and an 18 month old. Flight is about 2 hours, 15 minutes. Any suggestions???

motherjanegoose

July 5th, 2011
9:41 am

Love this topic. I read about it last week and discussed it with my husband.

I fly quite a bit…about 25 trips per year. I have never paid for a 1st class ticket but have been upgraded quite a bit. I have noticed that manners, in general, are NOT the same as they used to be.

I recently spoke to a gate agent ( after someone just chewed her out) and she told me, ” I used to work in baggage and wanted to move up. They told me I would be sorry. Bags do not argue with you.” She is right. I cannot imagine dealing with angry people at the gate or in the plane.

More people are flying now than 20 years ago. More people eat out at nicer restaurants too.
The expectations of what children’s behavior should be in both places are missing IMHO. Some grown ups show up in pajama pants and bed hair…WHAT?

I LOVE children. I do not care for unruly children. There are times when crankiness happens in everyone. There are parents who do their best to diffuse it and parents who do nothing.
Sadly, the latter seem to be multiplying. You used to find them at Wal Mart but now they are able to snag a $79 r/t ticket!

WHY pay for a 1st class ticket, to sleep on a long flight or even get some important work done if you
will not be able to do so. Moving small children to coach seems to increase the odds of a productive flight, especially if it is international. If you are planning to meet a client and seal a deal but look like death, that will be a problem. WHAT should those who pay a premium price DO to prepare? ( again, I have NOT paid that price). Are those with the boistrous children even thinking of this?

I applaud all parents who bring a goody bag of entertainment along for their children. Not many do this. We used to bring snacks , books and little toys and actively engage our children the entire flight….unless they were sleeping. We NEVER expected others to adore them while we read our own book. We prepared our kids for the flight.

@BlondeHoney…loved your idea @ 8:31. @Tiffany…thank you!

jarvis

July 5th, 2011
9:42 am

It’s their company, they can do what they want. As a consumer if you don’t like their policy, don’t fly with them.

@Flyer, people pay a premium to a private company for those seats for comfort. It’s not a public bus, if the service provider says that purchasing first class seats on THEIR planes also purchases silence, then it does.

motherjanegoose

July 5th, 2011
9:48 am

Children are NOT adults. Some adults are not adults. Why is it that some people think that they will behave like adults, if they pay the price to BE in an adult environment? This, I do not know!
Do people take children to the opera or business meetinngs?

DB

July 5th, 2011
10:26 am

I’m sure that the Malaysia airline’s decision will be greeted with (quiet) sighs of relief by first class travelers the world over! It’s their call, and they obviously believe that they have found a niche to exploit for business travelers. “Do I pay $50 extra for the Malaysia first class and get guaranteed peace and quiet, or do I save some money and take my chances on Quantas?” I’ve done both — flown in first class with a perfectly behaved baby (wider seats meant more wiggle room for the child without bothering anyone around us), and flown in coach with small children.

I’d rather sit next to a child any day instead of a grossly overweight adult who spends the entire flight with their elbow planted in my side. I sat next to a young woman with a delightful 3 year old in coach on the way back from San Diego last month. He was so excited, and everything on the plane was new and exciting — it was fun to see someone enjoying the experience so completely! He was excited and chirpy for about 45 minutes, but the mom had come prepared, and kept up a steady supply of small snacks and toys coming out of her bag, including a child-appropriate movie on a small hand-held viewer. Before we took off, she was visibly apprehensive as she approached her seat (I was already seated), but relaxed when I smiled at her and greeted the little boy in a friendly manner. You could tell she was dreading sitting next to a cranky old fart who might glare at her for five hours. :-)

I don’t think that children, per se, should be relegated to the “back of the bus” just because of their age, because honestly, I think there are far more well-behaved kids than there are badly-behaved ones. And goodness knows, there are plenty of adults I’d prefer to avoid at all costs! The sick ones that don’t know what to do with their kleenex (hint — stuffing used ones in the seat pocket is NOT acceptable), those who would need a calendar to recall their last bath, etc., etc.

You don’t have a “right” of privacy and peace on a public airline, sorry, any more so than you do in any public venue. You fly first class for the bigger seats, the free drinks and the service. You don’t fly because it is “quiet,” — and if you do, your expectations are too lofty. Charter a Gulfstream if your privacy and quiet are that important to you. Some children are badly behaved on a plane, which is unfortunate, but they are small, and they aren’t finished yet – they are off their schedule and out of their comfort zone, and some people (littles and bigs) don’t handle change well. Anyone who has had kids can look/see a child who is melting down on a plane and think, “there but for the grace of God go I.” It’s not always bad parenting. On one trip, I was chatting with a dad who had his hands full with two kid, probably about 5 and 7. Dad was desperate and asked me to keep an eye on the kids while he ran to the restroom – I did, and the kids were fine. Dad came back, and the whining started up again. He sighed and then told me that he was flying back from his mother-in-law’s funeral and was taking the kids back home and his wife was staying behind to help for a few days. The kids had been through a rough week, with their grandmother sick, dying and the funeral preparations. I guess the lesson is: Don’t assume all parents of cranky kids are bad parents. Sometimes, they are just having a rotten day. Be kind.

nokidsrequired

July 5th, 2011
10:31 am

I don’t have kids, because I’m one of the few people who don’t think kids are necessary in order to have a happy, fulfilled life. Having said that, I don’t think kids should be allowed in public with the exception of going to school until they are about 12. You know the saying: one bad apple spoils the bunch? While there may be good parents out there, there are more bad ones who don’t give a crap about the screaming, tantrums, and just don’t have the ability to control them. You see them everywhere…. the grocery store, restaurants, planes, stores…. I once grabbed a child by the arm in Target who was chasing his sister around the clothing section. I looked him square in the face and told him “STOP RUNNING”. The best part? No parents anywhere around. He looked at me like I had slapped him. Stores are not playground babysitters. If you want more people to be child tolerant, ALL PARENTS have to step up to the plate, and that’s simply just not going to happen, so you have to expect there will continue to be people who can’t stand to be around kids. When I pay for a seat on a plane, regardless of the class, I’m not paying to hear your screaming kid on a 10 hour international flight!

MomsRule

July 5th, 2011
10:34 am

@ The Big Bopper —- “If I pay for a first class seat, then my child has just as much right to it as anyone else.” —- Sense of entitlement recognized and noted.

While I didn’t make the intitial commment, I do agree with it. If I pay for first class seats for my kids (and I have many times) — they ARE entitled to them. What’s your point?

I agree with others – most often it is adults that I find more annoying than babies.

Aquagirl

July 5th, 2011
10:46 am

While I didn’t make the intitial commment, I do agree with it. If I pay for first class seats for my kids (and I have many times) — they ARE entitled to them. What’s your point?

Oh, you’re entitled. Like fat people are entitled to have their flesh overflowing into your seat area, rather than pay for enough space for their own body. Or cologne-addicts are entitled to wear a half-ounce of eau de cheapo to “refresh” the entire plane. Entitled people are self-centered. That’s the point. If it doesn’t bother you to feel entitled to whatever you want, and to h3ll with everyone else, then at least you’re willing to own that.

And let’s not pretend this is about children, it’s about entitled ADULTS who want to sit in first class. The kids are merely little accessories for the entitled adult and along for the ride, so to speak.

DB

July 5th, 2011
10:51 am

@nokidsrequired: If you are so adamantly against the concept of children, may I ask, then, why you are on a blog that is devoted to children and parenting issues and tossing out a deliberately inflammatory comment that denotes some odd sense of superiority for not choosing to deal with the messy, sticky things that are children?

Given today’s legal climate, you were lucky you weren’t arrested for child molestation for grabbing that child’s arm. Kids get mixed message — “don’t talk to strangers”, “stranger danger”, etc., and having a strange, angry adult grab their arm and yell at them WOULD scare the sh!t out of them. Congratulations.

Producer

July 5th, 2011
10:59 am

Arrested for child molestation? DB, you’re part of the problem if you think that correcting an out of control kid is “molestation.” Used to be back in the day parents or neighbors felt it was OK to discipline a misbehaving kid. And the offending little darling’s parents whipped his butt when he got home for misbehaving and embarrassing the family. Nokids should have spanked the kid. We’ve become weak and permissive. and to Aquagirl’s point, It would make my day if this same CEO issued a ban on the hogs that overflow into our personal space. Eihter buy two seats of make other travel arrangements. Go Greyhound!

DB

July 5th, 2011
11:00 am

@Aquagirl: There’s nothing “entitled” about paying top money for a seat at the front of the airplane. It’s a conscious decision on how someone chooses to spend their money, and none of your business. As long as the airline has no rules or regulations that govern the age of passengers in first class, then children are “entitled” to sit wherever their parents choose to pay for them to sit. Yes, it would be nice if there was a guarantee that all children would be well-behaved. Heck, it would be nice if there was a guarantee if all ADULTS would be well-behaved. But there are no guarantees. Why should a passenger in first class be “protected” from children any more so than the poor soul in coach who is squeezed into a seat that is two-thirds the size of the first class seat and whose knees are bruised by the person in front of them feeling “entitled” to lean their seat back?

DB

July 5th, 2011
11:05 am

@Producer: No, I don’t think it’s molestation, and goodness knows, I’ve been sorely tempted many times. But there ARE some parents who would completely freak out if they came chasing down an aisle and suddenly saw their child, who had, Houdini-like, escaped their supervision, being grabbed by a stranger. Would I speak sharply to a child misbehaving in a public place? Yes — and have done so many times. Would I grab them? Only if they were in imminent danger (i.e., running in front of a car, or out a door). And generally, just putting your body between them and their destination is enough to slow ‘em down.

Aquagirl

July 5th, 2011
11:07 am

DB, of course there are no guarantees. Rude people are a fact of life. That doesn’t excuse their rude behavior.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

July 5th, 2011
11:08 am

“Sense of entitlement recognized and noted”

To Big Bopper and everyone else who thinks your travel money has more intrinsic value than those with small children……(MJG and Black and White Smiley Face)

So I’m with the camp that says if I pay the coin for the kid to be in first class, he deserves to be there as much as any other paying customer. The entitlement I feel has nothing to do with any other entitlement than I get as a capitalist. If there is an airline policy against children in certain sections, that’s fine, I respect their right to do so and I encourage you to seek those airlines out and patronize them, and I’ll avoid patronizing them. But barring that, I (and my child) am just as entitled to be there as you are because the price of the ticket was established without restriction to age.

I’ve flown first class a few times and i don’t think you’re paying to be child free. If I recall correctly, the perks of first class are larger, more comfortable seats (where you don’t care if the person in front of you reclines), more overhead bin room, more leg room, better food, free movies, sitting in the front of the plane where turbulance is reduced, and most importantly, free alcohol.

If the sole benefit of first class was strictly being child free, then theoretically you shouldn’t have a problem paying a premium to sit in the back of the plane near the bathrooms that you can smell, cramped up like a sardine and getting rattled around like a roller coaster shoulder to shoulder with the person sitting next to you while the person in front of you reclines back as far as possible 6 minutes after takeoff…..as long as there are no kids.

You sound like the entitled ones….entitled to choose in your mode of public transportation not only where you sit, but where others else sits as well. Are there any other groups of folks you would like to send to the back of the plane so that you don’t have to interact with them?

Tina

July 5th, 2011
11:10 am

@nokidsrequired – You grab my child and you’ll never have children of your own.

DB

July 5th, 2011
11:13 am

At Tiger: Yo, read my post again. I specifically said that “You don’t have a “right” of privacy and peace on a public airline, sorry, any more so than you do in any public venue. You fly first class for the bigger seats, the free drinks and the service. You don’t fly because it is “quiet,” — and if you do, your expectations are too lofty.”

What I DID say is that this airline has obviously identified a niche that will probably be popular with business travelers. Nowhere in that comment or the subsequent ones did I say that children shouldn’t be allowed in first class.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

July 5th, 2011
11:18 am

I didn’t direct my comment at you DB…..I’m actually arguing for your points…my comments were direct at the Aquagirls, Smiley faces, big bopper, et al.

DB

July 5th, 2011
11:20 am

@Tiger, sorry, saw my name in parenthesis and got defensive!

Warrior Woman

July 5th, 2011
11:20 am

@Big Bopper – There is no sense of entitlement in expecting to get what you purchased. The sense of entitlement would be those expecting parents that paid for business class to sit elsewhere just to satisfy you.

Business class flyers don’t have any special need to be shielded from children. In fact, the extra room in business class makes it easier to handle children without annoying those around you. There’s a little more room to permit squirming without kicking the seat in front of you, and more room to have a toy or book out for entertainment without encroaching on the space of those around you.

Erica

July 5th, 2011
11:23 am

Wow…whatever your stance on kids….all have one thing in common, which is , we were all children at some point. That being said, I do think it si important for parents travelling with small children to be aware of two things when flying with kids:1) how long of a flight will your child tolerate without a meltdown, and 2) what do you need for your child to travel comfortably wgile being a good nieghbor to those around them on the plane. My daughter has flown since she was 6 months old, and we know to fly with the appropriate amount of treats and entertainment in her “travel bag”. bnow that she’s 5, teh portable DVD player with headphones is truly an airplane must. She has NEVER had a plane meltdown, even as an infant, and I attribute that to good parental planning and really good luck for us parents. I think that a little bit of planning on the part of parents, and some compassion from us fellow travelers can go a really long way. And hey, if you as an adult start feeling irritated at a frustrated little traveller, just remember….someone tolerated you when you had a meltdown moment as a child too!

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

July 5th, 2011
11:27 am

@DB…I didn’t even put your name in parentheses! :-)

jarvis

July 5th, 2011
11:27 am

@nokidsrequired, while I agree that kids aren’t required to have a happy fulfilled life, I’d be willing to wager that you have neither.

jarvis

July 5th, 2011
11:29 am

@DB, apparently the expectation isn’t too lofty. You can fly Malaysia Airlines and get a child free first class.

I am 6'4" tall...

July 5th, 2011
11:32 am

…and I was in a window seat on a 25 seat commuter flight – Having had both knees replaced, I was CRAMPED to the hilt, and kept having to shift around to stay somewhat comfortable.

Unfortunately, there was a gir lthat was 9-12 years old and I inadvertently kept hitting her seat back as I shifted – each time she would look around and glare at me; l and I felt so bad but there was really nothing I could do – I kept waiting for her to tell her mother, who was seated next to her, to “tell that man behind me to stop kicking my seat”…and this, is really a true story. I still feel bad just remembering it…

Aquagirl

July 5th, 2011
11:33 am

more leg room, better food, free movies, sitting in the front of the plane where turbulance is reduced, and most importantly, free alcohol.

Tiger, if you drink enough alcohol on a plane to make this the “most important” benefit of first class, go to rehab. And boy does that say a lot about how fun you are as a seatmate. “Whoo-hoo, free booze!” That’s exactly what you want to hear from from the guy next to you. Although it could explain why children on flights don’t bother you.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

July 5th, 2011
11:34 am

@nokidsrequired….”When I pay for a seat on a plane, regardless of the class, I’m not paying to hear your screaming kid on a 10 hour international flight!”…….

NOT paying to hear a screaming kid IS NOT the same a paying to NOT hear a screaming kid. People who pay to NOT hear a screaming kid charter their flights. I encourage you to follow their lead.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

July 5th, 2011
11:40 am

@aquagirl….got satire?

or does that require a :-) at the end of it for you to get that it was a tongue in cheek statement.

I will admit though that a relaxing drink before a flight allows me to deal with people I presume you are like who disregard all overhead bin recommendations and carry on their oversized luggage then complain about how there is no room on airlines anymore….. :-)

(smiley face added for your benefit)

Becky

July 5th, 2011
11:46 am

My two are nine and haven’t flown on a plane yet..I have flown several times and have never encountered any problems with kids or adults..I wil lbe taking my two on a flight within the next few months as they want to fly to VA.

Like others have already said, I would rather be on a flight with a baby or toddler that the parents are prepared for any misbehaving than a person that is drunk or taking up half of my seat..

As for first class, don’t think that I would pay the cost to fly little ones..Mainly (as stated) for the cost and yes, I think that most people that fly in frist class would like a little bit of quiet..I know thats just my opinion, so, I’m ready to be run thru the mill for it..

BlondeHoney

July 5th, 2011
11:46 am

In defense of MJG, I think they call it “business class” for a reason…

Lori

July 5th, 2011
11:55 am

To The Big Bopper….there is no “sense of entitlement” to note. If I PAY for a first class seat for my child, then I am darn well entitled to what I PAID for!!!!

JJ

July 5th, 2011
12:00 pm

How about an airline, that’s devoted to all the uppity child-free people. But then I’m sure they’d find something else to complain about.

And while we’re at it, let’s make child-free restaurants, malls, movie theaters, theme parks, water parks, aquariums, beach resorts, museums, zoos, public pools, public parks, cities, etc for all those who hate kids.

Aquagirl

July 5th, 2011
12:01 pm

Tiger, I’m relieved to hear that. Smiley face back ‘atcha. :-)

BTW, I still check a bag (paying money instead of inconveniencing others–gasp!) when traveling for more than a couple of days. So next time you fly, feel free to have a Red Bull instead and pummel the $&# out of the oversized carry-on people.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

July 5th, 2011
12:07 pm

Never had the desire for a RedBull….but I hear it’s great with a shot of vodka!

JJ

July 5th, 2011
12:12 pm

Everythings better with a shot of Vodka.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

July 5th, 2011
12:21 pm

I think that those who are so passionately against children fouling up their airline pleasure have forgotten the one….simple….rub to the matter. Nokidsrequired, big bopper, aquagirl…etc….when you purchase an airline ticket, you are booking a ride on PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION. With the exception of airlines like Malaysian, it is implicit that you are willing to travel with any and all members of the general public. It is your right to purchase tickets that are prohibitively expensive for the vast majority of the general public, but at the end of the day, you are really only weeding out those with less financial means than you, and that’s all you can be expected to weed out.

I assume that you purchased cars for the convenience and comfort of not having to abide by a public transportation schedule and also so that you don’t have to share your ride with those that you see as undesirable to travel with like you would on a bus, or a subway. With the purchase of your automobile, you have purchased travel exclusivity.

Like I’ve said earlier, that option is still available to you when it comes to air travel and it’s called chartered airlines. You have the right to be as exclusive as you choose to be, albeit you may not have the financial means attain that level. With that in mind, when you have to sit next to a child in first class, be disappointed in yourself for not doing well enough financially to afford the exclusivity you truly desire, not at the parent of that child for achieving the same level of financial success as you.

Brian

July 5th, 2011
12:24 pm

No different than the crying adults that sit there now.

TGT

July 5th, 2011
12:25 pm

Regardless of where a family with small children chooses to sit, the parents have a responsibility and so do the other passengers seated near them. The parents should obviously be prepared to deal with their children(ie, have books games, snacks, etc.), and the passengers seated nearby shouldn’t automatically roll their eyes and expect a tantrum. I have 2 boys ages 2 and 4, and I live in Alaska which means flying to go anywhere. I feel that my wife and I are prepared and that our 2 boys are great fliers(they sleep some of the time, and they understand that throwing things or kicking the seat in front isn’t OK). Before I became a parent, I would say that adults were way more annoying than any child I sat near. I still have issues with adult passengers sneezing and coughing while not covering their mouths and generally invading my space. Don’t assume kids will be misbehaving, and cut them some slack because your glare or insensitive attitude might be taking away from an exciting and potentially fun filled event for them. Try the friendly approach first, and if the parents don’t realize their child is doing something inappropriate, politely bring it to their attention. Happy flying!

BlondeHoney

July 5th, 2011
12:29 pm

I’m in firm agreement with JJ…EVERYTHING is better with vodka. And Tiger, my sis used to drink red bull & vodka…not my cup of tea so to speak :)

Mafe PId

July 5th, 2011
12:31 pm

I think babies should be banned period – today’s parents are largely morons and raising insufferable creatures.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

July 5th, 2011
12:34 pm

“parents are largely morons and raising insufferable creatures”…..as evidenced by comments by you and nokidsrequired.

Mafe PId

July 5th, 2011
12:37 pm

I’m not a parent and do even want to be around children. Many parent HAVE to have kids and then complain about having them for the next 18 years. I think we need to require parental tests.

shaggy

July 5th, 2011
12:42 pm

“I’m not a parent and do even want to be around children. Many parent HAVE to have kids and then complain about having them for the next 18 years. I think we need to require parental tests.”

Yes, but then YOUR parents would have flunked.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

July 5th, 2011
12:42 pm

@mafe pld….so you “do” or “don’t” want to be around children?

Frequent Flier with kids

July 5th, 2011
12:51 pm

Why do people think that flying is akin to going to a tranquil spa? It is far from it. You are paying for the airline to move you from one place to the next in a manner faster than other transportation options. Unless you buy the seats around you or charter a plane, you have no say in who is on the plane with you. There are just as many loud adults, jabbering away using the speaker functions on their cell phones, trying to push their over-sized bags into the overhead compartment, taking up valuable overhead space with their smaller items so nothing will be under the seat in front of them (then yelling at youw when you rearrange something), stretching out over more than one seat with arms & newspapers (& sometimes larger frames – just because I am petite doesn’t mean you can have half my seat). My children are pretty well traveled and mostly have excellent behavior on airplanes. I say mostly because they’ve each had their moments, but fortunately those have been few & brief. I bring more than enough for them to do, watch, play, eat, etc. as we’ve been in every kind of delay imaginable. Due to airline status, we got upgraded on a late-night flight that was already delayed by 3 hours. It was fantastic for all of us to have that extra space to spread out & get some sleep. We looked good to get a similar upgrade on our return flight when I found out about an unwritten (or at least not written anywhere I’ve searched) policy on Delta – medallion companion upgrades are only good for kids 8 & older. In one way, I understand the policy since first/business class is usually occupied by solo, business travelers. However, they mostly got there the same way – not by purchasing those tickets, but by earning the miles to get the upgrades. I felt a bit slighted.

InTownGal

July 5th, 2011
1:01 pm

I travel a lot and my husband is a commercial pilot who tells me WAY to much about flying in general. We have no kids and yes I’m one of those folks who see a kid coming down and aisle and secretly think “please not here, not here” BUT, I feel the same way about an overweight person too. After all the changes in the airlines w/in the last 11 years, less leg room, the packed flights, bag fees, and service reduction in general I would say my expectations are pretty low. It’s no different than a grey hound bus these days except you happen to be in the air! What do you expect when you can fly cross country for $350 dollars? Well, you shouldn’t expect much except for them to get you up in the air, to your destination and on the ground safely.
I don’t see why a parent would spend the money on a business class ticket for a toddler, but if you’ve got the money to burn and it’s not against airline policy to fly with a todder in those premium seats well then by all means.
My best advice for flying these days: Xanax, wine, ear plugs and eye mask. With this combination you won’t even know you’re on a plane and works like a charm!

PLee

July 5th, 2011
1:01 pm

1. This is not a US airline. 2. Children are NOT a protective class of citizens in the US. So the Malaysian Airline has every right to restrict children from first class.
I wish more airlines and restaurants and other public venues did the same. I am tired a paying for meals ruin by children crying and running or having food fights. The same goes for movies. If you can’t afford a babysitter, then wait to rent the movie.
Only twice in my 50 years do I recall well-behave children in a public place.

Tom

July 5th, 2011
1:01 pm

Thank God! A sensible airline at last! Of course, US airlines can’t follow suit because it wouldn’t be Politically Correct. Good for you, Malaysia Airlines.

JATL

July 5th, 2011
1:06 pm

I’m all for a family section and for no one under age 7? 5? something logical in first class! I cannot imagine how angry I would be if I paid for first class airfare and had to listen to a screaming, whining or otherwise annoying child. I would never take mine first class unless they were truly old enough to be quiet and sit still -and mine are good fliers! You just never know though with small children!

Mafe PId

July 5th, 2011
1:11 pm

I do NOT want children – typo – I would rather die actually. I know I am not cut out to be a parent but it seems many don’t realize this and think that just because they can biologically reproduce they MUST. Others think that because they have them that the rest of us want to be around them…ie on planes. YOu may have paid for the kids seat but you didn’t pay for mine and until you do you need to keep them quiet.

DK

July 5th, 2011
1:16 pm

To those who keep saying “if I buy the seat for my child he has a RIGHT (emphasis supplied) to set in it.” you’re right. However, what you’re missing is that Malaysia Airlines has rights too and it’s their RIGHT not to sell you the dam# thing if you plan to put a kid in it. To the idiots that want to whine about overweight fliers being denied first class boarding, when have you ever seen a passenger spill out of a first class seat? My wife and I are both large people (I’m over 300 lbs) and we usually get business or first class tickets because we can be comfortable in a seat that is large enough to accommodate us. I’ve never seen someone attempt to fly who was so large that the premium seat wasn’t large enough to accommodate them. I’m sure it’s happened, but very rare. If you don’t like Malaysia Airlines’ new policy, take your brats and sense of entitlement to another airline. That way you get to enjoy your rights and Malaysia Airlines gets to enjoy their rights as well.

TB

July 5th, 2011
1:16 pm

About time. I don’t think kids under 12 should be allowed in first class. I like the idea of there being a children’s sections like there used to be a smoking section. Have your seat kicked and pulled on an entire four hour flight and you’ll feel the same way.

Kat

July 5th, 2011
1:16 pm

@InTownGal: I completely agree with you. You are paying to get from one place to the other. If you want complete privacy, charter a plane (if you have the funds) or drive/rent a car (if you have less funds). Having said that, I’ve not yet flown with my children (10 and 5 and 5), but expect to do so in the next year or so. I would never allow them to bother other people, because I know how to treat others!

I would also say that we have more to fear from adults (potential terrorists, obese, drunk, loud, boisterous, too touchy-feeley, smelly) than from kids (loud, boisterous, smelly).

Aquagirl

July 5th, 2011
1:18 pm

it is implicit that you are willing to travel with any and all members of the general public.

Sure. The unwashed, the drunks, and the just plain obnoxious are all members of the general public, along with attentive/considerate parents, well-behaved children, and polite people. I’m not proposing banning anyone (well, maybe the drunk) from flights.

I think it’s the idea that it’s appropriate to take your child anywhere at any time that’s the sticking point. What’s wrong with making a few places for grown-ups? You can see the same thing in the kids-in-restaurant battles. A few cranks don’t want kids anywhere, including McDonalds. A few parents think their toddler should be welcome at the Ritz, because if THEY paid, then it’s THEIR right to enjoy fine dining while their kid screams and throws the occasional handful of food.

The rest of us are generally in the middle, where adults complaining of noise at Chuck E. Cheese and children crying in a first class cabin are both quite legal, but [bleeping] rude.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

July 5th, 2011
1:20 pm

@Tom…”Of course, US airlines can’t follow suit because it wouldn’t be Politically Correct”

@Plee…”I wish more airlines and restaurants and other public venues did the same”

I think you’re giving the airlines a wee bit too much credit…..Do you honestly think that the airlines (and restaurants, et al) have not made the no kids in first class (and others public venues) policy because of political correctness? Seriously?

I hate to break it to you, but the reason the business masses haven’t made these policies is pure and simple economics. The margins on first class seats are off the chain…so much off the chain the that the airlines know that one first class seat filled at the expense of your comfort is worth WAY more to them than you being happy and them being out of the fare and the kid and parent being in coach.

Furthermore…they’re right. If restaurants, airlines, movies, etc all started making restrictive policies on the multitudes of us currently with children, and those who have had children and still view them sympathetically…the backlash would put them out of business. So unfortunately for you….and something you’re just going to have to deal with..is that you are at the bottom of the economic darwin-istic survival of the fittest barrel.

Hate the game…not the players.

Black and White Smiley Faces ☺☻

July 5th, 2011
1:20 pm

Why should a passenger in first class be “protected” from children any more so than the poor soul in coach who is squeezed into a seat that is two-thirds the size of the first class seat and whose knees are bruised by the person in front of them feeling “entitled” to lean their seat back?

A lot of people here are missing the point completely.

There is a reasonable expectation of a traveler not having to deal with aggravating noise, distraction, and bothersome people. Be they severely obese people, little kids, or immature adults.

Simply buying a ticket does not circumvent expectations of courtesy and consideration for your fellow travelers.

A good analogy is the left-lane drivers who say “I’LL DRIVE IN THE LEFT LANE IF i WANT TO I’TS A PUBLIC HIGHWAY!!!” while blocking faster-moving traffic. A sense of entitlement, of course.

Notice that I said not one word about being “child free” or any such thing.

I would prefer to fly first class sometimes and choose not too, but in doing so I accept that they paid for a more comfortable & relaxed flight than me if I am in coach seats. That’s life.

I don’t have a problem with kids; they’re kids, after all. Unfortunately, quite often you can’t count on a large number of parents to control their children and they do not make any effort to prevent the agitation of others. (I have lots of admiration for the parents who do make kids behave however).

The Bald Eagle

July 5th, 2011
1:21 pm

It does seem unfair and discriminatory, buuuttt a whaling baby will ruin the flight for an entire section and uncontrolled kids are just terrible if happen to sit near them. I dislike sitting anywhere near babies or young children even in coach. I’d be pretty upset if I dolled out the cash for 1st class and had to put up with that.
I’m intrigued by the idea of a seperate family section, with more kid friendly seats, aminities for babies with their required gear, and maybe sound isolating insolation for the rest of us.

Black and White Smiley Faces ☺☻

July 5th, 2011
1:22 pm

“I think it’s the idea that it’s appropriate to take your child anywhere at any time that’s the sticking point.”

+1

No Sympathy

July 5th, 2011
1:33 pm

Dear Baby Factory:

I didn’t get you knocked up, so don’t look at me. You act like you’re the only one in history to experience the miracle of childbirth. News flash: every single person on this silly planet was the result of a pregnancy. There is NOTHING SPECIAL about being pregnant, having a baby, being a baby, or especially your baby.
If you want to carry on your imperfect genes, that’s fine. But please have the decency to keep that disgusting noisy little creature at home where I don’t have to hear or see it.
Yes, I am using this umbrella, and No, I didn’t suggest you bring a newborn to the hotel pool on a sunny, 92-degree Saturday afternoon.
No, it’s not ok if you bring your kid in my office. Get a sitter.
I realize that procreating is the next best thing to having meaningful existence to all the high-school diploma-waving Baptists in Cobb and Cherokee Counties, but you need to undrstand that it isn’t “cool” or “chic” or even mildly amusing to those of us who are considerate enough to leave those things at home with their nannies.
And please don’t get me started on what you look like in those shorts. But of course you didn’t look much better before you started popping out those little ginger babies, did you?

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

July 5th, 2011
1:33 pm

@ aquagirl…I don’t think I’ve insinuated once that out of control kids are entitled to access to any and all public venues. I believe in this particular argument, only those who can travel responsibly should be entitled to access to air travel. That is all inclusive, kids and adults.

I believe travelling responsibly is age specific. I don’t like to hear an infant wailing because his/her ears hurt taking off and landing. It’s awful. But I don’t think that precludes an infant from getting on the plane. It’s the way it goes, babies cry…good babies cry and it’s a risk I’m willing to take when I fly without having malicious thoughts to the parents or the baby.

Now a 6 year old who can’t sit still for a majority of the flight and keep his/her voice to a indoor speaking level is not a responsible traveler. Just like an adult who engages in those activities is not a responsible traveller. By the same token, if you take the position that when you’re on the aisle seat and a well behaved kid at the window wakes you up to get by you so that he/she can go to the restroom with more frequency than you prefer and THAT is a reason kids are horrible to travel with…then you’re just whining.

Firewoman

July 5th, 2011
1:40 pm

Aquagirl hates everyone except illegal aliens! Ignore her rants.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

July 5th, 2011
1:40 pm

@ black and white smiley faces…

Allow me to apologize and rescind all my inclusions of you in my criticisms. You hit the nail right on the head.

@No sympathy….I had one child when at the age of 33 and with 10 years of marriage and a successful career in the makings. He’s 7 now and he will never ask you for any favors. If you ever run into him please take a moment to feel sorry for him that he has to be in the presence of someone like you who obviously dislikes him just for breathing the same air as you.

DB

July 5th, 2011
1:45 pm

@B&W: A good analogy is the left-lane drivers who say “I’LL DRIVE IN THE LEFT LANE IF i WANT TO I’TS A PUBLIC HIGHWAY!!!” while blocking faster-moving traffic. A sense of entitlement, of course. Poor analogy, as there are traffic laws that govern the conduct of drivers, and one of the laws is that slower traffic must drive on the right; therefore, they are breaking the law if they are impeding the safe flow of traffic.

There are no “laws” that govern who can purchase a seat in the first class section of an airplane. I don’t argue with an airline making that decision — that is their business model, and it’s their decision. However, without a public policy in place, if a kid’s parent wants to shell out for the upgrade, that’s their decision, and they can’t get voted off the island by the other passengers in first class just because they were hoping for a child-free flight. Most kids are well-behaved — we only notice and cringe at the badly-behaved ones.

Let’s face it, a crying baby seated on Row 10 is going to upset First Class just as much as if they were sitting IN First Class. First Class is not sound-proofed — they might have that snooty little curtain that they pull to give the first class passengers an air of exclusivity, but it doesn’t do ANYTHING for sound dampening. EVERYONE on a plane hears a crying baby — regardless of where they are sitting.

Tiffany

July 5th, 2011
1:51 pm

@ Spacey…the most important thing is to make sure your child/children are well rested the day(s) before you travel. I never plan on waking my kids up earlier than normal on a travel day. That is setting us up for disaster. If your children are on a set nap/bedtime schedule, try to adhere to your home timezone as much as possible while you are traveling (not really possible internationally but we travel to the west coast frequently so we try to hit a middle ground). Now that my kids are bit older, that isn’t quite as critical but I still try to stick to it. A child with jet lag, or tired for any reason, is not a child I want to be around. In fact, I believe that is 75% of the problem with kids across the board – not enough rest.

On the plane, we bring DVDs and music. Headphones for everyone and an extra set – just in case. Bring battery back up, too. I try to limit the flight to 2-2.5 hours. Traveling farther than that, I plan for a layover somewhere. Even 30 minutes of walking around an airport between flights makes a HUGE difference in their demeanor – and I can usually recharge electronics. I also pack snacks – ones they aren’t usually allowed to have or maybe even a special purchase at the airport. (It’s all in the presentation of the cool things you can only do on plane!!) I bring their sippy cups/water bottles and flavored drink packets. I can’t go thru security with liquids but I can always find a water fountain. Each child carries their own backpack they pack with the toys they want to carry. We do this the day before and they can only play with toys, watch DVDs, play their DS, play cards, eat snacks, drink, etc AFTER take off. We people watch out the window and concentrate on how cool taking off is before that. They are happy to play with the toys they have packed because they haven’t seen them in about 24 hours so they seem so new!

Tiffany

July 5th, 2011
1:51 pm

@nokidsrequired…I am so impressed with people who have made the decision not to have children. I wish more people would have the wisdom to make that decision, realizing they are not made to be parents and are not willing to make parenting sacrafices. I would, however, caution you not to judge those parents who are actually doing their job and do it well. If more people would see that kids are not a requirement, this discusion would be moot. Well parented children are rarely public nuisances but as Erica and others pointed out, everyone has meltdowns, bad moments, etc. – even adults.

CC

July 5th, 2011
1:51 pm

Airlines are a form of public transport, if you are expecting anything else get your own plane.

DB

July 5th, 2011
1:57 pm

@Tiffany: *clap, clap, clap, clap, clap* Well said!

Crybaby

July 5th, 2011
2:07 pm

So, I’m sitting on the plane, and it’s still on the tarmack, but I already have the urge to drop a load in my pants.
Then I’m looking around and all I see is old men, but I don’t see my Grammy anywhere. And I don’t even know where the f**k my bankey is.
So, immediately I simultaneously fill my diaper with toxic sludge and begin wailing like a Palestinian funeral attendant. Before you can say “ba-ba” this pinhead flight attendant is talking smack to the center of my universe and saying maybe it would be better if moved to a more remote section of the plane because I might disturb less people there. Well, you can guess what I did next. I reached in my diaper and pulled out a handful of Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp and wiped all over the back of the head of the guy in the seat in front of me. And that’s how I got elected Governor of Georgia.

Mark

July 5th, 2011
2:09 pm

I declined my updrade last weekend as I was not going to sit in first class with my toddler. Regardless of where you sit though, parents need to do there best to keep their children well behaved. I’ll take a crying baby though over a toddler throwing peanuts, etc any day. As an infant, my baby was a very good flyer. As a toddler though, it will be a little rougher. We have a cross country flight booked for August and I am already nervous. Really considering some benadryl (sp?).

Aquagirl

July 5th, 2011
2:10 pm

only those who can travel responsibly should be entitled to access to air travel. That is all inclusive, kids and adults.

Small children are incapable of responsible behavior. They drool. They shriek at random moments. They wiggle and run around. That’s not saying children are bad, it’s their nature. Parents who have the attitude that these perfectly normal behaviors should be tolerated everywhere, despite the inconvenience of anyone else, are jerks.

Flying with children is largely a matter of convenience for THE PARENTS. Yes, there are places inaccessible by car, and funerals, etc. But by and large, the PARENTS don’t want to spend the time driving or can’t stand being trapped in a car with their kids. So they shove them in a metal tube with a bunch of strangers. Why would I cut these people any slack? They put THEIR OWN convenience ahead of everyone else, including their kids.

Aquagirl hates everyone except illegal aliens! Ignore her rants

Yep, I’m starting up Illegal Immigrants With Sixteen Children Airlines. I promise not to forget about you when I’m richer than Bill Gates.

Frequent Traveler

July 5th, 2011
2:10 pm

*Tiffany* You are an anomaly. From my travel and personal experience, the majority of today’s parents don’t give a cr*p about their kids, NOT ONLY on a airplane, but in restaurants, at the mall, etc. And God forbid if you mention anything about their bundle of joy, you get the “not my child” response. Sigh…

I applaud Malaysia Airlines and their decision – and right – to ban children from first class. Sure you have the “right” to pay for a seat in first class, but you are not “entitled” to have little Johnny cause chaos in the cabin.

Robert

July 5th, 2011
2:22 pm

I think all airlines should have dedicated “family” flights targeted to those that think or know they cannot control their children. The question of entitlement is not about who can and cannot afford a 1st class seat but instead who one expects to care for their children. It does NOT take a village – that is the stupidest crap I have ever heard. It takes parents that are willing to discipline. The entitled are those that believe that if they must suffer then everyone must suffer equally.

Flight attendants on “family” flights should receive combat pay for all the extra stuff they have to put up with – ‘can you warm this bottle for me”, “I had to change my kid right here, can you throw this away for me”, “my child threw his action figure 5 rows back, can you find it for me?”

A Disney airline would be GREAT – they already have a small fleet of cruiseships.

Which leads to another question – who legitimately should be allowed to fly on Virgin Air ?

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

July 5th, 2011
2:26 pm

@aquagirl….”Small children are incapable of responsible behavior’…how small are you talking here? give me an age threshhold that you would like to see banned. I’m curious.

“They drool”…are they shaking their heads violently causing the drool to fly onto you? Or do you just find the sight of that distasteful and thus feel you shouldn’t have to see it?

“So they shove them in a metal tube with a bunch of strangers”…should these same rules apply to other forms of public transporation “tubes” like the subway systems of any major metropolitan city?

JJ

July 5th, 2011
2:30 pm

@No Sympathy – you should have directed your rant at your own parents. At one point, you were someone’s sweet little baby. What happened?

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

July 5th, 2011
2:36 pm

@ Frequent Traveler….Tiffany described to a tee exactly how I prepare for traveling with my kid since he was a toddler.

Wow…two anomalies on one blog on the same day.

My closest friends with children prepare and travel with the number one concern being that we have prepared our children to be quietly entertained for the duration of the flight. And the hammer comes down with any misbehaving. The worst thing I experience is that my kid is bored. Tough.

My kid is 7 now and has taken probably 3 – 4 plane rides a year with us since he was an infan.

I see in the vast majority of the other parents eyes exactly what I feel in my head which is we do whatever we can to be responsible parents to make sure our kids travel responsibly.

All these “anomalies” that I witness with frequency almost makes me think that you’re cherry picking and singling out the vocal minority and painting the rest of us with that brush.

Uncle Phil

July 5th, 2011
2:41 pm

Life is short, I fly a lot, and at 6′5″ I never book one of those toy planes because of the seating… I never recline my seat out of respect for the person behind me.. I’ll take kids next to me if I have just a little leg room.. I keep my elbows off the armrest, I book 5 am flights to get the exit rows if I can… but some children have been super, and some bad, but adults have caused me more grief than kids.. If a parent is trying, then I just accept it looking forward to the landing. When I fly first, and there are children there, I think wow what leg room to be able to have… bad knees, leg room is key, my worst experience in first was from a lady behind me who intentially kicked the back of my seat the whole flight from hawaii to Atlanta, I tried to ignore her, and when we landed I saw that she was a 2million miler!!!… delta… and thought no child ever behaved so badly, She gave me a new benchmark of ‘bad behavior’.. so if a child acts up, I think of her and say :”at least she is not on this palne” and await the landing…

jarvis

July 5th, 2011
2:44 pm

@ No Sympathy, I think you have some pedophilac tendencies.

Bluto

July 5th, 2011
2:54 pm

It is funny to see all of the venom directed to people who have children in this thread. They seem to think strangers have kids just to upset their perfect little lives. Must be nice that the only thing in your life that takes an effort is dealing with children that are not yours. I could see how that might warp your idea of the universe revolving around you. The rest of us, those who have kids and those who do not, traveling with children on a plane is one of life’s “deal with it” issues. It sucks so we deal with it and tackle life’s larger problems. For every screaming toddler sitting next to me on a plane there are about 25 adults who I wanted to punch in the face for acting like a jackhole in the airport.

abc

July 5th, 2011
2:55 pm

Foam earplugs available from the drug store will solve the noise problem for you.

Obese people are a different matter, they’re actually sitting in your seat with you. They should be required to buy 2 tickets.

Riding the plane is akin to what riding the bus used to be.

Rose

July 5th, 2011
3:00 pm

No babies. I flew from Atlanta to NY. Someone’s baby cried all the way. Other passengers should be considered when you take children anywhere. Yes, they should be banned from 1st class.

atlas shrugging

July 5th, 2011
3:10 pm

definitely BANNED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jeramy

July 5th, 2011
3:10 pm

Babies should not be allowed in first class… that’s one of the perks of not sitting in the main cabin. There aren’t enough free drinks on a plane to make up for a screaming baby sitting close by.

Aquagirl

July 5th, 2011
3:22 pm

give me an age threshhold that you would like to see banned. I’m curious.

Like I said, I don’t advocate banning anyone, no matter their age as long as it’s safe for them to fly. But I think kids under 5—and especially under 3—-shouldn’t be dragged on a plane without plenty of thought. One of my friends flew with a 6 month old to Germany. Her husband was stationed there and I would never say that a family should be kept apart because people don’t like crying babies on an airplane. Heck, I sat next to (really “with” since she didn’t have a seat) an 18 month old who was flying to see her sick grandma. I played with her, watched her while mom went to the lavatory, etc. I really kind of enjoyed it, aside from a bruise or two, lol.

Now, if mom had been flying to California for a wine tour with her former sorority sister, I probably would have asked to change seats. It’s that sense of me-first “parenting” that totally sets me off. You have a toddler, why not drive to the nearest beach? Do something the KID will enjoy too. Don’t hop a plane to wherever you please because that’s next on your me-vacation list. These are the people who chirp “children cry, deal with it,” and treat other travelers like their children: subordinate to what THEY want.

Of course these are the people with no toys or snacks, and no plan to keep their children busy.

BTW, if many air travelers are hostile towards children, you’d think responsible parents would be the first to call out lazy parents instead of making excuses. Unfortunately all you have to do is visit the Get Schooled blog to see how more than a “vocal minority” of parents are not doing their job in any sense.

Clark

July 5th, 2011
3:24 pm

Good policy. Hell is other people’s children.

Mary

July 5th, 2011
3:34 pm

@Aquagirl – so you played with the child because Mom was going to see hubby in Germany. But if Mom were going to Napa with her girlfriends, you would have changed seats? Really? Did the destination make the child any different?

Those comments are very shallow.

USlessAirways

July 5th, 2011
3:35 pm

Most folks flying in first in the US get upgraded, same as me due to the amount of travel.
When I fly on vacation with my family, I actually pay for these seats!

And to all of you “well” traveled, child fearing folks, Malaysian Airlines is nothing compared to Cathay, Singapore Airlines or Thai.
So enjoy Malaysian, while I keep flying on paid tickets in first or business.

Samantha

July 5th, 2011
3:38 pm

No babies should not be banned, but the caretakers of the child should be made to keep the babies quiet! A lot of time the parents or caretakers could care less that they are bothering other people with their loud child! :)

Evona

July 5th, 2011
3:39 pm

People with children really have no other concern for the people around them, or the fact that their brats are kicking your seat or whining about nothing! If people could take back the control it seem their children have over them these days then we wouldn’t have these kinds if problems. Children are unpredictable and parents should use more discretion when choosing travel options. People just dont think of others, and definitely don’t discipline properly anymore!

Tina

July 5th, 2011
3:40 pm

I flew from NY to Hawaii en route to my honeymoon in first class. There was also a baby in first class, prob about 9 months old. That kid cried from take off to landing. Midway over the Pacific, I hauled my tail back to coach and found a empty row of seats so I could get a freaking nap. Parents with families need thier own plane much less their own section.

Tina

July 5th, 2011
3:41 pm

And yes, I have 2 kids. I made sure I flew at night and they were dead drunk tired so they would sleep thru the entire flight.

Producer

July 5th, 2011
3:44 pm

Drunk might be a good operative word, Tina. A half shot of Jack Black might go a long way to keeping the kid quiet!

Gary

July 5th, 2011
3:54 pm

No kids on planes.

Gary

July 5th, 2011
4:00 pm

You have a kid, stay home. You made the choice not me. I don’t want your kid on a plane, in a restaurant, or a movie theater. Stay home a raise your kid. No one said parenting was easy. You will have to watch the new Xmen movie on DVD. Order take out. But do not fly your kid to New York on Monday morning at 8am. See all the people wearing suits. They are going to work. They are probably going to work on the plane as well to prepare for their meeting. It is not a place for kids.

Firewoman

July 5th, 2011
4:02 pm

“Yep, I’m starting up Illegal Immigrants With Sixteen Children Airlines. I promise not to forget about you when I’m richer than Bill Gates.”

Bless your heart, but folks that “do jobs American’s won’t do” don’t make enough money to fly on commercial airlines. That is unless you divert funds from the government via entitlements / falsing documents. Add delusional to your resume, Aquagirl!

Robert

July 5th, 2011
4:08 pm

This is not a “one answer covers all situations” scenario

For me, it’s kind of the same as with toddlers at restaurants. I dont think they belong there – but I can see that in some cases the parents might have to go and therefore bring the toddler along.

When they do so, the parents need to be extra mindful of the other people around them. In other words, try and control your child. Everyone understands that babies can be difficult and in some cases inconsolable, but please TRY

I remember one 4 hour flight where I had a screaming kid seated directly behind me. The mother and older sibling made no effort to get the child to stop screaming. When I was ready to plug my ears with molten iron I finally turned around and asked if they could please just TRY and get the child to stop screaming. They looked at me like I was from Mars. I bet they are the same family that lets the kids run loose playing tag around other people’s tables at the restauarant.

Most people will give parents the benefit of the doubt if they just show effort to be considerate.

That said, if I was a parent, I wouldnt be taking my toddler to restaurants or onto airplanes unless it was just unavoidable

Allyanaz

July 5th, 2011
4:10 pm

No children on planes, trains, or buses. Take them in the car. If that sounds mean, sit next to one on an 18 hour flight.

Mel

July 5th, 2011
4:14 pm

It’s about time! I’m SO glad to see that I’m not the only person bothered by the ridiculous lack of parenting people are allowed to get away with today. The parents should be forced to suffer consequences for allowing their child(ren) to be so ill-behaved (ejection from flights, removal from stores/restaurants, censure at church, etc.), as it is the parents who are causing the problem. I should not have to adjust my lifestyle because these “parents” lack any sort of social decency or sense of what is appropriate outside of their home.

Had I behaved so poorly as a child, I would have been severely scolded, spanked and restricted from all toys and activities for a good long while. I think I may have acted poorly enough for corporal punishment two or three times over the course of my childhood…and it certainly didn’t take anything nearly as out-of-hand as a full-on tantrum or slapping my mother to receive the corporal punishment.

My parents were involved, attentive and considerate of other people, and if I even thought about stepping out of line, it was as thought they could sense it. Then came “the look”, and if I got “the look”, I knew anything less than the expected behavior would not be tolerated…even if it meant we had to leave wherever we were. People in the community I grew up in didn’t hesitate to step up and put an unruly child back in line if the need arose.

The way I was raised has been considered inappropriate, and sometimes even criminal (the instances where the village would help raise the child), for the last decade or two. I find it quite unfortunate for everyone. Strangers have to suffer and the children are ill prepared for interactions with people outside their home and family.

If your child comes out of nowhere in a store, running, screaming like a banshee and throwing toy cars that it has taken out of the packaging at me, I will be tracking you down and telling you that you’ll need to leash and muzzle your animal before he’s taken away from you by the authorities. You see, that could be considered negligence and child endangerment, and after seeing your beloved (yet unattended) banshee trash the store on security footage, I have a feeling CPS would be inclined to agree with me.

jarvis

July 5th, 2011
4:15 pm

Buses are for poor people.

Producer

July 5th, 2011
4:17 pm

OK, now that we’ve dealt with the kids how ’bout the “Hogs on a Plane?” Sounds like the next Samuel L. Jackson movie! LOL!

Frequent Flier with kids

July 5th, 2011
4:31 pm

Here are some things to remember:

1. You were all children at 1 time & if you think your behavior was spot-on-perfect in every single situation, you are incorrect. If your parents say you never acted out in public, it is selective memory. Every child has his/her moments.

2. Lazy parents irritate those of us who take responsibility for our childrens’ actions. Few things bother me more than the cell-phone talking, magazine-reading mom at the playground who has absolutely no clue that her son is whacking mine on the head with a stick, then acts surprised when I call her attention to the action. I feel a great responsibility to handle my kids’ moments of public outbursts with immediate action to ensure that they learn what is appropriate & what is not.

3. Family-only sections on planes. No one likes to hear fussy, crying babies on flights. I am a mom of 2 & I don’t like it. My kids have been on many, many flights (my 6-year-old has been to 7 countries to date) & we’ve only had 1 incident of extended crying in 7 years. My concern is that bad behavior will feed bad behavior & you’ll end up with a giant mess on the airplane. For example, we have neighbors whose children are not well-behaved. My 4-year-old, who is generally well-behaved, sees an action taken by these kids, they laugh, so he repeats the action, though it is the epitome of bad behavior. Multiply that times 10 & that is what a family section gets you. Children learn by example and, if there are well-behaved, respectful adults around them, they will copy. Also, the issue of age requirements for this section – I know some 4-year-olds who are better behaved than some 8-year-olds. Where do you draw the line? Do you create sections for loud-talkers & excessive drinkers too?

4. Experience counts. My kids know what to do on an airplane because they’ve flown so much. I was a nervous wreck on the first few flights with each, but it all turned out OK. Like I said above, they witnessed the behavior of those around them & copied it. My kids know how to behave in restaurants (we don’t do fine dining with them yet, just regular restaurants) because they have been out with us so much and also the same manners are required at the home dinner table. Some may say to keep kids at home until they learn to behave in public, but that is not reasonable, nor will they learn to behave in public if not given the opportunity.

Truthpaste

July 5th, 2011
4:35 pm

After reading through all these posts I see no difference in sitting beside a crying baby and someone like aquagirl.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

July 5th, 2011
4:59 pm

My comment is in “moderation” because I attached hyperlinks to other websites….

@ Gary….”But do not fly your kid to New York on Monday morning at 8am. See all the people wearing suits. They are going to work. They are probably going to work on the plane as well to prepare for their meeting. It is not a place for kids”

I’ll stop thinking that airplanes are no places for kids when airlines stop sending me family vacation package advertisements soliciting me, and my family to fly with them.

the hypyerlinks were to american airlines, united airlines, and delta airlines showing all the family vacations they’d LOVE for me and my family (kid included) to book with them.

Face it folks….families with kids are a major source of revenue for them. None of us really get to dictate what policies they have. That’s left up to the market…the and the supply of families traveling with kids dictates that you the airlines want us more than you.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

July 5th, 2011
5:01 pm

should have read….

“That’s left up to the market…and the supply of families traveling with kids dictates that the airlines want us more than you”

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

July 5th, 2011
5:11 pm

when you think about it…..the fact that airline actively solicit parents to fly their kids with them….people complaining about kids on planes is equivalent to going to disneyland and complaining about all those kids.

I will give you that misbehaved children are a legitimate gripe. But for kids traveling and being good kids, even if that includes well behaved kid characteristics that annoy you, you’re position doesn’t hold water.

HB

July 5th, 2011
5:25 pm

Parents should do their best to keep kids quiet and calm, but in my many years of fairly frequent flying, I’ve rarely seen parents who don’t try to. Like DB, I find the vast majority of kids to be well behaved on planes. And who’s to say that a businessman’s trip is more important than a family’s? Like Tiger said, it’s public transportation. If you can’t deal with lots of people of different ages being crowded in around you, charter a plane or drive in the comfort and privacy of your own car.

TGT

July 5th, 2011
5:39 pm

Plee,

Wow! Only twice in 50 years have you ever seen kids that behave! What do you consider “behaving”? Let me guess, sit upright, no talking, no eye contact, more or less play statue. I’m correct aren’t I? Let’s see, this is not reasonable behavior for adults much less children. It seems you despise people and not just children. I have a suggestion. If you despise children so much: 1. Don’t have any. 2. Stay at home

One Striking Rattler

July 5th, 2011
6:34 pm

I would appreciate a flight where the men aren’t passing gas. I would rather ride across the country with a crying baby than those ill-mannered flatuent males.

Joe

July 6th, 2011
3:09 pm

Thanks to the comments in this thread, I’ve just upgraded my seat to first class. This way, me and my 8-MONTH-OLD SON can fly with the fat cat cry-babies commenting here. Want me to move back to coach? No problem. Just pay me $1000 and I’m outta there. Since the upgrade only cost me $600, I’m clearing 4 bills. You know what that is? A market niche. And you, my little whiners, are my new target audience.

Same game. Same rules. Different players.

Joe

July 6th, 2011
3:17 pm

@Gary

“You have a kid, stay home.”

Really? How about: “You’re not successful enough to own your own jet, stay home.”

Producer

July 6th, 2011
4:29 pm

Fat cats? More class warfare, Joe? Those in first class have earned their way there. Enjoy your flight to Macon! LOL!

Joe

July 6th, 2011
5:10 pm

Thing is, I earned my way there too.

LOL! OMG!

henry_h

July 7th, 2011
2:26 am

The way you “earn” your way to first class, Producer, is by paying for the upgrade. Last I checked, there was no prerequisite of age, race, religion, hygiene, politics, personality, or politeness. It’s all about cash. And if someone with a toddler has it, then you’ve got two options 1) buy them out, or 2) shut the hey up.

First Class Airline Tickets

July 7th, 2011
7:29 pm

I actually think kids should be quiet on flights. I don’t pay a boat load for first class airline tickets just to be annoyed by a screaming kid.

Reality

July 8th, 2011
12:11 pm

What’s wrong with putting them in the cargo hold with the pets??

newmum

July 9th, 2011
12:27 am

This is an interesting discussion and I’m glad to have seen it. We live in Thailand (for work) and our family is in the US. Needless to say, we have to travel quite a ways to see family. We are planning our first long haul in September and have much angst and fear about it in general. I can’t see a reason why we cannot purchase a business class seat for our 10mo infant if we prefer the space and the comfort for us sleep-deprived parents. We are not wealthy but rather travel quite a lot for work and otherwise and can use miles for our own tickets and probably for our baby. But that’s not the point. It’s an awful feeling knowing that people will resent you from the start when boarding the plane. It’s even more awful when/if the child cries because we – the parents – do not want to disturb anyone else. But we will do all we can to make sure the flight is good for everyone, even if this means buying the child a space of his own so that he can sleep there in comfort for a 25+hour trip that is tough for any adult, never mind a baby.

This will be our first long flight with our boy and we are scared to death for a number of reasons. But now at least I can read what others’ perspectives are and feel a little comforted that others have been in the same situation.

Finally it would be good to have a family-friendly section. I don’t know if airlines will ever go that direction but it would be worth considering.

PS Malaysia is not known for civil liberties anyway, so they can get away with the ban.

The REAL Fed-Up

July 10th, 2011
8:19 pm

If I’m paying that much for first class to have “the best”, I certainly don’t want to be exposed to a crying baby, whether they pay for the seat for him/her or not. First class should be limited to ADULTS. I know some adults can be nasty as well, but they can be dealt with. What are you going to do when a baby won’t stop crying? I have two kids myself, and would NEVER have taken the chance of flying first class with them and having them disturb people that paid high prices to fly in COMFORT.

Mom & Grandmom

July 10th, 2011
8:25 pm

People pay extra to assure that they ride in comfort. Personally, I believe children under the age of 12 should ride coach. Yes, I have 2 children, and I would never put a young one in first class. For one reason, why? They don’t need the “extras”. At least at pre-teen age, you can reason with most of them. Have you ever tried to reason with a screaming 6 month old or a bratty toddler? An airplane is NOT the place to do that.