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Banning Babies In Business Class

My friend Adam sent me an article entitled ‘Should Babies Be Banned From Business Class‘.  The article references CNN’s Richard Quest’s Twitter campaign to ‘Ban Babies in Business Class’ #BIBB.  He became inspired after hearing that Scoot will keep the first 5 rows of Economy class free from kids under 12.  All you need to do is pay an extra USD $14 to ‘ScootInSilence’.

In the good old days pre-kids, I would be eye rolling and tutting under my breath on spying a baby in my cabin.  I was scarred by an experience in business class flying London to Tokyo where a child screamed for the entire duration of the flight. I disembarked bleary eyed and exhausted, having to head straight into the office.

Fast forward a few years and I’m a mum of two young girls.  We fly longhaul regularly and occasionally fly business class thanks to banking up airmiles.  I am almost always met with evil looks from fellow business class passengers and on more than one occasion have heard neighbours ask to move.

Daisy does business!

Daisy does business!

The thing is, I do sympathise with those passengers. If you’ve paid the extra to enjoy the comfort of business class you don’t need your experience spoilt by crying babies or wayward toddlers.  In theory, the idea of a ‘no kid’ zone in business class is great.  As a parent, I don’t want the added pressure of having to worry that my children might make a noise and disturb others.  If the airlines want to seat all the families together in business then that’s fine with me.

However in reality this idea is just not practical.  Check in staff seem to find it difficult enough to seat my own family together (I’m talking to you Cathay) let alone allocate different zones of a business class cabin.  You also can’t guarantee peace and quiet in a ‘kid free’ business class zone.  What if you’re in the last row and behind that little curtain is a crying baby in the bulkhead row of Premium Economy.

I would also like to point out that it’s not just kids that make noise.  I once shared a ‘pod’ on a BA flight with a guy who was snoring so loudly the pod shook.  In Virgin’s Upper Class I was continually disturbed by my neighbour noisily enjoying dinner with a friend.  I was about to emit a large ‘ssshhh’ when I lifted my eyemask and realised her dining companion was actually the Captain!

What we need to do is be considerate on both sides.  Parents should always keep their kids under control and quiet regardless of whatever class you’re flying.  Fellow passengers need to realise that of course we don’t want our kids crying/running around/kicking the seats.  It’s just that they are young and sometimes that’s what they do.  If you hear a baby crying on a plane, at least you can stick your earplugs in and try to get over it.  Spare a thought for the parents, they’re not enjoying their flight any more than you are.

Have you had a bad experience with crying babies and noisy children on a flight?  What do you do to keep your own children under control?

3 comments

  1. Andrea, Passports And Pushchairs

    I think you pay for bigger seats, better food and more attentive service. You don’t pay for a quiet flight 🙂 I am all about babies/toddlers/kids in business class!

  2. James Wilson

    Just got off a flight from China to Australia, night time……. Business class…. A father and his mother (baby’s grandmother) were flying without the mother taking their baby. The baby cried for ages….. It really sucked. Nobody slept, the aircraft crew were exhausted and annoyed also.

    If you know you can’t control your baby don’t fly with him/her. Ok if they cry here and there, but if it is for hours then at least fly economy rather than ruining the flight experience for the rest of the 22 passengers who have paid a collective $100,000 to pay for the privilege of a comfortable sleep.
    We would have got a better sleep in economy…..

    1. John Koktohstenson

      @JamesWilson- A screaming kid on the plane is unfortunate but so is a smelly or loud adult. You roll the dice when you fly, until the airlines and authorities configure a plane with quiet sections. I fly biz/first with my kids regularly and we have had good flights and bad ones – trust me the parents are not looking for a bad flights and will generally do what they can to keep things quiet. I hear you that it’s not a nice situation, but it’s still (pricey) public transport.

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