The baby in business class debate

Nick with his wife and 15 month old son flying business class.

I’m pretty sure that I usually come across on this blog as calm and collected.  I try to anyway.  Usually.  But not in this post.  I’m pissed.  The baby in business class debate has come up before in other blogs, but I’ve never before thought much about it.  This time is different, maybe because it hits close to home.  I don’t personally have skin in the game anymore (my son is 19), but the trigger to the debate this time was Nick’s son.  And I’m willing to let “calm and collected” fly out the window.  I find myself suddenly passionate about this debate.  Of course it’s OK to fly with your baby in business class!  In my opinion, entitled premium class travelers have no right to dictate what a family does.  I can make logical arguments, but primarily for me it’s just a gut feel for right and wrong.  Traveling with your baby, in any class of service, may be disruptive to others (much more so in economy by the way!) but you have every right to do so.  You don’t have the right to tell others where to sit or whether or not to travel. Na na na boo boo.  I’ll post Nick’s cam and collected view below.

Background

The other day, Nick published a great review comparing ANA business class to Delta One Suites.  He and his family flew ANA to Tokyo and Delta on the return.  While there are many details in the post, my read is that both ANA and Delta were very good, but ANA’s outstanding service set them apart.  In a big way.  I’ve never flown ANA, but now I really want to.

“No babies in business class”

Some readers had a very different take-away.  They complained about Nick bringing a baby along in business class:

In response to a question of whether Nick was worried about flying business class with a baby, one person wrote:

Don’t be an ass like the poster and fly up front with your kid. There is no reason to fly with very small children/babies.

Another agreed:

Couldn’t agree more. Self centered behavior these days. No consideration for others. The vast majority of cases people don’t need to take these trips with infants and toddlers. Wait a couple years until the kid is old enough for flying or find alternative arrangements.

And:

People should have to pay more taxes if they have babies.

My reply

Nick’s calm and collected reply

Here’s Nick’s reply to the person who asked if he was worried about flying business class with a baby:

My son is 15 months old.

As you can see, people have strong opinions on this topic. Was I afraid? No. My wife was nervous about it, both from the standpoint of his potential discomfort as well as being disruptive to other passengers. I have no desire to be disruptive either, but I was confident that we’d be able to mostly keep him happy (we took a number of shorter test flights and he never had trouble with his ears nor seemed particularly bothered by flying — it’s just sitting still that’s a challenge at this stage). I figured we could manage that.

My perspective on babies flying in premium cabins is this: I figure that in the vast majority of cases, there are 3 types of people flying in premium cabins:

1) The independently wealthy / those who can just plain afford it.
2) Business people whose company is paying for it
3) People using airline miles (or bump vouchers, etc)

I figure that group #1 doesn’t suddenly start flying in economy class once they have kids (they bring their kids). Group #2 certainly has a legitimate gripe if they’re looking to arrive rested and prepared for a meeting. But then, the vast majority of those business people whose companies pay thousands to fly them in business class also earn a salary that supports buying a nice set of noise-cancelling headphones. I know this because most of them seem to be wearing them from take off to touch down. As a member of group #3, I feel awfully darn lucky to be flying up front using a made-up currency that I’m able to generate with relative ease. I don’t know whether or not it’ll be possible to do this forever, so I’ll enjoy the ride while it lasts and enjoy the opportunity to raise my son with experiences my family didn’t even dream of when I was a kid and I won’t feel too bad about it.

On my first premium transcon flight, there was a man in the row behind us who seemed like he might not be happy to be seated behind a baby. Our son got a little fussy, so I was in the galley behind rocking him to keep him calm. That man saw us in the galley and came up and asked how old he was — 7 months at the time. That man then lit up and smiled at my son and said, “You can yell as much as you want, I’m not mad. You’re alive and that’s a miracle. Be excited!” Little acts of kindness along the way like that lead me to believe that most people have kids and were kids at one point and understand what it’s like.

Again, I certainly do everything I can to avoid being disruptive and we time things out to have him ready to eat / nap at the right times as best we can. If you do the same and you’re making an effort to keep the situation contained, I think that’s reasonable and you’ll be OK.

BTW, I’ll add to that that if you are concerned about a baby being disruptive in a more spacious business class environment, I doubt he or she will be less disruptive in economy class. For us, a big part of the ability to manage him and keep him pretty calm is the fact that we have the space to move around a little bit in the business class cabin.

Your turn

Comment below, but please keep the debate civil.  I will delete comments that I deem to be too nasty.

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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Matt
Guest
Matt

I’ve flown up front with my son consistently since he was a bit over a year old. He’s almost 7 now. Has always been just as well behaved as any adult passenger.

Travelers have the option of ensuring they dont fly alongside any kids. It’s called flying private. If you cant afford it, that’s not my problem.

Eddy Cue
Guest
Eddy Cue

This is an insane debate that I can’t believe we are having on a regular basis. Any parent is free to travel with their kid/s as they please and are free to seat where they want to “pay” for.
I have more to say but I am really livid about this and don’t want to step out of bounds.

G L
Guest
G L

Some idiot once told me that, since I had a kid, I shouldn’t fly anywhere with said kid, in *any* class of service, for *10 years.*

Eddy Cue
Guest
Eddy Cue

Can you imagine the ridiculousness and stupidity of that statement?

Traveller
Guest
Traveller

No debate. Keep the [censored by Greg] kids out of business class. Period.

Marc
Guest
Marc

Fly private

Big Al
Guest
Big Al

Buy your own plane. I got money to pay for biz class. Screw your miles/points.

Chris
Guest
Chris

I’m assuming you are a self entitled [censored by Greg].

Alex
Guest
Alex

Definition of ageism
: prejudice or discrimination against a particular age-group

Rossco
Guest
Rossco

My wife and I have flown up front with our daughter 2 or 3 times now to Thailand. Almost every flight there were other children or even toddlers that were bad, some unnoticeable. But, why wouldn’t I fly up front with my baby? 15 hours with a lie flat is extremely helpful for two tired parents. Not to mention the staff catering to you and your kid. I think people forget they were once kids and I’m guessing they weren’t lucky enough to be in the premium cabin. Cest la vie.

CaveDweller
Guest
CaveDweller

Rossco
Forget the Luck BS you most Be Respectful of others especially in Bus.class . They paid a whole lot of money to be up there and WORK .If ur child is good @ Flying that’s Great for the whole plane if not LEAVE THEM HOME .
Having Money doesn’t mean your special I have never pulled that BS on anyone .
CHEERs

Elise
Guest
Elise

You pay a lot for business class. You don’t pay enough to dictate who else flies with you.

You have three options:

1. Be a jerk.
2. Invest in noise-cancelling headphones.
3. Fly private.

Edbyu
Guest
Edbyu

4. Buy out all seats in business 🙂

Kadels
Guest
Kadels

“You don’t pay enough to dictate who flies with you” AMEN to that!

CaveDweller
Guest
CaveDweller

Elise
1) The Jerk is the Fool who brings a miss behaving kid on the plane of ANY age . It’s not the baby fault or the kids it’s the parents fault they raised them. Some thing with a pet on board I’ve seen one bite the 80 year old owner .
CHEERs

Elise
Guest
Elise

Sometimes, it is the parents’ fault. If the kid is running up and down the aisle screaming, clearly that’s bad parenting.

Sometimes kids are fussy or sick. Sometimes the air pressure change makes their ears hurt. Traveling is stressful with young children, and they are frequently off their nap schedule. That doesn’t mean you keep them at home. Traveling is a big way of making sure you don’t raise jerks.

If a parent is making an effort, I’m not going to get mad. That’s why you have ear plugs or noise-cancelling headphones.

I don’t have kids, but I have a heart. Apparently, a lot of people think that being able to afford BUSINESS CLASS gives them the right to tell others how to live.

People who fly with badly-behaved pets deserve a special place in hell.

Tiffany
Guest
Tiffany

Absolutely this.

Signed, The Public
Guest
Signed, The Public

The topic is about infants. Not all children.

Jakob Eriksson
Guest
Jakob Eriksson

Our kids are angels on flights, perhaps to some extent because we mostly fly business. That said, while parents do have a lot of influence, some kids are just born the way they are, and no matter how hard you try as a parent, you can’t change it. Don’t be too hard on the parents of difficult children. After all, they have to live with those little beasts, you just see them on your flight.

Hubbe
Guest
Hubbe

This CaveDweller guy is clearly just trolling. Doesn’t even bother writing coherent sentences.

CaveDweller
Guest
CaveDweller

Hubbe
Correct sometimes I do but I’m not a troll . Can’t wait til Lori Laughlin goes to Federal Court now she thinks her kids are special . She will be special in Federal Prison too just like Martha was and how about the special kids ?
CHEERs

Blue
Guest
Blue

This is such a stupid perspective. Kids are people; sometimes they’re having a bad day. You’ve no idea if the kid having a meltdown is a “bad kid” all the time at all.

Mike
Guest
Mike

I would add;: 4. stay home – don’t leave the house ever because you might come into contact with a child you self important person.

Big Al
Guest
Big Al

Oh stuff it. I buy biz class for the whole family. I can do what i want just like you [censored by Greg]. I travel for too. If i bring the family on trips no ones damn business.

Buy your own damn plane

Chris
Guest
Chris

What a fing [censored by Greg]

Sam
Guest
Sam

5. Become a pilot. No kids in the cockpit.

Lynn
Guest
Lynn

I just flew on a 14 hours flight in Economy. Seated across from us was a boy of around 8 years old. He was terrible. Whining, crying, just generally trying to be difficult at every turn. For some reason his teenage brother seemed to be in charge of him, and couldn’t get him to behave. On the other hand, there were several small babies around us, and other than some expected fussing and crying at times which is to be expected on a 14 hour flight, they were fine. The grown man in front of me was a royal pain. He couldn’t sit still, kept adjusting his seat up and back, up and back. Kept getting up from his middle seat and disturbing the sleeping man on the aisle. The point is, some people are considerate of others, some are not. This is true everywhere. If you are not going to supervise your children and work hard to ensure they don’t disturb others on a flight, they don’t belong on a flight at all. But why are people sitting in economy more deserving of bad behavior than those up front? Now THAT is a selfish and self-absorbed attitude.

CaveDweller
Guest
CaveDweller

Lynn
I had a kid kicking my seat in AUS the mother said it was my fault .While de-boarding in front of everyone .I TOAD her I put up with that kid for 2 hrs u have to deal with him the rest of ur life .Peopled laugh BUT MaMa B said nothing .
One in about 300 flts.that’s what u deal with while traveling .
CHEERs

Elise
Guest
Elise

I really hope that parent hit you. Kicking the seat is annoying. Bullying a small child shows you lack a moral compass.

CaveDweller
Guest
CaveDweller

BOZO
I looked the MaMa B right in the eye I never looked @ the Kid EVER .She Bullied me on the flight not the kid Get It and I DIDN’T RAISE MY VOICE TOO. .
I wish she did or anyone Hit me I’ve won my last two court cases .You don’t Hit Anyone now who lacks moral compass ?
CHEERs

Secretary Toaster
Guest
Secretary Toaster

“I’ve won my last two court cases” are you the caveman lawyer? Also my three year old speaks way more coherently than you write. I think you have much bigger problems than kids flying up front.

Platinum
Guest
Platinum

We started flying with our son when he was about 18 months old. His first Domestic F he was 2 and first Intl F he was 4. I use to get bottles of wine and champagne from the FAs and they said it was because it was wonderful to serve such a sweet well mannered child. We were lucky and it made flying a pleasure. Keep flying with your family and keep making memories as a family. The thought that total strangers think they have the right to tell you NOT to fly is stunning. People should just mind their own business. Twitter and the like empowers people to think they and their opinions are the most important thing in the world. Keep traveling, keep blogging, keep on keeping on.

colleen
Guest
colleen

sounds like a great kid. Hope he was kind enough to share his gift wine/champagne with the two of you.

Signed, The Public
Guest
Signed, The Public

Exceptions aren’t the rule. It is other passenger’s business if a screaming infant is in their space on a long flight.

Steven
Guest
Steven

I’ve flown with my lap infant in long haul business and never experienced any of the vitriol read about on the internet. I was a bit nervous, but it was all for nothing. In fact, the people in Nick’s #2 category (business travelers) often reacted positively because seeing our son made them miss their own children and brought a smile to their faces. The key is this: if the child is fussy or acting up and the parents are aware and making an effort to calm them, despite whether it’s working or not, there is simply no issue.

I’ve been on flights with adults that are much more of a nuisance than any child could be. Somehow the critics are silent on those issues. You and Nick are spot on, keep up the good work.

Signed, The Public
Guest
Signed, The Public

Nope. Misbehaving adults are just as bad. The difference is that they are more likely to get removed from flights for disruptive behavior.

Jason Miller
Guest
Jason Miller

I fly up front when flying internationally for work. I don’t have noise cancelling headphones, but honestly I don’t care about the kids being up there. I agree it is easier for parents to manage there. I’ve had to fly with my kids when they were young and that was all in economy. If the kid is being fussy, I think the parents feel worse than anyone else in trying to soothe. Assuming the parent is making an attempt to de-escalate any situations with the children instead of letting them scream with no intervention, it seems people who complain about kids on flights are simply unhappy people looking for an excuse to be miserable or just cold-hearted and unsympathetic (or both).

David-in-Florida
Guest
David-in-Florida

I prefer not to be around babies when we are on a flight. We fly first class domestically and business class internationally (two trips a year to SE Asia). We are retired and we pay for those trips.
However, I have some sympathy for those who must fly with a baby. We lived overseas for 5 years and it was necessary to fly with our infant sons at least twice a year. In 1982, we were on a flight(economy class) from to Los Angeles, our one year old son cried for an hour at the end of the flight. My wife and I couldn’t get him to stop crying. We and I am sure others were glad to get off of that plane.

Neil
Guest
Neil

Sorry but I’’m a soft vote against. Would you bring your babies to a fine restaurant? I recognize that traveling is a necessity in the way that a particular restaurant is not but start with that question to understand why some people might sit down in their seat and not be thrilled to see there is a baby in the next seat.

Greg is correct to point out that foisting a baby on economy passengers is just as mean (worse in the cramped space) – somehow we feel a bit more entitled when we shell out more for a special occasion.

And in my experience the problem usually isn’t the babies – it’s the parents who unnecessarily let babies or little kids bother other passengers. That is probably the main reason I have the instinctive negative reaction to seeing a baby or toddler near me. If the parent “behaves”” then I don’t mind a bit of inevitable disruption. I’m sure Nick and his wife were on top of things – the fact they were even thinking of the issue in advance implies they will make an effort to preserve the comfort of other passengers. But not all parents are like Nick!

Hubbe
Guest
Hubbe

Would I bring my 2-year old to a fine restaurant? Of course! And we have. Good times.

Doug
Guest
Doug

I presume that in the event that your 2-year old began to fuss and cry in such an environment, you would do the proper thing and remove them if they didn’t stop after a few moments.

Hubbe
Guest
Hubbe

So far we’ve been able to cope with giving an Ipad for videos or games (with volume lower than background noise), taking him to your lap for few minutes or having a quick stroll in the restaurant or outside. Needing any of these is somewhat a rare occurrence (the Ipad might come out also when the adults want to have a discussion). Fortunately have not been in a situation where these tricks would not have helped but I would gather going to home early would not be out of the question if things got out of control.

Every kid is different of course, but I think we are pretty lucky (so far) when it comes to his behavior in public places. Even if ours would be fussier than he is, I think it is important to expose your younglings to the society at large as early as possible, taking them to restaurants is part of this.

Sergey
Guest
Sergey

It was me who asked Nick in the first place about his experience with baby in business – we have 2 trips scheduled (one is already paid, but second is still under construction of how to fly). Our son is 20 months old, and he is very energetic and if something will go wrong he would cry very loudly. That’s why I’m skeptical to fly in front (at least in economy there are other babies and normally nobody complaints), because people could stare at you or even make nasty comments. May be I have to try first in coach one trip to Europe and then decide if I brave enough to fly with him in business.

Doug
Guest
Doug

I am relatively new to the points game, and I’ve only flown about a dozen premium flights in the last three years. In two instances there were disruptive passengers. The first was a pair of adults who overindulged in their alcoholic beverages, and spoke extremely loudly to each other for hours, both using very foul language.

The other was a flight where the parents of a toddler let their offspring roam up and down the aisles for hours, poking his head into other passenger’s personal space and yelling from time to time as he did so.

In both cases I complained to a FA, but to no avail. My takeaway: Crack down on disruptive passengers regardless of their age. And just to be clear, by “cracking down” on the toddler, I mean force the parents to control him.

Signed, The Public
Guest
Signed, The Public

Exactly. The point is that there are no exceptions for any disruptive behaviors’ impact on fellow flyers. We all have choices to make but the key is will we prioritize choices to be considerate of others?

Marc
Guest
Marc

a) it is never the kids it is always the parents to blame if something happens
b) I had more issues with adults making noise etc than with babies
c) put a baby in your lap in economy and it will be miserable – put it on the lie flat with you in business and it will sleep
……..
d) you might buy a first/economy ticket but you are not entitled to being an a** and try to control what other people do (inside the accepted rules)

Jim
Guest
Jim

Why are you doing this, do you think you will change anyone’s opinion? Big waste of time.

JRH
Guest
JRH

There are 2 types of parents with kids on a plane: those who do everything they can to entertain, alleviate fussiness, etc.; and those who don’t give a **** about how disruptive their kid might be and think that everyone around them should just “deal.”

The latter tend to act that way, well, everywhere. The latter are also the reason why so many of us shudder at seeing a kid on a plane… particularly in the front of the plane.

I am at the tail end of the generation that believes that kids should be seen but not heard. That, ya know, when you have a kid, you have a responsibility to the rest of society to make sure that your kid isn’t bothering everyone else around you. Courtesy for others. Ex. Your kid throws a temper tantrum in a restaurant, you whisk your kid out. You don’t just sit there and let the kid scream it out. You obviously can’t leave a plane, but it should be expected that you do everything possible to deal with your kiddo. You don’t get to zone out to enjoy your own movie and just, well, expect me to wear headphones to drown out your kid. I don’t care how you parent your kid in your own space, but I certainly do care if your lack of parenting negatively affects me.

Unfortunately, way too many people don’t care about the people around them. So, yeah, you’re probably going to get dagger eyes when you have your kid up front. You actually parent? Most people will probably cope *just* fine and, ultimately, feel pretty relieved. If you don’t? Frankly, you then deserve every drop of disdain shot your way.

Karen
Guest
Karen

I would pay extra to NOT fly with families!

J C
Guest
J C

So you fly private then?

MDM
Guest
MDM

I don’t have a child and I am shocked at the idea that people think they can pick and choose who gets to be in business class, or anywhere. I just returned from a trans-Atlantic flight, business class, full of coughing travelers. Now I have a cold. Why not say if you are ill, or have a cough or sneeze, sorry, you can’t be in business class? Or board the plane?

How about this: if you think you won’t like someone on the flight, then why don’t you stay home.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

I think the problem has nothing to do with economy/business class. As long as the parent is able to acknowledge that people don’t want to hear the baby and is doing what they can (with or without success), that’s all anyone can ask. I’ve seen posts of people with babies bringing earplugs for their neighbors, but I don’t think that is necessary. As he said, just buy noise cancelling headphones for yourself if you’re worried about it.

Alex
Guest
Alex

do you know of any headphones that can block a child’s cry? I would love to buy one.

Signed, The Public
Guest
Signed, The Public

Exactly. They don’t block out high frequency sounds.

Gabby
Guest
Gabby

The funny thing is that I can easily turn this comment around and say that nothing infuriates me more than people who have “Self-centered behavior these days. No consideration for others.” The vast majority of cases people don’t need to take these trips. They do it simply because they have a desire to travel (and some of them have even figured it out how to do it in an economical way). Why not wait a couple of years until they’ve set enough money aside to find alternative travel arrangements, such as hiring a private jet, so they can enjoy all the silence they crave without having to deal with the realities of using public modes of transportation.

It’s all pretty simple, really. Parents make decisions for their families. Travelers paying for their own tickets, regardless if cash or points are being used, get to decide which seat they’re going to occupy. Period.

But it’s not all bad news! To those who have an aversion or even disdain when it comes to children existing out there in public spaces (gasp!) noise canceling headphones are a thing! Anyone can get one. Save yourself the aggravation and take control of your own travel experience. Get a noise canceling headphone instead of utilizing futile attempts to pressure others to accommodate your personal preferences. People are going to do as they see fit. No one will ever stop bringing kids along with them when they travel because of your huffing and puffing. Get over yourself.

Signed, The Public
Guest
Signed, The Public

I’m not screaming next to you on a flight. That’s the difference. Noise cancelling headphones don’t block screaming infants.

Hal
Guest
Hal

My kid’s first few flights were on Citation Xs and PC-12s, so no one was complaining. But I’m not wasteful enough to charter to fly internationally, so our kid is flying up front and we do our best to calm her down if she gets loud. Besides, everyone up front has noise cancelling headphones.

DaninMCI
Guest
DaninMCI

Nothing wrong with it as with anybody of any age however….imagine you paid $10,000 to fly in a premium seat and a drunk person was all noisy or a random person wouldn’t stop playing a movie with audio on and no headphones. Or….a baby fussed and kept you from sleeping the entire flight. It’s just not pleasant. Then again I feel strongly about people not reclining into my chest in economy either so it’s just my view.

I think most normal people don’t have major problems with kids in any class of service if the parents are being responsible. I’ve seen young children act up, making tons of fuss and the parents just keep saying “now little Johnny you better stop or I’ll give you a time out, no I mean it now” over and over with no results in a lack of good parenting.

Taylor
Guest
Taylor

Can those who are opposed to children in business class define their proposed age limits? How about the decibel level maximum at which children in business class are allowed to vocalize?

Kevin
Guest
Kevin

18

Murray
Guest
Murray

What if it’s a 19 year old with Tourette’s? Just trying to get an idea of what your rules are…

Signed, The Public
Guest
Signed, The Public

Exceptions are exceptional. We’re talking about what is common.

Kenny
Guest
Kenny

If someone doesn’t want to travel with the public, they should arrange private transportation. You are right. Nick is right but too kind.

Lara S.
Guest
Lara S.

Exactly. If you don’t like the public, don’t be amongst the public. Business and first only entitle you to nicer seats and service, not absolute privacy (exceptions include the private suites on the relevant airlines, which obviously these people need to be using).

We have traveled with our son since he was four months old (now almost five). He has cried once on the dozens of flights we’ve taken. He does much better in lay flat seats on long haul than he would in a cramped economy seat (so I say ‘you are welcome’ to all those passengers who enjoyed the peace and quiet my miles provided)!! I travel for work all the time and use those miles I earn to pay for these great vacations and I can pick whatever seat I want for my family, thank you very much.

Jason Steele
Guest
Jason Steele

I’m with Greg and Nick 100% if people don’t want to fly with members of the public, of any age, they should charger their own private jet. All of the worst encounters I’ve had in the air were with unruly adults.

Al f
Guest
Al f

I get the chilling feeling that this is the 2019 version of “how dare Rosa parks not sit in the back of the bus”. I am so disappointed in some of the people on this thread

Signed, The Public
Guest
Signed, The Public

You’re right. They’re reframing the point as if it’s about “the public” when we all know very well infants tend to be far more likely to be disruptive to fellow passengers. Disruptive adults are just as bad. Both are the result of inconsiderate choices being made.

Jakob Eriksson
Guest
Jakob Eriksson

The front cabin should be renamed family class – it’s clearly the best cabin to travel in with a family. I’ve lost track of the number of business flights I’ve taken with my family, all on miles and points.

That said, I realize that there are some people who are allergic to children. In fairness to them, the last 10-15 rows at the back of the plane should be off-limits to children, so these sad f&$^ks can have a nice flight too.

Kadels
Guest
Kadels

I am a Single Mom by Choice. I had a baby because I *want* to be with him. However, I have to work. And I travel a lot for work. I have no family to help. My son started flying at 8 weeks. My first trip to China, he was 9 months old. It was for 2 weeks. There was no way I was leaving him behind. So no, people do not always have a choice when traveling with kids. Another great example is the people on our flight back from China who were bringing back their long-awaited, newly-adopted baby. When you fly premium, you are paying for comfort and space – not to select the people who sit with you. Babies and kids cannot necessarily help their behavior, but adults can. And I have seen more bad acting adults than I have kids.

Signed, The Public
Guest
Signed, The Public

Choice.

James
Guest
James

As someone who doesn’t have kids, I just want to say I don’t mind infants or kids in Business Class as long as their parents actually try to calm them when they’re throwing fits or crying. What frustrates me is when parents decide to stop being parents once they board the plane.

However, I think international First Class is a bit different and don’t think infants or kids should allowed there.

DaveC
Guest
DaveC

I have a 13 month old and my family has flown up front a few times. SQ F, AA transcon F and JetBlue Mint. We’ve also flown economy a few times. Was our baby perfect? No way. Was not our (me and my wife) fault? No. I’m calling BS on those who blame the parents. Our baby wasn’t out of control by any means, but yeah, she has a few outbursts and was whiny at times. Anybody who’s has kids hopefully remembers that babies don’t like sitting in 1 area for long periods of time. Our baby is very active and I would have to pace around the cabin with her. We have her the tablet. My wife nursed her.

That said, do I feel bad that the only other side in the cabin with us had to hear her cry? Sure. But thankfully nobody in the premium cabins has said anything to us. Actually, nobody in coach has either, but one guy clearly was upset (he cursed to “himself” quite loudly). Furthermore, I’ve offered to buy a drink or food to those in front of us in economy since the baby seat prevents recline. So far, nobody has accepted.

Tiffany
Guest
Tiffany

Babies (or toddlers, who are actually more of a challenge on planes) are rarely the problem. Bad parents often are. If kids are being disruptive, it’s almost always due to drunk, self-absorbed, or otherwise inattentive parents than the kiddos.

But rude and demanding people who have no social awareness are usually awful co-passengers even when they don’t have their children with them.

tro
Guest
tro

What I noticed about those comments is how they said there is “no reason” and “no need” to fly with small children.

Of course, thinking it’s self-evident that your own travel is inherently more important than someone else’s is the ultimate entitled, inconsiderate, hee-haw-braying behavior.

Signed, The Public
Guest
Signed, The Public

No one said no reason. What we’ve pointed out is there’s rarely a reason that can’t be mitigated.

tro
Guest
tro

Yes, the post leads off with three direct quotes and ‘no reason’ is from that.

This is the one that says ‘no reason’:

“Don’t be an ass like the poster and fly up front with your kid. There is no reason to fly with very small children/babies.”

Your post then agreed with that:

“Couldn’t agree more. Self centered behavior these days. No consideration for others. The vast majority of cases people don’t need to take these trips with infants and toddlers. Wait a couple years until the kid is old enough for flying or find alternative arrangements.”

Plenty of people DID eventually make polite, reasonable arguments against babies in biz/first. Your implied assumption that your travel is more valid or important than others’ is not one of them.

JetsFan
Guest
JetsFan

Parents do not need to make any excuses or apologies for having and traveling with children at any hour or any reason, even if the children have needs, or cry, or are restless, or have a lot of stuff, and this applies no matter where in the plane they are seated and whether the trip is “a choice” or “a necessity” (whatever that means). Honestly sad that so many parents felt the need to explain that their children are always good, etc., etc. Children come with all personalities and needs and sizes, just like every other passenger. Welcome aboard, and congratulations on exposing your child to the wonder of world travel.

Chris
Guest
Chris

I remember boarding a plane in Charlotte (US Airways) with a man holding his little nephew, who couldn’t have been more than a few months old. He was dripping sweat, I believe partially out of fear of taking care of the baby and keeping him calm. When he started to fuss at takeoff he said, “C’mon, champ, you were doing so well.” I looked at him and said something like, “Don’t worry about it, everything will be fine.” He looked relieved to have some support. I don’t have kids but I know sometimes parents have to travel with little ones and it’s okay. Many adults, whether they be entitled narcissists or inebriated, behave worse than infants on planes.

Kuch Bhi
Guest
Kuch Bhi

This hit a nerve somewhere. How ironic of those entitled individuals to call your behavior “self centered”. My wife recently flew J on a 14 hour transcon flight with our 8 month old. Alone. By herself. We paid cash for the flight and I’ll do it all over again. Now all the more to prove to these entitled arrogant (and add several other select words here) that they can do nothing about it. You don’t want to sit next to me, charter your own plane but until then shut up and stay put in your place.

Signed, The Public
Guest
Signed, The Public

Nope. People will keep calling out inconsiderate behavior.

Teresa Henning
Guest
Teresa Henning

This is a thing? Where exactly should the baby be then? Baby goes with parents.

Matt
Guest
Matt

2 day parcel post according to some people

Jonathan S
Guest
Jonathan S

It sounds like there is a market for comfortable family travel as well as more traditional elite business travel. There are two ways to try to figure this tug-of-war out:
1) social norms (this is the status quo as far as I can tell)
2) written rules

In our heterogenous society, you can’t expect that the norms or behaviors of others are going to align with how you want others to behave. If you find yourself in a paid public setting, perhaps at a crowded movie theater, there may be others around you who are chatting and distracting you from the movie. In most movie theaters, you are left to your own devices to settle this through social norms via interpersonal communication. However, if you don’t want to risk enduring an entire movie with people disrupting your experience, you may have the choice to pay a little more and choose a theater like Alamo Drafthouse which has a zero tolerance (written rules) for texting and talking during movies.

If an airline sees an opportunity to increase revenue by evicting noisy children from business class, then that airline would do that. I don’t know of any airline that does this so any claim that noisy children flying business class is a major problem is likely hyperbolic.

Perhaps it makes sense for the airlines to go the way of the movie theater. Most people are willing to tolerate minor inconveniences in life rather than pay twice as much for the same experience. People can vote with their wallets, so an airline or two should emerge with a zero tolerance on noise in business class for the people willing to pay away their estate for their psychological comfort.

Doug
Guest
Doug

By coincidence, I’m seeing “Captain Marvel” at the Alamo Drafthouse in just two hours.

Asarious
Guest
Asarious

Has anyone ever noticed how in most parts of the world, children are simply better integrated as part of society and seen as a fact of life?

Even apart from public policies friendly to new parents, I find facilities and attitudes of people to be far more accepting of young children outside of the United States. Rarely do I come across a “fancy” restaurant that is “adults only” in Asia. In much of Europe, Scandinavia especially, I feel like few people wouldn’t bat an eye. I feel the same way in Latin America, and I’m sure that’s also the case elsewhere.

Yet, here in the United States, we seem to treat parenthood as being mutually exclusive of living life. Those with children are constantly looking for euphemistically “family friendly” venues. I personally feel far more self conscious with my two toddlers on a domestic transcon up front than the Korean air flight we recently took in First.

Don’t get it wrong people. The revealing truth is that we’re even having this debate at all. Elsewhere, no one would’ve thought to have it.

Johan
Guest
Johan

Great point!

Beth
Guest
Beth

reminds me of the story about asking for a “children’s menu” in an Rome restaurant. The waiter was very confused..”but the children eat what we eat!? what is this children’s menu?”

thatirieguy
Guest
thatirieguy

Please. We took and take our kids everywhere. Deal with it.

Chris T
Guest
Chris T

Of course, anyone who pays a ticket can do whatever they want? Why a suggestion that only economy pax need to suffer babies?? But having said that, one of my worst international flights was a night flight from Delhi to Frankfurt, where a child was crying constantly, with parents separated across an aisle, and the parents had a full voiced conversation in the fully darkened cabin in the wee hours of the morning (our flight departed at 1130 pm( continually yelling across the aisle to switch seats, bring the bottle. Finally being in the row behind them had enough, and told a flight attendant, that it wasn’t the babies that were so loud it was the parents! I get the parents were flustered with their perpetually fussy baby, but that kind of lack of self awareness of others around by making even more noise and fuss and commotion made it worse – loud even through my Bose earbuds. When I sat up and asked them if they could please use lower voices when talking to each other (I didn’t say, shut that baby up), she started yelling at me, ranting about not appreciating what motherhood was (???!!) making even more of a commotion. Finally, the FA’s talked to her and then they moved me and my neighbor next to me to the business cabin aft, thankfully.

The upshot is that everyone gets that babies will cry. What is important is how parents react and see whats going on from outside their parent bubble to understand that they are in a communal setting. Parent’s should not act as one of the posters below expresses by simply saying “Deal with it”. Parents should at least attempt as much as possible to minimize the disruption and discomfort to other people, just like all pax should be considerate and use lower voices on cell conversations at take off and between passengers, in flight, going to the restroom to fart rather than smelling up the cabin, not playing your laptop or computer audio out loud without earphones, and not bringing obviously smelly food onto an airplane to eat, etc., etc. Just because you have kids doesn’t mean you don’t have to be considerate of others.

wise2u
Guest
wise2u

Freaking inconsiderate Breeders…put them all in the back of the plane where the engine noise drowns out their misery….charge double for kids, no free award tickets….lol, i’m JK so no need to flame me…a good pair of headphones and a couple of drinks make noisy children less annoying for me.

Laila
Guest
Laila

I was nervous about flying with my daughter, but once I did, I realized what a silly worry that was. First, most kids are great and even more, are better behaved in larger seats with leg room than in coach (as all of us tend to be). When my daughter was 15 months old and I was flying business class to Peru, she quietly played at my feet, at worst, wandered into the isle. As long as you make sure to stay out of the flight attendants way, you’re not getting to block anyone when you’re in row 1. In the meantime, there was a kid screaming in the first row of coach because the poor kid couldn’t move. It’s not like sound stays in coach.

Oh right, and they are human beings with just as much right as anyone to sit in that seat. This also seems to be a mostly American thing. Other countries have special lines for those travelling with kids and seem much more friendly on the flights if you’re travelling with kids.

Erin
Guest
Erin

Could not love Nick’s response more! I am also team Business Class with kids and I do everything in my power to make sure they’re behaving and respectful of all the other passengers, whether we’re up front or in the back!

MSer
Guest
MSer

If you’re flying with a toddler/baby for anything other than an emergency/job, then your parenting is fubar.

Signed, The Public
Guest
Signed, The Public

This guy gets it. Most of the responses here are emotional reactions.

GhostWriter101
Guest
GhostWriter101

Why should any traveler have to even consider flying private just because someone else has a baby in their section?

If you try to keep your child happy and calm, great. If you let your child throw a tantrum without trying to calm them, then you’re an @ss who creates this polarizing environment.

I’ve been in First where a group of parents decided to have their kids perform a sing along. On a six-hour flight. One row ahead of me.

But to then suggest a childless traveler “Fly private” because you have a child? These entitled parents are getting to be as bad as the entitled solo fliers.

Styles Bitchly
Guest
Styles Bitchly

I love a spontaneous sing-a-long. Did you join in?

OhBoy
Guest
OhBoy

How infuriating! This sucks so bad… these inconsiderate parents just now taught their kids how to be inconsiderate
Entitled people (parents and/or solo fliers) are the problem. How do we solve that problem?

Brenton
Guest
Brenton

Just finished a 12,000 mile trip to South America with my 4 year old, all but 800 miles of which were up front. He loved it, and we’ll do it again.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Not allowing kids in Business or first class is simply age discrimination. Ageism be it against senior citizens or children is another form
of bigotry.

Stephen Dedalus
Guest
Stephen Dedalus

I completely agree with Greg and Nick on this question, as well. Babies, toddlers and children should always be welcome in business and economy class, as well as in hotel club lounges, etc. My frustration with this entire debate is that I think it’s too much of a simplification to rely exclusively on the supposed distinction between good and bad parenting, which is often subjective. Even within the same family, parents can have different parenting styles, some more permissive and others more authoritative, and obviously children have different temperaments. Just because a child is being disruptive does not necessarily mean that bad parenting is involved. At some point, these people who complain about babies/toddlers/children on planes just need to get over it, and find some more meaning in their lives.

OhBoy
Guest
OhBoy

Regardless of parenting style, if a child is being disruptive, as their parent YOU should DO something about it. If they are too little to understand, do what you can to console them and/or take them somewhere they won’t be disrupting people. If they are a little older, talk to them and tell them they are disrupting other people and that is not acceptable.

Belinda
Guest
Belinda

Oh wow…no one has even addressed special needs kids flying who may also cry, scream, gag, feed through a tube etc. I have a 13 year old family member who does all of the above from time to time. His parents are petrified to fly with him because they are concerned for everyone else on the plane comfort. So they drive everywhere including from Texas to Disneyworld for a make a wish trip. So not fair. Btw I get dirty looks too from businessmen traveling who are so sure I snagged their upgraded seat as a woman who travels with my husband. Eye roll.

So I’m actually glad Frequent Miler started this dialogue. It needs to be normalized…travel is so not fair.

CaveDweller
Guest
CaveDweller

Belinda
Special needs kids are Special on a SW Flt I switched my aisle seat for another . So the crying Special needs young lady could be by her mother .No one asked this No Thank Yous were exchanged it was the right thing to do and no one said anything. However the Flt. attendant did thank me no bad behavior on any person’s part.
CHEERs

OhBoy
Guest
OhBoy

I’m glad to read his parents are concerned about others and don’t act entitled. They really must be amazing people. Yes, we should all be more compassionate to those with special needs. But just because someone has special needs doesn’t entitle them to disrupt everyone else.

Alicia
Guest
Alicia

In my opinion babies and kids do not belong in business class. There should be an area in the back of the plane for families traveling with children, and the rest of the plane should be a child free zone. For those of us that are child free and want to have a peaceful and enjoyable flight, there should be dedicated quiet zone where children and babies are not allowed or have seperate adults only flights and flights solely dedicated for families with children. I don’t enjoy flying in an airplane with a bunch of obnoxious, loud, crying children and would prefer to fly with nothing, but adults. When we vacation we choose to stay in adults only resorts, so why not have adults only flights for those of us who actually want to have a relaxing experience? I would definitely pay extra for a no kids allowed experience.

CaveDweller
Guest
CaveDweller

Alicia
Good kids belong Everywhere Bad kids @ home ..
CHEERs

Alex
Guest
Alex

Back if the plane back sounds like back of the bus . . . Age discrimination is bigotry.

CaveDweller
Guest
CaveDweller

Alex
Everything is discrimination today I’m Old that’s where I sit 37l on my Rome flt.
CHEERS

Aliciap
Guest
Aliciap

Discrimination, hilarious. So adults only resorts and cruises are practicing age discrimination? They aren’t just catering to a certain clientele’s expectations? Customers shouldn’t be forced to sit with children if they don’t want that experience, and I’m sure most people would rather sit in an area where children weren’t present, otherwise adults only resorts and cruises wouldn’t exist.

Blue
Guest
Blue

No, you don’t get to have a completely “child free” life because you’ve decided to be “child free.”

Aliciap
Guest
Aliciap

I don’t see why not. I stay at adults only resorts, there are adults only cruises and adults only areas on cruise ships, why is it so wrong to have adults only flights or areas of the plane that are adults only? I shouldn’t be forced to be surrounded by children if I don’t want to be. There should be a choice.

Blue
Guest
Blue

The short answer is that airlines are common carriers and it would be illegal. The longer answer is that you do not get to choose to live a life in public without having children around you.

J C
Guest
J C

This seems obtuse. Just because you’d pay for it doesn’t mean there’s a market for it. You can throw as many anecdotes about others willing to pay for kid-free flights as you want if it had enough demand the airlines would’ve had it in place already.

Naomi
Guest
Naomi

Hi. I’m the 4th category of business class traveller. I am not wealthy but can afford a few treats every now and then, out of my own pocket. I look forward to the occasional long haul business class flight; some peace and calm in an otherwise chaotic environment. The last thing I want to see is a baby, or any disruptive child, in the cabin. If you have to bring the kid into the premium cabin, at least commit to entertaining him/her and not relying on the fa’s To do so ( leaving far worse service for the rest) and take the kid to the galley if he/she starts to cry. Btw, when I flew long haul with my baby to Australia and Europe, we respected the needs or desires of business class and flew economy.

JustMe
Guest
JustMe

Naomi, if your tale of flying in economy just because wanting to make sure the better folks are business class are not disturbed is true, I hail you for your consistent view on this topic. However, your logic seems flawed. Business is usually about half as full as economy with each seat taking (lets guess) space of 3-4 economy seats. This means you are willing to annoy about six times of the proletariat flying in economy compared to folks in front. Does not compute. Would make better sense if buying business class would give you options to choose your fellow fliers, but as folks here have already noted, it doesn’t. Anyway, fun topic, it’s truly interesting to see how your fellow citizens see the world.

OhBoy
Guest
OhBoy

I absolutely agree with not expecting the FA’s to parent your kids.

Sam
Guest
Sam

Looking back at the past ten-plus years of parenting, the mistakes I regret most were the ones I made because I was worried about what other people thought of me. I’ve got a big age gap between kids–one’s turning 12 soon and the other is under 18 months. (The older is a total pro traveler. The younger one just rocked her first flight a couple of weeks ago.) Do your best for your family and ignore hyper-critical strangers. In the long run, they don’t really matter that much. You do you and everything will work out just fine.

OhBoy
Guest
OhBoy

Advocating for putting yourself first and not being concerned about how your actions affect others is a horrible way to society to function. Teach your kids to be considerate of others.

Sam
Guest
Sam

Hi, OB. I’m really not saying we should put ourselves first. I’m saying parents should do our best and not worry about what other people think. 🙂 Lots of people are just looking for something to gripe about. That’s their problem, not mine. My kids don’t kick seats. They use headphones when they watch videos on the plane. They have snacks and drinks so their ears don’t hurt during takeoff/landing. We remind them to be quiet in hotel rooms and hallways so they don’t disturb others. We are teaching them to be good travelers. I worked my tail off to keep my youngest comfortable and quiet on her recent flights, constantly feeding her Cheerios and sips of her drink for 80% of the flight. She had way better service than the folks up front. My older child is better behaved than many adult travelers. But no matter what you do sometimes things don’t go as planned. I do what I can to make things go smoothly, but if they don’t I don’t sweat it. And if someone else’s kid is crying the whole flight those parents have my sympathy. I’m going to give them a smile and say a prayer for them and then put on my noise-canceling headphones because I bet they’re doing the best they can. Most people are.

People who don’t want any kids on a flight anywhere near them are the ones trying to put themselves first. Which, as you pointed out, is a terrible example. And I’ll point out that it’s a terrible way to live.

Do your best. Believe the best about others. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks of you. It took me 40 years to figure that out, but now I’m old and wise and so over parent-shaming! XD

OhBoy
Guest
OhBoy

Great advice and thank you for expanding on your perspective. I share that same sentiment and do similar things with kids.

OhBoy
Guest
OhBoy

Having a well behaved child up front isn’t a problem. But having a young child that you can’t or won’t control is very disrespectful to other passengers (coach or premium).

Many of the considerate parents will have well behaved children and will do their best to make sure the child is not disruptive. The flip side is that there are a ton of Inconsiderate parents who don’t mind their kids or consider the experience of others. I’ve got a really good friend who will never read a post on this topic, knows his little one can’t be controlled and will throw a tantrum, will realize it is unfortunate for other passengers, but will book premium regardless because he can afford it (miles or cash) and will say at least fewer people are being disturbed than if he were in economy.

We just need people to be more considerate of others..

Keith
Guest
Keith

Of course the kid can fly in F or C with me. But the second he starts crying or screaming and disturbing me, I’m going to tell the parents to move to the aft lavs! No right to interfere with my premium cabin experience.

And what’s with “my son is 19” already with a 15 month old son?

Styles Bitchly
Guest
Styles Bitchly

Perfectly stated Keith. Parents have no right to interfere with your premium cabin experience. But you have every right to dictate how they travel.

OhBoy
Guest
OhBoy

I’d hate to be told by someone else what I should do with my kid. What other options are there besides moving to the aft lavs – which really just ends up disrupting a bunch more people?

Blue
Guest
Blue

Sure you are, dude.

Erika Hamilton
Guest
Erika Hamilton

Although I completely agree with Greg that there is no reason not to fly with a child in business class (I dont think economy class passengers want to be disturbed by a screaming child any more than business class passengers, nor do I think they are less entitled to a someone bearable flight) but I do hate when parents take their INFANTS on red eyes when there are other options available. Example: PDX to CLT overnight, when you could fly that same route during they day. They end up with a screaming infant who cannot be consoled, and a flight of 200 plus people get no sleep. I think when there are reasonable options available, parents should try to be considerate of others around them. Not really an option when you fly from PDX to LON, but if you are flying a route where you can disturb people less, it seems like you should try to do so. I guess I dont feel the same way when you kid is no longer an infant and good parenting can lead to good behavior.

AlexL
Guest
AlexL

Kids should be allowed in first/business/economy. Like a couple of readers stated already, if a parent tries his/her best to calm the kid that is crying or not well-behaved, I will give the smile with the understanding that the parent probably feel worse than everybody else. The result here should not matter because kids sometimes are being kids and what usually work may not work this time. So maybe a little bit empathy? If the parent does nothing, it may be a good idea to remind the parent of the kids’ disruptive behavior. If the parent ignores you and the kid’s behavior continues, look at the bright side, you have a story to tell now. I know it may not be ideal for your premium cabin experience that you envision, but how can you be sure an adult passenger who is drunk is better than the kids? Some readers brought up the point that kid-free zone is less common in the places besides united states. It really got me wonder why.

Mangar
Guest
Mangar

I don’t care if a kid is in business class, assuming the kid is quiet. I have 4 kids. If one is sitting next to me, and behaving – Nobody at all should have an issue. If however, the kid is bawling and annoying everyone – Then that should be handled like it would if an adult was causing the commotion.

When it comes to screaming babies – I don’t think anyone should be forced to deal with that. Some crying is understandable – Especially during takeoff, landing, and pressure changes. However, I’ve heard some horror stories that nobody should have to deal with. Including those in the cheap seats…..

Jackie Chiles
Guest
Jackie Chiles

It’s outrageous, egregious, preposterous.

Cosmo Kramer
Guest
Cosmo Kramer

It’s definitely preposterous.

Koko De Nono
Guest
Koko De Nono

Its public transportation in a free-ish market. Fly private or live with it. There’s no exclusivity rights for babies, plenty of people are loud assumption (-umption) holes and get to fly wherever they want.

WR2
Guest
WR2

People who are respectful of others wait until their child is old enough to behave in public before putting them in a situation where they could potentially annoy hundreds of strangers for several hours. Narcissists who think their needs are more important than the needs of hundreds of others don’t care about such things. I would estimate that about 1% of travelers with babies/toddlers actually need to travel (moving internationally, travel required and no other option, etc.). The other 99% are just entitled selfish people who probably also think climate change is a super important issue that other people should make sacrifices for.

J C
Guest
J C

Wow. It sounds like you’ve been respectful to everyone else in every part of your life. Which is immediately contradicted by your judgy post.

toomanybooks
Guest
toomanybooks

Wow, is this a record for most comments on a FM post?

Blue
Guest
Blue

The answer is simple: don’t want to travel with kids around then don’t fly a common carrier.

Joe
Guest
Joe

I’ve flown Singapore Biz to Manchester from Houston, there was a small baby next to me and they didn’t cause any disruption nor did I find it odd that a baby was in business class. There is no rule that forbids babies from flying in business, that is just nonsense!

Billy Bob
Guest
Billy Bob

I fly somewhat frequently both business and economy (own homes in different countries — so some my flights are long hauls) and always cringe inwardly when I see toddlers/babies sitting nearby, especially in business,which is really rare actually. I never book econ seats near the first walk-through row (near the screen) because that’s usually where the babies are. However, I have to assume that some earthbound grandparent might want to meet the new edition — and generally the flights turn out ok. No PTSD. I’ve been married for many years, and we are happily kid-and-financially free.

However, my mom told me that at three months, I was actually that screaming baby on a transcontinental. We were moving. My dad’s company paid for the flights. She informs me that I screamed non-stop for the whole non-stop flight.
So, on the rare one when I am within close proximity to a little screamer on a plane, I feel it’s some kind of cosmic karma. They quiet down eventually at least. Not like me. 🙂

Rob
Guest
Rob

I recently flew Alaska premium and there was a family in front of us, two parents three children under 10 – I have no problem with that in itself. My problem is with parents who ignore their children and let them carry on and scream and cry and literally do nothing, which is what these people did. Not considerate to the other passengers. These parents will reap the “rewards” of ignoring their kids as they get older. My advice: Be a parent now or pay the price later.

trackback

[…] turned into a hot topic this week at Frequent Miler, with Greg’s post yesterday (The baby in business class debate) touching off quite a bit of discussion. That made me reflect a bit on the ways that family travel […]

a$]-[u
Guest
a$]-[u

Few years back my wife traveled alone with our 3 yr old son on a long haul flight. My son was watching cartoon at his seat and giggling / laughing on the show. An elderly man close by shouted the f*** word on him, my wife was speechless and didn’t take any action!

It made my blood boil when she told me about it, people need to inform the crew about this kind of behavior.

Fiwithorange
Guest
Fiwithorange

Being able to bring an 8-month-old baby together with me on a business class is very very helpful for very tired parents, especially for a 16 hr flight from Boston to Toyko (flying home). The infant fare for the business is not cheap, especially for most of us are usually using award ticket. Although it is 10% of the adult fare, it still cost $750 for a laptop infant vs. I am paying $60 for my own business award. With $750 I am sure you can get an adult ticket in the economy cabin.

Kiki
Guest
Kiki

Were we not all babies at one time? How selfish we’ve all become. I no longer have babies, mine are 18,18, and 16. This is no longer the age of children should be seen and not heard. Buy yourself some noise-canceling earphones and stop having adult temper tantrums.

Signed, The Public
Guest
Signed, The Public

Most infants never fly in a plane. Noise canceling headphones don’t cancel those noises.

Carla
Guest
Carla

I’m the first person to groan internally when I see a baby or child walking down the aisleway (“please, let them be sitting somewhere else! Please let them be sitting somewhere else!”) I have that reaction whether I’m flying upfront or in economy. However, for the most part, I can live with a little kid noise. My beef in the “flying with kids” arena is LAP CHILDREN in economy class. Notice that I say lap CHILDREN and not lap babies.
With space in back as cramped as it is, any baby older than about six months of age is going to physically encroach on the personal space of adjacent passengers. I once flew a three across with me in the window seat, another PAX in the aisle, and a mom of what had to be the largest 23.75 month old child in history. He was also not happy to be having to sit on mom’s lap, so I got a ton of painful little elbow jabs in my chest. There simply isn’t physical space for lap toddlers like this in the back of the plane. In business class, especially on a flight like Delta one, it wouldn’t have been such an issue. Boo on the airlines for allowing this and boo on parents who don’t buy toddlers their own seat/space on the plane.

James
Guest
James

Getting close to a record number of comments yet?

Richard
Guest
Richard

I fall in the 2nd and 3rd group. I occasionally get to fly premium economy or business class with my company and I save points from my very small online business that I run on the side.

I think there are a lot of valid points. In a perfect world, there’s a cabin dedicated to families with little ones. But until that happens, families have ZERO obligation to sit in economy class if they have the ability to sit in business.

The one and only time I flew with my 14 month old in transcon biz, we apologized in advance to everyone around us if our son cried a bit. Everyone was accommodating. Like others have posted, keep them entertained, ideally time your flight around their schedule and when they do get upset/fidgety/teary eye, rock them in the galley.

But it seems like a lot of the anti-kids forget that they either had children or were once a child who flew themselves.

There’s a lot of common sense involved here. Bottom line, be considerate of others but do what’s right for you and your family. Chances are, your kiddos will remember some aspect of the travel but you and them certainly won’t remember the strangers that flew with you.

Tom
Guest
Tom

I don’t know about you all but I absolutely LOVE hearing babies and toddlers cry in public (and yes that includes planes). Why, you might well ask? Because, being a parent (of now late 20 year olds) and an elementary school teacher myself, when I hear those cries, they are the sweet sound of NOT MY PROBLEM.

trackback

[…] fly in business class with a baby. I’m not going to repeat that discussion here, see “The baby in business class debate” if you’re interested and missed it. One point that was echoed by a few folks was the […]

trackback

[…] Business Class: Is there a more heated topic than bringing babies in business or first class? See this post from Frequent Miler. I never fly in business or first class, so I just can’t get into the arguments. Grab your […]

Signed, The Public
Guest
Signed, The Public

Greg you’re reacting emotionally to people pointing out inconsiderate behavior of others. This blog has officially jumped the shark.

Joaquin
Guest
Joaquin

If your baby / toddler is crying when the aircraft is ascending or descending, it likely means that he/she is in pain (that is unless you forget to feed or change diapers). Adults can equalize, most kids under three cannot, not equalizing means pain and the only way to convey to others the pain they are feeling is by screaming. If you as a parent are comfortable inflicting pain to your offspring, fly away, in any class.

Margot
Guest
Margot

Good discussion. For the parents – have you paid attention how many people indicated here that they are not exactly happy having small children next to them in a plane?
Unfortunately airlines do not provide an option to avoid flying with screaming babies in the same space, so the best is to isolate yourself at least virtually. After reading this blog I ordered noise canceling headphones – thank you for advice. That may help not just with the babies, but in other situations as well.

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[…] searching for Business Class fares. It reminds me of Greg The Frequent Miler’s post: The baby in business class debate. Obviously, mine aren’t babies anymore, but people are more tolerant of screaming babies than […]