Banning Babies from First Class Flights…Going Too Far?

I read an interesting story online this morning on news.com.au .  Upon first beginning to read this article, I immediately felt a sense of unease at the firestorm of controversy that I was sure this would unleash. But according to the author of the article, Lee Taylor, babies will only be banned from first class.  They will still be allowed to travel with their parents in the business and first class sections.

Actually, I don’t think this is a bad idea, especially in this economy.  Not everyone traveling in first class is doing so at company expense.  Many people spend big, hard and long saved money to splurge on a first class flight, especially if it is a long flight.  These passengers have an understandable expectation of the “first” or best of everything for the money they are paying.  This includes looking forward to the best of comfort, leg room, food, peace and tranquility. 

One comment following the article expressed that most flights offer high quality ear plugs that can help block out most of the noise of crying babies.  If a passenger chooses to don ear plugs in order to listen to music, or watch a movie that’s one thing.   But a passenger paying to fly in the luxury of first class shouldn’t be forced to stuff ear plugs in his/her ear because screaming babies are near.

The more I think about it, I can even see this trend spreading to business class.  With the huge strides made in technology, many people are able to conduct business while traveling.  Many of them spend a good portion of their flights reading business reports, and even composing and uploading documents on mobile devices.  I’m sure they would also appreciate undisturbed quiet in which to concentrate.

I think many parents get defensive over articles like this because they feel we are attacking them because their babies are crying.  Well let me be clear, I am not attacking parents, nor any other travelling caretakers.  It is only natural for babies to cry.  This is one of the earliest ways they communicate their wants and needs.  As a matter of fact, if a child has been sick or too quiet, a cry can be the most beautiful sound thing in the world. 

I just don’t believe it has to be spread all over the plane.  It’s a pretty good idea to have a family/coach section for parents traveling with youngsters nine and under.  I think more airlines can take a lesson from the many fast food restaurants that have implemented playgrounds to make their eateries more family friendly.  I know you can’t have swings and slides on a plane, but maybe just partition off a nursery section with toys, rockers, etc.

 Now if the child is 10 or older and crying and screaming at the top of his lungs the whole flight…well, that’s a story for a different article.  What are your feelings on different sections for parents travelling with children?  Are you for or against?

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2 Responses to “Banning Babies from First Class Flights…Going Too Far?”

  1. Tristi Pinkston Says:

    I think I’d like a family section on an airplane. It’s already hard enough to travel with kids who are crying, but if I were surrounded by other families who all understood what I was dealing with, I think it would be a good thing.

    • Pamela Kay Noble Brown Says:

      Yes Tristi, I could see that working. You could even (for long flights, say 10 hours or more) have nursery aids who could care for the children and let the parents get a few hours of sleep. The aids would need to be put through a rigorous background investigation and training process though. But I thing it would work out nicely.

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