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Lap Children and First Class RANT!
The other day I was flying from LAS-CLT-MIA. Since I am low man on the totem pole as a SP, I got lucky and cleared for an upgrade on the CLT-MIA leg of my flight. Since I am on an A320, there is only three rows of FC. I am in 1C and my worst nightmare is right behind me in 3C. A LAP CHILD!
As soon as I step on board, the child starts screaming. Maybe the little one did not like me? Anyway, luckily the trip was only a few hours down to Miami with no delays. However I was tempted to move to the far back of Coach to not hear the little one scream and shriek through the whole flight.
I thought that there was an unwritten rule that lap children are not allowed to be in first class. It is bad enough that they have to sit in the bulkhead of coach right behind FC, but at least there is a one inch wall that leaves a little barrier to a screaming child. And yes I know, I was luck to be upgraded to FC so I guess it was the trade off that I would have to deal with.
If you were in 1C and the lap child was in 3C, it was not "right" behind you. You had a full row of seats between you!
I know kids can be annoying. At least you were on a short flight. On a 10 hour flight this month, I had a waiting baby in the bulkhead when I was in FC, and to quiet it down, the mom would bang a tambourine for 15-20 minutes straight. Much worse than the wailing kid!
I put my headphones on, and that kept most of the Hari Krishna act out.
I've got some real estate here in my bag.
I thought that there was an unwritten rule that lap children are not allowed to be in first class.
You're joking, right?
While it's true you don't usually see many lap children in first, that's probably because most young parents with children of that tender age probably can't afford to buy a first class ticket. This one apparently could. But you think the airline should have turned down the revenue from that seat just to make YOU happy?
Hard to combat crying babies, it's just what they do. We were all like that once too.
After being up all night closing a deal, I boarded an 8AM flt from Tuscon to ORF. Settled into my Y seat wanting to just sleep, a 5 yr old behind me pretend to be a horse; nieghing and kicking my seat. Mom was leaning across the aisle talking to another woman for a long time. I tried to be understanding and then realized all the kid wanted was for his mom to pay attention. After 30 mins of this non-stop. I got up and told her to pay attention to her child and get him to stop kicking and screaming before things got ugly.
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a little communication is worth gold
In my experience, I've been very pleased with the few times very small children or infants have been in F. I suppose I've been outrageously lucky, because they've always been well behaved or asleep for the vast majority of the time.
However, there was one time out to CLT when the last folks to get on the plane were two young parents with a small infant in their arms. They took their seats in 1AC, and I became very annoyed at what looked like might be a flight full of screaming and crying.
Once they got settled and the mother got the baby to stop screaming, she passed the baby off to the dad and stood up to store the last of their carryons. She then looked at all the pax in F in the eyes and advised us that they were keenly aware of what we were all thinking (and fearing) and she assurred us all that once the plane was airborne, we'd not hear another peep from the child. She was absolutely correct! Turns out she and her husband flew lots for work and were both US1s.
Anyway, the moral of this rambling diatribe is to point out, again, the value of communication with those around you when situations become less than perfect. It goes a long way. Her communication to each of us caused us all to give her instant empathy (and hope for a quiet flight!).
Question: How do you all know that the mother and baby were paid F? They could be upgraded or US employees? Did I miss somethign about being in a paid F?
Well, we *know* the OP was an upgrade. In all seriousness, what does it matter if the mother was an upgrade as well, or a paid seat? Babies cry, that's part of life. Get some Bose noise canceling head phones, if other passengers, including babies cry.
Are some customers better than others? Should she have been booted off the plane with a parachute in mid flight? Dose the baby with a Xanax? I'm sure the mother didn't enjoy the crying any more that the OP.
If a child is old enough to behave, then it's the parents fault. If not old enough, then that's just the way of the world.
I've got some real estate here in my bag.