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Should Toddlers Be Allowed in First Class?

Should Toddlers Be Allowed in First Class?
Ariana Arghandewal

Flying first class comes with many perks: A flatbed seat, delicious food, and luxurious, quiet cabin. Emphasis on quiet cabin. One of the things that often get reported as making flights unpleasant is The Crying Baby: that creature that boards the plane with a chip on its shoulder and then belts out high-C’s the entire flight. It’s practically what noise-cancelling headphones were invented for.

 But that begs the question: Should toddlers be allowed in first class?

I’ve seen lots of kids flying in premium cabins. Usually they’re pretty well behaved, thanks to the distracting of the in-flight entertainment. But babies? You can’t really control them. They can’t express themselves verbally, so when they are unhappy or want something they’ll cry and there’s nothing the rest of us can do about it.

While I have yet to encounter a crying baby in first or business class, I did fly LAX – YYZ in a first class seat immediately in front of economy. A toddler shrieked loudly every two minutes on the dot…the entire flight! The parents made an effort to stop it, but the shrieking continued. It was excruciating and made the 5+ hour flight less pleasant. But I got over it.

What happens when you’re sitting in first class and a toddler is screaming the entire time? Or getting out of their seat and being generally belligerent?

I always respect a parent that tries. It’s those who just don’t care that don’t deserve to be in first class, in my opinion. Or any airplane. 

An airplane is essentially public transportation and if you’re going to be completely inconsiderate then either stay home or charter a jet. As for the screaming kids? Luckily most first class cabins come equipped with noise cancelling headphones. This can make the crying and screaming more bearable.

I’ve gone over how to cope with crying toddlers. But should parents actually bring their toddlers into a first or business class cabin? I personally don’t know if I’d feel comfortable bringing an unruly toddler into first class. The death stares from fellow passengers alone would make me think twice.

I also realize that if a toddler screams in one part of the plane, it will reverberate throughout. So does it really matter if the toddler is sitting in first class or coach? Again, no one is better equipped to deal with the crying than first class passengers, who have access to noise cancelling headphones.

I know a lot of folks are going to disagree with me, but as someone who recently traveled with a toddler, I realize that premium travel is in many ways ideal for families. The kids and (exhausted) parents are actually able to sleep comfortably, plus there’s good food and plenty of snacks. Is it really fair for families to be excluded from experiencing those luxuries?

I say sit up front with your kids – if they cry, make your best effort to calm them down. If they don’t, the rest of us can put on our noise cancelling headphones and enjoy the flight.


What are your thoughts: Should toddlers be allowed in first class cabins?

View Comments (139)


  1. KDS777

    October 8, 2018 at 5:02 pm


    Plain and simple.

    Children under 3 should not be followed in class on an aircraft.

  2. Dsnarl

    October 8, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    The problem is not with Children. The problem is with parents that do not teach their children manners.
    The same could be said for many adult passengers.

  3. trk1

    October 8, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    NEVER–selfish on the parents who even think about it

  4. freeflyin

    October 8, 2018 at 6:24 pm

    I have no problem with toddlers or babies up front. In many cases they do better in the larger spaces in First, than they do in the tighter confines in back.

    Public transportation is open to all-if one has an issue with the possibility of a child in First, then other options should be explored.

  5. AADFW

    October 8, 2018 at 6:36 pm

    No, absolutely not. Only in Premium Economy & Economy. And even then only in designated sections.

  6. thepinenuts

    October 8, 2018 at 6:40 pm

    NOOOO !!!!! Sat in first and had a 2 yr old in the row behind scream and wail the entire trip, HNL to SAN. Mom did nothing, simply said he does this every time he flies.

  7. PHL

    October 8, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    I have grown kids now, but when they were babies and toddlers they would fly up front with me on some trips. Sometimes they were quiet as mice, other times there was some noise. Oh well. I proactively and reactively did everything I could to avoid that scenario. But even takin every precaution doesn’t always work.

    Anyone else who is a parent can relate. Others who are too old to remember raising young kids or have never had a kid – suck it up. The airline never promised peace and quiet. They only promised a bigger seat, priority boarding and a meal. They also promised complimentary booze if you need to take the edge off. Bring ear plugs. I’ve used them when I’m traveling solo and there has been a crying child. They help immensely.

  8. Marlin240

    October 8, 2018 at 7:29 pm

    “An airplane is essentially public transportation and if you’re going to be completely inconsiderate then either stay home or charter a jet.”

    Essentially public transportation…exactly…There’s the sought-after answer; i.e., if someone doesn’t like the possibility of a screaming baby, buzzsaw snoring old guy, etc. – anyone else doing something that annoys but is is not criminal, then maybe the one who should stay home or charter a jet is the one who gets annoyed.

  9. Pookynubbers

    October 8, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    Yes, plain-er and simple-er.

  10. Okto

    October 8, 2018 at 8:04 pm


    You need not concern yourself with this sort of issue since you don’t care about flying premium cabins anymore:

  11. WebTraveler

    October 8, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    The thing is that a toddler is going to cry if he or she feels like she is going to cry. Nothing, no one can change that.

    That said, long ago I used to think wow, why don’t those parents do something? Well, my kids are older now, and I just thank goodness its not me when I hear all that. it is what it is.

    You want privacy you gotta go charter your own aircraft.

  12. Amedeau11FB

    October 8, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    Why do you say that @KDS777?

  13. Traveller999

    October 8, 2018 at 10:23 pm

    Dear KDS777,

    Here my answer, plain and simple – Of course the are allowed to and will be allowed!
    Or is your “comfort” demand more important than that one from other ones?

  14. amanx

    October 9, 2018 at 3:37 am

    Followed in class?

    If their parents pay for a seat, then they are allowed.

  15. nickwilcock

    October 9, 2018 at 4:18 am

    No. Once upon a time there was a phrase “Too young to travel”.

    Put them in the hold.

    OK, maybe that’s a bit harsh. Airlines should Install a soundproof bulkhead at the rear of the cabin ahead of a couple of rows of seats to be occupied only by people with kids under 3 in a ‘family area’.

    Don’t accept any other such kids on the flight.

    But worse are parents who let their little cherubs scream, yell and run up and down the cabin. Parents should ensure that their kids behave – or face action for the disruption they cause.

  16. standardgirl

    October 9, 2018 at 4:21 am

    I don’t think babies should be in international first when there is a business class cabin. If it’s a 2-class config (or business plus economy plus prem economy), then I can understand and don’t have a problem with babies/toddlers in business class as long as the parents try their best to stop the crying.

  17. littlemissflyer

    October 9, 2018 at 4:23 am

    Definitely should be allowed – Families have a right to travel together whichever class they fly is their choice and first or business ensures that they have paid enough extra for the privilige. I saw a recent heart breaking almost split up of a family with one toddler girl crying due to father having mixup with ticket/passport at Paris on Sunday – thankfully finally resolved and father was boarded but not before being most upset too and was worse to watch.

    As you rightly suggested – it is not the child at fault. Only a sick or ill child will scream constantly – which is most understandable, the rest is down to very bad parenting anyway which is why parents should be allowed on under condition that they may have to moved to the furthest end in economy if highly disruptive to other passengers ie. no effort is made to calm, entertain or occupy child but really for use as a last resort.

    Children are mostly easily distracted by something or someone interesting anyway plus children in economy can be more upset having been couped up for longer!

    And head/earphones are always available …. I like to bring my own extra loud ones .. just in case!

  18. Nanda Chai

    October 9, 2018 at 4:28 am

    No kids, period! LOL.

  19. SarcasticMisanthrope

    October 9, 2018 at 4:28 am

    If the Baby or Toddler can pay for their own seat in First Class, then yes.

  20. jimthehorsegod

    October 9, 2018 at 4:30 am

    Clearly yes – travelling is not fun and whatever additional service can be used to impove the experience is worth the money. That’s why First exists as an option.

    The idea that economy passengers in some way are fair game for putting up with noisy infants is the sort of attitude that gives premium cabin travellers a bad name.

    Children under about 12 months will generally sleep the entire way. 12-30 months is a tricky spot as they don’t want to sit still but all you really need is the stairs on the 747 and that’s several hours gone.

    The propensity for people without children to dislike being around children is telling but it isn’t at all relevant. Toddlers are young people and if you can’t coexist with them, it’s more your problem than theirs (in more ways that one.)

  21. DaveS

    October 9, 2018 at 4:30 am

    Since babies cannot be checked as hold luggage (shame), all parents with screaming infants should be banned from the airline whatever the class. That threat may make the more inconsiderate parents try a bit harder.

  22. jAAck

    October 9, 2018 at 4:30 am

    Generally speaking, anyone who can obtain a premium class ticket is entitled to fly in a premium class cabin. There are rare examples of airlines who have age limits in some premium cabins but that is not common. So bottom line, you’re not going to stop someone from bringing a baby into first class.

    Are premium cabins the best place from a family perspective? I suppose it depends. Most premium cabins now have direct aisle access and many single seats. I’ve observed at times that this causes families to spread out in the cabin and parents have less visibility and control of their children.

    As for noise-canceling headphones, they are designed to cancel ambient noise, such as airplane engines. They are not designed to mute out a crying baby or a drunk talker for that matter. The best ones might reduce the annoyance a bit, but they won’t eliminate it to any significant degree if the noise is loud and close by.

  23. Tinseltown

    October 9, 2018 at 4:31 am

    Well, the parents are paying for it, right? Why should first class passengers be exempt from potentially screaming toddlers, when economy passengers have no choice in the matter? You are paying for a ticket, and more crucially, space and service to get from A to B. Not for guaranteed silence.

  24. Pfaelzer

    October 9, 2018 at 4:32 am

    I pay for my son to fly business class, he flies business class. Full stop. If somebody has a problem with that, he should fly private.

    I make sure he is well behaved, that goes without saying.

  25. chelseastu

    October 9, 2018 at 4:34 am

    I realise I may upset a few people and this is purely out of selfishness but as a FC flyer, I’m definitely in the NO camp.

    Firstly, most airlines I’ve used do not have proper noise cancelling headphones. They have superior headphones. Those headphones do not drown out the screams of a young child who can bellow at decibels otherwise unknown to man.

    Secondly, I fly FC to get some well needed rest and be fresh for when I arrive at my destination – with a screaming child this is not possible.

    Thirdly, in a cabin of 9 or 12 people, I don’t think it’s right that the other 7 or 10 people have to suffer.

    I’m not all cold-hearted and I do understand that sometimes there’s a need to travel with a child in FC but it should be discouraged.

  26. Elston Gunn

    October 9, 2018 at 4:34 am

    “premium travel is in many ways ideal for families”. Therein lies the problem: young parents with a strong sense of entitlement and no sense of responsibility to others. If it’s good for them, then nothing else matters.

  27. DirtyDan


    October 9, 2018 at 4:35 am

    Children, toddlers, and infants should sit wherever their parents pay for them to sit.

    What is it with a certain large North American country and its war on children? That child will one day grow up and pay the taxes needed to support our old arses… So be the village that child needs regardless of where in the plane that interaction occurs.

  28. Bouncer


    October 9, 2018 at 4:36 am

    Certainly!… the overhead bins are more than spacious enough!


  29. m3red

    October 9, 2018 at 4:37 am

    I travelled in first with my 3 month old and have more f and j flights to come. Got a problem with who may be on board – fly private!

  30. cransbot

    October 9, 2018 at 4:39 am

    I’ve come across adults who should be excluded from first class…The worst are the noisy, non-rev employees traveling in international first who think the entire flight is a party.

  31. bennytma

    October 9, 2018 at 4:41 am

    I’ve been disturbed way more often in F and J by loud conversations and snoring men than by babies or toddlers. Doesn’t even come close. If anyone wants to ban babies and toddlers then they should be fine with banning loud snorers and loud conversations. Personally I don’t think banning is the right way to go about keeping a F or J cabin quiet.

  32. Spider

    October 9, 2018 at 4:43 am

    No, absolutely not.

    They have no need to be there as they are small and can just as easily stay in coach.

  33. rjlon

    October 9, 2018 at 4:44 am

    There should not be a rule for toddlers same as there should not be arule fir anyone consuming alcohol. If tgey are well behaved and do not create a nuisance they should be welcomed. If they create a nuisance by screaming, running around or annoying other pax they should be moved to seats where such behavior is mire acceptable and pax have not paid high fares for peace and quiet. Same girs fir drunk and bousterous groups who will not behave.

  34. rizayosia

    October 9, 2018 at 4:44 am

    Will fly with my 8 months old in business. One flight is 7.5 hours and another one is 6 hours. One of them is red eye. Wish us luck.

  35. Webby64

    October 9, 2018 at 4:45 am

    and if i want to talk to the person I’m travelling with do I …….
    a) keep headphones on and use sign language
    b) shout as l loud as possible so we can hear each other over the headphones
    c) talk normally with no headphones and put up with the screaming/crying child

  36. peterk814

    October 9, 2018 at 4:45 am

    I don’t think people in general should travel with kids under the age of three. It’s difficult with strollers diaper bags etc, it’s not good health wise to infants who have weak immune systems in general to be stuck in an airborn test tube. Not to mention low dosage radiation

  37. topman

    October 9, 2018 at 4:48 am


  38. BelperFlyer

    October 9, 2018 at 4:49 am

    A different question should some adults be allowed in first class?

  39. stormlover

    October 9, 2018 at 5:00 am

    I agree with KDS777. Children under 3 (and ANY child who isn’t well behaved) should not be allowed in first class.

  40. tris06

    October 9, 2018 at 5:00 am

    Business class yes but first class maybe no. After my son turned 2 yrs old I don’t think it is good for us to fly business until hes 4 or older. Even business class seats are Now usually seperated by nearly a metre hard to control then.The sleeping part. Children can sleep really Well on the new modern Premium economy (the better ones) nearly flat anyway.

  41. Dominic14

    October 9, 2018 at 5:05 am


    Plain and simple.

    Provided parents take the utmost reasonable steps to ensure they do not disturb other passengers.

    Last week we flew first for the first time with our baby and I had images of angry passengers however our 5 month old slept perfectly (with a lot of planning around feeds) and when awake I took him to the Galley much to the delight of cabin crew.

    We were full paying customers for 3 full seats, the same as others in the cabin. I was more disturbed by the complaining middle aged snob who was constantly complaining to cabin crew for various things at the top
    Of his voice saying he would ensure as many as he knew wouldn’t fly BA again and he would take business elsewhere (due to the fact they didn’t have his size pijamas. Not only that but his snoring and moaning was so loud he nearly woke up a sleeping baby, and most of the cabin.

    My point is, we are pretty much all paying customers and both with little children and adults alike you cannot always control them.

    Speaking with crew they they’d rather have a baby occasional crying but parents clearly making the best effort than an upstart unruly adult.

    Money will buy you a bigger seat, better food and more attention to service but it does not buy you the right to choose who sits next to you. To have that you should think about spending your money on a private jet!!

  42. psiddle

    October 9, 2018 at 5:05 am

    Absolutely not!

  43. ShamRockSteady

    October 9, 2018 at 5:08 am

    This is really ridiculous. Nobody wants a crying baby next to them when they fly.. But most small kids are absolutely fine on a plane. And if the kid has a meltdown, what difference does it make which cabin class they are in? Are people in economy more deserving of a loud child than people in first class? The answer is no.

    Of course children ought to be permitted to sit in first class (though I wouldn’t argue with an airline if it introduced age restrictions). People who don’t have small kids can be really bigoted towards parents and children, and this is especially rampant when flying. Far more often it is other adult passengers who make a flight unbearable rather than children.

  44. noworriesinmd

    October 9, 2018 at 5:09 am

    I prefer to fly first class with my toddlers.
    The biggest reason why, is that I can control the family sitting together. Most airlines have policies where you can’t control if they break up your family. At least with first, we sit together.
    Another reason why I like first, is big seats. Toddlers move. If we sat in coach, then I’d have to purchase 3 vs two seats.
    The final reason, we are a family of four and I like having a row across the plane. That is hard to do in coach.

    The above is for domestic flights.

    For international flight, BA has an infant seat holder in first class.
    We’ve taken our 4yr old (when she was an only child) in first. We initially got a lot of dirty looks, but by the end of the flight…we received a lot of compliments.

    When I was single I hated kids anywhere on a plane.
    I still snarl at parents who don’t attempt to control their kids, but know I bring headphone on every flight. As long as the kid does not touch me….I’m cool with kids bring in any class.

  45. wdchuck1

    October 9, 2018 at 5:09 am

    Let’s get real about this -the airlines are too feckless to institute a policy like this as they are afraid of offending someone – forget the person who paid for F/C

    What they should do is to institute a “code of conduct” for ALL F/C pax and lounge attendees -where if someone is being abusive and interfering with other passengers, they should be removed to coach or removed from the lounge

    The real problem is the lap babies in F/C and they seem to be on every flight i take –

    The airlines should make it clear in writing (signed by the pax) if they can’t control the child, they will be removed to coach

    one can’t dream, can’t one!!! it’s not going to happen…

  46. John Aldeborgh

    October 9, 2018 at 5:15 am

    Yes, without any doubt. I recall a trip from BOS to SFO, many years ago, when my oldest daughter was an infant. From the moment we took-off she started screaming, I ended up standing with her in my arm’s for almost the entire flight, at the rear galley of the plane, in an effort to be polite to the other passengers on the plane. Morale of the story, it isn’t the child, it’s the parents and how they deal with the situation. We were all infants once and we can’t, in good conscience, regulate who sits where. Are coach passengers somehow not entitled to the same common courtesy as those in 1st? It’s time to place the blame on the real culprits, poor parenting.

  47. jonack

    October 9, 2018 at 5:15 am

    Thank you for the thoughtful article. As a parent of thre kids, whenever we have been able to fly first class, it has always been a much more relaxing experience. I’d youve never flown with a toddler or small children, trust me, economy is even worse.

    @kds777 just curious why you say no? For every “I had a screaming kid kicking my seat for the entire flight” stor, I can tell you 10 stories of kids that were well behaved and parents that were courteous. It’s too easy to focus on the bad stories when no one ever talks about the normal, everything went great stories.

  48. duckhook503

    October 9, 2018 at 5:18 am

    Absolutely not. No exceptions. I have never had the pleasure of flying first class. However if I could afford to, I would not take kindly to that experience being cheapened by a badly behaved child. Unfortunately money does not automatically mean class. If little Johnny is allowed to roam free in economy, they are just as likely to be allowed to do the same thing up front. After all there are no such things as badly behaved children. Only poor parents

  49. zitsky

    October 9, 2018 at 5:22 am

    Gee. I have a child so I think they should be allowed. Surprise!

  50. Pipow

    October 9, 2018 at 5:25 am

    Of course, it is a paid service and if I pay the fare, i can put anyone in that seat, old or young. To say any different is fundamental human inequality! I am even surprised one would ask the question. Why diminish the rights of 3 year old one?

  51. gavron

    October 9, 2018 at 5:30 am

    It’s not about age, it’s about behavior. If your children are preventing others from enjoying the flight they shouldn’t be there.

    Make excuses all you like, and misuse the expression “begs the question” but toddlers are fine. Screamers belong in the lower cabin with the checked bags.

  52. mtt

    October 9, 2018 at 5:31 am

    Yes. It’s public transport.

  53. weero


    October 9, 2018 at 5:35 am

    They are less disruptive in Premium Cabins than in coach.

    It has been aeons since a toddler really screamed for a prolonged time in mu experience. If anything bothers me, it is the parents. Those who expect the person in front of them not to recline or who let the kids play with tablets or phones without headphones. The babies themselves are fine.

    And I agree with KDS777 – children under 3 should not be followed!

  54. evanstim

    October 9, 2018 at 5:37 am

    Definitely not, and parents who travel with young children are selfish, in my view. Screaming babies are like cigarette smoke: if you smoke a cigarette in public, you are inflicting your smoke onto others who did not ask for it and do not want it. Similarly, if you take a screaming baby in public, you are inflicting your child’s behaviour and noise onto others.

    Yes that is a harsh view and will probably spark a lot of negative comment towards me. But when I was a toddler, my parents did not let me travel. We were not taken out into public (e.g supermarkets) either – visiting friends and relatives in the car, yes, but in public places – no. Myself and my siblings were left at home until we were old enough to behave in public.

    If I were a parent, I would do the same.

  55. jammex88

    October 9, 2018 at 5:43 am

    No….neither should babies in my opinion. I was on a flight from Jacksonville to Denver in first (or business maybe, anyway, Row 2) and there was a mother and her baby behind me. The baby was crying most of the flight. The father was in Row 1 in front of me and occasionally got up and picked up the baby and stood there in front trying to calm him down. Really relaxing to be sandwiched between these parents and their screaming baby in first class. No babies or kids in first class!!!

  56. s0me0nesmind1

    October 9, 2018 at 5:50 am

    Yeah, because I’m about to do it in 2 weeks heh. 2 first class seats with a 1.5 year old toddler on our lap.

  57. peshwengi

    October 9, 2018 at 5:53 am

    If we’re choosing who is and isn’t allowed to pay extra for the class they want, I choose to disallow KDS777 from first and business class! But in reality if you want to be able to choose who you travel with you’ll need to charter a jet… other than that everyone should be allowed to buy whatever ticket they like.

    More seriously I’ve travelled business class many times with my kids, including when they were babies. They generally sleep better and are quieter than the horror of travelling economy with a restless child. We were all kids once and it doesn’t make sense to punish the kids for being kids by making sure they have an uncomfortable flight.

  58. BeatCal

    October 9, 2018 at 5:59 am

    stuffy business men should not be allowed in first class

  59. creedy

    October 9, 2018 at 6:11 am

    No! I traveled for nine hours on an international flight listening to a screaming toddler! The fight attendants were walking her up and down the isle trying to quiet her down to no avail. They continually apologized to the passengers. I don’t know how it is humanly possible to cry and scream for nine solid hours but she did. You would think she would eventually exhaust herself and stop or go to sleep. Didn’t happen! Her mother completely ignored her and tuned her out. Worst flight of my life!!! I never flew that airline again! As soon as we landed and she saw her daddy she stopped screaming and fell asleep. I felt for her the entire flight but everyone’s nerves were shot after nine hours of screaming and crying!

  60. SaraDB

    October 9, 2018 at 6:18 am

    NO, of course not.
    Why do we pay all that extra money? For space, QUIET and a peaceful journey. Bringing small children into 1st class is the ultimate in selfish parenting. Kids do not need a deluxe seat.

  61. davidjaquet

    October 9, 2018 at 6:20 am

    “first class seat immediately behind economy” – really? Must have been an interesting plane configuration!

  62. MimiB22

    October 9, 2018 at 6:21 am

    What airline provided noise cancelling headphones? I’ve never seen any airline offering them to the premium passengers. Maybe some do, so please enlighten. I recently flew 1st cross country on Delta and the only headphones I saw [excluding the provided ear buds] were passenger’s own.

  63. cfa2005

    October 9, 2018 at 6:22 am

    I agree: No kids under 3 in First Class. But I’d go a step further: Self-centered parents who bring their unruly children (or too-young-to-fly) children on any airplane should be compelled to pay 5x the normal fare with the excess being rebated to passengers in that class of seating on a pro-rated basis.

    One-size-fits-all doesn’t work any better in airline travel than it does in haberdashery.

  64. Disneymkvii

    October 9, 2018 at 6:36 am


    Plain and simple.

    Any age should be allowed in first class on any aircraft.

  65. GreatDane

    October 9, 2018 at 6:39 am

    If you sleep on your side noise cancelling headsets cannot be worn – only if you sleep flat on your back is this an solution.

    I have been on F-class longhaul flights with non-stop screaming babies in the cabin: Less than a premium experience – and I did not arrive well rested – the whole point of paying premium fare.

  66. petrogradian

    October 9, 2018 at 6:42 am

    Particularly up front, the airlines can help – LH provides special amenity kits for kids. KLM carries jarred baby food. Other carriers could easily do so.

    There’s also a customer service element regarding the airline. Much like handling drunks and other distracting people, helping people with small children could/should be in the training mix.

  67. JDogg

    October 9, 2018 at 6:42 am


  68. Fsulaw1

    October 9, 2018 at 6:47 am

    No, no, no!!!! I think they should be in the back of the plane as far away from first as possible.

  69. Danwriter

    October 9, 2018 at 6:58 am

    when are you going to hire actual journalists?

  70. andrewk829

    October 9, 2018 at 7:01 am

    There are some places and settings in this world that are just not meant for babies and toddlers. Fancy restaurants,. Movie theaters. Cocktail parties. Orchestra concerts. Add to that premium cabins on airplanes. In fact, I’d make that just “airplanes”, doesn’t matter if it’s seat 1A or seat 63D.

    When you have a kid, there are consequences. One of which is that perhaps for a few years you’ll have to take driving vacations.

    Don’t be the jerk who brings your screaming baby on a plane. Nobody else thinks your baby is cute or special.

  71. tracon

    October 9, 2018 at 7:02 am

    “LAX – YYZ in a first class seat immediately behind economy”

    Interesting configuration. Which airlines was this?


    October 9, 2018 at 7:03 am

    I have flown with six kids, also with for kids with 2 in bassinets. I wasn’t in premium but if I were I would take a crying kid elsewhere to calm them down. People pay a lot extra to get a good night’s sleep.

    I have an issue with parents that don’t care. Yesterday I flew back from LHR to JFK in coach. There was a family of three with a toddler that were taking up 7 seats between them, maybe to share the disturbance they were creating fairly between all the passengers in that part of the cabin. People complain about loud cellphone talkers but they created much more noise including having a personal video blasting out sound that everyone within 20 feet could hear. They were completely oblivious to the fact they were not alone. Finally at the end of the 8 hour flight the kid fell asleep and the mother carefully and slowly carried the baby to customs creating a long line of people behind her. I don’t think I’m being insensitive. We flew Concorde with a 4 month old (using miles booked just before we find out were were expecting, we never intended to fly a baby in such style) and at the end of the flight the people in front of us said they hadn’t realized there was a baby onboard, she was so quiet and we were so careful not to impose ourself on others.

  73. jimr260

    October 9, 2018 at 7:05 am

    I agree. although it would say under 5 should NOT be allowed in First Class, particularly on trips with lie flat seats. If i can’t bring my perfectly behaved dog there, misbehaving babies should not be allowed

  74. loridf

    October 9, 2018 at 7:20 am

    If a parent pays for it, they should be allowed. Should stinky people be allowed in first class? People who snore? People who drink too much? Where does it end?

  75. robcheshire

    October 9, 2018 at 7:20 am

    As a parent of two teenagers, and a frequent business flyer for the past 30 years, I believe I am qualified to comment on this. I personally would ban under-3’s from any premium cabin, but it would be a very brave airline that would risk the bad publicity with such a policy.

    What I don’t understand is why airlines that fly multiple daily services on long-haul routes don’t designated specific flights to be adults-only?

    I would willingly pay a premium for the guarantee of no screaming kids on any long-haul sector.

    You would have thought that it would be a competitive differentiator on routes with multiple carriers to choose from?

  76. ATLConsultant

    October 9, 2018 at 7:22 am

    It’s sort of a tough line to walk here. Little infants are no issue once their ears pressurize. They cry at first but once up in the air they fall right to sleep. But the 1-3 year olds can indeed be a handful in first class. So where do you draw the line? I don’t think you can, so I’m gonna say let them be in first class. The author is right: The Bose QC headphones pretty much drown out everything.

  77. mbl0687

    October 9, 2018 at 7:27 am

    Imagine being so privileged you think you can stop another human (no matter the age) from flying in a cabin.

  78. zenhealer

    October 9, 2018 at 7:30 am

    Unruly toddlers or kids or adults have no place on any flight in any class. Simple. Flying is stressful enough without the nuisance of bawling toddlers and irresponsible parents. I almost always fly Business in international flights and domestic coast to coast. Every onece in a while, there will be a shrieking toddler that makes the flight total hell.. If I pay premium dollars for my Premium class, I need peace and quiet and it is the airlines responsibility to provide that.


  79. jsintexas

    October 9, 2018 at 7:30 am

    If you paid for them to have a 1st class seat they should be allowed.

  80. gerstperson

    October 9, 2018 at 7:38 am

    I have less problems with toddlers who have purchased a seat than I do for toddlers who are lap children. I think there should be a prohibition of lap children in first class.

  81. ftrichard

    October 9, 2018 at 7:39 am


    Children do not need the seat. They do not need the food. They do not need the booze. Put them down the back with the nanny. You’ve obviously got at least one nanny if you’re paying for premium cabins.

    Then you and everyone else can enjoy the premium cabin in the peace you are paying for.

  82. IBJoel

    October 9, 2018 at 7:40 am

    Ariana, I think you make a great point. If you can afford FC, you can afford noise-cancelling headphones. And paying a lot of money shouldn’t insulate you from the realities of life. If you want to use FC to have a bit of luxury, parents can also use it to give a little more comfort to their kids and make flying a bit easier. They’re paying the same money anyone else would. Live by the dollar, die by the dollar.

  83. austinflyguy

    October 9, 2018 at 7:43 am

    At a minimum, laps should not be allowed in first or Intl biz class. Noise cancelling headphones do not work when you are trying to sleep.

  84. blimpin aint easy

    October 9, 2018 at 7:57 am

    Should a baby be able to go to a restaurant?
    Should a baby be able to go to a 3 Star michilen restaurant and ruin someone’s (or the entire restaurants) special evening… no

    Same thing with first class. That’s a luxury expierence, that some people get to do once in a lifetime. Why should anyone believe that they have the power to ruin someone’s good time in a luxury expierence.

    Should baby’s be able to fly= yes. Just in coach

  85. KenInEscazu

    October 9, 2018 at 8:00 am

    No. Nor in the first five rows behind First. Perhaps I’m jaded by the fact that I live in Latin America where noisy children are socially acceptable, but that’s one cultural difference to which I have failed to adapt. Sure I have noise canceling headphones, but they don’t block out everything. And sometimes the battery dies.

    As one who actually pays to sit up front (no upgrade lottery for me) so that I may be comfortable during my 200,000 miles+/year of travel, I’m ready for some regulation. Maybe I’d chill some if they would let me vape. I’ll bet my chocolate cheesecake vapor would bother far fewer people than a screaming child.

    While we’re at it, let’s also ban noisy electronic toys. My wife couldn’t sleep during our recent MAD-BOG trip because a mother was immune to the noise being made by her kid’s game on his iPad. That thing was lasting for the entire 10 hour flight. Yeah… We were sitting up front. Sure the mom paid for the brat’s ticket. Does paying for her kid’s ticket mean that she’s no longer responsible for the impact said child’s activities have on those sharing the cabin?

    ::Ducking to avoid the dirty diapers that I know many will be throwing in my direction after posting this opinion::

  86. Janus777

    October 9, 2018 at 8:05 am

    I think common courtesy says that anybody that can afford the fare should be able to book any seat..but I think that courtesy also dictates that parents should be prepared…there are endless resources available for parents who are traveling with infants and young children…It is infuriating when parents make little or no effort for the comfort of their children or those around their children.

    My sister in law flies non-rev (husband is a pilot) and she basically tries to sit separately from her kids and leaves the babysitting up to the passengers surrounding her is awful, I will refuse to fly on the same flights with her…

    Sadly I think people on both sides make little effort to minimize the discomfort of children flying…maybe a new set of common standards:

    1. Flight Crew are not baby-sitters or personal caterers…so don’t expect special services like warming bottles, having infant safe foods/snacks..or diapers..

    2. Take your kid to the bathroom to change them…(airlines could help by putting in tables that flip down for this..some have them, most domestic airlines do not) it is completely disgusting when I see children’s Asses sitting on tray tables..

    3. The galley is the flight crew’s work area not your gym, changing room, crying room or playpen..

    4. Prepare your kid for flight, including keeping them awake the night before so they sleep on the plane, bring comfort items, teach your kids how to clear their ears. (google it!) buy them their own seat! Do exercises while they are in the terminal to wear them down a bit! Reward them for good behavior…I am not suggesting you sedate your kid before flight (I know some parents who do!) but please don’t sugar your kids up and then get on a 5 hour flight and expect things to go well!

    5. If your kid is a known screamer then buy the big bottle of ear-plugs and pass them around! (it cots about 10.00 for a 100 pairs of plugs! ) It will go a long way if the other passengers see that you are making an effort.

    6. Complain to carriers about infant in arms policy…it is probably the most unsafe practice in the air is allowing babies to sit in peoples laps..any rough turbulence and you kid is basically a projectile…go watch a video of a watermelon cannon and you might start to get a clue!

    7. Never travel with Sick Children! The corollary to this is that the airlines should have no penalty cancellation for declaring your child too sick to fly…most airlines will honor this request but you might have to reach the right customer service rep. If you aren’t making progress HUCA (hang up call again!) The airlines staff should also have to right to request an evaluation to prevent obviously sick children from flying…without their faces being plastered all over social media and being called racist/homophobic/bigoted/etc etc

    8. As a frequent flier and also a father, I make every effort for my children and the passengers around me to have a comfortable flight..

  87. bdbrecheen

    October 9, 2018 at 8:09 am

    So, let’s be practical for just a moment. Traveling with an infant or toddler is nothing short of a crap shoot. You might get lucky and get through the flight with no screaming, crying or diaper blow outs. I don’t know if I would take those odds. For those of us who fork over the thousands of dollars it cost in addition to the price of a coach fare to sit in first or business class,headed to the same destination, how is it that you can justify being in first class with a child 2 and under that you did not pay a first class ticket for his/her seat? If you pay the 5K it cost to fly to Europe or your final destination for your infant child in addition to your fare, than so be it. The rest of us will have to bite our tongues and suck it up. However, to think you are justified to bring your toddler to first class because you bought your seat is nothing short of a sense of entitlement. Do you really want to be that person?

  88. GeneralEsther

    October 9, 2018 at 8:11 am

    I feel babies shld NOT be permitted to fly on the transatlantic night flights
    where actual business people are counting on their shuteye thru the nite
    to be able to continue on in the morning with their business.
    I love kids, especially babies, but recently I specifically flew first class thru the nite
    from TLV to NYC on 1 12 hr hr flight with two screaming babies…..I could not sleep
    and could not function next day.
    I don’t think it would be fair to ban children but most definitely they shld not be allowed into Business First Class
    on the night flight on a long haul

  89. AlastairGordon

    October 9, 2018 at 8:14 am

    Definitely. Fewer people in F than coach, therefore fewer people to be disturbed by the baby. And the fact that the people being disturbed in F are more likely to be wealthy businessmen flying to meetings than nurses or teachers going on vacation really doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

  90. Harlem

    October 9, 2018 at 8:26 am

    Adults who have been drinking have been much more disruptive than infants during my flights. If you’re bothered by infants then use noise cancelling headphones (like nearly everyone up-front already does) or take some earplugs.

  91. picturegal

    October 9, 2018 at 8:31 am

    The problem with toddlers is that sometimes no matter what the parent does, the child cannot be controlled short of a sedative. I know from personal experience. Many years ago we flew with our 22 month old son from ATL to LAX. We were upgraded to FC for the trip out and he was an angel. All the flight attendants were gaga over him. The flight back was full and we were in the back of the plane. 90 min. from ATL he decided he wanted out. There was no consoling him. My husband held him to his chest to try to stifle his screams. By the time we landed my husband had bite marks all over his chest, through his clothes. Anyone who is hysterical is by definition out of control, whether a child or an adult.

    I can tune out the screaming of someone else’s child better than having the child kick the back of my seat the whole time — and that child IS old enough to be controlled.

  92. pamaexp

    October 9, 2018 at 8:33 am

    I fly routinely with my whole family – wife + 4 kids. We sit upfront – usually in rows 1 or 2 and pretty much occupy the entire front of the plane. I’ve been flying this way with my family since my oldest was around a year old. Yes, on occasion the kids – especially when they are very little, get a little fussy – yes, it can be hard to calm them down – its all a reality – but it makes no difference if your in coach or First – a loud kid is a loud kid.

    In practice, being in First / Business makes a huge difference because the kids can eat well, they can watch videos and be entertained, they have a nice flat bed they can go sleep in, plenty of space for their books, crayons, toys, etc… They can play among themselves and jump around across the aisle – and because we usually have an entire front of the plane to ourselves, they don’t disturb other passengers. Yes, on occasion we do have to remind them “inside voices please” whenever they get overly excited, but overall they are pretty good.

    Traveling in itself is not always an easy experience. Since I do a whole bunch of business travel myself – whenever I see a mom or a dad or a family with their kids somewhere in the vicinity of my seat I usually let them know “hey, I also travel with kids, don’t worry about yours, if you need help during the flight, let me know.” Most parents are hugely grateful for that. A mom traveling alone with one or two kids will get tired, and exasperated, and may want to go to the bathroom, that stress translates to the kids whether you like it or not. Being able to tell the mom, “hey, I’ll hold your toddler / baby while you go to the bathroom” make them relax and when they go / take a break, makes them feel better.

    Yeah, there are folks who say “no one under age x”, what about age x – 1 month? or age x + 1 month? There is no blanket rule, there really isn’t, I’ve seen plenty of quite, well behaved 1.5 year olds, and awful 6 year olds. You can’t make a blanket rule.

    In the end of the day, its travel, we’re in it together, you yelling at a mom, a dad, or a family is not going to make it better, it won’t solve any problems. It’ll only make it worse. So, stop being selfish and offer to help, offer a smile, be curtious, and you’ll be amazed how much better yours and everyone elses flight is.

  93. jimthehorsegod

    October 9, 2018 at 8:40 am

    It’s interesting how easy it is to spot the childless wonders on the website, isn’t it?

  94. AKTravelerr

    October 9, 2018 at 8:46 am

    I’ve have never seen a baby be so drunk to try and commandeer an aircraft. I have never seen a baby hauled off a plane in handcuffs. I think they have every right to be in FC. Just as much right as anyone else.

  95. PA Pilot

    October 9, 2018 at 8:46 am

    I’d take a toddler over the obnoxious drunk who wouldn’t stop talking and passing gas so bad that would set off a cadaver dog. Also, if you are able to afford flying in a premium cabin you can also afford a quality in the ear noise canceling headset which drowns out almost all noise….now if there was some for of personalized HEPA to deal with odor.

  96. sfoeuroflyer

    October 9, 2018 at 8:48 am

    A strong no. Noise cancelling headphones don’t do the job and you can’t sleep with them on. People purchase business class and first class tickets for long flights largely in order to be able to sleep. Dont assume that parents will be able to or even try to keep a screaming child quiet.

    And I don’t accept the argument above that the kid’s seat cost the same amount of money as the passenger whose calm is being disrupted. When I am in my seat, I am not disturbing anyone else. The screaming child is doing precisely that….indeed the screaming child is ruining the quiet experience that the other passengers paid for.

  97. jjonathan

    October 9, 2018 at 8:54 am

    Yes. Let them know how it feels

  98. cheaptom

    October 9, 2018 at 9:05 am

    Toddlers are just one of many classes of people who should not be allowed to fly. People who bang into you while walking down the aisle, and people who “accidentally” take your seat and then try to get you to swap with their economy middle seat are others.

  99. Susann

    October 9, 2018 at 9:07 am

    While I’m not in favor of babies-toddlers in 1st, this recent occurrence was a step in the right direction: Going ORD-ATL in 1st recently, settling in, when here comes Mom and a six week old baby. Okayyyy, deeeeeep breath…She promptly handed me a small decorated bag full of goodies with a note from “Jasmine” (the baby),written in 1st person, “It’s my very first flight, I’ll try not to be fussy. Enjoy the treats and thanks for your patience”. It was such a nice touch and fortunately, Jasmine slept the entire time (granted not a really long flight but still). So chalking one up here for humanity. Could have gone either way. As others have pointed out, it’s usually the toddlers who are unruly because of their parents.

  100. jrpallante

    October 9, 2018 at 9:18 am

    For the sake of the children, I can only hope that many of these comments come from childless folks. It is interesting that the author notes “quiet cabin” as a benefit of flying first class. I have never seen that benefit touted, and I have not noticed any difference in noise levels between cabins, especially since there are no significant physical barriers between the cabins. Personally, I would rather sit next to a crying baby than some of the slobbering drunk business people I have met over the years. More often than not, the crying is the result of the air pressure on their ears, which is easily corrected with a binky, bottle, or food. Many young parents are not aware of this simple fact, though a quick internet search could help them become better travelers with wee ones. However, on a related topic, I do think it is obscene that lap children are allowed in any cabin. It having a laptop open during take off and landing is hazardous, than how can it be ok to have a squirming untethered baby on my lap? If you cannot afford a seat for the child, then you really need to reconsider whether you can afford to be traveling at this time in your life. My kids have been earning miles since they were born, and my oldest just used her own miles to book an award seat home from college over Christmas.

  101. khlay

    October 9, 2018 at 9:22 am

    yes. There are two reasons.
    1. Airline provide noise cancelling headphones for premium classes that can reduce the impact.
    2. Crying baby will annoy much less people if they are up front.

  102. just_me_13

    October 9, 2018 at 9:28 am

    I say yes as I have flown first and business with our infant who is now a toddler on international flights. On all of our flights, about 6 flights in premium cabins on our international flights, the passengers started out with stares and disbelief which led to them sympathizing with us as we work hard to keep the fuss to a minimum.

    and to those who are not supportive of infants, toddlers or kids, tough shit. until there are rules about it and they do not block out a bassinet seat, I will continue to do so. The extra space to move around up and down the aisle has been key for me when a fuss starts. less people and a wider aisle helps me rock the little guy to sleep or just comfort. On a SQ flight, the FA was willing to help and helped prepare food for me as I was standing and rocking little dude.

    Parents, don’t be intimidated. Just be mindful of others and you just need to try your best to calm your child down. That is all you can do and don’t kill yourself over it. If needed, feel free to apologize to those around you, but you are human and have a right to a premium cabin just like everyone else.

  103. donna538

    October 9, 2018 at 9:47 am

    Not unless they have a seat purchased for the child. There should be no lap children allowed! It is a safety issue.

  104. backdraft68

    October 9, 2018 at 9:58 am

    Of course they should, their seat is paid for just like yours. I do not like sitting next to you uptight grown up cry babies that complain when the plane is out of your favorite drink and get pissed when you do not get greeted as a diamond. Or take off you shoes so we can all smell your gross feet. This is why when I sit in first class I eat like a horse and fart my way across the country while you selfish uptight me-first people marinate in my bowel stench.

  105. Krysia

    October 9, 2018 at 9:58 am

    After recently spending 4 plus hours with a screaming toddler in first, 30 minutes before takeoff, all of the flight and even after the door opened…they shouldn’t be in first…especially as a lap child. Parent in first did nothing, other parent in coach was enjoying her “alone” time. No one person, toddler or otherwise should have the ability to totally make so many people miserable!

  106. Quintious

    October 9, 2018 at 10:05 am

    The answer is no. It used to be, entitled parents who had screaming/ill-behaved kids would say “get headphones”. OK, fine, I go out and spend $500 on noise cancelling headphones, which children are remarkable at piercing through the tech of. Then entitled parents say “well, if you don’t want to be bothered by my kids, you shouldn’t fly coach with everybody else”. OK fine, now I start spending a grand to fly first class. Now parents are bringing their screaming newborns and toddlers into first class saying “if you don’t want to be subjected to them, you should rent a private plane”.

    Enough is enough. YOUR choice is not MY problem. I’ve taken reasonable steps to mitigate my interaction with or inconvenience at the hands of your kid. I’m paying a premium EXPLICITLY to get away from it. You don’t get to keep encroaching on me.

  107. Dataton

    October 9, 2018 at 10:18 am

    I tend to agree with the author.
    It really is up to the parents to prepare the children,
    but when they do not – what can you do?

    Having traveled trans-Atlantic in the premium cabin with my wife and a toddler, have first hand experience. I was well aware of the stares as we boarded. But we prepare well for this – carefully planned sleep, carefully managed food schedules – both well before and during the flight. A pacifier to help equalize pressure helps. She made the entire flight without a peep. Received many compliments from others in the cabin as we deplaned.

    It is certainly easier to prepare when the child can communicate. But that alone does not guarantee a good result. Have also traveled up front when she was 6. We prepared her well before the flight. Ordered kids meals in advance, etc. There was another couple with similar aged children in the cabin who did not make advanced arrangements. They complained loudly about not having kids meals they did not order.. The kids were unruly, roaming the aisles, etc.. Our 6 year old even recognized how poorly behaved they were!
    Received effusive compliments as we deplaned that flight.
    (But I suspect it was also a back handed way to insult the other group).

  108. HGB

    October 9, 2018 at 10:23 am

    No, definitly no. Airlines who have First or Business cabins should refuse any babies up to 3 in these cabins mmostly used by business people who need a minimum rest.

  109. milypan

    October 9, 2018 at 10:42 am

    I don’t understand why the focus is on first class. It’s just a question of whether toddlers should be allowed to fly at all. My personal opinion is yes.

    There’s no economic argument for why toddlers should be allowed in economy class but not in first. If anything the negative externality that a misbehaving toddler imposes is greater in economy than in first, since there are more people per square meter.

  110. Morgacj2004

    October 9, 2018 at 11:15 am

    Absolutely yes. I have taken my children in first class on many occasions without an issue. THEY ARE WELL BEHAVED and did not cause a problem even once. They grew up flying and are used to it. If their is a noise issue or other problem than the FA need to deal with it like any other disturbance. And I really dont care what the elitist snobs on this forum think. Most of them never had kids or leave them with nanny’s when they travel. If you dont like children on the plane charter a private jet!

  111. chitownjeff

    October 9, 2018 at 11:17 am

    If the parents pay for the seats, why not?

    I’ve been stuck in first with people talking loud, having their headphones on so loud I could hear it, not to mention smelling the place up.

  112. skidooman

    October 9, 2018 at 11:24 am

    When I got bad experiences, in Y or J, it was rarely a baby. They got small batteries. They get tired.

    It was the 5-7 years old. And yes, I got a few that were out of control with absent-minded parents not doing anything. These, I would throw out. Your are the parent, you can and must inculcate good behavior. If your kid has some kid of mental disease (which is often thrown in as an excuse in my book, but which is sometimes true) then you should ask yourself if an environment like a plane is the best for your child.

    But babies crying with terrified parents trying their best to quiet him? No. On that, I am patient, and if you aren’t after taking a look at this big baby face then maybe you shouldn’t travel, in any cabin, on an airplane.

  113. ilcannone

    October 9, 2018 at 11:37 am

    Anyone under 7 shouldn’t be allowed on board a plane. Period.

  114. polinka

    October 9, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    No. Many places where babies and small children should not be allowed: expensive restaurants, ballet, concerts, dinner parties, etc.

    Don’t know why child-free flights are not available.

    s0me0nesmind1: I don’t know why you are bragging about this:
    “Yeah, because I’m about to do it in 2 weeks heh. 2 first class seats with a 1.5 year old toddler on our lap.”
    1 1/2 year old is too old for the lap. But I’m sure you don’t care about that as long as you get to sit in first. People like you are the problem.

  115. goliva127

    October 9, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    Last week I flew with my 17 month old in FC on AA domestic where he had his own seat. The only requirement was he had to be seated at the window. He was extremely well behaved during the flights to the point where the other passengers and flight crew complimented his behavior upon leaving the aircraft. I think it all comes down to the temperament of the child, where parents should use sound judgement based on this and previous experiences when deciding whether or not to fly in a premium cabin. The parents should also bringing along plenty of things to keep the child occupied. During a ground stop in MIA for an hour plus the iPAD kept him engaged and he did not become disruptive to the other passengers whatsoever.

  116. Proudelitist

    October 9, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    I am of the opinion that toddlers should not even be allowed to fly..period. If we MUST let them fly, there should be a separate section for them, like the old smoking sections. Put them in the back, forbid any class beyond basic econ, and punish FA’s who require discipline due to violations by making them complete hours back there. It may also be worth considering a heated section of the cargo hold be converted to a kind of daycare area.

  117. max_legroom

    October 9, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    No. And they shouldn’t be allowed anywhere in the general cabin. Families with small kids should be grouped together somewhere. Also, the airlines should charge full fare for anyone. It’s ridiculous that babies fly for free.

  118. KLBGO

    October 9, 2018 at 4:11 pm

    People screaming and not able to control or express their feelings, like kids under 3 years, should not be allowed on board – in any class.

  119. hrs027

    October 9, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    I have seen both adults that behave badly in premium cabins and babies that hardly make their presence notable. Whatever the class, one should know the basic etiquette of other passengers around. I don’t agree for toddlers not to be allowed in premium cabins. That is extremely discriminatory. I would rather any such passengers who feel that way fly in economy at the rear most end ( we were all once toddlers ourselves)!!!

  120. SRS65

    October 9, 2018 at 5:26 pm

    OK – simple questions:
    What is the extra ticket cost for a toddler/baby?
    Do toddlers/babies fly for free?

    If the answers are nothing and yes – then there is an argument for premium cabin exclusion.
    If the answers are full fare and no – then of course they can fly in premium cabins.

    Pretty simple really !

  121. ProudPatriot


    October 9, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    QUOTE: Imagine being so privileged you think you can stop another human (no matter the age) from flying in a cabin. COMMENT: Well, I regret to inform you that passengers are often involuntarily removed or denied boarding, even in FC…..and it has absolutely nothing to do with “being so privileged.” EXAMPLES: If you fail to follow requests or instructions from any member of the flight crew, you are subject to (by law) being removed from the aircraft. If you are visually drunk or impaired by illegal substances, you WILL be denied boarding or removed. At the sole discretion of the aircraft’s captain, if s/he has any suspicion you may be a risk to safety of the aircraft or other passengers/crew, you may be removed or denied boarding.

  122. tbuccelli

    October 9, 2018 at 10:16 pm

    For all those about “the kids too young to travel” – suck it up buttercup. Sometimes people just need to travel – families are just more spread out now. After my 1st was born, I sent my wife down to see her grandfather and introduce him to his first great-grandson, and the only one he ever saw as he died soon afterwards. I paid for the ticket – she sat there. You know what, he cried a bit during takeoff, but was fine for the rest of the flight – much better than other “adults” I have seen on the planes at times.

  123. Wunk

    October 10, 2018 at 3:49 am

    Domestic first? Sure, why not. As long as the effort is made to keep the kid quiet as can be. It’s the same cabin, just a bigger seat.
    International business and first? Not as much, minimum age of 5 or 6 where you can at least control your kid.

  124. simpleflyer

    October 10, 2018 at 5:59 am

    There are situations where children can legitimately be banned, say from bar areas serving alcohol – but on a plane, alcohol is served in all cabins, so that argument is moot. Children may also be banned from ‘adult entertainment’ zones – but leaving aside the ‘mile high club’ I don’t think this strictly applies to an airplane.

    But so long as we’re considering bans, personally I think most of you should be banned from flights on which I’m a passenger as I require the complete airplane, both classes, for my needs. Some of you snore. Some of you talk too much. Some of you turn on that bright seatback screen or your phone or whatever just as I am seeking darkness to sleep. And most times, most of you are just not worthy of breathing the same air that I do.

    However, the Great Simpleflyer may consider, as a one time indulgence, allowing you to fly on the same plane as the Simpleflyer.

  125. friendlyplanet

    October 10, 2018 at 7:31 am

    Honestly, my problem is more with the over-entitled DYKWIAers than the children. I flew Lufthansa FC to Detroit, and one threw a fit over the older seats that did not completely lie flat.

    Ban FC to anyone who doesn’t buy a ticket! Toddlers who pay? It’s their right.

  126. DeathSlam

    October 10, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    This topic has generated a lot of comments. There seems to be a clear divide between camps.
    I agree that it’s not a toddler specific issue, but a disruption issue.
    Perhaps premium cabin bookings (or indeed any bookings) should have an extra fee added at booking, a PITA tax. If other passengers feel you have disrupted their flight experience then you lose that money, otherwise it is returned.
    People with known unruly children, children having a bad day, farty businessmen and unruly partying adults all get penalised. People who just behave normally get cheaper flights.

  127. D2travel

    October 10, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    Absolutely NOT, they’re welcomed to go in the back however. First & Business class seats cost way too much to have to endure a screaming, ill behaved child or infant! It’s bad enough to have to put up with some of the adults!

  128. Fyd

    October 10, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    I don’t think it’s a question of First or Economy or of “banning kids”.
    I’d rather consider this a question of appropriate behavior in shared spaces where people pay for a specific experience. And a question of people having the common sense to behave appropriately.
    Comparable to an opera or ballet performance. It’s expected that you don’t talk loudly, do turn off your phone and don’t scream (regardless of age)! Why? Because that would diminish the experience people paid for and came there to enjoy! Is it “illegal” to scream at the opera? No, but you would still be asked to leave. Most parents have enough common sense not to bring a toddler to an opera – because they know at that age, they can’t control the kid – it might be scared or in pain and cries! And nobody with any common sense would say “If you don’t like me singing along with the opera or screaming, get your own opera house!”!
    A plane is similar in that it is a shared space and people are expected to behave appropriately, so you don’t impact other people unduly – no singing or screaming or doing pull-ups at the overhead bin. Most older kids or adults who behave inappropriately will be able to modify their behavior when asked. And if they don’t, they’ll likely be met by police upon landing – or, as recently seen, after diverting to another airport. Toddlers can’t easily modify their behavior and parents can’t make them.
    As far as I’m concerned, the burden is on the parents to ensure acceptable social behavior in a shared space. If you can’t ensure it, you should maybe pass on that plane trip (just as on the opera or ballet performance), out of consideration for the kid as well as a few hundred other people in that shared space. The parents accepted (knowingly or not) that there will be compromises when having a child, and that might include road trips instead of air travel and missing shows – the rest of the world didn’t sign up for those compromises and shouldn’t have them forced upon them.
    And sure, if it’s the case that always comes up in these discussions “seeing the grandparents before they die”, I’m sure the other passengers will be accepting. But usually, it’s not a life and death situation, just parents who want to continue their pre-kids lifestyle now with a toddler in tow, not being willing to make the compromises they signed up for, all at the expense of other people. Or else, all grandparents in the US must have died a hundred deaths each already, considering how many toddlers are flying these days.
    Travel is not a right, it’s a privilege. And purchasing a ticket for yourself or the family doesn’t give you a right to drastically diminish the service hundreds of other people paid for. Your rights end where other people’s rights start! It only pays for your transportation with the implied agreement not to impinge on others rights to receive the service they paid for!
    My parents didn’t take us flying or to nice restaurants or performances until we were old enough to behave appropriately. I’m pretty sure I didn’t miss much in those few years and I’m very grateful for the compromises my parents made…

  129. travel4cash

    October 10, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    A bunch of you are idiots. First class isn’t “adult only class”. Of course toddlers can be there. If they can afford the seat they have as much a chance to get into one of those seats as belligerent adults. Duh!

  130. ppwchess

    October 10, 2018 at 6:59 pm

    I flew Heathrow to New York on British Air in First. There was a family of 5 in first class. The youngest one I would say was around 12 months. The two older children were probably around 6 and 8. The baby sat on mom’s lap during take off and cried a little bit. The other two children had their own seats. When it came time for bed, the littlest one was in what looked like a car seat in front of mom. The two others were peacefully sleeping and their lay flat seats cuddled under their quilts.

    At one point when I got up in the middle of the night, I looked at the two kids sound asleep. They looked a lot more comfortable then I was when I attempting to sleep. The infant was totally sacked out. I envied the ability of those kids to sleep through the flight. Me, I’m the one wandering around the cabin needing the late night snack.

    If the family can afford 4 first class seats and a lap child, God bless them. I cashed a bunch of American FF miles to enjoy that experience. BTW the family was not from the United States. I couldn’t pick up the accent, or recognize the accent. Perhaps Europeans know how to get their children to behave properly on a long flight.

  131. makrom

    October 11, 2018 at 7:50 am

    As long as they know how to shut up, why not? Same rule should be applied to adults anyway.

  132. kkua

    October 12, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    If you can afford to fly first class, your child can afford manners and you can afford better parenting skills. And oh, they should abolish toddler/child discounts on tickets too. Make them pay.

  133. CCIE_Flyer

    October 12, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    Are we talking fully – and I mean FULLY – sedated here, or what?

  134. Tony Mallis

    October 13, 2018 at 1:04 am

    It seems to me that people need a bit of schooling on current noise cancelling tech. Noise cancelling headphones only successfully cancel background noise that is constant, such as the drone from aircraft engines. Any “ad-hoc” noise such as a toddler’s cry or a person talking will not be cancelled out. It may be muted, somewhat, but will still be audible.

  135. Tony Mallis

    October 13, 2018 at 1:11 am

    Our kids are 23 and 16 now. We did not consider air travel with our kids until they were 3 and even then it was with some reservation. A toddler often cannot be placated or coerced into not crying. Anyone with kids will know this. There’s a reason it’s called the “terrible twos”. Once over the age of three kids are more “manageable”, in my experience. BUT…..parents do need to be situationally aware and mindful of the people around them. I would be mortified if my kids we the cause of someone’s unpleasant flight. So, I would do everything I could to minimise the disturbance my kids would make on a flight. If I wasn’t confident of that, I simply wouldn’t fly with them….which is exactly what happened when they were under three.
    So…yes! Parent should be allowed to bring their kids onto premium class flights…but there is a responsibility that comes with that.

  136. ttama

    October 15, 2018 at 9:33 am

    Flights should be designated noisy or quiet. If you (or your family) can’t guarantee to be quiet, book a noisy flight. If you value peace and quiet, book a quiet flight. The price should be the same, so families with small children (or noisy stag/hen parties) aren’t penalised for being knowingly anti-social.

    Basically, I don’t want to hear you, whether you’re an adult with a voice like a foghorn or a toddler that shrieks until your eardrums burst. I also want seat-kickers limited to noisy (ie inconsiderate) flights. And manspreaders.

    If you break the rules on a quiet/considerate flight you should be banned for life on all airlines, and condemned to fly only with the selfish and inconsiderate.

    It’d be like a prison trustee program. Behave, you get to work in the library. Act inconsiderately to other passengers (eg bring a baby on board), you end up scrubbing toilets with your toothbrush.


  137. fasb43

    October 16, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    Absolutely not. Many adults have enough trouble controlling their impulses to behave badly. Adding children to the equation multiplies the effect (often, they are the children of those adults that have difficulty controlling their own impulses). When I’m paying the money one must pay for a first class seat, I’d really like some peace and quiet.

  138. kimsandiego1

    October 24, 2018 at 8:52 pm

    The comments here are hilarious.

    Yes, anyone with a ticket should be allowed to fly in first class
    If kids are banned from any cabin, so too should drunks be. And anyone who doesn’t wear deodorant, because that REALLY ruins my trip more than any noise. And let’s also include every man who sits with his knees pointing perpendicular to his torso, infringing on my airspace for the entire flight. And armrest hogs, because I paid good money for the experience of that armrest.

    Yes, it is the parents’ responsibility to learn how to travel well with kids
    Yes, the other passengers can stuff a sock in it. It’s not like ANY parent EVER said, gee I hope my kid screams bloody murder in a closed space for the next three hours.

  139. markandsmoke

    April 26, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    NO, and the worst is attention seekers who want to look like rich parents.

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