Practicalities of 2yo in business class

Old Sep 6, 2023, 5:56 am
  #1  
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Question Practicalities of 2yo in business class

Planning a trip to Mauritius and considering the first time we'll be doing it with toddler in tow. Through a weird quirk of when we're looking to travel they're going to have their birthday while we're out there, so as I understand it all we'll pay is the infant fee, and on the return they'll need their own seat. Why business? I think the extra space will be helpful, even in premium economy with an overnight flight it sounds like a nightmare, as they're likely too big to go in the bassinet.

Interested to see to see people's experience of doing this. Some initial thoughts:
  • Assuming the bassinet will be too small and they'll be sleeping in arms. You lose the benefit of the lie flat if you're sitting up with the baby.
  • The 1 + 2 + 1 layout might be a pain, as one parent will be on the wrong aisle.
  • Take-off and landing could be fun, surely they'd be too small for the straps?
  • On the other hand, having a 2 year old for 12 hours in the other classes, the limited space is going to drive them mad.
Disclaimer: I know kids in premium classes is a controversial topic. To be honest, not really looking to open that debate again. Also, waiting until they're older isn't an option, we have family over there eager to meet them!
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Old Sep 6, 2023, 6:03 am
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Originally Posted by SiD the Turtle
Why business? I think the extra space will be helpful, even in premium economy with an overnight flight it sounds like a nightmare...
But the CW/CS spaces are so divided and compartmentalized, and in the case of CS so far apart, it may well prove to be the opposite of helpful. We tried this once when ours was very small and CW was somewhat new and exciting ... never again. One of the two parents is always out of reach and not able to help.

All I can tell you is, after that we went to three abreast in WTP and were well happier and more relaxed. It was not a nightmare.
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Old Sep 6, 2023, 6:22 am
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Club suite with a 2 year old is a big no from me, I've travelled with master BR many times in J but the combo of lack of proximity and being a young active toddler would make that very difficult to manage. Oddly, WT is pretty good with a 2 year old as you can make a little enclosed space, WTP has large armrests making cuddling tricky. Old Club World you can take the centre two seats and make a little bed area, But CW or F just don't work unless you have octopus DNA.

It gets progressively easier to move up the cabins as the child grows older. But at 2 it's best to be realistic.
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Old Sep 6, 2023, 6:30 am
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Specific layout of J matters a lot as we found out a few years back on other airlines. AY A350 and CX 777 - both reverse herringbone - and old QF A380 upstairs dorm, all on the same trip. By any objective measure the first two products were great and the last was terrible - but the 2-2-2 on the QF made for a much better experience in handling a toddler.
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Old Sep 6, 2023, 6:33 am
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As you say, from age 2, they need to be in their own seat for take off and landing. Unless you have the 1 in a million unicorn 2 year old who can happily be trusted just to sit there on their own, I just don't see how CW is even a starter.

(And yes, to your question, the seatbelts are miles too big, so you'd also want to be holding them in for safety reasons).

But the good thing about a 2 year old is that they're not very big! 3 abreast in Y, with a 2 year old in the middle seat feels like having an empty seat next to you - comfort wise, at least!
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Old Sep 6, 2023, 6:54 am
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I’d say just being two is a big shout if it’s club suites. If old club world could be guaranteed that would probably be fine – you know your kid. But that's much harder these days. We took our three when they were just over two on a 788 with the old seats. It was hard work on the day flight but we really welcomed the extra space etc. Club Suites would have been an absolute nightmare for our kids at that age. We did CS in July/August when they were almost 4 and it was fine. We took two middle pairs at the back of the cabin, with an adult on each of the two aisles so we could get to them. The third one went in the last window seat one side. They were content with their tablets/IFE/colouring and between us we could get to them if they needed help. They actually welcomed the personal space! Take-off and landing were fine because we could see them all and we were confident that they would stay in their seats. We were also able to put them down for a proper sleep (at their UK bedtime) and they slept for 5 hours on the outbound day flight, which helped massively with the jet lag. It meant that when we got to Denver they were ready to go again, they bounded through immigration and stayed up until about 22:30. They then slept through to morning. All kids are different and have varying experiences of flying, but I wouldn’t want to take a newly-minted 2 yo in club if there was nay chance of CS.
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Old Sep 6, 2023, 6:56 am
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Old Sep 6, 2023, 7:16 am
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Our 2 year old has been flying in various J cabins since he was 2 months old. I agree with others: Suite configs are excellent before theyre 2 but unworkable once they turn 2.

Now that hes 2 we use a CARES harness, it fits most J seats and keeps him in place for takeoff and landing. In the weeks leading up to a flight we frequently discuss with him what the takeoff and landing will be like, showing him pictures of the relevant J cabin, and explain that he should watch the seat belt light, and when it goes out he can give mama/papa a hug. So far this has worked really well.
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Old Sep 6, 2023, 7:28 am
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I was recently on a flight where a kid got out of the CS and ran down the aircraft whilst we were taxiing out. The parent was on the opposite aisle and couldn't do anything about it. They had to be moved to be seated in economy for take off and then for landing and the parent was pretty distressed. A minute later we could have been getting airborne and the kid could have either been injured or end up putting crew/parent/other passenger at risk trying to secure them.

I am actually surprised BA and other airlines even allows 2 yr olds in these seats to be honest as in that scenario the parent either went in the middle so they could at least see and talk to them but couldn't get to them quickly or on the same aisle for easier access but then has no visibility. I've got 2 little ones and pretty much after boarding our first long haul on SQ had resolved we wouldn't be going long haul again for quite a few years but I'd either be in WT+ in 2 x pairs or in WT in the centre 4 / 3+1 until they were much older. It wouldn't be a relaxing flight at all trying to manage them otherwise.

That said it looks to me like MRU is consistently a LGW config bird so you could put yourselves in 4EF outbound and make a little camp and then a DEF set inbound the middle with one parent on the aisle and the toddler between you
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Old Sep 6, 2023, 7:31 am
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Originally Posted by bobbytables
Our 2 year old has been flying in various J cabins since he was 2 months old. I agree with others: Suite configs are excellent before theyre 2 but unworkable once they turn 2.

Now that hes 2 we use a CARES harness, it fits most J seats and keeps him in place for takeoff and landing. In the weeks leading up to a flight we frequently discuss with him what the takeoff and landing will be like, showing him pictures of the relevant J cabin, and explain that he should watch the seat belt light, and when it goes out he can give mama/papa a hug. So far this has worked really well.
BA doesn't allow these in CW/F . Reminded me to look into one for an upcoming CE flight though!
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Old Sep 6, 2023, 7:35 am
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Isn't the MRU flight from LGW, in which case the old Club set up works quite well ?
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Old Sep 6, 2023, 7:58 am
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On the way back from DXB, my littlest one point blank refused to sit in her own F seat.

Everytime we strapped her in, she wriggled out - including during pushback.

The Crew saw our struggle, and asked the Captain for special dispensation so our 2 year old could sit on my lap - which he granted.

Mid-flight the Captain came out to apologise if our little one was upset, but they have to follow the rules. He made clear this was a special exception, and we were grateful. So, it can be done...but shouldn't be expected.

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Old Sep 6, 2023, 8:34 am
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From experience, old CW yin/yang would work well.

Ours have been doing F/J since 10 months old. When they turned 2, to be honest we were really worried that theyd try and extract themselves from their seats and cause chaos.

I found that talking to them throughout the taxi and takeoff and keeping them distracted worked wonders, and having toys/rewards/colouring to hand is always helpful.

If youve been doing reward charts this is a godsend and try practicing sitting still and gradually increasing the period of time in the run up to your holiday and rewarding with positive reinforcement. Theyll soon get the idea.
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Old Sep 6, 2023, 9:05 am
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One thing to add is that the amount of time that they need to be sat belted in is not entirely predictable. There is a quite a good chance that it could be extended by time taxing/queueing to leave at Heathrow, there is also a lower likelihood but absolutely possibly scenario where the flight faces extended turbulence in the air.
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Old Sep 6, 2023, 12:11 pm
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Originally Posted by Tiger_lily
If youve been doing reward charts this is a godsend and try practicing sitting still and gradually increasing the period of time in the run up to your holiday and rewarding with positive reinforcement. Theyll soon get the idea.
What's the Avios earning rate per minute sat still on your reward chart?
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