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First/Business Class: Should there be age restrictions?

First/Business Class: Should there be age restrictions?

Old Aug 28, 10, 10:18 pm
  #1  
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First/Business Class: Should there be age restrictions?

I took an AC flight Tuesday from IAH to FCO (still here now) and had a less than pleasant experience in Executive Business Class. The cabin (about 2/3 full) included a family of five-2 parents and 3 children about 7,4 & 2. After this flight I firmly believe that there should be at least a minimum age of 12 to travel in the business class cabin. Like dining in a nicer restaurant I don't expect to be subjected to someone elses screaming children after paying a hefty premium (in either dollars or miles). Plus, the pod style seats basically leave these kids sitting alone. To top off the eight hour nightmare, the 4 year old "had an accident" soaking the seat. The next person assigned to that seat is really going to appreciate that little surprise! I don't hate children, have my own, but would never think about subjecting people paying a premium to their antics.
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Old Aug 28, 10, 10:21 pm
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We've talked this topic to death on FT... no consensus and the thread almost always ends up getting locked owing to incivility... I don't think you can bar kids from business class but I don't think families realize how difficult some J configs are going to be for them... the AC herringbone deal with solo pods does not lend itself to traveling happily with any companion, least of all a child who needs constant parenting.
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Old Aug 28, 10, 10:25 pm
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If you wish to control the space around you then you have two options. Buy out the rest of the cabin to protect your privacy or fly by private jet. Nothing else is going to fly (pun intended).
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Old Aug 28, 10, 10:33 pm
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Yes there should be age restrictions 14 for Business Class and 16 for F Class anything else you sit in coach! But capitalism prevails the dollar speaks louder than anything and so we occasionally suffer Thank God for Bose headsets! ^
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Old Aug 28, 10, 10:57 pm
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Yeah there are age restrictions for Business Class... on Air Koryo, if they even have business class on that airline.
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Old Aug 28, 10, 11:45 pm
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I was eating in 5 star restaurants at the age of 2 and was raised to understand what is and is not appropriate behaviour for a wide variety of situations. No age limit. Some of the worst behaviour that I've seen has come from supposed adults
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Old Aug 28, 10, 11:45 pm
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This is not a new point to make re: this chestnut of a topic, but most of the disruption I've seen in premium cabins is caused by rude or drunken adults, and a polite child is usually much better flying company than a grown-up jerk.

A lunatic adult flipping out over window shade position, meal choice availability, getting cut off from the bar cart, coming on to FAs and female pax, etc., is far more annoying to me than an excited child.

If it were possible to exclude all rude, stupid, or out-of-control people from business and first class I'd be all for it. Sadly it's not, and it is public transport as planemechanic says, so... stiff upper lip.
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Old Aug 28, 10, 11:47 pm
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Originally Posted by Redhead View Post
I was eating in 5 star restaurants at the age of 2 and was raised to understand what is and is not appropriate behaviour for a wide variety of situations. No age limit. Some of the worst behaviour that I've seen has come from supposed adults
We posted simultaneously but you are right on.
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Old Aug 29, 10, 1:54 am
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I agree, but with one caveat: that if we are going to say that age doesn't matter, we have to mean it. That means that behaviour which would be unacceptable in a 35 year-old pax is unacceptable (within limits) from a 4 year-old pax. A 35 year-old who urinated in their seat would be expected to pay a HUGE fine, surely, to cover replacement costs on the seat? (I don't know, never having wet a seat in F, C or Y.) I wonder whether the 4 year-old's family had to pay anything.

Here is an experience that I had in F a couple months ago. An child pax (ticketed in F) walked up and down the aisles punching people in the arms. It didn't hurt, but it was incredibly annoying for the 2-hour flight. When I raised it with a FA, she said "he's just a kid, it's up to his mother to control him, we can't intervene." She also couldn't offer me any compensation (fair enough, that's not her decision), nor could the airline after the fact (outside a couple drinks vouchers). If an adult pax walked up and down the aisle continually disturbing flyers by tapping/bothering/punching them, they would be removed from the cabin, and the other flyers would be offered something by way of apology.

I've also flown with 7 year-old pax (twins flying with their dad to a baseball game) who were incredibly well behaved. They said please/thank you to the FA, and spent most of the flight sitting quietly and reading. I'd prefer them to many of the alcoholic business flyers I've been subjected to.

Last edited by MelesMeles; Aug 29, 10 at 5:04 am Reason: typos induced by hypocaffeinia
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Old Aug 29, 10, 4:21 am
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Originally Posted by JHIN View Post
Yes there should be age restrictions 14 for Business Class and 16 for F Class anything else you sit in coach! But capitalism prevails the dollar speaks louder than anything and so we occasionally suffer Thank God for Bose headsets! ^
I'm led to believe that at least one major airline has age restrictions in its F cabin for children of staff flying on non-rev tickets.

As far as I know, no airline imposes such restrictions on the children of commercial passengers. This would probably be commercial suicide - would an airline dare to refuse to accomodate Brad Pit and Angelina Jolie and their kids in F for instance?
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Old Aug 29, 10, 5:46 am
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Originally Posted by MelesMeles View Post
I agree, but with one caveat: that if we are going to say that age doesn't matter, we have to mean it. That means that behaviour which would be unacceptable in a 35 year-old pax is unacceptable (within limits) from a 4 year-old pax.
Ridiculous. Four year old's don't know better, but are part of society that you need to learn to deal with. 35 year olds SHOULD know better and society has higher expectation of them. You also need to learn how to deal with 35 year olds who act like four year olds.



Originally Posted by MelesMeles View Post
A 35 year-old who urinated in their seat would be expected to pay a HUGE fine, surely, to cover replacement costs on the seat? (I don't know, never having wet a seat in F, C or Y.) I wonder whether the 4 year-old's family had to pay anything.
Not true. The soiled seat cushion and cover would be replaced at the next opportunity. The seat would be blocked off if needed.



Originally Posted by MelesMeles View Post
Here is an experience that I had in F a couple months ago. An child pax (ticketed in F) walked up and down the aisles punching people in the arms. It didn't hurt, but it was incredibly annoying for the 2-hour flight. When I raised it with a FA, she said "he's just a kid, it's up to his mother to control him, we can't intervene." She also couldn't offer me any compensation (fair enough, that's not her decision), nor could the airline after the fact (outside a couple drinks vouchers). If an adult pax walked up and down the aisle continually disturbing flyers by tapping/bothering/punching them, they would be removed from the cabin, and the other flyers would be offered something by way of apology.
Don't be a victim. Learn to speak up. As Ann Landers often said, "No one takes advantage of you without your permission".
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Old Aug 29, 10, 6:03 am
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Yes, there should be, noone over 40 allowed.

I took the TK pod 77W last month, and there was a very well behaved ~8 year old behind me, and a very irritating 50 some year old "I am very important so I will keep pressing the call button and make myself known to everyone around me" man in a cheap business suit in front of me.
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Old Aug 29, 10, 6:09 am
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Originally Posted by planemechanic View Post
Ridiculous. Four year old's don't know better, but are part of society that you need to learn to deal with. 35 year olds SHOULD know better and society has higher expectation of them. You also need to learn how to deal with 35 year olds who act like four year olds.
That's what I mean by "within reason". Obviously, a kid crying because they're scared, or just talking loudly about their colouring book shouldn't be a problem.


Not true. The soiled seat cushion and cover would be replaced at the next opportunity. The seat would be blocked off if needed.
I'm surprised, but that just goes to show how very little I know! I suppose it makes sense though. Those seats are so expensive, it's sensible to have them modular so that bits can be swapped out if there's a problem.

Don't be a victim. Learn to speak up. As Ann Landers often said, "No one takes advantage of you without your permission".
I did speak up. I told the flight attendant, I told the mother, and I told the airline after the fact. The flight attendant passed the ball, the mother refused to do anything, and the airline just wasn't interested. If you've had success with other means, I'd be really grateful if you could share; I'd love to know what to do better!
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Old Aug 29, 10, 7:11 am
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Originally Posted by Redhead View Post
I was eating in 5 star restaurants at the age of 2 and was raised to understand what is and is not appropriate behaviour for a wide variety of situations. No age limit. Some of the worst behaviour that I've seen has come from supposed adults
what is a 5* restaurant? a michelin 3* minus 2?

i recall posts on M&M as to the youngest HON(requires a couple hundred thousand miles or so a year) amazed at the number of 3-5 yo's. all flew up front at corporate expense with daddy, as near as i could tell.

i can hide from all but the seat kickers on the plane, but in restaurants, wild kids drive me crazy. see it most around christmas in europe. i have usually requested to eat in the kitchen, and have been obliged.
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Old Aug 29, 10, 7:20 am
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I recently took a 15 hour flight in CO's BusinessFirst. When I walked down the jetway, there were 6 small kids following a young lady in her early 20's. Since CO lets families board early, I thought nothing of it.

Then they turned left.

Turns out, the six kids were seated on three rows in the 2,3,4 A/C spots. The young lady was in 3D where she could watch the kids.

I was certain that the flight was going to be terrible. But it wasn't. All of them were well behaved. Incredibly well behaved.

I ended up chatting with the young lady during the flight. The kids were all children of various officials at the embassies in our destination city. She was the oldest daughter of another official at the US embassy. They had been in the States for summer vacation, and were now heading home (parents had either not come or returned already, while she spent a week with the kids touring NYC). Mary Poppins could have learned a thing or two from this person.

I was very impressed. It's not the age of the child. It's what the people responsible for them will tolerate.
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