I’m sure that the Malaysia airline’s decision will be greeted with (quiet) sighs of relief by first class travelers the world over! It’s their call, and they obviously believe that they have found a niche to exploit for business travelers. “do I pay $50 extra for the Malaysia first class and get guaranteed peace and quiet, or do I save some money and take my chances on Quantas?” I’ve done both — flown in first class with a perfectly behaved baby (wider seats meant more wiggle room for the child without bothering anyone around us), and flown in coach with small children.
I’d rather sit next to a child any day instead of a grossly overweight adult who spends the entire flight with their elbow planted in my side. I sat next to a young woman with a delightful 3 year old in coach on the way back from San Diego last month. He was so excited, and everything on the plane was new and exciting — it was fun to see someone enjoying the experience so completely! He was excited and chirpy for about 45 minutes, but the mom had come prepared, and kept up a steady supply of small snacks and toys coming out of her bag, including a child-appropriate movie on a small hand-held viewer. before we took off, she was visibly apprehensive as she approached her seat (I was already seated), but relaxed when I smiled at her and greeted the little boy in a friendly manner. you could tell she was dreading sitting next to a cranky old fart who might glare at her for five hours.
I don’t think that children, per se, should be relegated to the “back of the bus” just because of their age, because honestly, I think there are far more well-behaved kids than there are badly-behaved ones. and goodness knows, there are plenty of adults I’d prefer to avoid at all costs! The sick ones that don’t know what to do with their kleenex (hint — stuffing used ones in the seat pocket is NOT acceptable), those who would need a calendar to recall their last bath, etc., etc.
You don’t have a “right” of privacy and peace on a public airline, sorry, any more so than you do in any public venue. you fly first class for the bigger seats, the free drinks and the service. you don’t fly because it is “quiet,” — and if you do, your expectations are too lofty. Charter a Gulfstream if your privacy and quiet are that important to you. some children are badly behaved on a plane, which is unfortunate, but they are small, and they aren’t finished yet – they are off their schedule and out of their comfort zone, and some people (littles and bigs) don’t handle change well. Anyone who has had kids can look/see a child who is melting down on a plane and think, “there but for the grace of God go I.” It’s not always bad parenting. on one trip, I was chatting with a dad who had his hands full with two kid, probably about 5 and 7. Dad was desperate and asked me to keep an eye on the kids while he ran to the restroom – I did, and the kids were fine. Dad came back, and the whining started up again. He sighed and then told me that he was flying back from his mother-in-law’s funeral and was taking the kids back home and his wife was staying behind to help for a few days. The kids had been through a rough week, with their grandmother sick, dying and the funeral preparations. I guess the lesson is: Don’t assume all parents of cranky kids are bad parents. sometimes, they are just having a rotten day. be kind.
<a href="http://blogs.ajc.com/momania/2011/07/05/airline-ceo-no-babies-allowed-in-first-class/?cxntfid=blogs_momaniatag:news.google.com,2005:cluster=http://blogs.ajc.com/momania/2011/07/05/airline-ceo-no-babies-allowed-in-first-class/?cxntfid=blogs_momaniaTue, 05 Jul 2011 04:34:54 GMT 00:00″>Airline CEO: No babies allowed in first class