Should Kids Be Banned From First and Business Class?

Two Experiences Rekindle the Debate.

Business class digs on the A380. What could possibly ruin this?   Photo by the author.

Fancy digs on the A380. What could possibly ruin this?    Author’s photo.


June 29, 2016

I CONTINUE to be astounded by the sheer number of people traveling around the world with babies, toddlers, and other preschool-age children. Even more astounding is how many of these kids are traveling in first or business class. These tickets cost thousands of dollars, yet it seems there’s no shortage of travelers well-heeled enough to be jetting around in the forward rows with two, three, even a half-dozen small children. How the demographics of air travel have changed, indeed.

Kids are kids. They cry, they run around, they yell, they misbehave. I understand this completely. It’s nobody’s fault, and I accept it. To a point.


Experience 1:

I was in Bangkok, looking for a way home. Poking around on, I found an excellent last-minute fare on Asiana, one-way to JFK via Seoul-Incheon, for a little over $2000. (Bangkok has become a mega-hub served by over 90 airlines and fares from the city are very competitive, making it an ideal place for scoring deals like this.) I was excited. Asiana is a five-time SkyTrax winner and is considered by many to be a top-tier carrier. I bought my ticket, picked out my window seats, and couldn’t wait to get to the airport.

And it was downhill from there.

It starts at Bangkok’s Suvarnubhumi airport. My ticket gives me access to Thai Airways’ Royal Orchid Lounge, shared by the various Star Alliance members, of which Asiana is one. Getting access to the lounge is of course part of the whole premium class experience, and I left the hotel extra early to enjoy it.

But when I get there, I discover the lounge isn’t simply overcrowded (as so many premium class lounges tend to be these days). It’s overcrowded with kids. I cannot find a quiet place to sit. The kids are everywhere and they won’t shut up: yelling and crying and running around like it’s recess on the school playground.

The centerpiece of this chaos is an obnoxious guy in a Russian soccer shirt and his belligerent offspring. He’s something of a Vladimir Putin lookalike, sprawled sockless on a sofa with his naked feet hanging over the rail, playing a game on his phone. Around him is a spray of plastic toys deposited by his five — count ’em, five — preschool-age children, who when they aren’t tossing toys around are shrieking and throwing food at each other. They’re unbearably loud. Every so often Vlad claps his hands and scolds them in lazily indignant Russian. They ignore him and carry on.

The waitstaff, for their part, couldn’t care less. When I complain to the woman at the desk, she simply smiles and says “Oh so sorry sir.” Absolutely no effort is made to actually quiet the kids down.

And if the Putin clan isn’t annoying enough, elsewhere in the room at least three infants are crying.

I try not to let it get to me. I distract myself with the buffet, helping myself to a gin and tonic, a miniature pastry-pillow labeled “chicken roll,” and some finger sandwiches made with institutional-looking white bread. I close my eyes and imagine myself on the plane, only minutes from now, sitting back in my business class seat, surrounded by peaceful luxury.

When boarding is announced, I practically run onto the plane. I stow my things and settle in for the five-hour ride to Incheon. I’m relaxed and happy.

And then I hear the sound. It starts as a crackle. Then a whinny. Then a staccato series of gasps and yelps and piercing cries. These are the noises that only a baby makes, and that baby is in business class, three seats over from me.

And as babies are wont to do, the little darling treats the rest of us to a five-hour long, blood-curdling repertoire of periodic yelping and screaming fits. It’s the unpredictability of these fits that’s the worst part: It’s quiet, quiet, quiet; then suddenly there’s screaming. It’s quiet, quiet, quiet again; then suddenly there’s more screaming. This repeats over and over, at erratic intervals of varying duration and loudness.

But it’s all right, you see. It’s okay, because the best and most important parts of this journey is yet to come: I’ll have two hours to kill at Asiana’s lounge at the amazing Incheon airport, followed by the 13-hour flight to JFK in my state-of-the-art “Smartium” business class seat on the 777. Fine, kid, go ahead and cry. The rest of this trip will be great.

Asiana has separate lounges at ICN for first and business class. The business lounge is a sumptuous room of dark wood-tones, plush chairs, a piano and rows of bookshelves. The shelves give it an almost library aesthetic, and I like that. Libraries are quiet. I help myself to a triple espresso and set up my computer at a table near the back. There’s nobody around and I have the whole rear corner to myself.

Asiana lounge at ICN.   Photo by the author.

Asiana lounge at ICN.   Photo by the author.

Once again, at least for a moment, I’m relaxed and happy.

Until, hardly three minutes later, as I’m scanning through some emails, again I hear a tell-tale noise. It’s a creak-creak-creak-creak — the sound of a wheeled apparatus approaching. Somebody’s roll-aboard bag? No. It’s a baby carriage. Actually, it’s a baby carriage flanked by a mom and two toddlers, one on either side of a strapped-in infant. And this foursome of noisemakers is aimed directly at the table next to mine.

As the carriage wheels in alongside, there’s a great and sudden clattering of toys, food containers and juice cartons. Things spill to the floor as the mom yells orders in Korean at the two toddlers, who answer back in barks and squeals and a chorus of hollering.

I gather up my stuff and bolt for another table. This is only marginally helpful, however, because by now the place has filled up, and no shortage of the visitors are kids, most of whom are carrying on. A man comes out of the restroom with his two tiny sons, maybe three or four years old. The kids burst into a run, and as they pass me one of them lets out a scream so shrill that I think my coffee cup is going to crack.

And now, finally, it’s time for the Big Flight.

I made sure to choose one of the window seats with the console facing outward, toward the aisle — this creates a cubicle effect, as if you’re sitting there in your own little private jet. This is going to be awesome! I’m going to put on my Asiana slippers, drink some wine, watch some movies, and dine on gourmet food before stretching out to rest in my full-flat sleeper.

Asiana business class.   Photo by the author.

Asiana business class.   Author’s photo.

That’s the plan, anyway. Until.

Until I look up from my complimentary newspaper and there — there! — one row ahead of me, and directly diagonal to my seat, is, you guessed it, a baby. My skin goes prickly hot and and my pulse starts racing. There’s just…. it can’t…. I mean… how can…..? No!


And I would love to tell you that this time I got lucky, and this was one of those quiet and well-behaved babies who whines for a minute and then, miracle of miracles, utters nary a peep for the rest of the flight. Don’t you love when that happens? Those are the flights that restore our faith in both air travel and humanity at large. Look at that adorable child napping peacefully like that.

But this is not one of those times. This is not one of those babies. This kid is neither napping nor quiet. He’s as loud and angry as a lawnmower.

Nothing shuts him up. And he’s of that certain age — that age between infant and toddler, when a voice begins to gain the sonic traction that allows it to really carry. At the height of his discomfort this tiniest of humans is pushing ninety decibels. It’s a wailing, electric, claxon-like sound, like a nuclear attack alert, loud enough to rattle my tableware.

The racket comes and goes, comes and goes. Reading is impossible; sleeping is out of the question. The only escape is watching movies with the volume cranked up (unfortunately Asiana’s entertainment system is terrible and offers only a few boring choices). The last hour of the flight is the worst. The kid cries nonstop. It is so loud you cannot hear the public address announcements from the crew.

When we touch down at JFK in September sunshine just before 11 a.m., I don’t feel the least bit sated, refreshed or relaxed. On the contrary I am exhausted and stressed-out.

Experience 2:

There’s a lot to like in Emirates business class on the Airbus A380. The sleeper seats are spacious and comfortable. The carrier’s “ICE” entertainment system is second to none. The menu is eclectic and the food is tasty. Amenities are all around you, from the duvet and mattress to the luxurious lounge and bar in the back of the upper deck. What could possibly ruin this?

I’m at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, walking up the jet bridge that leads to the upper deck, when a huge family of at least a dozen, six of them kids, rudely cuts the line. Please, I say to myself, don’t let them be sitting near me. There are almost a hundred seats in the A380’s business class, so my chances are good, right?

Wrong. They aren’t just seated near me, they are seated all around me. They are in the row ahead of me, in the seats next to me, and in the row behind me too. The adults in the group are obnoxious enough, shouting across the aisles at each other. The kids, though, take it to the next level. They’re screaming, running up and down the aisle. They’re climbing over the seat-backs, their heads popping up, whack-a-mole style. One of the little girls is yelling out to her sister, whose name sounds like the word “Bay.” Every two minutes, for the next seven hours, she will scream,”BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!”

When I can’t take it any more I walk over and ask the mother to please control her children. I feel like the biggest asshole in the world, but this cost me a lot of money, and the whole point was to be comfortable and away from the usual racket.

Slouched in her chair, the woman looks up at me contemptuously. “They are only children.”

This is a standard rebuttal. We paid for the tickets, the argument goes, so we have a right to be here, and hey, it’s just kids being kids, right? Actually, no, I’m sorry, this is not a legitimate justification.

As the flight goes on, there’s no escape from the racket. Not even in the bar in the A380’s rear cabin — the bar! — which as the hours pass has becomes a sort of day-care center full of mothers clutching their crying children. Perhaps they are congregating here out of courtesy? After all, people in the bar are socializing and drinking, not trying to sleep. Maybe, but that doesn’t excuse the one woman who has placed her toddler on one of the bar’s semi-circular sofas and is playing The Screaming Game. The Screaming Game goes like this: The kid screams, and mom screams back. The kid then screams louder, and mom screams back, also louder. The kid then lets out a piercing, blasting, hell-on-earth screech of enough decibels to blow the rudder off the airplane. Mom screams back yet again, louder still, in demented encouragement, then looks around, smiling, as if to say, isn’t my shrieking child just the cutest darned thing in the world?

I am not making this up.

Trying to chill at 35,000 feet.   Photo by the author.

Trying to chill at 35,000 feet.    Author’s photo.

And here’s the thing:

When you’re flying in long-haul first or business class, you aren’t merely paying for transportation. You are paying for comfort. For luxury, even. This is premium class, not economy class. That includes not having your experienced wrecked by disruptive passengers of any age. This isn’t about protecting the “arrogant” flyers up front from the noisy riffraff in steerage. But in premium class there’s a higher standard and greater expectations. And while perhaps you have the right to bring your kids along with you, you do not have the right to ruin the experience of those around you.

Unlike a high percentage of the people who travel up front, I was not flying on company expense or cashing in frequent-flyer miles. I paid out of pocket for my ticket, and I did so to be as comfortable and pampered as possible. This is not something I normally can afford, and my expectations were high — as they should have been. And the fare I paid was a steal. What about those people who pay six, seven, or ten thousand dollars for a premium seat? Shouldn’t there be some assurance that they won’t be subject to needless discomfort over the course of their journey?

Neither is it the offended passenger’s responsibility to deal with the problem by, say, buying a pair of noise-cancelling headphones (a commonly offered non-solution). For one thing, most premium cabin seats are already equipped with noise-reducing headphones, and they do not block out the sound of a yelling kid. But more importantly, it throws the onus onto the person being annoyed, rather than the party doing the annoying. It’s like saying: I reserve the right to destroy the peace and quiet of those around me, and it’s their responsibility to deal with it.

Notice also that my experiences cover two different phenomenon. The first involve infants crying through no fault of their own; the other involves children, which is to say their parents, simply not giving a damn. Both are vexing issues, but it’s the latter that’s the much bigger problem. This isn’t so much about kids crying, annoying as that can be, than it is about kids, toddler age and frequently older, who scream and who shriek, and whose parents seem to find this either entertaining or otherwise unimportant. Thus, it’s less an issue about children being brought into a place where they simply don’t belong, than an issue about adults who fail to control them.

How carriers might deal with this is a tough question. Noisiness in the context of a lounge can easily be addressed by asking the offenders to please hush down, and, should this fail, being asked to leave. On the airplane, though, you can’t simply relegate families to another section of the plane. Maybe it’s time for more airlines to start enforcing an age limit. It’s is a difficult issue, because more and more high-end flyers are traveling with youngsters, and the last thing airlines want to do is alienate their most valuable customers. The key, maybe, is knowing the point at which you begin ticking off more people than you’re making happy. Some carriers, including Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia, already have restrictions, either banning kids below a certain age outright, or establishing kid-free zones within a particular cabin.

Nobody in any section of the plane wants to deal with a noisy kid for thirteen hours. But if you’re going to do something, it would only makes sense to start at the front, in premium class, where there’s a much greater expectation of comfort.


Note to readers:

You are welcome to leave your comments below, but please refrain from insults and, especially, threats. Since this post was first published in 2015, I’ve received buckets of hate mail, up to and including threats of bodily harm. It astounds me how frequently certain people insist on making this a personal thing.

Rarely will you hear somebody say, for example: “I feel that families with small children have every right to be in business class, and the fact that children might be noisy is a risk that any premium class passenger has to accept.”

Instead, I am called “despicable” and “disgusting” and there is something “obviously wrong with” me. Or, as one letter-writer put it, I “should be pitied.”

And the most pompous, insufferable, and insulting comments of all are those that insinuate non-parents are somehow less humane than everybody else, existing in some half-developed state where true empathy and understanding are impossible, simply by virtue of not having children.

Another thing that keeps coming up in angry letters and comments is the concept of “entitlement.” A passenger who sits in business class and dares to complain about screaming children is guilty of demonstrating “entitlement.” This is a common buzzword these days, and the intent here, I think, is to reframe the topic in sociopolitical terms — where it clearly does not belong.

Some people buy fancier houses than other people. Some buy more expensive cars. Some buy organic groceries. We all have our preferences and our choices for certain comforts. We pay extra for them. And, therefore, yes, absolutely, we are “entitled” to whatever they are designed to offer. Paying for business class on a plane is no different than paying a premium for any other product.

Let’s say you that splurge and spend a lot of money for a top of the line mobile phone. You’ve been saving up for this phone. It’s got certain features that you really want, and you’re willing to pay extra for them. But after you purchase it and take it home, you realize it doesn’t work. Or maybe it half works. When you bring it back to the store and ask for an exchange or a refund, as well you should, does the manager sneer at you and accuse you of being an “entitled jerk”?



Update: July 1st, Kennedy Airport, a good example of what I’m talking about:

A woman with a stroller is standing in a crowded boarding lounge. In the stroller is a two or three year-old girl. The girl is not crying, she is screaming, at the top of her lungs — just shrieking and shrieking and shrieking, angry as a tornado, throwing things and carrying on and demanding to be let out of the stroller. It’s so loud that you can’t even hear the boarding announcements. The mom, for her part, simply stands there, chatting away on a mobile phone, as if none of this is happening. She makes absolutely no effort — nothing — to quiet the apocalyptic wailing of her kid. This goes on for about fifteen minutes.


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744 Responses to “Should Kids Be Banned From First and Business Class?”
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  1. Leo says:

    > CB says:
    > June 28, 2022 at 12:18 am
    > No, your babies and immature toddlers are not welcome in business class.

    You’re not entitled to anything you haven’t paid for in business class — including any kind of exclusivity. Please read the advertised features of business class: none of them mention “peace and quiet” or “no children”, only more room, nicer amenities, better food and priority boarding.

    For anything else, there’s Mastercard. And using one to buy a private flight.

  2. Jeffrey says:

    Exactly CB, tell me more about it. Why can’t people understand the basic rules here????

  3. CB says:

    No, your babies and immature toddlers are not welcome in business class.

  4. Jeffrey says:

    Natalie, who are you referring to as a complete dick????? And Chris tell me more about the lowest scum of society these days.

  5. Chris K says:

    Most parents these days are pretty poor at their jobs and feel entitled due to their parental status. You are not a dick, it’s just that today parenting has much lower standards and unless you are in the club you will continue to be name called and ridiculed. Honestly, this is due to a glut in humanity and terrible human beings that exist as a result of this surplus. Don’t feel bad for acknowledging the truth.

  6. Natalie says:

    You’re a complete dickhead.

  7. Jeffrey says:

    Leo, Thank you for putting into your input on this matter, now that you put in some more thought into it as an adult, not like an entitled whiny dick that you previously were or I thought you were in the first place. It is sad that you mentioned that there are a lot of less informed, inexperienced and capable parents? Why would they have kids in the first place if they knew that they fall under this category???? Should they also NOT take their kids on the plane at the very young and wait under they get older as oppose to taking them on their first place, throwing a fit, get a rolling eyes towards and causing problems and ruining it for everyone else?? Ugh…..

  8. Leo says:

    P.S. I’ve spent hundreds of hours researching how to be an effective parent (as well as having training and many thousands of hours as an experienced people manager in the largest tech company in the world – there are many parallels in managing people of all ages). I believe I speak from an informed perspective on child behavioral management.

    Example reference on effective parenting, especially regarding tantrums and attention:

    “For outbursts that aren’t dangerous, the goal is to ignore the behavior, to withdraw all parental attention, since even negative attention like reprimanding or trying to persuade the child to stop has been found positively reinforce the behavior. Attention is withheld from behavior you want to discourage, and lavished instead on behaviors you want to encourage: when a child makes an effort to calm down or, instead of tantruming, complies or proposes a compromise.”

  9. Leo says:

    MODERATOR Patrick says:
    May 3, 2022 at 12:07 pm
    Interesting point. But if we are showing a “profound ignorance” of parenting, the same goes for many, if not most parents, since they so often indulge their screaming kids with attention.

    Well yes — I have no illusions that there are more and less informed and capable parents; and there’s quite a bit of discretion involved.

    For example, when my children misbehave, I usually try to correct the issue right away, asking the child if there’s a problem I’m not aware of, and/or setting my expectation for their behavior. If there’s a continuing failure to comply with a set expectation, then there’s a consequence or punishment: usually withdrawal of a privilege – this might be denial of a treat or taking away a problematic item, for example; but could also be withdrawal of attention. Sometimes the withdrawal of a privilege will result in a tantrum, and that needs to be ignored too (otherwise it just enforces that tantrums get compliance or leniency from a parent). So there’s a mixture of initial attention to level set, then some kind of consequence for continuing failure to meet expectations.

    I guess what I’m saying is that unless you’re aware of the full context (and what kind of strategy a parent is currently using) it might be difficult to judge a public parent-child interaction. They might be in active expectation-setting, or in attention withdrawal as punishment. Or they might just be an ineffective parent. 🙂

  10. Leo says:

    Happily ignoring the noisiest folks on this particular plane, as I have encouraged all of you to do – I believe my points still stand.

    1) Not a single US carrier sells or advertises Business or First Class on the basis of exclusivity or less noise – only on a variety of other space, food and beverage, and luxury features. Nobody has a right to expect more in a product than what is actually offered in its description.

    2) Actual good parenting involves the judicious use of attention. Children who get attention every time they act badly turn into adults who act badly because they think it will be rewarded with attention. Nobody likes those idiots, so it’s in the interest of all of society that sometimes whiny, tantruming children who cannot use words to express their viewpoint need to simply be ignored. Please consider this when judging parents in public.

  11. Jeffrey says:

    Go to hell. Drop dead for me Leo. Hope you get your ass dumped in the middle of the empty quarter, so you be stoned to death. You are worst thing that most airlines in public where they are more than likely to have you arrested, sued and blacklist for life. At least, you can’t come clean with yourself as a entitled pee wee fuckup you are. Why don’t you try bothering Patrick? You know the guy who written this article, see what he thinks of you. Because I am not the owner of this site, he is. Let’s see what he thinks of you. I am just the rebuker. I am sure he would hate you to death along with many of the trolls who think they have right of way. Do you have a FB??? I want to block and blacklist you to death on there as well, so you have no way of trolling around people’s livelihood. Do you have a life???? I don’t think so. You just like to pick on someone like myself who is a bigger than your size. Seriously, drop dead for the last time. Mr. Know it all. I rest my case.

    • Patrick says:

      All right, the two of you, knock it off. Leo, stop being smarmy. Jeffrey, control yourself. And both of you, for the love of god, please stop using the word “entitled.” Nobody, in fact, should be permitted to use this word any more. It’s become a meaningless catch-all.

  12. Leo says:

    Jeffrey, thanks so much for proving my point. It turns out that folks like you are the adult versions of the children you criticize: noisy, whiny, entitled, selfish, and lacking in self-control. Perhaps you resent being reminded of your own shortcomings every time you see a toddler on a plane, when you are so much older and should know better. Go on, keep proving me right and yourself a violent, ugly, bullying specimen of humanity. If anyone should be “banned” from facilities where class and exclusivity is desired, it’s folks like yourself.

  13. Jeffrey says:

    Kids don’t know anything, that is why you have to teach them Leo, otherwise, they will end up acting like entitled morons and losers like you when they grow up. So much for acting like a crybaby when someone takes away your possessions in life.

  14. Jeffrey says:

    Leo, up yours!!!! If you are entitled, moronic, selfish, a freak, you need to drop like a whiny little kindergartners jerkoff. That is wrong with your crybaby mentality. I am sure everyone would want to throw a two gallons of soda in your face in public for your whiny little self esteem memes. So as of now, drop dead mister. Is that how you are raised???? Wow…. Get a life, I am ashamed of you to death bitch.

  15. Leo says:

    Jeffrey — all of your posts are violent, rude, and entitled indeed. It’s you that’s clearly not learned how to behave. You should be ashamed of yourself.
    Come back when you can control your emotions better than a 5 year old.

  16. Jeffrey says:

    You sound contradictory and entitled Mister. It is the problem with selfish rotten families who should NOT be bringing kids on the plane if they cannot learn to behave in the first place, imbecile.

  17. Leo says:

    Addendum: while there are certainly numerous instances of negligent parenting, those complaining about parents not fussing over their screaming children (including the author of this article) might also like to learn a bit more about effective parenting.

    A parent who consistently responds with attention every time a child screams and throws a a tantrum is guaranteed more, and bigger, tantrums in future. It is very often excellent parenting to simply ignore a child’s worst hysterics, but reward good behavior with attention and praise. So complaining about parents who seem to be doing nothing while their child screams without knowing the broader context demonstrates a profound ignorance of effective parenting.

    • Patrick says:

      Interesting point. But if we are showing a “profound ignorance” of parenting, the same goes for many, if not most parents, since they so often indulge their screaming kids with attention.

  18. Leo says:

    For folks who claim to be frequent fliers, it seems like the author of this article (and numerous readers) don’t actually know what they are paying for when purchasing business or first-class seats in an airplane. Comfort, yes – but very specific types of comfort. Luxurious finishes; larger seats; bigger screens; more legroom; better meals; lounge access; more dedicated service; easier check-ins; more baggage allowance. But nowhere on the Delta One, Delta First Class, United First, AA Flagship First, or any other US web presences I’ve read does it mention “less noise” or “no children”. Go ahead, see for yourself. You cannot buy a product with your own expectations, having not bothered to read the product features, and then claim that it’s your expectations that need to be met rather than the specific features being sold to you. *That* is “entitlement” – claiming more or extra privileges than you actually paid for, simply because you think you deserve it.

    If you *want* a guarantee of peace and quiet, by all means, find a carrier that guarantees it as part of their flight experience. If you can’t find one (you won’t) – by all means, fly private and tailor your own experience to suit your expectations. Otherwise, read what it is you’re buying and don’t expect more than you’re paying for.

  19. Jeffrey says:

    Mr. Downtown, if they were to be shot, hung or poisoned upon arrival, that would be the job of the KGB as an example to begin with.

  20. Jeffrey says:

    Good!!!! Only wish this was possible as a death penalty state in the West is concerned. According to Westjet, just demote them down to the cargo hold without been so violent:

  21. Downtown says:

    Just put the plastic bag the pillow comes wrapped in around their tiny little monster heads to silence the antagonistic noise.

    Parents can be shot hung or poisoned upon arrival.

  22. Cnd adri says:

    First, there are earphones. Buy them.

    2nd, a good percentage of you are flying on points.. I can tell, since you can’t afford noise canceling earbuds.

    3rd. People pay for business class/first class for convenience and comfort. Children are boarded first, entertainment is better, food is better,seats are easier to get a child to sleep on. If anyone “deserves” it, it is the parents and children. I have flown many times in my life, if a child is upset.. you will hear it no matter where you are on the plane.

    Funny enough, Asian and European people seem to be fine with kids in business class/first class. North Americans and people from the Uk not so much. Actually middle class America, and those people who saved up on points see it as “luxury “. Most people who can afford the flight see it as just that, a flight.. with more perks. Like my Porsche is not a necessity to bring my kids to school.. but it is a nicer ride.

    My mother is Canadian, my father is Italian and the culture is Night and day different. My mom’s sister had a BBQ, and made hot dogs for the kids, steak for adults. When my father heard he brought steaks for all. My aunt was taken aback.. “kids love hot dogs! Why spend the money!” My father said ” because kids need softer meat, and actually nutrients, you eat a hpt dog”. He also made sure I knew that it was more important for my kids to have better coats, shoes and jackets than me. “Because they are always outside, on their feet and in the snow”.

  23. Jeffrey says:

    It is called frequent flier milers, not that they can afford a 8,000 dollar ticket to begin with. Well, anyway, as a village dweller who can’t stop spawning, you sound like an entitled freak of nature on the flight who thinks kids are the only terrible twos that own the road. So up yours lady. No one needs to let some screaming kids running amuck on the plane while you sit on your lazy fatass and making excuse out of it saying they are just kids, jerkoff.

  24. J says:

    For all those complaining about being upset people with kids can afford these inexpensive first class tickets, it’s your own fault for flying commercial. Charter your own flights without kids if you don’t like public transit.

  25. DV says:

    1000% agree. Keep your dirty screaming little crotch goblins away from what is meant to be a peaceful time. I would consider paying a 20% premium for an adult only flight

  26. Joe Wright says:

    Before retiring I flew quite often. It was rarely pleasant, whether in first class or economy, and mostly for the reasons detailed in this piece. I’m old, and can remember traveling with my folks back in the sixties. There was never any question as to what my behavior and that of my two older siblings would be while in public. Dad was no tyrant, but if he did not care for your conduct all it took was a look. We knew what followed if we dared to ignore this shot across our bow. My wife and I raised three sons and I employed the same method. I personally guarantee it’s effectiveness.
    All I can say to the individual who wrote this article is that I sympathize, but that unfortunately it is just going to get worse as this next generation of undisciplined heathens take to the streets. Bradbury’s 1953, “Fahrenheit 451” seems very prophetic about the coming age of lawlessness, especially among the young, which I will get to enjoy should I live another ten-twenty years.
    As I get nearer the end of this life, I find that I struggle with thoughts that I find detestable and which I try unsuccessfully to justify because “I’m really a pretty good guy.” Suffice to say that these thoughts, which present as waking fantasies, always end the same. Someone is thrown down a flight of stairs. And it’s not me.

  27. Mary says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with you! It has nothing to do with hating children or feeling entitled. It is the obtuse parents who can’t be bothered to actually parent their children who don’t have empathy for others. I see this in restaurants, church, airplanes, and stores. Parents are too lazy to teach their children respect for others, good manners, social skills, and self control. They think their precious snowflakes are adorable to everyone. They’re raising them to be entitled narcissists.

  28. Trev says:

    I know the article is dated, but the problem isn’t. I told my wife the only way I’ll fly Sydney to London is Business class to avoid all the entitled parents and their biological mistakes, and not I find that even price doesn’t deter these Parentalists, but airlines actively encourage them. So not my wife and I are fighting about whether we go at all or not. She can go on her own, but I’m not sitting in a flying creche for 30 hours, putting up with incompetent parents and their demented offspring.

  29. Carrera says:

    I don’t know where so many of you get the entitlement. The people with kids sitting next to you also paid thousands of dollars (times two or more)! At the very least your opinion is outnumbered. You’re in public. There are kids in public. If you think you’re so much better that you’re entitled to other people doing exactly what you want then fly private. Can’t afford it? Sounds like a you problem. But parents aren’t going to sit in smaller seats just so you don’t have to be around kids. I genuinely hope every single one of you is blessed with a colicky baby.

  30. Daniel Ford says:

    I support parents who hit their kids. Need to set those dumb shits straight. Fucking stupid kids.

  31. V says:

    @Stephen you say your friends fly all the time with their kids and then reason that “sometimes people are flying due to emergency or family matters, they aren’t just travelling with a baby for fun.” Do they have emergencies “all the time”?

  32. John Judge says:

    I grow up in a household where the family went to family style restaurants, but the children did not go to fine dining until they could behave. Which thanks to my parents was around 10. Which included full table manners. Nor did we fly until we could behave. The problem I feel is that for the last three generations in the US parents have let their children behave worse and worse until most are little monsters now. Mostly when I see people from other countries their children behave. Every time I check into first or business class on a long haul flight in the last two years there has been a screaming child or multiple on the plane. I have written the airlines begging them to do something. If there are 20 United flights a day from LA to NY, or wherever can’t 2-3 of them be child free?? If nothing else for safety since small children don’t wear masks. I travel with nc headphones and ear plugs, and while they help. It’s only a moderate improvement. The worst I experienced was in premium economy where a four year old sat on his mothers lap and kicked my seat for five straight hours. I asked the mom, the stewardess asked, the purser asked. She was a miserable human with a spoiled child. I spend two hours standing and the crew brought me drinks.

  33. Jim says:

    It’s mind-boggling to me how rude parents are nowadays. Was just on an 8 hour flight from Chicago to Hawaii. The entire way there, there was a little brat that would shriek so loud and randomly that it was impossible to sleep or think. As you say, the rude-ass-selfish-brain-dead parents made no attempt to quiet the little ass down. I kept giving them dirty looks and the shoosh sign but they ignored me. I had kids of my own and if my kids were such a noise-making and uncontrollable brat, then I wouldn’t take them flying until they grew out of that stage. It seriously astounds me of the level of selfishness of today’s modern parents who are raising a generation of self-entitled brats.

  34. Andrew Myers says:

    Completely agree with you. I think it is the height of rudeness and disrespect to allow your kids to run amok around others whether they have paid thousands for their seats or not. It is also unkind to a baby to subject him or her to a long flight especially where the change in air pressure can hurt their more sensitive ears.

    Yes we were all kids once, but I was 9 when I first flew and sat in my seat reading and looking out of the window. It is not unreasonable to expect young kids to behave themselves when in public, particularly within the confines of an aircraft cabin.

  35. Kevin says:

    Invest in a pair of Bose or Sony noise cancelling headphones. This not only blocks out the sound of babies crying but also the annoying background noise from the plane itself. It is that simple the technology exists and it is cheap purchase compared to a business class fare.

  36. Thomas says:

    Very good article, and totally agree.

    Currently sitting in business on a flight waiting to take off and a small toddler is bouncing up and down on the seat in front of me screaming… I pay extra to get away from this annoyance. Some parents are beyond selfish and rude, thinking that we all their little darlings as much as they do. If I acted like the kid in front I would be thrown off the plane, children shouldn’t get a free pass.

  37. Anna says:

    100 percent agree. It should be considered abuse to fly with a child or baby, they become way too stressed out and ruin the entire experience for everyone. I adore children, but they are the worst things to have on an airplane. Your blog is Well written !! Selfish parents don’t care if they make everyone else miserable with their bratty kids who kick your seat and scream. I hope the airlines will change things.

  38. Danielle V says:

    Exactly my thoughts! Beyond disrespectful of the parents, and the little asswipes are never reprimanded harshly enough to change their behavior! F***ing insane!

  39. Mason Lee says:

    I totally agree that all babies and kids should be banned from flying. Fucking loud, disrespectful and disruptive shitheads with their irresponsible parents always ruining the flight experience. I fucking hate children and the ones that don’t shut up need to be slapped or stomped on.

  40. Danielle Bartley says:

    What a bunch of utter moaners. Us parents and our children have as much right as you to fly whatever class we choose. You were a baby once and shock horror you cried too.
    My twins will be almost two when we fly upper class and I’ve booked it as I need the room for a better more comfortable 9 hour flight. I’m also an arm amputee which makes it more difficult so comfort and room is key to us travelling.
    I suggest you either put your headphones on and suck it up and realise us PARENTS (which I’m guessing by your anti child comments you’re not) are trying our very best.
    Children are not always naughty they are unsettled in an environment they’re not used to.
    How about you hire your own plane to take you and your self righteous self to your destination.

  41. Ellen says:

    Here, here. How I agree with you. I look for anywhere I can that is child free because so many parents have no parenting skills and just dont care what the kid does or how it upsets others. Flights and supermarket shopping are the worst. I live in hope moor airlines will introduce child free areas and supermarkets child free shopping hours. As for us being selfish as childless receive no financial child incentives, we are the ones who pay for them.

  42. Peter says:

    I don’t mind screaming kids as I put excellent bose headphones on and watch movies.

    That being said I have seen many people over the years get angry at the parents of noisy kids which in turn causes stress for the parents which the kids pick up on and get more upset. This then leads to several other passengers getting irritated.

    I do agree that when you are paying 4-6 times the price of economy one should expect a quieter journey so I am one banning babies and young children from business class and more so from first class.

    I have flown first class seven times and have been lucky enough not to have had screaming babies.

  43. A different thought says:

    It’s ok if parents are traveling with children. But I find it hard to accept that these folks travel business class. The representative who paid extra money to have a good sleep before he has his presentation next day, or same for the visiting professor who has a lecture next day. It’s therefore nothing more than normal that kids are banned from business class. Parents who don’t get that are selfish.

  44. Shut Your Worthless Children Up says:

    Excellent article.

    Any little human under 10 should be shunted back to steerage with their worthless parents. Nobody wants to hear your worthless little shit & nobody thinks that they cute at all.

    Just STFU & go back to cattle class & leave the rest of us civilised people to enjoy some peace & quiet.

    Entitled cunts.

  45. Martyn says:

    I am a parent and I fly both economy and business with children in tow. But, as a parent it is entirely my responsibility to keep my children unde control and as quiet as possible. I have no right to let my family encroach on other people’s space. And any one who argues that it is the other person who is at fault is being arrogant and self-centred. It is the parents choice, my choice, to have children. And, as such, I am entirely responsible for their actions. If airlines decided to introduce an age limit in business and 1st class I would, as a passenger and a parent accept this as a right of the company to make that decision. I do not have a devine right over an airlines decision-making process. That is for them to decide and for choice alternative options. These are the thoughts of a parent who travels with his family in a regular bases.

  46. Kellie says:

    After reading these comments, all I see is a bunch of self entitled grown adults acting like children because they feel like they are above people with kids. Grow up! Your main argument is that you paid extra money, so you deserve peace and quite. Well guess what folks, people with kids paid the same amount you did and more. Flying international with kids is difficult enough and then to be sandwiched in a row with no room for over 12 to 14 hours is painful. Majority of kids legs don’t even fold over their seat. Their legs end up pinned between their seat and the seat in front of them. Then trying to get activities out of your kids bag and them having enough room to do said activity, especially when the seat in front of you is leaned back is impossible. I could not imagine trying to get things in out of the diaper bag, while trying to hold an infant. Why not have a little compassion for others and instead of demanding to kick families with kids out Business or First class, why don’t you encourage airlines to make areas on the plane that are more family friendly.

  47. George says:

    Whilst I understand people’s opinions on this subject I am curious as to where people draw the line in who should and should not be “allowed” in bclass or fclass seeing as they feel that by spending this extra money it entitles them to peace and quiet and the blame of this not occurring lies with kids. Would these people be equally as appalled if an adult with Tourette’s was flying bclass or fclass and spent the flight shouting out through their tics. Maybe an adult with learning difficulties who could have an episode or outburst beyond their control. Perhaps loud snorers should also be banned. Flights can be unpredictable for many reasons not just the passengers. I have flown before through horrendous turbulence which prevented me from sleeping or relaxing and this was not caused by any screaming kids. Sometimes you have a good flight and sometimes you have a bad flight but when I fly bclass or fclass I do it for more legroom, a bed, better food, an onboard bar, quicker check ins, more luggage allowance etc. I do not pay for other people who also want to experience these things to fit into my version of what I find acceptable.

  48. Guest says:

    They should set the age limit to 8 years old for flying premium class. I agree with you author, because I am impressed in a bad way that more and more minors are flying premium class. And why the heck do airlines (except Malaysia Airlines first class, but that’s only for infants, not full-grown kids) allow minors in their premium class services? You should send a letter to the IATA and/or ICAO to outlaws kids flying premium class. This doesn’t include Premium Economy, even if it’s a carrier’s top class of service, such as Norweigian Air Shuttle, for example. WOW!!! 🙁

  49. Anonymous says:

    Family with crying baby in Business: Things may be easier for those two people compared to economy but they are ruining the experience for every other single person in Business. 2 people annoying everyone else in the cabin who paid extra to have peace and quiet.

  50. J Kaiser says:

    I’m with you. These breeders, if you will, are everywhere. It’s shameful how inconsiderate these jerks are not taking responsibility! We don’t have grown-up sections anymore. Everything is kid-friendly, pet-friendly, etc. Wth I just want to do adult things with other adults. Idgaff about your noisy poop machines. We need more kid free zones. Not just on airlines. IN LIFE.

  51. Kate says:

    Business Class particularly ought to be a child free zone. Having flown Business Class because, guess what, I was on business and needed to be able to work and prepare for my day… I have been exposed to 2 hours of a screaming toddler kicking the back of my seat. Only to disembark and realise that the mother with screaming toddler, also had a husband and two older children who had been sat in economy… please do tell me on what planet it made more sense for that screaming (and in this case spoiled) little terror to be up in Business Class, and not back with Dad???

  52. SK Dream says:

    I’ve flown upper class once and intend to do it again for a special once in a lifetime trip to Korea.

    This time we will be travelling with our two children. We’ll be saving for this trip for years – and I won’t be going until I know my kids can behave/entertain themselves for the duration of the flight.

    I want to enjoy this experience and not have it ruined by struggling to keep my children quiet and well behaved during it – so I understand why other passengers would feel the same.

    It’s for the parents to decide when the child ready, I think it would be unfair for families with well behaved kids to have a set age limit. I could have taken my oldest child from about 3 and would know she’d be fine…. my youngest is now 4 and I think I’ve got another 2 year wait for my dream trip!

  53. Mei says:

    Wow. I’ve never been on a flight like that.

    They’re not going to ban infants/children from Bclass or Fclass. You’re playing for one ticket but we’re playing for 2-3 or more. If they’re making more from us that solo travelers, they’re not going to restrict us. I am sympathetic though. I have 1 toddler and he already been on 5+ long flights and he normally only cries at take off and landing because of his ears. I make sure he is entertained and fed and his behavior is good. But like you I am also paying for comfort and convenience.

    @Tennessee entitled? The word you’re looking for is privileged. I don’t think I’m better than anyone else… but I want to be comfortable. Your mother sat in economy with you because she couldn’t afford it, not because she didn’t want it. And I’d say you sound entitled. Imagine their are mothers who can’t even afford to take their children with them so…

  54. Tennessee says:

    I believe that parents who fly with their babies in business or first class are entitled people. They think it’s their world and the rest of us live in it. I saw this on an AA flight on its transcon flight from San Francisco to New York/JFK. If I paid that much money for a ticket I wouldn’t want to hear a kid cry and I like kids. Sorry if some of you don’t like what I’m saying, but people saying that they buy first class tickets to have more comfort for them and their kids is BS. My mother took me for a month long trip to Japan when I was a few months old and sat in economy because she couldn’t afford the luxury of flying first class. The first time I flew first class was when I was thirteen. I have flown many times in the 43 years I have been alive and have only flown in first class a handful of times.

  55. sam says:

    Its not a case of banning children- but unfortunately those children who are priviledged enough to have parents pay Fclass or Bclass fares are usually Megabrats and do not behave appropriately- O the otherhand there are a lot of adult men who behave like spoilt brats in all classes and after flying for 28 years I would ban 30 percent of them too!
    Anyway its all going to change now… lets wait and see

  56. Aurelia says:

    I feel you the author.

    I do fly business class and I cannot imagine to pay such this amount of the money to be disturbed by babies cries. I didn’t pay for that.
    As I live Martinique, I’m luckier than you coz Air France doesn’t allow kids on the FDF ORY segment. On other segment they do accept infants but not on this one. I don’t know why but who cares? I’m so glad. I can enjoy what I pay for : calm and comfort.

    Conclusion: yes every single airline HAS TO be childless.

  57. Behealthis says:

    My skin goes prickly hot and and my pulse starts racing. There s just . it can t . I mean how can ..? No!

  58. Amanda says:

    “AuThOr MaN bAd FoR hAtE kIds. GiVe kId SuGaRy JuIcE aNd CoOkIe AnD kId WiLl ShUsH” because drugging kids on flights is bad but feeding them sugar to amp them, crash them, and more sugar to amp them again? are smarter than credited, and they know when their behavior is reinforced, just as they know when it’s discouraged. Toddlers, not so much,

  59. Repo Meister says:

    Let the free market handle it. When and if the companies decide the are losing more flyers due to children they can re-think their policies. Until then, life sucks sometimes so get over it. We get it – you have the money to fly first class therefore you shouldn’t have to deal with the same annoyances us lowly plebes deal with. Get over yourself you whiner.

  60. Linda K says:

    Like you, I detest sitting next to infants and children on long-haul (or short-haul flight,) but it happens. Oddly, I have young kids, but haven’t taken them on long-haul flights. Why? Well, I don’t have family in a different country. I can only imagine the stress the parent endures on long-haul flight with young kids. They are likely mentally broken and just dealing. For you, the experience is horrible, for them, they are deaf to most noise and not enjoying the trip at all. The fact that people can afford to pay for children to sit in business class, etc. is a fact of life. If you have the money, they airlines have the time. Just remember you were a kid once and feel pity on the parent traveling with a kid internationally.

  61. Ree Mahon says:

    My partner and I just returned home from an overseas trip. Our flight out had 4 loud children belonging to a couple. The baby was a screamer. We first noticed them in the Business Lounge. A loud, noisy family. I hoped they were not on our flight, but of course they were.

    The noise continued on the plane.

  62. TK says:

    You probably don’t understand how difficult it can get with small children in economy over long haul flights. As a parent you get zero sleep. Are there people sucking it up and doing it? You bet, just as there are people who donate blood to keep their kids fed. Is it the opposite of helping yourself to a gin and tonic from an overcrowded business lounge? Trust me, it is.

    I have two young kids, and when we travel as a family we shell out the big bucks and travel business, just so that it is tolerable enough so that we’ll be motivated to meet friends and family half way around the world again next year. You didn’t say, but implied that somehow families in business are more spoilt/entitled/obscenely-rich than you are. Trust me again, the answer is no.

    This might surprise you. When I travel alone, I travel economy. For the money of course, but also because I don’t find long haul economy that intolerable.

    All that said, I wish there were a family class priced same as business but with different amenities. It’ll help folks like you for sure, but that’s besides the point. When I am taking children in business, I couldn’t care less about fine wine. I want *less* privacy, so I can easily check on my kids. My kids could do with a smaller seat, but maybe a play area where they can spread out their toys might help.

  63. Hennah says:

    Forget the babies. It’s the grown ass men snoring and sniffling that gets me. Someone below mentioned paying “a little bit more” uhhhhh I am sorry but paying $600 round trip vs 5k round trip first class is not a “little bit more” it’s a Ton MORE and you clearly haven’t flown first class. It’s extremely annoying when someone disrupts another persons quiet time. Whether it be loud babies, a fat old man snoring, or someone talking loudly in first class. There is etiquette hints it being FIRST CLASS. I feel you man! Currently I am on a first class train and the man next to me has his damn mouth wide open just snoring away having a good ole sleep meanwhile me and some other grumpy first classers are stuck listening to him. I honestly am getting ready to tap him on the shoulder and say HELLO YOU ARE SNORING!!!!!

  64. Abbas A. says:

    While I empathize with both sides on this topic, I find it hard to rationalize the argument that just because you paid a little bit more, you should not be exposed to babies and children – while the shlubs in economy class should have to.

    If you’re so entitled, why don’t you spend the extra dollars and fly private – that way you can control age, race, gender and all the other biases you have.

    Yes, there are both badly behaved and well behaved children, but the same can be applied to adults.

    Also this is purely one for the airlines, if the economics of childless flights made sense, they would do it.

    If children and babies are so awful, then why stop at business class travel, why not ban them from all social institutions and limit your exposure entirely?

  65. Stephen says:

    I don’t think this is fair but I see where you’re coming from. My friends flies with their kids all the time and their reasoning is simple. They want comfort for both them and their kids just like everybody else. They want space instead of having to be cramped up in a tiny seat with their baby on their lap for 13 hours. If you had to carry dead weight on your lap for that amount of time you wouldn’t be saying that kind of stuff.
    For those of you that are saying they shouldn’t fly if they’re not fit to fly, sometimes people are flying due to emergency or family matters, they aren’t just travelling with a baby for fun.

  66. Hugh Mackay says:

    I so sympathize with you. I have autism. I am subjected to screaming hellions of babies and toddlers and their incompetent indulgent parents. I do not mind genuinely upset children who are calmed down after a few minutes. But I have been on a long-haul to Perth from London, and five toddlers and a baby were allowed to run riot. The toddlers ran screaming from one end of First Class to another, the baby screamed from lungs of leather. The crew put me in the recovery position with ear plugs. I was shaking with anger on getting to Perth, and had to be put straight to bed with hot milk and a hot water bottle. In High Summer.

  67. Hans says:

    Yesterday I made the same experience.

    I have kids myself and I would never have flown business/first when they were younger.

    To make it worse, the whole family thought it would be an outstanding idea to turn on the lights and have a meal with the associated noise, whilst everyone around tried to catch some sleep.
    Strangely that meal time neither fit with the time of the departure place, nor the time of arrival place for having a meal.

    I agree, children up to a certain age should be banned in business/first class.

  68. susan says:

    Babies – I flew for years with my three babies. They never cried because I researched it.
    We all need to be chewing gum or swallowing at take off and landing or your ears will pop.
    Imagine the pain a baby feels? Bring a pacifier, the sucking will alleviate the ear pressure.
    Breast feed if you can at take off and into flight, baby will sleep. Older kids ears pop too,
    an awful feeling. If too young for gum, bring a drink and explain, we will be taking off, to
    prevent your ears from hurting, suck on the straw, drink now. Or give them a lollipop ring.
    The kids whose ears don’t hurt are kids whose parents do this. My middle son was almost
    two when we took him and his 13 year old brother to Disneyland. We flew coach. I gave him
    the Gerber cookie when take off was announced so he’d be sucking on something, my husband,
    older son and I knew to chew gum at take off and landing. The baby was so fine, he winked
    at the flight attendant who was ELATED! “OMG HE WINKED AT ME” This made my almost 2 year
    old if that (he’s 25 now so hard to recall) except the Flight Attendant gave us free drinks, had
    his photo taking with my child who amazingly put his hands up to hold the fellow’s head in place
    and gave a big smile!
    So when traveing with kids – Think/Prepare them, pacifiers, Gerber infant/baby cookies, understand
    their ears hurt worse than yours and sucking on the above alliviates their pain and they are happy.
    Bring favorite toys but most of all fav. snacks and drinks.

  69. Susan says:

    I travel Austin – Boston – Austin once a month, first class. Vacation I flew to and from Paris business class,
    to Brazil years before- you get it – all over.
    I am highly allergic to cats. I booked my seat first class and the young woman beside me smiled a lot and was nice. I began to read my book and sip my drink. Then – hives, itchy, sneezing, had to go to bathroom to wet face and sneeze. Confused at this sudden illness, I went back to my seat, using my neck scarf to cover my
    face and try to read. As we were landing, the very nice young lady, BTW, pulled out her under seat “purse” which was a sleeping cat. Why wasn’t I told there was a cat beside me? First class and no idea I’d be beside a comfort pet? Did I miss something? When the booking process asked for allergies I said no, thinking food allergies since it was on that site. I do believe ppl need comfort pets, absolutley…and they should fly- but grouop them TOGETHER. Let the neighbor KNOW.
    I walked off that flight with hives, sneezing, not until a day later and a benedryl which I bought minutes off the plane, did I feel semi ok. So it’s really RUDE to sit a passanger allergic to pet dander next to a pet carrier.

  70. Lt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell says:

    I Personally believe it should be mandated by the IFA or whoever the world body is for policing Airlines, that access to premium cabins i.e. First Class and Business Class should be barred to individuals aged under 10 years of age for Business Class (i.e. you must be 10 or older at the time of flying in order to be in Business Class at all during the flight). And First Class should be restricted with anyone aged 14 and under barred from being present in any area of First Class for the entire flight.

    Look, I’m sorry to tall the parents that have nicely behaved kids that would be affected by these proposals but how can we sought out the rotten apples that needed to be punted down to economy??? Oh, some stupid “parenting test” that goes for 5 mins in the business class lounge that nobody could ever fail?!?!?! Give me a break!!! Anyone that disagrees must be a delusional!

    Some people book these trips as a sort or trip of a lifetime and they pay nearly half a years wages in some cases. They should not have their experiences and lives ruined by f’ing millennials who carry one like entitled little SOB’s thinking it is their divine right to be crap parents and let their kids run riot in these premium cabins not only ruining other passengers flights but also causing a serious hazard and safety risk for crew who are usually trying to serve HOT meals and HOT drinks!!!

    • Lt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell says:

      To follow on to this. I know there are going to be some stupid idiots that whinge back at me but either come up with a better system for ratting out the crap parents and foghorn hooligans that need to be punted down to economy, or shut up if you can’t devise a better system.

      There are countless things in the world that the majority suffers because of a lack of self regulation by a minority and thus the majority or everyone goes without.

      It also shouldn’t be the job of the crew to act as “plane police” arresting hooligans for disturbing the peace, they aren’t paid to do that, they’re paid to make sure everyone is wined and dined at a premium level (BC+FC) and looked after.

    • susan says:

      I agree with you, I fly first class and have had horrific experience with Comfort Pets, (allergies)
      never told a cat or dog would be seated in first class next to me.

      However, as a mom, I offered tips -my 3 infants never made a fuss since I understood the air
      pressure and they should be sucking a pacifier, who cares if they were weaned off them, help
      poor kid get through the ear pain from take offs and landings. Too old for pacifiers, Gerbers
      cookies they can suck and the point is keep swallowing until take off is leveled and landing is
      leveled. Rock them to sleep with things that temporarily promote Regression. The stuffed animal
      they outgrew- a sudden new appearance will cause love to stir in child’s heart, they are scared and
      now protect the outgrown toy of fear. Don’t ignore them, give them more love and help by all suggestions. Don”t ruin your fellow passengers trip or yours and most importantly your child’s by not giving in to what they need since they unknowingly Gave In to your subjecting them to FLY. Do cartwheels to make your child behave and you can relax and so can the other people including flight staff.

  71. A mother says:

    I have to stay that though I completely disagree with you, I can empathize with your point of view. Before I had a child, I would have laid the most reasonable-sounding, persuasive argument against children being in business or first class. However, I have had the misfortune of recently flying with my toddler. My kid is the kind you would find in a corner singing to themselves. A happy child. Yet, that kid had a complete meltdown on the plane, screaming with hysterics, all because we fastened the seat belt!

    Just to help you envision how ridiculously unexpected this was, let me tell you that since birth my kids has NEVER ridden any mode of transportation without being securely fastened in a carseat (we have 3!) or on an adults’ lap (for really really short trips and only if we can’t access a car seat). Additionally, this was NOT their first time on a plane -so this was totally unprecedented. I had 3 kinds of entertainment devices (not including the iCE), favorite books, favorite stuff toys, favorite blanket, a lollipop and none of it put a dent in that tantrum. My baby screamed until cries turned into gasps for breath and there was nothing we could do. It was super humiliating, and I wanted to cry and apologize and it wasn’t even my fault.

    No one knows how isolating parenthood is until they become a parent. That’s not some wise-crack words meant as a condescending jab at all the singles out there. It’s the truth, and it’s one of the darkest secrets of today’s society.

    • Jake Robertson says:

      And herein lies the problem. The parents who swear “my gosh, my child NEVER has done this. But we fastened their seatbelt and they lost it.” Give me a break. Your child obviously wears a seatbelt when they’re strapped in their car seat….and you’re telling me they never went haywire then. That you couldn’t believe they did it on a plane? No, you weren’t shocked – you were selfish. You knew EXACTLY what would happen and you lack total awareness, respect and courtesy for your fellow travelers. And to that end – we will show you a complete lack of understanding and respect. You do your part and we will do ours. Good day!

    • Susan says:

      I have three grown kid and recall those days. Even if they outgrew a pacifier I would let
      babies have it since sucking prevents ear pain. Adults who experience ear pain or popping
      during take off and landing chew gum. You can’t give a baby gum, they’d choke! So a pacifier
      or if old enough a Gerber cookie they can suck on works. Great you bring favorite toys and continue to do so and suggest. But physical discomfort is the ear popping a large percentage of people feel. So the
      coveted but no longer allowed pacifier is a HUGE relief to their physical well being , prevents the
      ear pressure/hurt/popping. They become happy the old friend has returned! If it doesn’t work, give the child a drop of sugar or watered down honey to make the pacifier enjoyable. This relives physical pain and
      change diapers immediatey, bring swaddling blankets, this is a horrific expeerience for kids whose parents never experienced the ear pain upon take off and landing. This advice worked on my 3, all different personalities.

    • Jeffrey Lin says:

      Stop making this post a long ass rambling comments about yourself and how great you are as a stupid ass soccer mom to your spoiled rotten rugrats. YOU ARE THE PROBLEM AND IF YOU DON’T FOLLOW THE SAFETY INSTRUCTION, IT IS YOUR DAMN PROBLEM!!!!!! SO GET A LIFE PAL, IF YOU DON’T FLYING ON AN AIRPLANE, THEN GTFO AND TAKE A HIKE BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT IMPORTANT ANYMORE IN THIS WORLD!!!!!!

  72. Tom says:

    Pretty sad and pathetic article. I don’t have kids and travel in business/first frequently.

  73. Liz says:

    I am business traveler and I travel these distances with my child from when he was 2 months to now 6 years old. He is generally great once we are on the plane but there has been a time when it was not so good (it was the extra 45 minutes waiting for a gate after landing). I would guess that most parents feel like I do, I was embarrassed and mortified at the my son’s behavior. I don’t need the dirty looks or snide remarks, I feel bad enough as it is. While I get the frustration because you paid damn good money (I did too, actually double what you did), compassion is key in giving me hope for humanity not a “adorable child napping peacefully”. I pay for the business class for my son because as a smaller child those lay flat seats are like a play pen to contain him and as my autistic child has gotten older it is a quiet cocoon of security. My son and I have every right to be in business class.

    • Jake Robertson says:

      Liz, oh Liz. Stop playing the victim and start acting like a respectable member of society. At no point did the author or anyone else say you and your son don’t have a right to be in Business Class. But what we do have a right to is a relaxing and premium experience, of which a screaming baby or Autistic child throwing a fit completely ruins for the rest of the cabin. If your children can’t take a flight without losing it then flying isn’t the right mode of transportation until they can handle it. Wake up dear Liz – this isn’t your world and we’re all just living in it.

  74. Iris says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more
    Business Class should be Business Class. It is a place where people who fly every week for work get to get a few hours of sleep before they have to jump into a meeting on the other side of the world. To them it is not a luxury…it is a pure necessity to do their jobs properly. (they often don’t get time to adapt to time zones for a day first).

    I was actually astonished to learn that children are allowed in business class. WHY?
    I mean WHY do kids have to be everywhere?? And why are there only so few parents who actually know what parenting is?? When I was a kid I was not allowed to run around or scream or stamp my feet anywhere
    Not in Business Class (where I of course never came), not in our back yard, not in a restaurant, not at my grandmother’s house. My mum was always very clear about this

    The less than appogeletic “hey they are kids!” attitude of most parents is beyond believe these days.
    So what they are kids? Yes I understand they won’t sit quietly for 11 hours straight. But screaming, running and just doing as they please, bothering 300 other passengers is just not right. Not in Economy and not in Business Class.

    It is about time there came child free flights. Oh yes, parents will be insulted. But let them be. They can take that other plane full of screaming monsters just like their own. Must be a very bonding experience.

    • Dave says:

      Totaly agree. If I spend my hard earned money to fly business class I expect not to be bothered screaming brats. It wasn’t allowed in my day.

      • Jason Au says:

        Totally agree with this article,

        If you can have “quiet cabins” on trains where people don’t use their phones and loud children are not allowed, then why cant we have “quiet cabins” on aircraft – mainly BUSINESS AND FIRST.

        If I, as a 40 year old adult started screaming, shouting, crying and running about the cabin, I would be hauled in front of the cabin supervisor, OR the Captain and told to adjust my behavior as I was disturbing OTHER GUESTS.

        I like my peace and quiet, I like to relax and enjoy, that’s why I travel business and first.

    • Jake Robertson says:

      THIS! Well said!

      Procreation should only be for those that have taken a parenting course and are ready for the responsibilities. Just like getting your drivers license. All these vaginas that just spit out babies because they biologically can, but aren’t mentally fit for the challenge need to be castrated immediately and have the children they (unfortunately) produced taken away pronto!

  75. Marion says:

    Hey. Just reading this made me disgusted. Are parents seriously getting that bad and that entitled?! If I’d behaved like that as a kid, I’d have been told to be quiet, then if that didn’t work, got my ass beat. Any parent that doesn’t do that to a screaming kid is a bad, lazy parent. Next time you’re on a business class flight, complain to the flight attendants, keep whining to them and don’t shut up until they do something. Record the bad behaviour and post it on Facebook, and demand a refund. You didn’t get quality service, so you shouldn’t pay full price.

  76. David says:

    You are pathetic! Get a life

  77. Jeremy says:

    I’m a regular traveler for both pleasure and business, short, medium and long-haul. I’ve flown with my daughter since she was 6 months old (now 3yo). I now also have a 9 month old son. When I’m combining medium/long-haul business and pleasure on a trip I take the family with in business (it would be odd to split the family between classes).

    Pre-boarding we like to opt for lounges which have a kids’ play area. If we know one lounge is better equipped for kids than the one we are flying on, we will use status to access that lounge instead.

    During flight both Mom and I work hard to ensure that kids are entertained for the duration. Infants get a good feeding on the climb and descent to aid with pressure changes (minimizes screaming, but some is unavoidable sorry – it’s known as pain). Entertainment is provided throughout cruise to keep them occupied and minimize their impact on our neighbors.

    The only bit I find difficult is keeping them entertained during pre-departure/taxi. They must be seated, but are bored and restless – sorry if this offends anyone ever sat near me, but we really do our best.

    My question: Why should considerate parents such as us be penalized?
    My other question: Why do so many 21st parents show a complete and total lack of consideration and ruin the experience for the rest of us?

    • susan says:


      Total empathy on this so please read my comments on how I got my 3 (totally different kids) to
      fly w/o disturbing everyone and my child!
      You are doing a sincerely good job and all I can suggest is a new and interesting thing to eat, drink
      and toy for child to be fascinated with while experiencing the fav or forbidden food (cookies?). It won’t
      hurt your child and will help them, sucking for kids, chewing gum or swallowing sensitive ear folks like me, work – If I forget gum, I can’t hear well until my ears pop 24 hours later. Also you KNOW what can put your kids to sleep. My middle child was so difficult, my husband and I finally found out taking him for a drive nd putting on a baseball announcier or golf announcer would put him to sleep. That and somethhing to suck on, chew on, depends on age – normally a treat will entrance the child /children into a comfort zone, favorite blanket, whip it out when they seem relaxed and they will go to sleep. this worked 100 per cent of the time. After all that settling in, you and co flyers can relax. Most importantly, Baby sleeps or plays with new toy w/ remembered taste in mouth, even if they have outgrown baby cookies or whatever kind of drink, having the comfort of “OH MY BOTTLE? ” will put them to sleep. Something secure and gets you all through a peaceful flight. When they land they forget all aboout the Regression to the Bottle. No genious or Md who graduated but never had a child, a real mom with real advice.

  78. Angela says:

    Oh wow, so I have flown with my kids since the first was 9 months old, they now are 4 and 6. Always long haul, Me i. Australia and my family in Europe.

    1.My kids have the right to visit their grand parents, and au ties and uncles, some of them getting on in age and can’t travel.

    2. I do not believe you for one second, the kid was screaming for 12 hours straight, yeah nah, don’t believe you. My kids are two boys, and they can be rough and tumble boys, but even they never screamed 12 hour. One time, Granted economy, man sat on aisle seat in the front row. Youngest spilled water, flight staff attended to us. I tried to move forward of course the moment I walk up the aisle he sticks out his legs, I go flying, my 2 year old lands head first in the wall, he is crying, I am crying the man stands up, pulls me on my hair and grabs my arm starts shaking me and yelling at me F and c word, he is in such a huff, the lady behind and Thai attendant put him into place. So who was the douchebag? My kid?

    This year I will fly business with my kids, because I too deserve more rest, more comfort. Makes me a better mummy.

    Will they have meltdowns, you betta, will I? Probably. But will they scream for 24 hours, nope and if they do, I hope someone has a bit more compassion and asks if they can help. Sometimes that’s all that is needed, and mostly the kids realise then too. After all they always behave better for someone else. incl you when you where a kid! 😉

    • Jeffrey says:

      Man, sounds like you are entitled and think that your kids have the right to do whatever they want in public. No wonder why people who have jobs, kids, etc…… just give a damn about themselves because you think you are the center of the world as being overly important lowlife asshole.

      SHAME ON YOU!!!!!

    • Erik says:

      That man deserves a medal for sending you and the baby flying. Wish I could shake his hand!

      To your first point – it’s the typical “my kids don’t do it, so I don’t believe it” bullshit. YOU are what’s wrong with society for trying to use that as justification. Lousy parent you are.

  79. Taff clarke says:

    Gosh 649 posts.
    I too have to travel in a tube at 35 thousand feet both for business and pleasure, so i can sympathy with your angst at having to put up with some childs screaming and intrusive behaviour, however as a parent with two amazing boys i also see the other side of the coin.
    First of all take it as a given, we all need to get from A to B in as comfortable a way as we can afford after all money is meant to be spent, not burried with you.
    Now of course everybody has the same rights, the rights of one do not trump the rights of the many, that means we are all equal in the eyes of the law. So we need to think and work for the common good, children are going to scream and cry regardless of were in the aircraft they are sat.
    In the comfort of a More upscale environment were there is less two and fro the children may settle down faster, less people are disturbed and it is possible to cater better to the childs needs.
    Perhaps the airlines thought this out and rather than catering to Biz people the cabin is really for families and it is you who are intruding, thus it should be you who moves to the rear of the plane.
    Of course this is rediculus as you have paid for your ticket and are just as entitled to your seat.
    I once watched a flight attendant help a young mother with her one year old, it transpired that she was returning home with her husband, he was in a casket in the.
    Everybody has a right to travel instead of complaining, can i join in.
    Post edited to fit in.

  80. Sadie Poosan says:

    OMG I just flew a 1 hour 15 minute flight with a 3 year old who screamed at an ear piercing level the entire time. I was beside myself. It literally gave me a migraine. I CANNOT imagine paying for premium or business for a long haul flight and having to deal with that. The airlines need to have some type of restriction. Would Bose noise cancelling headphones even block that out?

  81. Esther Kaufman says:

    I agree with you one hundred percent ! I just flew business class from Tel Aviv to JFK on El Al and there were TWIN babies, around a year old on the flight. They screamed the entire flight ! This is outrageous ! The section is called “ business” class, as it is intended for business travelers who pay more for the quiet and comfort. It is not called “ family class”! Airlines dilute their business class product by allowing infants. There should definitely be an age restriction! The flight attendant told me that they are unable, by law, to refuse to sell a business class ticket to someone with an infant. Ridiculous ! Movie theaters do not allow infants, and rightfully so. It would disturb the other people. The airline didn’t even have two bassinets for the babies! The parents had the babies laying flat on the seat without a seatbelt when there was a lot of turbulence !! That is unsafe. The parents were offered to go to economy with two bassinets , but they chose to stay with one bassinet in business class. During the night, the babies were crawling up and down the aisle making noise. This was outrageous, but predictable when flying with infants. There should be a minimum age of at least six to fly business class (and premium economy )!

    • Patrick says:

      You should write a letter of complaint to El Al. Airlines have complaint portals on their websites, and they do read the letters. Carriers will rethink these policies if enough people speak up.

  82. robert says:

    The way Parents raise their children is the reason how today children behave the way they do. When we were children myn brother andsister were raised in a very strict maner.
    when we were out either aat a restaurant or visitingother people, we sat we answer a question, we say hello, we sat where ournparents told us to si9t and that was it. No running around no crying.

    Today is like living in different Universe, a shame. Go any public place and you will Hvw to put up with that.

  83. Nick Wright says:

    I agree (mostly): restrict premium and business to children 5 years and older to make things better. At that age they are more self-aware and can be disciplined. Children under 3 can be especially hard to control and impossible to reason with. I have a 2 year old and in full tantrum, there is not much you can do. Distraction works some of the time. I can sympathize with that lady and the screaming toddler.

  84. Marina Larson says:

    A separate issue about children in first/business class. What is the procedure for oxygen masks when a child is seated in a separate pod, and the parent cannot assist while maintaining their own mask and seat belt? My children when young were well behaved when flying, regardless of class of seating. They much preferred first or business class however because they appreciated the service and the space. I would be concerned on today’s planes however because this might be a safety issue.

  85. Mel says:

    I once travelled with my toddler in Emirates First Class…I’m not bragging or whatsoever …but my 4yo toddler is well behaved.. this is not just lucky.. it’s been trained as well at home.. I’m not letting my son going nuts when go other places…So in such cases parents flew with their childrens… parents should be blamed coz not handling their kids as it should…manners just not happens in a flight or’s how u teach your kids..

  86. Candice says:

    Maybe the airlines should be the ones doing MORE for their youngest passengers, not sticking them in a crowded room to scream together. Maybe handing each child passenger a tablet preloaded with movies, games, apps for children. Maybe offering some in-flight entertainment like a magician or person showing science experiments. Maybe use some of the bar space for a jungle gym so kids have an area to get the wiggles out would be a better option. Maybe for flights over a certain length, a child coordinator should be added to the flight staff to help accommodate the needs of parents and children. Wouldn’t these be more humane options than simply banning or shaming our future generation and the people brave enough to raise them?

    What happened to the idea, we all do better when we all do better?

    • Vale says:

      Seriously? You really think that airlines should spend the money to put a magician on every flight just to entertain the children that the parents should be taking care of? If you choose to reproduce and then choose to bring your children into a public space, then it’s your responsibility to make sure that they are well behaved and entertained. Why should the airlines pay to put a whole person onto every flight just to distract your screaming children? That’s the parents’ job!

  87. Greg says:

    This is my second flight where there was a family of 5 in first class both case the kids are all under 10. Stop being selfish and self-absorbed parents. You don’t need to fly first class. If you used your status to upgrade, then shame on you. You are taking precious upgrades from 5 people who have flown 125,000+ miles in a year and have earned it. Talk to your kids and tell them what is expected form them on a plane. Then book the far back row of the plane. If your kids can’t act appropriately on a plane then don’t fly with them.

  88. Rinaldo Fronzoni says:

    Invest in a good pair of noise reduction headphones. Not only will it cut out screaming/crying infants but it will also protect you from the deafening airplane noise which can actually get up to 85db at cruising speed.Tune into some music or a film and forget about the outside world.

    • Jeffrey says:

      I don’t know if that makes any difference though in stopping shrieking cries of kids on the plane. Nor if it is worth the money to spend on it. Secondly, the only way to stop this dilemma is to put these kids in the cargo hold instead.

  89. Susan says:

    Many churches have ‘çrying rooms’ where parents take their unruly and loud children during a service. How about having that in the back of a plane, with some noise absorbent walls ?

  90. Alice says:

    I don’t understand why parents bring small children, especially babies, onto flights at all unless they absolutely have to. It’s cramped, noisy, stuffy and the change in air pressure can be physically painful for babies ears. Of course they cry! Forget about disturbing other passengers, what kind of parent willingly inflicts discomfort on their own child so that they can have a nice holiday abroad?

  91. Evelyn says:

    I am totally in agreement with you; these premium seats cost a lot of money and I have booked a business class seat on Qatar for this coming August. Your comments are not encouraging!! The only reason I have booked this is because I want what you were hoping to get!

  92. Bill says:

    I’m with you. I live in Australia now, so everything is long haul. USA, Europe, even Asia is not a short flight. I also pay out of my pocket for the premium class when I do fly that way. I can’t afford it every time, so it is a luxury, and usually only done when I need the rest because I will be flat out when I land. I have to fly to Germany in a couple days and honestly, though I need to be “on” when I get there, I don’t know that I am again willing to risk that kind of cash to AGAIN end up the victim of irresponsible and entitled parents who think its ok to subject everyone to their feral monsters they are too lazy and spineless to parent. I have told the airlines every time that they are discriminating against every person who paid to be in premium class by allowing these entitled, selfish pricks to do as they please. If you are a parent who takes your young child on a plane, in the premium classes, you deserve to be drawn and quartered, and if you are on one of my flights, in my cabin, I will have NO problem telling you exactly what the rest of us think of you, and do so for all to hear. I WILL shame you right off the plane. I’ve done it before and will proudly do it again. You will find yourself with NO support for your pathetic case when I do that. Applause was the result of my last encounter with one of you parents. I would encourage everyone who finds themselves in this situation to do just that. The hell with the airline, they are too spineless to take a stand.

    • Di says:

      I agree that some parents just seem to not care and I know many parents are so tired that can’t seem to be able to cope with their children’s rants and tantrums. But I must say sir that YOU just going after parents in the same cabin and as you put in there “I will shame you right off the plane”, regardless their or their children’s behaviour is just arrogant and despicable. I have travelled with my son since he was three months and made sure he was well behaved and cried the minimum. Many times I’ve had responses like “oh I didn’t know there was a baby here!”. So you just attacking to whoever has children in the same cabin as you is not helpful for the already worried parent, the children can feel their mother being scared or worried and will eventually feel scared and worried too and CRY. I would understand you talking to the parent that lets the child run wild while he or she doesn’t bother to PARENT (yes I’ve seen those and I think like most of you), but those who are like me, making sure that not only her hold but everyone else has as peaceful experience as possible DOESN’T deserve this level of treatment you preach. I’ve seen adults behave worst that children, drinking and harassing passengers! Will you confront the hen or stag party that are shouting and drunk and moving from seat to seat? I doubt it because it’s easier to prey on the weaker. I hope your future flights won’t ever have to deal with any of the last group. Cheers

  93. Diane Primrose says:

    I totally agree there should be kid free business class seats. After booking Air Asia X lay flat seats recently and thinking with the kid free zone behind business class they would not be allowing kids in business class – how wrong I was. I cannot see the point of a kid free zone behind business class when you have kids in business class?? Funny how they advertise business class as so quiet because no kids are allowed in the zone behind you! How does this make sense. We were lucky that the one child was as good as you could hope for but it could have been a different story. I have also had terrible experiences with Singapore airlines business class when a family came on board with children. What is most frustrating is you pay for luxury and it gets stolen out from under you with obnoxious people invading the space of everyone around them. I have also had a child on Emirates economy kick my seat from Dubai for almost the entire journey – this little darling was also hitting the entertainment screen for hours on end with his chubby finger. Mother did nothing. I think parent have a lot to answer for as kids need some guidelines when they are obviously annoying people around them.

  94. Micca says:

    Oh man I literally just got off an Etihad flight from Heathrow to Abu Dhabi and it’s 1:30am in AUH right now (here for transit). I was so excited to finally get to fly business in an A380 and from the moment I sit down, there are two children running around, stomping their feet, crying, and screaming. I think the worst thing is that their parents actually encouraged this behavior. Couldn’t get a wink of sleep and it was just a horrible experience that I couldn’t comment on the in flight survey.

    It’s called business class not let your kids run wild and bother everyone class. It’s really one of the few times business people can not respond to any emails or messages with good reason.

    When my brother and I were kids, our parents just left us in economy and checked up on us every few hours. So it also probably has something to do with parenting 🤷🏻‍♀️

  95. Shivaji says:

    There are some of us who don’t often get to fly business. Business is way beyond premium and it’s a luxury that at least I can’t afford usually. If/when I fly business and I find fucking kids misbehaving and babies crying, that is not acceptable.

    Babies and misbehaved kids can stay in Economy. Or not fly at all.

  96. Krisztina says:

    Yesterday I took a flight from Zurich to Budapest on business class. There were two babies about 6 months in business, one in front of us the other behind. Both are crying but especially the behind one screaming almost the whole flight. Ok, it’s a short flight but I came from Toronto with a 5 hour stopover in Zurich so I was enough tired for hope to have rest. But no, I had not. My opinion is that there are several places where babies are not allowed such as some restaurants or bars or adult friendly hotels etc. Because they bother the others and the others pay a lot of money to be there and they want to enjoy what they do without babies’ crying. The business class should be the same.

  97. Betsy says:

    Thank You! You have perfectly captured all of the frustrations I felt yesterday. I flew business class on Emirates A380 and experienced all the same things as you. Kids ‘whack-a-moling’ over the seats; screaming *just* often enough to disrupt you out of falling asleep; and parents acting as if this isn’t a problem.

    In fact, I didn’t say anything to either of the parents surrounding me (not traveling together) because honestly I knew all I would get back was “They’re just kids.” SO? I was a kid once. And never, ever would I have ever had the audacity to misbehave in business class (had we had the money to fly it) because my parents would have informed me prior that people paid a lot of money for these tickets and expected it to be quiet and relaxing.

    It does not surprise me that you got insults, threats, etc., hurled at you because of this post. Parents like that think their children should be able to do whatever, whenever; with no consideration for those around them. That, to me, is the ultimate entitlement. That said, people still think that the crying baby has as much of a right to be there as an adult who saved for years to be able to afford a $5,000 airfare. So perhaps what the carriers could do is either offer a kid-free first/business section where everyone must be 18 or over; or offer ONE FLIGHT a day that does not allow kids. If I knew I could enjoy a 13h flight without disruptions, I would pay more. On any time table.

  98. Esskay says:

    I understand that it is about kids being banned from 1st & Business class but I want to talk about something else.

    I recently traveled to JFK to Nepal with my 3 year old triplets with a stopover at Istanbul. My kids are used to flying and given their age are very well behaved during the flight. However, the flight was very long and they did have outbursts here and there. There was a middle-aged American couple who sat in front of us. My daughter started crying and the guy got and yelled “Shut up” at my 3 year old daughter’s face (not at my face – her face). At Istanbul we changed the flight to Kathmandu. Majority of the passengers were Asians – guess what? They were not only tolerant but also gave hand to help not only me but other women with babies.

    Believe me, this type of tolerance to children is generally higher among Western traveler. For whatever reason, the Eastern crowd seems to have higher tolerance and helpfulness in such situations.

  99. Alice says:

    I don’t think you’re some of the words you described in your ‘note to readers’ but I do think that unless you’ve had a child, perhaps your view is a slightly naive one. I had a similar opinion PRE baby and let’s be honest, if I flew without my son I’d prefer a child-free business environment but the fact remains: a crying baby has just as much of a right to be there as anyone else.

    Let’s face facts: economy with a crying baby is just as miserable. There are lots of people who fly economy who don’t have kids and share your opinion. Crying babies suck – for you, for the parents and the baby!

    I always used to look at toddlers having tantrums thinking it was the parent fault. Wrong. Sometimes, kids have meltdowns. As a parent this can be humiliating, exhausting and seriously depressing. Especially because some
    of the time there is NOTHING you can do.

    Next time you’re on a business class flight and you see a parent struggling with an less than happy child, try offering a supportive smile or even go and try to distract the child. I promise you that the parent is probably as upset as you are!

    Either way, if they’ve paid for the ticket they’re just as entitled to be there as someone who spends those 7 hours making the poor mum feel horrendous.

  100. Anaïs Marchand says:

    I think you’re being negative maybe if you changed your mindset instead of being like “I hope they won’t be kids, if there is it’s gonna be shit” you wouldn’t be facing those problems.
    Now I understand where you’re coming from, you paid up money to be pampered but suddenly it becomes an awful experience however I remember my parents getting two places in business class while we were on a family trip and they gave my brother and I the sits despite being kids and we were well behaved same as when we were travelling during our toddlers stage. Now, I’m not sure how it’ll be when I travel with my kid but I know that parents play an important role to make the kid trip as comfortable and fun as it can be so they avoid screaming, yelling or whatever it is.

    It’s like car trips or even real life, they tend to throw tantrums when they are tired or in pain (imagine air pressure) or bored but if you explain to them you do not want this kind of behaviour because of this, that, this & that’s what you can give them in return they wouldn’t be yelling as much.

    • Anaïs Marchand says:

      However, I always thought when I was a kid that business class was only for “business” which I think is better if they kept it that way or separated it so parents and kid can be somewhere else where they don’t as you say “disturb” others (& it’ll be fun to meet other parents and make your kid perhaps socialise with one another)… skynanny is another thing that could help. However first class and economy should be fine to have babies.

      About workers saying “sorry” while smiling when you complained is not good customer service. I would have personally apologised and went to parent to ask if they could quiet it down a little as their kid is disturbing others.

      I believe children should be taught to be mindful of others not just themselves.

  101. Chet says:

    I don’t understand why babies are a hot topic in business class. People in economy class are fine to be disturbed with a crying baby but not in business class? Babies are babies and they cry. Deal with it. If not, fly in a chartered plane. Everyone has been a baby in their lives and have troubled others unintentionally. People should learn to be more tolerable. Is this the kind of attitude we are showing to our children. I feel it is selfish to think babies should not be allowed in business just because you have paid more than economy

    • Jo says:

      I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with you. I think children below 7 or 8 shouldn’t be allowed in a business or first class. People are paying big bucks to fly in a comfort and quality and I’m sorry, but kids screaming and crying doesn’t add to any of that. If people are loaded enough to afford to pay for the entire family to fly business class, they should be well enough to afford a private jet.

      • Ethan says:

        I think that if you’re stuggling to fly in busniess and I can afford business easily, that as long as my child is well mannered and I’m not a piece of sh*t parent who just lets my child scream his head off, then I have a right to fly business class. There is a difference between being able to afford my $2500 busines class ticket and having a private jet. If you want the luxury experience, fly 1st class. Business is just a more comfortable extension of economy. You can hear screaming children from economy in business. Why because they’re usually right next to each other.

  102. P8989 says:

    I think it’s should be fine on first class and , basic main cabin where most the people are traveling for vocation. But for business class no no no , my own experience on long flights it’s feels worse then public transportation. Business class should be only business class

  103. Freddie says:

    I have been flying now with my 3 year old son, and wife or sometimes just with one parent with him. And we have done business class many times from JFK to Mel, either the eastern route or western route. We tell our son he is not allowed to walk on the plane, so when he needs to go and stretch, or we need to change him, we carry him. He has his entertainment either on his tablet or via the IFE. I agree with the writer that many times it looks like the parents don’t care and also many times I can see the parents desperately trying to make sure the child is not crying anymore.

    PS what also works is making sure you get a FAA approved car seat, especially for the younger kids, you just put them in there car seat on the plane and make them aware they can’t leave that seat.

  104. Andy says:

    I think it’s incredibly ironic that the people who complain most of children are overgrown children themselves. Like children, these whiny, entitled adults are only capable of seeing things through their perspective, operating under the delusional belief that the world revolves around them. Their parents failed them when they were children and now these ‘high conflict’ toxic adults lash out at anything that doesn’t go their way.

    • Patrick says:

      This comment is simply demented.

      • Lesley says:

        Completely agree – “Andy” sounds like another selfish parent who think’s it’s just fine for the wider population to be subjected to that aural assault. A lot of people dislike loud noises, many find them unbearable but we’ve just got to “suck it up” because ‘they’re only kids’. Children are a lifestyle choice & in the same way smokers (lifestyle choice) can no longer smoke in most places, the same should apply to excessive noise.. whether it’s from kids or adults. Because parenting is such a sacred cow nobody should dare to have an opinion on it, much less voice their discomfort at being subjected to a child in meltdown… if you can’t/won’t control your offspring then drive yo your holiday destination so the rest of us don’t have to be subjected to that is essentially “assault”….

    • Jo says:

      You sound like a very frustrated parent, who’s got enough but doesn’t want to admit it and taking it out on others. Yes business class is for the people who want to travel in comfort, peace and quiet and are willing to pay a bigger price for it. There is no space for kids in this (not for babies or toddlers anyway).

  105. James says:

    Wow. So many utterly self absorbed people in this world. It’s no surprise populism is on the increase, Trump is in power in the supposed leading country of the free world and China is laughing out loud as it continues on its journey of economic growth. Oh, and we have Brexit in my esteemed country 🙂

    What happened to decent, basic values of acceptance, helping others and just being a decent human being? I fly business class for work all the time (so much so I have invite only status), I frequently land post long haul and have to attend meetings. I flew business class before I had a child, and now for leisure with my wife and child as well as alone for business. I have good quality noise cancelling earphones. I try to be a good person.

    Next time you see a parent with a crying, screaming, shouting, agitated, restless or anything else child, step out of your own abyss of selfishness, wander up and say “it must be tough travelling with children, is there anything I can do to help?” How much better the world might be if we were a little nicer…

    • Patrick says:

      “…What happened to decent, basic values of acceptance, helping others and just being a decent human being?…”

      But that’s kind of the point, James. It’s the to-hell-with-everyone-else parents who are being the selfish ones, not those whose experience is being wrecked by their kids.

      And hang on a minute. Did you just compare me, however obliquely, to Donald Trump ???

      • Bill says:

        Thank you, Patrick. Well put. James, for your sake I hope you are never on one of my flights. You are the exact type of person you are speaking of… totally self-absorbed. You feel entitled to wreck the world around you so as not to be inconvenienced over YOUR lifestyle choice… a small kid. Kids are a choice, and not one everyone makes. I raised 3, I get parenting. But I also never expected the world around me to suffer over their behaviour. I raised them with respect for others. They had meltdowns,,, but not in first class and if one started in public, we left, removed ourselves from the situation because the rest of the world didn’t sign up to parent my kid. Nobody on a plane in premium class signed up and paid big money to parent your little beast, James. Think about that before you start calling the world around you self-absorbed. F-ing prick.

  106. Still Human says:

    This conversation is wrong at so many levels.

    1. Flying premium is still flying public transport. Your rights are limited by your contract of carriage which does not preclude certain types of human beings that do not fit Your description of ideal from flying.

    2. We should blame your parents as well, since they did give birth to you and raised you just like everyone else. I am positive you were as much a pain in many an adult’s life, in a variety of different ways.

    3. This whole argument is predicated on the notion that there are ‘bad’ parents. Inconsiderate individuals exist everywhere, it’s not exclusive to parents. Oversized carry ons, smelly food, elbowing, speaking loudly, turning on reading lights and leaving them on while you snore, the list goes on. What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

    4. Kids cry. Sometimes for inexplicable reasons. Most parents will desperately try to calm their kids down. Most parents are acutely aware of the inconvenience caused to others. That doesn’t eliminate their need to travel. They can’t just leave their 6 month old back home with some dog food and a water dispenser. And they don’t need to.

    And all this for a few hours of inconvenience in a lifetime? Who is the real inconsiderate, unreasonable, petty and downright douche here? I seriously doubt it’s those sleep deprived, tired, mostly decent humans trying to raise their children right.

    • Patrick says:

      >>Who is the real inconsiderate, unreasonable, petty and downright douche here? I seriously doubt it’s those sleep deprived, tired, mostly decent humans trying to raise their children right.<< The conversation isn't "wrong on so many levels at all." And my gripe isn't with the decent human parents you just described. My gripe is with the parents who don't give a crap, and who allow their kids to scream and shriek and make things miserable for everyone else. Am I really "petty" because I'm angry when some screaming toddler ruins my experience? Not because it's the toddler's nature but because the parents don't care? On a plane, in a restaurant -- it doesn't matter where. To your point number 3, above, you're absolutely right, adults can be obnoxious in any number of ways. And, they should be held accountable. It's no different... it just doesn't come into play nearly as much. For every Loud Talker there are probably a thousand screaming kids.

      • Still Human says:

        In my original post, under point 3, I meant to say “This whole argument is predicated on the notion that there are ONLY ‘bad’ parents.” Missed typing the word only. And that’s an important distinction.

        If your gripe is with parents that are inconsiderate and irresponsible, how does that translate into banning all kids? The fact that some individuals who are inconsiderate are also parents, doesn’t automatically translate to every parent = inconsiderate. Do you also believe all Mexicans are rapists? Where does that leave us as people?

        “For every Loud Talker there are probably a thousand screaming kids”. Indeed, how many kids have you really encountered on flights? 10? 100? 1000s? Or is it more like 3-4? So you just decided No parent in the world is allowed to travel in premium class because you “probably” had 3-4 bad experiences?

        People with children are entitled to the comforts of premium class travel if they can afford it, just like you are. Who are you to decide who can and who cannot enjoy premium class travel? Hell, I think all self centered, narcissistic, inconsiderate individuals that cannot tolerate the occasional inconvenience, should be banned from business/first class, because that’s essentially against the spirit of premium class travel!

        And that means, you are out.

  107. John says:

    I wonder how “cute” those who bring their brats to first class would think of my grandfather who has dementia. He also screams, yells, poops his pants and drools. He can’t help it, after all. He also paid for his first class seat and wants to sit right next to you. He has every right to be there. I will change his diaper right there in the terminal or in the aisle while everybody is tripping over him…….just like your kid we are expected to tolerate.

    If you don’t want to see an elderly person with dementia getting his diaper changed screaming and yelling the entire flight in first class we don’t want to deal with your uncontrollable child, either. Fair is fair.

    • Ethan says:

      What is wrong with your response is…

      A) you are aware that at ALL times your grandfather with dementia is uncontrollable and has a mental disorder.

      B) not every child is an asshole. We were very nervous with the idea of flying with children, but we flew the 6 different countries, all flights had children under 1 year (as many flights do, and when the MAJORITY of children are

    • Ethan says:

      What is wrong with your response is…

      A) you are aware that at ALL times your grandfather with dementia is uncontrollable and has a mental disorder.

      B) not every child is an asshole. We were very nervous with the idea of flying with children, but we flew the 6 different countries, all flights had children under 1 year (as many flights do, and when the MAJORITY of children are well behaved) only 1 child cried on the way back from Amsterdam. So to ban all children, even when chances are that when you’re flying you are with the majority to them is a bit extreme. Now if you know your kid is an asshole, then that’s a different story. But guess what, even when weve flown business class and a child is screaming 6 seats behind me in economy, I can still hear it.

  108. Ana M says:

    There are adult pools at hotels which is a public place, why not adult sections on an airplane?

    No matter how old the person is in first class is, if they are not conscious of the decorum expected in first class they have no business (pun intended) being there.

  109. Tim says:

    Your spawn, your problem. Teach them to behave and monitor them or get off.

  110. anton says:

    After reading some comments I feel some people have a way too high self-esteem. I’d like to remind them, that a commercial plane is a PUBLIC transport, just like a bus, and business and first classes are just wider seats with more privacy, and amenities, and greater reclining angle. That’s it… stop making a big deal out of it… Hence it is inherently wrong to ban kids who are just as members of the public as you are from any class. You pay for public transport, with all of its inconveniences.
    On the other hand, there are people who fly private, who PAY hundreds of thousands for that privacy and relaxing atmosphere. For example, my parents always charter a jet whenever we/they go somewhere and they pay large sums for that extra privacy and relaxation, much more than “$3000”, in essence, they are BUYING it, hence they have a RIGHT to have a noise-free flight.
    However, when I fly myself, I use public transport (ie commercial planes), and whenever there is a screaming child next to me, I don’t complain because I know I am getting what I’ve paid for (whether business or first).
    The people that I feel sorry for on these flights are their parents. Imagine that they had to cope with all that screaming for hours before boarding, and no matter how good the parents are, babies will still scream, there is little they can do, so I usually offer my assistance should they need anything during the flight, because I realize that the real stress is on the parents.

  111. Sheila Montgomery says:

    Do what I am doing and show the airlines the demand for peaceful flights by contacting them to suggest childfree flights and or sections. Problem is people don’t talk to the airlines so nothing is going to be done. There are lots of people who would pay more for peaceful flights. Air Asia has quiet zones and Malaysia bans kids from first class.

  112. kkatx says:

    I concur! Something must be done! Personally I go to extreme lengths to avoid flying altogether because of this and the other thousand bothersome things that happen before you even can get to your seat on a flight. It would be interesting to conduct a study to find out how many people, like myself, who would spend more on air travel if the experience were easier and more pleasant. I also think first class should bar children under 12 and have some kind of sanction system for noisy/disruptive offenders. Kids don’t pay for their own tickets or anyone else’s for that matter, so why should they be allowed to infringe upon the paying passengers? Maybe another solution would be to offer a few completely child-free flights on more popular routes – this way the airlines could get a feel for demand…

    • Sheila Montgomery says:

      Please call the airlines and make those suggestions to them. I have contacted the American carriers like Delta,United, and American and a couple of others. Get others to do it too. That is how airlines will see demand and do something. Your suggestions are good and I can’t convince them alone.

  113. JJ says:

    My business class travel occurs when my phone rings in the middle of the night, and I’m told I need to be in______(DEL, NRT, ICN, FCO etc) the next day for emergency work that at least one life depends on. The ticket is typically in the range of $10k. The reason that cost is absorbed is so that I can arrive rested and ready to perform the moment me feet touch the ground.
    To the folks who literally threatened the author of this article, perhaps one day your own life will depend upon my clear judgement and steady hands…or maybe I’ll arrive at your side having not slept in 48 hours and barely able to string together a cogent thought.

  114. Ed says:

    You know that you have a fair chance of sharing your space with loud unwanted noises. You can obviously afford to buy earplugs under high quality noise-cancelling headphones (not just the cheap ones provided by the plane). For someone who seems to take their own happiness very seriously, you don’t seem to be taking enough responsibility. I think you must secretly enjoy the screams, or enjoy writing about them afterwards at least.

    • Lesley says:

      “Secretly enjoy the screams”…

      Delusional?… much?…

      Nobody on god’s earth enjoys being subjected to a toddler in meltdown but apparently we’re not even allowed to have an opinion?. Perhaps you suffer from a hearing impairment so as it’s not a problem for YOU then it’s not a problem?…

  115. Lesley says:

    WOW – just WOW!!….

    “Babies ‘NEED’ to scream to release their stress”… ok & does this then apply to the rest of us?… if a small screaming child is relieving their stress does this allow me to scream also?…because I need to “release my stress” too….

    I’m HSP (like 20% of the population) & loud unpredictable noises cause me huge pain & a lot of stress, so, as Zoe suggests perhaps I should just scream to vent my frustration?..

    And before the tedious old knee jerk response “you don’t have kids do you” is trotted out (which is always the last response of the defensive & guilt ridden parent knowing they fail to control their child but trying to deflect responsibility)…. perhaps you don’t either & you’re just a very ineffective babysitter?… because EVERYBODY is entitled to a little peace… that’s everybody.

    After being serenaded by 3 under fives chanelling the exorcist on a 6.5hr flight last week (leaving at 06:30) I can tell you earplugs & noise cancelling earphones couldn’t even block that out…..Nobody ever said being a parent would be easy – but it’s a choice parents make, as is bringing their kids on a long flight. It’s a choice that other passengers have no input in.

    Kids can & do cry but seeing parents actually attempting to soothe their kids & restore some calm goes a long way towards consideration of your fellow passengers. Ignoring the cacophony & acting like some superior being because you’re a parent is just, quite simply, rude.

  116. Polly S says:

    There’s a sense of entitlementsia amongst some parents – and its chronic in those who have the means to take their travelling circus in 1st class. Do they CARE about you? Not one jot.

    As you allude to, this is a failure of the airlines to segregate that demographic from those who need to rest. Families need to travel so why don’t airlines provide a “family section” which a group would get allocated to when a seat selection is made for a child under “x” (pick the age when they stop becoming screeching harridans and start to have some modicum of self control). And provide some discount for the barrier rows since you’re in the sonic disruption zone. And mark seats allocated to a child under “x” so you can SEE where the family zone is when you’re online booking. There. Solved, sort of, net of an ejector seat.

    • Polly S says:

      Consideration and courtesy are the first casualties of entitlement.

      So much could be cured by owning consideration for your fellow passengers. I once had a lady with a child apologize as they took their seats. I instantly felt less resentment, even when the kid stretched her legs out over my lap to sleep. It was clear she was not comfortable with providing me any inconvenience which made me more tolerant than I would natively be. I was in cattle for that flight.

      If I’m travelling business I consider it a failure to deliver what the brand says it is – it’s for those travelling for business, an expense afforded bythose who are needing to arrive rested. I do believe airlines can figure something out about a family section at least on long haul flights.

      • Ethan says:

        I travel with my child for busniess. Now am I rude like that lady, no. Do I pay a business fare for my child, yes. I am not entitled, I have the income, I pay more because my income justifies it. Rude travelers are rude. Regardless if they have children, they’re obese, haven’t showered. Listen to loud music, have loud conversations with people next to them… etc. I’ve put up with all of those in business class. And I can tell you that i’ve encountered more Mouth Chewers, Obese and Foul body odors than screaming children. I’m using business within my business guidelines. It is not up to people to determine that my money has less value or that i’m detrimented to be in economy because I have a child. And for flights to have a Children Section, would sugjicate airlines to a multitude of issues.

        1) Different classes of families. Say they have Premium family seats, where would they go.

        2) What would they charge

        3) How would they retrofit planes to make this accomidation.

        4)Is it a sound proof area?

  117. Mathieu says:

    Your analogy to buying a cell phone is exactly where your reasoning falls apart. No, you’re not entitled to a child-free environment. Airline sold you a bigger seat, better food, fewer neighbours but it did not sell you the right to shoo parents away along with their brood. Next time, just be aware of that.

    Another way to put this is that your argument is circular. Title asks “Should kids be banned from business class”, and then at the bottom you argue this:

    “We all have our preferences and our choices for certain comforts. We pay extra for them. And, therefore, yes, absolutely, we are “entitled” to whatever they are designed to offer. Paying for business class on a plane is no different than paying a premium for any other product.”

    In other words, “kids should be banned from business class because this is what I’ve paid for”. Well, no you haven’t paid for that. If you had, this would be because that’s what the airline sold to you, meaning that kids would already be banned and you wouldn’t need to whine about it in a blog post.

    • Patrick says:

      I disagree. Yes, I have paid for that. The tangibles — the physical hardware and better food — is only part of what the premium class fare buys. You’re also buying an expectation of a more exclusive atmosphere.

  118. Victoria says:

    Your writing style is very entertaining. I laughed the whole time through while sitting in business class. Prob laughing as loud as those screaming babies. I was actually googling if any airlines offered nanny’s. The should put the flight attendants through nanny training and when there’s a crying baby, the flight attendent could take the baby in the back or somewhere else till it stopped crying

  119. CaptJ says:

    I’m a parent of multiple elementary aged kids and following a year of extensive business travel I may have enough points/upgrades to possibly treat the family to a long haul – transcontinental or maybe international – business class trip for an upcoming major vacation. I’ve been wondering about the wisdom of that.

    Just want to say I appreciate the author’s viewpoint to counteract some of the nastygrams. It’s basically more about actually making an effort to prepare and control the children and having a reasonable expectation as a parent of what your kid is ready for, and when.

    My takeaway is that if I think the kids are ready, and the opportunity is there, I will take it, with confidence that my own flying experience allows me to prep the kids as to what will happen and what is expected from them. Those with kids in business class MIGHT just be taking a once in a lifetime opportunity to have a good experience with the family when the stars align just so.

    As for those travelling with small babies, remember that travel is something we do out of necessity – to get somewhere for a reason – not just for the sake of it. That parent and baby have a reason to get from point A to point B and have just as much of a right to spend money or points for whatever class of cabin they want to buy.

    However, I’ve taken many a business class flight with a plan to work the following day, and have not yet had the enjoyment of a crying baby in front of me. Maybe I’ll change my tune then…

  120. Eve says:

    Although I have a baby myself, I do agree with your points. I’m just lucky that my baby is very well behaved and just sleeps for the majority of the flights. So far she has been to Portugal, Spain and Tampa in business class within her first year and she has never caused a fuss or made a racket. I do sympathise for the parents who have a screaming baby and they do their best to soothe them with no avail.. in the same way I sympathise with the other passengers. As much as I’d like to agree with banning children under a certain age this would mean my baby and I would no longer be able to fly business or first and we have never caused a problem!

  121. Strand says:

    The world is overpopulated enough, isn’t my fault some people breed like animals and then their brats annoy everyone. Kids should be banned from airplanes and hotels, they are annoying and the noise make me want to strangle them

  122. Zoe says:

    I fly frequently with my 3 year old and am constantly stressed thinking that other passengers may be inconvenienced. The problem is that if a caregiver is anxious then their children will also be anxious (scientifically proven). Now my son has become an anxious flyer. Bleh. The problem is that children NEED to scream and cry to let out stress. It is developmentally normal until the age of 5 or 6. Children are whole and complete people worthy of love, attention and comfort as are adults. Being aparent is hard enough even without all the shaming. Buy some noise canceling headphones instead of investing in first class.

  123. Zoe says:

    I fly frequently with my 3 year old and am constantly stressed thinking that other passengers may be inconvenienced. The problem is that if a caregiver is anxious then their children will also be anxious (scientifically proven). Now my son has become an anxious flyer. Bleh. The problem is that children NEED to scream and cry to let out stress. It is developmentally normal until the age of 5 or 6. Children are whole and complete people worthy of love, attention and comfort as are adults. Being aparent is hard enough even without all the shaming.

  124. Julian says:

    Totally agree with the article. My first point is do these children actually need to fly in the first place! I am pretty sure the answer is no.

    Ban children from business class and first class. Or how about (considering these are usually frequent flyers) put a mark on their membership not to allow children in thoses classes due to past bad behaviour?

    To all you parents, you really are ruining other peoples journeys. My 9 hour flight from Texas to London is usually followed by a 4 hour car journey. Perfectly fine if I get my sleep!

  125. Amy says:

    Thanks for your opinion. Like some of the other commenters I frequent fly with my children . We are current looking at a long haul flight and I am considering business class for the sole reason of my child behaving better with more room to sleep (we are looking at a red eye). My concerns is she generally cries at landing an I don’t want to be to much of a bother to any passengers. I appreciate reading your perspective and 100% agree with your opinion on lazy parenting. But I will say this, I was on 1 short flight with my daughter that should have been easy. The problem was the three hour fligh before this ended with a 3 hour stint on the tarmac where I ran out of diapers and formula. She was a saint the entire 6 hours, not a peep (probably because I paced the aisle bouncing her for 3 hours. By the time security ran us to our next flight so we didn’t miss it she was hungry, wet and mad. The held the plan for us, so I was that person that everyone was mad at AND I walked on the now late flight with a wailing infant. She literally screamed the entire 30 minute flight. I had a passenger that set turned in her seat and glared at me the entire flight telling me I should really do something about that. I understand her irritation but I wished she had chosen a different action. There was nothing I could do for my child, nothing I could do for my fellow passengers, I was exhausted, and felt like a bad mom. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt when I fly.

    • CaptJ says:

      Amen to this comment.

      When you are travelling you ultimately are giving up control, no matter how much you spent.

      Sometimes your flight is cancelled by a day for a hurricane. Sometimes the flight is so rocky you are ill for a day. Sometimes they turn your flight around 1/3 of the way across the Atlantic because of a mechanical problem. Or sometimes they abort takeoff mid-runway acceleration. (all of those have happened to me)

      And sometimes, you are stuck behind a crying baby that has had a really rough day, and can’t be consoled no matter what the parent is doing. But baby and parent still have to get where they are going.

  126. Cindy Lou says:

    I am currently in the middle of a multi-leg flight from Asia to USA. I paid $3k for Business class on Finnair from HKG-HEL and HEL-JFK. My HKG-HEL flight was a red eye leaving after midnight. I was, unfortunately, seated behind a screaming baby in biz for the whole 10 hour flight. Part of the reason I paid the money for Biz is because I will have to go to work on monday and wanted to sleep to help with the jet lag. I barely slept, being awakened every 1/2 hour by the screaming. Why bring an infant on a RED EYE flight? There were clearly other options. I agree with the “quiet flight” reco. Maybe red eye flights over a certain length could be child-free.

  127. Antti says:

    Thank you for your story. As a father of a 3yo kid I totally understand your point of view, but would like to share some additional thoughts about this topic.

    Imo kids are no different from any other bad behaviour. Someone mentioned smelly feet, I’ve seen some people to get really wasted in biz class being after that quite loud. That’s not very nice either. The challenge with kids is that they are somewhat unpredictable. Of course you can (and you should!) get well prepared for flying in general and biz class in particular, but they might just have a bad day, catch a cold and thus be cranky etc. Adults can still be quiet (and get more G&T!) but kids get noisy. This is something that parents can’t control 100 % no matter how much they prepare.

    As a parent I hate crying children, even my own. But I understand that it might sometimes happen. In your first example the parent of that crying child was probably the most pissed off/ashamed/desperate person on the plane. It is very possible that she was a person who had educated and prepared the kid as well as she could, had good previous experience and was confident but this time the kid just decided to act differently.

    Personally I would understand banning all kids from biz class. But where to draw the line? Banning all the kids from all restaurants? Imo part of the growing the kids is teaching them how to behave in different situations. How can you practice if you are banned from everywhere?

    • Antti says:

      … of course there are no excuses for bad behavior like you described in your second example. Also the biz class is not the place to fly your first flight. My 4yo has been on more than 10 trips and now I’m trying to book our first long haul business trip. For that I’ve been searching for information (like this site), made very thorough preparations thinking about preflight activity (let him run a marathon before entering the plane, skip naps), preparing him verbally by talking about the upcoming trip etc, thinking about seating. I’m very confident that he will behave really well on flight, but of course I’m a bit nervous as well. The last thing I want to do is ruin fellow passenger’s pamper moment – nor mine.

  128. P-A Hakansson says:

    I can only but agree with you.
    I do business flights about 100 days every year, half of them on long haul.
    It always fills me with apprehension to see children in Business Class.
    As you say, the really small ones are not the problem.
    They will fall asleep.
    It is the badly brought up 3-7 year olds that make me advocate justifiable infanticide.
    But the parents are of course the real problem.
    Unfortunately there is little to be done about stupidity and laziness.
    (Except perhaps preventive surgery so they don’t have children…)
    The airlines will not do anything about this, they look for the paying customer only.
    So we are stuck with this problem.
    Finally, for those believing this is about Entitlement:
    Try doing London-Singapore and a Board meeting directly upon arrival without sleep.
    Good luck with doing that…
    We do not do lounges and long flights for the fun.
    We do them because we run companies and have to meet the people working there every day.

    • Tros Bos says:

      Well said, I too dread those badly behaved kids. And often there are adults just as bad.

      A solution to your London-Singapore-BoardMeeting issue: Fly the day before, work remotely, be fresh at the meeting.
      There really aren’t any commuting problems that haven’t been solved by now.

  129. Terri says:

    I have a question for those who are commenting here, my family is planning a trip to Hawaii soon and it requires an extended flight. I had been thinking of upgrading to business class to ensure that I am seated near my 9 year old for the control that you all are so very concerned with. I can see that if I do this I will be the ire of those who don’t think I should even be allowed on a plan with my family. So the question is if I am only to fly Basic Economy, how do I get a seat near my child so that I am able to control her behavior on said 8 hour flight. I will have myself, my husband our 16 year old son and my daughter.

    • Julian says:

      International flight tickets bought together should be able to select seats together. And if not due to capacity the same will probably apply to business class.

      But the more important point is, is your 9 year old likely to be running around like a loon? Scream when then air pressure changes? No, a 9 year old child shouldn’t be doing those things so it would be fine, and indeed a nice treat for them.

  130. Chris says:

    Tros Bos, you are a moron. We know the plane doesn’t belong to us. Nobody is saying no kids at all, Just not in first class or business class. Business class is meant for business people going on business who need to relax and sleep so they can actually accomplish your job when they get to where they are going. If there is some punk kid or child screaming or crying it is unfair to the person who was going on a business trip who paid for business class to have a stupid damn kid bothering him or her. First class is the same, no one should have to pay upwards of $3000 for a seat to have a dumb kid or crying baby bothering them. Nobody under age 6 should ever be allowed in first class or business class. I bet you are one of those Jacka** parents who never controls their kid. If any kids are missed behaving around me on a flight and their parents won’t do anything about it I’ll have my phone repeat the F word, the C word, maybe even moaning sounds just to give an F you to the parents.

    • Jeffrey Lin says:

      Well Said.

    • Tros Bos says:

      So, you’re saying that if a very wealthy person (one who only ever flies business or first, or Upper on Virgin) wants to travel with his family, he has to sit in Economy? You haven’t thought this through, have you?

      “Business class is meant for business people to relax and sleep so that they can be productive”. Are you from the 1950’s?
      And are these the same business people who are taking extravagant advantage of the free booze? I wonder how productive they are the next morning.

      FYI, I don’t have kids. But when I do, I will continue to fly. Business class, as I do now. Even when not on business.

      Maybe your stance should be “No BADLY BEHAVED children in business class”. With this I agree.
      And while we’re at it, how about no badly behaved adults either? In which case you and your phone will have to sit in the back… sorry.

    • Polly says:

      Truth! Again, it’s the airlines fault. Why mis-label a service as “business class” What about creating a “families class” and know that no one having to travel for business would ever book a seat in that. And put the two classes at opposite ends of the plane.

  131. Tros Bos says:

    LOL. If you want it ‘your way’ i.e. no kids, no noise, no anything-else-I-can-think-of-that’s-going-to-annoy-me-because-I’m-so-important, then fly private. Oh wait, you’re not as special as you thought, and can’t afford it.

    The plane doesn’t belong to you. And your ticket doesn’t guarantee silence. Just a seat. Amongst other people. Doing their thing.

    • Jeffrey Lin says:

      Take your selfish comments someplace else. Please stop being a dick.

      • OhSnap says:

        The only ones selfish here are the people saying babies and kids should not be allowed in business class. I, too, want to enjoy my flight. When I have a baby with me, the chances of doing that are much better in business class than cramped economy. If i can afford it for my family, I have just as much right to be there as you. Stop being selfish and stop thinking you are somehow special.

        People keep mentioning here that these parents are inconsiderate, yet I bet my bottom dollar that the only ones inconsiderate and ignorant are the complainers who themselves have no kids. I hope that one day you will have to go through the experience of trying to manage a baby thats frantically crying, and have to put up with the judgmental bs like you are spreading here yourself.

  132. ROELENE Carol Craig says:

    A man sat down in the middle seat in a three seat row. He proceeded to remove his shoes. The stink of his feet .was mind-boggling. I called the flight attendant over and asked her to take a dep sniff. She asked me if I wanted a free up-grade to first class. I leaped from my seat and followed her to the front. THe stinky guy had a fit, protesting that his Feet did not stink. He also demanded an up-grade but was told there were no empty seats left. Phew, what a relief.

  133. Kerry Kilbourn says:

    I believe there should be no children under age 16 in business class. I am a parent of 3 adult children. At 4 my youngest flew to the Caribbean, a row in front of me. her sister (5) was across the aisle, eldest sister (8) & Dad were the row behind her (opposite me). My children behaved perfectly and I got several compliments as we disembarked. However, my rights as a parent should end where yours begin. My responsibility to put up with their noise and bad behaviour – should never be your problem to deal with my choices.

    I think there should be adult only cabins.

    Some adults should be banned full stop on flights too.
    Three of the four flights I have been on this year there have been issues.
    1) Flight to Jo’Burg – flying PE, The woman behind put her feet (wearing shoes) on my arm rest and caught my skin, The 3rd time she got told about it – was ready to explode by then),
    2)Flight home we flew business – 2 Germans had taken their own overhead lockers and those above our heads, How rude.
    3)Coming home from Orlando a week ago yesterday. The special assistance family filled 3 overhead lockers (they didn’t get up once during the flight to get anything from the bags so its not like all 6 bags were for their needs during the flight & really should have been checked luggage.
    Also man behind put his bare feet on the back of my husbands seat by my husbands face – we could smell them. Disgusting behaviour

  134. Not so snobish says:

    I am a frequent traveler with elite status. While yes I don’t like badly behaved parents who can’t raise kids appropriately when I travel, I also travel with my kids for very frequent long haul flights. eg my 5 year old has mid tier status.
    I travel in business with my kids. They know the rules and stay silent or whisper when speaking. They dare not touch the seat in front and never run in the lounge or plane. They have been taught the rules and for the most part are less obnoxious than the infrequent business traveler.
    Should my very well behaved kids be banned? (No I’m not bias, I just make sure they know what is acceptable and make sure they stick to it and have been Travis’s the world since birth). Even as infants we had a plan to make sure they were quiet, with strategic feeds, well selected flights and contingency plans including distractions snacks and entertainment.
    Should we ban two colleagues from discussing a meeting? Should we ban someone who can’t lift their bags into the overhead on their own expecting others to just help?
    Yes many parents are badly behaved but many are not. It’s society and it takes all sorts. Find a way to deal with it.

  135. Los says:


  136. M. Collodi says:

    I have the greatest sympathy for all parents raising children today, I think it presents so many different challenges and many parents themselves are struggling. That said, people who choose not to have or travel with children should also be respected and its not unreasonable for this to include a quiet environment when travelling or sharing any mutual space. I have also had similar experiences with badly behaved children to the extent that I no longer travel. The only real solution I see is for airlines to offer “quiet flights” which are not available to children. It would be easy enough to offer these outside of regular peak times and keep family flights within times that families prefer to travel anyhow. Its really a no brainer and probably has to happen. I’m sure I’m not the only one who no longer travels for this reason, If a “quiet flight” was available , I’d be there tomorrow.

  137. Sandra says:

    We have 2 adult children. We did not take them on flights until they were old enough to behave AND not scream or yell. I did not feel it was RESECTFUL of those around me to listen to their noise. I just flew last week with twins under 5 months in my row for 5 hours. What are people thinking? Perhaps they need to be in the front of back of the plane? Or there should be a choice for adult only flights? On a flight to Europe we were trying to sleep and a woman repeatedly walked her crying child down the entire length of the plane. What about the rest if us??

  138. Philip Thomson says:

    There I was, thinking about spending $6k-plus to travel Business Class on my next flight…I may as well not bother.
    Thanks a lot, useless parents, screaming brats, and greedy airlines that couldn’t care less.

  139. Jason says:

    While it isn’t good parenting or manners to let a child scream and shout on business class when you paid that much for the experience, I don’t think it’s fair to outright ban them from the section either. They pay just as much as you and are entitled to be in the cabin just as much as you are. Just to pull some exaggerated examples, if someone with tourettes was sitting next to you making uncontrollable noise, would you ban those people from flying premium as well? Or what if someone wasn’t feeling well and was coughing the entire flight and also making a lot of noise, do we ban those people as well? Yes those examples are slightly exaggerated, but they relate back to the same idea of how you can’t just ban certain people from a flight because they don’t have manners or are rude. Plus, it’s extra income for the airlines and they would never go for it anyways.

    TLDR – I hate screaming kids on premium classes as much as anyone, but I don’t think it’s fair to outright ban them.

  140. Sonja says:

    Yes please! It’s so annoying, you pay so much money for a ticket to have a relaxed flight and then these babies scream the whole flight 🙄

  141. Alistair Cameron says:

    I was directed to your post after searching, “are children allowed in airline first class?” I’m a cattle-class traveller and have been for over 20 years. I had been becoming more and more frustrated with the antics of screaming babies and the terrible-twos who I regularly encountered and their apathetic parents. Therefore, I had been considering splashing out on an upgrade for an upcoming trip to mark a special occasion, erroneously thinking that this would somehow limit my exposure to these vexing experiences.

    Saying that, I do take some responsibility for the problem. I had a strict upbringing and the type of behaviour I regularly witness would not have been tolerated by my parents. So maybe it’s my own frustration at seeing others, “getting away,” with poor behaviour and my impotent rage at being unable to alter it that causes me the discomfort?

    Either way, if I do upgrade, I’ll be flying Malaysian.

    Thank you.

  142. Amy Kennedy says:

    Yes! Children do not belong in business or first class and they do not belong in the business lounges. Why don’t airlines enforce this???

    • Jeffrey Lin says:

      Look Amy, there is too many people in this day in age after the Deregulation Act was signed under President Carter. There is nothing that the airlines can do about it. Sorry.

  143. Crystal says:

    I came across your article because I am currently pregnant and will be flying from DXB to Toronto with Emirates business class, which is how I usuallly fly. However, in a few months when I return back to DXB I am debating if it is fair for me to return with an infant via business/first.

    Truly babies/kidsbelong in economy, whether or not you can afford the ticket is irrelevant.

    • Bobby says:

      When I was a child, the only time I cried on alight was when I slept through it and awoke right as the plane was keyboarding. If you have a baby, and you fly business class. You hold it for the whole flight and give it as much pampering as you can. This way, the baby gets a business class treatment, and therefore, everyone else does too.

  144. Molly says:

    Did the airline actually promise you a peacefull and quiet flight as you were buying the ticket? Or did “comfort” mean just more space, priority boarding etc.? Because I think you misunderstood what you were buying and that´s the actual problem.

    • Patrick says:

      There is an expectation of comfort all around, in all aspects of the experience. This includes the expectation of not having kids running around, throwing things and screaming. The same applies in a restaurant, a theater, and most other contexts.

      • Sandra says:


      • Polly S says:

        I believe there’s something airlines can do about aggregating seats booked for children under “x” in an attempt to centralize the noisier demographic of a flight. I imagine that many families would not want to be allocated so because it would suggest a very lively, unrestful experience. Yet there’s a certain comfort in knowing your kids are allowed to be kids when you’re in the “family class” section of the plane.

        But if I buy “business class”, I buy it with the understanding I’m paying extra and expect to arrive rested for my business meetings. It is a failure of the brand promise on the airlines part and the brand promise should be enforced or abandoned.

  145. Sue says:

    Patrick, I like your analogy about playing a boombox intermittently in business class. This would definitely enrage every last one of the indignant parents who have posted here. Just turn on the Stones or maybe the Grateful Dead at 90 decibels at 2:00 AM and see what they do. (I’m saying 90 decibels to be conservative). You can’t help it; you love music, the headphone jack and the volume control are broken on the player.

    After my experience last summer that I commented on earlier, with a round-trip transatlantic dose of Children of the Korn meets The Scream, I tried it again in February of this year. Very fortunately, nothing eventful on this flight; there were two kids (ages between 5 and 10) on the first leg, but their sensible parents instructed them to go to bed, go to sleep, with no other options given. They then did so! Yes, this is actually possible.

  146. Wahleng says:

    Agreed. Just because one can, doesn’t mean they should. It’s not about penalising people with children but why should people who had spend loads of money to have a little comfort put up with the racket of crying babies? In this crazy pc world and entitlement, common sense sadly is dead!

  147. MizScarlett says:

    I believe that it is not so much a question of Children in Business Class but well behaved human beings in Business Class. Your examples were horrible and I would have been rather vexed myself if it had happened to me. I believe that the parents should be held accountable for badly behaved children (if it is noises or other because of a special need child then it is different) I have flown alone with my 2.5 year old daughter over 70 flights. I pride myself on the fact that she is well behaved, I keep her entertained when she needs it and if I see that passengers that she tries to interact with are not interested I will make her understand this and she will find something else to occupy her.
    I have flown economy, premium economy and business with her, all depending on the situation. I have met horrible adult passengers in all classes, some unbearable kids also, but mostly grown ups..

    I often get people coming up to me after a flight saying that they were dreading the flight seeing that I had a toddler with me, but they did “not hear her at all, she is an angel” (they have not seen her at home..) I hope that this will last a long time and that she will always be this great travel companion.

  148. DrV says:

    I myself have always prayed that the family with small kids walk waaay past my row on flights. Which in business class worked most of the time.
    Now, that I have a daughter of my own who fist flew when she was 4 weeks old I try as hard as I can to keep her entertained, fed and well rested. Luckily this works out pretty well and our fellow passengers in business class have never been disturbed above the little crying when we prepare for landing (pacifiers just don‘t help to completely eliminate the ear clogging).
    I think parents can and should fly business if they can afford it as long as they tend to their children even more as if they were on the ground. I mean, if an adult gets bored during an intercontinental flight so do children.
    In almost all confined spaces (airplanes, busses, trains) we should all try to keep our noise to a minimum in consideration of others. Apart from the families of certain ethnicity I tend to think that families with children who fly on company budget or frequent flyer miles seem to be less well behaved.
    But on the other hand what bothers me even more is the guy snoring loudly next to me or the people chatting above the tolerable noise level for 10 hours straight (especially at night)!

  149. Russell Roberts says:

    Another reveal of yet another air-brat (Germany to Newark) with no parental control. One has to wonder if all the dismayed parents writing their sob-stories below would be interested in a service provider (let’s call it – We Fly Your Brats). They would, for a reasonable service fee, accompany your uncontrollable kids to any world-wide destination to save your embarrassment with other Pax. I’m thinking of a fund-me-start-up that would employ vetted day-care professionals with a sort of Uber App to connect you with them. Of course we do have some competition – it’s highly likely that those “apparent parents” accompanying these terrible horrors are really underpaid nannies who don’t really care and can’t control the kids anyway. Wonder if airlines should analyse booking where accompanying adults and the child’s surnames are not the same. Bet that would show a pattern.

    • Jeffrey Lin says:

      You know, I was thinking the same, but honestly for a child to scream nonstop for eight hours from FRA-EWR is considered to be a bit abnormal. Maybe the parent’s child did NOT realize or forgot that he had autistic behavior and they weren’t suppose to take them on the plane.

  150. Helena Midmay says:

    I think kids could fly in some business class flights, but the airlines should advertise these as ‘family flights’, or have a ‘family zone’. Business should be business. There is nothing worse than being expected by a company/employer to show up for work rested or with an assignment done, to find you’ve been sat in a creche for 10 hours.

  151. El Diablo says:

    I am loving these comments!
    A lot of you seem to be defending the notion that “I have the right to be comfortable, to do as I please, and to disregard my fellow passengers’ obvious discomfort”
    To you, my question is this:
    Would you object if I sat next to you in-flight and:
    – spat continuously into an empty cup?
    – unashamedly picked my nose?
    – hung my socks on our shared arm rest/privacy screen?
    Would your answer change according to travel class?
    In my opinion, many commenters are (intentionally?) missing the author’s point, which is one about bad parenting; calling out parents who show a total lack of respect for their surroundings; about rudely shrugging off the impact their children are having on their fellow passengers; about how being able to afford business/first class does not entitle anyone to ignore the social norms and standards that apply to whatever social setting you are in. Ever. Bad behavior is never acceptable.
    Also, in my opinion, the author never directs criticism towards responsible parents who do their best in a stressful situation.

    “Money may buy business/first class tickets, but it won’t buy you proper manners”

    Before anyone starts trolling me: I am wealthier/more privileged than most; aristocratic background; LOVE children but have none of my own; can easily afford First Class, but just as often choose to sit in PREMIUM ECONOMY (and a screaming infant is just as annoying in the back of the plane as it is up front!)

    • Patrick says:

      Those aren’t good enough examples. How about, instead, if I sat next to you and:

      — Played some of my favorite songs at full volume on an old boom-box radio?
      — Sang at the top of my lungs
      — Howled loudly and screamed into your ear at irregular intervals

  152. Katie Locke-Amin says:

    Yes…. children should not be allowed in business or first class. Me and my husband were on our honeymoon. We did a lot of travelling all business class with emirates. Night flights were a nightmare. Kids crying! I was fuming! And very tired!

    • Jeffrey Lin says:


  153. Jon Hyams says:

    Dear Patrick,

    I am obsessed by business class travel and have sacrificed much to afford it. I put business class travel ahead of any other luxury in my life. In fact I fear economy travel so much that I have been known to leave the check in queue and request an upgrade several times in my life…just before reaching the check in desk.

    I think your article was forthright and surely must represent a large proportion of travelers’ thoughts. You are also quite brave to publish your thoughts about an obviously touchy subject.

    Recently I had to travel long haul during the festive season – a time I usually avoid for obvious reasons. I traveled SIA Bkk-Mel and on the return leg I experienced children. They were not particularly rowdy but the activity generated around them was disturbing to me. Constant shifting and fussing by the single mother who was up out of the adjacent seat no less than 10 times per hour, not to mention service crew stopping by every so often for that cute chat, another colouring in book, a toy, an explanation on the kids channel, helping with the special kids menu etc etc. I think the entire business class cabin crew stopped by at some stage. When I asked the crew to be moved from my preferred 11k seat situated in the front mini cabin to the larger rear cabin in search of a quieter experience, she stated that it is much quieter up front. It did not occur to her that the distraction of the constant movement and traffic around the child across the aisle tbc..

  154. Lori says:

    It’s articles like this that make me dread flying. Not because of the potentially wailing kids around me in business class, being an annoyance,but because the potential that the wailing kid you are talking about is mine.

    My family of three is flying to the Philippines on a 20+ hour flight from NY for my brother’s wedding. And yes, that family includes my 14 month old son. My husband is freakishly tall and can’t stand more than 6 hours folded into economy, so business class it is. It is my son’s first flight. He is almost two, he is active, he is vocal, and he would most likely run around. He’s fairly well behaved (something his dad and I have worked on) but can you really expect a toddler to listen? So what’s the solution here? Should we be banned from business class? Or should me and my son be separated from his dad because we belong in “steerage”? Or maybe he shouldn’t be flying at all?

    It is hard enough traveling with a child – the planning, the worry, the expense. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent just doing my research on how to do this with the least amount of stress for all those involved, including our future fellow passengers. And then reading this…well, I guess I should say thank you. At least being exposed to the more unpleasant reactions to a child in business class in the article and the comments section has made me better prepared.

    • Gomez says:

      Yes, god forbid you have to be separated from your husband for the flight. God forbid you’re uncomfortable. If you can’t get your child to behave, which clearly you can’t, perhaps it’s betrer not to bring him with at all. By the way, children are horrible wedding guests and you probably shouldn’t be bringing him there in the first place. “He would most likely run around?” And everyone else is just going to have to deal with that because you care more about your concept than everyone else’s. Being a parent doesn’t give you the right to inflict your child on other people. It’s seriouslt borderline sociopathy when people like you just assume we should all happily deal with your awful little brats screaming.

    • canoehead says:

      Have you thought about planning the flight around your child’s usual sleeping time? Or avoid screentime for two weeks up to the flight, and then be ready with some of his favourite shows and snacks? Sometimes adults don’t bring so much as extra diapers and a colouring book, it gets annoying. Look for a playground where kids can burn off energy between flights too. Frankly, for a 20h flight, , I’d be boarding with a dose of Benadryl and I’d be ready to use it. That’s a long haul without a break.

    • M. Collodi says:

      The solution is , before travelling go to the GP and explain that you will be taking a long flight which could be potentially distressing for your children and ask is there a pharmaceutical that you could carry as a back up in case the children become hysterical. Its harmless and it makes for a happier journey all around

  155. Sandy says:

    Interesting article and comments. I have a 3 and 5 yr old and have flown extensively (and only) in business class. I notice other travellers are sometimes wary or annoyed when they see kids entering the area. However, my kids are super well behaved; even a few times fellow travellers have come up to us at the end, beaming and congratulating us on our well behaved kids. Everyone wants a pleasant journey; parents and kids too.
    Having said all that, it really grates on me when very little kids scream but I also feel sorry for the parents sometimes; it can be a very stressful situation for them. Parents do have a responsibility to quieten their kids whether through giving comfort or discipline. If it cannot be done smoothly, they should get up from seats and head to kitchen to try and resolve if possible.

  156. Laura says:

    While I do understand your issue with unruly kids being left unchecked by parents a) that family with 2 adults with 3 kids has paid 5 times what you have for some extra space so maybe they have a right to enjoy it you can not assume they are all well healed just treating themselves to a well earned and saved for break. Additionally I fly business exactly because the child seats for under 2s are grossly in appropriate

    • Gomez says:

      Yes they have a right to enjoy it. But they don’t have a right to infringe on the rights of others in order to do so. Understand?

  157. Laughing at you says:

    Since I notice you struggle with this word… This word has a real meaning and no one is using it wrong in reference to this whine you wrote… and no because it hurts your feelings, it doesn’t make it a buzz word…

    Do you even know what that is? A BUZZWORD…

    Anyways, Entitlement – the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment. “no wonder your kids have a sense of entitlement” So can we ban you from first and business class now? If only your parents practiced safe sex… tsk… tsk…

  158. Laughing at you says:

    I do think kids should be banned from first and business class let’s start with Chloe Taylor And Patrick(author)… Maybe you should buy your own plane if other human beings are that difficult for you to learn to get along with. I mean if your parents had raised you better maybe you wouldn’t be receiving boatloads of hate mail and being constantly reminded that you’re acting like a spoiled entitled brat for whining about a minor inconvenience… So if you could direct me to your parents so I could talk to them about your behavior, thanks.

    • Gomez says:

      You’re right. How entitled of them to expect a quiet, peaceful experience free from screaming, sets kicking, and children running up and down the aisle. I mean really, what do they put those bed-like seats in business and first class for? It’s absolutely unreasonable to expect to be able to sleep in business class because little Braden and Madysyn should get to be kids, right? Gosh I hate those entitled people.

  159. Chloe Taylor says:

    Strange, but this rarely happens to me. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that, no matter where I am, if a child or baby is disruptive I will, after giving the parent time to behave responsibly, I will approach the offending child, which immediately puts the parents on hyperactive alert. I very calmly, but firmly, say to the child, “Since your parent(s) are incompetent, it appears I will have to tell you to quiet down and behave.” Sometimes, the parent sheepishly regains control of the situation; sometimes they lash out at me – a very reckless move on their part. That’s when I explain to them that this villager has no intention of raising their spawn.

    I guess the difference between you and me is simply that I have bigger balls than you.

    • Patrick says:

      Well, you’re also less likely to get punched. Just yesterday a flight attendant was telling me a story about a passenger who was literally knocked unconscious by a guy, after he’d complained about the guy’s screaming kid.

  160. Peter says:

    People travel with kids, fact. All people. For those travellers who have experienced the interruptions to their rest and quiet during flights and stops in lounges due to kids, I feel your pain. But for real, on the other side when you’re the adult who is traveling with the kids, that pain can be constant and mega stressful, I’ve experienced this myself. Now when I travel without my kids, the occasional interruption doesn’t bother me as it used to before, and I see the new parents stressing because their little ones are disturbing other people, and I see the other people darting glances, and giving attitude to the parents who’s kids are causing the disturbance…. I used to be that guy, then I was the parent who was stressed out, then I got over it and realized sometimes it’s out of my control and getting stressed out doesn’t help. Most people who travel business class today should not expect total quiet and rest on a flight in a cabin with 20 other people, some kids, let’s be real. All of these people know there is no expectation of total quiet in a cubicle farm, nor when sleeping in a hostel room with 20 others, but it’s nice when it happens. What are the real options? Private office, accommodations, and flights, all pricy but real. Cheap and more realistic alternatives for all those environments out of our control, ear plugs, noise cancelling headphones and microphones really work. I suggest airlines trial them free, or just buy your own as a business expense.

    • Patrick says:

      This was a good comment, overall, and thanks for leaving it. But it’s this sentence that jumped out at me:

      “…Now when I travel without my kids, the occasional interruption doesn’t bother me as it used to before, and I see the new parents stressing because their little ones are disturbing other people…”

      As I thought I was making clear in the story, ultimately this is a PARENTING issue, and not an issue about kids themselves. The people you describe above aren’t the problem. On the contrary I have plenty of sympathy for them. The problem people are the parents (like those I sat across from yesterday), who make absolutely no effort to quiet their kids, who shriek and scream and carry-on as if there’s nothing in the world wrong with it. This isn’t about infants crying; it’s about kids who get out of control, and parents who simply don’t give a damn.

      • Peter says:

        I get it, bad PARENTING sucks everywhere in general for anyone in the public, movie theatre, shopping, public places, and when you’re trapped on an airplane and have the unfortunate environment polluted by bad parenting, it’s impossible to escape, where most of the other places you can just ignore and move away from the scene, if they don’t move on their own.

        On the other hand I have close friends and family who have children on the autistic spectrum that are not bad parents, and who are not able to fully control their kids. And it used to piss me off when their kids go bananas and they just look like they don’t give a damn. Then I spent the holidays with them day in and out, and saw the reality! Those days I thought the kid was out of control, wrong, that was a good day with mild outbursts and the chill of the parents was totally justified. I saw full melt down, real screaming like you walked into a murder scene, kids getting violent, smashing everything around them, throwing food everywhere, punching themselves in the head and needing to be physically restrained to not hurt themselves. If you’ve never experienced this, it’s shocking and I’m amazed how those parents manage to get on day to day. That’s an extreme example, but there are good parents who sometimes know when to pick their battles, and to you and me it might seem like the situation merits the sword to die on, but maybe we just don’t know.

        But yes, bad parents and bad behaviour sucks on airplanes.

        • Peter says:

          Oh, and they are frequent world travellers with lots of money, usually fly business or first class because they have global business and usually take the family when they travel for long period. So I hope if you’re on the same plane, for your sake it’s one of the good days, I know they make a lot of effort to be ready for travel and keep the calm, but there is an element of unpredictability, so I still advise you invest in your own personal cone of silence (noise cancelling headphones and earplugs for doubling down). If you’re prepared for this scenario, then the same preparations will also help for the bad behaved normal kids and parents who just don’t give a damn scenario. Hope his was helpful and brings some positive thought.

  161. Debra Hinds says:

    Firstly – thank you for the belly laughs I had reading this – at least you didn’t loose your sense of humour with your peace and comfort.

    I’ve recently had a similar (not Putinesque) experience; but from a very young baby, possibly with collick, on an A380 from Dubai to LGW. Not the first but this was the worse. One chap top of voice shouted ‘shut that f-ing baby up” – yup – and most of us was wanted to applaud him (shamefully admitting this).

    I’m a mother of two and on point of principle didn’t air travel with kids – full stop – until they could sit still long enough to be entertained with a game boy and movies). But that was my choice. I didn’t want the stress.

    Similarly – they are kids, if over 2 someones paid for a seat for them – under 2 they haven’t – and this is where it really grates. The said baby on recent flight paid nothing for his mothers lap and journey yet disrupted about 60+ Business class and I’m sure all of first class as the baby was sitting in the first row behind first class.\

    I was looking to see if there was some lobbying going on to convince airlines to have child zones in lounges (preferably sound proofed and away from the main ‘business’ lounge; and in the cabin. when I found your site

    After all it’s called Business Class for a reason. Young children and babies are not flying on business but some of us are.

    Maybe a family premium area on planes that can be jazzed up or down depending on whether the families are steerage or peerage.

  162. Jen says:

    I am shocked and appalled that people would actually make horrible comments like that to this article. Those sound like awful experiences and I for one am totally on your side. There’s a time and a place for children and when it comes to a costly seat on a flight, that’s not the time or place for children. Plus there’s more room for them to run around in Coach.

  163. jimmy says:

    100% agree, no kids in business or 1st class

  164. Sally says:

    I think families with kids under 8 should have to sit at the rear of the plane.

  165. Sue says:

    I am travelling to France on business again in February. After the business class experience I described earlier (two families with screaming toddlers tag-teaming their running around business class for the entire flight), I decided to not waste the $$$$ on that again. Unfortunate, as I will suffer physically (arthritis) from this, but better than a repeat of the last experience.

    As for the indignant parents bragging about the money they can afford to spend on business class, first class seats, or entire aircraft for their little kids, try to develop a broader perspective. Children who are raised to believe that their outbursts are 1. Cute or 2. Permissible even when others are damaged by them, are learning lessons that will not serve them well later in life.

  166. Amy says:

    I am literally in the midst of this debate with my husband right now. Our 1o month old is, for his age, quite well behaved. But he is still a 19 month old, and a few hours into a flight can get cranky and fussy.

    Husband thinks we should pounce on cheap class upgrades. I think it’s rude it put a potentially noisy toddler in a cabin people have paid big money to relax or work in.

    I would LOVE it if airlines provided family cabins. It would alleviate a lot of stress for people like me who feel bad for other passengers if my kid has a meltdown midflight or his car seat blocks someone from reclining.

    This doesn’t have to be a battle.

  167. Art says:

    Agree with banning children under 12 from business and first class. Also think carrying kids on your lap should be prohibited in economy – buy another seat. There’s no reason to cater to bad parents at all. They should be kicked from restaurants, lounges, theaters, anywhere if they can’t control their kids.

  168. Laura says:

    Unfortunately we now live in a world that caters to the minority while the majority suffers. I just experienced 6 hours of shrieking from a toddler in business class. The parents did nothing. One passenger looked over at the kid and the father freaked out and went off on the guy threatening him with physical harm. Consideration for others is a thing of the past. We are expected to tolerate this crap everywhere we go; airplanes, restaurants, theaters, grocery stores, church, etc. We desperately need an airline that has kid free fights. Until then, kids should be banned from business class.

  169. Jay says:

    If it says Business class, it really means a place for business people to have some quite time and also focus on work at hand when they land at their destination. But I’m against banning kids from First or Business class. Instead, the kids should be disciplined by their parents. In the case of toddlers, the parents should take the maximum care as to not disturb the fellow passengers.

  170. Jonathan LePage says:

    You should not be surprised at the over-reaction of many parents to implied or actual criticism of their brats. Ideally, there should be a child free section in lounges or on aircraft where those of us who pay for the space and environment to work and relax can do so free of the noise pollution that kids represent. (Incidentally, often children are noisy due to a lack of parental control and discipline and it’s not their fault.) In Asia, many parents have found the perfect solution for all of us. They stay in business or first class while the nanny takes care of the brats in economy. Perfect.

  171. Jamie says:

    Mate, you paid money for your ticket, I paid money for my kids’ tickets. What makes you any more entitled to your ticket than children who also have a ticket?

    • Patrick says:

      Come on, man. Did you actually read the article? No passenger, at any age, is “entitled” to ruin the experience of everybody around them. Not a young child, not me, and not you.

      • Jamie says:

        Obviously no passenger is entitled to ruin the experience of others, not in economy, not in business, not in first. Maybe instead of targeting all children, maybe target specifically parents who don’t control their children. That’s not the point you were making in your article though.

        • David says:

          You and your kid does not trump the right of every single passenger around you who would rather sleep than hear your whining child. That’s part of what they paid for in Business and First, and the need of the many should be satisfied rather than your need as an entitled individual. In fact, even those in economy should not have to bear the wails of a child.

          • Ethan says:

            So what do you propse if “even in economy” do parents do when traveling to get from point a-b?

  172. Christina says:

    As a mother of five, I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment. My children are very well traveled. However, they’ve gained that experience through proper, age-appropriate and carefully planned “training” (for lack of a better term) and discipline since they day they were born. As a family, we had our children in two groups. The oldest two, a mere 11 months apart, were our “trial” kids. LOL Both, my husband and I, grew up with a love for the outdoors and a love for travel. We wanted that for our children, too. THat love is not cultivated by subjecting infants and toddlers to fourteen hour flights! I would argue that it’s not only annoying for other fliers; it’s bordering on inhumane and abusive to the child. Until our kids were about three, we would chose somewhere within a reasonable drive and strap them in the car with books, music, snacks, and a healthy sense of “let’s see how this goes” and go adventure. By doing that, they learned self-control and the general rules of not shrieking like a banshee during travel. when they were about four, we spent a great deal of time looking up an affordable, short flight, with an exciting destination. Having already learned decorum from our weekend jaunts, the only unknown was how they’d handle the ear issues and noises. Long story short- as a parent, it’s your job to teach and plan. If a parent is attending their child or creating a back up plan, they’re not parenting.

    • David says:

      Bless you for having five children and knowing how to parent. A truly rare breed these days.

    • Ethan says:

      Agreed! I’ve done most of that excluding that my child started international flights at 6 months old.

      I travel for work so many times I would have to bring him with me (or intrust his care to a random stranger for up to 6 days of a week). I wasn’t having that.

      When he was 5 months old we flew West to East coast economy as a tester. Knowing your childs triggers, warning signs and just being a responsible parent helps. Occassionally he would get fussy. Diaper or hunger are pretty normal at that age. Attended immediately. 1st signs of agitations. (sorry for those parents who say your kids just have a meltdown, there’s almost always a reason, even if it’s not stoppable, you need to know why and how to deal with it. I expect parents to do this on flights, restauraunts, etc.

      Once he his 6 months old we flew back to meet my wife in Amsterdam (she had flown back home when he was 3 months old, and flown back 1 week a month at 4 and 5 months old. This time we flew busines. I’m 6’6, 11 hour flight in economy wasn’t having it. Knowing my son well, the flight was fine. He got fussy around the 6 hour mark. Got up, walked him around economy, had toys and books for him. and didn’t even start having a breakdown until landing. Even then, he barely cried. (ears I didn’t receive a dirty look the entire trip.

      He flew back home to the States at 7 months, flew to Aruba at 8 months, Costa Rica at a year. He flew to Japan at 15 months, India at 20 months… all business class

  173. Russell Roberts says:

    It is funny how “business” class has now taken on a whole new personality. Once it was the domain of high-flying “business” people who needed the comfort and quiet to prepare for their next “business” event or write up their previous “business” event. And to rest up a bit before continuing to their next tight “business” meeting at their destination without taking a ground break. With a company expense account, their business had no quibbles about the x5 cost of that class and simply expected the advertised service or they would select another airline. There are even “quiet” zones in many airline lounges for “business” people for the very same reason.
    Now enter Frequent Flyer programs that allow hordes of non-expense-account customers to get bumped up to “business” for a fraction of the normal real cost of that class. Mathematics tells us that with more non-business people flying in “business” class, more screaming babies will be accompanying you. Those parents that pay real x5 money for their babies will be a tiny fraction.
    Maybe it should be renamed from “business” class to “discount first” class. At least it would not be so misleading by the very name of the product. Wonder what the real “business” people are doing these days? Gone to Skype?

  174. Clive Sinclair says:

    I’m planning a family holiday for my wife and I, 2 children and their wives and 6 grandchildren (aged between 1yr and 13yrs old. Plus 2 family staff. 14 in total. We considered chartering a private aircraft, but although a few can carry 14, none can berth 14 – important considering the distance involved.

    Second option is to book all 1st class seats – sorry author! I am however (depending on the airline and if possible), block booking the whole 1st class section. Not to save fellow passengers, but to protect my family from other travellers. 😉

  175. BlueSugar says:

    Sorry, Cupcake, we citizens of the world aren’t here to make your experience pleasant. If I pay $6,000 for tickets for my kids, they have every right to 1st Class that you do. And a loud child is no different, in my opinion, than the trophy wife who is screaming at the hostess because her Champagne is two degrees warmer than she prefers to drink it.

    Sometimes there are just really unpleasant poeple around, and you can’t control it, just like in all aspects of life. Don’t get all worked up about it.

  176. Agreed says:

    Oh, totally, absolutely and entirely support either banning small kids from first class or somehow separating them from other passengers! I wouldn’t want to pay the hefty fares and then letting children (and their parents) ruin everything. And I find it weird that people called you entitled when that title clearly belongs to the lazy moms described in the (wonderfully written, btw) article.

  177. Art Knight says:

    It is about expectations. If I take a city bus for two dollars, I expect to be rubbed up against by sweaty dudes and smell the drunken bum seated across from me. If I pay $75 for a limousine to take me to the airport, I expect peace and comfort. When I fly coach, I expect to be carried from point A to point B. Nothing more. If I were to pay for Business Class on a long-haul, I’d expect peace. Clearly, the marketing folks at United and the ad execs who made this commercial agree. Otherwise, why wouldn’t they include a screeching infant and grade-schoolers running wild?

  178. Ed says:

    My wife and i have flown twice this year in business class, and are doing a business class trip from london to australia at xmas with emirates, All with our year old in tow.. I dont dislike children as much as i dislike people like you on flights. There are two amazing things in this world, the first is one that money can buy (and you are clearly entitled and feel that money should buy you priviledge) which are “noise cancelling headphones” – the second, is tolerance. Children are developing humans who are learning to control their emotions, you’re an adult who clearly hasnt learnt to control his yet.

    In life we are faced with problems that we cant control but solve – control your life, rather than chosing to put yourself in situations where you feel the need to do nothing about it but moan and complain. Do tell me, if you hve children, would/do you relegate yourself to the back of the plane with those who, from your tone, deserve a poorer flight experience because they are poorer/spending less?

    • Art Knight says:

      When I was a road warrior, I worked hard all week long. When I was finally on the flight home, having done all that I could do, the whine and the roar of the jet engines lulled me to sleep like a lullaby. In fact, I purchased a CD of jet engines and listen to it as I drift to sleep.

      To say that we should have to purchase noise cancelling headphones and deny ourselves the experience of flight is extraordinarily selfish of you. That’s like saying if my dog bites, you and your family should stay inside your house.

      • Jamie says:

        Firstly, your anecdote is wrong, if your dog bites, me and my family should just stay away from your dog. Secondly, if you want to listen to jet engines, then drown out the noise from the children with some real headphones. Thirdly, rich parents also exist. You don’t become poor as soon as you have children. If I can afford business class, and want business class, then why can I not travel in it just because I am a parent? Should I put my four year old on his own in economy class just because of his age?

    • Pikay says:

      I have no problem with your kid being “entitled” to fly first class or business class if you buy the ticket. And you actually PARENT.

      I have a problem with you if you let your kid behave like a monster or a brat and make life hell for the people around him or her — whether in first class or economy. Or in a restaurant. Or in a public restroom. Or in a bookstore. Or on a bus. Or at a movie. Or basically anywhere else but YOUR OWN HOME.

      It’s not unreasonable for the rest of us to expect that you take responsibility for your child. That means that YOU stop your kid from yelling. YOU stop your kid from shrieking. YOU stop your kid from throwing things. YOU stop your kid from kicking seats.

      (Babies are another matter. A baby cannot and should not be scolded, chastised, or disciplined for not exerting self-control it does not have. I don’t like having someone’s baby shrieking in my ear either, but am more inclined to “suck it up” and accept that this is one of the costs of the societal contract.)

      But toddlers or older kids with parents who prefer to ignore crappy, obnoxious behavior from their spawn than do any or say anything to try to correct it?

      Most of us are just so sick of parents who do nothing to correct or discipline children who are behaving badly and are old enough to know better. If you can’t understand that, perhaps you were raised by parents who couldn’t be bothered to understand it either.

  179. Lesa Williams says:

    Dear Business Class Traveler,

    I held a job that required I fly EVERY single week of EVERY single year. I do enjoy flying. I was single with no children at that time. No. I don’t think all kids are cute. Yes. I know all kids misbehave. I agree that children can make your flight miserable. I used to carry gum and fruit snacks in my already heavy briefcase for those parents who neglect to learn that tiny ears experience great pain in flight.
    I found children to be the least of my flight worries. Since I traveled so much, I was a platinum level flyer on ALL the domestic carriers. I had free rein of ALL the domestic carrier lounges. The persons I found unbearable during flight were the first class perverts. Yes. You read that right. I cannot tell you how many perverts, in first class, touched me inappropriately. I cannot tell you how many of them were removed from first class (during the flight) and detained at the end of the flight to allow me to get through the airport and on my connection flight without them chasing me down. Believe it or not, twenty-something females are business professionals, too. Men do not get accosted in first class by female perverts.
    Now back to children. I am now married and have two boys. They are seven years apart in age. Neither started flying until AFTER one-year-of-age. Both were groom for this task. I wear a suite (even on vacation) – they wear dress shirts. They NEVER disturb fellow passengers. They are groom to be curtious

  180. monika says:

    I am actually a mother with a 3 years old toddler, and we do business class only, so.. In a way I agree with you – why do you have to spend thousands and pull up with somebody’s child yelling, but at the same time – parents like me have also right to do business class if they want to, i mean we also spend thousands for it. It is all about common sense – our son is perfectly well behaved and just play his cars etc, or watches movies, if he has a melt down we just apologize to others and try to clam him down asap or walk him through the plane. It is obvious nobody shall let their kids run around and yell in plane no matter of the class.

  181. Sue says:

    This just happened to me too, flying Air Canada from Geneva to Montreal. Not one but TWO screaming toddlers and their amazingly proud parents in business class. The kids were permitted to run up and down the darkened aisle, prohibiting sleep for everyone else. The moms took turns walking both of them, pacifiers in mouths, in laps around the plane. As soon as they would take them back to the seats, the screaming would start again.
    We spent 3X the coach rate for our seats, and there was absolutely no ability to get any rest (the entire point IMHO).

    Moms: Don’t use pacifiers, they do not work. And do not let your child walk (or run) in the aisle at all. They will want to do it incessantly. Walking them around does not work, it just makes it worse.

  182. David says:

    Some valid points but I stopped reading as I lost interest. It became just blah, blah, blah, whah, whah, whah.
    A pointless exercise in futility. People generally don’t give a sh*t about anyone else. And it seems more evident than ever that money can’t buy class even if it can buy First/Business Class.

  183. Sophia Williams says:

    You know what might work? A “family class” cabin. In the family class you’d have the same three tiers of seat, a few rows of standard seats, some intermediate booths (containing 4 to 6 seats each so that at worst with a family of 10 children one adult could accompany each child) and some roomier booths for a higher pricepoint again with service and food equivalent to business and first class. Then instead of a “bar” there would be a play-zone where kids could burn off some energy on long flights. Parents who wanted a premium service could get a first class booth in the family cabin and refrain from bothering others and their kids could feel free to play. There could be age appropriate video games on the entertainment system. The staff on the family cabin could be trained to defuse tantrums and help get babies to sleep.

  184. Aaron says:

    What I got out of this blog:

    1) Lower class passengers have to deal with screaming kids and I don’t care.
    2) I pay a lot of money to be spoiled by an airline.
    3) I shouldn’t have to deal with the problems of a lower class person.
    4) I am entitled

    • Patrick says:

      “Lower class person”? Aaron what are you talking about? We are discussing cabin sections on an airplane. You don’t have to extrapolate this into some weird class/culture thing. Your comment is a little bizarre and I don’t understand your gripe. The simple fact is that some people do pay considerably extra to sit in premium class. The same way that some people buy nicer cars than other people, or nicer houses, or bigger TVs, or a better computer, or better produce at the supermarket… or they otherwise splurge on whatever makes them happy. And yes, by doing so, they are “entitled” to whatever perks or added benefits that products entails. In this case, it’s better comfort. That’s why first or business class exists.

  185. Tricia says:

    I paid for a United “First Class” upgrade for a four+ hour flight, this was the second leg of an intl flight on my way home because I have back issues and my previous flight was miserable.

    I get to 1st class after my 8 hour flight in economy premium across the isle are two children over 5 and the mom was sitting next to me, she was nice – said it was their 40th flight. Behind me was a very loud baby, but I figured the parents were smart to get into first class so they can all be more comfortable. I’m a parent, I tried to be chill and empathetic but the kids across the isle would yell, shriek and cry over every little thing, the charger didn’t work, they were done with their drink or food, I tried to tune it out but mom next to me would get up every time they yelled, would “shhsh” them in the loudest whisper I ever heard, then 2 minutes later do it all over again. Finally after she got up for the 10th time she spilled her all over me. She felt really bad, asked them to apologize to me and their response was “why? you were the one who spilled on her”

    The issue I have the children were in their own isle in 1st class unattended. Economy plus has a row of 3 with plenty of legroom that should have met their needs. I wouldn’t have minded sitting next to the chid and helping them out either. Even basic signage that says “quiet please” or “respect your fellow passengers” would go a long way for kids and adults. Babies you can’t help, but maybe some parents need to get a clue.

  186. Robert Phillips says:

    I have just complained to Easyjet (who haven’t bothered to respond) after a three hour twenty minute shreik-a-thon by a baby around 1.5-2 years old on a flight from London to Athens, Greece-it was so bad the mother was crying too! I complained to the staff as we got off and they were rude-it was the most horrendous experience in more than 50 years of flying and the staff not only did nothing to help but were rude too. The baby was sitting right behind me and I had bought a premium ‘speedy boarding’ seat which was considerably more expensive than the seats behind me-but it’s not the expense- Babies on flights are a huge problem. I was flying down to Australia last December on China Southern Airlines-all was fine for the London to Guangzhou section then the Guangzhou to Sydney flight had 6 babies directly behind my business class seat in Economy in cots attached to the bulk head – all the mothers went to sleep with noise canceling headphones on and left the babies to scream for 8 hours!!! I complained and was moved up the business class section but I could still hear them! – the entire business class was so angry and everyone complained.

    • John Locke says:

      You feel entitled with a priority boarding ticket with a cheap airline? GTFO you fucking moron. What should the staff do with your fucking complaint. Babies and reproduction is a key element of our existence. Get used to it! Before you argue with “it wasn’t your choice to have kids”, think how you entered the world. I am not saying parents should let go their kids wild, but in certain cases there is nothing you can do especially with very young kids. Don’t you think parents suffer too?! I am father but also a frequent first/business traveller. Showing compassion goes a long. Try to be a gentlemen and offer help when you a single parent travelling – instead of being a whiney pussy. With your little extra pocket money you got yourself more space, better food, etc. But not the entitlement for being a prick.You are less important than you think you are.

      • Center Square says:

        Two words for you, John Locke. Paul Lynde. I wish he were still alive, and seated in front of you and your child on your next flight.

  187. Bas says:

    Babies do not belong on a plane, and especially not on long haul flights. Other than in some very specific circumstances, parents should just wait a couple of years until a child can articulate that its ears are hurting. Holiday destinations that can be reached by car are also fun.

    For older childres, there is no excuse for poor behaviour and airlines should either refuse people at the gate or simply ban them (the parents in this case) for a period of time, similar to people who drink way too much, if the kids cannot be controlled. Luckily the social norm for the overwhelming majority people is still that in public one should behave.

    The argument that these parents have also paid for it, is a strange one. Paying does not imply that you are entitled to do what you like or be obnoxious to people around you (especially in a confined space). I understand that competition is stiff and airlines do not want to lose clients but in this case in my opinion it is nothing more than setting some boundaries for the minority that needs reminder.

    • KM says:


      I traveled extensively all my life. My mother recounted how my sister was sobbing, and she was doing everything to pacify her, and it took time to calm her. That just happens with little people. She was on a flight because her grandparents lived thousands of miles away. A man said to my mother, “I never flew anywhere until I was old enough to behave.” Obviously it really hurt my mother’s feelings, because all these years later, she recounts the story of her first born. Ironically I would say being courteous is fundamental to behaving!

      I’ve had my fair share of flights with crying children, those who kick the back of the seats (which is rude and parents should control) but honestly nothing crazy. But you know what I have had repeatedly? Rude people, mainly men, who have imbibed too much. I’ve had my seat continually hit as one man recounts stories to another, I’ve been denied access to get up by my seat mate to go to the bathroom, on a long haul flight. I’ve been hit on, I’ve endured lots of profanity. I’ve had big people ooze into my seat. I’ve sat by smelly adults. Given my druthers I would have chosen a baby to sit by.

      Lastly, I am a mother. We are also adopting internationally. Traveling we may buy business, to get a flat bed. I will, as I always do, try to help my child stay free from meltdowns. But if they can sleep better to endure a long trip it would be worth it. A mile up stuck in a tube, let’s all just try and extend kindness!

    • Gesq1 says:

      So, 15-20% of the world’s population shouldn’t fly in your opinion? Because some of them are loud? The fact that you’ve chosen not to breed doesn’t somehow bestow upon you the ability to only have to deal with people of your own age (and class, I assume).

  188. anon says:

    i took my little brother (5) on a business class on a 4hr trip by myself when I was 14. He is disabled too and I was able to keep him under control. He is naturally a sunny natured kid with alot of exuberance but the trip went without any tantrums or the like… It depends on how they are brought up I guess because we travel alot on planes – at least one international flight a year. But I wouldn’t stand for any bad behaviour at all on the plane because it is totally unfair to other flyers..

  189. Patrick says:

    I’m always astonished by articles like this. I’ve never read anywhere on an airline site that you are guaranteed a quiet peaceful experience anywhere onboard an aircraft. They advertise what amenities you’ll receive, how those particular amenities will ideally help you to relax, but in terms of ambient noise, they are quite silent. If we’re talking about infringing on your “right” to quiet because you paid so much for your ticket, what about the children’s rights? Presumably, their tickets were also paid for, were they not? Should your conception of what is right and proper trump theirs? They are children, after all, and have an excess of energy to expend, are noisy to some adult ears, and simply move around quite a lot at times. Should they or their parents be equally offended at your intolerance? Again – if the premise that you paid for your ticket and therefore your expectations should be met as you perceive them, how do you reconcile that with the fact that the parents of these children also paid for their tickets and therefore paid for their expectations to be met? Further, if you’re an individual and paid for ONE business class ticket, should the family who paid for 4, 6, 8 tickets not be entitled to proportionally more of their expectations being met than you?
    I’m not sure i’m taking a particular position here, but I’m always astonished by the one-sidedness of these articles and comments generally.

  190. EH says:

    Totally agree Patrick. When we pay for a quality experience, such that an airline can offer, we should not be inconvenienced by parents with no class / consideration who either don’t care or think their kids are entitled to do whatever they want. A slightly different example: in business class from Europe and parent with kids in coach running up and down the aisle thru business class, father chasing the kids. Flight attendants, of course in the back gossiping w/ each other instead of enforcing the FAA rule about being in your paid cabin.

  191. A. Smith says:

    Agreed. Ideally for me, it would be great if there were a section towards the back 1/4 of the plane for children under the age of ten. Nor only should this apply on business/first class, but it should also apply for economy class. Three times this has happened to me before. Once on a Southwest flight from ATL-MSP, on an AirTran flight from ATL-MCO, and on an American Airlines flight from OGG(Maui)-LAX. On the flight to MSP, there was a nine-year-old sitting right behind me, and he was constantly kicking my seat, and kept on yelling “Moooooooommmmmmyyyyyy give me my iPad back!!!!,” as loudly as he could, while the mother of the child yelled back louder “Shut up! You are embarrassing me infront of the whole airport” This lasted the WHOLE flight. On the flight to MCO, however, there was a child next to me who, for the whole flight, was yelling “Land-o Land-o Orlando!” repeatedly, and for the whole flight. On the flight to LAX, there was a seven year old girl who decided to sing Disney for five hours straight as loudly as she could, therefore meaning that I would not be able to sleep.

  192. Butters says:

    They do use guidelines. It’s called a market driven economy.

    To say that the kids should be flying coach where they can annoy the unwashed economy fliers is like saying the folks flying J class should charter their own jets if they can’t stand the sound, sight, or smell of children.

    • Allison says:

      That’s ridiculous. I’ve flown with my toddlers and believe you me, they behaved. It is NOT alright to let children run amok in any circumstance. It’s a simple matter of teaching your children MANNERS. Simple courtesy.

  193. Amber says:

    I do agree that it is a huge annoyance to have toddlers and babies shrieking while you are trying to relax, read, watch movies, play games, do important work, or simply get some sleep. People spend a lot of money on these seats and they should be allowed to have the comfort of enjoying the luxury of their flight without a crying child (or two, or six) in the background. Airlines should set some boundaries or guidelines on what children are allowed in the business and first class cabins.

  194. Sandra Furness says:

    I agree with everything you have said. There should be a minimum age in upper & first class. These seats are very expensive and people are entitled to be able to enjoy their flight without being bothered by crying or badly behaved children. Some people want to sleep as they have meetings to attend as soon as they arrive at their destination, come on airlines, make a stand! Give us a break.

  195. Helmet says:

    I absolutely agree. I fly business where is it available and pay out of my own pocket for the seats. So many times (including last week coming flying from Bali – Dubai – London with Emirates) there are screaming infants on the flight in Business Class. Sorry, but it’s unacceptable to have toddlers and babies screaming in Business Class. I’m not being a big headed snob, it’s simple – I pay thousands of GBP so travel business for many reasons, one of them SHOULD be a bit of peace and quiet without screaming infants in the vicinity. It’s selfish enough to take toddlers on an aircraft anyway without having to ruin the flight for someone who has paid a lot of money for their Biz Seat.

    I know, I know, if they pay then why shouldn’t they be allowed to travel on Business, right? Wrong. I had a screaming baby in my earhole for the entire 9 hour flight last week with a family who treated the whole thing with such arrogance and care free attitude to other passengers it was incredible. Now I sound like a moron complaining, but I genuinely believe all toddlers and infants should be banned from Business Class. Next time I travel long haul I will be picking an airlines that does exactly that for that reason. Luckily, many airlines are now starting to do this and let’ hope for the day when all airlines do it and actually the day when toddlers and babies are not allowed to fly at all!

    Over and out.

  196. Pete says:

    I fly regularly, several times a month, in all classes, long haul and short, and I really can’t see the problem as such a big deal. Yes, noise and disturbance from babies and small children can be extremely annoying, when it happens right next to me. Even more so, when I feel tired already, which lowers my tolerance considerably. But I’m just as annoyed by 30 minutes of superfluous chatter on the intercom, “informing” me of such things as frequent flyer bonuses, duty free shopping and that the flight is actually taking the route to my destination, and not some other random route. Or flight attendants who insist on waking me during meal service. There are numerous reasons why I could feel annoyed on almost every flight, no matter whether I sit in seat 1A or 45E. In actuality, children are not really much of a problem, or no more so, than those other problems. Your example above is pretty extreme. And while I’ve told a cabin chief on Ethiopian once, who just couldn’t seem to stop, that enough is enough, it’s all part of the experience, and if a friendly word with the parents doesn’t help, and the flight’s purser can’t intervene successfully, well, then it’s time to don those noise canceling Bose Quiet Comfort earphones, my soft and comfortable Lufthansa first class eye mask and wrap myself in a blanket (or two if I travel in steerage), and cocoon myself away from it all. No big deal. It’s me, and no one else, who decides and CHOOSES to become annoyed or not.

  197. jo shields says:

    Dear Patrick,
    I am on your side.
    Out of control and shrieking children are just part of the astounding rudeness of travelers that is increasing in the air (and on the ground. Just spend some time in an urban coffee shop). I will also include airline employees (a very small number but shocking when they are encountered) in this statement.
    I don’t travel as much as I used to. When I did, I tried to fly in Business. I only encountered an incident like you described once. And it was ended only because of the intervention of a well known Academic/TV Host who finally spoke up, embarrassing everyone involved (including the flight attendants). He was given a round of applause.
    If we are counting, I will vote for a ban on children in Business/First Class.
    We have to take a stand for decorum and kindness.
    Jo Shields

  198. Planely Obsessed says:

    I never have flown Business or First, and the trip I’ve got booked this June in premium economy will be the fanciest I’ve travelled but I’ve never had a flight with a kid that screams the whole way. I’ve experienced those kids that scream or throw up but every time their parents quiet them and it’s all fine the rest of the way. I’ve probably had more experiences with annoying teens and adults than I’ve had with little kids (you know, the loud ones and the ones that kick your seat).
    I’ve walked through Business on my way down to the back and I’ve seen the kids lazing about in their oversized seat, picking their noses and wiping it on the seat and I can never recall seeing that down in economy. Once I was on a flight from Singapore to Zurich and the baby in front of me didn’t make a sound for the whole 13 hours. I had no idea she was there.
    I guess it’s just an “Awww, my little cutie wouldn’t hurt nobody” thing. The parents probably grew up as sheltered as their kids so that’s how they’re raising them!

  199. JustMe says:

    I have mixed experiences. First, I do agree with author that the screaming or unmanageable child is a nuisance IN ALL CLASSES. On one of my last flights, the child (maybe 1 year old) kept removing MY EYEGLASSES! Realizing the mother didn’t care (she laughed repeatedly), I was forced to hold a magazine to my left, and tie up my hair to avoid getting drooled on. GRRR

    That being said, it is the responsibility of the parents to manage this. I traveled (in first class because I was a frequent business traveler), with my infant. She stayed in a papoose thing I wore, and slept quietly throughout. I also traveled with her as a toddler … not only did she sleep throughout, but slept through us getting the stroller, gate checking the stroller at a second plane, and half way through the second flight. We made sure she had exercise and was ready for sleep before the flight, and while she never needed it, we had items to occupy her with while IN the seat. Had she not travelled so well, I would have left her home. I suspect fellow passengers were grateful after the flight that she wasn’t the headache they first assumed she’d be 🙂 She only really became a problem in late teens when she got horrible reactions during landing (ears) … and after one bad flight where she was verbally freaking out, I purchased earplanes, and voila.

  200. @LeeWhiteTiger says:

    Amused by your antics, but a 50-cent set of earplugs should do the trick.

  201. Alejandro Davila says:

    I feel your pain my friend, I’m too a frequent flyer. However this is a no-winning battle, airlines can’t just stop selling BC and FC tickets to parents with children. What they can do is to help parents to quiet their children, although this is cultural issue. Have you ever seen an expat asking a local to keep their children quiet? The scene this will cause will be worst then 20 children jumping around at the same time. Believe it or not, I kind of mix it up now days, on flights under 8 hours I just flight economy and save the bucks. On long haul flights, I take an chance but making sure I take with me my Boss Noise Cancelling Headphone, makes a huge difference. The world is getting smaller and with it, kids are part of the traveling experience too. As long as people can pay for the ticket, everyone can fly.

    Safe travels,


  202. Alejandro Davila says:

    I feel you pain my friend, I’m too a frequent flyer. However this is a no-winning battle, airlines can’t just stop selling BC and FC tickets to parents with children. What they can do is to help parents to quiet their children, although this is cultural issue. Have you ever seen an expat asking a local to keep their children quiet? The scene this will cause will be worst then 20 children jumping around at the same time.
    Believe it or not, I kind of mix it up now days, on flights under 8 hours I just flight economy and save the bucks. On long haul flights, I take an chance but making sure I take with me my Boss Noise Cancelling Headphone, makes a huge difference.
    The world is getting smaller and with it, kids are part of the traveling experience too. As long as people can pay for the ticket, everyone can flight.

    Safe travels,


  203. Claire says:

    Oh my, you have just saved me a fortune. I was literally about to book a flight with Emirates to Australia. Trawling through sites to ascertain minimum ages for business class. I’m travelling with my impeccably well behaved and we’ll mannered 13year old daughter. As a once in a lifetime trip for her I was going to book business class at an extra cost of about £5000. Economy it will now be, I can little afford all the extra to possibly not enjoy the experience. I will instead upgrade my hotels. I must also add, I think there should be a quiet section as you can get on trains for example.

  204. Agreed!! says:

    I agree with everything the author has said. I traveled business with my husband out of pocket many times and was horrified whenever this happened to us. Parents of misbehaved kids should at least make an effort to quiet them down.

  205. SteveP says:

    KLM has a 747 Combi configuration with a small Comfort Economy (premium) along the left side with the galleys on the right. This is sometimes promoted as the “family” section as it is close to the galleys, relatively compact and farther from the larger sections.

    As far as First/Business and kids go – obviously there are plenty of very poor parents with plenty of money, but it’s all about the money to the airline accountants. Enjoy!

  206. Sitaram says:

    I’m with you about the parents who don’t seem to care, don’t even think they should care. Having a colicky infant is one thing, but a spoilt brat (or bratS) running up and down yelling and screaming and the parents not even attempting to quiet them, is another.

    What I did not see you mention (or missed it if you did) is that this is a relatively small, closed environment, meaning not only is the sound pretty much in your face, there’s no possibility of escape. I would not (and I’m sure you would not) say this if this were, say, a mall or similar public area – we’d just be on our way to some other spot. Or get out of the mall entirely.

    Parents of unruly kids need to recognise this, and I would absolutely blame them for not doing so.

    Dealing with the problem, however, is subjective. In many cases it is a matter of opinion whether the parent is doing something or not, so it’s hard to enforce anything *fairly*.

  207. BG Davis says:

    The days when children were to be seen and not heard are long gone. As are notions of courtesy to other people. Even in Japan, where the standard used to be “you have no right to inflict yourself on other people,” by the 90s some Japanese yuppie parents would let their kids run wild in public.
    When I was young, the local movie theater had the “Cry Room” – a soundproofed room with nice seats, high in the rear of the theater, with a large soundproof (triple-glazed?) window so that occupants could view the movie. If a kid started crying, the parent was asked to take the kid to the Cry Room. If the parent refused, they were escorted from the theater. It worked.
    Something like this could solve the problem in the first-class airport lounge areas. As for the aircraft, things are so out of control now (pigs and horses as companion animals!?!) that any solution seems far away. Maybe certain flights for adults only?

  208. K says:

    Those are parenting fails.

    As a kid I was one of 3 girls and we lived overseas and travelled ALOT. We were carefully trained in how you behave in public, how you behave while travelling. Our parents also planned ahead. We had snacks, crayons, games, small blankets.

    As a mom I routinely travel with my 2 girls, who are likewise trained in how to behave in public and how to behave while travelling. And I, like my parents, prepare ALOT before hand with far more than just ‘how long will the flight/train last?’…

    You also have to include the walk from the car to the terminal, checkin, waiting for security lines, hanging out in the terminal, boarding and debarking. Not only do you need to consider drinks, snacks, restroom, and activities, but also how you layer them and how accessible they will be for use at the right time. We’ve been on flights direct from east to west coast US, 5 star hotels and 4 star restaurants OK.

    And, yes, those kids are legally yours. If you can’t ignore your yippy puppy chewing on someone else’s bag and running around tripping other passengers, then you can’t ignore your kids, even though some days you fervently wish you could. “They’re kids” is a chronological statement, not a social excuse. It may take a village, but random strangers around you are more like a trading post or gypsies in that not only are they NOT going to help take care of your kids, there will be truly unpleasant consequences if you get the wrong circumstances.

  209. martin says:

    It it time for the airlines to be aware of this severe problem which is the worst expericance (except accidents) on a flight. Whether in Eco or Business I experianced horrible sitations when beeing disturbed by crying children for hours and once almost was beaten by a father when I mentioned thomething.

    There are some first airlines who installed a Quiet Zone where children below 14 are not allowed. If I ever have the opportunity I would fly such an airline. Certainly it is more complicated to handle an additional section in the airplane but on the long term it will pay back for the airline, am very sure!

  210. Donald says:

    Its not always possible for parents to control smaller children’s behavior in an enclosed area like a plane. As they get older (from 0 on) the capacity to does improve, and it isnt really possible to remove a child from the area aas one would in a restaurant. That all being said though, at minimum, parents should at least have the decency to “appear” to care when their kids are disrupting the area and people around them, and appear to try to control them, even if there isn’t a lot they can do. I don’t fly business with my kids simply because of cost, but we often use lounges. All the kids receive a briefing before we go in, and we are cognizant of their behavior and its effect on other people there. They are told that this is an “adult area” and not a playground. When the kids were babies or toddlers, and you really can’t stop a baby from crying, I always felt really bad when they would start crying on a flight. I don’t even like it when someone’s baby or kid is kicking up a fuss on a flight, but if the parent at least appears to care and appears to feel bad, I mostly give it a pass. I don’t think kids should be banned from business or first class (though I’m not about to lay out that kind of money for my three kids to fly in business…they are lucky I pay to preselect their seats in economy, lol), but I’m with you totally on the thing about the parents who don’t even seem to think its a problem when the kids are disrupting the people around them.

  211. Kelli Campbell says:

    I have a 2 year old I will be flying with on a six hour flight in may. We have waited as long as we could to take him on this flight. I wish we didn’t have to. At age 2 he’s still not quite understanding that when he is mad or uncomfortable that a good scream and flail is not the best choice. I’m praying he will sleep most of the flight. I intend to have his iPad stocked with videos and apps and a carryon with new and I interesting toys he has never seen. I want him to be happy and entertained and QUIET. I don’t know how we will deal with his screams if he starts up bc there is nowhere to take him so his toddler moments won’t bother others. My grandfather, my son’s namesake, is 94. I’d like for them to meet before he passes. But truly, I wish we could avoid this long flight for at least two more years. Parents today do not give a rip about their obnoxious kids. At all. Now we won’t be in first class bc while my tall husband would have appreciated the extra leg room, we had no intention of bringing our toddler to that sacred space. Flying is horrible as it is and making it horrible for people who paid a premium for their seat is an asshole thing to do. I don’t think young kids belong in business or first class either unless they are well capable of using indoor voices and have parents who will enforce said voices. I hate flying.

    • BG Davis says:

      “At age 2 he’s still not quite understanding that when he is mad or uncomfortable that a good scream and flail is not the best choice.”
      Why not? A lot of children have been taught by that age.

  212. Caroline says:

    Amen! I paid for three first class tickets on a redeye Delta flight from SAN Diego to ATL last year and couldn’t believe our rotten luck. The entire night was awful because of a crying infant who wailed on and on for hours in the first class section. Worse was that ALL of the crew spent their time with this baby and mom. No service no nothing. I get it. I’m the parent of two kids who are now teenagers but when they were young we kept flying to a minimum and certainly didn’t spring for first class seats. When they cried they were dealt with, be it in a store, restaurant, and yes, a plane. At the risk of being self-righteous, we took charge of our children and didn’t allow them to go wild at the expense of others. It’s not just planes-I was riding on a one hour ferry ride in SC when a toddler had decided she had enough and threw down. Her parents said “just leave her to cry it out” but the rub was she threw herself on the floor and unleashed her fury for the entire ride. Are you kidding me?

  213. George G says:

    I feel your pain and it is out of control! If it is not kids it could be the “service” animal. I had a German Shepard the size of a moose in my aisle taking up the foot area. Travel is not fun!

  214. Vitsing says:

    I totally agree, enough-is-enough! Airlines please ban Kids from 1st Class and strongly consider banning them from Business Class or at least segregating to the back of the Class Cabin.

  215. Stephen Goldstein says:

    Loved reading this and couldn’t agree more!!!

  216. Ashton says:

    People today are not disciplining their kids enough.

    I firmly believe that those who fail to discipline their kids for acting out unreasonably are really destroying their kids lives with no regard for their thoughtless actions. These kids, through no fault of their own, will grow up to hate authority, throw a fit when they don’t get what they want, and will more than likely have poor morals.

    How can parents be so careless? If my kids disrespected me like that, they would be getting a spanking right there in front of everyone on the airplane. I don’t expect kids to act like adults, but respect is a concept kids should understand from a early age.

  217. Jill Gott says:

    Everything you have said is not 100% true….nope…1000% true! We live in the most permissive and egotistical time period in air travel. Sadly, these spoiled rotten hellions are the ones that appear in USA Today as killing their parents because they didn’t get those $500 sneakers……seriously……if anyone has the resources to fly Business or First…then they have the resources to leave the little darlings with a nanny……handicapped parents (blind/deaf) don’t you want a proper holiday? Leave “Freddy” on Elm Street with a sitter….

  218. David R says:

    With few exceptions, the current generation of parents is divided into two basic categories:

    1. I feel that my children’s happiness is paramount and I will sacrifice everything to ensure that. Including you.

    2. Although I recognize, deep down, that their behavior is a problem, I am unable to control my children. I lack either the strength of character or intelligence to achieve this goal.

  219. Joe Kultgen says:

    I sympathize. More so because I cannot afford to travel business class. When you add the irritations you’ve experienced to the already dismal grind of flying economy, well, I for one am thankful that passengers have limited access to weapons.

    Not everyone is equipped to be a responsible parent. These people sometimes need to travel long distance at more than surface transport speed. Even in cases where the child isn’t the reason for the trip, bringing them along may be the most economical solution. I’d charge at least as much as a business class ticket to supervise these kids during their parents absence, and a hefty deposit to ensure the parents would return.

    Perhaps it’s time they had their own class. Converted baggage compartment?

  220. Texan78730 says:

    The rudeness, self-centeredness, and complete lack of concern for other people in the world is endemic today. I am 76 years old and have watched a percipitious decline in value, mores, and morality, in today’s society.

    The attitude of “if you don’t like it, that’s your problem” is putting a serious rend in the very fabric of our society

    Class is nonexistent. People can’t even spell or use correct pronouns. Their electronic gadgets prevent their having to interact socially. They wouldn’t know how to carry on a conversation if their lives depended on it.

    I was in the travel industry from 1964 until retiring in 1999 and have spent a hell of a lot of time aloft. On the rare occasion a baby started to cry, the mother immediately tried to soothe it (probably its ears hurting from the altitude change). She made every effort not to disturb those around her. Even the stewardesses would offer to hold the child a while. Yes, they called them stewardesses then, they were a different breed from the flight attendants today.

    I cannot recall ever seeing a child in first class. Parents often took the aft seats in the aircraft to somewhat isolate themselves from their fellow travelers.

    Personally, I think children should be banned from aircraft altogether! AND their parents. Perhaps someone could start an airline called “Abhorrent Parents and Horrid Children”

  221. Maria Romana says:

    No hating here, either. I don’t see how airlines could make such a policy, nor should they have to, because any RESPONSIBLE parent will control their child. Yes, I do have children, now fully grown and making straight As in college. They were raised by a mostly-stay-at-home mom and very involved dad, not a daycare center, which I believe is the root of the problem we’re seeing today. When kids spend 80% of their waking hours in a room with 20 other kids all running around and screaming in an uncontrolled manner, that is what they learn to do. When instead they model their behavior after adults who are only unruly at home or in appropriate places like playgrounds and amusement parks, they understand that there is a time and a place for everything, and a restaurant or a library or an airplane first class cabin isn’t it! I did travel with my children when they were young, and it was a LOT OF HARD WORK to keep them quietly occupied and entertained for 4 and 5 hours at a time, but a concerned and responsible parent can do it. The haters are the lazy, irresponsible parents whose children will be running and screaming in their parents’ basements for the rest of their lives :).

  222. Lane says:

    No hate mail from me. I was a well behaved child and my children could have all flown easily in first class w/o being a nuisance. That being said, the airlines have every right to do what is in their best interest since they are all privately owned and travel on them is a privilege not a right.
    Designated sections for children is a reasonable approach.

    Those that have sent you hate mail forget that we have a right to peace and quiet whether or not we sit in coach or first class. Where does that right come from? The some place their right comes from to allow their kids to be annoying.

  223. Ufuk Özkurt says:

    Same attitude everywhere around the globe. I obviously “have” to make children, and thus I shall, then, understand the holy book of disturbing other people, because now I have reproduced… Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia help a bit. Are there any European airlines with an age limit?

  224. Bodi says:

    I don’t think it’s unreasonable that people in business class have an expectation of the amount of “space” or the experience they have when paying far more then people sitting in coach. It is a matter of consideration if after a given amount of time that a child not cry, scream or run around. regardless of age or even if their parents can afford the ticket. You’re correct kids will be kids. I know this because I have plenty. The Airlines are the ones who need to put limitations on where children can sit. A few people that have left responses have been fairly nasty and have accused people traveling solo of having a feeling of entitlement. Just because we have kids doesn’t entitle us to be disrupting. Give the kids a chance to settle down. If they don’t they should be asked to move or leave. Some places we don’t go because the kids are ill equipped to act appropriately. Not because they’r ill mannered. Simply because their kids.

  225. john says:

    My parents never had that problem. As a child I can see it because well its a stupid baby. Literally it’s dumber then a full on mentally retarded individual.

    But toddlers, naw that’s the parent. I know this because had we done anything, screamed, thrown a fit, threw something; my mother would of whooped our asses in front of first class lol. She sure as hell did to my brother in that department store haha. I believe the result I remember was damn near every waitress in the area complimenting them and us on how well behaved and refined we were. We even got free crap at restaurants lol.

  226. Ellen says:

    I also pay out of my own pocket for my daughter and myself to fly business class. We also paid for comfort and luxury. While I try my best to teach my daughter to be considerate to our fellow passengers and respect that most of them need to rest on the flight, as well as keeping her entertained and controlled with in flight entertainment, please respect that her ticket is not much cheaper than yours. I have also paid for our luxury travel.
    If you want to be in the truly special class of exclusivity, you might consider travelling first class suites.

    • Nate says:

      I couldn’t give two craps about what you paid for your toddler’s ticket – it won’t come near what the surrounding 6-8 passengers also in business cumulatively paid for theirs with the expectation that they have a comfortable experience, and who have no desire to hear your children make noise in premium class. Yours is the attitude that necessitates banning children from business and first.

      Kids should only be allowed in premium cabins with the understanding that if they disturb the other premium passengers during the flight, they will be involuntarily reseated in the back and two lucky passengers in coach will ride out the rest of the trip in seats you paid for.

    • Texan78730 says:

      I have an idea: why don’t YOU and your child book into a suite?

  227. Peter says:

    I think it is good the have a minimum age for kids to travel business class. A minimum age of 12 or 14 is ok, in my opinion. Mostly the younger kids a screaming on the airplane or hitting your chair from behind 😉

  228. Mother says:

    I have traveled a fair amount – at least 20 times nationally and internationally – with my now-2-year-old. I traveled at a frequency of about 30 times a year prior to having a child. I sometimes fly first or business class.

    To be honest, parents are the ones who should be complaining. The average joe just catches the shrapnel.

    Yes, it sucks for everyone when a kid is hungry or tired or angry or going through a developmental shift that makes them cry. However airports and flights are tantamount to being designed to make these problems worse, or even create the problems in the first place.

    When airlines and airports make even a passing effort to improve travel for families – give them their own spaces to wait for planes, give them seats where they can use bassinets, etc. etc. – the chance that the baby/child will be able to 1/ nap successfully 2/ get out their toddler energy 3/ not have to restrain themselves from something they don’t understand – goes up astronomically.

    It’s not that hard. I’ve seen good spaces provided for kids in airports. Most airports just don’t bother. If they did, everyone’s life would be dramatically better.

    Asking kids on a flight that’s been delayed hours at the gate – no the kids can’t get off, no they can’t have complimentary food – to keep it together is insanity. Seriously. It’s like asking a disabled person to please not piss themselves when no one helps them to the bathroom.

    It’s the airlines/airports you should be angry with.

    • Travel Agent says:

      PERFECT reply – Travel has become essential these days and shouldn’t be made impossible once you have a family. EVERYONE is at their worst when they are travelling. Tired, shitty, stressed, uncomfortable (and thats before you get on the plane) – and folks in the airline industry (especially passport control, customs etc) are not known for their customer service. Travelling with children is a NIGHTMARE and its the parents that suffer the most. If efforts were made to have a separate line for families, a play area near the gates etc etc, this would indeed give them a better start to being reasonable when on a long flight. WE traveled to Europe recently – a 28 hr flight in economy ( yes my american friends, when you live in New Zealand, we travel some seriously long flights) and although my almost 2 year old was well behaved – me and hubby didnt sleep…..AT ALL. For the whole time. ( My son did sporadically and mostly slept on us). If we could have afforded business class, YOU BET we would have done it. We would have done all we could to keep our son quiet and well behave because we are considerate people – but NOTHING can compare to the hell of travelling longhaul in cattle with a small child. Something needs to change.

  229. Ashley says:

    Hi, I’m a mom of a 2-year old and 7-month old getting ready to travel alone with the two babies and am seriously contemplating spending the extra cash to get us seats in business/first class. I’ve flown once with my toddler in first class when I was pregnant with my second. Behind us sat a family of five with an infant, a toddler and a 5ish-year old. I was surprised but happy I wasn’t alone among the single business travelers. It was a 5-hour flight but not one time was there any screaming. I had a arsenal of distractions for my toddler as did the family behind me. Yes, there was fussing, but nothing that overly disturbed our fellow travelers. With a squirmy toddler and potentially fussy infant, the extra room and accommodations is golden! The extra attention you get in first class from the stewards is so helpful. Re: examples in the article – Even though traveling is exhausting, your children are still depending on you. If you are exhausted, they are doubly so, which translates into doubly fussy, which means you gotta put in double the effort. Sorry but I do it too. Traveling in first class doesn’t excuse you from parenting during the flight or lounge). No one has the right to disturb others. Sure, you can’t always control kids, but even if you’re dead tired, you gotta try out of courtesy for others but also out of care for your kids. Plus if other passengers see you are trying they are more likely to help but making your kids laugh instead of cowering down. Just IMHO

  230. adam says:

    Quite an interesting article, i have 3 kids but cannot help but to agree with you. If I was paying good money for business, one of my main requirements would be sleep. I have had a similar experience where the air hostess just let them run up and down the aisles.

    This gets to my point, In my opinion it gets back to the airline to take responsibility, if the children are not in control and or are loud the parents should be given a warning and if not corrected should be moved with their children to the economy section.

    This should be in the disclaimer on the ticket.

  231. Stephen Thomson says:

    I have just booked 1st Class flights for my partner and our child to Dubai from London. Our child will be 20 months when we fly.

    First class is a huge thing for me and I assume it’s the same for nearly everyone else. I am paranoid about how our child will be on the flight. She is generally very well behaved but I don’t know how she’ll be on the flight. The last thing i want is for her to upset other travelers if she starts crying.

    If she does start crying, I will take her to the areas between classes until she calms down, but this isn’t an option when taking-off / landing. I was thinking about taking something with us, say a thank you card, to give to fellow passengers in advance just in case she does cry. Something along the lines of “This is our first long-haul flight with our baby. We can’t guarantee she won’t cry, but we’ll do everything we can to not affect you and we thank you in advance for your patience”. Does this seem sensible or weird? I think it lets people know that we are concerned about it and don’t want to be affecting other people, we aren’t rude obnoxious parents but there are some things that are out of our control.

  232. Olkolk says:

    I’d say that up to a point you have a valid point. Then again shouldn’t the airline supply with information on where kids or babies will be during the flight? If you pay for thousands of dollars why not demand a seat far away from a possibly disruptive infant of child? Better yet why not buy a pair of earplugs if you are so concerned or even propose a child zone in the aircraft? I’m sure that many would be relieved if they could park their children somewhere for the same money without having to deal with them for the rest of the flight.

  233. Amanda says:

    The part that deserves the biggest endorsement is this: “And the most pompous, insufferable, and insulting comments of all are those that insinuate non-parents are somehow less humane than everybody else, and that those without children exist in some half-developed state where true empathy and understanding are impossible.” It is a type of discrimination that I hate most — that women without children are inhumane. Regardless of why I don’t have children (choice or biological), it takes real arrogance to not see that the noise your children make is disruptive and unpleasant.

  234. Shell says:

    I totally agree with this – nothing worse than noisy children and screaming babies in business class. Airlines really need to consider their business class customers, 75% of which hate children in the same cabin!! Thank goodness something might finally be done about this so the rest of us can enjoy some relaxation and sleep.

  235. Now, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but if one were to play devil’s advocate and substituted gays, blacks, the obese, renters instead of homeowners, etc. in place of ‘kids,’ and then tried to justify it with why people with X, Y, Z, traits (I can’t stand the smell of hair gel, I prefer not to be around those who might have Sickle cell anemia, overweight baggage is charged, why not overweight people, etc…) should not be allowed in a certain place… IMO it’s pretty clear whether the OP is in the right or in the wrong here. We’re all renting space up there… now if this were one’s own plane, then heck yeah, discriminate all you want, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone… THEN it’s your right.

    • Kristen says:

      What a ridiculous comparison. This article is about poor beviour during a flight that is ruining the experience for the rest of the paying customers. Period.

      • Ken says:

        @ Kristen : The article refers to kids as a whole and makes the assumption in the first paragraph that all kids behave poorly.

        I don’t know where all of you are flying but IME, I rarely run into misbehaved children at the front… or adults for that matter. On average I’m out and about 20-30 times a year. Certainly not enough of either group to think there should be blanket ban on any particular group.

        Again you’ll note though, the author does seem to attempt to make it a blanket ban. It’s not as if he is singling out say, drunk or unruly/violent adults. To me that suggests either personal resentment or okay, maybe just real bad luck in winding up on flights with rowdy kids more often than not.

  236. B says:

    Agree w author. I hate to sound like a jerk, but I recently traveled a cross country domestic flight and both times there were at least 2 toddlers or younger in first, disrupting everyone. I honestly think airlines should offer first class to parents traveling w kids but it should be in a separate section, I paid for my tickets and was irritated the experience was not as pleasant as I would have hoped. People made a choice to have kids and while crying children are normal it is not ok in settings where it disturbs others, period. People take infants to movies and again, they may have the right but it is rude to others and displays a completely selfish attitude. For the author- sorry you were attacked. I find many who chose to have kids get very defensive when anyone suggests that their children can be an annoyance to others and make things extremely personal.

  237. j says:

    Are you people aware the American CIA uses an endless loop recording of a crying baby as part of their enhanced interrogation program?

  238. j says:

    we just had a heated debate about this at the office. I tried to explain to the folks with kids, that while they may be the center of YOUR universe, they aren’t actually the center of THE universe. They were taken aback as if I were the first one to ever say this to their face. They replied, “I don’t care what you think, my kids come first”…… so that’s what you’re up against and that folks, are how millennials got made

  239. SD says:

    What I started doing is behave as boisterously as the children and if I’m asked to stop, I ask them if they have an official noise policy because I’d like to ask for a refund upon landing because it wasn’t enforced on the kids and their rude, idiotic parents.

    And no, I refuse to wear headphones, maybe you should gag your children if they’re feral animals and not humans that should be part of society.

    • Sammy says:

      “What I started doing is behave as boisterously as the children and if I’m asked to stop, I ask them if they have an official noise policy because I’d like to ask for a refund upon landing because it wasn’t enforced on the kids and their rude, idiotic parents.”

      And you think that regular folk around you who aren’t being noisy would appreciate that? I’d rather just deal with one noisy kid, than a noisy kid *and* a lunatic.

      You can try getting a refund if you want, but the airline has the right to allow a baby to cry while still asking you, supposedly an adult, to keep it down. Maybe you should read the terms before buying a ticket (H1 and H17 might apply to your behavior):

      Folks seem to think that business class tickets buys them some soundproof space. I agree that it would be awesome for everyone, but these tickets don’t cost anywhere close to an amount

    • June says:

      What a complete idiot you were once a whiney irritating brat. Would your parents be perhaps idiots.

  240. AR15x says:

    I always wear Howard Leight Maxx earplugs when flying regardless of the presence or absence of children. They do an excellent job of suppressing all sources of cabin noise. For really long flights with noisy children, I would a recommend Bose noise cancelling headset over the ear plugs, but even a cheap set of passive noise suppressing ear muffs over the ear plugs does a very good job. (That is what I use at the rifle range.)

  241. Nicks says:

    It all comes down to how much the parents tolerate behaviour wise. There are a lot of parents out there who seem to have high tolerance levels (code for ‘ignore’) before they finally intervene, and when they do, it’s done in a very lax way. It really pisses me off!!! I bet a lot of these parents offload their patenting duties to others so they have no idea what to do when stuck with their offspring on their own!
    I am a parent of youngish children (5 and 8) and also a teacher so i’ve seen a lot in my time. From experience, it really is the parents responsibility to teach their kids manners and etiquette. Yes kids will be kids but it’s up to their parents to remind them to behave. It’s not hard, just repetitive, and that my friends is where the problem lies. Some parents are just plain lazy and let them get away with far too much.Babies and toddlers are an entirely different story though as they are just so unpredictable. In this circumstance, if a parent is clearly doing all they can then they should be applauded, even sympathised. It’s damn hard to control an out of control child under the age of 3! The issue brought up in the article is about the parents who do absolutely
    nothing to assist their children in managing their behaviour. It’not just on planes – restaurants, concerts, movie theatres, lining up at theme parks etc Teach your kid some manners!!!!! These people are spoiling it for the rest if us who do ACTIVELY parent! Blacklist ’em I say!

  242. David says:


    I’m the father of a 16 week old, it’s not unlikely I’ll want to fly with him in a few year’s time; when I do I want business class to be available to me…

    …however I will not be surprised (or blame airlines) if an inconsiderate minority of parents result in age restrictions that ruin it for all of us.

    The only thing I disagree with in your article is the idea that this is more unacceptable in first/business class. IMO (and I declare an interest here as someone who makes a return journey every week on an economy-only route) if behaviour isn’t acceptable in first/business then it isn’t acceptable in economy either



  243. em says:

    Well said mate, some people on here are laughable

  244. em says:

    You obviously haven’t got children of your own. I felt the same as you until I had kids. 8 am flying London to Australia business class with my 2.5 year old and 6 month old and will be stressing the entire time because of people like you. I would never let my child misbehave but sometimes they are scared or simply babies. It will never change, children are human beings and have rights so you may just have to suck it up buttercup

    • Sd says:

      Yes, they have rights, just like I do and since we’re equal, I’ll make as much noise as your kids(and I’ll make sure to wake them up if they ever fall asleep). Sometimes I’m also too lazy to go to the bathroom and poop on the closest empty seat. It gives me great pleasure to tell others to just suck it up and inhale. If you can’t control your child, don’t fly. A solution would be to have people who want to fly with kids pay half the ticket of everyone sitted around them given they make these people suffer.

      • ASDF says:

        SD – You’re obviously an idiotic child for even comparing yourself to an infant. Yes, some parents need to pay closer attention to their kids, but there are times when babies can’t be “controlled”.

    • Shell says:

      So maybe you should be a little less selfish and not take your kids in business class. I really hope some screaming baby keeps you awake on your next flight.

      • badjuju says:

        you realize ppl travel out of necessity and not for vacation right? children need to be hauled to all sorts of unpleasant life events like funerals, major operations, grandparents growing too old to take care of themselves, etc. this happens EVERYDAY. between 1 1/2 and 3 children have very little agency and literally cant control their crying. ehat do you propose these people do exactly?

  245. Alana says:

    This same issue also presents in economy. This year I took 6 flights with my 5 month old son and on all occasions booked in economy and booked the aisle seat next to the window. I chose this seat so as to minimise disruption to the passenger next to me when I was getting up to change and soothe my son as required. I also ensured adequate toys, food and milk ready to go to minimise any crying and subsequent discomfort to all passengers. On all 6 flights I had several fellow passengers remark how you wouldn’t even known their was a baby on board. On 5 of the 6 flights when the passenger booked into the window seat next to me saw me approach with my son I witnessed the familiar site of horror register on their faces and all 5 immediately pressed the assistance button and requested to be moved (this is before I even managed to sit down). My favourite instance was a lady in about her 50’s who upon sight of my son looked frantically around the cabin to find another seat. Spying 1 spare seat she quickly asked cabin crew if I could be moved there (for my comfort apparently next to 3 other passengers in a row of 4 seats). The cabin crew said this was fine and I agreed to move there after take off. The lady smiled gleefully she would now have both seats to herself. However after takeoff the cabin crew suggested as she was so “concerned” about my comfort perhaps I would be more comfortable with the 2 seats to myself and she move. Shocked she moved, entitlement gets you nowhere!

  246. Anna says:

    I am very sorry. Am a mother and countless of times, I had apologised on behalf of my boisterous little toddler. I am not a young mother, more than 40 years of age – just like the many mothers who travel premium, most are “elderly primids” or “mature mothers”. High risk women who had their baby very late in their life. And therefore, unless they were born with a silver spoon, had only just about made it in life and can now travel business or first, have kids and unfortunately have to travel with them. I would be more than happy if airlines provide family premium spaces. I do not want to sit with business men in suits too. I think they look more pompous than I do, and I will have to say sorry for disturbing your sleep. I need the sleep too, but I have my responsibility of keeping my child entertained while I sit in the bigger chair with more room for me to play with my kids. I need to complete the presentation too – I do my presentations at 2am or whenever I can place my kids to sleep. We are career women, not only you, however we had opted to juggle family with career and complete those presentations at ungodly hours because we had postponed having a family for far too long. Should we stop having comfort just because we now have a family ? Someone suggested shouting at those little brats – by all means do so. I cannot do it because I am afraid I will lose my dignity and remanded for being a bad mom who shouts at their kids. I am so sorry again on behalf of all moms & dads.

  247. Greg says:

    Sit in coach bitch.

  248. CP says:

    Unfortunately so much of this is a reflection of the general attitude of so many people these days, the same attitude that has parents rushing down to the school if their kids are disciplined because their little darlings could never do anything wrong and failing to take responsibility because they have such a sense of entitlement. As to the solution well some kids will scream all of the time and all kids will scream some of the time at certain ages. For sure they should NOT be in Business class below a certain age. Our 2 have always been good as gold on long haul but i’m sure like most parents if there was a problem the first thing i’d be worried about was it’s effects on people around me. As some have suggested why not have certain planes with specific areas for families? Surely it wouldn’t be too difficult to configurer some of the s A380’s and charge a little more for parents and kids to sit in an area dedicated to families? It actually would make the whole flight a lot less stressfull for everyone?

  249. T says:

    Dang, hit me right in the feels. I travel all the time as a backpacker. Maybe 12 flights a year. Peace, that’s what I want. As a part of a family with 2 adults being expats, long haul travel is a big thing in my family. 1 or 2 times a year we head to a country as a big family. I love children…actually come from a LARGE family. With 10 children. 3 of which are austistic. 2 are babies. People do cringe when they see us….BUT, the children in my family have been traveling since babies. They know the dice. Id say 90% success rate. If the children aren’t going well though we will generally ask to be moved away to not cause a problem to other travelers. With babies, there is only so much we can do ….and it bakes our noodle too. We also LOVE traveling Business. It’s probably a lot better because at least the children have some space. Being prepared for situations is the key to travel with children. I do agree that a child friendly zone would be great to add to the club lounges or a child free zone?

  250. BP says:

    I can’t believe how selfish some of these so-called parents are.

    Here is what I would do: scream directly at their brats. If it’s fine for their brats to do it, it’s fine for you to do it. Shared space, right?

  251. Alienor says:

    But I find it hard to believe that parents ignoring their screaming children is the norm – really? I have young kids, pretty much everyone I know has young kids, and most of them would be very concerned about their kids annoying other people in public.

    I am part of an expat community in the country I live in, and a very common theme posted on message boards is ‘please give me tips on how to manage a long distance flight/journey with my baby/toddler/twins/etc’. People weigh in with advice on keeping the kids quiet and amused. They also recount good and bad experiences they have had, and mostly the bad experiences made them feel terrible.

    Up to a certain age, we can try our best to keep a kid quiet, but it just does not always work. They get tired and behave badly. I do feel sorry for others, but I feel more sorry for the struggling parent/s. It is a choice, but that doesn’t mean it is easy.

    As for those who say ‘I simply didn’t travel until little darling was well behaved enough not to scream the whole time’ – well good for you, but for expats or those with friends/family far away, this is not ideal – ‘sorry aging granny, you can’t meet your grandchild until he’s five because someone might not have a peaceful flight if I bring him, hope you are not dead by then…’ Or ‘dear brother, I’d love to come to your wedding but my kid might cry on the plane – could you put it off for another five years?’

    Just cut some slack to the ones who try…

  252. Winter says:

    I could not agree with you MORE!! Everything you say makes perfect sense. The airlines should ban kids under 6 or 7 or even 10 from flying in biz class. They ruin it for everyone. The people up in arms here no doubt have uncontrollable kids and you have touched a raw nerve. There are many arrogant people flying with kids. They have no idea or care for anyone but themselves. They are raising brats of the same mindset. I am a parent. I did not take my tiny child in to movie theaters either. I taught my child to be quiet and well mannered. That is a parent’s job. In my opinion if this is a growing trend then special flights must be reserved both for kids only or kids free. Who wouldn’t book a kids free premium flight if given the choice? Those of us at the other end of parenting.. weve done the hard work, now give us a break! Airlines hear our plea. Do something abut it. I also want toddlers with their parents relegated to child-friendly rooms in premium lounges.

    • Patrick says:

      If there were to be an age restriction, your suggestion might be a little on the unreasonable side. I’m thinking maybe five years-old for a cut-off, something like that.

      • Sd says:

        The problem is solved simply: airlines should take every measure at their disposal to remove the discomfort rude parents with children create for others such as creating a dedicated place for children and their parents, entirely sound proofed from the rest of the plane and have the tickets there priced in a way to have parents pay the entire cost of flying their kids around.

    • Kristen says:

      I think it really depends on the kid. I’ve flown with my five year old nephew in business class and he was quiet and polite the entire time.

      • Kristen says:

        I should also note, however, that if he were to act out (which would surprise me). I would act to remove him from the space as to not disturb passengers who might be trying to sleep, eat their meal, work, etc.

  253. Christian says:

    I think that a lot of the comments on here are very offensive and it all comes down to entitlement. You paid for a seat on a shared airplane. You are entitled to nothing but that. If you think otherwise, you’re wrong. so quit crying. For the people that are flat-out annoyed by kids, I can’t even speak to you, because you are going to feel the way you feel no matter what. Same thing for the parents that say, hey I paid for their seats so I’m going to let my kids do whatever the hell they want. That’s BS too. I’m not going to tell you how to regulate your kids, but just do it because we do owe it to each other to at least be courteous. Bottom line is, we need to stop talking about segregating or excluding people, and yes children are people too. Go ahead and buy your children First Class for Business Class if you can afford it.

    • Sd says:

      Exactly and since I paid for a shared space, I hope you won’t mind ill curse your kid and watch porn on my laptop with a high enough volume to cover the whining of your kid. I hope you’re not a filthy hypocrite who thinks your kid should be kept away from profanity and sex given I paid for this shared place so I can do whatever I want.

  254. Barry Smith says:

    If you are sitting in a business class seat and thinking about you spend your hard earned money, just go back to where you came from. I fly regulary in business class in my entire life. Yes, sometimes I take all my 4 kids with me.

  255. Kay says:

    I have a 4 year old who is autistic. I have been flying with him since 3 months. He’s usually a champ about flying but has had a moment or two when he wasn’t the happiest camper and I felt really bad about it. Although I am a parent now, I will never forget what it’s like to not be a parent. Actually, even more so as a parent, I appreciate every second of quiet time as possible. When I am not with my son, I want to be as far away from other people’s screaming children as possible. Sorry, not sorry. With that being said, people with children really need to be considerate of the feelings of others. I agree with there being an age limit in business class.

  256. KC says:

    I am in the same position, thinking of spending my own money to mark the occasion of taking our baby on his first long trip and also wanting to treat his mother to a nice experience. I think we are responsible and courteous people but if the baby cries a lot then I am not sure what we will be able to do about it, regardless of which cabin we are in. At least in Business class we will have more space to tend to his needs and also the ability to lie down and have our meals in more comfort.

  257. Patrick says:

    “Reading this article says that you are better than me, and that because I have a kid, I belong in steerage…”

    THAT’S what you took away from this article? Seriously? I can’t begin to respond to this, because you’ve so badly misinterpreted it. And you’re right, the airplane is very much a shared space, which underscores why the parents need to better control their screaming, out-of-controls kids. You’re making my point.

  258. Sal says:

    “Reading this article says that you are better than me, and that because I have a kid, I belong in steerage…” – How can that be your interpretation of this article?! Seriously, I can’t believe how defensive some of these comments are…

    “my money is just as good as yours, whether I have kids or not…the airplane is a shared space, no matter what class”

    With respect, I think you’ve perhaps missed the point slightly – Nobody resents the presence of well-behaved children on a plane. Parents just need to be considerate to the people around them and quieten down any unruly offspring of theirs as required (whichever section of the plane they are sat in), precisely because it is a ‘shared space’. That’s just common decency, surely?!

    • Sd says:

      If these people had decency and respect for others, their children wouldn’t be unruly trash. My parents had the courtesy not to have me fly until they knew I’ll probably keep my mouth shut and they would have been embarrassed to the point of blushing if I was bothering everyone around me. I assume these days being uncivilised trash makes you entitled, not ashamed.

  259. Jen says:

    I don’t think you’re despicable. I have 1 child, and I’m biased about travelling because my kid is a champ on airplanes. Like me (thank god) she looooves to sleep and the white noise of the airplane knocks her out for the duration of the flight. It’s fabulous, I love travelling with her. She’s almost 2. Have we had mishaps? Sure. She’s still in diapers, it happens. And I do think if someone pays premium prices for business class, there’s a risk that you’ll end up next to someone’s wailing baby. It sucks and I’m sorry. What I’ll add is that parents who ignore their screaming/fighting/obnoxious kids are the a-holes, not the kids. Kids are kids and they do kid things, like be loud etc since they haven’t learned how to be polite functioning members of society (though most 50 year-olds haven’t figured that out yet). I feel bad saying it, but I do think kids under age like, maybe 3, should be banned from business class. Those tickets are flipping EXPENSIVE so heck yes I’m gonna pay extra for some peace and quiet. It’s a rough debate but I definitely see your point.

  260. Donna says:

    I agree with you and I’m a mother of one. I may be a little biased though because my now 4 year old daughter has been on approx 20 flights both long haul international and domestic in her short life and never caused a problem. At home she is pretty noisy but on the plane she is a dream, she sleeps, eats, now that she’s older she watches the movies or colours in her colouring book. The only time she’s ever cried on a plane was when we went to Australia on her first flight when she was 18 months and I took her to the toilet and she freaked when I flushed it, but lets be honest, everyone hates that sound. I didn’t go back to my seat till she had calmed down a minute or so later. Since then nothing (and I cover her ears now). I don’t judge parents with small kids on planes I do however judge parents who sit there on a 12 hour flight to Singapore and let their two boys (7-10years old) fight the entire time and do nothing except say “stop it boys” every so often…

  261. MikeLee says:

    Also, I think your article has more to do about bad people, then bad kids. Kids will be kids, when they cry, something is wrong. If a parent decides to do nothing, that is the parents fault, not the kid. I’ve seen adults who behave worse than my 1 year old. 40 year olds acting like they own the plane or acting obnoxious because they have had a little too much to drink. Should we ban them too?

    • Patrick says:

      “…Also, I think your article has more to do about bad people, then bad kids…”

      This is true. I can understand when babies cry. That’s really not the issue. My problem is with kids who scream and run around unchecked, and whose parents seem to feel this is acceptable and make no efforts to quiet or control them.

      “…I’ve seen adults who behave worse than my 1 year old. 40 year olds acting like they own the plane or acting obnoxious because they have had a little too much to drink. Should we ban them too?…”

      Maybe! Did you happen to see this…

  262. MikeLee says:

    I had doubts from brining my infant to business/premium class, which is why I Googled this subject. After reading this article, I am more than comfortable doing so now. Reading this article says that you are better than me, and that because I have a kid, I belong in steerage. Well, my money is just as good as yours, whether I have kids or not. If you do not like it, feel free to charter your own private plan or book out the entire business class. Otherwise, the airplane is a shared space, no matter what class.

  263. Caroline says:

    I’m a parent of 4 including a child with autism and ADHD so I know how difficult travelling is. I would never subject an aeroplane full of people to his hyperactive behaviour so I did not fly until he was old enough to sit quietly for several hours. The behaviour of these parents beggars belief, and the lack of respect of the commentators below to a different opinion to their own is astonishing. I had always assumed business class was for business people, i.e., extra-quiet, and would never have disturbed others by taking young noisy children there. I fully agree with you – children should be banned from Business Class.

  264. doug says:

    Oh, and thanks so much for telling me exactly how I can express my opions, I bet you’re a real catch.

  265. doug says:

    You’re def. not a parent, and perhaps you we’rent even a child.. they must have grown you in some sort of lab where people can simply order an a$$hole. I would have asumed you were a useless millennial, but your dead-skin feet scream otherwise. You should join net-jets or buy a little private plane, then it could be just you up there in the wild blue yonder. Until then, learn compassion, get some excersize or compression socks or some sun on your dying feet.

  266. Lola says:

    Patrick don’t disrespect first off yes I know how to spell you know not one thing about me ok bunny,that was my opinion on how I would react I don’t have kids but it’s just my opinion,second what do you mean by invading your privacy and space am laughing so hard if you are on a and a baby is also on that plane the baby cries,right there the baby is invading your space and privacy,please think before you write

  267. Lola says:

    I work for a airline and no there will be no banning of infant in class or first class, parents should be allowed to travel where ever they comfortable with there kids just because you guys don’t have kids that why you guys have so much negative things to say am sure if u guys had kids u would be saying dis if I was a passenger traveling with kids and you come to be and tell me o controller my kids I would difficult spit in your face

    • Patrick says:

      So, do I understand this correctly? If your kids were out of control and bothering other people, and somebody asked you to control those kids, you would spit in that person’s face? Really? If you did that, you would be arrested for assault. What makes you feel that you have the right to invade other people’s space and privacy, and then assault those people if they take offense? Is it your status as a PARENT that makes you feel that way? What kind of demented parent would think that way? I want you to think for a few minutes about how obnoxious your comment was. Also, learn how to spell. “Dis” is not a word.

    • jC the man says:

      Really. You work for a airline. Hard to take you seriously if you don’t work for an airline

  268. Traderjj says:

    There are also some adults that should be banned, like those that take their socks off and shove their where they don’t belong.

  269. Traderjj says:

    Jab an ice puck into each ear, preferably the kids’, but your own if you just can’t take it anymore.

  270. Traderjj says:

    Use a damn sedative on your damn kids! I hate parents like you, especially the ones that think every damn moment is a damn teaching moment. F you!

  271. Alice says:

    As an avid traveller and now a mother of three young children I’ve experienced this from both sides. Before having kids I remember that sinking feeling when the piercing cries of a baby start up in the middle of the night, mentally shooting daggers at the mother for not doing something to shut them up. As a mother I now know that sometimes no matter what you do, small babies will sometimes just cry and you can’t make them stop. You jiggle them, walk with them, feed them, shush them, pat them, to no avail. They are not being ‘naughty’ or badly behaved, that’s how they communicate. It’s mortifying. You’re totally aware of the amount of noise they are making and how everyone else on board must hate you. And worse than this, you feel sick because you know there will be no sleep for you and that tomorrow you still have to take care of your kids all day, on no rest whatsoever, without a break. On the rare occasions I now travel without my kids (bliss) I can’t tell you how much I enjoy it, and if I hear a screaming child in another row it doesn’t bother me because I know I can stick earplugs in and ignore it as it’s someone else’s problem. Having said all this, there are many things parents can do to help keep their kids quiet on board. With older kids it’s all about keeping them entertained. Parents who fail bring a bag of stuff for them to colour in/play with get bored and unruly kids. For babies, feeding on take off and landing helps avoid sore ears. Hope this helps someone.


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  273. If surely one is going to fly, they would need their peace of mind. Be it business or economy class, the class may not matter. Everyone wants to enjoy. However, it may be difficult to control kids especially in long hours flights. They become restless and noisy. Sometimes, people wish they could be in a position to travel by private jets especially if they had their kids. It would relief the stress that comes along with kids in flights.

  274. Agathe says:

    Screaming babies in long hours flight, is extremely annoying. I fly often more than 10 hours every few months for work, only in economy class to save the cost. It doesn’t mean that I must suffer irritating baby noise all the time. Parents should be responsible of their kids behavior when they bring them in public places like planes. How about giving them cough syrup or other soft remedies to calm them down? Not a bad idea. I think it’s very selfish when parents justify their kids right to scream and annoy other people convenience just because everyone deserves to know that their babies are cute.

  275. Jo says:

    The point is this. It’s called for a business class for a reason
    For people who are traveling for Business
    and need to rest. You pay money to attain
    the stated objective – children under 5 should
    not be permitted in business class. Children
    present in business class detract from the
    paid value.
    1. Wait to your children are older
    2. Choose for first class I know it’s not always
    there but thats just tough.
    Finally people should respect the hard working
    people who sacrifice their time to earn s living

  276. Kay says:


    I actually found this article because I google if toddlers were allowed in business class – as I have a toddler, not that I can afford b-class, I was just wondering as I freak out about long haul flights I’m going to make in the next six months.

    Anyways, you totally deserve to have some peace in business class. Even in economy you should have as much peace as possible. As a mum who’s flown about 20 international flights (albeit most short), I will die trying to keep my child quiet if he needs it – even tried breastfeeding once even though he was weaned!

    Anyways, parents who can afford to take their 6 kids in business class, belong in a class of people, where perhaps they are not forced by economic or social constraints to be considerate of people. So, sadly, your pleas will fall on deaf ears, because they don’t care about anyone but themselves.

  277. Vivian says:


  278. Vivian says:

    I absolutely agree with you. People pay a lot for business class plane tickets. They pay for a better quality experience, and should NEVER have to put up with the utter irritation of undisciplined children under the hands of disrespectful parents who think that just because they popped out these little humans, then that gives them the right to ruin everyone else’s flight.

  279. Mark says:

    What a drama Queen! Decent business class will offer you a noise canceling headphones or you can buy one for let’s say 500 dollars,

    The wine might help as well, kids should be able to travel as they like, they are our future…,

  280. Michael says:

    The problem with this theory here is that you are all presenting this as if your money is better than anyone else’s? The real situation is very simple. If you have the resources to purchase Premium Cabin tickets for your family then that is your prerogative. It is no different than someone of say, lesser means, purchasing an economy ticket and having a screaming child next to them. I am biased as I only fly First/Business with my family, but frankly, I do not feel as if someone should be aggrieved because a child is in the same cabin as them. Money spends the same and brings about the same privileges regardless of who it is being spent on!

  281. Somya says:

    Funny, I came across this blog when I am planning to fly with my infant in business class on trans Atlantic flight. Of course, I am pretty nervous about it and wondering about the “looks” in the craft. I have been on your side before and remember saying that kids should be banned in business class…lol. How things change after having kids :).

    I think one option is to create a separate section for families with kids. If it is not full then hand those seats out for slightly cheaper price to others. So people know what they are getting into before purchasing the tickets.

    Good luck for your next flight and hopefully you won’t travel when I do with my infant :).

  282. sarah says:

    At last someone who shares my views. Totally relate to everything you say. Why should we pay thousands to be disturbed by entitled parents and their unruly kids? If I decided to sit yodelling at the top of my voice, I’d be told to be quiet.

  283. Elizabeth says:

    Why don’t the airlines just issue a caveat to parents when they buy tickets? Or all passengers really. “If you or your kids misbehave in first or business we reserve the right to remove you to economy.” Parents sign a waiver to this effect. Kids are warned point blank when they come on board. Then after one warning in flight offending parties are removed. In the case of kids it would have to be the entire group including parents. Well-behaved individuals from economy can take their place. Easy. Same for badly behaved kids/adults in the membership airport lounges. “This is the behaviour we expect. Shape up or ship out.” After all, badly behaved passengers can be banned from flying. Let’s face it, any parent getting kicked out of business or first would think twice about risking it again. Might make them control their kids better. And if they kick up a stink about being bumped point out an indefinite flight ban is possible too.
    Babies are trickier. I feel only pain and sympathy for the parent of a stressed baby. You might have to suck that one up.

  284. Laney Smith says:

    Patrick I completely understand where you are coming from. I’ve certainly done my time on the airplane with unruly kids.

    I REFUSE to fly coach with my son. Why? I can afford to fly first class. Why would I relegate myself to the back to please people who I don’t care for and care nothing for me.

    However, unless you are in you personal private jet, you will be continue to be subject to children on airplanes.


  285. Leo says:

    To be frank. I don’t care. Take the first class buddy. Or for that matter take a private plane. Business is now normal class for many many people. I take my kids all the time across the Atlantic or Pacific in business since they were like one year old. Those who give me the look, I look back. Kids cry and quiet down. Crying kids is their language that some thing is wrong. Misbehaving. That’s a different ballgame. Now someone here said banning below age 9 years. There are some kids who are 10 but misbehave. Age is no definite answer for behavior. I have seen drunk 40 years old act crazy.

  286. Flyer says:

    The Airlines have already sold the tickets and got their money, so why should they care if you are bothered?. Maybe someone will get mad enough one day to just get up and grab the crying kids, stomp their brains out and throw the bloody bodies back to the parents. And say to the parents while smiling, ” No more problems, I fixed your crying kid for you. Now we can all have a nice day.” If this were to happens a few times, then maybe, people would find another way to get their kids to where they are going. And not impose their noisy children on others.
    For the guilty parents who read this. Remember, it will be your fault when it happens and that their life was your loss. And don’t say, ” But you can’t control what a baby dose.” because people will say, ” But you can’t control what a crazy person dose either.”

  287. GodricGryffindor says:

    You are right in some cases but 9 & up shouldn’t be banned from first class and why? Because they are more mature and won’t be screaming but I know what you mean.

  288. Mark says:

    Totally agree with the article, but have to say that the only way to avoid this problem is using effective noise cancelling headphones. It doesn’t matter what part of the aircraft you’re sitting in, kids will always be around you. I find my headphones, coupled with the engine noise block out the majority of noise.

  289. Becca says:

    I can’t really comment on long haul flights, but I can say that lack of parenting on any flight can really make you see red. I understand that infants and young babies will cry, and I always have headphones to cancel out noise. The real issue is when kids affect your personal space.
    I was on a flight last year where a 3 year old pitched a tantrum for the entire 2.5 hr flight, and made his presence known to me by kicking the back of my seat FOR THE ENTIRE FLIGHT. I turned around several times and asked him to stop. I asked his mother to stop him. The flight attendant asked him to stop. And guess what? The anxious looking mother said nothing to her child. By the time we arrived at the gate, my hands were shaking from the urge to strangle this kid’s mother. I left quickly, as a didn’t want to cause a scene and get banned from flying Delta.
    I travel very frequently for business, and while I don’t have children of my own, I do feel compassion for parents of infants and small children who are in distress. I find ways to handle screaming and crying, but kicking my seat the entire flight? Unacceptable. If you are too afraid to control your kids on a flight, you shouldn’t fly with them. Period.

  290. Kuldeep singh says:

    I just want to say that I agree with the writer above on his thoughts. I have gone through the grind of travelling with kids (of my own) and its hardly a relaxing trip. However, when I travel business, I kind of expect some comfort but mainly relaxation time to catch up on work or just relax! Is that a lot to expect from airlines for paying 2-4 times the economy fare? I think not. Parents nowadays get easily offended if anyone merely mentions the phrase- can u do something? your kids are out of control.they get insecure and threatened. They then almost always say or mean to imply that- they have paid for their kids seats and the phrase again and gain – THEY ARE JUST KIDS. Oh C’mon, I know that but at least try to control them. They dont even try. The middle-eastern airlines are even worse if you are stuck with one the arrogant Arab families and their useless women who dont even bother to bat a lid if their child is crying. The maid in tow seems to do little more than to surrender to each and every of the kids demands. Its become appalling nowadsys; Business travel does not guarantee you relaxation

  291. Mickey says:

    There will always be good and bad parenting, and always be well and poorly behaved adults. Money talks when it is spent, but not when it isn’t. Although airlines may ignore poorly behaved passengers because they’re getting $5000 a seat to endure that passenger’s tantrums, they won’t notice when you book another airline unless you say so. Speak up every time a kid behaves badly, OR a drunk adult yells into their cell phone. Only by you letting them know what their paying customers feel will rules bend to that democracy.

  292. BillB says:

    Patrick –

    Forgive me returning to this contentious topic, but I thought that this story was worth sharing:

    This was a shameful example where showering the parents with abusive language and demanding that they “shut that child up” ended up with a sick child in hospital.

    A Scot named Ian MacLaren wrote in the 1890s “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” At the risk of sounding insufferably pious, may I make a plea for kindness and tolerance, even in Business Class ?


  293. Patrick says:

    What didn’t happen?

  294. Reality says:

    Yeah right. This didn’t happen, keep patting yourself on the back.

  295. Tragoudi Arpa says:

    In the old days, it was not uncommon for parents to give babies and kids cough syrup with codeine in it so that the cranky ones would sleep more while travelling. Pet owners can go to veterinarians and get sleeping pills for pets to calm them when travelling with pets. I’m not necessarily in favor of drugging “healthy” kids, but something needs to be done to calm down the little darlings especially in confined spaces, and if cough syrup helps, I think it could be beneficial to everyone’s sanity.

    There really is no reason for everyone around kids to be suffering shrieking and screaming just because kids are kids. Doesn’t matter how much money was paid for seats. Kids need to behave and be trained to behave. That doesn’t work for little babies/pre-toddlers but it needs to be worked on for everyone else.

  296. Hey Dave,

    Will you and your kids please shut up!

  297. Bob B says:

    Sorry you’re getting hate mail on this issue. But one thing: the picture you’re using to introduce this thread shows one of your fellow human beings in distress, and you’re using this as a symbol of something that annoys you. This gets under my skin. And certainly distracts from the issue.

  298. Wol says:

    >>Noise Canceling Headsets<<

    It's the envelopment that cuts the noise of yelling. Noise cancelling phones can only use a repeating sound as data to cancel out, such as the drone of engines. Intermittent sounds don't cancel as well.

  299. Wol says:

    Here’s an example of the entitlement syndrome in today’s Daily telegraph:

    It’s apparently everyone’s fault but the parents of noisy children.

  300. CAMERON W BECK says:

    As a fellow pilot–tho not at yr exalted leve– feel your aural pain, yes I do.

    Let me make a deal w/you: If I give you a sure-fire (at least for me) “work-around on bawlin babies, could you give a couple of titles on INTERESTING flights? Not just Tenerifes etc. A flight where something remarkable happened. “Gimli Glider” stories.

    I’d be grateful it you’d steer me toward a book or author..

    So we have a deal? Great! Here you are, my friend, your Days of Sound & Fury are over”

    Noise Canceling Headsets

    There are many out there, but the best is Bose. For one thing their sets ENVELOPE the ear and that is very important. I switched w/a guy on one flight. His were sit-on-th-ear type. Useless. You need TOTAL ENVELOPMENT.

    Does BratSKreech penetrate. A very little. And that finger nail on black board”edge” is knocked off. You”re aware a sound is out there. These headset also knock down the slip stream roar. You can plug them into the plane’s entertainment system Trust me: you’ll love them..

    Interesting flights…?

    Interesting column. Thanks!

  301. Wol says:

    I am afraid that it is part of the world we now live in: entitled parents who have never thought to bring up their children. Many just ignore them and carry on with their mobile games.

    You should not have to put up with a constant racket, whether from children or drunken adults, in economy, business or first.

    But just look at the mess that many passengers leave around their seats – that shows what we have become.

  302. Wol says:

    >>Can’t they build a section on a planes for families with kids that has extra sound insulation?<<

    I believe it's called "The wing". Not sure about the sound insulation, though.

  303. dave houston says:

    Can’t they build a section on a planes for families with kids that has extra sound insulation?

  304. Infrequent Flyer says:

    I should have included in my initial response- My heart goes out to the moms & dads who do everything they can to encourage quiet children on flights! And to moms who nurse their children far longer than they normally would to keep them quiet. I hate how distressed good parents can get when there’s nothing they can do. And, sometimes with babies & toddlers, despite every trick in the book, there’s nothing one can do. I genuinely am all for families and believe that children should be treated with love and respect.

    The issue of kids in F & B classes is a tricky one; and a great topic for debate! And, (among everything else) this thread contained some creative ideas.

    The issue really isn’t with the kids who are genuinely (and for a brief time), in distress. The issue lies with the parents who willfully allow their kids to (what used to be called) “misbehave” in public– and holds even more weight, in a tube, where no one can walk away. Distress and inconsideration are two very different beasts. Flights are a time for parents to fully engage with their children and a rare occasion to pull out all stops (use treats, pre-teaching, extra screen time, presents, games, incentives, etc.) in service of making the journey tolerable for all. And, for older children, in-flight compliance is made all the easier when the kids are already accustomed to adhering when parents ultimately give a stern instruction. Manners only help insure that our kids will be well-liked.

  305. JB says:

    I have like others flown business class with my one child, often to disapproving stares. We have often then been congratulated on how well behaved our son has been. When he was 12 weeks old he slept the whole way between Sydney and Los Angeles. I flew business class before I had a child, and even then, did not notice all these loud disruptive children.

    I have been more disturbed by intoxicated adults.

    I mainly fly Qantas but also United and Singapore Airlines

  306. Miranda says:

    I understand that children so scream and make lots of noise, but you as the parent have the responsibility to look after that child and do everything within your power to stop the commotion. In case you didn’t know, there are other people on the plane who have paid top dollar for their tickets and don’t want to be disturbed.

    Saying something like “oh they’re kids, what are you going to do?” is not a valid excuse to ruin the experience for other people.

  307. Bob Chancellor says:

    Many years ago, my family was booked on a flight from LAX to Hilo. We had 4 children under age 7 and were enroute to reassignment in Japan. Unfortunately, there was a large tourist group on the same flight and those pax had chosen all the aisle and window seats, probably by their travel agent. We were assigned six scattered middle seats. I objected to the United agent that we were a family traveling together. “Can’t help you,” he said. My response was that I would show each kid where the call button was and encourage them to call the crew often. We were all six quickly upgraded to a set of six seats in first class,

  308. Alex says:

    I am absolutely with you on this one. I too pay my business class trips out of my own pocket and as such can do so very rarely. And I think I do have the right for a comfortable flight – and this in parts means undisturbed – flight.

    I also agree that what puts me off most are parents that don’t care. For them it seems to be normal that their kids misbehave. And if you ask them to control their kids, you’re looked at as if you’re not from this world.

    This brings me, however, to a different point which – from my point of view – is directly related: adults that don’t care if they are disturbing fellow passengers. What I am talking about is phone conversations, of course. Some call the Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt the most sophisticated lounge in the world. For me it is the most luxurious Call Center. They have work cubicles – that nobody ever uses. Instead people just seem to think it is ok to yell into phones while sitting in a relax chair – next to other relax chairs. Of course not a lot of relaxing going on there. Within an hour or so I brought to bed kids that aren’t mine, solved a business partners problem that isn’t mine, made (or lost) money that isn’t mine and solved (or not) a marital crisis.
    And if that wasn’t bad enough: now more and more people think it is ok to use Skype on the tablet – with the loudspeaker turned up full.

    People, I am not interested in all of this.

    And: me being quiet does not disturb anybody, you being noisy does!

  309. Hilton says:

    Civiliasation is, well, civil isation. The ability to be well behaved in public. Parents can instil this by taking home obnoxious children half-way through a McDonald’s birthday party or a long awaited Disney movie. This is not repression, it is an education in consideration for others. As if.

  310. Infrequent Flyer says:

    Hi Patrick,

    I think you’re in the clear with your article. You wrote with honesty and humor. You weren’t unkind. You didn’t speak to the parents on the planes impolitely. Your article didn’t include hateful undertones or innuendos about children or parents, at large. You made a clear distinction between the unavoidable occurrence of babies crying versus older children shrieking and screaming (i.e. misbehaving). Aside from shrieking/ screaming being annoying, these behaviors are alarming. Listeners’ first reactions are visceral, as we jump to the conclusion that something’s wrong. While this behavior shouldn’t be normalized anywhere, it should, in particular be prohibited or diminished on planes, where there is no escape for the imposed-upon parties.

    My uneducated guesses as to the reasons behind the aggressive responses you received– A measure of guilt on the part of parents? Defensiveness? A tendency to over-generalize what is read, or to personalize material not intended to be?

    Or, perhaps respondents were reared after the ’60’s and ’70’s. Those of us raised back then tend to have been raised by somewhat authoritative parents (note, I did not say, authoritarian, which implies a dictatorship).
    Politeness and concern for others in our midst were traits actively taught as per cultural parenting norms of that day and age. Disruptive behavior was not considered “cute”, acceptable, or something to be dismissed.

    Your writing-style & form is a pleasure to read!

  311. Jim Houghton says:

    It was a long time before movie theaters started running cards (and sometimes even short info-films) reminding people of the need to stay silent during the film out of consideration for others. Not only did this change in policy result in a few people actually heeding the appeal, but it empowered theater-goers to speak up. If you ask someone to please stop talking, minus the theater-provided admonition, you’re a fuss-budget to be ignored — or maybe punched in the nose. If, however, you’re merely reminding an offender that there are rules in effect, then you’re on the side of the angels.

    Long way of saying, in addition to showing us how to buckle a seat-belt, perhaps the cabin attendants can add “If you’re traveling with small children, will you please shut the little fucker or fuckers up so other people can get what they paid for — as quiet and relaxing a flight as possible? Your cooperation is much appreciated.”

  312. Anonymous says:

    I won’t fly cattle long haul I don’t work as hard as I do to do that so my kids fly business too… And sometimes they scream. A plane is after all an air bus its public transport. You pay for the more comfortable seat and the ‘better’ food not peace and quiet… This is exactly what the flight attendant said to me when my 2 year old screamed continually for 8 hours on an over night from Miami to Manchester … Did I feel bad about it? Yes, would it have been better in cattle? Hell no is just’ expectations upset 3 times as many people.

  313. Dave says:

    I guess you will have to buy yourself a plan and fly it yourself. Please give me a break, I have had adults annoying as well during flights. Kids are kids and babies are babies.

  314. Rachael Tate says:

    I fly business class with my five year old. It’s so much better especially with Emirates. They have about 70 Disney movies, she has a bed which doesn’t involve wriggling around on top of me for 16 hours and I barely hear a peep out of her for the flight. It’s a huge treat for her to get to watch so much television. I’ve never experienced the kids running up the aisle in business class so maybe you hit a few really child friendly routes? I’d hate that too. Parents should absolutely be expected to ensure their kids stay seated and quiet throughout the flight. Babies are a little more difficult sadly. I’d probably wind up breastfeeding the whole flight to keep them quiet then get complained at for that. On one leg of a recent flight I woke to find one of the cabin staff walking a one year old quietly up and down the aisle to entertain him for the parents which I thought was great because it prevented boredom squalling. I don’t want to have to ride economy all the time, it’s uncomfortable and loud and I should get rewarded with business class for raising my daughter to understand that planes are not an appropriate place to run around and be loud!

  315. LennyT says:

    I could not agree with you more, Patrick. I had a similar experience a few weeks ago on an Emirates A380 service from Bangkok to DXB. It started in the excellent Emirates lounge almost exactly as you describe and carried on to the aircraft. Fortunately it was more than a little bumpy (monsoon season) for the first half of the flight and the mother gave them a bucket of dramamine (or was it Calpol laced with vodka… 😉 and peace ensued.

    Other commentators have it right though – this is mostly down to how children are raised and taught the basics of good manners and appropriate behaviour, especially in public places. Too many parents these days simply don’t seem to care. That said, I would certainly favour airlines with restrictions on children in premium classes, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon, unfortunately.

  316. Olly says:

    I think the corollary should be examined: the more expensive the seat the more quiet you are “entitled” to aka all screaming children should fly economy.
    There is no way to distinguish between well behaved children and bad ones. Therefore until there is a way it is very assumptive to just throw them all back to economy. Why should a family that can afford it and choose to fly business class be forced to fly economy? For that matter, why should the economy passengers have to put up with it anymore than business? The fact a larger seat and better meal is paid for is the contract…nothing else. I always get a whiff of “those were the days” from this site and, in my humble opinion, this may get to the core of it. Those that think that business class is still luxury and everyone should still wear a tie to fly probably also hearken back to a time when business class was out of the reach of everyone except businessmen. Air travel is just a way of getting from A-B. Albeit a spectacular one. If someone wants to have more space and better food for them and their children then good for them.
    I’ll put headphones in if a child is screaming and hope that good karma means someone will do that if my child decides to have a scream. It happens sometimes.
    Presumably if more money entitles one to a quieter cabin then any screaming children in First should be demoted to Business Class. After all, those business class passengers didn’t pay as much :o)

  317. BillB says:

    Patrick –

    This is of course a painfully emotive subject, so I’m hesitant to add anything that might be remotely flammable. I have certainly been among those at the gate offering up the Frequent Flyers’ Prayer: “Please, please may I be spared the crying baby on this 16-hour flight”.

    But I’m not sure that Blaming the Parents – and making cutting remarks, eye-rolling or sighing – is very helpful. On the occasions that I have been the Parent (even if not with a howling baby in Business), I’ve been acutely aware of the need to keep my kids under control and horribly embarrassed if they make a noise, bang the seat back in front of them or otherwise make a disturbance.

    Herein lies the paradox; the more anxious the parents become, the worse the children are likely to behave. With this in mind, I always try to focus on lowering the emotional stakes by saying to myself “They’re not Bad Parents, they’re Anxious Flyers and glaring at them is not helping”. If their toddler is hitting the back of my seat I play peek-a-boo through the gap; if their baby is crying I try to distract them with the seat back card.

    Does it work ? Well, sometimes the kids are amused, the Bad Parents feel less anxious and it always makes me feel better.

    Apologies if this makes me sounds rather saintly and selfless – the reality is exactly the reverse. But I know that giving into my immediate rage-filled impulses is likely to make the situation worse not better.


  318. Silence says:

    I thought parents’ failure to control their children or teach them manners was an entitled Stoke Newington (London) phenomenon.

    Putin Sr’s sockless feet say it all: “fuck you, this is my living room”.

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if these mannerless idiots would entitle themselves to a private plane?

  319. Disgraceful says:

    Mums say nothing to the children because they cannot control them. Most are dumped in day care from when they are born so mum has no responsibility and teaches them nothing. If she says boo she is likely to get a hit across the face or told off in no uncertain terms. There is no such thing as manners or discipline with a lot of mothers that is why so much happens to children these days drowning in pools, killed in driveways or on the road or falling out of windows or disappearing from home as mums idea is never say No but crocodile tears are shed if anything happens. A caring mother does not have this type of child.

  320. JAMBrooklyn says:

    Ok–So I have the privilege of a lot of frequent flyer miles and some disposable income. My husband is of a certain age and flying coach is physically really hard on him. As a result, we periodically fly business class with my two kids. We started when my oldest was 10 months old, a sleeper and perpetually happy–when he turned 16 months and irritable, I vowed no more until he was rationale. Back to business when my kids were 6 and 4 on a flight in which I made it very clear they would be sent to coach if they did not behave. That threat has continued to work miracles. On one flight back from Istanbul in business class on a United 777, THEY complained about some unruly kids who were playing music and goofing around loudly. They appreciate the refined atmosphere as much as any adult. You may assume I am blind and actually they are hated, but I assure you I have often been pleased to receive the best complement I could receive from other passengers and staff: “I didn’t even realize there were kids in here.” It is on the parents and I have NO problem giving flight attendants the right to move unruly passengers (including drunken adults) to the back of the plane (space being the biggest problem on today’s full flights).

  321. Scott says:

    I agree with you, that when you pay for a premium seat there is an expectation of comity. If a man gets drunk and becomes obnoxious he is removed from the plane at the first opportunity occasionally including unscheduled stops. Maybe this should also apply to families. Unfortunately, parents these days simply do not manage their children. I might suggest the airlines consider a separate higher fee for children under the age of five, and a fine for parents should their children generate any complaints on the plane. An alternative might be to have a limited number of seats for children or families with children in a specific area of the plane with slightly more legroom, places for basinettes and other child devices. If the airlines cannot or will not accomodate, then maybe they should be barred from offering premium class service. There are after all plenty of low budget carriers out there who do not. Unfortunately, for those traveling international long-haul, there are no real options other than air.

  322. Hey,
    I had that same “whack a mole” experience last week with KLM. You know, the 8 month old with his head popping up over the privacy divider, drooling over your side, spilling your drinks and throwing his (or his parents) food all over the place. I’m sorry people, the author is right, the little people have no place in the premium cabin.
    The thing I don’t get is this: Why don’t the parents do a little bit of research on how to keep the kids peaceful on the flight. I mean, they know that everyone dreads sitting beside these tiny tornadoes, why don’t they save themselves some embarrassment and Google how to keep the tiny terrors quiet. And why do they think, that just because they paid more than the people in cattle class that they have a right to expose us all to the same decibels as a heard of cattle.
    We all need to fight this and rather than wasting time complaining after the flight, we need to state clearly at check in every time we fly in the premium cabin that we expect peace and quiet and we do not want children disturbing us. When the family arrives with the cabbage patch, we need to let out an audible groan and give them the stink eye/ dirty looks / snicker or my personal favorite, the old “no, no way, this is not happening, please, for the love of God don’t be sitting near me.” If we all do that every time we fly business/first – hell I even do it in coach – these selfish parents will get the message and consider driving overseas until the kid starts shaving.

  323. Jessica says:

    This is an interesting article. I have travelled with my children since they were babies in first / business and economy. I have to say, I adopt the same ethos on aircraft as I do in a restaurant. I expect my children to behave considerately. I do believe that it is not an age issue, but dare I say it a parental discipline / respect for others issue? We recently travelled home from Cape Verde and whilst it was a basic Thomson flight, it was not a cheapy holiday. However a family saw fit to use the seat pocket for a dirty nappy and allowed the baby to continually smack the head rest of the person in front. I don’t think I would have been brave enough to challenge them based on their aggressive language to each other! I guess you will never be able to choose who you travel with regardless of the class of your ticket or the destination to which you travel regardless of the cost (for me it was like coming home from Benidorm), you just have to hope it’s with those who are considerate to their fellow passengers regardless of their age.

  324. paul says:

    “Asiana is a five-time SkyTrax winner and is considered by many to be a top-tier carrier.” Also, their pilots don’t know a stick from a rudder nor do they look out the window, as evidenced at SFO not too long ago.

    “Experience two: There’s a lot to like in Emirates business class.” Emirates, that’s that airline that relies on modern day slavery for most of their manual labor. You know: import poor South Asians, take away their passports, stuff ’em 10 to a room in barracks, don’t let them go home and see their families for 2 years, and pay them a pittance for doing back-breaking work.

    I know, this has nothing to do with screaming kids. But I just couldn’t help it. Passengers claim ignorance in these matters, but pro pilots really shouldn’t.

    A little more on-subject: I have it on good authority that asking a wealthy Russian to please shut up his kids can land you in a hospital for several days.

  325. Devon says:

    I’m a mom of 2 little ones and I hate the sound of screaming kids including my own… so I hear you …but I would add this: there are just as many rude, disruptive, tranquility-wrecking ADULTS out there in the traveling public so I don’t know if banning babies from business class is going to ensure a peaceful flight up front. I have been on flights with adults exhibiting disgusting and/or loud behavior including incessant burping, clipping toenails, coughing and spitting into a cup, non-stop snorting of nasal secretions, singing out loud from wheels-up to final descent. The fact is that even though you pay a lot of money for business class, you are still using public transportation and all that comes with it. You never know what you’re gonna get but I think I’d take an innocent crying baby over loud and poorly-mannered adults who should know better any day. Then I’d find the closest spa resort where peaceful pampering are guaranteed!

    • Patrick says:

      Thank you for the comment. I am no less tolerant of obnoxious grown-ups than I am of obnoxious kids, and I agree with your basic point. However, the idea that there are “just as many” rude and disruptive adults is ridiculous. I would estimate there are easily five-hundred shrieking kids for every ONE offensive adult. A walk through any busy terminal nowadays, on any given day, will bear this out. Kids are definitely cuter than adults, and they don’t dress as stupidly. But no way, except in fairly rare circumstances, are they quieter!

  326. Linda says:

    Having flown with very young children before, I was interested in your articles. My youngest daughter was 11 weeks old when she took her first flight from LHR to Sydney with her 19 month old sister, father and of course – me. We travelled Business Class (I paid). As we trooped down to our seats at the front of the cabin, I heard the disapproving murmurs, dirty looks, disgusted sighs and felt terrible – although having said that, looking at them I’d say none of them had paid for their seats. Anyway, as I intended, I ensured that for the entire journey my babes were well looked after, and occupied when they were awake. So much so that there was more ‘noise’ coming from some of the suited passengers than from our little patch. At the end of the flight we rose from our seats, gathered our many belongings and babies and waited for the other passengers to disembark. Imagine my surprise when one suited man came towards me holding out a beautiful boxed pen with the explanation that he and the other passengers so appreciated my efforts to keep my children quiet that they had a whip-round, and as the airline had run out of perfume – they decided to go for the pen as a lasting memory of appreciation. And we were actually clapped as we went down the aisle. So, it can be done. It took exhausting effort. Happy to say my two now grown up daughters, fly everywhere around the world with their broods with the same ethos.

  327. peter says:

    worst of all are howling kids in economy, you have no idea how stressful that is on top of being cramped, so count yourself lucky.
    I wear the best earplugs I can get to drown out sound, the cheap foam ones free on the plane are not the best type( the orange 3m foam are poor, the best ones are the moldex spark on amazon) . On top of those put the noise cancelling phones. I cant wear the noise cancelling ones on bare ears as the loud antiphase sound makes my ears really hurt, even though they appear silent. Otherwise I agree you are listening out for every sound and it gets very annoying.
    Two layers of protection mean kids are not an issue.

  328. PSimpson says:

    I hear you, and, to some extent, sympathise. But, from a parent’s point of view, first class offers the slightly higher probablility that the child will sleep. But, probably not. They did pay for the seat (but not the privilege of making everyone else miserable), though.

    My solution? a 10 cent pair of foam earplugs. I carry them in my toilet bag, in my carryon. Several pairs. Even better, is the new in-ear Bose noise canceling headphones. They don’t seem to block human voices (by design? so you can hear the announcements?) but they do take the edge off both the turbine noise (which I find gives me a pounding headache) and the kids screaming. Your mileage may vary, but it works for me. I had a kid screaming his/her head off on my last flight from Seattle to Boston, and stepped off the plane in good spirits, thanks to those Bose phones — worth every penny!

    Airlines could make a fortune selling bags of those earplugs inflight 🙂

  329. Dan OBrien says:

    This is just how it is. All a premium ticket entitles you to these days is physical comfort. You stand the same chance of being exposed to all kinds of inconsiderate behavior as you do in any other part of the plane, with the possible exception of the flight deck.

    In the world outside of the airplane cabin, you at least have the possibility of creating some space around you. For example, you can exit that child-filled business-class airport lounge and find a nice quiet bathroom where people are generaly behaving well. But in an airplane humans are concentrated together with no possibility of escape for hours at a time. I think this lack of options, this sense of imprisonment, is what makes it so utterly unbearable. A tiny bit of physical separation and an un-kickable seat back are all you can count on, and in this new world those are the luxuries you pay for.

    This is the world we live in. Only the very wealthy have any expectation of being treated well all the time. The rest of us must console ourselves that a world that more open and accessible to all is also a world where bad behavior is inescapable.

  330. Hébert Bourguignon says:

    100% agree with your post. Paid for business class on three flights over the past two years. On the most recent flight I found myself in much the same predicament you describe so well above. This has become a rather disturbing trend. Certainly makes me wary to book business class again on my own dime. Part of this has been driven by an ever shrinking seat pitch (and seat size in some cases) in economy which forces families who want a bit more space to splurge on business class.

    And yes, even the business class lounges, which were once a relaxing oasis have become little more than high-end child pre-flight daycare!

  331. Richard says:

    Couldn’t disagree more. It’s annoying when kids are noisy – anywhere. First class, economy class, trains, shops, the street. But kids are a part of life (and this is from someone who, at the moment at least, doesn’t ever want to have any).

    Parents should of course be trying to keep their kids as quiet as possible on planes – in ANY cabin – but sometimes you cannot keep a baby or toddler quiet. It happens, it can make your flight annoying. If you’ve paid for first class, you can afford noise cancelling headphones. Put them on, watch a movie, and get over yourself.

    In particular I don’t see any reason why first class and economy class should have a distinction on that front. A lot of people can only just afford to travel in economy – much less than plenty of people who upgrade can afford to travel in business or first – so why are they less entitled to a quiet trip than someone else?

  332. Wendy jo gunkel says:

    I agree, NO BABIES or children under 5 allowed in first class.. I have 4 children and I would never fly them in first class. First class passengers pay a great deal for their that seat in first class. The whole point in flying first class is to be AWAY from the babies and the loud obnoxious children. Parents who allow their kids to fly and act up in first class SHAME ON YOU!!!!! go to economy seating. Airlines need to BAN babies and young children from first class, that should never change..

  333. JBrook says:

    I have an idea that would keep screaming kids from disturbing everyone while allowing parents to travel in first/business class with them if they so choose: separate the aircraft into child and child-free sections, similar to how restaurants used to have smoking and no-smoking sections.

    People flying with children would be required to purchase a seat in the child section and would not be allowed into the child-free section. The two sections could be separated by a simple curtain on narrowbody aircraft, but, for maximum sound containment, would be on separate decks on multi-deck aircraft such as the A380 or 747. The upper deck (or a portion of it) could be designated the child section. Each section would have both first/business and coach class seats, which would let everyone — with or without child — to have the type of seat of his choosing. This way, there is no way to claim discrimination. If you want to fly in first with a toddler, you can do so, as long as you’re surrounded by other toddlers.

    In addition to preserving the peace onboard, this would achieve two other major goals:
    1. It would encourage parents to control their children. Only by doing their share of controlling their own kids will these parents be able to experience any semblance of sanity on the flight.
    2. It would discourage people flying with kids from booking on any airline that implemented this system. That means it’s less likely to even have any kids at all.

  334. MLee says:

    As a mother of two I both agree and disagree with you. Parents should absolutely parent their children. It is extremely difficult as a mother to see other moms simply look away as their children act honor bound to cause as much destruction as possible. It is your job as a parent to teach your children the social norms of shared space. That being said, parents paying $1000(s) to fly their children business/first class have also paid the fare. I would absolutely abhor to fly with my littles in economy (dear god, please no) so I pay the fee for the same space and quiet as the other travelers. There are times babies cry and toddlers (sadly and children old enough to know better) act in a way that is disturbing to others…It is unavoidable 100% of the time. Not to say it is not still the parent’s responsibility. But sadly, I think this all comes down to simply that. A feeling of entitlement and lack of personal responsibility. Because in truth the adults that act with this lack of concern for others are the flyers that you hate with out their children as well.

  335. J says:

    I am a mother of a 2 and half year old, he is very polite and everyone wishes they had a kid like mine, but alas… one day before he can fully speak sentences only words he started to scream.. scream when I can’t understand him, scream when he wants something he already got and cant have more, or just because he is testing his lungs. I really want to raise a good honest man in this child, polite and with great manners, and when we have to fly in a 10 hour flight which we have done twice and believe it or not while I was panicking if he would cry for whatever reason, we even got congratulated of how a well behaved baby we have. Now that he is a toddler I am terrified that he might scream in the long flight, I am terrified that people would think that I dont correct him remember he is two and half now, and that I try to put my best ‘smile’ as if nothing is happening while he screams for something he wants. I am educating him and cant give in to his whims that has a price, and that price is screaming. I just hope that if I ever travel in the same plane as you are that you could understand that I want to cry even harder than he does, out of not knowing how to change this education that I am trying to give my child, I want to cry when people look at me like if I am not doing anything, believe me I am trying my best, and cry because most of us when we are older forget that we were too kids, well behaved or not Thank you for writing what you wrote, makes my kid look like angel.

  336. Ian says:

    On an overnight flight from Canada to China [in coach] a young child behind me repeatedly banged on the back of my seat. Finally I turned around and told the father that I was trying to sleep and asked him to prevent his son from banging on my seat. He looked at me and in a patronizing tone of voice and said,
    “I can tell you have no children. If you did you would know that you can’t tell a four year old what to do.” He did keep the child under control for about an hour, after which the boy once again began using the back of my seat as a drum set. I called the stewardess, explained that the man refused to control his child, and asked her to find me another seat. She at first said “I will to talk to him.”; but after I told her loudly enough that everyone around knew what the problem was she found me another seat. I hope that father lost a lot of face. I have read that Malaysia Airlines offers a child free zone on some of its flights. And as an April Fools joke, Westjet once announced that young children would be checked in as luggage and fly in the cargo hold; something I would do myself if it guaranteed a peaceful flight.

  337. Nicholas Robinson says:

    Umm . . . what?

  338. Nicholas Robinson says:

    Only a first-class ranter (pun unavoidable) could serve up such experiences in such excruciating, loving detail. Excellent job, Patrick.

    Behind all of this looms the Real Reason for these types of bad experiences everywhere—the overwhelming absence of the human intelligence quotient. Nine out of ten folks are simply micriocephalic, lazy, ignorant, uncaring, petty, clueless, ethic-free, robotic, tinsel-chested, complacent, corrupt . . . In fact, a list of perhaps another 100 or so derogatory characteristics that sum up the Human Biodump.

    Here, it’s “incompetent” that would rule the adjective zone: the organizers at the top who create these so-called “Top-tier” environments simply overlook those issues that tend to intrude into available-to-all-with-money luxury experiences. Viz. some slimeball Russian mafioso with cash to burn buying first-class tickets for himself and his brood and having exactly the same rights as everyone else who paid the exorbitant amount just to savour a carefree luxury excursion. With no concept of how civilized human society behaves in the developed world, they bring their crass ignorance to the party and ruin it for all the other tranquillity-seeking customers who’ve parted with the same chunk of change that they have.

    There should always be Exclusion Zones for small children, but also for the small-headed adults who are their keepers.

    Quite simply, some people should just be banned for life from having children.

  339. Vlindertje says:

    So recognizable and understandable! I came across your post while researching flights for our upcoming trip to New Zealand, visiting family. We’re flying from Europe, which means it’s a tremendously long flight. One we’d preferably make as comfortable a possible, i.e. by flying business class. There’s just one but… We’re bringing our one-year old. He’s the sweetest boy, has been flying across the world since he was 10 weeks old, and has a tendency to sleep most of the time when he’s on a flight. However, being a baby, who knows what he will do?

    Just writing about it makes me nervous already. Not because we generally don’t know how to quiet him down, but because of the off-chance that all of our tricks don’t work. I really don’t want to be that person that ruins someone else’s trip. Especially if they paid for it themselves. I’ve been there, it’s horrible. But I also don’t want to spend 30 hours travelling with a baby in coach – I’ll go crazy myself. So that means the only option we would have is to not go (great!) or… and I think that’s what we’ll do: do everything in our power to make him stay quiet / sleep on the flight or else go walk up and down coach / hide in the lavatories.

    Never thought I’d be the one bringing the baby into business class… Hope I have good karma and won’t spend the whole trip pacing up and down the plane.

  340. RacieTra says:

    Oh my goodness !! After an 11 hr flight to Istanbul from ORD
    With a screaming baby near me and zero rest or sleep, I understand
    this! Now, I am traveling ORD to Serbia in Business class with a
    1yr old!!! Why? Because I want to be in business class, more
    Comfortable than miserable. I can afford it, as a Stage IV cancer
    Patient I feel I deserve to treat myself. And I’m flying with
    my goddaughter and best friend. I’m praying for us all on that
    flight!! And bringing my Xanax. Lol. I absolutely want the business
    Class experience and cannot think how airlines can handle this. Maybe
    a soundproof cabin area?!

  341. TMQ says:

    I don’t think a ban should be necessary. I have four boys and fly with them several times each year, not in biz or first, though I do that frequently when traveling for work and have never had disruptive kids near me. But even though it’s just coach I’ve always worried about my kids annoying other passengers, and their dad and I are probably a little over zealous in efforts to keep them under control. Maybe airlines could have some rules parents must agree to in order to allow young children to occupy seats in those classes. A no screaming, shrieking, throwing objects, etc., rule. Or you may be asked to move and the cost of the tickets won’t be refunded. They have to switch seats with some regular joes back in coach who would be thrilled to switch. Just knowing that may happen may 1) deter people who can’t control their kids from purchasing those tix and if not 2) cause them to try harder to control the little darlings.

    So much vitriol in the responses! That’s when you know you’ve chosen a great topic. You have raised an interesting issue, and it’s really too bad that you receive so many hateful comments.Now, will someone please think of a way to end in flight flatulence? Regardless of class, people (and these are the adults, not the innocent children) seem to feel free to let go. It’s revolting, and it always happens. What should I do? Nose plugs, right? Because I’ve no right to prevent people from letting loose even though it makes the flight miserable for me. . .

  342. Pessimistic Commenter says:

    Salutations Patrick, this is a very interesting topic, and I’m glad that you’ve covered it. However, this is one of the few opinions you’ve shared on you’re blog that I completely disagree with. I’m not endorsing children shrieking in planes, however, I think there’s a very simple solution to the problem that doesn’t involve age limits on planes. I get the feeling that it would be much more efficient and more appealing to today’s low-cost carriers if there was a simple rule upheld in the up-scale cabins of certain airlines that prohibited some amount/type of noise. If the rule is violated by parents, their children, or anyone else in the portion of the cabin then the airline can threaten to ban the costumer or, if they modified their legal policy, to fine the costumer. This would be a good, efficient, cheap solution to the issue at hand that would appeal to costumers, airlines, and airline staff. I think that this is a better alternative, do you agree? -RJJ

  343. BJR says:

    I love this topic! And I think I commented the last time. I’m a parent of a 2.5 year old, which is an age that is in that sweet spot of small enough to require attention, large enough to make herself heard all over an enclosed space. For my wife’s 40th, we took a trip from Europe to NYC, and we had saved and found a great deal in business. I wasn’t concerned for a second about my daughter – not because she’s any different than any other 2 year old, but because her mother and I just came prepared. Now, one kid is easier than two (or god help me, six, Patrick!!), but we had a bag of toys, books, stickers, headphones, movies, etc. We did a rotation – one parent ‘on’ for 2 hours, one off – which allowed us to also enjoy the flight. If we had two kids, then, well, I guess we’d both be ‘on’ the whole time. When the kid got a bit tetchy – simple. Take her for a walk. Show her the galley, the rest of the plane, look out the window, point things out… Really – it’s not rocket science. Within one grunt, one of us was up, because I can completely understand your frustration, Patrick. That’s just bad behavior (on the part of the parents). If I could afford it, I’d fly Biz all the time long-haul – but if I ever thought we couldn’t control our child, or that she would disturb others, we wouldn’t do it.

    And the argument for biz is not because it means the parents can relax themselves – it’s just more space, a quieter cabinet, allows us all to sleep, and arrive ready to go!

  344. Reader again says:

    Short answer: Yes.

    * * *

    As I do not become angry with great sources of suffering such as physical pain, then why be angry with animate creatures? They too are provoked by conditions. — Bodhisattva’s Way of Life

    The Master concerns himself with the depths and not the surface, with the fruit and not the flower. — Tao te Ching

  345. Shiv says:

    As a parent who’s kids are now past the noisy stage, I have a bit of retrospect to provide. While my kids never seemed like a terror to me, it seemed like some adults would just get aggravated over the dumbest things. My kids never screamed or cries but they did get restless. Maybe my tolerance level was higher as a parent. I tried to make sure others were not bothered but some adults would comment how great my kids were and others would ask me to control them….on the same flight.??

    maybe it is time for kid free zones on planes, but some people just get irritated at the sight of kids. Like they popped into this world in a three piece suit and a WASPY passive aggressive code of conduct built in. That said….I do dread the horrible noisy and sugar filled toddler too.

  346. nonoti says:

    @Dwight’s kids must be an absolute delight to be around! *pick your best sarcastic voice*

    And in fairness, if I have to buy noise-cancelling headphones, you can buy duct-tape?

    See, its easy to tell people do something instead of just taking a moment to see if you need to make some changes without getting all agro about it. We all have things to work on, and sometimes those things are being more effective at child discipline because its affecting people around us.

    I would love to blast my favorite music on my high-end JBL bluetooth speaker while flying. But I dont, because I have this thing called respect for other people.

  347. nonoti says:

    @Paul Kemp – I couldn’t agree more. 99% of the problem is parents.

    In the last 2 business class flights where I had my peace disturbed by children the parents paid absolutely no attention. In fact on the one flight the parent just put their noise-cancelling headphones on and watch their movie and just ignored the screaming child throwing a tantrum.

    And it definitely is not impossible to make this happen. I was on a flight 2 months ago where a family boarded with 4 – thats right FOUR young children in business class.

    Those kids were better behaved than some adults! And when a child did become a bit uneasy and or niggly a parent immediately got up and spent 2mins with the child to give him/her attention and/or fix whatever the problem was.

    these children were not some kind of magical kid. It was the parents plain and simple who maintained proper control and discipline.

  348. Mirko says:

    Once I posted in my blog a similar complaint, and I got an outcry from many female readers.

    It’s about education and common sense.

  349. Reader says:

    @ Paul Kemp, I second every word of what you said here.

    First and business classes SHOULD be age restricted.

    Self-entitled narcissists, like the parents whom you have described, have become endemic in many areas of life.

    The hippie generation taught their children to Question Authority. Well, guess what? Those children grew up to become adults neither respect the rules of society nor the boundaries and rights of others. Moreover, helicopter parents seem to think other people must Get Out Of Their Way so that their children has everything the parents want them to have. You cannot reason with narcissists or psychopaths.

  350. KJ says:

    I have to disagree. Air travel is a form of transportation. It is not a leisure activity at which people are owed some sort of comfort or relaxation. At restaurants, concerts, theaters etc. I completely agree with you about children. But airplane are like buses or trains–they are a way to get from Point A to Point B and kids have just as much a right to do that. First Class is just a nice way to get from point a to point b, but that is still its purpose. Of course, people should exhibit common courtesy and parents should try, within reason, to keep their kids quiet and polite just like we should all be polite on planes. Babies, however, really can’t be polite when they are tried and hungry and fellow travelers just have to accept that as part of traveling with other humans. If you don’t want to be bothered by other humans, then drive alone or fly private. I am not a parent, by the way.

    • Art Knight says:

      Hi KJ,

      You could not be more wrong. Watch this commercial, then tell me that United is selling merely basic transportation. That’s like buying a ticket on “The Love Boat” or paying for a week on “Fantasy Island” and getting a leaking row boat and a Zebco 101 with a container of dead worms. They are selling serenity and luxury. If that is not provided, it is fraudulent.

  351. Gadz777 says:

    @Paul Kemp…. You on the money brother. I could not have said it better!

  352. Gadz777 says:

    I agree with the author 100%. There needs to be a solution to ensure that there is a quality experience for everyone. Parents need to take responsibility for their kids and the actions of their kids. I HATE it when they just play pretend and ignore the havoc and mayhem that the kid is causing.

    However, I don’t think that there should be a blanket ban, cos some parents do take responsibility and ensure that their kids are well behaved. I’m one of those parents. All of our medium to long haul flights with the kids have been in upper class and I pride myself on the fact that my kids are…. well, you wouldn’t even know that they are there…. even when they were babies.

    Saying that, I’ve been on a few flights where adults were as noisy and annoying!

    One of the comments below mentioned a family section… Perhaps a system like the quiet coach on longer train journeys would work??

  353. Paul Kemp says:

    I agree with the author. I travel economy class, but would be very, very unhappy if this happened when I had paid a premium to travel business. This is not just a problem at airports and on planes, but with society in general. Its called parenting and there are a large number of people who have no idea how to do it. My children have eaten at restaurants other than Maccas and travelled around the world from a very young age and have never been a problem because we didn’t allow them to misbehave. Yes children are children, but that doesn’t mean they have carte blanch to scream, run around and create general chaos. The main issue is the obnoxious, entitled parents who don’t give a damn about anyone but themselves. To the people advocating violence in response to this article, I can see why your offspring would behave in a the manner that they do, after all, children mimic the behaviour of those closest to them.

  354. AlanM says:

    To anyone who think kids should be restricted from Business and First class, why not go ahead and restrict the following groups of people who are also a nuisance to fellow passengers:

    1) People with bad body odour
    2) People who are old and need help with they bags
    3) People who need to go to the bathroom more than average
    4) People who have bad fashion sense
    5) People who have miserable conversation
    6) People who eat with poor table manners
    7) People who get up to stretch their legs
    8) People who put their reading light on at night
    9) People with a cold who keep snuffling

    After all, you’ve paid good money to fly in Business or First, and don’t want to be inconvenienced by any of these terrible character types.

  355. AlanM says:

    Simple solution:

    1) Airline installs ‘family friendly’ areas / lounges on planes (complete with toys, sofas, play pens, cots etc) to make travelling with kids more comfortable for kids, parents, and other passengers

    2) Doing so reduces the number of seats and therefore passenger revenue for the airline (say 5%)

    3) Passenger tickets are increased in price (say 5%) to offset the reduction in passenger volume

    The size of the family friendly area (and the resulting premium in air fares to pay for it), is optimised over time to provide a net overall benefit for all passengers.

    5) Happy days!

    Those against should consider whether they’re OK paying for prisons, pensions, social security safety nets, and disabled-friendly toilets in public spaces. Same logic… just a different net benefit to society.

  356. Scott says:

    If a carrier has multiple flights to the same destination on the same day, could it not be more effective/easier to offer a designated “family flight” where the possibility of disturbance due to noise is somewhat known in advance if you have purchased a ticket on that flight. This may well only be only be feasible to incorporate in the more exclusive classes, but it could be a way to restrict the impact of an age policy on an airline’s customer base.

  357. Nianbo says:

    ”Yes, you are a jerk and yes even for the fact that you don’t want to spend 12 hours sitting next to a crying infant or toddler.”

    Actually, he’s complaining (and with good reason) that the parents aren’t even doing anything to get their child to behave.

    ”As its been stated a few times in these posts, all passengers on these flights have to pay for their seats, not just you.”

    Sherlock would have that figured long ago.

    ”You state that you paid a little over 2500 dollars for your business class seat. What about parents who pay (for a minimum of three family members) 8000 dollars to fly business class and spend a lot more money than you to fly as comfortable as possible.”

    Just because you payed a lot of money doesn’t mean you aren’t exempt from getting your child to behave properly.

    ”I would do a better job of understanding the frustrations that 90% of these parents go through and how tense it can be flying with children that they are doing their best to control and keep entertained and quiet.”

    And the parents he mentioned are doing nothing to keep their kids quiet.

    ”the next time you get a “deal”, use the money you saved and buy you some ear plugs, headphones”

    Noise cancelling earphones don’t block out all of the obnoxious sound.

  358. Nianbo says:

    Why, we have a entitled dumbass called Dwight!

    ”Seriously if I was flying next to you and you said anything about my kids I would happily beat the hell out of you and pay the lawsuit.”

    As another commenter pointed out Dwat, You’d also get your ass dragged into jail.

    ”This what I called money well spent”

    And you’d be on trial for assault charges, so it’s money bad spent.

    ”because at least next time you might think twice and remember that you used to be a baby long time ago”

    No shit.

    ”and yes your parents might not have taken you first class but reading your comments clearly shows that they did a far worse job raising an individual like you compared to the so called bad parents you’re referring to.”

    Your parents clearly did an even worse job of raising a whiny shitwit like you.

    Oh, so Mr Smith was raised badly just because he gave light to the fact that quite a few parents aren’t even doing anything to calm their kids down when on a plane?

    ”An one last remark, it makes you feel so important to play tough talking about a small baby but I’d love to see you having that attitude with a drunk and screaming 6 ft 5 in 300 lbs man.”

    Hey look at me, look at me boast about how much of a drunken, hare brained, egocentric, moronic big fatass I am! That’s me, Dwat the twat!

    What an oversensitive special snowflake you are.

  359. Blocho says:

    There’s a simple solution for all this: sections or even entire flights reserved for families. All other sections/flights should be off limits to children younger than 10. Would this cost airlines? I would willingly add 10 percent to my fare for every flight to ensure children are not around me.

    And by the way, we need a broader cultural move toward disapproval of children being in non-children spaces. If a parent brings a child to any public space and the kid begins screaming, the parent must escort the child to a different locale until she calms down.

    I know this isn’t possible for flights, so how about this: children should almost never fly. Why do they need to fly? To go on vacation? Please – these are vacations they’re barely aware of. Leave them at home, drive, or take a local vacation. To visit relatives? Nope – relatives can visit the kids. I can see only two legitimate exceptions to this rule: (1) if the family is making a permanent move to a distant location, and (2) if a grandparent or something is dying and can’t travel. Then kids can fly … in family sections or on family flights.

    Before anyone asks, yes I flew as a kid. No, my parents shouldn’t have taken my on flights. And when my brother or I started crying/screaming, they quickly bundled us to the bathroom until we calmed down.

  360. RonD says:

    I’ve been reading that the vaunted, greatest jumbo ever made, coolest plane on the ‘tarmac’ Boeing 747 is being phased out by most airlines. I think this discussion brings about a good idea regarding how to utilize the planes attributes for greater good…..and profit too. Make the upper deck 21 and over. A couple rows of premium economy, business and first class seats for the travelers that are willing to pay a certain premium for them….Maybe more airlines besides Lufthansa would start to purchase 747-8’s 🙂 The Airbus 380 could really take advantage of these possibilities couldn’t it..

  361. BostonSheryl says:

    I have been flying with my daughter since she was 6 weeks old (she’s now 16). I have also done my fair share of business travel, including thousands of domestic miles and trips to Asia/Pacific. I see both sides, but I come down squarely on the right of first class and business class passengers to fly in peace – not with loud, crying, unruly children. When my daughter was young, I would have been happy to sit in a section of the plane designated for families with young kids. I spent a lot of time keeping her entertained, quiet, and happy during the flight. But if I had not been successful, why ruin the experience of the exhausted business or first class passenger who wants a little peace and to get a little work or reading done? There’s a reason, for example, some bed & breakfast inns do not allow kids and why most parents don’t take their kids to fancy restaurants – too many kids are naturally disruptive. Don’t get me wrong – I love kids and absolutely delight in being a mom. But there are times when “adult only” is certainly appropriate. So parents, unite!! At the back of the plane, where we can all kick each other’s seats in peace!! 🙂

  362. AlanD says:

    When I was a kid back in the ‘60s my dad was a pilot for a major airline so we often flew, even when I was as young as 3 and my brother was a toddler. Often we’d get lucky and score first-class seats (and later when my dad retired we could even reserve them) but let me tell you both my parents worked hard at keeping us busy. Of course this was back in the days of free food and every plane having a copy or two of Highlights (not to mention lots of other knick-knacks) for kids. Any child in first class was unusal then so we’d get plenty of attention from the stewardess too. So it was never too much of an issue for us but my parents worked hard to keep it that way.

    BTW both my brother and I started flying as infants and learned how to clear our ears from the pressure at an early age. It’s possible that at least some of the loud infants/children don’t know how to do that so some slack needs to be given. That said I’ve been stuck in coach with four screaming infants (in a 747SP) on a 16 hour flight so I know exactly how you feel. What to do about it? I’d prescribe equal does of patience, earplugs, resignation and if that doesn’t work complaining obnoxiously to their parents and anyone who will listen :-).

  363. KristieZ says:

    (Cont. Part 2)
    That said, I find it ironic that those who would ban children from first class argue that the children are a burden and an inconvenience for passengers paying a premium for his/her flight. Yet, they are quite eager to inconvenience parents willing to pay that same premium for the additional space they actually NEED more than that person traveling alone.

    I have logged many airline miles with my boys. I do not recall a single flight with which I was not met with rolling eyes and sighs upon boarding. Likewise, I’ve always received compliments as we deplane. I agree the laissez faire policies of the airlines are despicable, but banning children from first class is unfair, akin to banning free alcohol because of a few ornery drunks.

    Ideally, I would like to see a family friendly airline, with flights tailored to children. As that isn’t likely, how about allowing attendants to pull the “TSA” card…..”Safety of this aircraft is dependent upon the ability of all passengers to hear important announcements. If Little Johhny cannot calm himself, we will have no choice but to have security meet you at the gate upon arrival.” At the very least, reserve Business Class for the business class, and better tailor it for business purpose (i.e. no children, no chatty neighbors, charging stations and wi-fi included, and how about an air printer?! Score!) That would leave first class available to anyone who chooses to pay for it.

  364. KristieZ says:

    Ultimately, this is a question of how much privilege should be awarded for the additional cost of a first class upgrade. It makes me think of the woman tucking her two children into bed in the movie Titanic, knowing the ship is sinking. If you have money, you deserve to have your children live. If you have money, you deserve to have peace and quiet during your flight. (Now before I’m chastised here, I’ve been around the blog block enough to know exaggeration for the sake of humor is often lost on blog readers, so allow me to clarify that I KNOW they’re not comparable.)

    My point is, there are some amenities that should inherently be afforded to ALL passengers, such as lifeboats and a reasonable noise level. The coach passenger does not deserve to deal with unruly children any more than the first class passenger. Nor does the person on the train, or on the bus, or at the restaurant, or in the doctor’s office. In a world of “affluenza” or lazy parenting or both, I am thankful for the likes of Mr. Patricks who have the nerve to call these parents out. I wish I did and I hope more will. Infants are a slightly different story, but having made multiple coast-to-coast flights annually when my boys were only months old, even infants can be calmed in many situations. (Continued)

  365. Mary says:

    I grew up an a very large family. Chaos was the norm in any situation, even in church, where we were asked to leave after my kid sister dragged a kid up to the altar, then punched the kid in the nose, drawing blood. If kids can be tossed out of church, they can be tossed off the airplane. Preferably before takeoff.

    Airlines need not ban children. All they have to do is add a per child behavior surcharge. If the child behaves, the parents get either airline credit or the fee is returned. If several children are involved, should any one of the children misbehave the fee is forfeited.

    There could be a chart:
    Behavior that warrants a warning, no charge.
    Behavior that warrants a second warning or legitimate passenger complaint, 50% of fee is forfeit.
    Behavior that warrants a third warning or complaint, 100% forfeit.
    Behavior continues, accompanying adult passengers are flagged and for one year must pay and adult enabler surcharge for every flight regardless of whether or not they are flying with children, regardless of distance or duration.
    Should said passengers choose to fly with children again, the surcharge is added to the adult enabling fee.

    At some point, these people would be better off taking a private jet.

  366. Jeffrey N says:

    I agree with the author’s comments 100%. there are more parents whose behavior should change than there are airlines, so perhaps they could take some action to fix this. For example, they could end the discount on children’s airfares, have quiet zones (a la Amtrak) in the air and on the ground and have “adult swim” zones in the lounges.

  367. NancyT says:

    I happily say “ditto” to JenK’s comments; especially the part about traveling parents’ responsibilities. Just like we mentor our wee ones on how to eat with a fork or to use good manners, we must also work with them, actively and throughout the entire trip, on how to behave on an airplane. My toddlers did not kick the seat in front of them, or pop their heads up ‘whack-a-mole’ style (good one, Patrick Smith) to stare at those behind them. When you travel with kids you cannot relax and read/sleep if your kids are awake. Snacks and new toys are great. Working constantly to entertain your children and praising them for good behavior is huge. So is the preparation before the trip with repeated discussions re: behavior expectations and about respecting the rights of others. I get so frustrated with parents who don’t at least try. Worse, I can’t stand parents who give that ‘children-will-be-children’ shrug or the ‘whatcha-gonna-do-isn’t-my toddler adorable’ look. If parents are truly trying hard, and came prepared with supplies, then I will sympathize and offer kind words of support when the baby cannot stop screaming. THAT I understand. Thanks Patrick for the blog post.

  368. Ian says:

    And why should we peasants in economy get stuck with the brats who don’t behave just because we don’t have enough money to travel first class? Seriously though, there are children who behave and children who don’t just as there are adults who behave and those who don’t; and I have often made a point of complimenting parents whose children have behaved on a flight. The airlines tolerance for misbehavior may be waning, kudos to the United Airline crew who turned the plane around and kicked off a woman and her child when she wouldn’t keep him from running up and down the aisle [even though the woman was a member of a well known Canadian band]. Likewise the ejection of an American woman and her autistic daughter after the mother threatened that her daughter would become violent if she didn’t get a meal she wasn’t entitled to get.

  369. Jen K says:

    I guess I’m either extremely lucky or extremely courteous. I have been travelling with my son since he was 2 months old. He’s 4 now and travels like a dream. He’s never had a meltdown on a plane and I think that boils down to a few things: 1. plenty of food/drink on hand, 2. new toys to surprise and delight, 3. Kindle Fire loaded with kid-approved videos and games (screen time limits be damned). Doesn’t hurt to offer the people in front of us a complimentary beverage…..:)

    I agree. Travelling with children is crappy. Figuratively and literally. Then again as a parent i work REALLY hard to make sure my little one knows what is ok and what isn’t ok. If he were to have a complete meltdown I’d take him back to the galley or in the lav until he calmed himself. I’d hate to be banned from first class because of parents who don’t try. If a parent is trying their hardest to calm the kid, does that count for anything? We had to fly two days after I had my appendix removed. We upgraded to first class so I would be more comfortable. We got looks….judgmental ones.

    Here’s another thought: Instead of blaming the parents for bring their kids into these ‘sacrosanct’ areas consider this…Maybe if airlines weren’t doing so much to make economy SO UNCOMFORTABLE with zero leg room or space for a toddler to play at their parent’s feet, you wouldn’t see so many families trying for more space to breathe in the business and first class sections. Just saying.

  370. dmac says:

    Not to go all “back in my day” but back in my day there was a sentence I remember hearing more than once: “you’re too young too fly.” I remember at the time thinking it must be some kind of airline rule or federal law, but it was just my parents exercising some preventative care. I was an unruly kid, prone even to bratiness when things weren’t going my way. During those years our family vacations–to the beach, to visit relatives–were road trips. Later on when I aged out of the meltdown phase, we started flying as a family and it was stressed in no uncertain terms that acting up in any way would send me right back down to the no-fly zone. I was so cowed, flying was such an event–one that my folks always dressed up for–that it was like I was being given a pass to a magical adult world. And so I was. And I was not going to jeopardize it. Today, of course, most people treat flying as little more than catching the downtown bus. But however common place it seems, it is still an event. You are defying the laws of gravity, hurdling through the atmosphere in a sealed aluminum tube at 600mph. That kind of magic should be treated with respect, as should those who make it happen, assure our in-flight safety and take the ride with along with us.

  371. Josh says:

    I love how so many of the hate mail directed at Patrick claims that the parent who has paid $2500 x 4 (or whatever) has the right to “enjoy” their flight. Um, no. Patrick paid his $2500 too. The difference is, Patrick is sitting quietly, watching TV, sipping a drink, picking his hangnails, whatever, and not bothering anyone else.

    Paying $10,000 as a family doesn’t buy the right to annoy other people. It buys the right to do exactly what Patrick and all the other well mannered travelers do when they are lucky enough to afford a pleasant environment in the front of a plane.

    And to everyone who claims that Patrick’s position is “hateful” or “sad”: We were all kids once. Wouldn’t we be mortified to find out that we had been so obnoxious on an airplane as to ruin someone’s flight? I hope to God that my parents didn’t let me scream my head off.

    Parents might not be lonely (since they have kids as accessories), but those who cannot teach their kids to behave are more certainly sad.

    Patrick, please keep fighting the good fight.

  372. Saranda says:

    Hahahahaha! I wholeheartedly agree. Thanks for putting to paper what I always think. People are incredibly unaware of how they can affect others around them and it is certainly a sad state of humanity these days. it’s the land and air of the lawless and crassness now, and the fact that you received hate mail about this is mind boggling.

  373. Jennifer. says:

    So, which is angrier – a lawnmower or a tornado?

    As for the lounge problem, Alaska Airlines has a great solution. If you want to be noisy, go to the upper level. If you want quiet, stay on the main level. They’re really good about enforcing this and you often see large family groups with small children walk in and immediately go to the elevator to go upstairs.

  374. JamesP says:

    Yes, I think children under 12 should not be allowed in Bus. or First. And it should be made clear that children over 12 will be expected to behave.

  375. frequentflier says:

    …How about empathy for your own children, for whom long-haul travel is a torture? Kids, especially infants, often have problems equalizing the air pressure on planes, resulting in serious ear pain (hence a lot of the screaming). Not to mention that their time horizons are different from those of adults – how would you like to sit on a plane for the subjective equivalent of, say, 36 hours at a time?

    And nope – the rest of us have no interest whatsoever in your super adorable little mini-me. Get over yourself and think of the people around you, including the kid.

  376. RonD says:

    BTW, I own Cockpit Confidential and I also read your weblog a lot to help me get over my fear of flying before my Honeymoon a few years ago. So thank you for that Mr. Patrick

  377. RonD says:

    No they shouldn’t be banned. But I believe the airlines that create ‘quiet’ zones in their upper classes (soundproof room is brilliant!) will quickly develop a following of very loyal travelers. As a parent of a two year old who has traveled both to Europe and Asia from SFO (Asia in business class) , I think parents have a responsibility to keep their children quiet on planes and the staff should take a stronger stand in holding parents accountable. Banishment from the upper classes or from the airline entirely for a period of time, five years maybe? 🙂
    Parents might, just MIGHT be willing to do more to pay attention to their children.
    After all, flying in a plane is not normal circumstances, and parents should recognize that and act accordingly.

  378. RM says:

    (cont part3) In addition, many of the so-called premium seats are exit rows, and you cannot have a child in any of those seats. So, we did the unthinkable thing of purchasing 3 first-class tickets. Yup- sorry, but we did. When I was childless, I felt very much the same way you did. I always managed to get seated next to the screaming baby, and that wasn’t even First-class. But, I’ve been broken-in and am a full-fledged parent. I actually feel the decision to have our son in first-class was based on an educational guess (except that unknown factor still exists.) I also think the staff would be better equipped to handle this in the event the entire carry-on of coloring books, trains, tablet,etc begins to fade. All we can do is hope, and a little bit of toddler bribing can go a long way! I will let you know how it all works out 🙂

  379. RM says:

    (cont part2)So, you are so happy when they call your section, and jump up, gather all of the carry-on’s (and the stroller that you knew would have to be checked at the gate so they wouldn’t damage it in the regular cargo area), and lug the car seat, while carrying your infant (yes, this is somehow possible.) You finally get into the plane, after saying ,”excuse me” 25-30 times as you squeeze through the aisle with all of the above, then figure out how the heck the car seat buckles into the seat. Phew! Right? Not so fast, this is when your child decides to mess their diaper. After take-off, he was a bit fussy but did pretty well. We had coach seats, and the only big problem was that he kept kicking the seat in front of him. He was able to reach because he was in his car seat and as everyone knows, the pitch on coach is almost into the negative digits at this point. Fast forward to yesterday, we are again planning the same trip cross-country. He is now 4. Fortunately, we don’t need a stroller, car seat, diapers or formula. But, now we have an active young boy. We hashed it out, and felt the biggest difficulty would be bringing enough things to keep him busy, and keep the seat in front of him as far away as possible (i.e. no kicking.) We checked prices on the premium seat upgrades that have more room, but found they were very close in price to first-class.(cont)

  380. RM says:

    Hey there. I came across your post as I also googled, “travelling with children in first class.” I got a few chuckles out of your article. I think until (or if) you are ever faced with travelling with children, you may never comprehend the reason, “why?” I have a 4 year-old son who has only been on an airplane one time before (twice counting return) on a cross-country flight. He was 1 1/2 at the time. In addition to the horrendous task of lugging a stroller, car seat, suitcases, carry-ons, formula and snacks, diapers, wipes, and any other thing you could dream of, going through security, etc, etc, we had to deal with the unknown factor of the ,”what-kind-of-day-will-our-son-have-today?” One will never know or could prepare for the fickle behavior of an infant or toddler! You could do everything right, but somehow they cry because their sock isn’t on properly. Or, you took away the toy that was too big to bring on the plane that they were playing with before you rushed out the door with the whole smorgasbord of all things baby. Anyway, by the time you make it to the gate, you are already frazzled. And, that’s exactly the time your child decides they want to go and pick up the dirty tissue someone left on the floor and won’t be still until they almost do, until you actually have to pick it up first before they do. (continued in comments)

  381. John says:

    Any passengers under 8 should only be allowed on a plane as checked baggage.

  382. Jim Cwan says:

    This was my experience back in 1989. I was flying from Frankfort to Washington Dulles on a Lufthansa DC-10 in coach (yep I could only afford the cheap seats back then). Among my fellow passengers was an American family of four, Dad, Mom, infant and son of perhaps six or seven years.

    Once we left Frankfort and the Fasten Seat Belts sign went off, this kid ran amok! Running up and down the aisles, jumping up and down on seats and infuriating everyone. But when he invaded the coach galley, the flight attendants had had enough. One of them grabbed the kid by the collar, hauled him back to his parents and told them in no uncertain terms to keep him in his seat or else. The rest of the flight was delightful.

  383. Patrick Wright says:

    I was once in a very old movie theater. At the back there was a glassed in box with a couch and speakers inside. The owner told me it was a crying baby room, soundproofed so well that the movie sound had to be piped in.

    So how’s about it Emirates? How about this for your fancy A380s?

  384. Erich Schmidt says:

    Patrick – too many people won’t control their kids, as vividly described in your original post and your July 1 update. It is appalling. I have 2 kids, 6 and nearly 4. I do not tolerate this type of behavior, but I’m not a strict, drill sergeant either. My kids get all kinds of time to be kids, but they’re not allowed to be rude, whether at home or (particularly) in public. As you said, babies — what can you do? But toddlers can be managed, and should be.

  385. Mark Maslowski says:

    Hi Patrick –
    I agree with you for the most part but I think subjecting coach passengers, who don’t have the means to fly any other way, to even more discomfort is not the answer. The airlines need to step up and take some responsibility. They ultimately are accountable for what happens on their aircraft and in the parts of the terminal under their control. I can guarantee you that if, on my next flight, I spend 2 hours running up and down the aisle screaming at the top of my lungs, there would be serious action taken in flight and on arrival. Why should the parents care or do anything about it if there are no consequences?

    • Patrick says:

      I agree that carriers should take a stronger role. When I was on that Emirates flight, a flight attendant actually thanked me for saying something to the mother of those unruly kids. She told me that Emirates staff are ** not allowed ** to confront passengers if their kids are misbehaving!

      I wrote to Emirates three times asking them to comment on, or clarify, this policy. They did not respond or acknowledge my queries (which is especially irritating because I’m a Platinum member of their frequent flyer program).

  386. John says:

    Hi Patrick,
    I am sorry for the reaction some folks have had towards you. I am sure if they were facing you they would be a little more cordial.

    This is not an all or nothing type question.
    Young children must travel with their parents and if those parents want to use their money or status to upgrade to a premium cabin they can and should be allowed to.

    The issue then becomes one of entitlement and from that behavior.
    When you have a parent who instills a sense of entitlement in their children it usually results in bad behavior and creates spoiled brats and it is made worse when the parent stops caring and lacks the desire to instill manors in their children to show respect to those around them.

    I have empathy for a parent who has a child who wont stop crying and have seen some amazing parents doing what they can to not annoy those around them regardless of what part of the cabin they are in.
    I have also seen the parents who let their children run around causing chaos including tripping people and making a complete mess.

    On the other hand I have had some very rude adults act worse than toddlers during a few flights including those up front who you think might know better. (No none of these people had any disability or exhibited signs of autism or the like it was just general bad manors and entitlement syndrome)

    What I think we need is a general reset on gold old fashioned manors and general respect and if that happened then this would not be a topic or issue.

  387. William says:

    Love how all the people commenting that you’re lonely, sad, and un-empathetic usually also happen to be mothers travelling with their [golden, adorable, angel-like] infants in business and first. Don’t take their comments to heart, you do not come across as sad, lonely or un-empathetic. Perhaps it is simply a mothers instinct to react this way when they’re told that their little angels in fact not are little angels?

    In any case I agree, but must say (in a very biased manner) only to a certain point. I have been travelling alone in Business Class from the age of 13, so the question is, where do you draw the line? And would the airlines really want to draw a line when they would, at the same time, be losing customers who in fact can control their children?

    Nice article.

  388. Been there, had it... says:

    I have no problems with kids who will be kids. I do take objection to parents who won’t be parents.

    Three true tales:

    1)Flying DEN-SFO on United about 1995, a group of 12-15 high school girls on a sports team boarded during NBA Playoffs. As we waited to leave the gate, they were screaming (yes) the scores as they listened on their Walkmans. It got to be too much, so I stood up, turned around and said, “Hey, we don’t want to hear this…put a sock in it!” The humiliated chaperones soon restored order. The little old lady next to my wife leaned over…”Please thank your husband.”

    2) Last year, SFO-LHR night flight on Virgin, a 2-3 year old ran up and down the aisle for 2 hours, chased by her mother until, I guess, the kid exhausted herself.

    3) I work at a large commercial site which has a very pricey on-site day care center, about 2 miles, crow-wise, from the end of 28R at SFO. A property manager informed me that a number of parents had banded together a few years ago to try to get the Corporation (who “pays a lot of taxes”)to lobby for altering flight paths out SFO, because their precious ones couldn’t nap.

    I can put up with the occasional fussy kid, but not with parents who feel entitled, by virtue of a paid fare, to subject others to their poor parenting habits, or to demand accommodation for their neglect at the expense of others.

  389. Julie Adamik says:

    I agree with you 100%!! There should be an age limit to fly in premium class. For those who complained about YOUR behavior and comments just think how they would feel if an adult spent an entire 13 hour flight singing, loudly, off key…. They would be the first ones complaining that you are ruining their expensive travel experience!

    • Patrick says:

      I’ve thought of this comparison as well, but, to be fair, it’s somewhat apples and oranges. The argument would be that kids aren’t doing it intentionally, and for the most part can’t help themselves.

  390. Rachel says:

    The fact that you responded with such vigor and anger only supports the fact that you are indeed a sad and lonely individual who needs to convince himself otherwise. I wouldn’t wish you on anyone however, so good luck on your lonely endevour through life!

    • Patrick says:

      You know, with respect to the experiences that I describe in this post, I am sure that I was one of many people who felt exactly the same way. Are we all “sad” and “lonely”? I just happen to be the one writing about it, because, well, that’s what I do and that’s what this site is for.

      Angry? You’d be angry too if somebody you’ve never met or spoken to had the gall to make obnoxious presumptions about your life and diagnose your failures as a human being — based on a disagreement over airline policy!

      I mean, really.

      • Rich says:

        Relax, Patrick. You are attempting to defend yourself against an onslaught brought by the ‘precious snowflake’ club. It is a club where their children are special snowflakes and can do no wrong. As a father of an 11 year old, when we fly, eat out at a restaurant, or simply go grocery shopping, a certain level of manners has always been impressed upon him and, while he doesn’t always meet the expectation, he comes damn close.

        But nowadays, when we fly, my son will even look at the children aboard the flight and shake his head. And this is from an unwashed commoner in coach. If I had paid for business or first class, my expectations of myself, my son, and my environment around me would be even higher. And we always have my lovely wife to keep us both on the straight and narrow.

        It isn’t just flying. Whether it’s at a movie theater, a restaurant, or even on a walking/biking trail, there are no expectations from the parents, and the children seem to enjoy the free reign to impose themselves on others. Good luck. Stiff upper lip, chap.

  391. Rachel says:

    I came upon this article by googling ‘flying with infant in arms in first class’ because I am considering to do just that and wanted to get a feel for how it was regarded. I hope my very well-behaved-not to mention incredibly charming and adorable 18 month son does not get any dirty looks from the likes of sad lonely people such as yourself’when we fly first class next week.

    • Patrick says:

      I don’t want misbehaved kids screeching and shrieking in my ear after I paid thousands of dollars to be comfortable, therefore I am “sad” and “lonely?” What an ignorant, presumptuous, and asinine thing to say. Once again, without fail, somebody who disagrees on this topic insists on making it a personal thing. Can’t you just stick to the actual issue?

  392. Jules says:

    I feel torn between understanding it must have been horrible for you, I really do.
    But you come across as such a bitter hard person with no sympathy; the way you describe the parents and children is absolutely horrid. I would never want to travel with a person like you.

    • Patrick says:

      Here we go again. Why do dissenters on this topic insist on making this a personal thing? Why? Just stick to the topic. You wouldn’t want to travel with “a person like [me].” What does that even mean? How much do you know about me, really? How exactly does my reporting on this topic make me such a terrible person? It seems to me that certain people just cannot bring themselves to admit that allowing their kid to scream and run amok, impacting everybody around them, is not acceptable. And so it must be my fault and my weaknesses as a person.

  393. Nianbo says:

    Genius! Good idea Martin!

  394. David says:

    Right, he is entitled because he doesn’t bend over to accomodate your selfish choices. Makes perfect sense.

  395. EAA says:

    Wow. You come across as sn incredibly un-empathetic person. Would hate to travel with you. FWIW – I will fly business with my infant. Because I can.


  396. Gerald Wysoczynski says:

    I recently experienced the same experience flying out of DBX to the US on Emirates. I use to work for a major US carrier in the 80’s and then, you had to be 10 years old to fly up front. I really think this policy should be brought back into effect. I paid 14K for two last minute tickets and I had to endure almost 16 hours of hell due to an unruly child under 3 and parents who really didn’t care. I’m in search of an airline that tries to accommodate the majority of the passengers, not the other. I love children and I have two of my own but I would never dream of taking them premium class out of respect for my fellow passengers. Even though they are very well behaved and raised. I think the last part of the last sentence is the key here. Gerald

  397. Rusty says:

    Dear Partick,

    As a solo traveller I hate kids on planes despite having two of my own, but good noise cancelling headphones and a tolerant attitude goes a long way to diminish your hardship caused by your over inflated sense of entitlement.

    I have two small children and have flown long haul business with them frequently. Currently writing this from the DXB first lounge. My kids have laughed, cried, screamed and we may even have a tantrum brewing but by and large they travel like absolute champions and I am proud of their overwhelmingly good behaviour. But in the event they are having a hard time, I only hope you are seated next to us.

    I do agree that lack of control over bratty bastard kids is an issue, but this as you indicated is a deeper issue associated with general poor behaviour of passengers and is not exclusive to parents.

    Travelling with kids is hard enough and we feel every death-stare and sincerely wish and try for a smooth ride. But now I have read your post, I will be far less concerned by what other passengers think of us. Thankfully however we see more empathy and support, making the journey easier and more pleasant for all.

    Perhaps it’s time you flew in a private jet, where you make all of the rules. Otherwise, you are just on fancy public transport like the rest of us.

    • Patrick says:

      You know, Rusty, that was a decent and thoughtful letter, but you just couldn’t resist, could you? You had to throw in that one nasty line: “But in the event they are having a hard time, I only hope you are seated next to us.”

  398. CeiCei says:


    I thank you for bringing this up. It is a sensitive topic, but I complete agree. I am weekly traveler and just came across country on a redeye. I was upgraded and had a mother with a lap child and a 4ish year old seated in front of me. The mother was demanding and rude to the flight attendants, her children were terrible and she had no control. After the 4 year old tossed popcorn at the gentleman behind her and was told to stop she threw the mother’s beer glass at the wall and shattered it on the bulkhead. I was appalled at how little control she had and her attitude made me wish for an age limit in first. I felt so sorry for the flight attendants who had to clean up glass, beer and many other objects. I wish parents would not make excuses, mind their children and when they have issues be pleasant to those helping and apologetic to those around you.

  399. Everything's Eventual says:

    I have a 2 year old kid and sometimes no matter hard you try you cannot get them to stop crying. Even as parents it is sometimes difficult to understand what is troubling your child. Till kids are about 3 years old (or in some cases younger) they cannot explain what their problem is and the only way they can express is by crying. Also, by nature kids find it very difficult to sit in one place for a very long period. Kids are not conscious so many times they have no idea how their behaviour is affecting people around them. We should learn to cut them some slack…But yes, parents who do not take any effort to control their kids are wrong. Parents can always try to pick up their child and take a walk to calm them down, give them some candies ( this can back fire as the kids might want more candies) or try something. But if the kids do not keep quiet even after all this effort then you just need to suck it up I guess. Blanket bans are not the solution. What if an autistic person is seated in business/first class and he/she throws a tantrum. Are you going to propose to ban them? What about overweight people in economy class (a vast majority of overweight people can control their weight if they just get off their b****)? How about completely banning alcohol just because few times some passengers got drunk and misbehaved? And finally how about banning rich people from first/business class because they abused the crew or acted all high and mighty?

  400. Dawn says:

    Sorry you had an absolute horrid time in your business class/first class flight. I’m a mom, but even before I had kids I could always handle crying babies, only because I understand babies and toddlers don’t really know how to express their emotions verbaly as well as older children do. So I let the crying babies and toddlers pass, older kids however that act like brats and parents don’t do anything about that’s a different story. My son is 3 and when he gets a little out of hand I let him know. He knows when to use his indoor voice and where it’s ok to run around. He does however get cranky sometimes and all of a sudden bursts out in his terrible toddler stage but I’m able to control it maybe 10 minites tops and I do feel bad for the people who have to endure the crying for me. It would be nice if they had business/first class seperated for those with younger kids and then those for olde kids or just adults. Same for economy too then maybe everyone would be happy. Who knows when that will ever happen?

    • Patrick says:

      Thanks, Dawn, for leaving this comment — and for being civil and not swearing at me or threatening me, as others have done. As I tried to make clear in the follow-up post that I ran, my problem isn’t with kids CRYING, through no fault of their own, but with kids — toddlers and often older — who SCREAM and who SHRIEK, and whose parents make no effort to stop them and seem to think this is perfectly acceptable behavior. When I was that age, I most certainly was not allowed to run around yelling at the top of my lungs, but this seems to have become a sort of new normal. You see it everywhere: at airports, on planes, in shopping malls, etc.

  401. Soren Nielsen says:

    Before I had Kids I would agree with you on most of your points. Now I do have children and I do my best myself to have a great flight, the cabin crew can help alot if the child is upset and if they are trained.
    If a child is crying the child can be in pain and its typical ears this is easy to solve and should only have the child crying for 10 minutes during take-off and landing.
    Infants will stop crying when they have had their food and they can lie down so get a babycot for the infants it worked for us every time we flew long-distance.
    You can rest or work if you do have a headset which cancel the noise and if its a good airline they should help you with this, make sure next time you fly they have it.

    Finally if children are rude its ok for a stranger to put them right as there are alot of curling parents who just cant manage it public, so just speak out if your not happy, good luck.

  402. Nicole says:

    You were a child once and I understand both sides of the argument. Ever think perhaps people pay extra so they’re not cramped in economy which will cause the children to fly into fits of rage longer and more frequent?
    I bet you anything the amount of noise you heard from those children would have been far worse and longer on the other passengers.

    Ever hear of noise canceling headphones?

  403. I just saw those comments on this article, Patrick. Lol xD. Umm sometimes kids can be annoying as hell especially on a premium flight, l love kids so much! It’s a shame that their parents won’t do anything to calm them. I flew with Korean Air on my way back to Jakarta on business and there’s a woman with a 6 years kid with her. The kid cried a lot during flight and the headphones alone won’t help. I know how annoying kids can be but hey, it depends on the kids and parents themselves.

  404. Maria says:

    I have to fly with my 1.5 year old for 23 hours soon and because I know a lot of people think as you do, I am really dreading the flight. I am considering business because I imagine that if I increase his and my comfort, he might just get some sleep and leave us all in peace. If I were to fly economy, that would mean being crammed into a tiny seat, wedged between strangers, holding him on my lap the entire flight. It really seems so ridiculous that there is not a solution for this problem yet. I know it’s hard to be empathetic to other people when they have the audacity to bring a child into business, but I think in all honesty they are considering the comfort of the other passengers, by trying to limit the discomfort of the child. Unless they have to travel with a child themselves, I totally understand how people would be ignorant to just how difficult it is.

    • Patrick says:

      Thanks, Maria, for this comment. We might not agree, but I appreciate you leaving a thoughtful and decent reply, rather than simply swearing at me or insulting me, as most of the others have done.

  405. Rob says:

    The comments on this post are depressing. That people choose to be so polarized by something so innocuous is a foul reflection on how we treat each other in general. Why have hatred is so visceral and personal?

    1. Look at the title of this post – it’s a question. It’s not a veiled attack on children of the world and their parents.
    2. Patrick did not say he hates kids, nor did he say they are at fault.
    3. Patrick did not say he blames all parents. There are assholes everywhere – he just documented them, much like many of you documented yourself here.

    This is a real problem. When you pay for comfort, you are not paying for the discomfort created by a distressed child. And, since there’s no reason why a parent can’t fly in first/business, then it’s absolutely a parent’s right to do that. And that’s a problem – it’s a pretty basic conflict.

    This is the airline industry’s problem to solve. My suggestion is to have premium family cabins. They should cost less than current premium cabins because, well, they’re less comfortable. If that’s too costly, then charge *more* for a child free cabin. I personally hate that idea – biz/first costs too much already, but if that solves the problem.

    But we have to stop the hatred. People need to be able to be honest and express their opinions without being ripped asunder. This blog post does express frustration with certain people and behaviors but it is NOT personal. The comments sure are – grow up, it’s not all about you.

  406. Grumpy Old Man says:

    You are a grumpy old man who has forgotten you yourself, at one point, was an obnoxious snotty piece of shit. If kids irritate you so much, kids who have paid to fly in business and are entitled to be there as much as you, then I suggest you stay at home.

    • Patrick says:

      Sorry, I guess I stand corrected. It is, in fact, perfectly okay for parents to allow their kids to shriek uncontrollably and make everybody around them miserable. What ever was I thinking?

  407. Music says:

    How about wearing noise cancelling hear phones and turning up the volume?

  408. Dwight says:

    OK so to be brief because you sound like a proper brat. If you’re struggling that hard to get first class tickets then clearly that’s not your class and you should be buying tickets that are affordable to you. Premium economy or business there’s nothing wrong with any of them but putting on a crown doesn’t make you a king.

    Who are you to decide where kids are allowed? Yes it might be a nuisance and I have 3 kids and agree but there humans and don’t want to annoy you they’re having a worse time than you you twat. If you can’t afford noise cancelling headphones for a flight then what are you doing flying first class? Spend your money wisely and let life decide if and when this becomes your standard class for flying because you clearly sound like one of those people who save a year to get that ticket.

    I’m flying first all the time but has taken the occasional economy one too when I didn’t feel like spending money and crying kids are annoying regardless of what class you book. Basically who gave you the right to complain because you’re ‘paying a lot’ but people in ‘economy class’ are not allowed because they pay less? And if they are allowed to complain then where will babies and kids go during a flight?

    Either get richer so that first class feels like a normal class to you or get VERY rich and get a private jet. BUT baby steps first, get yourself a pair of headphones and accept who you are as I said there’s nothing wrong with flying economy if that’s what you pay for.

  409. Pattinaththaar says:

    When we see drunk passengers creating a ruckus in the flights, kids crying or making noises is not a matter at all as that is their nature. Is it nature for an adult to drink and create ruckus?

    I do not want to pay premium amount (my hard earned money) to sit in middle of people who drink liquor and I feel like sitting in a bar. Also, why should I pay the premium amount to smell the liquor and travel uncomfortably? So, in that case, liquor should be completely banned from flights. Will you be ok with that?

    Some people do not eat meat. And how can they travel uncomfortably with the meat smell and would like to remove meat and ask for a vegan food for all of them in flights? Will you be ok that?

    When it comes to flight travel, such things (kids crying, people drinking around you etc.,) are common in any class. If you do not have the mindset to adjust to those things, then take a private jet so that you can fly the way you want.

  410. Bob says:

    This is ridiculous! If a parent wants to travel in first or business class, they are handing out the same amount of hard earned cash that you are, and they also are already doing their best to keep their kids calm. If you were a 3 month old baby, I bet that all you would do is yell and scream and cry. And if you were a six year old kid, would you sit in the departure lounge rock solid not saying a word? Please think of how the kids feel. You were one too.

    • Patrick says:

      “…If a parent wants to travel in first or business class, they are handing out the same amount of hard earned cash that you are …”

      I don’t understand this. You’re paying the same fare, so therefore you have the right to make everybody else uncomfortable? What’s the logic, exactly?

      “…and they also are already doing their best to keep their kids calm…”

      I wish that were true. But it’s not, and this is maybe the crux of the problem. Many parents make absolutely no effort to quiet their screaming kids. Maybe that’s all right in a playground, but not in a premium airplane cabin where people have paid a great deal of money for a certain level of comfort that includes not being subject to unmuffled shrieking.

      I wish that were true. But it’s not, and that’s most of the problem. Many parents make absolutely no effort to quiet their screaming kid. Maybe that’s all right in a playground, but not in a premium airplane cabin where people have paid a great deal of money for a certain level of comfort that includes not being subject to unmuffled shrieking.

      • Bagofcorn says:

        You are perfectly right. People with kids think they entitled to everything and don’t care about their kids bothering anyone else. And then of you complain, you’re the monster. All the people protesting your post are probably parents who let their kids run wild.I don’t understand why it’s acceptable.

  411. Tabi says:

    Maybe it’s the time for a mandatory insurance to be purchased by first and business class passengers fly with a small child who might causes fellow passengers discomfort in premium cabin. Those suffer from sound of kid’s screaming and the diaper smell and so on will be compensated some portion of the ticket. It has to be documented by airline crews to verify the incident. Anyone who paid the ticket ( excludes those got award tickets) will be COMPENSATED somewhat. WE NEED JUSTICE IN THE SKY!

  412. Matt says:

    Buying an upgrade means there are fewer seats in your vicinity, and more expensive seats weed out many young families, so you are going to decrease the odds of getting seated near a child.

    I personally took our 18 month old with my wife in first class on a Chicago to Port land round trip. We selected 1AC. Actually, we paid for three seats, thiking wemail cold use all of them.

    Our little girl was a hand full. She was squirming ,fussing, wouldn’t sleep. Not cryinv loudly,but possibly distracting. She required 2 diaper changes. had a 4 hour flight, and I probably wouldn’t have wanted to go on the trip if we had to go to coach. We were able to let her stand up in our leg room area for some time. We has the attendant right there, so my wife and I could get our meals at different times, one of us holding the baby,while the other was eating.

    In summary, not all first class passengers are childless. What do you expect people with money and babies to do. I’m not going to have my girl fly first when she is able to sit in her own seat. Sure,crying babies are unpleasant on flights. But, so are loud drunk people, extremely obese people, poor hygeine. I would have been damped if I had to travel with a young toddler AND get crammed next to someone.

    So, if you generalize that infants /toddlers should not be in first, it is really demonstrating your ignorance of what parents have to decide. Or, you are just an asshole. It certainly wouldn’t stop me from taking my girl

  413. shredder says:

    While I agree with you on most aspects of your blog, the tone of your (and some others) replies are absurd & uncalled for. Travel is a necessity these days and kid whether flying business, economy or first has paid for the very same.

    – Firstly, no-one is trying to make your life miserable. If at all someone is, it is the kid who is probably having a way worse time which is why he is behaving the way he/she is. Worse off are the parents who apart from not being able to control their child, have to deal with the deeply apologetic feeling of disturbing others.

    – Of course, there are bad apples every here and there, and I refer to parents who don’t do their due-diligence to keep their kid in comfortable and in control.

    Everyone has bad days and they don’t usually last, so people need to stop the silly whining, be a little more considerate, and if you cant, then book a residence suite or better still a private jet for your next trip.

  414. maxmaxmax says:

    Sometime in the relatively recent past, American (USA) culture became entirely kid-centric. When I was growing up in the 60s, were children allowed to climb on public sculptures? Hell no. Run around screaming in restaurants? No way.

    I once asked the parent of a kid sitting behind me on a plane to please have them stop kicking me; they didn’t do anything; I asked again, only to have the parent say “why are you trying to ruin everyone’s day?” Really?!

    Yeah, I’m a parent, and unfortunately my kids are lot brattier than I want them to be–it’s an upstream battle–but I take responsibility for their behavior.

    I don’t want screaming children near me on a plane (it’s not as if you can get up and move to a quieter section of the plane); I don’t want them in the restaurant; I don’t want them in a movie. Think I’m a monster? Guess again. When I’ve been stuck on a plane near a whining kid and the parents took the matter in their hands–without anyone asking them to do so–I’m willing to forgive and forget.

    To the parent who lets little Billy piss on my leg, and then tells me “he’s expressing himself”: drop dead. Dog owners are responsible for the behavior of their pets: your dog bites me, you’re screwed; it’s howling all night long, expect a visit from the cops. Take the same responsibility for your progeny, and stop letting them use my world as their playground.

    • Bagofcorn says:

      Thank you! Parents today think their children are more important than anyone else and don’t give a crap when they create problems for others.

  415. MeanMom says:

    I generally fly business when on business, because I usually need to function professionally upon landing and hit the ground running, so I totally get your beef. I fly zoo class when paying my own ticket, and my observation is that screaming kids are generally dwindling in numbers on long haul flights due to the individual entertainment systems. I once got upgraded to business, as an apology after an airline snafu, with my two sons, then 2 and 6, and a woman due to sit next to my eldest made a huge fuss about having paid 4000 Euros for a transatlantic flight and she wasn’t going to sit next to a kid. The crew was appalled. I offered to downgrade to economy, as I didn’t want any trouble. The crew told me to sit tight. My kid was quiet, delighted with the creature comforts, pleasant with the crew, slept after a while, ie no problem. I think the issue here is the behavior of the parents. No, there should not be an age limit for business class, but there should be behavioral standards. Parents who cannot or will not control their kids should be given fair warning – on their conditions of carriage, say- that if their kid doesn’t behave, the whole family gets demoted to economy, and particularly pleasant and polite folks from zoo class should get upgraded if there is no more room in economy to accommodate the rude rich and their progeny. 🙂
    BTW, love your blog!

  416. DingDong says:

    D-bags like you deserve to have your head dunked in a toilet twice a day..

    • Patrick says:

      I’m sorry, are you talking to me? I’m a d-bag because why, now? Because I don’t enjoy sitting next to a shrieking child for 12 hours?

      • Gabriel says:

        Yes, you are a jerk and yes even for the fact that you don’t want to spend 12 hours sitting next to a crying infant or toddler. As its been stated a few times in these posts, all passengers on these flights have to pay for their seats, not just you. You state that you paid a little over 2500 dollars for your business class seat. What about parents who pay (for a minimum of three family members) 8000 dollars to fly business class and spend a lot more money than you to fly as comfortable as possible. You say that paying 2500 dollars should absolve you from hearing children crying? Well I think that paying 8000 – 10000 dollars should absolve a family from having to hear smart ass remarks, rolling of the eyes, disgusted stares, and a number of other issues that come up during a long flight. I would do a better job of understanding the frustrations that 90% of these parents go through and how tense it can be flying with children that they are doing their best to control and keep entertained and quiet. Since you got a “last minute deal” on your flight, the next time you get a “deal”, use the money you saved and buy you some ear plugs, headphones, or put it towards your own private plane.

      • Bagofcorn says:

        Don’t listen to these idiots. For some reason parents today think we should be happy to listen to their bawling kids.

  417. Tina says:

    One time I paid full price for a business-class ticket from Washington, DC to Frankfurt — a red-eye, as most flights from the US to Europe tend to be. Since I have trouble sleeping on planes, I was hoping that the extra comfort would help…but there was a kid in the seat directly in front of me, about 3 or 4 years old, who kept shouting “Mommy Mommy Mommy!” ALL. NIGHT. LONG. Talk about air rage…my husband and I didn’t say anything, but we were livid. So I would totally support an age restriction on business and first class — a kid must be old enough to be quiet through the entire flight. Since this varies depending on the child, I’d say about 6 or 7 would probably work for most kids.

    • Gina says:

      Well, at least it wasn’t a screaming, crapping kid, because that’s the next variation; I’ve traveled next to and behind those too.

  418. […] business class. This was a predictably controversial subject when I brought it up a few months ago, here, after an unfortunate experience with Asiana Airlines. Well, it wasn’t a whole lot better […]

  419. Anon says:

    I do have a question for you Patrick… If it was someone with a disability who was loud and making involuntary noises (much like that of an infant) – would you advocate for a ‘disability free’ zone on the plane also….?

    Perhaps FC should be reserved for families only… I mean, if you want to affect change – you may as well start from the front right?

  420. Chaos says:

    I’d love to know what flights you’re all on… kids running up and down aisles, screaming because they like it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it, and it’s like 1 in 30 kids that make a fuss. And wow, you know what, babies can cry — big deal!

    My eldest has flown 4-8 times a year over the last 6 years with his first flight being at 9 months old and he’s barely made a sound. My youngest is 6 months, and cried a bit on her last 8 hour flight last week… it was mostly because the unruly adults kept on waking her up. Those sorts should be banned!

    I don’t even care if someone’s kid is crying; every traveller should have noise-cancelling headphones if they want their own bubble. I’m always capable of getting my work done and arrive refreshed, surrounded by kids or not.

    Less whining, more meditation.

    • Patrick says:

      >> I’d love to know what flights you’re all on… kids running up and down aisles, screaming because they like it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it>>

      I have. In addition to the flight I describe, I was recently aboard an Emirates flight in which several young kids (they were part of a large family traveling together to Mumbai) were running absolutely amok: climbing over seats, shrieking, running up and down the aisles. This too was in business class.

      And again with the noise canceling headphones. To repeat what I said in an earlier comment: These headsets do NOT block out the sound of a screeching kid. But more importantly, it throws the onus onto the person being annoyed rather than the party doing the annoying. It’s like saying: I hold the right to destroy the peace and quiet of everybody around me, and it’s THEIR responsibility to deal with it by purchasing expensive headphones.

    • Justsaynotokids says:

      Headphones can only do so much, they cannot stop the kicking, the throwing, the touching. I got stuck next to a family on an 8 hours flight. I had an isle and the parents elected to put their 2 and 3 year old in the center while they sat together. I am very non confrontational so I took the yelling screaming fighting spilling thrashing into my seat until about the 10th time the 2 year old jumped on me and woke me from a noise canceling, blindfolded, ambient sleep.
      You parents are not entitled to do that. Having children does not make you special or more deserving. An infant in 1st class sitting on a lap did NOT pay for the right to be there, their parent did. Be courteous, realize that not everyone thinks your dumpling is cute. I am not your babysitter.

      I looked at the 2 year old and told him if he touched me one more time I would eat him. Maybe that was mean, but the last 2 hours were touch free.

  421. cj says:

    Umm, yeah. And what if those parents were the ones paying the $10000 for their premium seat so that they didn’t have to look after a baby in economy? How does that stack up against your super cheap airfare? Perhaps you could’ve employed the noise cancelling headphones

    • Patrick says:

      Paying a $10,000 fare does not entitle these parents, or anybody else, to annoy the hell out of everybody around them. No fare entitles a passenger to that.

      And this whole noise-cancelling headsets “solution” irks me. For starters, these headsets do not block out the sound of a screeching kid. But more importantly, it throws the onus onto the person being annoyed, rather than the party doing the annoying. It’s like saying: I have the RIGHT to destroy the peace and quiet of everybody around me, and it’s THEIR responsibility to deal with it by purchasing expensive headphones.

      • olena says:

        Patrick, you are mistaken: your understanding of comfort is wrong. Comfort on the airlines means extra space and a chair which becomes a bed. And free drinks. Your expectations are too high. The long flight is too hard on anyone, especially when you can’t sleep, because your chair is uncomfortable. Kids? sorry, bad luck for you. When I am booking my business class flight, I have to book it for my baby too. Baby can’t be unattended in economy. plus, even a baby can’t sleep on those tiny chairs. Use earplugs next time, lol

        • Marie says:

          Better you stay at home with your Baby/toddler.
          Patrick Is absolutely right. I’m female, 33 years old and Married.
          Parents nowadays are absolutely disgusting and horrible.
          They are selfish and have the mentality “i have a child so i can Do this and this and this” and other people can take earplugs… Your stupid answer represents the nowadays parents mentality.
          Whats wrong with you???? Stay at home with your nerving brat. I hate children in flights. TheY should be taken to the cargo room Or be banned completely!!!!!!!

          • Phillipa says:

            Marie I don’t know what your being 33, female and married has to do with anything.
            When you’re a parent, then you will understand.
            You don’t just leave your baby home because people on the plane might get annoyed.
            I have 3 boys, my 6 year old has flown many times, my 19 month old has as well for his age. Right now we’re on our way to the airport for a 7 hour flight, we do fly economy however, if I had the money I’d definitely go business or first.
            I’m flying with my 3 month old from Australia to the USA in a couple months.

            Children are part of this world, you don’t just deny them things like travel because they’re annoying to other people or even to their own parents.
            When kids are being rat bags, trust me, the parents are probably more fucked off than you are. They’re feeling ashamed that their child is being “that child”.

            I don’t because quite frankly I don’t give a fuck. Not about what other people are thinking anyway.

            How about instead of kids not flying Marie, you not fly aye? You stay home in your kid free box and stop being a judgmental git.

          • Marie says:

            philippa you Are such sort of the parents about which i
            Spoke. And you don’t put on the reply Function cause you Are afraid of my answer.
            You Seem To be frustrated, aggressive, inconsiderate and rude! Other People don’t Want To Hear the blablabla of your childs !!!!!
            Thats the reason why more and more Hotels do childfree policies Cause they Want To offer their guests quietness and Peace. They don’t Want To have inconsiderate parents like you!! Me instead i’m welcome there Cause i don’t disturb anyone…
            And the Airlines will follow i am sure and then its the Time when you Stay at home and Other People don’t get annoyed and rid by your brat and i’ll have a peaceful Flight.
            You can Take a Special Family plane then…. with so Many Other inconsiderate Person which Are the Same like you!!!!!
            Hahaha :))))))))

          • Sue says:

            I hope one day you & your husband have children Marie. It will be hilarious. If you do, you will one day find you actually wish or NEED to venture into public. Perhaps a plane, maybe a bus, train or a cafe. Perhaps even a supermarket. And, if you do, remember your advice here, how imbued with wisdom and judgement you were.
            Sometimes it is necessary and desirable to travel with children. I’d rather sit next to a crying child than someone like you.

          • Dwight says:

            Seriously if I was flying next to you and you said anything about my kids I would happily beat the hell out of you and pay the lawsuit. This what I called money well spent because at least next time you might think twice and remember that you used to be a baby long time ago and yes your parents might not have taken you first class but reading your comments clearly shows that they did a far worse job raising an individual like you compared to the so called bad parents you’re referring to.

            An one last remark, it makes you feel so important to play tough talking about a small baby but I’d love to see you having that attitude with a drunk and screaming 6 ft 5 in 300 lbs man.

          • Hayden says:

            Everyone in this reply chain sound as loathsome as the very children in question…

            The real answer (already in motion) to this problem is;
            1. Creating a reputation system (it will contain everyone in the world that has ever flown and be shared among airlines).
            2. Demerit points will be retracted for anyone that infringes the comforts of other passengers when aboard a flight (and will likely spread to all public transport / locations).
            3. Eventually, flights that require a minimum reputation level to board will be introduced.
            (4. Eventually, everything public will be segregated. Welcome to the New World “Caste” Order.)

            Yes, it may sound ridiculous… but this kind of global policing is just around the corner. Along with your passport being an RFID chip (containing all manner of information about you) inserted at birth.

            Market forces such as supply and demand will handle the rest (i.e. What minimum reputation level is most profitable for the airlines).

            For those out there displaying a knee jerk reaction to this article… It would be advisable to get into the habit of being more considerate… and disciplining children to likewise follow suit. Sooner, rather than later. (Less you / they suffer socio-economically as a result of being uncivil.)

            (Especially you, Mr. “I would happily beat the hell out of you and pay the lawsuit.” One step away from going to jail, probably already has a criminal history and will be denied access to all planes in future Guy.)

          • Dwight is a sad little man says:

            “Seriously if I was flying next to you and you said anything about my kids I would happily beat the hell out of you and pay the lawsuit.”

            Hey keyboard warrior, you’d be paying more than a fine. Your dumb ass would be hauled off the plane in handcuffs and tossed in a cell while the cops and courts figured out just how much time you were going to serve. In case you didn’t notice, sky crimes are taken pretty seriously these days.

  422. Lydia Falardeau says:

    fuck you kids should be allowed

    • Morrigan says:

      Just as there are many adult-only resorts, there should be adult-only or childfree flights. I understand how some parents feel their little spawns are deserving of special treatment and understanding beause the parents have no common sense; however, your choices to breed and then fail to recognize that not everyone appreciates a howling crotch-dropping after they have paid dearly for a luxury (or what is perceived as a luxury) – is not the fault of hard-workinig, intelligent, childfree adults who desire some quiet time and are willing to pay for it. You chose to breed, therefore you and your mewling spawn should be required to accommodate the more intelligent of the species…

    • Anonymous says:

      u are just the sort of person to be parenting these little monsters. we are child free by choice, and would pay double not to travel with kids. airlines should at least have child free, insulated zones. just because people think their kids are cute, millions of us don’t

    • BabiezSuckDaAzz says:

      Oh so classy, Lydia! Do you kiss your vagina fruit with that foul mouth?!?

      • Patrick says:

        Almost without exception, those who disagree with me on this subject do with extreme hostility. Nearly every opposing letter is full of curses and insults. I’m not sure where this sentiment comes from, but it’s startling and frankly a little scary.

    • Patrick says:

      Duly noted, Lydia.

      Only on the internet are people so darned polite!

  423. MotherOfTwo says:

    Seriously, you think you were not a baby or a kid that caused any king od distraction or NOISE when you were small. Too bad for you people that these babies and kids can fly business class and can afford it. They are babies & kids that most of the time cannot be controlled. the way you are acting, you are more childish than them. Wait till you have your own kids, or on second though if you will, I do not think so.

    • Patrick says:

      I disagree with the “kids will be kids” rationalization. No kid — or, more correctly, no parent — is entitled to make those around him or her miserable. I realize that under some circumstances a baby’s crying cannot be controlled. Fine, but that baby shouldn’t be permitted in a setting where people are paying thousands of dollars specifically to avoid such discomforts.

      • Phillipa says:

        Here’s the thing: No one can make another person miserable.
        You choose how you want to feel. If you choose to feel miserable because a kid is crying? That’s on you. You control your reactions.

        • Patrick says:

          I’m sorry, but this is absurd. It is amazing, some of the mind-bending justifications people come up with. By this logic, shoot, let’s allow smoking on planes, the blasting of loud music, screaming babies, cell phones, you name it. Why not? After all, “No one can make another person miserable.”

          Look, perhaps some people tolerate it better than others, but you don’t “choose” to feel annoyed when a kid is screaming any more than you “choose” to feel annoyed if somebody is sticking a red-hot skewer into your ear. Sure, you can “control your reactions.” Take a deep breath, tune out the racket. But that only works to a point. The idea of “no one can make another person miserable” is preposterous in any context, not just this one.

          • Bagofcorn says:

            These people are entitled idiots. If I paid a lot to dine at a 4 star restaurant I would expect to not be bothered by unruly children. And if their parents didn’t do anything, I would expect the restaurant to do something about it.

      • Marie says:

        Totally agree with you Patrick!!

  424. Sushi says:

    I am fortunate that I’ve never had a child in the cabin whilst travelling business class. The whole point of the business or first class cabin, is to provide a more comfortable environment where business people can work or sleep so that they can arrive refreshed and ready for work, this is why companies pay extra. I would be very unhappy if I had a long haul flight with a screaming baby in close proximity, even less so if I had paid for the ticket!! Airlines should have a stated policy of moving a passenger to economy class if they are unable to control their child.

    Now, I know that people with kids have the right to a comfortable seat too, but they do not have the right to force their kids bad behaviour on other people. The world does not revolve around babies, toddlers, diapers and farleys rusks, although every new parent in the world seems to think it does, and that anyone else should move heaven and earth to accomodate them. I love kids but I’m not sure business class is the place for them. My kids are in their late teens now and we only ever flew short haul with them when they were very young, precisely because we thought it was quite traumatic for young children to couped up for so long and unfair inflict a screaming baby on fellow passengers economy or otherwise.

    Any responsible parent should be as close to 100% (as you can be) that their child is going to be as good as gold before taking them on a long business class flight.

    • YoIronFistBro says:

      Have you heard of “NOISE CANCELLING HEADPHONES”

      • Tina says:

        Have you ever actually TRIED to block out a kid’s screeching with noise-canceling headphones? It doesn’t work. There are no headphones manufactured that are capable of blocking out ALL outside sounds, especially really loud and really close ones.

  425. Bear Mac Mhathun says:

    A child screaming usually has a good reason – this is an indignant howl about having to share space with other human beings. Usually the noise of the aircraft will drown out any noise that the child could make.

    A bit of sympathy would make your trip much easier and more pleasant: escalating the emotion is simply counterproductive.

    • Anonymous says:

      when we pay out of pocket for a 1st class/business ticket, we don’t give a rat’s rear why a baby is crying/or that little hyper johnny is on a rant. if asian airlines can ban kids under a certain age, in first and business class, other airlines can too

  426. Martin Carroll says:

    To Chris,

    Just one message to you, pal.

    Come and meet me face to face. Then you’ll find out how tough I really am, you tosser.

    I don’t take any prisoners and have had a go, politely at first, at parents with screaming kids in First or Business on many occasions before now.

    For your sake, I seriously hope you won’t be one in future.