Social Question

Plucky's avatar

Should an airline's first-class section be adults-only?

Asked by Plucky (10232 points ) July 12th, 2011

I read this article.

Here’s a small sample of the article:

The “ban babies” from first class—and indeed, sometimes from the plane altogether—proponents’ argument goes something like this.

(I’m quoting without attribution, because I’ve received several emails that are virtually identical.)

•I pay a premium to sit in first or business class and I don’t want my to be disturbed by a crying, screaming or misbehaving child.
•While I understand the parent pays as much as I do, I don’t disturb them by screaming or crying or misbehaving and I should not have to deal with their child if they are screaming or crying or carrying on.
•Some children are absolute angels and some act like they are the spawn of Satan. While I understand a child’s or baby’s reaction to the change in environment is unpredictable, that doesn’t mean anyone should be subjected to it either. A person’s choice to have children and fly with said children does not take precedence over or trump my choice to not have children.

What do you think?

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39 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

“A person’s choice to have children and fly with said children does not take precedence over or trump my choice to not have children.” Am I bad for loving that quote lol?

Wouldn’t you still hear kids crying and screaming from the economy section? Either way, I don’t fly first class, but a plane is different from a restaurant because you can’t just pick another airline if one doesn’t allow kids in first class.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Anyone who expects a perfect, peaceful flight just because they are in first class are disillusioned. While most may be used to it (the frequent fliers) and a few others upgrade for the experience, as long as the child is not misbehaving, then the passenger needs to do some growing up themselves. This comes from a person who used to fly almost every week and doesn’t have children, nor plans to.

Blueroses's avatar

I think if you have such a high sense of entitlement that you absolutely deserve to control your flight environment, get a private jet. If it’s a public flight, seats go to whomever can afford them. Paying more for comfort doesn’t give one the right to choose their cabin mates.

I’d be more in favor of banning people wearing strong perfumes and colognes.

Hibernate's avatar

I’d support that . But not because of a crying kid but just because sometimes there are grown ups who act like kids and do a lot of idiotic things . Then there are those who are never satisfied .

and etc other reasons ^^

P.S. I did not read the article .

Nimis's avatar

Choice not to have children. = Choice not to have to deal with diapers, spit-up and around the clock feedings.

Choice not to have children. =/= Choice not to have to deal with other (albeit smaller) people around you.

SpatzieLover's avatar

No. If people want child-free, they will need to pay for private flights.

I sat in 1st class a few times as a kid. Usually the drunk business men are just as annoying in 1st class as they are in business or coach.

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MilkyWay's avatar

I agree with @Blueroses . Get a private jet if you want that extent of luxury.

Plucky's avatar

I think outright banning children may be excessive as well.

Perhaps there could be a warning system in place. Say, if you get 3 strikes of child misbehaviour on your flying record (no matter what class) ..then you and/or your children are suspended for whatever period of time. I’m not sure how this type rule of conduct would be put in place – maybe something similar to when adults misbehave on a plane.

Kayak8's avatar

OK, I am going to stick my neck out here. I HATE (yep, HATE) flying with small children whose parents think the world revolves around THEIR kid (it doesn’t and my world certainly doesn’t). Usually I will drive for business so I don’t have to fly with children. There are times, however, that I have to travel a distance further than driving will permit in the time available and have no choice but to fly.

I usually try to set it up so that I am in one of the single seats near the front (in a plane with no first class section). I understand that some people have children and some want to take their children with them when they travel, but I shouldn’t have to deal with someone else’s misbehaving children under any circumstances.

When we were kids we flew all over the world, but our parents would NEVER let us run up and down the aisles and cause commotion, etc. If parents made their children behave, flying with children would not bother me at all, but they often do not.

I think adults should be able to enjoy a child-free zone even if they have to pay more for it (e.g., first class). If I have to pay $1000+ for what COULD be a kid-free zone while the lap-kid gets to fly for free AND I also have to contend with the child’s behavior (because the parent won’t) I will not be a happy camper.

At least the flight crew seems to take action when an adult is misbehaving on a plane. They don’t seem to do anything to correct the parents who let their Hellions run wild.

So kids on a plane are fine if they are behaving and their parents seem to exert some modicum of control. If they are not behaving and their parents don’t care that they are inconveniencing everyone around them, I think this solution (kid-free first class) is well-reasoned alternative.

I think the sense of entitlement is demonstrated by the parents who feel their little pumpkin should be able to do anything they wish without regard for how the child’s behavior is impacting others around them. I really don’t think I am operating from a sense of entitlement when I want a safe, quiet flight free from having my seat kicked repeatedly or listening to screaming brats.

Plucky's avatar

@Kayak8 I have an interesting comparison – not sure if it means much though. I noticed a huge difference in behaviour (child and adult alike) between American flights and Canadian ones. My first experiences were with Canadian flights – people followed the rules, were rather quiet and were not generally up and around. The American flights were almost the exact opposite – people were freaking everywhere on the plane, it was louder and most did not obey the in-flight rules. The two different companies were Air Canada and American Airlines each time (all in regular/economy class). I remember being amazed at the massive differences between the two. Your post reminded me of these experiences.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

That is why I say everyone should become wealthy, or try like heck, then you can have your own Hawker xp, G8, or Falcon 50 and leave when you feel like it, no screaming babies, smoke your cigar, mile high club every trip without cramming in a small air bound lavatory, and carry as much as you want with out being charged; plus you don’t have to take your damn shoes off, get patted by strangers or go through the see-all scanner.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I love what’s written and wish flights could be so lovely but it does come down the extra money being for comfort in relation to confines of the flight, not the comfort of the senses.

aprilsimnel's avatar

It’s the parents. It always goes back to the parents. The child may or may not know how to behave, but the parents are in charge of their children.

Although, I guess all bets are off if a baby suddenly develops colic during a flight. o_O

mrrich724's avatar

When you are paying 1000 bucks for a seat, I don’t think it’s too much to ask for peace and quiet. I wouldn’t be opposed to kicking them and their parents back to business class or even coach!

I’ve heard those who are parents say “well you have children, and then you will see, then you make those comments..” UH NO, THAT’S ONE OF THE REASONS I DON’T HAVE KIDS, B/C I DON’T WANT TO SEE!!!”

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Kayak8 I don’t know anyone would disagree with you about being on a flight with a child that disrupts others due to lack of parental control. It annoys the dickens out of me when they continually put their feet against the back of my seat and push or flip the table tray up and down after I ask the guardian that they not do so.

Then again, the same applies to adults. One of the last times I flew internationally, the man behind me kept preventing my chair from reclining when I wanted to sleep. When it finally dawned on me that the seat wasn’t defective, I quietly asked him if something was wrong. He rudely said that his legs were too long and to deal with it. I kept the seat upright. Welcome to economy seating.

@aprilsimnel It is more than colic, and even then, I’m not sure if that is the correct term. Babies do not know how to clear the painful ear pressure that often occurs during flights. I have an ear condition that is quite painful and often activated by fairly quick rises and decreases in atmospheric levels. If I was still a child, it would make me cry. As an adult, I just suffer through it.

@mrrich724 Not everyone in first class pays that amount for a seat. Most are frequent fliers. And not everyone in first class has a problem with the behavior of children.

@all A seat in first class offers nothing more than better quality accommodations and services. Limiting it to adults only seems like discrimination to me, unless you pay for a child-free flight.

jellyfish3232's avatar

I’m very well behaved when I fly in first class. And if I were to NOT be well behaved, well… I’m sure my laptop would cease to exist, at the very least. I think that kids should be allowed to fly in first class, but not infants, unless there’s nowhere else for them to go. You can always smack an annoying toddler, but not infants. You just have to ignore their foul odors and plug your ears to save your sanity form their incessant wailing.

snowberry's avatar

@mrrich724 Your comments sound very self focused. In my experience, aside from riding in a private jet, plane rides are a major pain in the behind. Either the person next to me is annoyed at me for breathing, or the one behind me has bad bad gas, or everyone’s got the flu. Why don’t you complain about them too? I have had few positive plane rides, and it doesn’t matter how much you pay, you’re simply not going to have it all cushy. Deal with the kid just like you deal with the drunk, the bad gas, your germ laden seatmate, or the indigestion you get from watching someone eat. People in first class have all these issues, and more, just like those in economy class.

Pandora's avatar

I was going to say it should not allow toddlers or infants but then I remember sitting on a 3 hour plane ride with two adult females talking about their nannies as the children would kick the back of my seat evey couple of minutes. Luckily for me the guy sitting next to me turned around and told them to cut it out. After about an hour they started again and this time I turned around and glared at the kids and their mother switched them out for some other family members that were on the plane. Mom shouldn’t have to wait for someone to indicate their displeasure at children kicking the back of the seats. She should’ve made them stop right off.
I was in coach. If I paid for first class tickets, or even business tickets than I expect not to get annoyed. Although, honestly, with the exception of babies and toddlers, parents should keep their children in check anywhere on an airplane. Airlines are allowed to ban people from flying if they are trouble. They should be allowed to do the same with parents of unrully children they cannot control till the children are teens.

ucme's avatar

I still advocate placing the kids on the wings, imagine the fun the little darlings would have…..“look mama, no hands….....weeeeeeee!!” ;¬}

Plucky's avatar

@ucme LOL ...ok that was funny.

ucme's avatar

@Plucky No different to a ride on magic mountain really.

mrrich724's avatar

I would not advocate “banning” or prohibiting someone from flying first class b/c they have a little chucky doll with them. I’m just communicating my own preference. But I’m an American afterall, and of course, anyone who can afford the seat should have the right to buy it, evil Demian children regardless.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I don’t think children should be banned anymore than any other group being banned. If an airline wanted to offer up child free flights, that’s there choice. I just would hope they continue to have regular flights open to everyone as well.

As for all the comments about children kicking the seats, sometimes it’s beyond their control as it is just the way they fit in the seat and where their legs reach. I’ve had a worse time with adults being behind me and kneeing the seat or bumping into it really hard when getting up and moving around than with children being behind me.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@mrrich724 there’s been a discussion here on Fluther regarding this ban already it’s a private establishment though ;)

jca's avatar

@jellyfish3232: ”you can always smack an annoying toddler”: I don’t know when’s the last time you smacked an annoying toddler, but that’s definitely not the way to get them to be quiet!

mrrich724's avatar

@SpatzieLover oh! oops! I just read about it today, so it was new to me, LOL

actually, that’s a good idea, members-only flying. You join the club by meeting certain credentials, and those credentials are applied to everyone:

-no one under a certain age
-no one over a certain weight to overflow into your seat
-once you are deemed obnoxious to passengers you are off the list
-etc.

LOL! Kinda funny, but kind of a good idea… I know there would have to be a demand, but it seems like enough people bitch about it to make it feasable… You pay more for your ticket which in turn can make a flight a “members only” flight!

jellyfish3232's avatar

@jca Well that’s certainly a good point. Perhaps not a toddler, but a younger child with any sense of reason.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@mrrich724 I agree that a “club” or some sort of privatization would work for this purpose. That way there would be rules the adults would also need to follow.

I have flown since I was born. Adults baffle me on flights. I have only been on maybe one flight where a family has been troublesome. Even then, the flight attendants were able to rectify the situation with some snacks for the kids.

jca's avatar

@jellyfish3232: I don’t know how much experience you have with kids, but smacking any kid of any age will definitely not be the answer to shut them up!

mrrich724's avatar

@SpatzieLover you see this more every day now that people are addicted to their iPhones and such. I’ve read an article where a stewardess had to come back to a man three times to get him off his iPhone for takeoff. He was later deemed unruly, (and possibly kicked off the flight, but I don’t remember). It’s incredible how sometimes adults can be so much worse than children!!!

Blueroses's avatar

@mrrich724 The problem I see with a members-only flight is that it would have to be a regularly full plane to a common destination to make it economically feasible. Either that, or a sliding premium scale for passengers for underbooked flights. I don’t think the wealthy stay wealthy by not knowing what their flight will cost from minute-to-minute nor would the members enjoy the inconvenience of flights that are cancelled due to lack of interest. The benefits would hardly be worth it.

aprilsimnel's avatar

@mrrich724 – GAAAH! At the museum yesterday. There’s a sarcophagus from the Early Kingdom era of Egyptian history on the floor. It’s huge, yes, and covered with lovely hieroglyphics. But there’s a sign that clearly states in several languages to not touch it. There’s no “please”, either, just don’t touch it.

This woman from I don’t know where was with her 10-ish looking son, who was trying to push his mom’s arm away from the object (“Mama! No! No!”), but she pushed him aside to touch it. “Don’t touch it!” I said to her. She made a face and went to touch it again. Then she was yelled at by the security guard, and got mad at him! I mean, these are supposed to be grown people, here. ::sigh::

SpatzieLover's avatar

@aprilsimnel Same type of thing happened in front of me at the Milw Art Museum, except in my case, it was a dad that picked up what appeared to be a 1&½yr old and allowed her to smear her hands all over an oil painting. I nearly fainted from the horror of it!

mrrich724's avatar

@aprilsimnel it’s unbelievable! That’s when you wish they would suffer some Willy Wonka-type consequence!

Plucky's avatar

@mrrich724 Lol at Willy Wonka-type consequence. I’d love if that happened regularily in real life!

josie's avatar

They should offer child free flights, and other perks, at a higher price. They will make a killing. So much for airlines losing money.

HungryGuy's avatar

Just avoid sitting directly behind a wall. That’s where people with babies usually sit because they have more room because there’s no seat in front of them. Even if you buy your ticket in advance, for most airlines, the ticket clerk will often let you choose your seat from a map of the plane when you get your boarding pass.

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