The Playbook For The Modern Man

Why Kids Shouldn’t Be Allowed To Fly Business Class

“We aren’t trying to be snooty, we’re just trying to be effective with our livelihoods.”

Picture this: you’ve just settled into your $11,000 seat, ready to do some work, get a good night’s sleep, and enjoy the serene, adult playpen that Business Class is supposed to be, when five mewling infants start competing to see who can best drown out the jet engines. Even worse — they appear to be stuck on this setting for the foreseeable future — despite their parent’s lacklustre efforts.

Worst case scenarios aside, this raises the question — is it ethical to submit passengers who have paid a premium for a high-quality flight experience to the mere possibility of having to listen to your screaming kids, when you could have simply flown economy — a cheaper zone where people have already (largely) resigned themselves to discomfort?

Controversial? Sure. But this is the conclusion many Frequent Flyers and Tripadvisor Reviewers have been driven to after enduring one spoilt trip too many. Not to mention this Quora thread, which highlights the two conflicting points of view.

While some flyers argued “it’s adult passengers who are most annoying” and said that most of the time the kids “are nice and quiet”, others firmly disagreed.

“I’ve asked airlines to create children zones where they once had smoker sections. No reply … Perhaps some day. Till then, carry hearing protection.”

This was backed up by more logical points like, “Those who fly business class have a reasonable expectation of a somewhat quiet environment where, if you wanted to, you could do serious work,” and, “We aren’t trying to be snooty, we’re just trying to be effective with our livelihoods.”

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Of course: people with kids should still be able to travel, but in the interests of fairness you should bite the bullet and fly economy because — in the long run — this will actually benefit you (think of the savings), your child (if they grow up with this what are they going to have to look forward to?) and everyone else around you.

Before you interject with: “Well it’s worse for the Economy passengers,” don’t worry — we’ve already thought this through and it can be summed up in one sentence: “What’s one more crying baby?”

Also — and before you start claiming I wouldn’t know the difference “just one more crying baby” would make from my Ivory & Perrier Jouet Tower, guess what? I’ve only ever flown Business Class once in my life. And the crying babies weren’t even that bad (they stopped soon after takeoff).

This case is being made from the countless long-haul Economy trips I have taken where I whacked on my noise cancelling headphones and would have been oblivious to the 0.2-decibel increase one more crying baby would have made to an already noise-saturated cabin.

The only problem I can see is that if kids were banned from Business then there could be a large scale migration to Economy.

But this could be solved with a quota system, surely? And while some self-important feathers might get ruffled, the majority would take it on the chin and understand that with all the tax breaks families get, they are still actually winning…

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  • KTM

    Both my kids (5 &7) fly business and first when they fly with me. They are well behaved and been flying for “years”. While I understand that some kids are … horrible on planes … if a family can afford to fly “up front” that is their choice. Sounds more like you should fly charter and eat at “adult only” restaurants. (LoL)

  • Ozbloke36

    Only way to solve this is have some flights children free and some not, that way it caters to both.

  • Dan

    ha! what an idiot. I have traveled in business many times and seen kids there and they’ve behaved just fine. Looking forward to flying up the front next month with my 1 year old and the looks I get from passengers…

  • Noodlesoup

    It’s only business class. If you want quiet, hire your own plane. If you can’t afford that stop whining, Like people in coach have to.
    Business class, used to be called second class… It’s really not that special.
    Also, telling people that they’ll save money for their kids by flying coach is massively condescending – if they’re paying for there kids they havemore than enough to.

  • NotHereForTheCircus

    I’m in total agreement with you! I flew recently on Emirates business. It was a $5,000 ticket (company paid). But they did that because they expected me to sleep and arrive lucid. Unfortunately one kid kept having outbursts and another kept asking his Mom (sitting across the aisle) questions in his outdoor voice. One I think was 6ish and the other 10. I didn’t sleep more than 30’ at a time which is about what I can do in economy. There should be a “family” zone of business where kids can all be. On Emirates there are 2 sections of business so the rear section closest to the lounge (where people are socializing anyway) would be a logical place for that. Especially if parents -which are the bigger problem here, in my opinion- aren’t willing to tell them to behave as if they’re in a library and not disturb others instead of playing whackamole across whatever empty seats they can find.

  • Aiyo

    What a silly topic. My kids both flew business since 4 months old. Never a prob. It depends on the parents and their preparation for the flight.

    Never did once did they cry. Though being 5 and 3 now, i am conscious to ensure they are tired out by exhausting their energy prior to the flight to avoid disruptions to other customers.

    In summary the parents need to be responsible.

  • NoCalDataDiva

    $11,000? Seriously?

  • SnowCrash

    Funny how the ones complaining about kids are always the ones who don’t have kids. I’ve travelled with my wife and 2 kids in international business many times, regardless of whether they’re well behaved or not (they are), I’m paying 4x whatever you are so from my standpoint you can go pound sand.

  • Robert Clouse

    So, because they paid for their ticket, they are saying those of us who paid for our kids aren’t allowed? If that isn’t the epitome of entitlement.

    I flew my 5, 11, 14 and 17 year olds First Class on BA to London. I had more problems with a pommie brit in first than anything with my kids, who were very well behaved, as always, and loved the experience.

  • Pat

    Everyone thinks their kids are great and not to blame. Ignore all the comments below and instead ask those who had to travel with them.
    No kids under four. And any noise problems on board need to be dealt with promptly whether caused by adults or kids. You are buying peace and quiet. It’s not just the flat bed. Trouble is airline staff won’t confront the issue and the parents like the ones below tell the airline staff and fellow passengers to suck it up… I paid so my kids can do what they want.

    Says it all about these folk doesn’t it?

  • D01wje

    Let’s be clear…. People who fly business class aren’t paying, their employers are. Whereas those who take kids in bizzo ARE paying themselves. Who is more entitled to get what they want and where does it end? While there is still a first class…. How would you square that?

  • Craig Muldoon

    What is “serious work”? I can’t say I have ever had to fly at the front of a plane to get work done. Not that I really care about what happens up front, whether kids are there or not, but just being around people is annoying regardless of age. If you think you’re really precious enough for this to be a thing then just hire/buy your own plane and then dictate who gets to sit where as much as you like.

  • Nerissa

    Firstly if you are paying $11k for a business ticket you are doing something wrong. My children 5,7 and 9 travel business class and they are really well behaved, quiet and sleep a majority of the time. Many adults don’t sleep and keep my kids awake. Funnily my husband seems to be able to crack out some ‘serious’ work when he travels with 3 children. We once decided to forgo business with our first going to Europe as we thought it would be better for him to have a bassinet and sleep, this was the row behind business class, he screamed from 11pm-5am and there wasn’t one single thing we could do, he was simply overtired , guess who copped the brunt of the noise, business! If we can afford to travel business with our kids, those company paid business seats and points seats need to suck it up. Kids are a human being and have every right as you to travel up the front.

  • James

    *return trip

  • James

    That’s actually a good point, lol. But yeah the idea of the article was that kids should all go in the same area so those that really need to get work done (or are willing to pay extra to ensure a painless flight) can have somewhere to get that.

  • Michael Hamilton

    What a crap article. If I pay for my family of 4 to fly business class, I have 4x the right to be there than the up tight snobs complaining about kids in business class. Parents should control their kids no matter where they are in the plane, being in economy doesn’t make it right or better. But saying I shouldn’t fly business with my kids because you generalise and stereotype is just pathetic. Take a pill or two, put your headphones on and don’t bother the other people on the plane with your shit attitude and opinions.

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