lifestyle

Should business class be banned for kids?

Wouldn’t this be nice? For everyone?

The back of the plane is a desperate place. Noisy. Stuffy. And full of parents and fractious children who can’t watch another nano-second of Toy Story 1, 2 or 3.

Been there? Banging cups, sucking ice, looking at clouds. And then another parent drags their child up the aisle and it’s time to tag out. Back to your seat. Back to the ‘look’s.

One of those ‘looks’ might come from Fairfax’s Lee Tulloch who says, “I hate myself for this, but whenever I find myself seated in close proximity to an infant on a plane, especially on a long-haul flight, my heart sinks. It’s worse if I’m seated in the business or first-class cabins because I’ve been looking forward to the possibility of a peaceful flight with lots of sleep.”

And with that, she asks, “Should children be banned from business class?”

Tulloch says, “I once flew first class from Sydney to Asia seated across the aisle from a colicky baby who would not settle during the entire flight…. Some people would like to see this mother banned from sitting in the comfortable seats, arguing that noisy babies and children don’t belong where passengers might be doing business or trying to get some rest before an important meeting, or where they have paid a premium for the privilege of not sitting in the scrum that is economy class.”

Oh please. That’s life. Like, real life. Babies have collic. Toddlers throw wobblies. Kids get tired and cranky. Deal with it. If you want to be immune from the WORLD, buy your own jet.

As you may have gathered, I’m not one of those parents who has ‘well-travelled kids’ and if I could afford to put up with my restless children in Business (or even First) Class, I certainly would. Would you like a pith-less orange juice with that screaming child? Yes, please. Or a free pump of the lavender scented hand moisturiser in our bathroom while you change your just-toilet-trained toddlers undies for the fourth time? Why, thank you.

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The thing is – when it comes to kids on planes – no one’s having a good time. Holding a small child on a plane is like wrestling one of those arm flailing tube men that you see out the front of car yards. Add biscuits, headphones, some stuffed toy and an open drink bottle.

I have three kids under four. My choice. My problem. And I’m genuinely sorry if that problem ever becomes yours. Truly. Sometimes, I don’t even want to sit with my own children. Once, I caught myself thinking, “How much would I pay someone to look after my kids on this plane?” I may or may not have even asked my husband shortly after take-off.

Both Scoot and AirAsia X have no-children policies in business class and they also have child-free zones in economy. And apparently, Malaysia Airlines provides a child-free upper deck on select flights.

There are times that I’d quite like to ban certain people from my flight. Noisy business people who talk on their phone prior to departure? Travellers who hog seats at the departure lounge with their bags? People who board with stinky tuna sushi rolls? Well, maybe not. I may have done that too. But still. Sometimes I’m just not up for tuna smells wafting through the cabin. Just like sometimes you aren’t up for listening to my children.

But I won’t be banned. No. Because if we start, where will it stop? Movies, cafes, the car wash, supermarkets? There are three certainties in life – death, taxes and toddlers throwing tantrums.

Sometimes you just have to suck it up, right?

Do you think children should be banned from certain parts of the plane? Are your children ‘well-travelled’? What would you like to ban from your flight?