Opinion Brief

Should kids be banned from flying first-class?

Malaysia Airlines boots babies to the back of the plane to appease premium passengers who complain about crying infants. Should other airlines follow suit?

Malaysia Airlines has banned babies from flying first class on its jumbo jets, after receiving complaints from passengers who shelled out extra money for premium seats, only to be kept awake by crying infants. Facing protests from some parents, the company has since tried on a different explanation: A redesign of its first-class cabins left no place to fit carry-on bassinets, and babies can fly more safely and comfortably in business class and coach. Is this fair to families looking to fly in style?

Yes. First class passengers deserve the peace: This might sound "harsh, reprehensible, and completely discriminatory," says Kim Conte at The Stir, but let's be honest. Some parents just can't keep their babies quiet on long flights. Screaming babies are part of the bargain if you want to save money by flying coach, but people who "shell out big money to fly in comfort in first class" have every reason to expect peace and quiet.
"Babies should be banned from flying first class"

Frazzled parents have a right to pampering, too: It's easy to understand why high-rollers want calm in their "very expensive and highfalutin' flying area," says Sunny Chanel at Babble. But the airline is being unfair to parents "who can afford it and want that luxury for them AND their baby." If "you are an exhausted mother, and you too want to travel comfortably, and have room to play with and interact with your child," you deserve to get what you pay for, too.
"Is it fair to ban babies from first class? One airline thinks so!"

This is unfair, but it's not the airline's fault: Malaysia Airlines isn't the bad guy, says Tom Henderson at ParentDish. The routes affected are long hauls between Kuala Lumpur and Sydney, London, and Amsterdam, and it was the "wealthy, international business types" on those flights who demanded the baby ban. Parents' rights be damned — "enjoy that third mimosa in peace, Lord Chauncy."
"Airline bans babies in first class"

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