Banning Kids From First Class
Malaysia Airlines cause a ruckus earlier this year when they decided to ban children from first class. Apparently there were enough complaints from first-class passengers that kids were ruining the flight experience for them. It’s seen some backlash, but in general the support for it has been there.
Quite frankly I think it’s a great idea. First Class passengers shell out hundreds (in some cases thousands) more dollars for their seats than those flying in economy class. They should be able to enjoy a peaceful, quiet flight without a noisy kid disrupting their flight experience. What business does a kid have in First Class anyway? Most of them aren’t of age to drink alcohol, and they sure as hell don’t need the extra leg room.
One other benefit of banning children from First Class comes to those of us in my ranks: the flight deck crew. First class is pretty much always located right behind the cockpit. Yes, the cockpit door is shut during flight, but you can still hear noises coming from the cabin, and particularly those that come from closer up to the cockpit. I can’t imagine anything being more distracting to us pilots than a screaming kid. During cruise it might not be so bad, but during critical phases of flight that require our full attention and energy (namely takeoff, landing, and emergency situations should they occur), we don’t need that kind of distraction.
Malaysia Airlines isn’t the only one restricting children, however. Ryanair, a budget airline from the UK, recently announced that they would be offering child-free flights starting last month for some of their highest-density routes. Ryanair, unlike most legacy airlines, doesn’t have first class, so they chose this option instead (and, in turn, are charging more for these flights). However, the demand is there and from the looks of it, customers are more than willing to pay the extra fee. I see this as an excellent money-making opportunity for the airline.
Now, I don’t think we should ban kids from airlines in general. That would be taking things too far. Restricting families from vacationing or taking trips together is a bit much. However, passengers (and especially first class passengers) are entitled to a peaceful flight, and let’s face it, there’s nothing more peace-disrupting than a noisy kid.
So yeah, I fully support the practice and I hope my airline will implement it soon. It would make my life much easier, at any rate.
What do you think? Are you for or against first class kid bans?