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Banning Babies

I have to be honest, screaming kids do sometimes bother me. Preschoolers and elementary school aged kids who are allowed to throw tantrums and run around in inappropriate places at innappropiate times BOTHER me. I like to think that though my kids are far from perfect I never have to worry about them ruining someone else’s experience at a resteraunt or movie, because they know how to behave in public. If they don’t know how to behave, I don’t take them there. And when they were toddlers I did not take them to movies or certain restaurants or anywhere else I knew that they were not ready to behave. Now, we go to the movies whenever we get the chance and other than an occasional Shhh! from me, they are the perfect kids. This is not always the case at home, but in public it generally is.

So YES, I am a firm believer in not taking your child places they don’t belong. Some kids can handle certain situations, some just don’t. As a parent, I feel that it is my responsibility to know what they can handle and to avoid those situations until they’re ready to be in them.

With that being said, I do not feel the same about infants. I say if you want to bring your infant into a movie and suspect that your baby will breastfeed and sleep during the whole thing, I could care less. The same goes for bringing the infant into a restaurant, as long as you are committed to leaving if the child becomes very cranky and uncomfortable and you don’t change a diaper in my face (hey I changed a million diapers in my life, and I’m done) I’m cool.

So, when I read that Malaysia Airlines were banning infants in first class, I didn’t’ like it. This week Malaysia Airlines became the first major airline to ban babies from the first-class cabins on its aircraft, and will extend the ban on the A380 super jumbo.

This is totally unacceptable. If they want add designated areas in the First Class cabins, I’m all for it. But parents with the money for first class shouldn’t have to make other arrangements because they have an infant. Travel has to happen and if they are willing to pay for first class, they should be able to fly it. What are parents supposed to do? Ship their baby with their luggage down below?

These days it feels like moms can’t always breastfeed when they want, dads can’t afford to take the time off work to bond with their babies when they’re born, plus every other obstacle families face in the world today. Do we really have to make them jump through hoops when trying to fly as well?

All of us are babies at one point, and the majority of us will have a child of our own or at the very least travel somewhere with a child we care about eventually. So shouldn’t we give parents a break?

If Malaysia Airlines wants to create a “Baby Area” on their planes, more power to them. If they want to move unruly preschoolers who can’t be wrangled by their parents to coach, OK. But leave the infants and the stressed out parents who have to travel with them alone.

What do you think? Should babies be banned from first class?

Photo from Trolf

  • Peter Schott

    In this case, I don't really have anything for or against. I don't fly first class. :-) However, it's the airline's right to do this, even if we disagree. We can always take another airline. My guess is that this wasn't a huge problem in the first place, but one or two cranky infants were enough to get some people to complain. Personally, I wish those people would remember that they were once one of those cranky infants and get over it. I realize that's not likely to happen, though. I try to sympathize with the parents in those cases. They don't want it to happen, the baby isn't comfortable, and there just isn't a lot you can do sometimes.

  • Susan Smith

    No I don't think babies should be banned from first class. If they don't like the noise the babies make then but on headphones. I

  • Courtney G

    No, I don't think babies should be banned from first class

  • Stacy

    I believe it's unreasonable and unfair to ban babies from first class. Anyone who can afford to pay the fare has the right to board the flight. Babies are babies…adorable, precious, heartwarming and…unpredictable. Get over it and practice a little tolerance, kindness and patience.

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  • Beth T.

    I’ve been thinking about this since you posted this a few days ago. I did a little research, and it turns out to be a pretty limited situation: Malaysia Air does not allow babies on a select number of flights in which their first class cabin was reconfigured and no longer accommodates bassinets. To be honest, I think they don’t accommodate bassinets because of the exorbitant cost of the flights–$32,000 round trip from Kuala Lumpur to Amsterdam. Insane amount of money to spend? You bet. But if someone pays for a flight in which they can recline, sleep, and enjoy unprecedented luxury, they don’t want to sit next to a fussing baby. And you can’t explain that to a baby, the way you could to any other passenger who might disturb the peaceful atmosphere.

    To me, it seems awfully similar to wedding invitations that essentially say, “Please leave your children at home.” The bride and groom don’t hate babies, they simply want a certain atmosphere at their wedding. Malaysia Air wants to create an atmosphere of luxury to appeal to people who would be willing to pay $32,000 for airplane travel. (I checked the fare twice, thinking I’d misplaced a decimal point.)

    I know I’m in the minority of opinion here, but that’s okay with me.