Obnoxious kids in Business ClassBack to Forum
Anonymous22 Dec 2009
I fly between Asia and Europe almost on monthly basis, I have never been on a flight that had so many kids and toddlers in business class. I can understand the uncontrollable baby cries, but the most recent experience from Amsterdam to Bangkok was excruciating painful for me and all the other passengers flying on business.
It appeared that the parents planned this family vacation for quite some time and let their kids loose, treating business class cabin as the sandbox. The traumatic experience began after dinner and the cabin turned off all the lights for passengers to rest. I do not need to go into details because these are just kids doing kids stuff. e.g. Running up and down the walk way, constantly switching on-off the reading light, slamming the table trays, kicking seats, laughing and talking loudly, etc. These kids also drove the cabin attendants nuts by pushing the service button repeatedly. I asked the little boy behind me not to play with the lights because it really bothered me seeing the flickering lights in the dark. The gentleman beside me also told the kid behind him not to kick his chair. All this time, the parents did nothing. I don’t know if the cabin attendants should also provide intervention because at one point, the guy that sat across from me leaped up from his chair and screamed something in Dutch at the kids because they were laughing loudly watching a comedy. They were finally silenced for about 5 minutes before resuming their kid-like behavior.
Parents should retain some control of their children, especially in such a confined area with many people sharing the same space. Not everyone is going on a vacation destination. I don’t have problem with kids flying first or business class. There are several occasions when I flew with children that were very well behaved. For me, the most important aspect of flying business is the privacy. Apparently, these parents were indifferent on how others feel.22 Dec 2009
It is rare for kids to behave badly…it is the parents that are badly behaved by allowing their kids to do whatever comes into their charming little minds. I fly frequently, and have sat next to or near children in premium cabins that were the font of perfection – polite, well mannered, with plenty of things to keep them busy (books, portable video players, games consoles, etc.). You hardly heard a peep from them. I’ve also seen parents who totally ignored their kids, allowed them to eat/do whatever they wish, and cause mayhem for other passengers. I’ve found that a bit of a strong yet quiet word with the offending parents does quite a bit to ensure they are the ones doing what they should – looking after their charges, rather than crew or the other passengers.22 Dec 2009
Obnoxious kids inhabit all classes. Its down to the parents to control them. I was lucky enough to fly with my two kids who are 4.5 and 2.5 the other day in business and my wife and i keep are eyes on them. Laughing and polite kids are always appreciateda nd most passengers will understand genuine issues with children. However none should forgive parents who fail to control their children regardless of the class they are in.22 Dec 2009
While agreeing entirely that it is the parents who must control their offspring, I do take issue with the rather silly comment “I have no objection to kids in business or first” Have I to be grateful for your condescension? Perhaps you should have a private jet and travel on your own!
Parents of those children will have paid, in many instances the same as everyone else. Discounts in Business and First are very limited. Moreover, as someone fortunate to travel with kids a lot and in J an F, ( just arrived in Syd yesterday with mine) my experience is that is more often other passengers who are the most obnoxious with the worst being in business and generally those who have not paid for their own fares, something most parents choose to do and increasingly at little or no discount to the adult fares. I have seen behavior from so called adults on aircraft that is shameful and I have not heard of any instances of air rage or drunkenness from a child!
I have personally had a so called adult male demand loudly of a crew that he be moved as my 6 month old was in the seat in front. “I have to work! I must sleep” he ranted when spotting the sleeping infant. No doubt his kids will be the terrors and delinquents of the future as if kids are ill mannered or ill disciplined then they learnt it at their parent’s knee. He was moved from the upper deck to the relief of all and especially the crew whilst my daughter slept for 9 of the 12 hours in the air.
In 30 years of travel I have also endured the snorers, the hygienically challenged and the downright rude; as well as inconsiderate parents, ill mannered unaccompanied minors from some of the best public schools in the world and pretty dire cabin crew who clearly do not have and will not ever have kids.
All that said, when you buy a seat on a flight, whatever the class it gives you no rights other than to be transported along with your fellow human beings, no matter how unpleasant that experience might be for you. If you really do not like it………buy a plane .22 Dec 2009
I couldn’t agree with you more. See my posts on the “Fattest Passenger” thread for my thoughts on the issue, if you wish. They’re pretty much the same as yours.
A very Merry Christmas and a Healthy and Prosperous 2010 to everyone at BT and on the Forum,
Thanks to all for your advice, help, tips, comradeship, argumentativeness, sniping and very funny posting throughout 2009. May we have more in 2010!
Simon22 Dec 2009
Obnoxious children are not welcome ANYWHERE….nor are obnoxious adults. The difference being, in the case of kids, their behaviour should be controlled by accompanying parents, or by FA’s if they are unaccompanied. In any case, the parents are to blame, for bringing up their children badly. Unfortunately, there is a thin line between what is perceived as “obnoxious” and “cute”; and the person who complains or intervenes then becomes the bad guy. I disagree: any person, no matter what his/her age, should not be allowed to wilfully ruin another’s experience of anything, be that a flight, a meal at a restaurant, or a movie.24 Dec 2009
I couldn’t disagree with you more. The originator of this thread makes a legitimate complaint about a particular experience of his: obnoxious children in business class. You are correct though that obnoxious children, as well as obnoxious passengers of various ages, can be found in every class of service of the plane.
The vast majority of business class and first class passengers on long-haul flights prefer calm and privacy. Therefore, this is social norm of the those cabins and individuals — children, parents, or others — wishing to violate those norms are really better candidate for being denied carriage and taking private planes as you suggested to the original poster. I would prefer though that there were not policies introduced to prevent children, for example, from travelling in premium cabins because this policy would needlessly discriminate against many well mannered persons. I do believe that parents should take more accountability for the behavior of their children … in the case described here perhaps the parents should financially compensate those passengers unable to sleep for their decision to adopt a laissez-faire attitude and let their family run wild in blatant disregard for those around them: what gives them the right?24 Dec 2009
Here’s a thought.Maybe some of the airlines flying the A380 could remove some Economy seats and, instead, install special seats for kids and, basically, set aside this section as a cabon specifically for kids.This section could then be staffed only by crew who have been trained (to a high level) to look after kids. This would probably be the only way to make sure that kids weren’t bothering adults in any other section/cabin of the aircraft. Goes without saying that the kids’ section would have plenty to keep the occupied and entertained…even the brats.25 Dec 2009
Hi everyone !!
I want to share with you my experience with my CX flight where one infant and a around 2 year old girl travelled with their parents on this flight. We were all sitting in C class. I had the front row seat in the middle of this A330 aircraft. Mother and infant sat on my left while father and daughter sat one row behind me. As infants and young children are –from time to time they get loud. The parents tried their best to calm down the two. I personally experienced how the father did his best to comfort the children inorder not to disturb other C pax in the cabin. So this was definitely an exception from the normal obnoxious kids or loud toddlers. But there is one situation which I found really interesting–when the father suddenly need to get to the toilet he just gave the toddler to the senior female purser on board–actually pushing the child to her arms. She was just so surprised, but never said anything that this is against CX’s regulations.She just carried on and tried to calm the child down as this started to cry loud. It looked so normal and naturally. And the father actually did not even thanked her for that. I think most of us–just take everything for granted nowadays. Most of us just think –I paid a premium fare for me and my kids–so the airline should be responsible for everything during my flight. If this means babysitting, educating the kids on the flight, feeding them etc. Yes, it would be great, if those parents get some help from the crew–but they should not forget–they/the parents are still the prime responsibles for their kids needs and attitude on board.
I have not against kids or toddlers on board –yes, even in premium cabins ! We were all toddlers and young kids onced and surely most of us have children and travel with them–so a bit of patience and sympathetic is not that bad.25 Dec 2009
I have issues with this as well. No one pays for/upgrades to business/first classes to put up with other people’ s children. Airlines cannot do anything about it because 1/ the parents are paying/upgrading for it and 2/doing something about it would be construed as discrimination. Since airlines are not able to satisfy the needs of their business/first classes passengers – that is keep riff raff out of the premium cabins -, I suggest flying on private jets.25 Dec 2009
This topic is indeed interesting, and perhaps you all would appreciate the input of a ex-flight attendant for a major US airline.
Kids on airplanes present a unique challenge, as the confines of an airliner cabin, the rules that must be followed there, and the basic decorum expected often run contrary to what children naturally can and want to do.
Kids flying in First/Business Class prove an even greater challenge, because in that case they are seated among adult travellers who have paid not just for a seat, but for a perceived (be it realistic or otherwise; therein lies the debate) “in-flight experience” that usually involves peace and quiet, the ability to sleep, work or to converse with seatmates. Often, passengers in those cabins fly specifically to AVOID the “Romper Room” atmosphere of an Economy Class cabin filled with familes.
One story sticks out clearly in my mind: I was working as Purser on a 757 making a cross-country flight. All 24 seats in First Class were full, as usual. There were 23 adults, almost all clearly businesspeople, and one toddler with his parents. As a poster mentioned earlier in this forum, the parents treated the entire cabin (and those of you familiar with the 757 know that even the FC cabin does not have hardly any “spare” space) like a playground–the child was allowed–almost encouraged, as the adoring parents looked on–to run noisily up and down the aisle nonstop. You can imagine the looks from the other passengers. I asked the parents nicely to keep their child out of the aisle at least to let us perform our rather intricate dinner service. They ignored me. Finally, after an hour or so of the nonsense, I decided to “cut the gordian knot”. I simply stood firm and let the child run into my legs, then fall over on his back, bursting into tears. That minimized the problem for the rest of the flight.
As a PS, one female FC passenger was so appalled by the parents’ complete disregard for their fellow travellers’ in-flight experience that she drafted a scathing letter to them (she showed it to me) and handed it to them as she disembarked.
For passengers whose mindset is: I have kids and I can afford to fly all of us in FC/BC, and kids will be kids. Deal with it”, I would like to point out that adults cannot act anyway they wish onboard an airliner. Drunk, abusive, belligerent or other antisocial behavior must be dealt with by the crew, and if necessary, the authorities on the ground. Children are not exempt from basic rules of behavior just because of their age–as evidenced by the recent removal by Southwest Airlines of a mother and her toddler which threw such an ungodly trantrum onboard, the captain actually returned the aircraft to the gate.
Rather than get into a heated and pretty pointless debate about “should children be allowed to travel in FC/BC?” (eliciting the predictable onslaught defensive accounts, seen above, of “MY kids NEVER misbehave on a plane”), I’d like to simply refer to the rules airlines have in place for their OWN employees traveling space-available.
While the precise wording and exact age mentioned in nonrevenue travel rules varies from airline to airline, essentially it is an industry-wide rule that employees’ children are PROHIBITED from traveling in so-called “premium cabins”, regardless of circumstance.
If the airlines, who have been doing what they do for three quarters of a century, forbid this of their employees, that should give the everyday passenger pause for thought.26 Dec 2009
Sorry, Rick, I hear what you say but wholly disagree.
Presumably, I am the person you allude to whose child “NEVER misbehaves”? On planes that’s true; elsewhere, far from it, alas. Anyway, that’s not my point.
My point is this: individuals are exactly that, individuals. As a former FA, you must, I guess, understand that more than many in other professions. The real point of this thread is, I believe, that it is down to the parents to exercise control. Period.
I wonder whether these types of parent you and others refer to (and whom I have come across on many occasions, too) are exactly the sort of passenger whom, when travelling WITHOUT their kids, show an equally blatant disregard for the comfort, privacy and safety of others, by getting drunk, acting obnoxiously or being anti-social in some other way?
To apply a blanket ban on children would, indeed, be discriminatory. It would also be grossly unfair. I pay for ALL my tickets in F or C/J, and those of my family, employees, whatever. I therefore have every right to choose what class I travel in, as I do for those who travel either with me or on my behalf. Equally, I have a responsibility to ensure that those travelling with or on behalf of me (adult or child) and, indeed, myself, behave in a responsible manner that does not upset or intrude on others. If they do not, and I become aware of it, it is a disciplinary matter in terms of employees. In terms of friends or family, it is a “never again” (and yes, in terms of two friends, it has come to that, before you ask).
Perhaps some of the pax we have all met, (who often are clearly travelling up front at someone else’s expense, because they don’t appear to have the inter-personal skills to actually OWN a successful Company) who make a mess of it for others, should have the same attitude taken towards them by whomsoever is actually funding their trip? It is, very largely, adults, rather than children who upset others, as they form the vast majority of the payload in the front cabins.
A Happy New Year to all,
Simon27 Dec 2009
Two things about this
First, All airlines do not ban kids from premium cabins, Qantas have no such policy and permit childrens from infants. BA on the other hand ban kids of staff to the age of 12 from First only, matter the position held by the staff member.
Kids are no different to adults in many ways and like us need diversion and something of interest whilst flying, yet airlines seem unable or unwilling to address their needs. They do not provide headsets for example that fit children so how can they be distracted by the IFE if they cannot watch it. Then of course there is the issue of content of the which in my experience is pretty poor….and do not get me started on kids meals which are generally awful even in First.
Kids should be kept under control but I know if you provided me with poor food and no entertainment for 12 hours I would be grumpy as well.27 Dec 2009
Hi everyone !!
I do not want to deviate here–but it was just funny that even celebrities like Ivana Trump could get angry–really angry to kids in First Class and start insulting them. But the more funniest thing is–she is thrown out of the plane because she could not calm herself down. What a shame !! As if she could win against the kids—poor rich girl !!
Here is the report I read
http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/2009/12/27/2009-12-27_ivana_trump_thrown_off_airplane.html27 Dec 2009