Topic of the Week: Upgrading with a Baby

This became a big discussion on Twitter, so I thought I’d bring it here. In a couple months, my wife and I are taking the little guy on his maiden voyage, and we had the chance to upgrade using miles on a cross country trip. Would you do it with a newborn or not? It was a mixed bag on Twitter.

(We actually did do it, but of course, we’ll be incredibly conscientious about any noise.)

144 Responses to Topic of the Week: Upgrading with a Baby

  1. Dave says:


    Sorry to burst your intellectual bubble, but your question really speaks loads more about you, rather than your baby or others who might be co-passengers in first class. We live in an “all about me and my kids” society, whereby it’s your “right” to sit there, regardless of how it might be tolerated or perceived by other passengers. To be fair, some adults (like those drinking heavily at 7am on a recent first-class flight) act worse than any child. But the main point is that others who save and scrimp for a first-class “treat” or who use miles, want a stab at a nice trip. A baby might (through no fault of their own, if tired, etc – unlike the 7am drinkers) make this impossible. So sit in the back with your kid; I would not even consider bringing children (and I have 3) up there until over 10 or so. Brett, narcissism is not a great trait; perhaps you’d do well to spend more time thinking about that, rather than upgrading you and tot to first class…

  2. dennis says:

    Who cares; The kid has as much a right to sit in first class as anyone else. What? Only those in coach should be subject to a crying baby. Just do the right thing when/if the little one does cry and try to settle him down. If it means spending a few minutes in the rest room, please do so. And don’t forget the tea bag trick. A tea bag soaked in hot water and placed in an empty cup. Hold the cup over the child’s ear. The light steam could help releave the pressure. (This is not medical advice. As a parent, you must decide what is right for your child)

  3. AirBoss says:

    This thread is providing valuable market research for that ever so important start-up airline project some of you clearly should be working to fund: “Curmudgeon Air — the airline for those who want nothing to do with other passengers” Get a grip, and lose the attitude, or fly NetJets where they just might tolerate it. (No guarantees.)

  4. nicole says:

    How does the old saying go…”you can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”

    Face it…we live in a selfish world including parents and non-parents alike.
    In the end, you’ve got to do what is right for your family. My experience travelling with my babies (infants and toddlers) in the fancy cabin has been good and only my husband was the grumpy one. (of course, I once left him in the back while the newborn and I enjoyed the front).

    We most recently travelled over the Christmas holidays in first class across Canada with a 9 month old and a 3.5 yr old. My hubby even got to join us on this trip! We did get some sighs and side-ways glances while in the airport lounge when my toddler sauntered through the door in his santa pjs (we’d just come off the red-eye with 1 more connection).

    Babies are much easier to travel with. If Mom is nursing, then let baby hang out there for the entire trip. The swallowing will soothe the ears for take-off and landing. Besides, it is comforting and makes for a happy baby (which makes everyone else happy too).

    Good luck!

    • dave says:

      Justifying your own selfishness? Perhaps try to not do what’s (ONLY) best for you and tots… Self-centered mom=self-centered kids…

  5. Smalladie says:

    I had to fly alone with my 6 month old twins and I was terrified they would cry the entire flight. I purchased earplugs at Target and once we were settled on the plane I handed them to all the passengers around us just to break the ice and to hopefully win some sympathy. Luckily my guys slept the whole way; not the case for the 10 month old seated two rows behind us who was with both of his parents.
    Oh another twin mommy brought snack sized kit kats to give out to everyone around her saying “Give me a break.” and got everyone in a good mood for the flight. Good Luck.

  6. AreYouNuts? says:

    The fact that you had to ask should tell you that you know the answer. You’re a goddamned moron and a selfish one at that.

  7. Londoner says:

    Our family traveled with twin boys and rotated them during the 1hr.30min flight. My husband flew first class and I was in coach. It worked out quite well,they slept during the entire flight and the AA flight attendants were great.Best of luck

  8. Dave says:

    Here’s my suggestion: Use your two first class upgrades to fly the grandparents to you!

    Why is this DNA-implanted requirement to drag all of you and young child across and through the masses of the traveling and very germ-intense environment? I see mothers doing this all the time by their lonesome and always think, ?Why?!?

    Grandparents you are not dead yet?get moving to go see your grandchildren.

    If not, Facetime or Skype.

    And no, children do not belong in first class.

  9. blair says:

    I am a travel agent for American Express. One of my clients had the same worry. What they ended up doing, was brilliant!! They made little gift bags, one for each seat in first class. The bags included ear plugs, a deck of cards, and a piece of fine chocolate. They also included a little hand written note apologizing in advance for any noise issues, but hoping these gifts could distract them in a positive way.

    • Lori says:

      I did the same thing as Blair suggested. I flew to Hawaii 1st class when our child was a baby. Oddly enough, 1st class was filled with business people, not families! I made chocolate chip cookies, and also included ear plugs and a hand written note for each 1st class passenger. Our baby was fussy for maybe 5 minutes before landing, but we got “high fives” from the 1st class passengers as they left the plane.

  10. Anton says:

    You and your newborn are just as entitled to the upgrade as anyone else. I’d certainly do it for the extra comfort. But doing your best to keep the tot comfortable would be greatly appreciated by your fellow travelers.

  11. patrick says:

    I believe that children should be banned from all premium cabins on aircraft as a matter of course, I do not pay that amount of money to tolerate someone else’s whining irritating progeny for the duration of a flight. If children must be accomodated on planes I suggest an area in the hold where their loving parents can take care of them. Airlines really should realise that most travellers intensely dislike children on flights, and could actually market family only flights thus keeping everyone happy.

    • AirBoss says:

      Airlines really should realise that most travellers (and crew, for that matter) intensely dislike pompous a-holes on flights, and could actually market pompous a-hole-only flights thus keeping almost everyone (except crew drawing the short straws to work them) happy. “Welcome to PAA — Pompous A-hole Air”

      • Of course the problem on getting folks onto PAA is no one sees themselves this way. Therefore the best way to handle this is to have an airline within an airline and offer status to people to get on that airline.

        Of course if you do it right it’s a sound proofed compartment at the back end of an MD-80, but this really isn’t AA’s style, or is it?

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  13. Lisa Y says:

    We flew on a four hour flight to CA with our newborn who was just 1 month old in January. We purchased a seat for her which allowed her to sleep in her car seat. It also gave us the entire row, so we did not bother any other passengers. She was a trooper and slept the whole way. If you have a long flight would definitely recommend this! the bottle or pacifier at take off and landing added to the smooth sailing. Check with your doctor for any other recommendations before you fly. Most people will be thrilled to see such a tiny baby.

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  15. Sane Citizen says:

    I have to agree, if they are able to travel, fly the grandparents to visit you first class. Chances are they can take more time off and can visit longer.

  16. Anne says:

    My son was born in Hongkong, and I flew round-the-world with him four times in the first year of his life. Most babies get fussy to start with during takeoff, as the pressure hurts their ears. From there on, you will be on downward spiral throughout the flight. The trick to avoid this is to nurse (or bottlefeed) the baby during takeoff and landing (which means thinking ahead to make sure your baby is hungry as you get on the flight and therefore wants to take the breast or bottle). As a courtesy to your fellow passengers, whether in first class or coach, you need to be highly attentive to your baby, and do everything you can to avoid having the baby cry, or to calm the baby if he does fuss. That may mean that you get little rest, but if you make the effort, your fellow passengers will usually overlook a bit of crying.

  17. Rich says:

    My wife and I flew several legs of our trip out east with our 9 month old daughter in first class and had a great experience. She has just as much a right to be there as anyone else. And since we were more comfortable, she was more comfortable. Planning around nap times and giving her a bottle during take offs and landing was our game plan and it worked perfectly. The only leg on which she fussed was the last leg of the trip coming home when we were in coach and we were all miserable. IMO, people who upgrade to first class expecting perfection are idiots.

  18. brian says:

    Go ahead and upgrade. My wife and I do it all the time with our youngster. We have found that
    if you are actively soothing and occupying your child then people are sympathetic to u. The ear plugs are a great ice breaker. Gift bags are a nice idea too. The bottle a takeoff and landing works when then are younger than 6months. After that we have found it is about making them comfortable, feed before u board, keep them warm planes are always chilly. Get them laughing, nobody can be mad at a happy baby. The extra space in first class where you can set your kid down infront of you is great they will enjoy the mobility. My daughter loves the airblower above the seat and will point her face towards it for minutes at a time. If you are stressed and worried then your child will well. As will the people around who see your worried looks. Stay calm, be happy, and it will be fine. And remember when the kiddo falls asleep take advantage of the free drink you will have earned it. Cheers.

  19. Wow this topic is still going strong after almost two weeks.

    Interesting to take it all in and see how many adults have whined on here about whinning children.

    Unless an airline policy bans children from first/business you have every right to take a child in that cabin. Granted parents need to control their older children any time they are out in public (which so many forget), but infants unless they are teething or sick are pretty calm as long as you feed them and change them.

    • CF says:

      It’s because I wrote about this on this week, so a lot of people are coming into the discussion for the first time.

  20. GK says:

    This is a pet peeve of mine. I travel 6 months every year, but almost exclusively internationally. For the most part, I don’t mind kids on the plane. However, it’s the parents where in lies the problem. I’ve had to call on the flight attendants to get parents to take care of their crying children. On one flight, the “mother” (note the quotes) let her child scream (the harsh, shrill, “bloody murder” type of scream) whilst she was eating. Her reaction to the request to tend to her child was a bit more than a roll of the eyes. I was not the one who called the flight attendant.

    For me, ear plugs (for sleeping) and noise-cancellation ear buds do cut down on most of the noise – unless they’re in the row in front of me. But this situation is easily remedied by a change of seating days prior to boarding (i.e. get a seat away from the fold down “crib”).

    Upgrade yourself/family/kid – but please, please tend to them when they cry!

  21. Marcia Englefield says:

    Brett, I have flown in first class – to Europe – twice with my first son. The first time he was 5 months old, the second at 18 months. The flights to Heathrow were 8 hours over and 9 hours back. In addition, we’ve done numerous trips to the west coast (from Atlanta) as well. I will say, the younger the better. He did better on the first flight, because he slept and didn’t need to be entertained. Be sure to take bottles and gas drops. The gas drops saved us on many occassions. Also have some infant pain reliever as well, for back up. And be ready to walk around a lot to calm him down.
    My older son is now 4 and has been to England 5 times and California twice, and he’s a great flier. My 23 month old on the other hand… he’s been to England twice. Let’s just say, sometimes you can’t do anything about your child’s personality!

  22. Stephanie says:

    Do it. Your life will be so much easier. Flying cross-country alone with my four month old, I was terrified of the responses of those around me in *any* seat. I was especially hesitant about using the upgrade points and ruining someone else’s first class trip. But it turned out, the people around me there were probably much more forgiving then those in coach would have been. They’re the seasoned travelers, and where incredibly helpful (like helping me store and retrieve overhead carry ons). I made a joke of it when I sat down (“now, be a good girl, or they’ll make us go back to coach”) to help remind those around me that no matter how hard I try to calm her, she’s still just a baby – she’s doing her best. And having the extra room, wider aisle, more space to maneuver in, and bigger seat meant it was possible to hold a sleeping baby and eat soe lunch. Try that in coach, and you’ll be hungry, tired and grumpier than your child at the other end. You have as much right as anyone to sit there, and will enjoy the amenities ore than those who just put on their headphones and sleep through the flight.

  23. betsy says:

    All of this fuss is for naught. Stick a boob in the TWO-MONTH-OLD’s mouth. Not a peep will be heard throughout the flight, take off and landing included.

  24. peter says:

    On the whole after a working life with much intercontinental air travel, I would not approve of infants and youngsters in business and first class cabins, BUT also do not think families should be jammed up like sardines in a can with your babies and youngsters in cattle class economy either.

    This I know is often an horrendous experience at times for parents glued to postage stamp sized seats. So, people who pay large sums of money for premium cabins want peace and quiet as well as comfort, and should get it.

    I would like to see the airlines set aside a sort of premium economy seating area designed with the needs of parents and youngsters in mind. If these are not fully utilized for this purpose then they can always be sold on to people who will not mind being surrounded with other peoples often noisy prodigy.

    Airlines would need to offer all other passengers a level of sound insulation against the possible racket that would be generated, and this all costs money which they will not want to spend of course, so doubt it will ever get off the ground, no pun intended.

    If no easy mechanical design solution is possible, then a safe form if infant knock out drops should be developed for the benefit, comfort, and safety of all passengers.

  25. Matthew says:


    Thank you so much for “airing out” this issue! My wife and I are expecting our first and as I flew my upgraded AC flight last month I was wondering if such days would be behind me for a while. On one of the flights was a small child (not a newborn, but a toddler at most), and it was the first time I had seen such a little one anywhere but coach.

    Thanks to your post and some of the useful feedback here I shall take a stab at it if we do see fit to travel by air.

    Thanks, and keep up the good work!

  26. Cindy S says:

    I read your question about bringing your infant in first class, I think that if you can pay for it or upgrade to it than you should be able to do it. You will find heavy drinkers in both classes. The parents of the infant could use the extra room to be more comfortable. If the infant is fussy there are ways to try to sooth the child like a bottle or breast, a soother or just some cuddles. Its the children between the ages of 2 to 6 that drive me nuts! Well the parents who let them climb, scream, pull on the seats a head of them or peoples hair.

  27. Vicki H says:

    Do it. I’ve flown often with my babies both in first class and in coach, and both on my own or with my spouse, and everyone always comments at how well behaved they are. The key to flying with kids is managing them for their happiness, your sanity and for the sake of the other flyers. Be prepared with plenty of milk (breast or formula) and snacks if they are at the phase. Have some toys and I found a DVD player playing Baby Mozart, without the noise, can be very mezmorizing for a baby. Whatever age of your child, you should be prepared with lots of activities and snacks so the minute you hear an issue or see a hint of boredom you can immediately spring into action to ward off any discontent. Babies typically sleep anyway on a flight, but give them a bottle or pacifier at take off and landing, if they aren’t sleeping, as the sucking helps them if they may have ear issues. And do yourself a favor, if they look at all like they might be sick a week or two before the trip, take them to the dr to make sure they don’t have ear issues as its so hard to tell on those things until they are at breaking point.
    First class is larger and more comfortable, and yes a luxury…and if you can afford it with $$, points or upgrades, you have every right to do it. I think the notion that kids shouldn’t be there is ridiculous. The people who shouldn’t be there, either adults or kids, are the rude ones – and they don’t belong on a plane in general. Whether in first class or coach you should manage your children and be respectful to other flyers, and vice versa. Go for it and good luck!

  28. Candace says:

    My husband was lonely while out of town taking care of his sick, hospitalized father and asked me to fly down with our 4 month old baby boy. We took a small commuter jet, not in first class, for an hour long flight. At the time, my first born son was having trouble adjusting from breast feeding to the bottle and cried the whole flight. I was so worried that he was disturbing the passengers I hid in the restroom for as long as I could. I have never seen a flight attendant When I came out the flight attendent expressed concern there was something wrong. It doesn’t matter where you are on the plane. The worst thing a parent can do is ignore your child. Go ahead a sing softly to him, play peek-a-boo, anything to distract them. Ask the flight atttendants for assistance with bottles and diaper changes. They love to help with little ones! Ensure you have extra clothes, toys, favorite blankies and binkies (they get lost along the way). At the end, my husband was so glad to see us that the flight was forgotten (almost).

  29. Reisen says:

    Brett, saw your article on, nice coverage there.

    As a million-miler whose trans-oceanic flights probably number somewhere around 100, I’ve dealth with lots of crying babies, in coach, business, and first. As the father of a 22 month-old, I’ve also been “that guy”. We’ve kept our daughter off international flights (grandparents kept her) since she’s been born, but with my parents living on the opposite coast, and friends in the mid-west, she flies domestic about 6 times per year.

    For those who say “leave the kid with grandparents when you fly” or “have the grandparents come to you”, get a grip.

    A- In today’s economy, the grandparents may not be retired.

    B- The grandparents often live near other family members, so I can either fly three of us to see them, or fly dozens of cousins, aunts, uncles, great aunts, etc. to us.

    C- Many of the people we fly to visit (great aunts/uncles and great grandparents) are too frail to fly, but it absolutely makes a 95 year old’s day to get to play with a baby.

    Look, here’s the deal. If you’re up front these days, you’re earning it somehow. My wife earns it through multiple $xx,xxxx (5 figure) ticket purchases for business travel per year. I earn it through a moderate amount of flying, and lots of miles from CCs. So I agree with others that a parents’ money is just as good as a business traveler’s or someone who doesn’t have children.

    All the talk of strategies to keep children from crying is great, and parents should know that stuff inside and out. But the reality is, sometimes, babies just cry. Maybe they have gas, are tired, etc. Gas drops are great, as is rocking and walking them, but there’s no surefire way to stop it. Sometimes they just need to cry for a few minutes before nodding off. If you see the parents ignoring a crying baby, by all means, say something. But if they are rocking/reading/playing/feeding them, then know they don’t want the baby crying any more than you want them to.

    Further, there are things that cause kids to cry beyond the parent’s control, but within the other passengers’ or cabin crew’s: Flight sits for 45 minutes (or more) on the tarmac, without running air? The baby is probably going to get hot and cry. Passenger in front of you in coach reclines their seat? That 14 month old now has way less room, and the ipad with Wonder Pets episodes I brought for them no longer fits on the tray table.

    I get the idea of bringing your carseat for the flight, and buying the kid a seat. We tried that once. Disaster. With the size of seats in coach, you’ve just moved the kid within a half inch of the seat in front of them. Talk about a recipe for seat-kicking. Any parent with foot-prints all over the back of the driver’s seat in their car knows what I’m talking about.

    In the 10 or so flights we’ve taken with our daughter, we’ve had a range of experience, from plenty of people smiling at her and playing with her, to FAs who gave us free booze when she was crying (that was much appreciated), to the guy next to us being super nice about it when she threw up on him, to an evil wench in coach demanding we “shut her up or take her to the back of the plane”. If we estimate that’s 35 hours of flight time, I bet a full 33 hours of it she has either slept or played quietly. Pretty good, when you think about it.

    Lastly, there are certain realities in life that you just have to accept. Children, the disabled, and the elderly are, and should be, treated differently. Part of being a gentleman means not honking at little old ladies on the freeway, not rushing by people in wheelchairs on the jetway just to get on the plane a few seconds earlier, and not snapping or glaring at crying infants in the cabin, whether in F or in C. I’m amazed at how often I see middle-aged men and women in suits doing the above, and more.

    Now, a mother watching a movie and ignoring her 3 year old while he kicks your seat for 90 minutes? Feel free to turn around and say something. So I’m right there with all the posters that commented older kids should know better, and so should their parents.

    • Reisen —–

      “””””….to an evil wench in coach demanding we ?shut her up or take her to the back of the plane?. “””””

      That is just wrong for someone to act that way. So did she think the people in the back of the plane wouldn’t mind listening to a crying baby? Maybe she should have went to the back of the plane.

  30. I’m still enjoying seeing all the different comments on this subject.

    Remember when airlines would seat families in the coach bulk head seats to have that extra floor space. Well now a number of airlines use those seats as part of their Econo plus type seating or just for full paying coach passengers. The point made about cramped coach seats and having the larger seating area of first/business was a good point now that bulk head seating is not much of an option these days. While I would spread a blanket on the floor first, putting a small child on that little extra floor space with some toys can make everyones trip more pleasant. All mom or dads needs to do is use their legs to block the toddler/baby from going in the aisle and they are set.

  31. This subject started out with the word upgrading to first, well there are people who pay first class fares for themselves which may include babies and small kids. Since a lot of people sitting in front have upgraded from a lower cabin fare, the family paying full first class fares are paying for the right to sit in first class and those that upgrade really aren’t.

    Did anyone ever think that those that can afford to fly flight class don’t like when lower cabin folk invade their area?

    • Cindy S says:

      What about the people using airmiles or aeroplan points to get into first class? They can get into first class for less than $350.00 for 2 tickets!! Why would I be stupid enough to pay full fare when I can save $1500.00 and use the points!!! Just because you have the money doesn’t make you smart!!!

      • Cindy S —- Not everyone is a member of a mileage program. And people can only upgrade if the airline has upgrade booking class available, whereas there is alway paid first/business class seats available over upgrade space and people may wish to purchase the cabin they wish to be in so they know they have the seats.

        Now not of this includes those on an paid international business ticket that would permit first class on a domestic flight in 2-cabin aircraft.

        • sorry for the typo, that should say….

          Now none of this includes those on a paid international business ticket that would permit first class on a domestic flight in 2-cabin aircraft.

          • Cindy S says:

            I have both paid for first class and used points. Either way I was in first class with a child. There were no problems. I will add that the amount of free alcohol the adults were drinking was nuts!! The loud abnoxious drunks were sad! I would take a toddler over a useless drunk on every flight!!!

  32. Annete says:

    I would for a better reason, Less germs up there, there are people who don’t shower, snore make noises, and are adults, I think little man will be just fine, just remember the pacifier and hope he is sleeping during take off, I flown when my son was 2 months old on a 3 hour flight not a peep out of him, maybe I was lucky but again I didn’t fly 1st class, but was in first row behind 1st class, I took the chance and I had no regrets, get him use to it now and he will be a joy flying! good luck can’t wait to read how he did! Good luck! NC Mom

  33. Just thought that maybe some of you that have expressed feeling about no children in first/business might want to contact Family Airlines/Avatar Airlines in Las Vegas and talk to them about being investors. Those 747′s they plan on would hold alot of babies and kids and free up your space in first/business class on other airlines :-)

  34. Marna says:

    Take your baby where ever you are. If you are most comfortable in first class then by all means do it. My little one traveled first class when she was just a few days away from turning 1. Now she is a seasoned traveler at age 7. I agree with the pacifier or drink during take off or landing. We did this, even if it was not time to feed, and many said that our little girl was the best behaved baby they ever saw.
    You can generally tell when the plane is going to land. I feel the pressure change about 20 minutes before landing. If the baby is asleep it is generally very easy to put the pacifier in their mouth at this time and just keep it in.

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  36. jonnyx says:

    I’d have to ask “why take the baby on a plane at all?”

    My reasoning is that every time I have been on a plane with babies ( idk 2-24 mos. ) it’s never gone well. And some of these were 12+ hr flights across the pacific. Talk about headaches. I have also flown business class ( I am neither privileged or well traveled enough to warrant a first class upgrade ) and it was a dream. I just can’t see a throwing a baby in that mix and making it worth my while. Obviously I don’t have kids.

    But wouldn’t it be better on your fellow travelers to just buy tickets for the in-laws to visit you? Either way your buying 2 tickets. It seems selfish to buy them for yourself, when your child most likely will not remember the trip at all. Why punish us? So what if the grandparents might not be retired, they can get vacation time..heck even someone working part time at mcdonalds can get vacation time. It’s not hard. Now I can understand if you want to visit a lot of relatives in one area or another country. Thats the dilemma. I have no answer for that, I’d say wait till the child gets older buuut it might be asking too much. I have family in Texas and Canada and didn’t visit them until I got older….which was probably only because my parents couldn’t afford to fly all of us (we drove).

    Of course, you can do what you please, it’s just society today is all about “me, me, me” and not the greater good. Flying long distances is a pain in and of itself….

  37. This discussion has been so interesting…I dont think it has anything to do with who has a “right” to be there, vs who doesn’t, I just think it’s simply a case ofa parent knowing their child. I’ve been flying in F with my daughter since 6 weeks old, she’s 3 1/2 and has been abroad multiple times, and in fact we’re leaving for India next Friday in F. Why? Because I need extra room, I can do this either on points or a good industry fare, AND SHE BEHAVES. She’s used to flying, she knows the score, and I have a system of what I pack to entertain her, backup batteries for toys, a sleep schedule and lots of attention most of the time at the expense of my rest, my movies, etc. That’s called being a parent. Adults have bad gas too, even in F. Adults have attitudes, even in F, I’ve had worse adult seatmates that were miserable at best in F and far worse than a child. Bottom line is if you’re a parent, you know your child and what they can or can’t do. I promote luxury travel for a living, fortunately I see more of the good side of well behaved, well traveled kids than some of these children you’re all speaking about.

  38. Peter Brinkmann says:

    I used to travel a great deal in the nineties. I remember one time in Business Class on Lufthansa in Frankfurt, a woman came in with a small child. The child made a bit of noise and the woman whispered to the child and said, “wir wollen die Geschaeftsmaenner nicht stoeren.” (We don’t want to bother the businessmen – the section was filled with men). One passenger (a younger fellow) immediately said “Geschaeftsmaenner sind auch Vaeter” (Businessmen are fathers too!), he jumped out of his seat and assisted the young mother in getting situated. That helped set the tone for the flight and even when the child cried some more there was no stress or worry on anyone’s part.

    Fly 1st Class with your kid. The real jerks on flights are the people who bring massive amounts of luggage into the compartment instead of checking the bag. I understand the airlines have contributed to this by charging additional fees for everything but sticking stuff in the overhead compartments can take a lot of extra time and even delay takeoff – I’ve lived through that with a 3 year old who started to cry. The guy who had caused the delay was right in front of him so I said to my wife, don’t worry, we were all set, Jackie was quiet, and now this delay (we had started down the runway and stopped suddently) has made her cranky, if anyone gives me any grief for it I’ll kill them. Nobody said a word.

    • Holly says:

      Really? You’ll kill them? Because someone may have delayed your flight a bit and complained that your kid was whining/screaming/crying? You’d commit a felony because someone complained about your kid? Assume you’re delayed 10 minutes and the flight is 2 hours – that 10 minutes made the difference between cranky and not cranky?

      If I had been sitting in front of you I would have told a flight attendant that you made a terrorist threat on an airplane.

      You sound like you have anger management issues, you should get that checked out before you fly again because you never know when an air marshal might be sitting next to you. Would it be overreacting? Probably, and I doubt that you’re not nearly as badass as you think you are, but “I wasn’t serious!!” wouldn’t hold up in court.

      Think about how much you would have delayed the flight then – they’d have to go back to the gate, and the commotion would probably have made your kid even more cranky.

      Then you’re even worse than the guy with the luggage.

  39. lcook says:

    Not only do I recommend it; I have purchased first class for my 18 month old on a 10 hour trip. He only cried once the whole 20 hours and slept most of the rest. He was better behaved than the woman in front of us and the flight attendants loved him. Enjoy!

  40. Stop being selfish and do what is best for your kid. Regardless of age children are safer in a SEAT OF THEIR OWN. You are a parent now think of them first. Use the mileage for a ticket for the kid instead of upgrading. It is safer for you kid.

    • Cindy S says:

      Thats in your opinion. I fly with my child a few times a year, if she was an infant I’d rather have her in my arms than the seat next to me. With the take offs and landings being so hard on them they need the loving touch of thier parent. They need the comfort and security.

  41. Kidless Guy says:

    I don’t have kids. I’m not wealthy. I recently foolishly paid full first class fare for a romantic trip with my wife. I envisioned luxury and pampering. Of course, a 5 year old was behind us, seat kicking, object-throwing, and screaming the whole way. It ruined the entire experience, at first I was angry at the parents, but then I realized…
    Shame on me! It’s not the parent’s fault. Many of you might blame the parent for not distributing cookies & earplugs, or controlling the kid better. The reality is they have the $$$/clout, so they can and will do what they want.
    But really it’s my fault for not realizing that first class is just coach with bigger seats and expecting an level of peace and quiet and .
    Someday when an airline actually bans children from first class I would gladly do it then. Until then, no way!

    • Its also your fault for not saying something to the mother and/or flight attendant. Sure you shouldn’t have to, but I wouldn’t give the parents more than five minutes if they weren’t working on settling down the kid.

    • Cindy S says:

      I hope they never ban children from first class. Its 100% the parents fault for the way the children are! If the child is a terror it shows the parents way of raising that child. The parents know long in advance that their child is bad or disruptive yet they don’t care! I’ve been in first class many times with both paying the whole fare and upgrades and never had any problems with any child, now the people taking full advantage of the free booze now theres the problem!! Rude loud inconsiderate!!!

  42. Biz Traveller says:

    Of course *your kid* is *mostly* quiet and loved by all when you bring them to first class. Ha! Spoken like a parent.
    You live with your kid 24/7 and are used to the stench, the screams, and the projectiles. When they even halfway behave on a flight you think “what a good kid” while the rest of us wish you were dead.
    Listen: I hate your kid. I fly first class because there’s a higher likelyhood it’ll be kidless. When you bring your kid to first you ruin my day. Please go sit in coach, preferably in the back. I’ll pay you the difference in tickets.

  43. Joe says:

    I’m doing the same thing with my daughter. Sorry haters, but my money is as green as yours and my miles are as valuable as yours

    • Joe says:

      For those of you who want a magical, luxurous flight experience, welcome to 2012. The company that does that is called NetJets.

  44. Ghina says:

    We flew with our (back then) 4 months old overseas last December. I was so worried we were going to be the ones people hate on airplanes… I could actually see, walking the aisle towards our seats, some people’s facial expressions about being next to a baby on board, and it wasn’t encouraging… Our baby girl actually did very well, with little fussing! We had considered upgrading to business class, but we opted for the bassinet (1st row behind business) for her to sleep in instead. We had decided that sitting in coach hands free is better than business class with a sleeping baby in your arms. I would do it all the same for a long flight (>5hrs), but for shorter flights, I say: UPGRADE.
    2 small notes:
    - Nurse (or bottle feed) baby on take off and landing if baby is awake (It does work).
    - If baby fusses, acknowledge fellow passengers by apologizing. It might sound worthless, but they will be more understanding.
    And as one already pointed out: Noise cancellation headphones in business class will do the trick for annoyed passengers.
    Good luck!!

  45. John says:

    You may be able to use this service; or I could see some of your clients who might appreciate the help; especially if they have experienced a disruption.

  46. Pingback: Do babies belong in first class? |

  47. Pingback: Do babies belong in first class? | Country to Travel

  48. Pingback: Do First Class and Babies Mix? | Travelpro Luggage Blog

  49. Cindy S. says:

    On our last flight there were many children on our plane other than my 13yr old no other children in business class, we had more difficulty with a drunk wind bag sitting in front of me than anything on the entire plane. It was so horrible to sit infront of him. I would have rather had a fussy child than an obnoxious drunk who wouldn’t shut up!!!!

  50. Phoebe says:

    We can?t help it, if we need to bring our young, then we should. I think it just requires a certain amount of consideration to who?s around us. So let?s not freak out when we see some wolf eyes around. We are passengers and we are entitled to our own rights. But at least a mom like me knows how to calm down my little one while on air.

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