Back to Coach, Baby! Airline Bans Infants From First Class

When my kids were very young, I had part-time childcare so that I could work. On a few occasions, I can recall sneaking out to have lunch with a girlfriend or browse mindlessly through the mall when a baby (not mine!) would start to wail.

If there were a thought bubble over my head when the nearby wailing started, it would have read: “Noooo! Please, no. I’m paying fourteen dollars an hour not to have to listen to that exact sound. I actually was enjoying a grown-up conversation for a brief moment. Would you mind very much taking that outside?”

So when I read about Malaysia Airlines' recent ban on infants in first-class cabins, I totally got it. Not that I’m flying first class anytime soon (or possibly ever), but if I were forking over four or five figures for the ability to stretch out my legs and knock back mimosas-on-demand, I am pretty sure I’d like to enjoy those privileges in shriek-free silence. (And finger-wag all you will; in an LA Times poll, 47% of respondents said yes, airlines should ban babies in first-class cabins; 19% said no; and 33% said "ban them in all classes." Ouch.)

If I were smart, I’d violently oppose this move, possibly even look for some infant human-rights violation in action, seeing as now all of those howling babies are going to be back in the miserable coach section with me. As much as I envy those pampered jet-setters up front, I still think they deserve to get their money’s worth. I just hope at least once in my life, I’m up there smugly enjoying all of that quiet with them.

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