Should I fly business/first class with young children?
I have often seen this question asked on social media forums and I know there will be people out there shouting a resounding “No” in fact I know there are people out there who would like to see children banned from flights altogether!
However these little humans have every right to their seats (or laps) as every other passenger.
Now as a very experienced ‘flying mother’ I know there is nothing worse than being in charge of a young child who suddenly decides to scream the place down or throw a tantrum and you feel that every other passenger on that aircraft is staring at you, tutting at you and wondering what an earth you were thinking when you decided to step foot on a plane with a child!
I even have a friend who is married to an airline Captain and therefore gets first class travel wherever she goes, affectionately telling the story of locking herself in the toilet with her screaming baby for almost an entire 7hr flight as she was too embarrassed to return to the first class cabin with her!
Now lets be honest here, who doesn’t want to turn left when they got on a plane and enjoy a few hours of relaxation and luxury rather than being cramped up in economy, with your knees going into battle with the seat in front right after its occupant has hit the recline button! and with major airlines ever increasingly competing for passenger loyalty the standards of both business and first class cabins are getting more and more luxurious.
So how to we get to sit in the seats of luxury? Well there are several ways:
- Free Upgrade (don’t we all wish for one of those!)
- Fully paid fare
- Flying Club/Airmiles – either full fare or upgrade price covered by points, or companion flights.
- Airline Staff Travel Benefits (sometimes extended to family & friends)
I was lucky enough to get my first and only free upgrade at the gate back in 2010 when my daughter was 12. It was the time when British Airspace had been closed due to the eruption of the Icelandic Volcano and we had already been delayed for 8 days in San Francisco. We were naturally delighted to receive the upgrade, but I admit I was still surprised to have been upgraded with a 12 yr old. Nevertheless at 12 she was obviously old enough to be well behaved when travelling.
Now please don’t get the wrong impression from the photos posted in this blog and think that we always fly business class, sadly we don’t – we have spent a lot of hours and I mean A LOT cramped up in economy seating!!, however in 2016 when my son was 4, I had the opportunity to get a very reasonably priced upgrade to Business Class (Club World) with British Airways and I have flown Club World with them a few times since; some paid upgrades (I have sourced a pretty good formula for ‘sometimes’ getting upgrades at at very reasonable prices, but that’s for another blog) and some flights paid for with Avios points and companion flights which I have earned with my B.A. American Express cards and converting my Tesco Club Card points.
Although British Airways Business Class may not be as luxurious as some of its competitors, what I love about it is the 2-4-2 seating configuration with the 2 seats in the centre being contained and private. When converted into flat beds you get virtually a double bed in the middle and these are the seats which I always aim to get when travelling with my son.
Now let’s consider the most common reasons that children create a fuss when flying:
- Sore Ears
And finally there are the flat beds, whether you have a baby or infant on your lap or a young child in their own seat, all of you are going to be much more comfortable and better rested with Flat Beds. Yes they still might not be the most comfortable place to sleep but it sure beats economy seating, and a rested, refreshed child is going to be a lot less fretful. Cameron just loves it when it’s time to convert the bed and snuggle down, it’s all part of the adventure.
So in answer to the original question on whether you should fly business class with Children, my answer will always be a resounding “YES” if you have the means to do it either financially or with airmiles. I have always had a much happier and contented child when we have upgraded, not to mention a happier and contented Mummy!!!! What was that I heard you say? “would I like some more champagne?” Don’t mind if I do….cheers 🥂