Mark Twain famously declared that a baby is “a loud noise at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other”. While he was clearly not a fan, it is a moot point that infants on board a flight do not make for a peaceful trip. And no matter how silent everyone else is, there is no way to compensate for a noisy child.
Up until recently, it was a lost battle for the traveller desiring a bit of peace. Babies learn early on that they can make loud noises, seemingly without tiring. Many mothers are either unable to control the mewling, or cease caring. (It is an irony that these are often the same mothers who later in the flight say “Shush! The baby is sleeping…”). It has been said that as infants approach two years of age, both parents acquire selective deafness. Unfortunately, however much they yearn for it, the same cannot be said for other passengers stuck within howling range.Malaysia Airlines have announced that they are to ban infants in first class. This will be great for the others in first class, like worn-out businessmen. For leisure travellers needing some shut-eye on that long-haul flight for which they have saved for months (in some cases, years) it just got worse – the infants evicted from first class will now add to the wailing in economy.
Our view is that whichever side of the nappy curtain you fall in this debate, you deserve to pick where you spend your money. There are child-friendly restaurants, hotels and resorts. On the other side of the coin, there are hotels and restaurants where young children are not catered for, as their target market is couples or singles, not families. So, why all the hullabaloo over Malaysia Airlines’ decision? If you still want to treat your little precious to luxury on board and not just a kiddie pack in “cattle” class, go business or use another carrier.
It will be very surprising indeed if other carriers don’t follow suit now that one airline has had the courage to take a stand and protect the peace and quiet of first class ticket holders. It certainly costs a large enough sum of money to warrant some tranquillity.
For your next DIY travel trip you may have the choice of ‘family friendly airline’ or ‘business traveller friendly airline’. … Unfortunately there is no good news yet for economy fliers who are sensitive to noise.