Families In First Class, A Right Or A Wrong?

If you ever want to stir up a debate when it comes to travel all you have to do is mention that you think it is okay for kids to fly in first/business class, sit back and wait for the fireworks. I have seen comment sections on blogs explode over this, and while you always have a commenter or two who throws in the pot that kids shouldn’t fly at all it is always pretty much an even mix of yes and no.

The first time we flew business class overseas with our son he wasn’t even 4 months old. We boarded the plane, prepared for the glares of people around us, and took our seats. A kind flight attendant told us that if anyone gave us grief to remind them that we had just as much right to be there and that everyone on that plane was a baby once themselves. 8 hours later we landed and we had people telling us they didn’t even realize we had a baby on the plane.

He did the return trip 10 or so days later, and then did another overseas business class flight at 8 months. While our good luck streak ended there we have a firm policy of taking business/first class if possible and we don’t think twice about it.

When you are making this decision, which, let’s be honest, is a pricey one, whether it be money or miles, there are a few things to keep in mind that definitely make it worth the cost. Before you get on the plane you have access to the airline lounges where you can have a place to relax, eat (drink!) and prepare for the flight. You have more space, more personalized service, shorter lines for the bathrooms, better food, and you will be on and off the plane first, not to mention amenity bags – kids go crazy for the socks, eye masks and other random things they include! Kids enjoy having more space, and better entertainment options (at least on US carriers).

Is it worth it? It was for us, and hopefully will be again someday. Until every airline has sky nannies like Gulf Air we can only be so lucky to have the extra conveniences that flying first/business provide.

Since most people don’t have an extra $5000 or more per person for a first/business class ticket there are a couple of ways to get up there for less. You can buy an upgradeable ticket, which is more than an economy/coach class ticket but less than FC/BC, and then use points to upgrade. You could use points for the whole ticket, but those seats generally go quickly, especially on more popular routes. Many airlines off the opportunity to upgrade the day of for a per person, per leg amount, although sometimes the upgrade is only to premium economy, which provides more leg room than economy/coach. And traveling off season would increase your chances for upgrades as well.

And remember, everyone on your plane was a baby once too :)

Would you fly with your kids in first/business if the opportunity arose? Have you?


5 thoughts on “Families In First Class, A Right Or A Wrong?

  1. Ann

    I’m on the fence with this topic. I think it’s more to do with my general cheapness in flying, though I do get premium economy when I fly now. Would I if given the chance? I really don’t know. Once I flew premium economy, once my H had status on Delta, I hate the thought of not having those so I probably wouldn’t just because I don’t want to know what I’m missing. Or maybe I just tell myself that and the first chance I get I’ll be the first one on that plane, with my kids on either side of me and a drink in my hands. ;)

  2. Dad

    As you know, due to my airline status, I fly up-front 99.5% or the time. I don’t get the issue about should kids fly up there with me. Two days ago there was a barking dog in the front with us. Is it okay to have a barking dog and not a laughing child? When we had little kids (you, as one example) we couldn’t afford to fly in the front but it seems to me that their money is as good as the adults. I’ve sat next to some obnoxious seatmates (not your Mom) so does that mean I should ask them not to sit in the front? This whole debate is nuts. The people that are against it should recognize that an adult doesn’t have more basic rights than a child should have and if their answer is “That is why I pay more-to not be around kids”, than my answer is that they should go buy or rent a private plane and they can bar kids.

  3. Emily O

    I’ve debated responding at all because I really only have one frame of reference. My DH insists that we fly first class at all times for personal trips. My kids have only flown domestic, but we take about 3-5 flights a year since they were born. They have only ever flown in first class. I have NEVER had anyone make a negative comment about them being there, even as infants. On the contrary, the usual comment we receive is how well they behaved or “we didn’t even notice they were on!” From the flight attendants to the other passengers, it’s always been a great experience. I appreciate the experience and use it to practice my “behave or else” motherly look of death ;)

    My concern is, as the kids get older, do they realize that we MAY not always fly first…Danielle is at the point where she recognizes it’s different. We get to board first, she gets drinks and snacks. I know they will be spoiled if we have have to fly anything other. ;)

  4. Emily O

    I also wanted to add, the price for their tickets is EXACTLY the same as an adult. Just after Darren turned 2, we took a flight 4 first class tix, and spent the entire flight in my arms asleep. we basically paid for an empty seat, nearly killed me! I’ve had people ask me if the kids seats were less expensive. I soooo wish! We pay way too much in flights, but it’s a battle I’ve given up on with my DH.

    Some people choose to spend their money on house, cars, other hobbies…we choose to spend it on flights and travel.

    1. andrea

      I agree with all of this, we definitely choose to spend it on travel! I don’t blame you for flying first class, we have no problem doing it with kids either, it is the best way to go :)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>