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?