Malaysia Airlines horrified globe-trotting parents last year when they banned kids from first class after receiving a plethora of complaints about crying babies. Now, they've restricted where children can sit in economy on certain flights, similar to smokers and non-smokers in many restaurants, according to the Australian Business Traveler.
There has been long-standing tension between airline travelers with kids and those without. Little ones have a hard time dealing with the fear of flying and the painful pressure in their ears. And some airlines have been shuffling kids to the back of the plane, dubbed "baby ghettos," unless parents want to pay additional fees for sitting together, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The new measure was unveiled in a Malaysia Airlines memo sent to travel agents, which stated children under 12 would not be occupying the economy section of the upper deck on the new super-jumbo, set to debut July 1. The airline hopes an adults-only section will make the flight more pleasurable for its customers, many of whom are business travelers.
"Please make your seat selection at lower level if you are travelling with children under 12 years old," the release read. In addition, when booking a flight, travelers with children under 12 who book online will not even be given the option to sit on the upper deck.
Could it make flying easier for both parties?
Frequent flier Tim Foley, who does not have children, said Malaysia Airlines' measure is "reasonable."
"I understand why they'd restrict kids from the upper deck," Foley said. "When I sit in coach for a local flight, I can expect and handle some annoyances. But if I'm in my seat for 13 hours on the Kuala Lumpur to London direct, I'd like the option to sit in a seat with reduced exposure to children."
And, for those parents who are seasoned at flying with children, the measure might even take a bit of pressure off an already stressful situation.
Mom Jessica Brookhart, who has taken her son on several long flights, said she understands the other passengers' needs are a main concern.
"I can deal with my screaming child," Brookhart said. "But to expect complete strangers to be sympathetic is more than I can ask."
Matt Baca, a father of two, argues annoyances come in all forms when it comes to flying.
"The days of the smoke-filled, gin-addled, Mad Men-era flights, staffed by chipper stewardess are dead and buried," Baca said. "To point the finger at testy children is simply playing dial-a-grievance. Air travel is a giant ball of stress, regardless of who is or isn't on our flights."
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