A few weeks ago, an editorial in the New York Times did an informal poll, to check with travel experts, business travelers and parents to get to the bottom of the scintillating topic, “should babies be allowed in First Class?”

As a parent, I’m offended by the question, “Do babies belong in First Class?”

I’ll be honest. I felt attacked. Even though my kids are middle schoolers and long past the age of crying on airplanes (let alone crying on airplanes in First Class), it brings up a particular memory of abject humiliation. Trust me. Young parents know no one wants to sit next to them for fear of an outburst or explosion of some sort. Nothing is more embarrassing than your own kid disrupting a flight.

Every parent has a story. Mine was when our 10 month old vomited on an absolutely full red eye from Los Angeles to New York, about 10 minutes after takeoff. Reader, I was crammed in a center seat at the back of the plane. I cleaned myself up as best I could, but still had to sit with vomit traces in my shoes for a 5 hour flight next to two very unhappy fellow travelers. It happens.

Point: People in First Class Pay for Peace and Quiet

The argument goes that those haughty folks in First Class have paid dearly for the privilege of a completely serene flight experience. And babies are not part of that scene. Babies should be banished to the back with the rest of the non-exclusive riffraff. In fact, there’s a legendary story that’s been making its rounds about the Interwebs for years. The story is about late night host James Corden, and supposedly shows what a monster he is.

Now, let’s take a First Class traveler who doesn’t have kids. That dude probably reads this story and thinks, “Huh. That seems fair. He paid a lot for the First Class treatment and deserves to relax.” A parent reads it and thinks, “psychopath.” Why? Because we know that the only other person on a flight who is on your side when you’ve got a lap infant is, in fact, your spouse. They’re required by law, in fact, to be supportive.

Counterpoint: What do the airlines say about babies in First Class?

At the moment, all major U.S. airline carriers permit babies in First Class. Now, there is something key to point out. One, First Class flights are becoming a thing of the past. More and more airlines are phasing them out. In fact, pretty much the only place you can find a good, old fashioned First Class seat is on an international long-haul flight these days. Lap babies are allowed pretty much everywhere on a plane. Sorry!

Do you feel a keen sense of injustice as a First Class customer who shelled out a cool couple of thousand bucks for your seat? You didn’t ask to share breathing space with a yowling infant, after all. We have a suggestion. Just repeat a mantra like “suffering builds character” or “this too shall pass” to yourself. And maybe invest in some noise canceling headphones. We hear they work like a dream.

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