Malaysia Airlines has announced no kids in first class, will Ryanair ban all kids from some of their flights too?

Malaysia Airlines has announced no kids in first class, will Ryanair ban all kids from some of their flights too?

Recently Malaysia Airlines announced they would no longer allow babies to fly in their first class cabins on Boeing 747-400s and Airbus A380s when they go into service. This comes after complaints by first class passengers, who pay a pretty penny, not wanting to hear screaming kids during their flight. The airline has stated they have tried noise cancelling headphones, but passengers wanted the baby-ban. The airline still plans to allow babies in business and economy class seats.

Ryanair also recently announced they would start offering child-free flights this October. However, they announced the new flights right before April’s Fools and they have not officially announced one way or another if they will actually be offering the flights.

On the other side of the spectrum, I just got an email in my inbox this morning from Qatar Airways stating that two kids can fly for free (plus taxes and surcharges) with one adult. It doesn’t appear to be directly related to Malaysia Airlines not allowing babies to fly, but it is pretty good timing.

Reading many of the comments on the internet after Ryanair’s announcement and even more recently after Malaysia Airlines’ baby-ban statement, there seems to be a lot of popularity behind not allowing or restricting children from flying. Personally I do not have my own kids, nor am I a big fan of screaming kids on an airline, but it almost seems that is just part of living in a society — being around kids.

I am curious to get your thoughts and figured it is about time for another poll (Note: if you are reading this on the Seattle PI or Reuters synidcation, you will have to go to to vote):

[poll id=”5″]

If an airline outright banned all kids, there would probably be a huge backlash , even though it seems most people do not want kids on their flight. An airline like Ryanair might be able to get away with it, but look at all the attention Malaysia Airlines received just from banning kids from first class on only two aircraft type. We will have to wait until October to see if Ryanair’s promises of child-free flights was true or just another marketing ploy and I would suspect many other airlines around the world are watching how the Malaysian ban will work out.

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No, but they should ban bad parents.

I think that could cause some problems with some airlines 🙂


Jesse: me2

All my kids have been up, both in regional airliners and in the back seat of a single engined Piper and Cessna (which I was flying at the time). I have not had any problems with any of them, one was rocked to sleep on the final approach in a Dash8 with a crosswind landing laced with windshear (Wellington Airport in New Zealand – need to say no more) when he was 6 months old.

I could put money on it that the poor baby’s ears hurt and don’t know what to do. Because the baby is restrained with it’s safety belt attached to the parent’s belt (typically the mother), bottle/breast feeding the baby isn’t hard during the climb and descend and will keep the baby swallowing which will help immensely with the ears.

Anyway, thought I’d share that 🙂

It isn’t about the noise for me. The airline should have the autonomy to do what they feel is best for their business. Having kids sections is common place in other venues.

I think the big problem is room. What if they can’t sell out a kids section and some poor fool gets stuck in it?


I think there needs to be a distinction made between “kids” and “babies”. Babies cry and little kids are restless, but not everyone under X age is a problem. It’s not fair to oppress an entire segment of the population because of the behavior of it’s youngest members. Many children fly frequently and are not a problem, why should they be punished? Why should a 9 year-old that behaves as civilized as any adult on a flight be banned from travel for the actions of a negligent/idiot parent who foolishly decided that it was a good idea to take a screaming infant on an airplane? That and if you start putting an age limit on air travel and you risk crippling MANY tourist markets. I’m OK with first class having an age limit, but it should never go beyond that.

Perhaps I’m biased, as I non-revved frequently as a child with my parents, and I’ve been told repeatedly that I was never a problem. But I’ll admit I don’t want to be stuck on a long flight next to a screaming baby (which I have been), and in many cases I wonder why the #@$! parents take children that small on flights, but as uncomfortable as such a roll of the dice may be for any passenger, it’s not fair to outright ban all children just because of inept parenting. If flight attendants can have passengers removed because they gave them a dirty look or took a picture of the floor, then the same fascist assertion due diligence should be applied to parents who cannot/will not keep their children under control.

The writing is getting better, David, and thank you. I do not know what you have done, but the improvements are obvious. Stay with it as the rewards will be great. Thank you. -C.

No! It’s not okay to ban kids. What’s next? Banning annoying people?


That would be okay with me.

Yes, but who gets to decide who is annoying? 🙂

Naveed Mohammed

The ban is suppose to be applied for first class on certain route and flight for infants. Not kids.
But still there is an option to fly on business n world traveller. Airline has it’s own way how to deal with it. I won’t think this will make much difference.
This is in good interest for the passengers who need to fly peacefully after all they pay high prices

But how does one define who is an infant and who is a kid? Some of the most troublesome kids have been older and they can talk :).

I know if I paid $25k for a ticket, I do not want a crying kid, but on the other side if I drop $50k for me and my kid, I don’t want to be harassed.


Another thing to remember is that airlines will always do what is in the best interest for their bottom line first and foremost. There’s no possible way minus a regulatory change (and seeing that the FAA didn’t ban lap infants after United 232, that’ll never happen) that airlines would ever profit more from banning kids. The PR backlash would be tremendous and short of a handful of people who would actually pay more to avoid kids on a flight (look at how LCCs have thrived despite their planes being flying dungeons, all because they’re cheap), it would only cost airlines tickets and image. First class on an intercontinental flight on the biggest of the big is a far cry from an outright ban, and I think Ryanair is full of it. It’s always about the bottom line, and short of a first class cabin on a transoceanic flight, I can see absolutely no benefit to a sweeping policy change like this for *any* carrier.

You are right. It is all about trying to make money. It seems that Malaysia Airlines is thinking that they will make more money by not allowing infants in first class on their long-haul flights. I am sure someone had to do the math.

It is risky, but I bet that other airlines will follow after sometime. Chances are there will be more people not wanting kids vs that have kids flying in 1st.


Dan Langworthy

This really poses a difficult question for the airline. Malaysia has banned children in First Class, not the entire aircraft. International First Class is the highest revenue producing class in any airline. Rarely do you even see children in first class, so it wouldn’t be wise to upset the larger portion of their highest paying passengers, just to keep from upsetting the occasional family with a small child.

I flew First Class to Europe with my airline to Europe and there was a husband, wife, and their two young children. Their youngest child screamed the entire way across the pond. None of the other passengers, who each paid $8,000 for their seats, got a single wink of sleep. If you would have polled me then, I would have been ALL FOR a ban of young children in First Class.

Here are some other ideas I have. Should we an children from International First Class and leave it open on domestic flights? What if we banned children from First Class, only during red-eye’s, or oceanic flights that fly though the night? Basically, if there is a reasonable expectation that people would want to sleep, should we keep children out?

I know in my personal example, the most likely reason the child screamed all night was because he was over tired, in an unfamiliar environment, surrounded by people and noises that made him uncomfortable.

As I said, it’s a difficult choice for the airlines. We want the high paying customers to come back and don’t want to force them to go to our competition because they had an unpleasant experience with a screaming kid.

I would be pretty upset if I dropped $8k and couldn’t even get some sleep on the airline. I think this might be a wise move, let’s see if other airlines follow.


If you are paying 8k for a seat why would you want to sleep? When I flew to Singapore and back in United Business I wish I didn’t fall asleep, but unfortunately I was asleep for like 80% of the flights.

Well David, I’m up for airlines offer child-free flights. I love flying so much that for me is like a religious experience and having a kid next to me crying his or her guts out ruin that experience. Even if I have to pay more I would take the child-free flights. Now, banning kids even from first class is a little to harsh, if people on first class don’t like to have kids around, well the parents of that kid pay the same as them to be in first class, they have the right, I know its annoying but those parents have rights too. So offer child-free flights for a little more I think is fair for people like me who wants to enjoy that experience of flying or want a quiet environment. I love flying so much that every time I take a vacation it doesn’t matter where my favorite part had been the flight.
Its like trains, they have quiet cabins, where no noise is allow. Since plains have practically no separation (except from a curtain) it is a good idea to offer child-free fight.

While I don’t particularly like flying with kids next to me making noise, it doesn’t ruin the experience for me. I’ll take a ticket to an intercontinental destination in economy with crying babies over an international first on a domestic flight.


Dear David.

When one can drop $50K with a little extra one can hire a private jet,


Babies have no right to travel in first class. The decision is very insensitive and will not be welcomed by parents in any part of the world. the only sollution is to create a family-only sections in the aircraft. or invest in those special headphones that block out all noises.

I am not mad at the children, they are kids. But its the parents who need to recognize not everyone is so adoring of your kids.


As a parent the thought of banning children from any large subsection of flights bothers me, but then again my kids have always travelled very well. On the flip side, parents that don’t know how to help get their children through a flight without bothering other passengers annoy the heck out of me – it’s worse than the kids running rampant through the grocery store or the neighborhood with little or no supervision or discipline.

People pay a lot of money for first class tickets and while I think parents who can afford to fly their kids or babies first class should have the right to do so, the other passengers also have the right to a comfortable flight.

One possible solution might be to identify the seats purchased for infants/children so that other passengers would have the opportunity to select different seats or move to a different flight (without penalty). Another idea might be to fine parents who’s unruly children create a signifigant disturbance.

@Naveed and others, just to give you heads up avoid 14 Aug CI065 7 sept CI066 as i be sitting first with my 19month old and my wife.. cant say i did not warn you!

a quiet section like there is on trains would be welcomed.
plane travel has become so unpleasant that the small things that airline could do for free to make things less unpleasant for all would be welcomed.

Te front of the plane would be the quiet section.
everyone know that it gets louder as you move back.
If you are in the first four rows, then you are stating that you are whispering at the loudest.

I rode for 2 hours last week with a 5 year old out of her seat standing in the aisle next to me talking to the woman in the seat across the aisle. ear plugs or head phones are survival gear!

We should not ban children for their bad behavior, but we should ban parents who have not controlled their disruptive children in public. I have raise children and they all learned to hush when I say shhh! One of my children took a little longer than others to learn this lesson until she soon realized that she was missing opportunities to go where and when other family members went. As parents, it was our decision that others should not be disrupted because of our child who learned the lesson of “shhh!” a little later than our other children. Raising children requires the parent to decide when, and where each child is to go, and if each child CAN properly behave within each particular environment. It is NOT the responsibility of neighbors and others to suffer because my child has not matured to its lessons. Raising children is to be done at home, and when in public it is the parent’s responsibility to direct the child’s behavior and that does not mean having a debate with the child about how it should act or do. The parent loses whenever the parent tries to bargain or debate with a child about its behavior in public, and a child will quickly learns this.
Now if we’re talking about an infant who is irritated and crying because of a flight that is to be excused because an infant knows no better. But a two year old or older though it may not understand why it need to behave, needs to behave because the PARENT instructed it to. One day the child will probably learn why it needs to behave as it matures-but the parameters of the child’s life must be set.
If passengers are being disturbed by an unruly child (2 and above), the stewardesses should try to accommodate the passengers by removing the disruptive child and its parent to empty area of the plane if possible but an accommodating distance away from other passengers. If that is not possible, then removal should be the next option. We should not require the airlines to spend money or lose money to build or create a special child section.
Yes parents may be limited in the places they can go and things they may be able to do, but that goes with parenting. Requiring parents to parent will usually motivate the parent to find a solution to the behavioral problem while the problem is still young and fixable.
My final thought is that children should not be banned from first class, and forced onto those passenger who are not traveling first class. All passengers paid for tickets and none should be punished because of a parent’s failure to discipline their child. The issue here is one infringement of a particular passenger (an unruly child) upon the rights of other passengers and even children must be taught that their rights are not to infringe upon the rights of others. This is what America is about. Our young parents must learn that they and theirs must respect the rights of others. This lesson that could keep many out of prison. And while we are asking if a child should be banned, the real question should be whether or not the parent of an undisciplined child should be banned. And to that I say; the parents of a disruptive child should be removed from disrupting other passengers.


i have this talk with alot of firends and we think it should be little kids like babys and preschool kids


I think airline companies should have separate planes catering to passengers with no kids(first, business & coach) and planes for passengers with kids/families(first, business & coach). That way, everyone is happy.

With apologies to the one or two percent of parents who actually do a good job of raising their kids, I completely agree with this policy.

People who pay thousands of dollars to sit in first class do not want to hear kids screaming, crying, or feel their back give out because little Johnny sitting behing you decided to practice tai-kwon-do into the back of your chair while mommy and daddy sit there and do nothing.


Excellent idea!!! I hope the hotels/motels, cruises, restaurants, theaters, etc. in the U.S.A. ban the brats as well. I’m a smoker and some hotels banned smoking but allow brats running &, screaming like wild animals, and there’s always the “animal lover” and their disgusting barking dogs. We smokers are fighting back.

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