So...for Kim's birthday, our friend Tom gave us a couple guest upgrade passes for our return trip home from NYC. Tom flies a bazillion miles each year. Because of his status, he gets a certain amount of guest upgrades.
(Aside: my time at Climate saw me make it to Alaska MVP status...it's pretty darn rad, IMHO).
Kim and I were very much looking forward to our 6+ hour flight home to Seattle seated in First Class.
That is, until we saw the family of 4 take their three seats in first class. Mom, a toddler and an infant in the same row from us, across the aisle. Dad in the window seat behind them.
Now...you may have noticed. I have a kid. And, very soon, I will have another kid. An infant, in fact. Kim and I are discussing potentially flying this new kid at some point during the first year of his life.
Let me assure you...under no circumstances will we fly with Owen in 1st Class.
Why not? I mean, either you pay for the upgrade or your dedication to the airline rewards you with the better seat. Why not take advantage of the extra legroom, larger seat and attentive service?
Well, let me tell you. Because everyone else in 1st Class has paid for the same thing. And, one of the other perks of 1st Class is limited craziness.
I understand flying with infants is a pain in the ass. I've done it. And, generally, I sympathize with parents who do this. I try to help them when I can with luggage or, if I am sitting next to them, juggling all the baby stuff. And, I put all of my patience to good use because I know that no matter how annoying a crying baby may be to me...it is 100x harder, more awkward and often more embarrassing for the parent. They have my sympathy.
When they sit in coach.
Flying with your kid is sorta like a right of passage for parents. You have kids, you deal with the consequences of that. You don't get to stay out late, anymore. You don't get to take that extravagant vacation. You don't get to go to the movies. And you don't get to fly in 1st class.
Perhaps you are wondering if our 1st class companion was well behaved. The answer is a big fat NO. Not only that, but mom and dad we're rather on the annoying side as well. The toddler would literally crawl over her seat to get to her dad. The infant (who was dripping snot everywhere) was crawling up and down the aisle to the point that the flight attendant had to tell mom that she needed to keep the baby in the seat. Crying, complaining, moving about. You know...all the things that babies do that folks paying a premium for seats don't want to put up with.
Dad was almost no help. He was sharing a row with a stranger who I have a ton of pity for. At one point, Kim told me that mom and dad had switched seats, but both kids were still with mom. So...three people sharing a seat next to a stranger in 1st class.
Not to mention that mom was making a ton of demands on the food. "Is this gluten free? Can I get another roll for the baby? I know it comes with bacon, but please take it off before you bring it out."
This isn't Red Robin, lady.
You may be wondering at what point it IS okay to travel in 1st class with a kid. So, for you, I now present:
Jason's Things to Consider Before Flying in 1st Class with Your Kid
- If you say "Stop that" and your kid doesn't stop, you should not fly 1st class.
- If your kid is a crier or a screamer, you should not fly first class.
- Kids occasionally need to move around to stretch their bodies. If your kid does this on all fours, becoming an easily kickable obstacle in the aisle, you should not fly 1st class.
- If your kid is an asshole, you should not fly 1st class.
- If YOU are overwhelmed by traveling with your kid, you should not fly 1st class.
- If you have any intention of changing your kid's diaper at the seat instead of in the bathroom, you should not fly. Period. Practice changing in a small space. Nobody wants to be next to your kid's exposed excrement.
Basically, if your kid is old enough to walk, listens to you and is able to be at least somewhat self sufficient (here's your water, you hold it and pick it up if it rolls under the aisle), then you're good. This can mean 3 years old. It can mean 5 years old. Heck, if your kid is a douche, it might mean 13 years old.
Again, if you're in coach, you have my sympathy. Kids need to fly. I get that. You can't go visit Grandma for Christmas without bringing Jr. I get it. But, that's what coach is for.
When we fork out money or reward points for the fancy seat, that comes with an expectation that I don't have to put up with annoying babies or their annoying parents. If you are one of those parents, you are totes rude!!!!