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I’ve always found the no-kids-in-Business-or-First-Class argument fascinating. And honestly, I understand where each of the camps are coming from.
I get it, you’ve spent a lot to have a peaceful and relaxing flight, and some kid comes in a ruins your plans. That’s frustrating. There are even people out there that say kids don’t belong on planes, and entire articles and discussion threads devoted to the topic.
But I was determined to test the waters with my own 2-year-old on a recent trip to Portugal, for the transatlantic flight from Salt Lake City to London. We had enough miles to make it happen, and I figured, why not? My daughter loves planes and has been on dozens of flights.
I wanted to decide for myself whether flying in Business Class with a toddler was worth it. Because not only is it expensive (whether you’re paying cash or miles & points), it’s nerve-wracking!
Traveling with young children is like playing a game of Russian roulette. Things can go VERY wrong, VERY fast. And I must admit, I was nervous to try it out with my own 2-year-old.
What would people think? Would I get funny looks and end up being “that person” who brings a rambunctious toddler on an overnight flight? What kind of mood would my daughter be in? Turns out, I DO care what other people think.
This wasn’t her first ~ 10-hour flight, so I felt I had a good understanding of what I could do to keep her comfortable, relaxed, and occupied.
So How’d It Go?
It ended up being a fantastic flight, and almost everyone commented on what a great flyer she was.
I brought a tablet with episodes of her favorite (and only) show on it. I rarely let her use electronics at home, so the tablet is that much more intriguing to her, and a great tool on a long flight! Plus, she’s at that age where it will actually keep her attention for a period of time.
I also made sure to have plenty of her favorite snacks. And brought along lightweight and packable “toys” like pipe cleaners and stickers.
After a number of trips, I’ve learned that a little goes a long way! And you can make a game out of almost anything (think packing and unpacking the amenity kits 😉 ).
I LOVED the extra space in the lie-flat Business Class seat. My daughter is looooooooong, and even when she was just a year old I was wishing she had her own seat.
I tried to see if she’d go to sleep in her own seat on this particular flight, but realized quickly that just wasn’t going to happen. Luckily, the Delta One seats offered just enough room for both of us to snuggle comfortably. She ended up sleeping for almost 7 hours! I’d call that a win.
Would I Always Recommend Toddlers Fly in Business or First Class?
To be fair, every child is different, and what works for one family might not work at all for another. So it’s up to you to decide whether you’re willing to take the risk of having to deal with an outburst or the potential grumpy passenger.
Plus, you’ll have to manage any anxiety you might have about the situation! For me, overcoming the worries about the “what ifs” was the biggest battle. But now that I’ve done it once I’m sure I’ll feel more confident the next go round.
How do you feel about kids (and babies and toddlers in particular) flying in Business and First Class? Have you ever done it with your own family? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!