I witnessed something that made me laugh the other day, but it merits a bit of discussion. When are children old enough to be “ditched” in economy class?
Ditching Children In Economy Class
The airline or flight wasn’t important, but I witnessed a woman arguing loudly with the gate agent about whether she could be separated from her children on the flight. She had apparently upgraded to business class and left her children in economy class. She had two girls, one who appeared to be five and the other seven.
She had her masked pulled down and was visibly upset:
“You can’t expect me to fly in economy class?!”
But the gate agent was firm…she could not leave her children alone.
I then boarded the flight but later saw the woman enter the aircraft with her daughters, yelling at them about how they had messed up her upgrade. The little one was crying.
What a piece of work…
They made their way back to economy class and I didn’t hear from them again during the flight.
But it’s an interesting issue that I wish to explore further. Airlines of course have unaccompanied minor rules, but this case is a little different: here the mother would still have been on the same plane as her daughters.
The key point to me seems to be that the children did not want to sit alone in this particular instance.
Full disclosure: I plan to do this to my children as soon as they are old enough, at least when I am traveling with my wife. I spoil my kids with premium cabins now even though they are far too young to properly appreciate them because daddy is unwilling to fly in economy class when it can be avoided.
Rules aside, I realize that each child matures at a different age and that is an important factor. If alone, the child(ren) must be able to sit without requiring assistance from others. Right now, my five-year-old son is still far too young to be left alone in the back of the plane. But I can certainly see a case on a longhaul flight when he is 10 and his sister is six when we leave them in economy class and fly business class.
Of course I also look forward to taking family trips when we sit together and solo trips with my son or daughter where we will certainly sit next to each other.
But even if I can afford a premium cabin for everyone as the kids get older, I want them to work for it just as I did (I’ve self-supported all my upgrades since I began flying in earnest in 2005). I grew up flying economy class and it makes me appreciate business and first class more today.
A woman tried to upgrade to business class and ditch her daughters in economy class…and was denied. What is the proper age limit when children can be left alone in a cabin? Is it ever proper?
I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on the matter, especially if you have upgraded while leaving your children in economy class.
stock image: Delta (the incident did not take place on Delta)