A young toddler in Singapore is making headlines for exclusively flying in the comfort of first class. His parents defend their travel decision on the grounds of comfort, service, and health. What does this viral story, if anything, teach us about travel?
Toddler Only Flies In First Class…
A family has made waves in Singapore for a series of TikTok videos showcasing how their son only flies in first class. Take a look:
SIN-NRT with #13monthsoldbaby #singaporeairlines
6.5h flight.. heading to
SG – JKT with #15monthsold #singaporeairlines #traveltiktok
but pls clear them before landing #parentshack #traveltiktok #dntbekaren #babytok #flighthack #flywithbaby #babiesoftiktok
Why first class? Firstly, because of the “extra space, comfort and exclusive attention.” As his mother explained to The New Paper (a Singaporean tabloid like the UK Daily Mail), the flight attendants in first class bend over backwards to help:
“Many of them will ask if we need help washing the milk bottles or cutting his food into bite-sized portions.”
“As there are fewer people travelling in business or first class, there’s less of a chance that our baby will fall ill.”
What about his behavior? Apparently, he’s perfect in that regard as well:
“Those who have witnessed him on the flights know that he is extremely well-behaved.”
May I suggest it might also be that infants (those under two years old) pay only 10% of the full-fare to be a lap child in first class? Two tickets are a lot easier to swing, whether with points or dollars, than three…
And don’t worry, the child is not being spoiled. As the mother explained, the toddler is not being spoiled becuase he does not understand the difference between first class and economy class:
“We don’t believe we are spoiling him as he is actually too young to understand the difference between the various cabins. To him, it is just another mode of transport.”
This toddler is hardly unique, but the power of well-edited video on Tik-Tok is again put on display.
Personally, I do not fault the family at all for taking their child into first class, especially if he is well-behaved. In fact, I applaud it. And despite the cliche quality of their Tik-Tok videos, the takeaway is that flying in a premium cabin can be much easier for a family…it was what drove me to insist on first class on SWISS, not business, when my son was that same age.
There’s nothing special about a toddler flying in first class, yet somehow a toddler flying in first class has sparked a national debate in Singapore. I’m firmly in the family’s camp on this particular matter, though I understand the concern of netizens that a crying baby can ruin the flight experience for others (and of course, this is true in all cabins).
As much as first class can cost, it’s still a small fraction of what flying private costs. Thus, it’s public transportation and the trade off for flying public transportation even in first class is there is a non-zero risk of being seated next to young children.
I’ve dealt with my fair share of crying babies, a nice set of noise cancelling earbuds does wonders. I also quite frankly just don’t care too much either, the noise doesn’t bother me, if I’m tired enough, I’ll sleep. My view is as long as the family pays for first class, they are in.
Now there are some airlines that don’t allow young kids in first class because they have airbags built into the seatbelts, and that is understandable, but aside from that, pay the fare, and go have at it.
I wish all toddlers could fly first class for long haul, where there’s more space to accommodate their natural hyperactivity. Would be a win for us adults stuck in economy as well 🙂
Imagine paying top dollar for a premium cabin and getting stuck with some trash family and their brat kids.
What if the baby was quiet?
That would make it more tolerable, though it doesn’t do anything about the obnoxious tick tocking parents
Ridiculous. I pay for first class for the service. Does a babies presence reduce the service I get? If you don’t like exposure to the hollering gobs, stay at home.
Actually I don’t have to imagine that at all. I sit next to affluent jerks and their progeny (infant or grown up) all the time. I’ll take an innocent baby over entitled jerks any time. On a recent trip to Germany, I had not one but three screaming babies in business class. You know what, it’s OK. Most of us have had kids and know what it’s like. Pop your noise canceling ear pods in and binge a series for ten hours. What woke me up on both legs of that trip was the crew chatting in the galley like they were yelling across the plane. I had one lady and her teenage son sit near me in First Class on a trip to Canada and her son hadn’t bathed in a week Ava probably didn’t believe in deodorant. I had to zip my hoodie over my nose so that I didn’t gag. It’s those guys they should boot. The reason I fly myself and my son in forward cabins only (besides the extra comfort) is that you’re treated as a paying customer and not livestock.
People buy lottery tickets. People donate thousands of dollars to losing political campaigns. People give money to religious zealots that want new private jets. People buy real estate on the Moon. People vacation in Florida.
There are lots of ways to waste money. Who are we to judge others based on their actions when ours are equally despicable? At least that kid’s PPS Club Solitaire status will be valid until he’s 5 and he’s old enough to enjoy it!
According to part of their logic though, they won’t buy him first class when he gets older because he will then understand the difference and get spoiled?
My personal opinion is not about the toddler in First Class, it’s that, simply, many parents either don’t understand how to contain their children – or actually think that that they are so adorable that everyone wants them climbing all over the seats and running around the aisle touching you and everything around you (witness photos here). As such, if the parents have a strong command and understanding of respect to others and that your toddler is NOT cute to us and that we don’t want to smile at him/her for many hours and gaga googoo with them…fine, bring them into the premium cabin. Otherwise, if you think others are in F or J to see your child put on an acrobatic show and infect other passengers with their incessant touching of everything, especially with hands that have been everywhere, than no, please don’t even fly – or go by car. It’s the parents I care about. Toddlers gonna toddler, unless you contain the situation as a respect to others. (*note on this is that I actually prefer babies, I never care about them next to me, they mostly sleep and when crying, usually during descent, I can just put on head phones.)
Stuart with no children doesn’t understand that toddlers can’t be controlled and if they are a paying customer then Stuart can F off in his F seat and if he wants peace, go live in a cave or fly private.
I don’t have a problem with kids in F, as long as they’re well behaved (which is never guaranteed).
I think the real problem is that people (including myself, who often traveled with my kids in J and F) react negatively to douchey online braggadocio about traveling in F with their children.
This is it. Taking your kid somewhere in a premium cabin, which many of us have done, is not the same thing as flaunting your economic advantages through a series of self-promoting videos with insensitive commentary attached.
I was once on (I think) a SWISS flight in the first row in Business, and noticed that a family (including a nanny) had apparently purchased the First Class cabin. Nice if you can afford it.
Well here it comes anyways, but I don’t care. No kids, toddlers especially in First Class!! Ever!! Period, full stop!!
Then buy your own airline and run it with your rules.
The airlines that you don’t own will set their own rules.
This brings back memories of a flight from Dubai to JNB on EK, we had a couple right behind us ( first) their baby cried almost the entire flight. At least we were able to move to the bulkhead seats which provided some relief certainly the FA’S were unable to do anything. I agree with previous posters that parents sometimes just don’t “hear” their children and that is ignoring. I bet their hear when its someone else’s child.
Oh boys and girls!!, oh fellas!! You guys, maybe you’ll like this comment better: Breaking News: 737 Max 10 confirmed configurations: Lie flats 22F, 45 E+, 96Y, Signature: 20F, 64E+, 105Y.
For United Airlines Max10, United Next, just leaked!!
Just leaked? I wrote about that configuration months ago–
What came out today?
Actually I “react negatively to douchey online braggadocio about traveling in F” from anyone …
I just want to publicly recognize the elegance of this reply…
I’m in the No Babies In First camp but the Karen posting this horrific crap is just appalling.
If I’m following the logic accurately, the facts here are that the parents are flying in first class and they get to bring the kid at a discount. It’s not like they are taking up an extra first class seat for the kid, right? If I brought my car in his carrier with me on a flight and then did TikToks saying that my cat flies first class everywhere it would be just as accurate of a headline.
Is there are empty seats in the cabin, the crews will often offer that seat to the lap child if the parents would like.
He won’t remember a Thing
No you didn’t Matthew. You obviously didn’t read my post till the end. I gave you guys the exact configuration on both versions of the Max 10, both on the signature version and on the lie flat version. All You mentioned was what Quayle told you about 22 lie flat seats. That’s it. You never gave us the actual final configuration of the aircraft in both iterations. Big difference!!
Your source? Nothing has been shared internally from what I can gather.
Who pimps out their family photos & videos for the sake of some meagre internet clicks? Is it worth the sacrifice of privacy?
To me, the issue seems to be they are exploiting their kid to rack up Tik Tok views?
My kids fly first class whenever possible and it’s for my comfort, not theirs.
+1 to this. I’m “guilty” of doing the same – with two small children we try to fly premium cabins as much as possible (while I fly economy 30-50% of the time when I’m alone). It’s definitely a lot more relaxing and less stressful for everyone involved
Our favorite is when we can book out the cabin (e.g. SQ F when it’s the 4 of us or CX F when the grandparents are there) or fill up the “mini-cabins” when flying J. When this happens there is also a much smaller chance of disturbing others!
The kid is just fodder in this. The crux of the matter is the parents who feel the need to to flex their F experience all over social media. Although, if they were smart, they would have booked a route that flies Suites Class.
Was the child behaved? I suppose business or premium plus class would suffice. First class for a child? No.
My daughter could only satisfy me so much
Yet another outraged Matthew Klint piece about unruly kids. Kinda sad that in the front of the aircraft you’re more likely to get peed on by a (now fired) exec than you are a toddler. How about sorting out the douche adults first? If nothing this article was predictable, time to block LALF (irony that the site name is a play on live and let die) from popping up in my daily feeds.
Who’s outraged? I sort of love what this family is doing.
Premium cabin should be adult only. Some places are off limits to kids and the premium cabin is one of them. I pay for first/business to get work done and so I don’t have to deal with parents brats. Personality I am all for airlines modifying the rear cargo hold for families with small kids that will allow kids to be kids. It is not realistic to expect kids to behave the entire flight especially on long hauls. By having the a separate section kids can be kids without disturbing the rest of the passengers and the parents could get a similar level of service in the premium cabin. The only difference would be service provided by crew in the cabin would be tailored to the needs of kids. Plus airlines could charge a premium for the cabin.
Another Stewart. Rob doesn’t have kids. Children and parents aren’t a sub class of people. Whatever they pay for and is allowed, they can experience just like you can. Get some ear plugs and zip yourself up in a body bag so that the view of children doesn’t hurt your brain. Grow a good vibe, man.
Jet engine aircraft do not have rear cargo holds. The aft galley is as far back as the occupiable space goes.