Sunday, 5 December 2010

Who Belongs in Business Class

Last Thursday I flew on Singapore Airlines' A380 -- in business class no less -- to Singapore.
There are several gangways for passengers to enter in order to make it as efficient as possible.
In business class each person gets an over-sized seat, plenty of leg room to actually stretch out your legs, place your feet on a foot rest and have a giant screen in front of you to watch movies using headphones that block out most of the loud sounds coming from the plane.
You also get meals served on a linen placemat complete with silverware, including an appetizer, main and dessert of either lemon sorbet or tiramisu ice cream. There is also a cheese plate and wines...
However, in the row in front of me were two rambunctious Singaporean boys. The row seating in the area meant single seating on each far side, and two seats in the middle. The parents put the two boys in the middle and of course they would not stop chatting and playing, making loud noises. What was worse was that the mother, a relatively attractive young woman, did little to discipline her sons, while the father tried to be the authoritarian one, shushing them or telling them to be quiet.
Hello? We're in business class. The reason for business class was to get away from families like these and have a quiet atmosphere to catch up on sleep or work.
Instead the airline, or most airlines allow parents to spoil their children with special privileges.
There was a recent article in The New York Times talking about the annoyance of having to deal with children on flights, particularly long-haul ones where the children aren't dealt with properly by the parents who themselves are also stressed out from travelling.
Some kind of happy medium has to be established, with some travellers advocating for child-free flights or designated family-only areas, but no one has offered any concrete solutions yet and so things are pretty much staying the same.
As for those kids in front of me, after take off, their seats were transformed into beds and they drifted to sleep for the rest of the flight. But really, children do not belong in business class.
They hardly deserve to be there.

1 comment:

  1. may be there should be a section for luxurious class for family flying with kids- a semi- enclosed alcove of sort. may also be converted to area for elderly people who needs more personal attention.