One of our favorite airlines, JetBlue, has an option called JetBlue Mint, a new first-class service. Available on round-trip flights from New York to L.A., passengers can indulge in lie-flat seats, a swanky NYC small plate menu, bottle service and high-quality beauty products from BirchBox. All of this does sound fantastic—however, JetBlue has notably been a top family-friendly airline catering to the everyday traveler. Will a luxe perk like this alienate families traveling with kids? Or, will it allow for a new demographic of higher class parents and kids who pamper themselves in-flight?
If parents pay…
Do children automatically have the right to be kids, even in first class? Some parents feel it’s worth the additional cost to avoid potential meltdowns and cramped quarters. These tickets also grant access to airport lounges and offer other perks that can make traveling with children a lot breezier. This does come with a high price, but some families swear it can make long haul flights, and even domestic ones, bearable.
The adult-only club
Images of first and business class often conjure ideas of smart suits, rockstars and airborne road warriors. Rarely are children seen in this environment, especially young ones and babies. But parents who can afford a first-class flight should not have to forgo the option just because they have a family, right? When some airlines are banning children on certain flights or contemplating kid-only sections, it seems the idea of kids in a high-quality environment—like first-class—would not be tolerated. Is this section of the plane like others, or should it be treated like a high-end, exclusive restaurant or resort—no little ones allowed?
What to do with first-class kids
If parents do decide to splurge on a more comfortable and spread out first-class option, they will need to prepare themselves and other passengers. Perhaps your little ones are well behaved and do not need to be monitored, which can be especially true for older kids and teens. Do not be offended if a fellow flyer gives you or your kids the stink eye—they paid a lot for peace on their flight too.
Talk with kids beforehand, explaining you will be in a special, extra quiet section of the plane where they can wear their headphones and hang out, but respect other people’s space. Ask an attendant if you can sit closest to them, or if there’s two children, if they can be together. You have every right to be there as the other passengers do, but a mindful and flexible family in first class is much more welcome than one that’s irritated or loud!
What do you think? Should kids be banned from pricey first-class plane sections? Should babies? What do you think about JetBlue Mint? Would you and your family pay extra for first-class?