Is it right for parents to fly upfront in premium cabins while their kids fly in coach?
My gut instinct would be to quickly say no, never. However, I think each case needs to be looked into a bit more closely.
You obviously shouldn’t ever attempt to fly business or first while your 3-year-old flies in coach. But what about a 10-year-old? Maybe that’s OK, maybe it’s not. (I’d probably say this is not acceptable.)
From the limited research I’ve done, I found out that:
- Children under 5 years old must be accompanied by another passenger who is at least 16-18 years of age (depending on the airline).
- Children that fly without a parent, from age 5 through 11, can either be with someone at least 16-18 years old or the family can pay for the unaccompanied minor service.
The airlines charge an unaccompanied minor fee. Unaccompanied minor services can be costly, ranging from $50 – $150 each way.
I feel safe to say that we would not fly in a premium cabin, leaving Lucas behind. Maybe when he is in the 16-18 year old range, we’d find it OK. That’s too far away for me to really consider.
I came across an article from Yahoo Travel which talks about a women that flew business class with her husband, while booking her two kids in premium economy.
The author of the article, Jennifer Howze, “hesitated” when she had the chance to book two business class tickets with miles since she would then have to book her kids, ages 16 and 11 in premium economy.
According to the article, she also felt “they were old enough at 16 and 11 to act appropriately, look after one another, and respond in an emergency“.
What do you think about this topic? Should kids be required to fly in the same cabin as their parents? Is there an age when it is OK for kids to fly independently or in this case, apart from their parents?
After initially feeling that this didn’t seem right or appropriate, it might not be so cut and dry. From what I read in the article, the author’s kids seem to have flown a lot and are well-behaved on flights. Also, I don’t think that 16 years old sounds too young to fly alone. However, I’m not positive that a 16-year-old should also be given the responsibility to keep watch of another, younger child during a flight.
To get a better idea of this scenario, check out the article from Yahoo here.