Airlines to ban babies

BABIES ARE TO BE banned from parts of planes, starting with first class cabins, the news bulletin said.

I was shocked. Huh? You mean they weren’t before?

I wish I’d known. I’d have been much more relaxed about sending my kids to toddle to the front of the plane to use their cuteness to steal bags of cashew nuts.

And think of the threats I could have used against the kids themselves! “You’re definitely not getting a first class flat-bed seat and free airline logo pajamas if you don’t eat ALL your pureed cauliflower.”

My son, a world-class hedonist, would have wolfed down the loathed cauliflower puree in an instant.


Of course, I would never have actually paid for a first class seat for him. They’re for people with more money than sense. They think it’s smart to pay thousands of dollars for “free” extra leg room and a “free” food upgrade.

Do the math! The US$10,000 premium each first class traveler wastes on a typical flight from Asia to London could instead go to genuinely worthy causes, such as the top items on my wish list:

a gym membership I’ll never use,

a designer man-bag, and

a Kleenex used by Scarlet Johansson,


But on reflection, I decided that the babies ban started by Malaysia Airlines and expected to spread fast, is good news.

It means that Angelina Jolie and her six kids will be banished to the cheaper seats. I am very good at soothing crying babes, and I will be more than happy to offer excessive amounts of comfort, tear-drying and cuddles.

I may even offer such services to her children, too.


Still, let’s be aware that this is part of a terrifying global crackdown on families. The Layana Resort in Thailand bans children. The Paradise Bay Island Eco Resort in Australia forbids guests under 15. You have to be 18 to stay at The Contiki Resort in Bali. Kids are banned at several restaurants at the Hong Kong Country Club.

This subject was brought to my attention by a reader, father-of-two Karuna Menon (above), who said: “We should present a counter-argument that having children around increases the production of certain chemicals in the brain. A Japanese ringtone company produced scientific results that proved women's breasts grew bigger when regularly exposed to the sounds of a baby crying.”

Note to self: Take video camera into mother-and-toddler group to gather evidence.

Note to self 2: Maybe not.


Why the crackdown? Adweek magazine says businesses are providing child-free environments in response to demands from the growing number of couples who are childless-by-choice.

Unfair! Why should people who have child-free daily lives get even more of it on holidays?

Clearly the only fair system would be for DINKs (dual-income-no-kids) to look after the children of MKEDs (many-kids-expanding-deficit) while we take breaks we actually need.

But if this comes to pass, make sure you go to a no-kids resort. Otherwise your eyes will alight on someone else’s brats, and you’ll miss your own ones so badly that you’ll fly straight home.

And all the you’ll be wishing that you had one of the kids with you, so she could toddle into first class and steal the cashews for you. I speak from experience.

(Illustration of baby by Tiare Scott used via a creative commons license 2.0)