I never imagined having a problem choosing business class seats with toddlers in tow. After giving birth to my daughter, I have flown more business class than ever before, and thanks to points, of course, most of the time.
After having flown with her on several occasions in business class as a baby and a toddler, I have to say that travelling with a toddler in business class, especially on your own, can be harder depending on the seating you choose.
Yep, I did that. I picked the wrong seating on a fully booked 12hr flight from the Maldives to London and wanted to get off the plane faster than ever before.
Flying Business class with a Toddler
Now, let me start by saying that flying with a toddler in business class might provide you with more space, but the struggle of keeping them occupied exists no matter what class you are flying in.
Yes, the space helps you navigate parenthood, but if you are flying solo with a baby or a toddler, you won’t enjoy the benefits of business class as you normally would.
So you always have to have a checklist of things to occupy your toddler either in business class or economy flight.
Also, if you are flying for the first time with your toddler in business class, you might experience the apprehension of actually disturbing fellow travellers. Or even think if kids are allowed to fly at the front of the plane.
Personally, my daughter flew first time in business when she was only four weeks old. Since then, she has been to 9 countries and countless flights between several of them. She is, in general, a good travel buddy, and I love seeing her face ready for an adventure.
I have never had a problem or a look from fellow passengers in business class. As a child, she might cry, but this is normal behaviour, and honestly, she is also a paying customer so she can fly in any class we can afford.
So if you are apprehensive about flying in business class with your baby, thinking you will disturb people, please don’t. You deserve the comfort and space because travelling with a baby is stressful no matter what.
How to Decide Your Business Class Seats with a Toddler
It is a blessing to be able to travel in the comfort of business class, but after travelling on several different airlines, I can say that the seating options can be a hit and miss if you don’t know what to look for.
When you fly with a baby in business class or economy before their second birthday, you get a bassinet seat, which makes it easier as you have more legroom in economy this way.
My daughter graduated from the small bassinet when she was about six months old, so she needed to be held the whole flight.
However, once you graduate from the bassinet seating, especially in business class, where seating arrangements are different depending on the airline, I struggled to figure out the best seat in business class for my toddler.
Hence the 12hr flight from nightmares.
If you travel as a family in business class with a toddler, it is OK because you can use both seats on each side of the child. But when I travelled on my own with my daughter next to me rather than opposite me, it was the struggle of the year since I had to cross half the aeroplane.
You can check the seating arrangement on seat guru here.
The Best Seat to Choose for toddlers in Business
In general, I wanted to keep my daughter close, and I had initially booked the seat next to me on the new British Airways Suites Business Class. This was a mistake as they are made for privacy, and your seatmate is hidden apart from a small window which doesn’t do much.
Toddlers still need a lot of help with their food, iPad or entertainment system, and they want to feel their mummy close.
I always wonder why we start paying for a seat for two-year-olds when they never seat in them for more than an hour.
For example, the old Business class seats on British Airways are easier to navigate with a toddler as they are one forward and one back seat so you can see the child and you can feed them, or they can hop on your seat.
You can also walk between the seats. You also don’t have to go through the galley every time you want to visit their seat, which is what I had to do from the Maldives.
So after too much deliberation, I realised that the best seat to choose for business class with toddlers is the window and the aisle seat next to each other on planes with the configuration of 1-2-1.
Most of the new business class seats follow that pattern making it easy to book.
Technically the seats are not on the same eye level providing more privacy to the occupants but being on the same aisle makes it so much easier to keep an eye on your child when travelling alone.
Initially, I didn’t want to put my daughter on the aisle seat next to a stranger, no matter how private, so I usually chose a window seat for her and then the aisle seat next to her for myself.
I debated booking seats behind each other but decided against it as I still have to get up to look and make sure she is ok.
So when we are seated next to each other, as least I can tilt my head and look out for her. Not that she will stay in her seat long for me to worry about her.
When it comes to meal time in business class with my toddler, I usually ask for her to be served first.
When she was two, it was harder for her to feed herself, so I would seat her on my lap and feed her. Now, she manages on her own unless she refuses. As I said, travelling with a child no matter the class is a battle of wills, just in more confined spaces.
Some airlines still have the old seat planes in business class, like our flight from Manchester to Jeddah, where they are just a little bigger seats, and it was easy for her to seat next to me. There were no problems with feeding her and keeping her entertained.
But I always make sure I check the seating arrangement for the flight to make sure I have prepared myself and have enough supplies if needed.
The Best Business Class For Families
No doubt the best business class seat is the Qatar Airways Qsuites configuration for families, where the whole privacy window comes down and turns into a double bed or a small room for us.
Qatar QSuites was by far the most comfortable travel experience we have had since she could hold my hand and sleep instead of the usual jump over the seat and share mine.
I will always take QSuites if it is an option just for that reason.
In case there are no Q suites and you travel with your partner, then I recommend you pick seats either with one of you behind the toddler or next to each other.
This is what we did recently on our flight from Jeddah to Manchester with Saudi Airlines.
Their new business class are in a 1-2-1 configuration, so we picked one aisle a the two middle ones.
My daughter can access both of her parents, and we could easily see her. Also, the privacy window was enough for her to jump over to her dad since I strategically placed myself on the window seat. 🙂
Now that I know how to find my seats when in business class with a toddler, I am less stressed. It also helps that my daughter is older, so she enjoys more time on her iPad than on my seat.
No matter what, travelling with a kid is stressful but rewarding when you see how excited they are for their adventure.
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