Malaysia Airlines has decided it doesn’t want noisy babies or overexcited children in Economy disturbing premium travellers on its new A380s.
Families travelling with babies and children will be automatically allocated seats in the main all-economy lower deck – and not in economy seats upstairs, an airline spokesperson told Terminal U.
The controversial move will make the 350 seats in the lower main cabin a ‘family-friendly’ zone – while the 70 Economy, 74 Business and First class seats on the upper deck will be kept as child-free as possible.
Dato’ Mohd Salleh, Malaysia Airlines’ executive vice president, customer experience told Terminal U that babies and children would still be allowed in the Business and First cabins upstairs.
But for families travelling with children in Economy, the airline’s priority will be to seat them on the lower main deck – he said.
The policy will help the airline’s efforts to offer an ‘exclusive’ service for premium travellers, but will also benefit families, he added: “The main [lower] deck has more facilities, including toilets with 8 in economy shared between 350 seats.
“The dual aerobridge airport facility supporting this deck will also mean a speedier embarkation and disembarkation for this group of passengers.”
Even if the idea of sitting in the “child-free” upper deck appeals, there’s no guarantee it will stay that way.
“Where there is overwhelming demand for seats in economy class from families with children and infants, resulting in a full load in the main deck, we will still accommodate families in the 70-seat upper deck economy class zone,” the airline spokesperson said.
Its A380s will be equipped with six bassinets on the main deck, six in Business and three in Economy on the upper deck.
Malaysia’s flag carrier will be the eighth airline to take delivery of the A380 – with the first starting service on July 1.
It is the first airline to make a conscious effort to separate families and premium cabin areas.
In 2011, it courted controversy after banning children under 2 in First Class on its 747-400 routes.