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Wed 6 Aug 2014 05:59 PM

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Baby NOT on board?

Kids are great, but they’re better somewhere else, says Shane McGinley

Baby NOT on board?
Shane McGinley

Over the recent Eid break a friend of mine booked into a five-star hotel and was delighted to find out it had a large child-free pool where children under 12 were not allowed.

As a child, clearly under 12, ran around the pool a member of staff tried to explain to the child’s father that they would have to move. The father begrudgingly moved but as soon as the staff member moved on returned and the child resumed his boisterous playing as sun loungers everywhere seethed in the hot sun and muttered under their breath.

The scene is one that has been repeated for centuries and is seen every day across the world, from first class sections on planes to Michelin-starred restaurants and five-star swimming pools.

But, the trend is changing. Only a few years ago, it was revealed Malaysia Airlines had banned babies form travelling first class in the upper parts of its A380s after complaints from high rolling passengers.

After recently losing two planes, I think this ban might be scrapped as I imagine Malaysia Airlines would be happy to have any customers at all at the moment, but I think it’s one which holds merit. If you’re stuck on a plane an there is an infant crying or an unruly child beside you then it is not like a restaurant where you can move somewhere else, you are stuck there for the duration of your flight.

But how about this seafood restaurant in California, which has captured headlines around the world for its tough stance on children, including zero tolerance for crying or loud noises.

Old Fisherman's Grotto in Monterey also has a policy of not allowing strollers, high chairs or booster chairs, measures which would probably rule it out as an option for families with babies or toddlers.

Originally founded in the 1950s, the family restaurant serves seafood and Italian comfort food.

A sign at the front of the eatery says: "Children crying or making loud noises are a distraction to other diners, and as such are not allowed in the dining room."

On its website, the restaurant says it adopted the rules in 2011 in order to enhance the experience for diners; however, over the last few days, it has captured the attention of media outlets around the world.

Click here to see a video on a news report on the restaurant.

Just as a lot of people don’t like being in a smoking section, some people don’t like to share their plane journey, dining experience or hotel stay with children, so they too should have the option.

I should say I don’t have children of my own and my friends who do have children tell me this stance will mellow as soon as I have my own little bundles of joy. I can’t wait!

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FTR 6 years ago

The problem is mainly the parents. I have resumed work after the break and am in a Dubai hotel on business. The club lounge which is normally a haven for business people, is full of large families whose children are out of control. If you see how the parents consume, waste and leave a mess behind, no wonder the poor kids don't know better.

Adnan 6 years ago

I feel a similar way in cinemas. Some of the parents are indifferent to how their children behave and if you ask them to quiet down, they lash back at you. I understand that children like to go for movies but my suggestion would be that certain shows (maybe those late in the evening) do not permit entry for children under a certain age. It would make a better movie experience for those with and without kids.

Omar Ali 6 years ago

I think you should invest in some noise cancelling headphones :)

Jonnie Millar 6 years ago

I found my most recent experience at a child-free resort hotel in Oman, absolute bliss! On a rare opportunity to relax after a long period of work, having the absence of children charging around the pool and screaming over dinner meant it was a far more relaxing and enjoyable stay.

I thoroughly recommend airlines, restaurants, hotels and other hospitality outlets adopt a similar service. I'll pay a premium to get it every single time!

MrGrumpy 6 years ago

Even worse is the mothers who bring their babies along to the cinema. I can deal with a few kids talking, but a small baby crying throughout the film is just too much.

As far as I am aware the evening showings (after 8pm) in most cinemas are supposed to be adults only, but you also know that the staff will not stop people bringing their small kids out of fear of losing their jobs..

SuperGrumpy 6 years ago

Absolutely spot on MrGrumpy. Cinemas are like parks these days, especially when you have Asian extended families coming with their dozen kids to watch an Indian movie - be it either Novo/Vox. Running around, shouting, babies crying.
During Intervals, running up and down the stairs/aisles, its insane! Very Selfish and Inconsiderate Parents!
I urge Cinema management to set age limits, or have cinema personnel remove such people so the 90% audience can enjoy the movies. I have complained to personnel, they tell the families to quiet down, but 2 minutes later its the same noisy situation again.

Parent 6 years ago

Leaving aside the fact that these children that people are complaining about will be the ones paying taxes to provide public services for you once you are retired (and in some cases will be feeding you your liquidized lunch when you are in the care home), I am intrigued by this idea that we can should be able to select who we share hotels and planes with....

The flipside to the noisy kid at the hotel pool is the group of noisy "adults" who think they can play ridiculously loud music and shout and scream until 4am in the room next door to you whilst they party the weekend away and your kids are trying to sleep....so they'd be history....along with people on planes who have smelly feet, snore, or are too fat to fit in their seat properly.

Let's face it, if we could all choose they kind of people we didn't want to share public spaces with, we would struggle to even half fill each plane or hotel. A simple ban on "idiots" in general would probably get rid of 30% of the population!

SMH 6 years ago

MAS airlines did not lose 2 planes. The second place was shot down, you ignorant fool. Innocent lives died on both flights, and these incidents should not be an object of your ridicule.

prakash 6 years ago

my friend travelling in economy once complaint to crying infant's parent to make sure than infant stops crying.
The parent was like what am i supposed to do but my friend was like i dont know , its your baby and make sure he doesnt cry:)

most ppl who dont have kids wont understand that infants would cry on the flight, kids would play on the pool and at the same time ppl with kids become use to the crying/shouting so they somehow are not perturbed a lot by the noise!

chalky6766 6 years ago

@parent- Does that cover the irresponsible parents that can't be bothered to make sure their "future tax paying" kids don't run a mock disturbing others on planes as I have witnessed in business class on many occasions. Perhaps these "future tax paying" brats will find any way possible to avoid paying tax if their upbringing has anything to do with it! I for one will be financially stable enough in my dotage to be able to view your rather left of field argument with utter contempt. As for these spoilt brats being anywhere near the mental attitude required to be a carer in the future for the elderly I think you are beyond optimistic on that one or maybe delusional. Child free areas are their for a reason, respect them and perhaps then the adults next door at 4 am causing noise might also do the same.