CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin sparked a hot topic debate when he said he wanted to ban children from first class until airlines advertised them crying next to someone trying to work.
Sorkin, 45, took to Twitter to reignite a long-time debated topic, which he said he knew he would be ‘ridiculed for this position,’ especially considering the thousands of Southwest passengers that are currently strained in airports all over the US.
‘Until airlines start advertising crying babies in first/business class next to someone trying to work or sleep rather than the ads we see of serenity, I can’t support kids up there. I say this as a parent of three!’ he wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
The New York Times columnist also asked his 929,500 followers what they thought the ‘age cutoff’ should be, where he linked to a Times article, where several passengers complained about hearing crying babies on their flights.
Andrew Ross Sorkin, 45, said children should be banned from first-class because airlines advertise a ‘serene’ experience. ‘Until airlines start advertising crying babies in first/business class next to someone trying to work or sleep rather than the ads we see of serenity, I can’t support kids up there’
The father-of-three (pictured with family) said he only flew coach when he traveled with his children to not disturb anyone
The Squawk Box co-anchor said he knew he’d be ‘ridiculed for this position’ but he didn’t think having to listen to crying children equated to the ‘crazy premiums’ airlines charged for first-class tickets
On CNBC’s Squawk Box the following day, he doubled down on his position, saying if airlines were going to charge ‘crazy premiums’ for first-class tickets, they should be guaranteed the ‘serenity’ passengers are promised in advertisements.
‘I do love children, I have three children,’ he clarified on the show.
However, the father-of-three seemed to be on an island of his own as his co-anchors called him ‘grinchy’ and internet critics called him a ‘baby.’
One particular comment caught Sorkin’s eye, where a man named Tom Hatfield wrote: ‘If they bar babies from first-class how are you going to get a seat?’
Sorkin replied: ‘This was the best comeback. Really. You made me smile.’
Another user, Rob Sheridan, wrote: ‘Sounds like first-class is already full of babies,’
Fox 61 Meteorologist Ryan Breton slammed Sorkin, writing: ‘Maybe save this elite opinion until thousands aren’t stranded in airports? Just a thought.’
Dan Amira, a head writer for the Daily Show, wrote: ‘They don’t advertise crying babies in coach either.’
Elizabeth Cotignola wrote: ‘Can’t afford to fly private?’
‘Just wear earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones. I do that regardless. Doesn’t bother me at all. Have grown much more tolerant of kids with age,’ a woman named Sara Moore wrote.
One user even asked Sorkin ‘Were they yours [kids]?’
Sorkin addressed this on Squawk Box, saying when he flies with his children, he opts to sit in coach.
‘We all sit in coach together,’ he told his co-anchors Becky Quick and Melissa Lee.
Quick jibbed him, saying: ‘That’s because you’re cheap.’
Sorkin denied that, saying: ‘Part of that is a separate thing. I feel like I’m a) not disturbing others – that’s a huge piece of it, and then there’s a secondary piece to it that…when I was a kid, I never had the opportunity to sit first-class.’
Many criticized the NYT columnist, saying they don’t ‘advertise crying babies in coach either’ and asked him ‘how are you was going to get a seat’ in first-class if they banned babies
However, by the end, Lee agreed with Sorkin in some aspects, jokingly saying: ‘I think it should be like Survivor: People in first-class can vote people out. So if they’re annoying, so if you get this big drunk guy. he’s [out].’
But she reminded her costar that ‘you can define who’s going to break that serenity.’
In addition, Sorkin had a few people join him on his kid-free island, with Twitter user, Bob Davis, writing: ‘Such annoying little people. And you paying top dollar.’
Another user, Peter Adderton also agreed, writing: ‘If we are banning annoying passengers in first class, can [we] add to the list. 1. Guy who hits the back of your seat when you recline it. 2. Guy who takes up all the over head. 3. Guy who drinks way to much. 4. Guy who tries to find out what you do and then talks the rest of the trip.’
A few airlines have actually banned children from first-class, including Malaysia Airlines, which doesn’t allow children under 12 to sit in the section. IndiGo, an India-based airline, and AirAsia X also introduced ‘child-free’ zones to their long-haul flights.
However, not everyone disagreed with him, with some agreeing that they are paying ‘top dollar’ to not deal with ‘such annoying little people’ and that plenty of passengers should also be banned, such as the ‘guy who takes up all the overhead’ space