CNBC anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin caused a stir on social media when he called for banning children from the first-class section of airplanes.

“I will be ridiculed for this position,” Sorkin tweeted on Wednesday, anticipating the backlash.

“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,” squawked the host of the early-morning CNBC show “Squawk Talk.”

“I say this as a parent of three!”

Sorkin, a popular New York Times columnist and author of the DealBook newsletter, then invited his 929,000 Twitter followers to offer suggestions for “the right age cutoff.”

Sorkin’s tweet was attached to a link to a Times article that quoted several first-class passengers who were upset at having their flight experience disturbed by the sound of shrieking babies.

The response to Sorkin’s tweet was mixed, with some accusing him of elitism.

“Buy headphones, sheesh. Sounds like you’re the real baby,” tweeted one naysayer.

Another Sorkin critic chimed in: “We should never do anything to inconvenience the wealthy.”

Another salty Twitter user retorted: “Such annoying little people. And you paying top dollar.”

One parent resented the idea that their kids should be barred from public spaces.

“They don’t advertise crying babies in any circumstance ever expect maybe to sell you a baby product so maybe babies shouldn’t be welcome anywhere?” wrote one Twitter user.

“As a parent I’m tired of all the stress heaped on us about our crying infants. For the rest of you it’s a couple hours. Not for me!”

In 2011, Malaysia Airlines announced that it was banning children under the age of 12 from the first-class section of its Boeing 747-700 and Airbus A380 flights due to complaints from ticketholders that they were unable to sleep due to babies crying.

The airline’s “baby ban” sparked a harsh backlash, but the company defended the decision and kept the policy in place.

Several videos on social media show young kids terrorizing passengers on planes.
Several videos on social media show young kids terrorizing passengers on planes.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

IndiGo, an India-based low-cost airline, introduced “child-free” zones on their flights — as did AirAsia X, the Malaysia-based long haul carrier.

Last month, a video went viral on social media showing a toddler terrorizing a plane full of passengers.

In October, a TikTok user posted a video recounting how a 29-hour flight from New Zealand to Germany was marred by a screaming child who yelled during the entire trip.


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Tyler Cowan