Flying with children can be very stressful. It's often increasingly stressful if the airline has seated the parent separately from their child. Many parents will pay any amount on top of their airfare to ensure they are seated next to their children so they can ensure they're properly monitored for the flight.
Some parents however aren't as concerned with sitting with their children. According to The Sun, British TV host Kirstie Allsopp, who is a mom of two young boys age 10 and 12, often opts to sit in first class while her boys sit in economy. The Sun estimates that Allsopp earns approximately $1 million a year, yet she won't pay for her sons to sit in first class with her and her partner, Ben.
“If I’m going to spend money, it’s on the holiday itself rather than the flights," Allsopp said. "When we fly as a family, the boys do fly separately from Ben and me if we’re not in economy together.
Allsopp maintains that her sons are now old enough to sit a part from their parents during their trip.
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"Obviously this wasn’t the case when they were little but now they are big enough to sit separately, they do. Club Class should be a huge treat you’ve worked hard for. If kids get used to it, what do they have to work towards? It seems like an absurd waste of money and very spoiling. I suspect Gordon Ramsay and I can’t be the only ones to think this.”
The internet was quick to let Allsopp know exactly what they thought of her leaving her children in economy while she and her partner sat in first class, and a lot of it wasn't particularly pleasant.
#appaling If you want to save money because ‘you go on a shed load of holidays’ you & your husband should be flying economy too! Save the premium seating for when it’s just you & your him. All your teaching your children is that you value yourself more than them. #badparenting— Claire C RileyAuthor (@ClaireCRiley) June 4, 2018
I think it’s totally irresponsible to seat your children at that age away from you. It might not be safe or they might be annoying others but as long as you’re getting your champagne etc.— Lorraine Scott (@ladynairn) June 3, 2018
What's the point of having 'a shed load' of extra holidays of she doesn't want to spend time with her children on this one? @KirstieMAllsopp Doesn't show much love.— Steve Smith (@5teveW5mith) June 4, 2018
Some airline workers even chimed in with their opinions on having her children sit separately in economy.
As an ex crew member I hated it when parents did this. One child spilt drink all over herself and the parents left us crew to sort it out...unfair on the crew or other pax who ended up as babysitters...while parents quaffed champagne in Club— Melanie Jones (@xxmelbellexx) June 3, 2018
As ex cabin crew for many years and I've seen so many families not just celebs, normal joe bloggs sitting in different sections (the divided 1/2 curtains) but the kids do like being away from there parents, feeling grown up & loved visiting them from the divided curtain. End of.— Sunshine76 (@lovedaisy74) June 4, 2018
Others felt there was nothing wrong with leaving her children at their age by themselves. Many shared their own experiences and stated that travelling on their own helped them learn independence and confidence.
On a flight from Chicago to Ireland our 3 kids sat in separate seats, had a fab time, felt grown up and acted accordingly. They struck up conversations they might not have had otherwise and made friends too. What's not to like?— Ursula Curtin (@ursulacurtin) June 4, 2018
Totally behind @KirstieMAllsopp with her family flights. kids today are fed anxiety, parents constantly putting the fear factor out there ‘what if the oxygen masks drop’ ‘what if the worst happens’ how about ‘what if the kids have the best flight of their lives!’— Becky Alder Hickey (@Beckyalder) June 4, 2018
Allsopp has come to her own defense on Twitter, responding to many of the nasty commenters who are calling her a selfish and bad mother. She also noted that she has 16 and 18 year old step sons who are often travelling with her sons, allowing for even more supervision.
Allsopp is clearly confident in her children's abilities to sit by themselves for a few hours as they watch any movie they want and order whatever they delight from the airplane menu, however people still felt the need to criticize her parenting because of it.
Do you think it's OK for parents to sit in first class while their children sit in economy? Do you think children need to learn independence and can definitely handle themselves for a few hours while sitting in an airplane, or is this simply lazy parenting?