Worli resident Bindiya Joshi, 33, normally a web recluse, has been glued to the Internet for the past week. Joshi is one of the several young parents from the city, who have launched an online campaign against Malaysian Airlines's week-old move to ban infants in its first-class cabins on flights.
"I demand full service. My child should not be treated like an unwanted inconvenience," said Joshi, a homemaker and a mother of two children. Social networking sites and online discussion forums have been flooded with many angry reactions.
"Where does it end? Will we stop obese people from flying next?" wrote Kamna Bhojwani-Dhawan on her website, momaboard.com. Dhawan, a Mumbaiite settled in San Francisco, started the portal in January for parents travelling with kids.
Malaysian Airlines's website, however, justifies the move as part of its cabin revamp plan to cut first-class seats from 18 to 12 for greater cabin space. "There was no facility for positioning bassinets in the first-class of the Boeing 747s," read the statement.
"Complaints about bawling babies is a common grouse among first-class travellers," said a flight attendant with Air India.
Actor Mandira Bedi, mother of a month-old boy, said she used to find wailing babies "annoying" during long flights, but banning them is not a solution. "Some airlines have a small zone between the first-class and the business class for parents to pacify kids, which is a good solution," said Bedi.
According to sources, a Thai carrier is also planning a similar move. "A separate space for families travelling with babies could be created," said Ajay Prakash, owner of Nomad Travels.