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To take a baby first class on a train?

(70 Posts)
mrsjuan Fri 06-Nov-09 19:39:32

I am taking DD to visit my parents next month (on my own) and am planning on traveling by train. It is approximately 2 hours on one train then a short tube journey, then another hour on another train.

My husband has often found in the past that by booking online, a first class fare is cheaper than a standard fare if you travel at certain times and has suggested I do this.

I am tempted by the free food and drink & bigger seats grin

DD will be 7 months and is currently fascinated by new surrounding & therefore very amenable in most circumstances. If she did make a fuss then, assuming there was anyone else in the carriage I could always take her into standard class!

I can't find anything on the website about traveling with babies apart from the fact that they go free but I would hate to break some sort of 'train etiquette' and get horrible looks from the other passengers!

What do you think?

KnickKnack Fri 06-Nov-09 19:41:20

there was a very similar thread to this a few weeks ago, I think it was a toddler though.
I'll have a look and see if I can find it.

For what its worth, I'd say go for it and enjoy grin

KnickKnack Fri 06-Nov-09 19:42:39


lindsaygii Fri 06-Nov-09 19:43:52

Bollocks to the other passengers. Your money is as good as theirs!! Why should Standard Class have to listen to your baby cry, but not First Class??

I quite often upgrade for the same reason - free food and drink. Plus comfort. If the prices are close then it's value for money.

I've travelled on the train with DS a few times, standard class (no decent upgrades), and it was fine. But when I wanted to feed him I went and sat in First to cut down on the audience! No-one challenged me. If they had I would have just agreed to move back to my seat, as soon as the baby was fed. Which was, of course, what I did anyway...

podgesmummy Fri 06-Nov-09 19:44:05

i say go for it. Having done that kind of journey before, albeit not in first class, you do what you can to make it enjoyable. Who cares what anyone else thinks.

Not that its got anything to do with it, but apparently if youre preggers and theres no seats anywhere else on the train, you can travel in first class at no extra charge. Enjoy your travels!!

lindsaygii Fri 06-Nov-09 19:56:33

*podgesmummy ; "apparently if youre preggers and theres no seats anywhere else on the train, you can travel in first class at no extra charge"*

I have done that, actually. Virgin had mixed up the seat reservations, so I couldn't find mine. I ended up in First Class (not on purpose, they had labelled it car A, which was where my seat was meant to be.)

I was eight months pregnant, and the train was full. I sat down in First Class and told them that they had to find my seat, then I would go and sit in it, but that I wasn't going to wander up and down searching, and potentially end up standing for three hours.

To be fair to them, they were extremely nice about it and just left me where I was and treated me as a First Class passenger for the rest of the journey.

purplepeony Fri 06-Nov-09 20:04:15

not everyone in 1st class is posh- many have upgraded for a £5 like I have before. Just go for it and take your baby walkies if she screams- just as you should if you were in 2nd class!

wasabipeanut Fri 06-Nov-09 20:05:09

To the OP I would say do as you jolly well wish. I'd probably avoid the "quiet" carriage if there is one but apart from that go for it.

Re the idea that if the train is rammed you are entitled to a seat in 1st class, regrettably it isn't true if you are travelling First Great Western. After several arguments with ticket inspectors when I was heavily pregnant with my DS their customer service people confirmed this for me.

I even had a female ticket inspector tell me to walk down the incredibly crowded train as there were some seats at the front apparently. She told me that walking was good for pregnant women. She backed down when other passengers started tutting in disapproval!

Sbeanmum Fri 06-Nov-09 20:10:12

Go for it, agree with others that your money is as good as anyone elses. Enjoy!

Sbeanmum Fri 06-Nov-09 20:11:25

Go for it, agree with others that your money is as good as anyone elses. Enjoy!

lindsaygii Fri 06-Nov-09 20:13:48

My brother used to delight in taking his two DSs in the quiet carriage. As he pointed out -- they weren't a phone, or a computer game...


To be honest, I thought he was a bit out of order, but you know, he is my brother... hnh.

handbagsatdawn Fri 06-Nov-09 20:14:48

I travel on trains lots (always in 1st class blush) and I would also say go for it - better to be comfortable and have a relaxing journey. If you really want to avoid any tutting businessmen then avoid travelling at peak times.

mrsjuan Fri 06-Nov-09 20:26:32

Oh good -thanks for the link to the other thread. Sorry to repeat.

The times you can get cheap 1st class tickets are outside peak times anyway so there shouldn't be many business people.

Now I just have to work out the logistics!

Firawla Fri 06-Nov-09 20:52:06

there is no reason whatsoever why your baby should not be welcome in first clas if you have bought that ticket.
if someone complains to you about it, i would go and tell them to sit in standard class themselves rather than you move - just cos they are sat in 1st class they do not own the whole 1st class section!
travelling 1st class with a baby is way more comfy than standard, so i would recommend you go for it. anyway having gone in 1st class i never got any complaints, whereas in standard i have had someone moaning about my toddler that they are trying to work. more people in standard = more likely one of them will complain, as compared to 1st class

TigerLightsitandscarpers Fri 06-Nov-09 20:59:06

Oh dear, I think I'm going to be flamed by this, but if I'm travelling for work on a train that has different classes, I would travel first class so I could sit quietly and work at a table. I'd be fine if a completely silent baby wink came into the carriage, but I'd be pretty discombobulated if there was a lot of noise, exactly as I would if a fat old noisy businessman/rep etc was yelling into his mobile for hours on end. On the other hand of course you've paid for the ticket etc etc so I'd have no proper right to complain. Personally I wouldn't dream of taking a small child into a first class carriage unless it was out of normal commuting hours.

lindsaygii Fri 06-Nov-09 21:07:18

tigerslight but why? Why is first class - these days - for business people only?

First class is about being treated better by the train company, and having a comfy seat. I most certainly would travel first with a baby. And if I could afford it, and I thought they'd accept me, I'd fly business with a baby too. Since I can't afford it, it'll never come up, but just for talking's sake...

squeaver Fri 06-Nov-09 21:08:36

No yanbu. Do it.

WowOoo Fri 06-Nov-09 21:12:15

First class fine.

I always think business class is for business people.

I had one small dirty look when my baby cried for a minute or two but that would happen anywhere. Do it, do it, do it.

BeehiveBaby Fri 06-Nov-09 21:13:33

I always upgrade if it offered at £15 and I have it on me. The space makes such a difference. It is the only place that I have been openly tutted at, talked about for BFing though sad.

TigerLightsitandscarpers Fri 06-Nov-09 21:18:08

Of course it isn't for business people only. But from a purely selfish perspective, if I'm travelling for work and trying to read some papers, I'd want to pay for a nice silent space. I'd take a child first class on a non-commuting route possibly but I'd feel awful in a quiet carriage with a noisy child and all the other things about train travel that are so grotty too. I'd find it much more stressful trying to keep my child quiet than just travelling in a standard carriage where I wouldn't give a stuff since everyone would be yabbering on their mobiles.

This reminds me of a very funny piece by that Rosie Millard person about the nasty looks she got taking her tribe of kids on a 5 hour train journey. I am sooo glad I wasn't on that train.

Actually, I'd drive anyway, but that's not the point grin

lindsaygii Fri 06-Nov-09 21:25:32

I take your point, but I've been in plenty of FC when people are also yabbering on phones, or going on loudly about whatever. I do feel self-concious of crying baby noises, but that one doesn't do it for me.

Just horses for courses I suppose...

EightiesChick Fri 06-Nov-09 21:31:50

First class isn't what it used to be IMO - last time I travelled in it there were crowds of noisy football supporters tanking up on complimentary lager (admittedly this was a weekend evening) and what appeared to be students! I would never have aspired to travel FC when a student!

As people have said, you have as much right to be there as anyone - the only thing I'd say is, as has been mentioned, don't go in the quiet carriage. Believe me, there will be plenty of people yabbering on their mobiles in the other FC carriages...they may even drown your LO out!

I have taken my 6mo old in business class on a long-haul flight - if I can face that out, then you can take yours on a first class rail journey!

ravenAK Sat 07-Nov-09 00:55:04

Tiger, if I wanted peace & quiet to work, I'd go in the quiet carriage.

FC isn't for buying quiet, it's for buying comfy seats!

The one time I've travelled in First in recent years(bumped into it when heavily pg, laden with pushchair & no seats in SC), it was full of braying rugger buggers on some sort of corporate shindig. Nice blokes actually, dh spent much of the journey being ribbed for being a League man, but there's no chance anyone could've worked quietly in that carriage!

OP, I think you should go for it if it makes financial sense, & you certainly shouldn't feel obliged to move to SC if dd fusses.

Actually, if I were in SC & someone wandered in from FC with a screaming baby, I'd be a bit hmm at the implication that those of us in cattle class should endure a yelling infant that 'ought' to be in FC according to its parent's ticket...

nappyaddict Sat 07-Nov-09 01:05:14

Those that have travelled with babies in first class did you do so out of peak times?

mrsjuan Sat 07-Nov-09 08:19:24

Yes i can see that the quiet carriage definitely wouldn't be the place for babies. Even if she wasn't crying I'm sure most people wouldn't find her babbling & various other noises as charming as I do!

I would have thought it would make sense to travel at non peak times anyway - the thought of trying to squash onto the tube with a baby doesn't fill me with excitement!

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