Malaysia Airlines Defends Controversial Ban on Babies in First Class

Malaysia Airlines issued a statement Wednesday to defend its controversial policy to ban babies from traveling in first class cabins.

Earlier this month via Twitter, MAS managing director and CEO Tengku Azmil cited complaints from passengers who "spend money on 1st class and can't sleep due to crying infants" as reason why the airline is banning babies on its Beoing 747-400s and soon-to-debut Airbus A380s.

The airline’s director of operations, Capt Mohamed Azharuddin Osman, on Wednesday backed that call.

“Bassinet facilities were originally available in the First, Business and Economy class zones of the 747's," he explained. "In 2003, Malaysia Airlines embarked on a revamp of First and Business class cabin of the B747s. The First class seat configuration was reduced from 18 to 12 for passengers to enjoy increased cabin space and extended legroom."

"Each new seat came with an electrically operated ottoman that doubles as a visitor seat and could convert to a lie-flat bed with the main seat. As a result of this seat revamp and the introduction of the ottoman, there was no facility for positioning bassinets in the First Class of the B747s."

Osman said in the statement that Malaysia will still accept infants for travel in the Economy and Business classes of the flights operated by 747 aircraft.

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