She was looking forward to two hours of work on her first class flight from Philadelphia to Kentucky. She prepared to conquer all her work tasks by unpacking her laptop, earbuds, and headphones. The mother and baby sat next to Ms. Che and she was pretty sure her flight was over.
Ms. Che couldn't block out the sound of the baby's cries even after she put in her headphones. An hour before landing, the baby and her mother fell asleep, and the infant began to slip into Ms. Che's lap.
Ms Che said it was not her job to watch a sleeping baby. Between the screaming and babysitting, I got almost no work done, and ended up working late into the night to catch up after a long day of travel.
Babies and luxury don't mix for a lot of travelers. Adults-only pools and kid-free cruises are available for those who like to mix with grown ups. There is no guarantee of a relaxing, adult experience when passengers are paying large sums of money.
Parents who bring their children to first class in an effort to be a little more comfortable and feel pampered have to endure the glares of their fellow passengers and hope for the best. When accompanied by an adult, infants are allowed to fly in first class.
In order to ensure a peaceful environment for all their passengers, airlines have to strike a balance between competing interests.
When she and her baby were upgraded to first class on their flight from New York to Paris, McGovern wasn't going to turn the offer down.
Ms. McGovern said that she entered the plane with her baby in her arms and took a left turn to first class. Do you need to fly private if you want to avoid hoi polloi and their children?
The passengers supported the idea of kid-free first class. A survey by the Business Travel Show Europe, part of Business Travel News Europe, found that children were the most annoying part of flying. Sixty percent of people wanted airlines to have a kid-free section, according to a survey by Skyscanner.
There is no such luck for now. The fact that babies are usually unwanted in the front of the plane has made some parents think twice before booking first class.
Sarah Joseph, a co- founder of Parental Queries, flew from St. Louis to Dubai with her 9-month-old son and found the experience to be overwhelming. Ms. Joseph apologized to her fellow passengers after her baby began to cry.
While on a trip to Europe with his wife, a retired doctor on Staten Island, he was on the opposing team.
The baby's cries became louder and more frequent as the hours went by and the mother tried to calm her. Passengers in first class pay more for added comfort and relaxation. The peaceful atmosphere would be disrupted and the experience for other passengers would be ruined if a baby was present.
Scott Keyes, the founder of Scott's Cheap Flights, who has a 1-year-old and a 4-year-old, believes that the sentiment towards babies is changing, offering more sympathy to families traveling with young children.
Mr. Keyes said that the parents of young kids were the ones who needed extra rest and relaxation.
If a family with a baby chooses to fly first class, it is not a bad idea to ignore the rules.
Elaine Swann, founder of the Swann School of Protocol in Carlsbad, Calif., said that before booking a first-class ticket, parents need to make an informed decision as to whether or not their child will be a disruption. They need to be aware of the length of the flight, the time of day and the child's age. If it appears that the child will be disruptive, parents should choose another part of the plane.
Ms. Swann said that we need to think about how our choices can affect others.
The director of the Protocol School of Palm Beach said that parents of babies should be prepared to entertain their children with food, drinks, toys and entertainment. Children and babies can fly in first class if they are well behaved and respectful. Many of them are better behaved than adults.
She has taken her baby to six countries and seven states in first class since he was 8 months old, and she said she has received many compliment on how well he has behaved. She can only say that for the adults around her child.
In first-class cabins on many flights, we have encountered ill-behaved, loud, drunk and entitled adults that disturb the peace.
When Dr. Amy Guralnick took her 3-year-old to Israel from Chicago in business class, the woman next to her switched her seat to coach to avoid being near the baby. According to Dr. Guralnick, the man spilled his drink on the baby, who slept the entire flight.
The original woman told Dr. Guralnick that she didn't keep her original seat because she slept the whole time.
Ms. McGovern has always wondered if it was fair to bring babies into first class. She understands why others wouldn't want to share the first-class cabin with her family, but she doesn't have much luxury in her life these days.
Ms McGovern said she would take a side of seatmate resentment.
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