by Jamie McKenzie
A mum was left in tears when British Airways business class lounge staff told her to leave after failing to provide her with a high chair for her 11 month old daughter.
Jemma King said she made clear to catering staff that her child was too small to sit up on the lounge chairs provided, could not be sat on her knee while she ate and could not be left alone to crawl about the floor.
But the 36 year old, who was on a work trip to her home town of St Andrews, claims she was asked by employees to “juggle it like any normal parent” before being told, “Business class is for business people, not for babies.”
Mrs King said, “I was both furious and shocked when they said this to me.
“The way I was treated was 100 per cent discrimination. I was in tears and upset. I was on a work trip with a baby but felt kicked out of the place. It was utterly ridiculous.
“In this day and age, with a company as visible and reputable as BA, it’s not inclusive. I was flying business class. I was a business class customer and I’d paid for it.”
‘You have to juggle it like any normal parent’
Mrs King, who lives in Kent but runs a dance school based in St Andrews, went to get something to eat in the BA business lounge at Edinburgh Airport around 2:30pm on Tuesday.
She had booked a business class flight to London City Airport for her and her baby, Genevieve, at an added cost of about £200. When she asked for a high chair she was told by catering staff they did not provide them because it was against company policy.
But Mrs King said she had been at the same Edinburgh Airport lounge in April and that they did provide her with a high chair. When she told staff, they said this shouldn’t have happened because they would have had to borrow one from another part of the airport, breaching policy.
She was then told she could stay and seat her daughter in the lounge chair, but responded to explain this was not suitable or safe for such a young child and that it wouldn’t be safe to let her crawl about on the floor.
She asked the employees if they had ever tried eating with a child on one knee, to which one of the female employees replied, “We have got twins and so you have to juggle it like any normal parent.”
She was then told by the male member of staff present that the business lounge is “business class for business people, not for babies.”
Left in tears by the ordeal, Mrs King left and went to the Aspire lounge where she was provided with a high chair.
The mum said she won’t be booking flights with BA in future as a result of her ordeal.
BA have been contacted for comment.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Edinburgh Evening News