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Lily Allen says she will fly first class while her children sit in economy

‘I’m going in first class, she’s going in economy,’ Allen says about her daughter Ethel, 13

Meredith Clark
New York
Friday 26 April 2024 15:58 BST
Related: United Airlines praised by mother for letting her autistic son sit in First Class

Lily Allen has weighed in on the ongoing debate on whether children should fly in first class.

The British singer, 38, discussed her travel plans in the latest episode of her podcast, Miss Me? While speaking to her podcast co-host and friend Miquita Oliver, Allen - who lives in New York with her husband, actor David Harbour - explained that she will be flying first class to London for Oliver’s 40th birthday celebrations, while her daughter will be sitting in economy class.

“We are flying to London today to come and see you for your birthday. I’m going in first class, she’s going in economy,” Allen said about her 13-year-old daughter, Ethel.

“Wow, Merry Christmas Ethel,” Oliver joked, before asking: “You know what that is?”

“Selfish?” Allen chimed in, as Miquita added: “The circle of life. That baby is now coming to London because you live in New York for my 40th birthday, which we are having at the end of the road we grew up on.”

At that point, the “Smile” singer took the opportunity to poke fun at the viral trend of adults refusing to give up their airplane seats for children who are separated from their family on a flight.

“There’s a trend at the moment on social media of people defiantly saying they won’t give up their seats for children on airplanes,” Allen told her podcast host, who revealed that she agrees with the adults.

“Oh, really? You’re one of those?” the “LDN” singer asked.

When Oliver questioned why someone would give up their airplane seat to a child even if they’ve paid for the seat, Allen informed her co-host that oftentimes big groups on planes can get separated by seats.

Lily Allen with her husband David Harbour and daughters Marnie Rose Cooper and Ethel Cooper at the ‘Stranger Things’ season four premiere in New York City on 14 May 2022
Lily Allen with her husband David Harbour and daughters Marnie Rose Cooper and Ethel Cooper at the ‘Stranger Things’ season four premiere in New York City on 14 May 2022 (AFP via Getty Images)

“Quite often, when you’re a big group, the airline will separate the seats. I don’t know why they do it, but you’ll get to the airport and they’ll be like: ‘Your child’s sitting over here.’ So when you get on the plane, you then have to ask people if they don’t mind moving so that you could sit next to your children,” Allen explained.

“Obviously is very inconvenient for everybody involved, but I just find it fascinating that it’s now become something that gives you clout on social media when you’re like: ‘A mom came up to me and asked me to move and I told them to f*** off,’” she jokingly added. “Is this what we’ve become? Well done, you made a family have to sit apart from each other.”

On social media, hundreds of videos have gone viral showing adults refusing to swap their first class seats with children. In July, one woman was praised when she showed herself seated in the first class section of a plane after a family had asked her to switch seats with their child.

“POV: Flight agent asks me if I want to give up my 1A seat so a child sits with their family,” TikTok user Dr Sabra (@lifewithdrsabra) wrote over the video. She captioned the post: “That’s a no from me dawg, would you have given up your seat? Also they ended up finding a solution so no, I am not a terrible human being. Also the child was like 13.”

Meanwhile, a father previously sparked a debate when he revealed that he and his wife sit in first class on planes while they pay for their children to be seated in economy with a nanny during the same flights. Samuel Leeds, who goes by the username @samuel_leeds on TikTok, shared a video about his family’s seating arrangements during a flight last year. In the clip, he filmed himself telling his children, who were seated in economy seats of a plane, that he’d “see you later” before walking towards the front of the plane.

“Rich people, don’t spoil your kids,” Leeds wrote in a text caption on the video, as he walked toward the first class section of the aircraft. “Walking past business class, because I earned it.”

He concluded the video by asking viewers whether they agreed or disagreed with his and his wife’s decision to sit separately from their young children, who were seated with their nanny, according to the TikToker.

“Don’t worry, they were sat with their nanny,” he captioned the video, before adding: “Don’t spoil your children.”

Allen has two daughters with her ex-husband Sam Cooper: Ethel Mary, born in 2011, and Marnie Rose, born in 2013. Most recently, the pop star claimed during an appearance on the Radio Times Podcast that having children “ruined” her career.

“My children ruined my career,” she said. “I love them and they complete me, but in terms of pop stardom, they totally ruined it.”

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