Could Child Free Zones On Planes Be In Our Future?

Here’s a familiar scenario for some people (not all, but definitely some): you’re in your seat on the plane and every time a young child goes by, you cross your fingers and maybe say a little prayer. “Not in front of me, not next to me, not behind me, not near me, please, please, please.” And sometimes you luck out, but sometimes not so much. And you wind up with a little one next to you who cries for the entire flight. Or there’s one behind you who kicks your seat incessantly. Maybe there’s one directly across the aisle and is in a screaming match with her little brother the whole trip. Or it could be the one who’s in front of you and stands on his seat so he can smear his boogers on the top of his seat back, right where you can see them.

Of course, sometimes you get a well behaved angel sitting near you, who’s quiet, does what his/her caregivers say, and at the end of the flight, I hope you praise the child and caregivers for how well behaved (s)he is. I know I do. But back to the times when there’s a very disruptive little one sitting near you…

According to Airfarewatchdog’s Annual State of Travel Survey from 2017, more than half (52 percent) of the 4,000+ people they surveyed feel that families with young children (age 10 and under) should be required to sit in a separate section of the plane. Unfortunately, there’s no data of what percentage of those people have children vs. those who don’t.

Some international airlines, including Malaysia Airlines, Scoot (based out of Singapore), IndiGo (India) and AirAsiaX (Malaysia) have already done just that, and have sections of their planes where youngsters are verboten (AirAsiaX, for example, doesn’t allow children in the first 7 rows of Economy class, deeming it the “Quiet Zone.”).

U.S. airlines, not surprisingly, have not shown any interest in introducing such a concept to their flights, nor have Virgin Atlantic or British Airways, the 2 major carriers in the U.K (although Richard Branson apparently toyed with the idea a few years ago). But based on the survey results, there seems to be a market for it, so we’ll see what happens, if anything, in the coming years.

What do you think?

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