Should Airlines Create ‘Kid-Free’ Sections on Airplanes? 

You’re preparing for a long flight: one where you may get some rest or knock out some work if you’re lucky. Then you get to the gate and see a bunch of families lined up waiting for the same flight and you start to panic. Selfishly, you may throw a little hissy fit in your head hoping that you’re seated far from any little munchkins that may interrupt your plans for this flight. We’ve all been there, so you shouldn’t feel guilty.

But what if more airlines started segregating flights to appease both parents and business travelers? Parents with small children don’t want to be glared at for an entire flight, and people wishing to work or rest on flights would appreciate those where children were at a minimum. So, would you pay a premium if you could have a separate cabin that catered to families only? How much more would you pay for a flight that was strictly adults-only to ensure children would be completely absent on your trip? There’s a movement growing in the airline industry calling for separate cabins or whole flights that are child-free. Keep reading to get all of the details on this hot debate. 


Who’s for child-free sections on flights? 

With the recent media attention surrounding the autistic boy who screamed throughout much of his 8-hour flight, it’s no surprise that people are calling for airlines to institute child-free sections, even if it means having to pay more. There are even a few airlines in other countries that have implemented child-free sections of their flights so business travelers aren’t disturbed by rowdy kids. But, you may be surprised to learn that it’s not just business travelers and children-haters that would appreciate child-free planes. Even parents are starting to realize the benefits of having separate flights for families.

When parents need to fly somewhere with their children, they’ll be able to board a flight that is mostly free of judgmental, aggravated passengers who roll their eyes every time their child happens to make a sound during the flight. There was a Reddit story that circulated a few years ago where parents purchased ear plugs for fellow passengers onboard the flight with them and their twin infants, but parents can’t be expected to go above and beyond like this every time they fly just to appease other passengers. There are plenty of people on both ends of the spectrum that agree that separating sections on flights by age would be the most harmonious and stress-free solution to this issue. 


Who’s against child-free sections? 

There’s always a flip side, and the major airlines in the United States remain staunchly on the opposing side of child-free flights due to the controversy. While some parents remain objective and would be happy to have separate family sections, many believe if an American airline were to actually test-drive such a concept, it would spark outrage amongst parents. When you’re raising little ones, you tend to become inured to their antics and us parents quickly become used to kicking, screaming, and stickiness everywhere. And despite the fact that other passengers shouldn’t have to deal with that, some parents can be sensitive to the fact that their kids can be disturbing – even though they are just kids being kids. Many parents consider the idea discriminatory and harsh for parents who may not have a choice but to travel with their small children. And considering all of the bad press the major U.S. airlines have been receiving recently, it’s no surprise that they’re unwilling to stir up more issues by implementing family segregated flights. 


What are airlines doing now about it? 

Not much is happening in the American market as far as child-free sections, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be coming soon. There have been many surveys and polls that suggest more than half of the population would be interested in children-free flights, so it won’t be long before a brave carrier takes the leap. But for now, there are a few international carriers that have designated child-free sections. Singapore’s Scoot Airlines, AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines and IndiGo all have sections of their planes that are reserved strictly for business-class travelers looking to get some peace and quiet away from potentially noisy children. How much more would you pay to fly in silence?

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