Although frequent travelers have long been begging airlines to offer kid-free seating zones, the majority of airlines have simply chosen to keep families happy at the risk of alienating kid-free travelers.
It’s something that has been in the media repeatedly, with many vocal opinions from both sides of the argument. Families traveling with young children maintain that they have a right to sit where they want, and it’s everyone else’s kids that are the problem. And business travelers would quite happily pay a fee to be able to nap or do some work in peace without ending up covered in cracker crumbs and apple juice.
Travelers from opposing sides have recently come out with many (sometimes inflammatory) articles to sway public opinion. A few of the latest include The plane truth about traveling: I hate your children, in which the author threatens to hit the father of a young boy who won’t stop hitting him and Five people on planes who are way worse to fly with than my kids, in which the author maintains that adults can be just as annoying.
The award has to go to a blog post published just a few days ago called Please don’t hate me when I’m traveling with toddlers in which the author actually suggests that whomever is lucky enough to sit next to her and her young children should perhaps have a sing-along with them, or watch the same movie so her children don’t get upset.
She then goes on to say that while you may try to ignore them, they’re going to be more interested in your laptop or book and she “can’t guarantee the safety of your valuables if you insist on pretending my kids are invisible”. If this doesn’t sound like a good time then you’re still getting something out of the experience as you can consider her kids “a little extra incentive to make sure your birth control method of choice is effective.
Look we get it, young children and babies with sensitive ears are going to cry when the pressure changes. But when there’s a four-year-old kicking your seat, yelling loudly or wriggling uncontrollably that 12 hour flight can turn into a nightmare.
While a few airlines are offering kid-free seating, including Malaysian, Air Asia and Scoot airlines, Australian airlines such as Jetstar, Virgin and Tiger have ruled out kid-free seating, and so have airlines operating in the United States.
Introducing kid-free seating won’t have a negative impact on families, in fact traveling with children will likely be a less stressful experience as they’ll know that the people who are most likely to complain about their children have paid a small fee to sit elsewhere. As the debate between parents and solo-travelers heats up, it’s easy to see why kid-free seating zones are necessary.
Would you pay extra to sit in a kid-free zone? Leave a comment in the box below.