Child-free flight zones: what do you think?

(294 Posts)
HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 07-Feb-13 10:26:32

Morning. We've just seen this article in the Telegraph about a Malaysian airline which has launched 'quiet zones' on selected flights, where children under the age of 12 are not permitted to sit.

It seems that a recent poll of Telegraph Travel readers also found that nearly 70% would support the introduction of child-free flights.

What do you think?

Should people have the right to travel without being 'disturbed by noisy children'? Or not?

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Thu 07-Feb-13 10:51:49

If you read the article, it's only 7 rows of the plane, enough that you aren't sitting next to or being kicked by a child but wont stop being disturbed by noise

I doubt entire flights would ban children, for purely economic reasons, airlines fill seats however they can. Unless they have some commuter flughts (say London-Frankfurt at 6.30am or a London-NY "red eye") that are always pretty much booked out. Can't see an objection to zones though - as others say they would have to be "quiet zones" - which could mean no under 12s but also generally for people prepared to be quiet, otherwise what is the point? Perhaps "No under 12s, no groups of more than 4 booking together" in the quiet zone would cover a lot of it. Problem is of course, once booking conditions are met, you can't really throw people who break the "quiet" rule despite being adults not travelling in a large group off a plane, the way you could theoretically with a train etc... grin

The most disruptive and annoying person I was ever on a flight with was a very drunk young woman in her early 20s, travelling on her own, who kept wandering the plane and very overtly flirting with random business men, who to their credit all seemed very embarrassed by it, and making passing unpleasant comments to women sitting near her chosen flirtations. She didn't get loud til mid flight, when she also started climbing over seats, and 2 stewardesses escorted her to the back of the plane - fortunately the flight was half empty. Very odd. I know they aren't meant to let drunk people onto flights at all, but I assume nobody noticed initially.

AmberSocks Thu 07-Feb-13 10:55:33

i think this sends out another bad message out about children and families.

We live in a really child unfriendly society as it is and things like this make it worse.

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 07-Feb-13 10:56:13

It's a brilliant idea.

Katnisscupcake Thu 07-Feb-13 10:59:06

I also think this is a great idea.

Before I had DD, I really didn't like being on flights with children. Screaming, crying, being sick, kicking the back of my chair etc etc. It made me unusually ragey!

Now having DD, she is nearly four and we've never been on a plane, mostly because of how I used to feel about DC on planes, I didn't want anyone to have to listen to DD crying/whining etc.

So I think it would be less stressful for other passengers to not have children in the quiet zone, and also less stressful for parents who don't have to worry that their DCs are annoying everyone else!

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 07-Feb-13 11:02:00

For those people saying children are not a lifestyle choice - no, they definitely aren't. But flying is. Unless it comes with your job (like for me) in which case you don't have your own kids with you, you might possibly be missing them, and you certainly don't want or need anybody else's kids on a jolly making your flight (during which you may need to be working) horrible.

zzzzz Thu 07-Feb-13 11:02:08

Awful. There are places I don't take my children because it is inappropriate for the children (bars, casino, etc), I can't imagine why I would keep them away otherwise. They are people, not some subspecies. shock

ComradeJing Thu 07-Feb-13 11:04:37

You know in my fairly extensive experience of flying most airlines do put children and young families together already. And most babies are quiet for take off and landing. And most parents of really young children turn metaphorical cartwheels to keep children quiet.

So my feeling is... People just need need to toughen up wrt children on flights. It's going to be - max - 16 odd hours out of your life and if arriving rested to your destination is so important then fly business.

A flight is not some weird child inappropriate place where it is unreasonable for children to be. It's not the 8pm sitting in a restaurant.

EauRouge Thu 07-Feb-13 11:05:10

Yes, flying is a lifestyle choice. So why should it be more important for anyone? If it's work then fly business class.

ScramblyEgg Thu 07-Feb-13 11:06:00

I agree with Amber and zzzzz. It's a bad idea as it reinforces the idea that children aren't fully human, and should be sectioned off into their own separate world.

It's ridiculous to expect to get through life without ever experiencing the slightest inconvenience.

Russians flying is not a choice for some. My parents live in HK and the ILs in NZ. They are too old to fly. It's easier for us to do it. There are often many children on the flight to NZ, exactly for this reason. I guess that's why my experience with DD on long haul hasn't been bad. Other fellow passangers are very friendly with her.

ComradeJing that's my experience too. At least with an infant, I'm always at the front or the end row. BTW, DD has been to business class to Spain too. She drove the guy sitting next to DH away grin. But they have enough seats in business class to spread out anyway. We flew Iberia (me in cattle class, DH on business in business class). The Spainish flight attendents were angels with DD.

zzzzz Thu 07-Feb-13 11:13:05

<whispers 8pm sitting in a restaurant is OK with me too, assuming children are not falling asleep in their chairs>

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 07-Feb-13 11:13:39

@one of course it's a choice for you.

Maryz Thu 07-Feb-13 11:17:41

But <whispers> having children is a lifestyle choice.

Pretty much everything is a lifestyle choice, but choosing to have children and then choosing to take them places is something we all do. The question is whether we should be allowed to let our choices affect other people.

So is it ok to take a child onto a plane if it is going to cry? Is it ok to take a child to a restaurant if it is going to run around? I would get cross if an adult disturbed my plane journey, or ran around a romantic restaurant in the evening.

It really is up to parents to ensure (as much as possible) that neither they or their children disturb other people's lives. It's called being responsible and considerate, isn't it?

HecateWhoopass Thu 07-Feb-13 11:19:30

Yes. It's a choice as in she could choose to not see her parents or in laws, ever.

Same as you could choose to give up your job in order to not fly. Get a different job, one that didn't involve travel.

There's choice and there's choice grin

Merrylegs Thu 07-Feb-13 11:19:46

Really they should just have flights for obnoxious and entitled folk and flights for reasonable folk.

In general it is the person in charge of the annoying child who is the problem.

As comradejing said, most reasonable people do their very best to keep a child entertained and quiet on a flight.

That same person would most likely be considerate to other passengers if they were flying without their children.

The obnoxious folk just don't care if their kids are causing a rumpus, kicking seats, yelling etc. These same folk if travelling on their own will most likely be the seat recliners, the seat hoggers, the noisy eaters etc. Because they don't care about the impact on their fellow passengers.

So yes, two kinds of flights please.

The 'we're crammed in a tube arse to cheek breathing each others air for 8 hours so lets see if we can all be mindful and self contained and responsible and try and make it a tolerable experience' flyers

And the 'it's my arse, my cheek, my air and my tube. I paid money for this seat and the rest of you can just bog off' flyer.

EauRouge Thu 07-Feb-13 11:20:17

No. Going to the gym is a lifestyle choice. Being a vegetarian is a lifestyle choice. Society would be pretty fucked if people didn't have children.

I hate the whole children are a sub-species thing. The UK is awful in that respect. I see far worse behaviour in adults. I am not staying in the UK for my holidays just because some people need that stick out of their behind removed quiet. Agree with someone further upthread who said about braying types, they are usually the ones who frown on children whilst being loud themselves.

Merrylegs, very well put. I agree.

jetlag Thu 07-Feb-13 11:23:59

@OneLittleToddlingTerror So fat Brits are OK? Unbelievable.

Maryz Thu 07-Feb-13 11:24:32

Merrylegs, they do.

They are called "economy" and "first class".

The trouble is all the people who are in economy feeling resentful because they think they deserve to be in first class.

Eau, it is a lifestyle choice ^for those who choose it". Those who don't choose it, shouldn't have to adjust for it. Obviously if everyone stopped choosing it society as a whole would be fucked, but I don't agree that childless people should in some way be grateful to others for having children and put themselves out for those children.

Ekka Thu 07-Feb-13 11:25:05

Ah, but Westjet is one step ahead wink

westjet kargo kids

zzzzz Thu 07-Feb-13 11:26:45

If you use public transport you have to shar your journey with the public. Children are part of the public, simples.

Same with a public restaurant, you can hire a private room if you don't want to mix with the masses.

Ekka Thu 07-Feb-13 11:28:01

And for anyone wondering, yes it was an April fool.

Though when I had to take 3 dc to Canada this Xmas by myself and had dc3 wanting to run up and down the plane and smack anyone who was sleeping to wake them up (he was only 16m and no, I didn't let him do that) I did actually think it seemed like a good idea!!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now