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?

SilverMoo Thu 07-Feb-13 12:06:30

LabelsGalore - I think it's more kerfuffle and noise than disruption. The majority of younger children whine, laugh loudly and get in and out their seat often on long flights, and babies cry.

Maryz Thu 07-Feb-13 12:09:33

You know what I would like - child only spaces on planes.

So all us adults can sit happily at the front downing vodka and there could be a sort of creche at the back, with qualified nannies entertaining the children.

That would do.

Now, we would also need qualified bouncers and a separate space for the stag/hen parties, and qualified police for the drunks, and qualified accountants to frighten the businessmen into submission, and qualified engineers to measure up and make decisions on fair arm-rest division

<wanders off point somewhat>

LabelsGalore Thu 07-Feb-13 12:11:38

The last long haul flight I took didn't have any though. I was sat next to woman with a little baby. Said baby was quiet for the whole 8 hours of the flight, either sleeping or bfing wo a few 'awake' moments.

RedToothBrush Thu 07-Feb-13 12:11:51

Babies are slightly different, but IME its not children on long haul flights that are a problem. Its children on short haul flights... which is an entirely different can of worms... and begs the question about why children are actually annoying on flights.

Long haul, the problem is more with adults who get drunk or don't fit in their seat and think, particularly because I'm small, that its ok to take up half of mine too (ironically usually businessmen types!).

Lets be honest about this, the reason they are doing this, isn't really to improve the experience of passengers, its so they can create another category of seating and charge (and probably more likely businesses rather than child free couples) more for the privilege.

Don't forget that you are more likely to die in the front rows in a plane crash, than further back, so first classes and child free seats aren't necessarily the best seats anyway!

LabelsGalore Thu 07-Feb-13 12:13:51

And I imagine that for people who want a 'No children Zone' actually, kerfuffle and noise = disruptive people

Labels they might have used up all the bulk head and the end row. Most of the airlines do it on a allocate-by-age basis. I didn't get a bassinet on one of the flights because they had 8 babies younger than my 18mo that time. I was allocated the last row next to the toilets. They are able to block the seat next to us though so we have our own row. It all depends on how full the planes are, and who is on it. The airlines don't want to annoy the other passengers either. But they do like to fully book it so they make more profit.

silverfrog Thu 07-Feb-13 12:20:18

fine, as long as:

child-friendly flights are not more expensive/only available on certain routes/times.

it isn't (airline wink) class restrictive - don't want children all relegated to back of cattle class, for eg.

there are other 'exclusive' zones - eg no drinking (alcohol) would cut out a lot of disruption/loud brayers.

It does annoy me when people rant about children on flights - mine have never been disruptive for more than 30 seconds (and even that is rare - happened once when dd2 was separated from me, and dd1 could hear her crying so also got upset. but then if the airline had sat us together as requested, and booked rather than shifting us about, that would never have happened anyway), but that doesn't stop them being eyeballed as soon as they set foot on a plane.

MaryIngalls Thu 07-Feb-13 12:23:01

Trains have quiet zones - they don't ban kids AFAIK but I don't get in if DD is with me, don't see why people shouldn't have the same choice on flights. As others mentioned, it's upto the airlines to see if they can fill up flights with these restrictions. My DD can be quiet as a mouse and really well behaved. On other occasions, she can be a bit too full of beans. I hate getting dirty looks from others. Am all for it if airlines can make it work!

Maryz Thu 07-Feb-13 12:24:38

As an aside, I cannot understand by all flights aren't "no alcohol".

I know the likes of Ryanair makes most of it's money from inflight sales, but still. If you got rid of the alcohol you would get rid of a lot of bad adult behaviour, and also a lot of irritability at children's behaviour.

In fact, I would back that - alcohol free flights.

detoxlatte Thu 07-Feb-13 12:34:45

Terrible idea.

We are already intolerant enough of normal, human-life stuff as it is (old people, disabled people, people who don't speak English well enough or with the right accent, people who drive big cars, people who drive too slowly etc etc), this would be just another nail in the coffin of harmonious collective living.
More divisions and segregation should not be encouraged.

No man is an island. Divide and rule doesn't work.

If, however, this meant that I could leave my cretin of a child at home with its Dad and jet off on holiday myself, with the excuse that kids can't fly at all on my chosen flight, I think it'd be a great idea grin .

LabelsGalore Thu 07-Feb-13 12:38:31

One but that isn't a 'child zone' that's just where they can actually put the bassinet on. It has always been like this, even 30 years ago and no one was talking about 'child zone'.

And as you said, this is about little babies only (who are likely to sleep through it) not for toddlers and older children.
What the proposal is about is a zone where no children under 12yo can go. Not quite the same thing.

What I have seen is the airline trying to put families in the middle row so that 'everyone can be sat next to each other' rather than using the seats next to the window or the aisle (as they are, of course, much more in demand).
But it was never signposted as an area for children or families.

LabelsGalore Thu 07-Feb-13 12:39:51

Maryz yy to alcohol free flights.
just we have alcohol free trains where I live think about the number of times I have seen people drinking alcohol in the train at 7.00am

None of this would be neccessary if everyone had a bit of consideration for everyone else around them.

Merrylegs Thu 07-Feb-13 12:55:14

If it's about money, actually the people with kids will have paid more for their seats so really they should call the shots.

Especially on a 'budget' airline where the single traveller may have only paid 37p and be able to pack their sarong, suntan lotion and novelty condoms into their free carry on baggage.

With such a bargainous flight they should put up and shut up.

The family with three kids have had to shell out for five full price tickets when over half of them aren't earning anything. Plus have to pay extra for hold luggage because they can't cram the clothes and the nappies and the nintendos and the sweets and the blankies and the books into a carry on bag the size of a pea.

Try.As.They.Might.

Mudwiggle Thu 07-Feb-13 12:59:41

I'd have agreed with this a few years ago when kids paid half the adult price, but considering how much it costs to fly a 2 year old now, they can bugger off.... [grumpy]

CaptainVonTrapp Thu 07-Feb-13 13:12:30

So Air Asia will fly their planes with empty seats rather than allowing children in rows 1-7?

Given that childrens tickets are virtually full price, I very much doubt this will succeed if that happened even once.

And what about the drunk, snoring 'business man' in row 1? Will they roll him to the back with the feral animals children?

As for all the claims that people are "working" and flying for business, not for choice and can't be disturbed by crying children. Your self importance is staggering. Get a new job if you can't tolerate sharing what is essentially public transport with other people.

Mudwiggle Thu 07-Feb-13 13:14:15

Maryz - now that I would happily pay extra for!

Fillyjonk75 Thu 07-Feb-13 13:27:18

Can I sit in the child free bit while my kids sit in the normal bit? smile

LeonieDeSainteVire Thu 07-Feb-13 13:30:15

I hate this kind of attitude - we are all humans and certain groups should not be discriminated against because they are a bit noisier or less attractive than others.

Besides as so many have said some children are noisy on flights and some are well behaved, same with adults really. We need good behaviour on flights for and from everyone and maybe with a little kindness too.

No alcohol flights would be interesting, you'd have to have no alcohol airports too.

As an aside, I cannot understand by all flights aren't "no alcohol".

I couldn't get through the 8 hour flight to Antigua without my one vodka and orange and the little bottle of wine that comes with the main meal!

Maryz Thu 07-Feb-13 13:31:37

SDTG, that it the most ridiculously radical suggestion I have ever seen shock

Lavenderhoney Thu 07-Feb-13 13:34:22

I fly loads with my dc alone and with dh. Kids don't fly for free and have every right to be on the plane.

Recently I found my and dc seats on the plane and before we even sat down the woman in front started shouting about kids on flights and she had no intention of being disturbed all the flight etc etc. I don't let mine play with the trays, but I could have easily made an exception in her case. She called over the cabin crew who told her that she could not be moved - methinks the lady was hoping for an upgrade, and they pointed out my dc hadn't made a sound yet as they were in fact asleep. That made for a nice atmosphere on the long haul.

Flying home, I was again screeched at by a woman travelling alone with dc. Mine were chatting to each other and giggling at normal volume at a programme on the telly thing. She told me my dc should be like hers and sit in silence so not to disturb adults. She also informed me she gave her dc sleeping pilll!!! So it's ok for adults to chat and laugh then?

If people want to pay extra let them. I don't like segregation though, on the grounds children are annoying. Adults are just as annoying IMO on flights. In fact at least I dont have to worry I will be next to some drunken idiot now. I have my lovely dc instead.

Fowey123 Thu 07-Feb-13 13:37:09

Like many others its certainly not the kids that cause the most problems!

rubyrubyruby Thu 07-Feb-13 13:38:23

Great idea

abitcoldupnorth Thu 07-Feb-13 13:48:03

Whatever. Probably won't work cos there's always going to be the rows behind and in front of the child section which no one's going to want to be in.

Also I agree with Merrylegs

And the toddler's T-shirt which says 'Please be nice to me, I'll be paying your pension'.

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