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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?

rubyrubyruby Wed 20-Feb-13 10:44:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GreenEggsAndNichts Wed 20-Feb-13 10:38:57

Well, it's a shame his company won't spring for business class, as that's exactly the situation that section caters for. Even without children, traveling economy class is terrible, and I can't imagine he'd be rested and ready for work the next day. I am incapable of sleeping for more than an hour or two even on a very long flight, in optimal-for-economy-class conditions.

I am an expat so I have to fly transatlantic, and yes, unfortunately with my DS, which is why I'm in the camp of "well, sometimes children do need to fly, as grandparents aren't always capable of coming to them."

I do know what you mean about general thoughts, I didn't take it personally!

It might have been bad, btw, but the joke made me smile regardless. grin

rubyrubyruby Wed 20-Feb-13 10:10:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rubyrubyruby Wed 20-Feb-13 10:07:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GreenEggsAndNichts Wed 20-Feb-13 09:43:05

oh but seeing this pop up again on my threads, reminds me: We just took a trip to the Canaries for half term, so, a 4+ hr flight each way. It was Ryanair, so most of the process was essentially hell, however, one of the really good things about the flight was that it was packed full of families with children. It wasn't noisy at all (I recall one child screaming a bit on the way back but only for the amount of time his ears would have been hurting) but I felt so much more relaxed because I knew 90% of the flight was in the same boat as I was.

GreenEggsAndNichts Wed 20-Feb-13 09:34:54

It might help to envision yourself in a cape, Supermum. grin

(even though Edna from the Incredibles says NO CAPES! love her.)

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Tue 19-Feb-13 21:06:50

I think it was a joke, Supermum!

Saxie Tue 19-Feb-13 20:31:40

Yes. And childrens carriages on trains. Why not? Other people's children may be my idea of hell but at least this way you don't have to apologise if your baby is crying to some grumpy bugger who (unrealistically) thinks children should be seen and not heard.

Want2bSupermum Tue 19-Feb-13 20:27:02

I would like to think that her post says more about her than it does about me.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Mon 18-Feb-13 17:46:19

Hums Superman theme.

De-de-derrrr, de-de-de-de-derrrrr...

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 18-Feb-13 12:53:49

Supermum, I fear you've misread ruby's post.

Want2bSupermum Mon 18-Feb-13 11:05:59

ruby We live in the US and travel to visit family, so yes we need a plane to get to our destination.

rubyrubyruby Sun 17-Feb-13 21:18:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tortington Sun 17-Feb-13 17:28:54

yes please. i don't want to have to smile at children who kick my chair and scream for 4 hours.

Want2bSupermum Sun 17-Feb-13 16:57:12

Boffin When we fly with United we get offered a special meal with DD and they ask us what DD likes to eat. It is fab but I don't think they do it for regular economy passengers (def worth asking when you book). I am fortunate that DH flies with them so much that they offer these services.

Flight to Manchester where we flew business they gave me her meal shortly after take off. It was all wrapped up so I could feed her as she needed feeding rather than having to bother the crew. They had little packets of cheese, apple sauce, rice balls, chopped pear, a banana, two rolls, little crackers, salt free pretzels, carrots, celery and cold chicken. They had cartons of milk (like a juice box) for her and gave me a 1.5l bottle of water. Before landing they gave us a packed lunch for DD of cold salmon, apple slices and a bottle of water. Was fabulous I tell you. It costs a lot to travel this way, but short of hiring a nanny, it makes life so much more pleasant. Oh and my mantra towards parenthood is 'Sanity comes at a cost that I am willing to pay for.' I don't think airlines realize this sometimes.

BoffinMum Sat 16-Feb-13 17:09:56

It would be brilliant to be able to pre-book nappy and food packs for babies and toddlers on planes, and/or be able to buy them from the trolley.

somanymiles Thu 14-Feb-13 23:07:31

I definitely support the idea of "quiet areas" and family areas, not for the sake of the people who are annoyed by noisy children (I'm thinking of my dear but very grumpy mother, for example) but really for my sake. I have three children. The older two are usually very well behaved on planes and always have been, despite my DD suffering from travel sickness. My DS2, 24 months old, is a nightmare. He is a very active child who really wants to run up and down the aisles screaming loudly with joy. If forced to sit still he will scream loudly with rage and throwing anything he can get his hands on. It is not that I haven't trained him to be a good traveller, but that he is a different child with a different personality, so I do take umbrage at people who pat themselves on the back and take all the credit for their children behaving on planes, in restaurants etc - it really is sometimes a question of nature rather than nature. Like others on this thread we live overseas and take a long haul flight every year to see family, some of whom are too old/brassick to fly to us. Last year on one of our flights, while DS2 was somewhat disruptive he was in no way as disruptive as a very obese man with a lough hacking cough sitting next to us. Having said that I would feel a lot more relaxed in a "family zone" where at least I would feel that I was surrounded by other parents who at least in part understood the challenge presented by keeping a toddler quiet for a 10 hour flight. If I ever see a parent struggling with a crying baby or tantrumming toddler on a flight or in a restaurant I thank my lucky stars it's not me and wonder what I can do to help, if anything. If only more people were like that. And while some claim having children is a lifestyle choice, it is my children who will be giving them medical care, spoon feeding them and paying taxes to support their care homes when they get old, so they can bloody well put up with them on the occasional flight or meal out IMHO.

mooniy Thu 14-Feb-13 22:29:44

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Want2bSupermum Thu 14-Feb-13 21:11:06

boffin I don't have that much more with me (4 bottles but no blanket, 1pr pyjamas + 1 outfit, a spare top for DH and I and we use a changing mat by kushies which is a piece of flannel with a waterproof layer on the back - we use it as a liner during take off after DD pooped so bad once it hit the back of her neck). We then carry medicine (paedilyte powder, baby paracetamol, teething tablets and gripe water) and 3 pacifiers (we always lose one). I don't carry a blanket (use my coat/ DH's spare top or the blanket provided) or soap. I put soiled clothes in a ziplock and use the mouthwash cup in the bathroom to mix water and soap and pour that onto the clothes. Close the ziplock and wash or chuck at destination.

Our diaper bag allows me to be quite organized and I use a backpack for myself which has three pockets, one which I use to hold DD's activity bag. The diaper bag we have is great. It has lots of pockets which is why I use the ziplock freezer bags. Instead of rummaging around in the pocket I pull out the ziplock bag, its see through so I can identify why it is I need and if is leaks it doesn't spoil the bag. The ziplock bags can easily be opened with one hand and the seal prevents icky smells from escaping. The gallon sized ones are great puke bags too.

Back Whatever...

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Thu 14-Feb-13 19:17:49

Eh? Wind, holding patterns, runway slots, offloading passengers, taxi time if you are at the furthest gate? Loads more that passengers are never even aware of? One of these alone could give a variation of more than 24 mins.

Many flights I've been on, not just SAS, say they've caught up time en route after an hour 's delay on take off - I simply assume the schedule contained considerable delay allowance in the first place.

Backinthebox Thu 14-Feb-13 18:57:44

Flight durations DO vary by more than 5% though. I can't be bothered to explain it to you, because I have a feeling you won't take it on board anyway.

BoffinMum Thu 14-Feb-13 18:48:10

I travel incredibly lightly, even with babies/toddlers/tinies on long haul flights. My tricks for anyone over 6 months are:

Two bottles, just rinse with a bit of hot water when necessary. They survive. Roll up disposable bottle tucked away in case of disaster. I've even used Fruit Shoot bottles for formula when stuck. The world didn't end.

Break all the rules on formula - take 7 scoops per feed in a container with compartments, add 7 fl oz hot water or Evian as required. Shake. Again, they survive, amazingly.

Take nappies for 24 hours in case we're stranded, full pack wipes.

Take 2 day outfits as well as 2 babygros that could just about pass for daywear.

Big carrier bag tucked away in case of big mess.

Packet of raisins, one or two Farley's rusks.

Soap leaves and smallest size travel towel.

Spare t-shirt for me.

Extra blanket for on the plane.

That's about all I take. Food wise I just feed them bits of whatever they have on the plane, than I am eating (I chew it up for them, if necessary).

Want2bSupermum Thu 14-Feb-13 18:21:10

Boffin Didn't know you were disabled. Great to hear that you are able to make it through airports and are able to board the plane first. With DD when we have flown from CPH/ Madrid and Rome we were not been able to board first unless we are in business. It drive me nuts when I am trying to put the activity bag under the seat and find a spot for the diaper bag above while holding DD. It is a major pain when the diaper bag is 2 or 3 bins away (and always in the wrong direction from the bathrooms too).

back Flight durations shouldn't increase by 5% when you are travelling the same route at the same time. 5% of 8hrs is 24 minutes which is an awful lot of time to be adding to a flight where all the variables have already been taken into consideration. As I said, my timings were gate to gate, not wheels up to wheels down.

As for milton tablets and tupperwear... you tell me I have too much stuff with me and then suggest a way around bringing 4 bottles is to bring Milton tables (which I have not seen for sale here in the US) and a tupperwear tub! So, if I were to be able to source milton tablets here in the US (I am sure amazon sells them), I would then be walking around with a tupperware tub full of water. That is a great work around, especially when I am travelling on my own with DD. I think I will stick to bringing 4 clean bottles.

Red I do blame security when they don't do things properly. Our DD had no boarding pass yet the big issue was a 4oz tube of diaper cream. Also, the rules are that the parents are supposed to test the food, not the security person. So I did one thing wrong.... I carried a 4oz tube of cream with no ml markings on it. It doesn't justify her failures to ensure DD had a boarding pass and that proper procedures were followed with regards to searching our belongings.

Backinthebox Wed 13-Feb-13 21:01:31

If I were that worried about washing a bottle in a public loo I'd stick a couple of Milton tablets and a tupperware tub in. See? there's a way round most things!

And yup, we had a wheelchair passenger on today's flight. Treated with care and respect, as usual.

As for SAS adding about 5% on to their flight times - would you like me to give a really long and detailed explanation as to how airlines calculate flight times, to include debate on airport weather, air traffic slots, the North Atlantic Track system, headwinds and tailwinds, and a myriad other issues that mean only an imbecile wouldn't add a couple of extra minutes on to a schedule here and there to ensure the passenger can have some degree of certainty that they will arrive by the scheduled arrival time? Let's face it, if you were drive 50 miles at 60mph, it would take you 50 minutes if you were not slowed down by any other traffic, had no junctions to negotiate, and went from 60mph to parked without having to consider your parking place. But you'd most likely tell anyone who asked that it would take you about an hour to drive. You've just added 12% to your journey time. This does not make you dishonest - it makes you realistic.

BoffinMum Wed 13-Feb-13 11:48:15

The wheelchair people are there actually - we get to go through a separate screening place a lot of the time, and many of us can actually make it up the stairs if we're not being jostled, if not, they hoist us on before the other people board the flight.

When I am with kids I have started paying to use special lounges and fast track facilities as I am rubbish at coping with airport stress.

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