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Airlines Implement Kid-Free Zones
“I just love when I’m seated next to a crying baby on my 12-hour flight,” said no one ever. Even the most kid-loving travelers would probably prefer a flight sans tantrums and crying, but would they pay extra to separate themselves from it?
Within the past few years, a variety of airlines have implemented “kid-free zones,” or “quiet zones.” What exactly does that entail? Generally, a few rows of seats that are reserved for flyers who pay an extra fee to guarantee children will not be in their immediate section.
No Sass in First Class
Malaysian Airlines first started their kid-free option in 2011. First, they banned infants from First Class. It seems reasonable that if you pay for First Class, you probably want a relaxing and quiet flight, and let’s be honest, infants are known to be neither relaxing or quiet. They then took a step further by prohibiting children under 12 on the upper economy deck of their Airbus A380 [x]
Peace and Quiet Comes at a Price
AirAsia followed suit by reserving first 7 rows of Economy for certain flyers. These certain flyers include travelers that paid an addition fee that is probably less than an in-flight cocktail. For $11 USD, you can reserve a seat in a section that has no guests under 12 years old. [x]
Anyone that has heard an angry child knows that their shrill cries can be heard well past 7 narrow coach rows. In response to this concern, AirAsia tries to give these flyers additional cushion by providing ambient lighting and placing toilets and storage between this section and the rest of the coach. This offer would later extend to AirAsia X, their long-haul branch. Other airlines, such as IndiGo, Thai Airways, and Indigo have implemented their own version of “kid-free zones.”
Are Kid-Free Zones Here to Stay?
Other airlines, such as Scoot, Thai Airways, and Indigo have implemented their own version of “kid-free zones.” As airlines with kid-free options increase, so does backlash. Indigo’s, for
IndiGo, for example, offers a premium seating “quiet zone” that provides, not only an escape from sitting next to children, but also extra leg room. Some have claimed that this is discriminatory to parents, as parents cannot access extra legroom due to having children. Some parents may, however, feel less guilty about their unruly children, as they know that those inclined to irritation have a child-free option.
Will Western Airlines pick up on this trend? If so, would you pay the price? Or will we inadvertently polarize flyers to with and without children? Would this necessarily be a bad thing? Let us know in the comments.