Are Child Free Zones Available When Flying?

In a previous post, we shared our experience of being on a plane with loads of families, with one in particular handing out goodie bags to all the passengers to make their flight a little more bearable. A sweet gesture for us, but for some business travelers who have to deal with flying on a daily basis, treats and earplugs may not be enough to get rid of their anxiety of flying. Mike is one of those frequent business travelers. This got me thinking about the stress for the family flyer verses the frequent flyer.

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(image credit: mirror.co.uk)

Everyone is well aware of the stresses of airports, which is why the travel industry is constantly looking for ways to ease the pain for frequent flyers. From booking airport hotels with overnight parking specials – a very relaxing option according to Parking4Less – to offering no children zones on planes, there are a multitude of ways that business travelers can ensure their flight and overall travel experience is as comfortable as possible.

Five years ago, Malaysia Airlines banned infants from First Class in several of their planes, and in the following year, they rolled out a new booking system that would “black out upper deck seats for customers whose reservations include children.” For an additional fee, passengers can choose to be be seated in the upper economy section with other travelers that are at least 12 years of age. The concept of a family-free zone sparked interest among other carriers, consequently leading to Air Asia X and Singapore Airlines’s subsidiary Scoot Airlines to provide quiet zones on their flights.

According to The Telegraph, the world’s largest charter airline Thomson Airways laid out a five-year plan that would make flying more comfortable for adult travelers as well for families. Their proposal included family and child-free zoning, a duo-seating system and upgraded in-flight entertainment with a variety of channels catering to different age groups. The company is in the midst of tests and trials so the hope is that more people will enjoy these perks in the near future.

I love that families travel together, make memories together. I love that parents think travel is worthwhile for their children. But at what cost to the childless customer who paid extra to be comfortable and even a little pampered.

What do you think? What are your thoughts on child-free zones on airplanes? I know it is a hot topic, but it is a worthwhile dialogue to have.

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