Are child free flights in our future?
Will child-free flights be the next big thing for airlines? An August survey from Skyscanner showed that over 59% of the 2,000 adults surveyed would support a special section on planes just for families. Twenty percent also supported child-free flights.
This survey comes on the heels of a number of lawsuits in the past year, stemming from child-related incidents on Qantas, AirTran and Southwest airlines. Qantas settled a lawsuit in July with a woman who claimed she sustained hearing loss from sitting next to a screaming three-year-old boy during a flight from New York to Australia.
AirTran made news in January when they booted an entire family off a Fort Myers, Fla., flight due to the behavior of their three year old. It was reported that the little girl was smacking her parents and would not quiet down or sit in her seat.
Last March a three-year-old boy on a Southwest flight to Las Vegas was grabbed by a 42-year-old woman after he kicked her seat.
One facebook group, titled “Airlines should have kid free flights!” after being mentioned in the New York Times, jumped to 348 members, each with their own child-related tale of woe. The creator of the group, Ian Burford, says he would gladly pay extra money for a child-free flight.
Some parents agree airlines should create a special section for families. As one blogger, Madame Noir, smartly pointed out, “do childless passengers really think it’s all gravy when parents can’t calm down their screaming child…It’s just as stressful for the parent as it is for the child and the other passengers, but it’s a fact: kids cry.”
Airline expert David Castelveter, spokesman for the Air Transport Association, doesn’t see child-free flights in the near future. He stated, “This is an industry that’s working very hard to return to profitability. No way is any airline going to discourage someone from taking one flight over another. I just can’t see that happening.”
According to Castelveter, there has been no discussion among airlines regarding the possibility of child-free flights. That begs the question, what can you do to make your child’s flight a pleasant (and tantrum free) experience Leave your tips in the comments below!
Photo thanks to Ma