Are Child-Free Flights in our Future?

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


LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

David C.
David C.3 years ago

I look forward for these child free flight areas. There is no reason why I should have to deal with the bratty kids of people who are so self-centered that haven't care enough to have the civility to respect others, and who have no parenting skills.

katarzyna phillips

i thin k it'd be hard to get it completely 'child free', but i agree there should be areas where children/children and parents could sit. personally, i don't like, or can't stand screaming kids. why should i have to listen to that when i'm already feeling sick from vertigo and have paid full price for my ticket? the kids probably don't enjoy the flight anyways, so leave them at home or sit elsewhere with the noisy thing! glad i don't fly often and try to do short distances when i do!

Eric Hurner
Eric Hurner3 years ago

Flights are always stressful for children, far more than they are for adults. I have often sat next to a mother with a child on a flight and could have, had I so desired, become irritated and upset both mother and child even more. Instead, I try to help the mother where I can, try to distract the child a little and make friends with it, and it always works at least to calm the overall situation down.

Families with small children usually do not have that much money and are taking their kids along because they cannot really do anything else. Sure, one can say they should discipline them, but I have seen parents receive a lot of flack for strangers for giving their child a smack. On a crowded airplane, what else is any parent to do? Ground them, perhaps? Or send them to bed with no supper? Often the child is just experiencing increased stress and it would be good if our society became a little more tolerant of children than just focused on what they have to do once they arrive at their destination.

Ed G.
Ed G.3 years ago

I have been flying for 55 years and each year it get worse with kids. Either have a flight that bans kids or else give a major discount to the people that don't have kids that take the flight (ie a premium should be paid by anyone that has kids 12 and under).

Diana S.
Diana S.3 years ago

Benadryl elixir has a reputation for being the "babysitter's friend" because it's the best sleep aid for restless or unruly kids (and it also helps with coughs!), especially since it's available over-the-counter. Tranquilizers work very well on kids, too, but require a prescription.

Any parent who is going to drag their kid or kids on a plane filled with non-relatives should have the courtesy to make damned sure their kid is either well-behaved and obedient, or medicated to the point where they will not be noisy or disruptive and disturb the other passengers.

Some people are minimally-involved parents; other people simply don't like kids because they are messy, disruptive, disobedient, and noisy. And anyone who pays the ridiculously exhorbitant prices the airlines charge should be entitled to a peaceful, quiet flight.

Grace Adams
Grace Adams3 years ago

Not only when cooped up in some sort of public transportation. Spoiled brats in general are in for an awful shock when they attain their majority and have to live in a world with other spoiled brats and are no longer young enough to be "cute and innocent little children".

Sarah D.
Sarah D.5 years ago

"Most people these days just do not discipline their kids the way I was disciplined."

You mean by beating them?

Sarah D.
Sarah D.5 years ago

I've been flying since I was a baby so I'm not as offended by children flying as other people are. I don't care if children fly so long as their parents are able to calm them down when they fly and tell them to quit kicking my seat if the kids don't listen to me when I ask them to - politely.

If people have such a problem with children on planes then they - the complainers - can walk.