Are Child-Free Flights the Answer?
In addition to the recent squawking about full body pat-downs at airport security, there has also been a fair amount of ink associated with another headache - disruptive kids on flights.
Following a passengers claim that a screaming child made her ears bleed on a Qantas flight, Skyscanner.net conducted a survey of 2,000 people, asking their opinions of children on board. As you might guess, parents and non-parents weighed in differently.
Of non-parent respondents, almost 70 percent wanted to sit as far away as possible from kids, while 68 percent liked the idea of a "family-only" section on flights. Almost 25 percent would like flights that did not have kids on them at all. Eight percent thought people, parent or not, should be entitled to sit where they want.
Of parent respondents, 45 percent didn’t want a families-only section because they didn’t want to sit next to "other people’s horrors." Of this group, 31 percent liked the idea of family sections, while 24 percent didn't like family section idea because they felt that people should be able to sit where they want.
MSNBC did their own survey as well. Without distinguishing between parents and non-parents, 43 percent said that “unruly kids make air travel unbearable," however 39 percent said they “find unruly adults to be more offensive.”
Eighteen percent said they might consider a child-free section or flight if the option were available.
At first blush, like in restaurants, having a "kid" section on a plane seems appealing. But let's face it. If there is a screaming kid in row 15, you are still going to be bothered by it wherever you are on the plane.
A child-free flight—well now that is appealing. But Skyscanner PR Manager, Mary Porter, thinks she's got the idea - make the non-parents pay a higher fee to take kid-free flights. Why should those not doing the disrupting pay more?
Then again, there are disruptive adults, so you could spend more to be on the kid-free flight and still have an aggravating experience.
I say enough of this discussion. The odds of the airlines offering any such option is highly unlikely. So how do we get along as well as possible in this strange, cramped type of public place?
It boils down to something important in life in general - showing respect for others and treating others the way you want to be treated – it is just that in this case, more of this needs to be done on a plane.