It can ruin your travel, cause arguments with complete strangers, and certainly get your blood boiling; we’re talking about screaming children, traveling on the same plane or coach as you, and with decidedly insouciant parenting. If the thought of journeying with unruly youngsters makes you want to stay at home, a budget airline, based in Singapore, may have the answer.
Scoot airlines have now created designated ‘quiet zones’ on their airplanes, and children who are under the age of 12 are actually banned from sitting in these zones.
Called ‘ScootinSilence’, the quiet zone feature a 41 seat cabin space, situated within rows 21 to 25, and passengers who want some peace and quiet whilst they travel can pay an extra for S$18 (£9) to upgrade to this zone. The cabin space is located within the rear of the plane, and also includes a whole lot more leg room, featuring a 35-inch seat pitch; that’s four inches more than in a typical economy class.
And if the fact that these child-free zones are not enough to convince you of the quiet and peaceful ambience of these zones, the airline has also fixed up ‘special ambient lighting’ to provide a ‘more relaxing atmosphere’, according to the Air Asia X website.
The quiet zones first became available in February on certain flights, which include the first seven economy class rows, located on Airbus A330-300 flights to China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Australia and Nepal. Then the airline included these quiet zones on other airplanes, notably the Airbus A380 aircrafts and Boeing 747s.
So far, the reaction from potential flyers has been very positive, with parents and childless couples all in agreement that special zones should be provided, away from screaming babies and toddlers. Some parents state that they would even put their own children in these zones, for some peace and quiet themselves, and to avoid the glares from disgruntled fellow passengers.
And even celebrities have got in on the act, with Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson commenting on Twitter that children should be stashed away in the overhead luggage holds during long flights. His comments did prompt a strong reaction from other Twitter users, but it still remains true that unruly and unattended children are passengers biggest in-flight bugbear, when it comes to traveling, according to a recent survey. This is ahead of grumpy cabin crew, fellow passengers who talk too much, and even drunken passengers.
Not only this, but almost a third of those in the survey said they would be willing to pay more to sit in the quiet zone, with a quarter paying up to £50 per return flight for the privilege, and a massive seven per cent saying that they would be prepared to pay even more.
However not all passengers feel the same, with some remarking that we were all children once, and others commenting that their children are actually better behaved than most adults. Others think it is purely a money-making scam, whilst others remind us that parents already pay extra to take their children on flights anyway.
Most people do think that this is a good idea, with 70% of Telegraph Travel readers admitting that they would be in favour of the introduction of child-free flights.
With this many people supporting the introduction, it could well be only a matter of time before the major airlines introduce them here.
So what do you think? Should we have child-free zones on planes or is this unfair for parents?
Have your say in the comments box below.