Passengers Push for Child-Free Flightshttp://travel.nytimes.com/2010/11/14/travel/14babies-journey...Now, travelers without children are doing some fussing of their own. Some are calling for airlines to implement child-free flights, or designate "family-only" sections on planes, in the wake of some high-profile tantrums.In July, Qantas settled a lawsuit from a woman who claimed that she suffered hearing loss after sitting next to a screaming 3-year-old boy on a 2009 flight from New York to Australia. (Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.) In January, AirTran removed an entire family from a flight before takeoff from Fort Myers, FL, because their 3-year-old girl was hitting the parents, making noise and refusing to take her seat. And in March, a 42-year-old woman allegedly grabbed a boy (3 years old, again) for kicking her chair during a Southwest flight to Las Vegas. a survey of 2,000 travelers released by Skyscanner, a fare-comparison site, in August found that 59 percent of passengers support creating special sections on flights for families. Nearly 20 percent said they would like to see airlines offer child-free flights.______________It'll never happen. And what good is a separate section for children when you're in the row adjacent to that section? --fleg
My god people .. this is life as a human .. yes .. it ALSO involves children and each and every one of us is 'guilty' of having been one ..get over it.
I have said for years there should be child-free flights and can only hope one day it will come to pass. I also heartily congratulate airlines for removing nuisance passengers and that includes families with unruly children.As for getting over it, I'll say not until parents become more considerate of other passengers locked inside a metal tube for hours on end. I don't pay hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars to be barraged with top-of-the-lungs vocalizations of some kid whose parent is seemingly oblivious to their precious one's being a public nuisance.I cannot begin to describe the total frustration of being stuck on a plane with a shrieking kid(or several) that just. will. not. shut. up. The flight from Sydney to LA, all 14 hours of it, was trying enough without three kids in different parts of the coach cabin seemingly playing tag-team-shriek virtually the entire trip. On another flight, from Atlanta to Zurich, I could only marvel (because I sure as h3ll wasn't sleeping!) at the lung power and sheer fortitude of a single child who managed to shriek for almost 8 hours straight. Get over it? No, no, I don't think so. Don't take the kid on a plane if you can't manage to keep it quiet for at least the majority of the flight. And, yes, I was a kid once and my parents did not take me on planes or to nice restaurants or movie theaters, etc., until I was able to behave and understand the consequences of not doing so.Chiliall for child-free flights (but not separate sections because that would not help at all) and willing to pay more for them
Here here, Chili! Agree totally. Other people should not have to suffer because some parents don't know how (or are unwilling to try) to control their offspring.1poorkid is now 14. We never had problems with her at least in part because we laid down the rules, and made sure she understood. It's a bit of work laying the foundation, but it's not rocket science, people!I also would pay more for childless flights (over age 10, perhaps).And sometimes I wonder what people are thinking bringing infants on flights. If the kid has a plugged ear he/she can't tell you, but you'll find out as the eardrum explodes during the flight (amid screams and wails from the baby). I've heard babies screaming during takeoff/ascent and sometimes wondered whether the kid was receiving permanent damage. Having made the mistake of boarding a flight once with plugged ears I can attest to the extreme pain. The only thing that saved me was a sharp stewardess who gave me hot tea...it worked...the hot liquid opened up the eustachian tubes enough to save my ears. Literally. So I actually feel some sympathy for the wailing infants (who are clearly in pain). Leave the babies with grandma, or do a road trip, or something...but don't take them on a plane!1poorguy
And sometimes I wonder what people are thinking bringing infants on flights.All too often parents don't think. Some of them think society should do their parenting for them (department stores, restaurants, etc. all are suppose to be their kids playgrounds). They don't believe they have to sacrifice anything when they have kids and others just have to deal with it.I can always remember my parents telling my brother and I that they wouldn't take us to movies until we were old enough to sit still and behave. A few years ago I saw parents taking in a newborn to a movie.There are some parents & kids that do a wonderful job but I think we all have seen the other type all too often.Rich
Chili: As for getting over it, I'll say not until parents become more considerate of other passengers locked inside a metal tube for hours on end. I don't pay hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars to be barraged with top-of-the-lungs vocalizations of some kid whose parent is seemingly oblivious to their precious one's being a public nuisance.I cannot begin to describe the total frustration of being stuck on a plane with a shrieking kid(or several) that just. will. not. shut. up. The flight from Sydney to LA, all 14 hours of it, was trying enough without three kids in different parts of the coach cabin seemingly playing tag-team-shriek virtually the entire trip. On another flight, from Atlanta to Zurich, I could only marvel (because I sure as h3ll wasn't sleeping!) at the lung power and sheer fortitude of a single child who managed to shriek for almost 8 hours straight. Your rant reminded me of flying to Europe as a fresh young Lieutenant. The plane was MATS, a propeller job, filled to the rafters mostly with dependents, meaning mothers travelling with their children.After 4 hours of the drone I was tired, and the children were restless. I felt sorry for the mothers. After 8 hours, I was zonked, and the children were hysterical. The last four hours were horrible. A twelve hour flight. Count Uptoten
My two have been flying since they were 4 and like it a lot more than I do. I'll never forget their first flight - stewardess handed my son chips and a soda and he looked at me like REALLY? ALL FOR ME?? I hate flying. I hate going up, coming down, the cramped seats, the light leaking around the shade at the window, no place to lay down, only moderately edible food, stale air, stranger's elbows. I'm a flight Scrooge. My kids barely notice. I mean, seat-back video and music and soda and what's not to like? They think flying is coooooooool. I've offered to entertain or hold strangers babies on more than one occasion - and they've let me. But not every kid can be mollified, granted. The stewardesses do what they can, and they do a lot. God bless 'em.When you retire you can move into a kid-free old folks village but until then you're probably stuck with 'em....take noise-blocking headphones, ear plugs or listen to whatever tunes the airline is piping in...you know, they should add an ocean-wave channel or something like that, some white-noise thing you could put on full blast.I admit it's sneaky but my Itouch includes a few simple games (Bejewelled is something a 3-year-old can master) and cartoons and I've been known to hand it to a little one with a marshmallow ear-bud and enjoy the silence...and the moms let me. I don't fight fair, but oh well....(my i-touch has a leather case and wouldn't get hurt even if dropped)I'm not only prepared to deal with my own kids, sometimes also with other people's...
That's life. Life has kids. Until you can afford a private jet, you get to travel with the rest of humanity. You may not like it, but there it is. Life doesn't revolve around you.And I say that as someone with no kids. But really, come on. How much of a bubble do people have to live in?
Oh - and I travel. A LOT. I bring headphones and my i-pod.
it ALSO involves children and each and every one of us is 'guilty' of having been one ..The child is NOT the "guilty" party -- it's the parents.I once had to endure over 3 hours of sitting in front of a 4 or 5 year old who spent most of the time either opening and slamming shut the traytable OR kicking the back of my seat. I politely asked his mother if it were possible to stop him from doing that and she looked up from her book, over at him and said "[Name], stop kicking the seat". Five minutes later it started again. And she never said another word to [Name] about it.(The plan was full so I couldn't ask to change seats.)Christina
The child is NOT the "guilty" party -- it's the parents.Exactly!Chili
How much of a bubble do people have to live in? One that doesn't involve having no choice but to remain sitting in a seat for several hours and endure the constant kicking and tray-slamming by the child sitting behind me.Christina
Get over it? Yes, get over it. Kids are not going to disappear.Fly first class; few if any kids there I'll wager.Get some noise-canceling headphones.Drive.
You know, I fly alot between business and for vacation, and I cannot remember the last time I had an issue with "crying kids" or "screaming or annoying kids." It must have been years and years - dozens of flights - since I've come across this situation. And there have been many times when kids have been around. Sometimes I've heard them talk to their parents, sometimes they have cried, but only for a very short period of time. But rarely have I come across situations where its been an annoyance or an entire-flight situation.Where are all these complaints about kids on planes coming from? Sometimes, it's a matter of your perception and how you personally deal with it.
Where are all these complaints about kids on planes coming from? From people who only fly during the holidays and in the summer. Flights to (or through) ski towns during winter recess; warm destinations during spring break; and any/all flights involving Orlando, FL.JeanieHome Fool
You know, I fly alot between business and for vacation, and I cannot remember the last time I had an issue with "crying kids" or "screaming or annoying kids."I just flew back and forth LAX/ORD. In and out were both jam-packed, cattle-cars.No screaming kids. On the way out (red-eye) there was a guy behind me who kept ordering me to turn off my light and the guy in front put his seat all the way back and all the way up and all the way back and all the way up and all the way back and all the way up... you woulda thought it was a five year old with ADHD instead of a business man.On the return I had a *huge* guy against the window that brought onboard some sort of smelly food (and LOTS of it) and a skinny guy in the middle who used me as a pillow.The flights from SBA to LAX were both prop planes which are always blissfully short flights and thank goodness because the droning of those engines is enough to drive me bonkers.
From people who only fly during the holidays and in the summer. Flights to (or through) ski towns during winter recess; warm destinations during spring break; and any/all flights involving Orlando, FL.Not even close, Jeanie.We have traveled quite a bit and make a point of traveling when school is in session and almost never on holidays. So, for me, you are completely off base.Chili
This argument will pretty much break, with a few exceptions, along the child-free and parental unit lines. Parents think their children are perfect and should be allowed to behave any way they choose. We already know that all children of TMFers are perfectly behaved and highly intelligent. Parents have proved repeatedly that they are capable of tuning out tantrums, so it's no surprise other parents can ignore shrieks. I can't and shouldn't have to.When I pay large sums of money to go somewhere, I shouldn't be subjected to hours of screaming. It's like the smoking debate: Your right to smoke ends at my nostrils. Your right to let your brat scream ends at my ears. Chili
This argument will pretty much break, with a few exceptions, along the child-free and parental unit lines. Parents think their children are perfect and should be allowed to behave any way they choose. We already know that all children of TMFers are perfectly behaved and highly intelligent. Wow.Project much?No one here was defending their own children. You decided to fling mud at your correspondents.Nice touch.
Oh, please.You're one to take offense.
You're one to take offense.Oh, now you feel qualified to tell me how I'm feeling. You're the one flinging crap in every direction. What's it like to be so very special? Could you spell out a lesson plan for the rest of us so we may achieve your oh so glorious status?
So, for me, you are completely off base.Wouldn't be the first time, Chili ;-)Just relating my own experiences. Fact is, I've been annoyed more frequently by inconsiderate adults than I have with crying babies. JeanieHome Fool
I think the child free flights sound good in theory, however I believe the airline would be hard pressed to really consider implementing such a plan. It will take extra time and effort from the airlines which will translate to extra costs. I think many will be hard pressed to pay that on US flights. Overseas, overnight flight might be a different story, but the with the limited selection of flights, it would be very hard pressed to get a child free flight going and the cost would be much higher. Airline don't like to have empty seats and making a certain category of traveler not allowed to fill seats makes inventory management a nightmare, especially when things go wrong. Sure, with advanced reservations it is easy to schedule the family trip to Orlando during the holiday break. When things go wrong, it becomes a nightmare. What happens when you are connecting through Newark, Chicago, Denver, etc and there is one of those classic winter storms? Instead of just getting people on the next available flight, the airlines are having to deal with whether people are allowed to travel due to them having children in tow. When an airline starts stranding people, they open themselves for problems. If our Orlando family has to pay for lodging to wait during a snow storm, the airline will claim they aren't responsible. What happens when the if the remaining flight that day is child free, but there are open seats? Would that be considered discriminating against someone becasue of their age? I can a news story about a few families stranded after a holiday trip by an airline, solely because they had kids, and an airline unwilling to put them on a flight that had open seats. It's a recipe for a public affairs nightmare and a lawyer's dream.
a survey of 2,000 travelers released by Skyscanner, a fare-comparison site, in August found that 59 percent of passengers support creating special sections on flights for families. Nearly 20 percent said they would like to see airlines offer child-free flights. Yes, a SURVEY!!! Woo hoo. Those aren't biased. Or just stupid. "Would you support creating special sections on flights for families?" "Would you like to see child free flights?" What person isn't going to answer "Yes" to either of those questions? How about: "Would you like to see child-free flights if they only left prior to 8AM or after 8PM and cost 20% more?" How about these questions: "Would you like to see larger seats in coach?""Would you like to see more choices in meal selections?" "Would you like to see more free in-flight entertainment?" "Would you like to see the airline not lose your luggage so often?" "Would you like to see the airlines return to the concept of customer service just a little?" You know what? I'll bet I'd answer yes to those questions too!!!As for traveling with kids: Bought each of mine a DS. They don't usually get to play DS at home. However, they get to play DS at: - The doctors' office and dentists' office- Nice restaurants when my family insists on going out "somewhere nice" (meaning, interminably long waits for food and several courses)- When traveling- When I anticipate going anywhere that they're going to have a long, boring wait and shouldn't be making noise. And, when I fly I don't want: - Your laptop digging into me- You instantaneously upon takeoff putting your chair as far back as possible so that you're comfortable, despite my presence behind you- You constantly pushing your knees into the back of my chair (Too big for the seat? Oh, well. You can't control that? Oh, well. Maybe you should stay home or something, you know, like kids.)- You spending the entire time pushing your elbows into my ribs- You talking to me constantly, despite my obvious use of headphones- Instantly upon landing, when you stand up and step over me in an attempt to get to your stuff despite the fact that we're still supposed to be seated- You drinking alcohol to excess next to me- You getting on the plane already drunk- And any of the other ridiculously annoying behaviors that adults insist on while on planes. Stupid, annoying people are everywhere.
When I pay large sums of money to go somewhere, I shouldn't be subjected to hours of screaming Ok, I get it - you are a diva and that is ok. Why not fly first class? I do not believe I have ever seen a screaming infant up there and there is usually a divider of some sort that will drown out most of the sound.
Blame lies on the parents if they aren't at least attempting to control/calm/etc their child. OTOH, sometimes there's nothing you can do. This is especially true when the "fasten seatbelt" light is on.Expecting parents to stay in their house until the kids leave it for college, isn't reasonable. Though I am not one to argue that one should impose on others when it can be avoided (going to the movies is not an essential life activity.) My wife seems to feel otherwise :/Finally, it's a free world - if you can convince an airline to have kid free flights, go for it. The same is true for kid-free anything else.
Ditto dogs.Once had a flight to Shanghai and the bloody thing didn't stop barking the whole time.Jedi
Ditto dogs.Once had a flight to Shanghai and the bloody thing didn't stop barking the whole time.Jedi Heh. On one of my infrequent first class flights, I sat in front of Daryl Hannah and her dog, which pooped on the floor. Phew!Count Uptoten