Following the recent furore over a woman who claimed a baby’s screaming made her ears bleed on a Qantas flight, a poll carried out by Skyscanner, has revealed that 59% of travellers would like a ‘families only’ section onboard flights.
Non-parents particularly liked the idea, with 68% voting in favour, however less than a third of parents surveyed were in agreement.
Over 2,000 people voted in the Skyscanner poll; just 8% of child-free respondents thought people should be entitled to sit where they like, while almost 70% ‘wanted to sit as far away as possible from children’.
Almost a quarter of non-parents went one step further saying that they would prefer flights that were free from children altogether.
Of those who were parents themselves, 45% said they didn’t want a families-only section because they didn’t want to sit next to ‘other people’s horrors’ while 24% disagreed with the idea because they felt that people should be able to ‘sit where they liked’. Just 31% of parents were in favour of the allocated section.
Other suggestions put forward by Skyscanner users to solve the problem of noisy children on flights included: the provision of a baby nursery, only allowing well-behaved children to travel, and in a less sympathetic vein, one user said “children should go in the hold”.
Skyscanner PR Manager Mary Porter commented:
“As a relatively new mum myself I can still remember that feeling of dread when you found yourself seated next to a baby on a long flight; however since regularly flying with my one year old, I am much more aware of what a stressful, and often embarrassing, situation it can be for parents.
“However, I’m not surprised that in a previous poll we found young children were deemed to be the “most annoying” factor on flights. When tempers are frayed, a screaming child can cause a major disturbance for fellow passengers.
“If passengers are prepared to pay extra for child-free flying, perhaps the solution is a premium adults-only section, rather than a pre-allocated families section, giving airlines yet another extra they can charge for? I am sure this service would prove really popular on routes that attract a lot of families.”