Following reports that a woman claimed a baby’s screaming made her ears bleed on a Qantas flight, a poll carried out by cheap-flights comparison site Skyscanner shows that 59 per cent of travellers would like a separate ‘families only’ section in airliner cabins.
Non-parents particularly liked the idea, with 68 per cent voting in favor. However, less than a third of parents surveyed were in agreement, according to Skyscanner. More than 2,000 people voted in the Skyscanner poll.
Only 8 per cent of child-free respondents thought people should be entitled to sit where they like, while almost 70 per cent ‘wanted to sit as far away as possible from children’. Almost a quarter of non-parents also said they would prefer flights that were free from children altogether.
Of those who were parents themselves, 45 per cent said they didn’t want a families-only section because they didn’t want to sit next to ‘other people’s horrors’, while 24 per cent disagreed with the idea because they felt that people should be able to ‘sit where they liked’. Only 31 per cent of parents were in favor of a separate ‘families only’ section.
Suggestions put forward by Skyscanner users to solve the problem of noisy children on flights also included provision of baby nurseries on aircraft; and only allowing well-behaved children to travel. On a less sympathetic note, one respondent said “children should go in the cargo hold”.
“As a relatively new mom 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,” says Mary Porter, Skyscanner’s PR manager.
“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,” adds Porter.
“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,” remarks Porter. “I am sure this service would prove to be really popular on routes that attract a lot of families such as flights to Florida.”
Skyscanner is a U.S.-based travel-search site which compares air-ticket prices for more than 670,000 routes flown by over 600 airlines. Its search capabilities range from long-haul flights to India to U.S. domestic flights to Las Vegas, as well as car rentals, hotel and vacation-price comparisons.