The Wall Street Journal has brought up the tired debate over kids on airplanes yet again. An article in The Juggle blog asks whether there should be planes segregated into kiddie and kid-free zones.
One well-publicized (and admittedly unscientific) survey last summer of some 2,000 passengers by Skyscanner, a fare-comparison site, found that nearly 60% of passengers supported creating special sections on flights for families, and some 20% hoped to see child-free flights. There’s an increasingly popular Facebook group called “Airlines Should Have Kid-Free Flights,” founded by a frequent flier from Boston who suffered through a flight from Los Angeles to the U.K. near a screaming kid, according to the New York Times. And there was even a bill introduced in Congress several years ago that would require family-only sections on flights (to protect kids from violent in-flight films), the Times reported; the bill has yet to come to the floor for a vote.
However, the Air Transport Association, the airline trade group, told the Times it’s unlikely that the airlines would ever offer child-free flights, given the many logistical and scheduling challenges involved, especially as they seek to return to profitability and attract more customers. Creating families-only sections would also reduce flexibility in seat assignments, critics say. (Some handy tips for reducing drama–and trauma– while traveling with kids can be found in this previous Juggle post and at the site JetWithKids.com.)
What do you think? Should there be special kid-free flights as well as flights geared to families?