Childfree Flights – Can’t Come Soon Enough, What Say You?

I gather the April Fool’s joke of childfree flights is gathering legs. Or rather wings.Was it a joke? Or is it a precursor of things to come?

Every day there is some mention on childfree flights coming… sometime, or not coming at all. I skip over them now. Personally I would love the option of choosing a childfree flight. I mean, why should I pay $1,000’s  for my flight to be treated to the mind-numbing sound of screaming babies or have to endure small kids kicking my seat?

I’ve just booked my flight back home to the UK in August for a visit and I all I can do is hope against hope that any screaming kids and small kids are far away from me. And then I will also get ear-plugs, just to be on the safe side. I usually read or sleep on the flight, however when babies are crying it’s almost impossible to do either.

It’s a no-brainer (at least to me), if there’s a market for childfree (and peaceful) flights I think there should be options to choose them. Instead, the  childfree minority are forced to suffer in silence. Actually, I am pretty sure there are plenty of parents who may travel with older children or no children who would take advantage of childfree flights. Yet, some are saying they can’t have childfree flights because it might be seen as discrimination against people with kids. What?!? What about those who would prefer to travel in peace and quiet? And so what if it does seem like that anyway? For years we’ve had to put up ear-splitting crying as part and parcel of a flight because that’s the way it’s always been.

When booking my expensive flight back home I said I hope there are no small kids or babies sitting near us.  I was told they couldn’t guarantee it. So I have to hope we will be as fortunate as we’ve been the past few years – where the baby (babies) crying was audible but not next to us. And no young kids kicking us in the back. I get that babies cry… they are babies.  I feel sorry for babies on take-off and landing because I know it hurts their ears… no wonder they cry.

I just don’t see why I need to have my travel ruined by it. So parents have the responsibility for their children… maybe don’t travel with them until they are older? Just a thought.

As for kids kicking the back of seats…completely down to the parents.

But this is why childfree flights would be so great.

Childfree flights… what say you? Are they coming? Can we do more to usher them in? Or is this yet another put up and shut up, cause, as we are told, they are just kids (much like the noisy neighbours who refuse to control their kids in apartments).



14 thoughts on “Childfree Flights – Can’t Come Soon Enough, What Say You?

  1. Patty

    I just flew to Costa Rica and the flight was a total of 6+ hours with one stop in the middle. First flight we had a few crying babies. Second flight we just had a noisy toddler who didn’t cry but loved to talk and make the same repetitive baby noise. It was nerve racking and woke me up out of the nap I was trying to take caused by medication induced drowsiness.
    I always wondered why airlines do not designate a Baby/Child seating area for parents traveling. That way, they are all grouped into one area of the plane. While the rest of us who travel without children are seated away from them and can enjoy some peace and quiet. The further your seats are away from the kiddie group, the more your tickets cost. LOL

  2. SS

    Market flights or sections of planes to parents as “Elite area, parents only” and charge more so they don’t have to deal with the intolerant cranky childfree people. They can play their kiddie music as loud as they want and revel in their parents and children special area. Only those cold mean childfree people would get irritated by children being children, parents would understand right? They can have G rated movies to watch and cartoon characters on the blankets. Financial hardship not fair? Then factor that into the pricing and allow a sliding scale so all the parents can get a seat in the kid area (lowest ticket price not to go below a standard fare), anything for the children. They should all be fine with kids kicking their chairs and climbing in their area, changing diapers next to them, who cares about a few dirty diapers and barf bags amongst fellow parents. Children are so wonderful, they should be clamoring for the space without those awful childfree passengers.

    Meanwhile, have a childfree section at standard price for those pitiable souls who have not experienced the best thing that a human could ever experience. Show a wide variety of films, doesn’t matter what the rating is, have music that does not include Wiggles or Barney. Keep it far from the family section so it is peacefully quiet and the kids can’t cross over, er I mean to keep the mean childfree people from disturbing the parents and children. Let them board first so they don’t obstruct the children. Put the larger bathrooms in this section so seniors or those with disabilities have easy access without getting in the way of the children. Since there are soooo few childfree, it would be easy enough to have larger seats and fewer seats per row. Maybe room for reclining seats so they can contemplate what selfish people they must be for not wanting to reproduce. Serve gourmet food to remind them how spoiled they are.

    What about rude adults? By entitled parents theory, parents are better than everyone else so they would not have any in their section. How to deal with the rude passengers in the childfree section? Have another special row next to the Elite Parents and Children area. Let them absorb the holiness of the parents up close.

    It would never happen, and I could not wish that on the good parents who love and discipline their children, and who are considerate of others. But I can dream about it when I am on a flight with a kid kicking my seat and a parent who snaps at me for not letting their kid play with my purse.

    1. scarlett

      Perfect. I really miss the good old days when flying meant no kids, a gin and tonic or two and the journey was as enjoyable as arriving. Now it’s sheer torture due to indulged kids and their obnoxious or numb parents. Give me any kind of smelly, overweight, talkative drunk adult any day over a screaming seat kicking kid. Praying for childfree flights so I can start travelling again.

  3. Richard Kolkovich

    I don’t think segmentation of the cabin would do much on traditional planes, especially for those that are near the “barrier”. Something like the Airbus A380 already self-selects – pay the premium to get an “upper deck” seat (and hope against hope that there aren’t rich parents with screaming kids on the same flight), and you probably won’t hear a baby screaming on the cheaper, bottom deck.

    In my experience, 80%+ (completely fabricated number here…) of the passengers on flights are teens or above. This makes it a simple task to ban children 12 and younger from all but one flight daily. Charge a 5% premium for the child-free flights, and give a 5% discount for the potentially child-ful flights. This shouldn’t outrage many parents, as they are the beneficiaries of a slightly cheaper fare. Also, frugal folk can chance the cheaper flight to save a few quid…

    All in all, I think we just need to request childfree flights incessantly from our carriers of choice. Assuming they actually care about their customers (and their customers care about having peaceful flights), eventually we will have the option.

  4. Kat

    I’ve so far had pretty good luck with flying, except one flight from Miami to NYC, where a four-year-old brat could not stop kicking my seat for the entire 3-hour trip.

    The glare that I shot the duh could have vaporized him, and he did absolutely nothing, except for the whole “the nice lady in front of you doesn’t like you kicking her” – which, of course, was as effective as a water bottle to put out a 4-alarm.

    On the other hand, I had only one kid on a plane when I was going cross-country, and the entire trip to CA passed in airline-Internet-filled bliss. Best six hours ever.

    And yes, I would totally pay an extra hundred or so for a child-free flight. If I’m shelling out money to be in a metal cigar for six hours or so, then I would rather be comfortable in said metal cigar.

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  7. mary

    You know, it’s not actually the children on flights that bother me the most. They cry, sure, but usually only at take off and landing. The ones that I can’t stand are the adult children, who get drunk, swear, fart, harrass other passengers, laugh loudly when you’re trying to sleep, talk loudly about the girl they slept with on their holiday…

    Can we have a flight that is only for women over the age of 25? :p

  8. Trish

    I would love child free flights. I would also love child free restaurants. I like children well enough, but I don’t want to be held hostage by them.

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  10. norah

    I agree that IF people must travel with their children then airlines should have section just for them OR flights just for people who do not think it s amusing to be annoyed or bothered by other s children ..Oh, when I did travel when my son was young we made attempts to not upset others, but now everyone who has children thinks it s a free for all just deal with the noise sorry no deal.

  11. Augusta

    I think what’s being overlooked is that so much bad behaviour has become acceptable. Agreed, there are plenty of adults who be better off travelling in the cargo hold. The way to deal with them is to fine them for any disturbance they create while onboard. It’s sad that money has to talk when common decency can’t seem to.

    Most would agree that a well behaved child is welcome anywhere. Having said that, too bad there are so few, thanks to parents who are too interested in being a pal instead of a parent. Considering the amount of money a plane ticket costs, I don’t expect to have my seat being kicked, screams from the seat next to mine, or being constantly climbed over. Ditto for the obnoxious adult travelers. It’s particularly irritating when you consider you have no food provided on most flights, have to strip naked almost to board and have to pay another fortune to bring a suitcase along. Fine the miscreants and the nonsense will cease.

    So, yes. The time has come. Adult only flights.

  12. Betty

    I carry my earplugs and eye mask all the time. I choose not to listen the noise around me. May be kids, may be a grown up to loud conversation, snoring, the service noise, many things… Me and hubby are childfree and don’t go around avoiding children, sometimes you can’t, as you cannot help to be seated on the plane next to a very fat person, a very loud, someone that smells funny or other thing.

  13. April

    Ugh, I totally agree! I am a teacher, and I really like kids…..while I am at work. In my personal life I would rather not have to deal with them except on a superficial level of politeness and basic human interaction. I would definitely book my flights on a child free plane. A lot of people think my opinions of children are somewhat “evil” and are aghast if I say things like, children should not be allowed at weddings, or in certain restaurants, or a particular concerts. However, isn’t it discriminatory against me, and other child free adults if we have to put up with your screaming, misbehaving kids?

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