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Are Kid-Free Zones on Airplanes The Next Big Thing?

posted: 10/14/16
by: Katherine Sosnoff
kids on a plane
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Everyone knows airline travel with little ones can be harrowing - for both the parents and the other passengers alike. Now, some airlines are offering "Kid-Free Zones", setting aside specific seats for travelers 12 and up. Designed for business travelers who need to get work done or perhaps a couple who just needs some R&R, participating airlines allow passengers to purchase tickets in these Kid-Free Zones for a premium.

While I completely understand the annoyance that kids can cause on a plane (I definitely remember frantically standing in the front of the airplane with a flight attendant last Christmas, bouncing my crying three month old on a 45 minute flight that felt like it would never end), I frankly could not picture my pre-child self paying for this. For one thing, airline travel is already so expensive, with the added fees for baggage, food, leg room and more. As well, it seems to me that if a child is going to cause a large disturbance on a plane, sitting a few rows away from it probably isn't going to guarantee that you're shielded completely from it. Sure, having a screaming toddler in your ear isn't the most pleasant experience, but that's what noise-cancelling earphones are for, right? Plus, limiting your customer base by removing families from your potential customers seems like a silly proposition to me.

But, perhaps to some, the proposition of enjoying a long flight without the possibility of being kicked in the back of the seat by a tiny little foot might be something worth paying for. I, for one, will be curious to see if these Kid-Free Zones end up, er, taking off.