We’ve all been on that flight from hell with screaming children and dirty diapers at least once, and some airlines are answering travelers’ prayers with child-free “quiet zones” on airplanes.
The concept is a controversial one, earning praise from business-class travelers who want to get some work done or catch some zzz’s while in the air, but other travelers have condemned the policies as discriminatory.
Budget air carrier IndiGo was the most recent company to announce the kid-free option, but they’re far from the only ones offering some kind of child-free zone — Air Asia, Malaysia Airlines and Singapore’s Scoot Airlines all offer it.
Currently no U.S. carriers offer child-free zones on planes.
Scoot Airlines was first to block children in certain areas of its aircrafts. It created its ScootinSilence upgrade in 2013, Travel + Leisure reported, preventing children under the age of 12 from sitting in particular rows. Malaysia Airlines banned infants from first-class flights in 2011 and introduced child-free zones in economy a few years later. AirAsia ultimately followed suit.
Airlines have toyed with ideas for solving their so-called kid problem for years.
Virgin Airlines executive Richard Branson tried to create a separate cabin just for kids where nannies could watch them, but the idea never panned out due to issues with the Civil Aviation Authority, Conde Nast Traveler reported.
Almost 70 percent of travelers say child-free flights are a good idea, according to an Albany Times Union poll. Another poll shows that one-third of travelers are actually willing to pay more for adults-only flights.
But travel blogger (and mom) Judith Woods of the Telegraph said the move could lead to more tears.
“It might make for a quiet night, but it would be divisive and polarizing,” she wrote last year.
A lot of (probably disgruntled) passengers aren’t buying it though.
Just flown 7hrs with whiny whipper snappers from NYC to Madrid. Barely got any sleep. I say yay to #childfreeflights !
— MelissaJGonzalez (@MelJenGonzalez) May 14, 2017
— Ryan Sullivan (@RyanSullivanMI) January 10, 2017
Nobody gives a shit about your kids but you… #childfreeflights
— Doug Allen (@Doug__Allen) May 21, 2017