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child airplaneThe idea has been discussed for years by travelers who’ve spent one too many flights listening to wailing children or enduring the pitter patter of little feet slamming into their seatbacks — and now it’s going to become a reality. Malaysia Airlines will institute a child-free section on its flights between London and Kuala Lumpur, starting in July.

CNN reports that families with kids under 12 will automatically be assigned to the family-friendly lower deck of economy class aboard the airline’s A380 planes, while the 70-seat upper deck will remain kid-free (unless there are so many families that the lower deck fills up). The lower deck seats 350 passengers.

This move follows the airline’s decision last year to bar infants from first class on its 747-400 routes.

The Most Annoying Airplane Behavior

Many parents will likely be upset by Malaysia Airlines’ policies, but I actually think the carrier has found a solid compromise. The double-decker planes allow families to have access to the larger main cabin, while those of us who’d rather travel with grown-ups only have a little nook of our own — a quiet car, if you will. (Of course, there’s no guarantee that adults on a flight will actually behave like grown-ups!)

Whether Malaysia Airlines will be copied by other carriers remains to be seen. Personally, I doubt that the idea will gain mainstream acceptance. As an Air Transport Association spokesman explains in The Hue and Cry Over Babies Onboard, “This is an industry that’s working very hard to return to profitability. No way is any airline going to discourage someone from taking one flight over another. I just can’t see that happening.”

— written by Sarah Schlichter

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2 Responses to “Baby Ban: Airline Introduces Child-Free Sections on Planes”

  1. Cami says:

    The two worst flights of my life involved children being out of control. One flight was an overnight flight of 9 hours of total mayhem and screaming fits. No sleep was had by anyone on that plane. Passengers were passing around bottles of Tylenol. Another flight was “just” 4 hours, but I had to cancel my post-flight business meeting because I had such a sick headache from the screaming, yelling, kicking and pounding on my seat (the FA did her best, but a FA cannot force a parent to control their children nor, in this case, STOP feeding them one candy bar after another).

    Of course, it is really the parents’ fault, but sadly we cannot ban bad parents from flights, so it seems that making child-free zones is the best possible option.

  2. Sheralyn says:

    While I have 2 kids of my own, I can certainly appreciate the fact that there are parents out there who have no idea how to control their children and therefor cause needless stress for other passengers. Also, even with the best parenting, sometimes kids are kids and will have a bad day… also disrupting other passengers. It seems to me that if the airline has a plane large enough to accommodate separate areas for families then why not do so? Sounds like a great idea for me!

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