The sound of silence: Airlines introducing child-free zones

Tuesday, February 12, 2013
The sound of silence: Airlines introducing child-free zones

It's something every air traveller fears with every fibre of their being — the prospect of 24 hours trapped next to the screaming baby that is being carried down the aisle towards you.

But that all-consuming terror could soon be a thing of the past, with an increasing number of airlines introducing 'child-free zones'.

AirAsia X is the latest carrier to embrace "quiet zones", banning children under the age of 12 from the forward section of its economy seating this month.

Those coveted silent seats come at a cost, however — if you want a kid-free flight, you will have to pay a $15 surcharge, a trifling sum considering the sweet relief of a kid-free flight.

"The airline is not banning kids from travelling, but instead, is enhancing the array of product offerings on board to suit its guests individual needs and preferences," AirAsia X chief executive Azran Osman-Rani said.

"This product enhancement allows our guests to have a more pleasant and peaceful journey with minimal noise and less disturbance. A heavenly package for those who want peace of mind."

Malaysia Airlines was the first carrier to introduce a child-free policy in 2011 when it banned kids from first class.

The new rules went down so well the airline extended them in 2012, banning kids from business class and all economy seats on the upper deck of its A380 superjumbos.

Your say: Would you pay extra to sit in a child-free zone, or do you think it's discrimination?

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