Flying the Kid-Free Zone

The Home Warrior hates making a scene. He could go to a restaurant, have the worst food he’s ever eaten, and when the server asks, “How is everything?” he would say, “Great!” just to avoid making a scene. We have recently been planning our first trip with the Mini Warrior, and one of Home Warrior’s biggest concerns is disturbing people if the baby cries.

When I fly, I try to be understanding of the people traveling with their kids. However, I know a lot of business travelers who wish they could sit in a kid-free area of the plane (and to be honest sometimes I do too). According to CNN, an airline in Asia has decided to fulfill this wish. Passengers flying AirAsia X can have the option of paying more ($11-35) to sit in the first seven rows of Economy Class on certain flights, where kids under 12 are not allowed.

Honestly, I think this is a great idea. People who want to be away from kids so badly that they will pay for it, can. (Although I do wonder if these are the rows with more leg room, and if there are any of those rows in the other section. If not, I would have an issue with that.) The comments on the CNN article run the gamut from “Thank God, you people chose to have children and I shouldn’t have to suffer from it,” to “They are infringing on children’s rights.” Obviously I have a kid, and don’t hate children. I still think this is a good idea because it doesn’t penalize anyone for traveling with children, and it gives people who want to sit away from children the option to pay more to do so. It also allows parents who are concerned about their children crying and disturbing other passengers (like the Home Warrior) a little peace of mind.

Readers, what do you think? Good idea or a waste of time? Infringing on anyone’s rights?

ETA: CNN did a follow-up about the comments to the original article.


  1. I think people with kids and without kids need to learn to coexist in a World that caters to everyone. If an airline wants to create this and charge more I am all for that – and I would be all for family zones on flights. But I hate the argument that people shouldn’t have to suffer because someone else had a child. I can guarantee you that the parents hate flying with kids more than those people hate seeing kids on their plane.

  2. I’m confused
    how will sitting a few rows away from a kid prevent you from hearing the shrieks =p

  3. i am not even sure kid-free zones/flights are necessary. airlines should not tolerate any sort of disturbance during the flight, be that a child, an adult or anything else. if a child is well behaved, great. if not, then the crew should take some measures to rectify the situation. i believe kids can be controlled generally, it all comes down to bad parenting. and bringing a child known to disturb others in public is really bad parenting.

    one more thing on that old “babies experience pain when pressure changes on a flight” logical fallacy. should that make me understand why its crying? why is a parent knowingly subjecting his/her child to a painful situation? it’s the same as bringing a baby to a movie theater: “i really wanted to see the movie” is a really poor explanation for such a display of bad parenting.

  4. @andrea ITA. When people say, “Why should I have to suffer because you choose to have kids,” it makes me crazy. Those people aren’t doing their POV any favors!

    @Corey I guess sitting a few rows away is better than having it right behind you? The sections are supposed to be separated by a lav so maybe that will help….

    @Boris I get what you’re saying, but bad parents will always be around. I’m not saying that bringing a kid on a plane is an example of bad parenting though! I’m not sure it’s fair to put the burden on the crew.

  5. I paid about $15 USD in December on Air Asia to sit in the first rows and low and behold there were two children next to me.

    The first 7 rows doesn’t make a difference. I think Malaysia does it right w/a whole separate section for no-kids.

  6. boris, i just cannot get on board with what you’re saying. sometimes, flying is the only option parents can practically choose to transport their family across the country for whatever the occasion. is that bad parenting to take a baby on a 3-hour direct flight than to trap the child in a carseat to drive 2000 miles for 3 days? what if this is the only way for elderly grandparents to see their first grandchild?

    now, if you’re talking about a child kicking the back of a chair repeatedly (which means they’re tall enough AND old enough to take direction), then that is definitely in a parent’s control to stop and take appropriate action.

    investing in good noise-cancelling headphones works for just about any disturbance, be it a crying baby or a businessman who doesn’t know how to turn off the ringer on his phone when all electronics are supposed to be turned off.

  7. Better kids than dogs. Since becoming a father, kids crying on the plane rolls off me like water off a ducks back. But what I cannot stand is someone who can’t make it 8 hours away from their dog. And I don’t blame the dog, only the idiot owner…on multiple occasions, I’ve had to deal with dogs defecating on the plane and because of turbulence and being strapped in, unable to escape the stench!

  8. I’m not sure why people would be opposed to something that would make everyone happy. The people that want some peace get it for a few dollars more, and the parents don’t have to deal with some stranger grumping at their child. Win-win in my book!

    People with kids have different rythms/schedules than people without. Separation helps both sides stay sane.

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