Controversial I know but with the summer holidays now over, the busiest time of the year for holiday companies and airlines has now ended and a quieter time approaches, for a little time anyway.
Of course, those with children not in school have the option to travel whenever they like so there is NEVER a time when children would not be travelling on flights with their parents but what if there were child free flights available?
Would you take one if you were childless? Travelling without the kids for a weekend perhaps or even for a business trip and you wanted to get some work finished on the flight?
I’ve not as yet taken the children on a flight but I do want to in the near future, it’s the cost which has stopped us so far as not only do we have flights and accommodation, food and spending money to account for we need passports for the children and ours have run out too.
I have thought about getting our passports and looking for last minute deals before but did want to wait for the children to be older, to understand they couldn’t run around the plane, keep getting up to use the toilet every 5 minutes as they like to do in restaurants or in the cinema. They are great on long car journeys but as soon as the lights go out in the cinema or the theatre they want to go to the loo numerous times.
I also remember when I was Nannying and we took the children abroad, the youngest a toddler grew restless and we had to walk him up and down the aisle numerous times to amuse him and stop him jumping around the seats. I honestly don’t think anyone minded in the slightest but we found ourselves apologising to people he wanted to hold on to, to chat to and to sing to.
Recently, HolidayHypermarket.co.uk carried out a survey of 2000 Brits which revealed that many of us are more disgruntled at having to travel with children on board than you might think. It revealed that 52% of those surveyed would opt for child-free flights, given the opportunity, and nearly 30% of respondents cited noisy children and crying babies as the number one annoyance you could experience on a plane.
Other things that ranked highly were people taking up personal space (23%), closely followed by drunk passengers (21%). Given the confined space on planes, travelling can often lead to increased tension. But is this criticism of children and babies fair? And will airlines ever introduce such flights?
Holiday Hypermarket representative Ian Crawford says:
“It’s not just children that annoy others on planes and that’s clear from the findings of our survey. It’s a tough call, many travellers have every sympathy with parents of noisy children and I’m sure there are plenty of people who’d like to see family-only flights introduced as well. There have been talks of child-free flights for a while now and with some airlines introducing child-free zones, it’s good to see some compromise.”
Space is a big issue too, as airlines continue to operate as efficiently as possible when it comes to packing people in – this is fine for me being only 5ft 2″ but those taller really do struggle with the lack of leg room especially when it come to longer flights. It comes as no surprise that 56% of those polled would rather pay extra for a more spacious seat than any other luxury and 27% of respondents also said they would happily pay more for better in-flight food and drinks.
Crawford went on to say:
“There are so many perks you can now pay a premium for when it comes to travel, I’d be surprised if airlines don’t jump at the chance to cash in on adults-only flights as well.”
Kids will be kids and even the most well behaved children can have off days, things stress them out just as they do us adults and a change in situation can be hard for them – you can prepare for flying with children as much as you like but the best laid plans can back fire for all of us at times.
These tweets sum up the pain parents feel when travelling with their own children so of course I totally get why strangers could be annoyed or frustrated with kids on planes BUT are child free flights just a step too far?
Have you ever had a flight from hell due to child passengers? Or perhaps you’ve been THAT parent wanting the ground to swallow them up when your child has had a moment of a flight……feel free to share your stories below.