Should children be banned from flying business class?

Singapore Airlines seems to think so. So does Malaysia Airlines. Could this be a new thing in air travel?

Singapore Airlines has announced it is considering a “child-free zone” on its flights, which would allow passengers to pay big bucks to guarantee they are not stuck next to a tantruming toddler.

But it is not the first airline to contemplate banning children from an entire section of the plane. Malaysia Airlines took the leap three years ago when it stopped children under the age of two from flying in first class.

Singapore Airlines’ proposed business class child-free zone is one of the upgrades it is considering as major airlines compete to attract higher-end customers. Showers, beds and satellite TV are some of the luxuries offered in first class by Emirates. Etihad has a flying nanny on long-haul flights, plus designated kids’ rooms in its lounges in Sydney and Abu Dhabi.

Qantas and Virgin Australia are yet to announce how they intend to overhaul their luxury sections, but former Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon says children should “definitely not” be banned from business class.

And while most airlines admit having to endure children crying is a common complaint from passengers, they tend to agree that blocking kids from business class is not the answer.

Webjet chairman David Clarke says: “I would like it to be the case, but I don’t think it’s reasonable. Most people who pay for business class don’t want a screaming kid in their ear, but that’s life.”

Other prominent business figures have also joined the debate. Harvey Norman boss Gerry Harvey tells The Australian: “I would rather children were not on the flight, but I have had four kids, and I understand there’s nothing you can do.”

Investment banker Mark Carnegie says: “There have been plenty of times when I have wanted children banned from business class … I have sympathy for a ban even though it is impractical. You want your own children in business class but you don’t want other people’s children in business class.”

We get it. Sitting next to a screeching child on an airplane is awful. I’ve been on both the receiving and the delivering end and it’s hard for everyone – the parents, the children and the people who have to listen to it.

But what do you think Babyologists? Would having a child-free zone make you more inclined to fly with that airline? Or would it turn you off?

If you are planning a long-haul flight with your little ones, check out our tips on making air travel a breeze, whether you’re in business class or not.

(via The Australian)

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