An air-rage-fueled rebellion is brewing, as travelers without children pressure airlines to protect them from their worst travel nightmare — being seated next to a relentlessly screaming toddler. Nearly 60 percent of travelers surveyed by price-comparison website Skyscanner said airlines should put all groups with children in a "families only" section on flights, and there have been several recent scuffles over poorly behaved kids who angered other passengers. Is it time for airlines to offer child-free travel options?
It would certainly make flying more pleasant: It's just a fact of life, says Kim Gray at Modern Family. Passengers who don't have toddlers of their own "dread" dealing with "ear-piercing wails" and "foul-smelling diapers," especially on long flights. Child-free flights might not be feasible, but it's easy to understand why people want them.
What a "ridiculous" proposal: "Airlines are not going to stick families together," say the editors of Online Travel Review. It would just spawn another protest — from parents who resent being relegated to a section filled with youngsters. Yes, it's no fun to sit next to a crying baby. "We've all been there. Get over it."
"The NY Times on child-free flights and airline amenities"
Parents just need to act responsibly: "As a parent, I know that unpredictable things can happen," says Kim Stuart Swidler at the Albany, N.Y., Times-Union. Those of us who travel with kids need to anticipate the problems, keep our offspring in line, and — if necessary — rethink our travel plans. If a kid can't sit through a half-hour meal at a restaurant, don't try to take him on a three-hour flight.
"Babies on planes — What do you think?
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The mystery behind China's aggressive push into space
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 10 things you need to know today: July 30, 2014
- How the battle for religious freedom became a nonsensical free-for-all
- The 5 best and worst states for a well-lived life
- Why GOP reformers are bound to fail
- Pay yourself first: The habit that can help you build wealth
- Stop calling the GOP the party of new ideas
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
Subscribe to the Week