Tolerance, Ear Plugs & A Glass of Wine

by 21stcenturymummy on September 5, 2010

Ever since a woman sued an airline because her eardrums apparently burst due to a three year old screaming, the hot topic of conversation as the moment is child-free flights, or family-only sections on planes. Since then, flight comparison website Skyscanner, published a survey that says 60% of people would like a kids-only section on aeroplanes.

Whilst I understand sitting next to a screaming baby or misbehaving child can make your blood pressure go through the roof, (I get annoyed even though I have a child), child-free section or flights – what a stupid idea!

My 2 year old has always been a good traveller, she’s never screamed or played up. I personally couldn’t think of anything worse than being squashed amongst other families.

There’s plenty of adult passengers who don’t exactly set the perfect example of good behaviour either. They’re often loud, obnoxious and extremely annoying. I’d personally like snoring-free sections,or to be able to sit in a section where super-sized people who take up 2 seats actually paid for an extra seat, instead of being allowed to squash into one, thus making passengers next to them suffer for duration of the flight. Sometimes you’re lucky, sometimes you’re not. I do wish people would stop whining.

But child-free sections on planes is a ridiculous idea, isn’t it? Noise travels, so unless families were in an enclosed, sound-proof cabin of their own, it wouldn’t work. What about families who choose to fly in business or first class, would they be banned? And, can airlines actually force families into a family only section if they paid the same price for tickets as everyone else? I can’t believe you can penalise people for flying with children, it must contravene every antidiscrimination law.

I do think some parents don’t seem to give a s**t about other passengers, they could be much more considerate. For example by being more aware of their children and the noise they are making; by trying to calm screaming babies by walking them around (or many parents swear by Calpol!); by making sure children have things to keep them entertained; by getting kids to put headphones on if they’re watching DVDs or playing Nintendo DS’s, etcetera, etcetera. There’s plenty of things you can do. Top-tips-for-stress-free-flying-with-babies-and-young-children

Then again, many passengers flying without kids need to learn a bit of tolerance.

So what’s the solution? If you don’t like it, buy some ear plugs, have a glass of wine and chill out!

How do you feel about kids-only sections on planes?


Jake September 6, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Hi there,

I am a childfree husband, and couldn’t agree more. Certainly children can cause problems, but I’ve had more experience with badly behaved adults. It’s age discrimination.

See our blog post on it:



Kerry September 6, 2010 at 2:31 pm

I totally agree! Child-free sections are a ridiculous idea and will cause more problems than they would solve!

I fly fairly regularly for work and I have to say that in my experience it is rarely young children or babies that cause the most noise. Any noise usually coincides with take off and quietens once the seat belt sign is switched off.

I’ve had to sit through plenty of flights full of teenage school children who are unable to contain their excitement.

But my worst flight involved a woman who ensured that the whole plane was aware of her fear of flying and death through a 9 hour night flight. I remember noting that there were two babies and a toddler nearby and how they slept on that night is still beyond me!

If passengers want a quiet flight, maybe they should pay a premium to sit in a quiet-zone!

Amelia September 6, 2010 at 3:48 pm

I agree with Jake – there has been many an occassion when I’ve been annoyed by noisy, usually drunk and obnoxious adults while kids sit absorbed in books, activities or listening to headphones. Sure, some kids are a pain and scream a lot, but you know what, that’s just life isn’t it!

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