It's no secret that young children are right up there with messy eaters and overly-friendly salesmen on the list of annoying passengers. There is nothing quite like having your eardrums punished all night long by someone else's screaming child who is sporting a runny nose and dirty fingers.
So how would you feel about major airlines offering Adults-Only flights or Child-Free Zones on long haul flights? Do kids annoy you so much that you'd be okay with them and their families being segregated from the rest on selected flights? A recent Daily Mail article reported on the push for Child-Only flights after a survey showed that more than 75% of business class passengers found children annoying on flights.
The argument has spawned two schools of thought on the matter. Travel journalist Dave Richardson reckons it could be accomplished practically - by using the two levels of a Boeing 747 to seat families and single travellers separately, on high frequency routes.
Frank Barrett, of the Mail On Sunday, holds a different view, arguing that banning kids from selected areas would open the flood gates for discrimination - "much as I hate being kept awake all night by a grizzling child, I think that starting to introduce passenger apartheid might be a dangerous step. Where would it end? Banning fat people, roping off anyone who has smelly breath?".
Certain posh restaurants have a No-Children policy, and this is never questioned as unethical. Perhaps if airlines introduced luxury flights, which included an on-board casino, jacuzzi, cocktail bar and diving board, they'd be able to offer it without raising too many eyebrows. Until that happens, it's safe to say that we are probably going to have to put up with kids on flights.
If you have kids and you're concerned about keeping them, others and yourself happy while travelling, check out our guide to Travelling With Toddlers.more blog posts