Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

August 16 2015

Could Child-Free Flights Be Part Of The Future Of Aviation?

By David McMillin

Airline passengers pay to check their bags. They pay for extra leg room. They pay for upgrades to business class. Now, the online community is debating whether it might make sense to have the option to pay for another amenity: the ability to fly in a section without any children. Earlier this month, journalist Kelly Rose Bradford debated the potential merits of having a family-only section on flights in an appearance on UK talk show This Morning.

“We’ve got business class. We’ve got first class,” Rose Bradford said. “Why can’t we have a family section?”

Rose Bradford is not sharing a single-minded perspective here. She is a mother, too, but she acknowledges that some adult travelers may not be happy about sitting next to loud or poorly behaved children. Not surprisingly, Rose Bradford isn’t alone in her wish.

“Would pay serious money for this #childfreeflights,” @fagan_billy wrote on Twitter.

“100,000% on board for #childfreeflights - if people are willing to pay more to not have to fly with screaming brats, let them,” @basooninginnola commented.

However, there were plenty of negative reactions, too. Many aren’t onboard with Rose Bradford’s suggestion for the aviation industry.

“#childfreeflights? I think it’s insane. My children need to see their family for goodness sake,” @Alesya wrote.

Other users chimed in with backlash against a child-free section.

“childfreeflights? How about idiot/diva free flights of people who feel they deserve silence and to be pampered flying,” @RicM6 wrote.

Customizing Your Flying Experience

Regardless of how you feel about the potential for family-only sections or child-free flights, it wouldn’t be surprising to see some carriers attempt to test a model that provides even more options for passengers. Earlier this summer, I spoke with Brett Snyder, President of Cranky Flier about the crucial role that customization is playing in the passenger experience.

“Airlines have been big on trying to offer customization to people,” Snyder said. “You can customize your experience with extra legroom, priority boarding, priority security, food options, wifi, lounge access and more. You can really create the experience you want, and that wasn’t something you could easily do just a few years ago.”

In a few years, will you be able to pay an extra $100 for the assurance that you won’t be seated next to a 10-year-old screaming when the iPad won’t stream Frozen 2? Who knows? For now, check out these “4 Predictions For The Next Generation Of Air Travel.”




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