Once again, the argument of "adult only flights" has raised its ugly head again. Of course, we've discussed this before, but now, according to a recent Daily Mail article, travel journalist Dave Richardson is urging major players such as British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Emirates to create an adults only section of the main long haul travel routes.
Should children be segregated from business and first class passengers, or even normal cattle class members, and have their own section (or perhaps even level) of the plane? Or is this taking segregation to the extreme? Does that mean we can also create a section for those with nasty body odour, smelly breath, or a tendency to snore, or even those carrying excess body weight?
Business class passengers as we know, do traditionally travel for business, and generally a large proportion of their time aboard a long haul flight may be taken up actually 'working' or sleeping to be in a fit shape for a business meeting. We all know how hard it is to work or even sleep surrounded by energetic little 'hips'? So do business and first class passengers actually have the right to have a 'quiet zone' just because they, or their company or even their frequent flyers scheme, have paid a little bit extra? Admittedly, It is somewhat unusual to see a 6 month old child in first or business class, but then, if mum or dad want to travel at the front of the plane, then who are we to stop them?
Many people on long haul flights are plugged into ipods, absorbed in a film, or just snoozing, and even have the choice of using ear plugs should they really want to. Therefore its possible to block out any noise should you wish to. We all have the right to travel, and families are spread so far apart these days, travelling is just a normal part of life.
And are all kids really feral on flights? Some are rather good and sitting watching a few good kids flicks for several hours.
Most airlines have failed to comment, or believe segregation of passengers on an aircraft is a bad idea. Airlines rely on the family traveller especially during peak season, and some airlines, such as Air New Zealand have gone one step further and introduced the Sky Couch, which has been designed particularly for families in mind. Have a read of our Sky Couch post to learn more about it.
So, the argument continues to crops up, and once again it seems that those kids only sections on planes are still only a dream for some. Its a tricky question - on one hand, a ball bit, a kids cinema, and a nanny at the back of the plane would be wonderful, but on the other hand, would we, as parents end up paying a premium to use these facilities? Is it all really worth it?
What do you think?