Should Planes Have a “Families-Only” Section?

Travel website, Skyscanner, recently posted the results of a poll in which almost 60 percent of the 2000 respondents agreed that they would like to see families relegated to a specific area on flights.  Nearly 20 percent said they would like to see the creation of child-free flights.

The poll was conducted in the wake of a settlement made by Australian airline, Quantas, to a 67-year-old passenger.  The passenger had sued the airline after a 3-year-old screamed, on her flight, causing her excruciating pain.

Predictably, the demographic that has come out in favour of families-only sections is made up of people who do not have young children themselves and, “want to sit as far away as possible.”  A previous poll conducted by Skyscanner found that young children are the “most annoying” factor on flights.

But, I would propose that young children are not the most stressful or ‘annoying’ factor of flying.  I am no stranger to air travel; long haul, short haul, with kids, without kids, I’ve done it.  It usually isn’t the baby on the flight that’s stressing me out…it’s the big drunk guy.

You know the guy.  He’s the one sitting next to you drinking rye and ginger until he pukes and falls asleep on the way to Australia.  Or the guy flying to Cancun, with his buddies, who puts his feet up on the armrest across the aisle while eating a giant sandwich (elbows out) and then leans over you so he can look out your husband’s window.

If they’re going to start a ‘families-only section’ than they should cordon off a ‘jackass’ section too. – Jen R., Staff Writer

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About the author

Jen R

Jen R should have been a spy; she would have been really great at it. Instead, she has found limitless happiness raising a future international man of mystery. She is a writer, a maker of suppers, a kisser of boo boos and a finder of lost things. She would always prefer to watch politics than sports and will never watch a soap opera...ever.


  • Ha, well put! But I think the creation of family only flights would be terrific. That way there will be parents everywhere and kids will have other kids to play with. And best of all, no single jackasses anywhere!

  • I had the experience of travelling within a family that consisted of a mother, father and three children, a 2-3 week old baby, a child of 1 year and two-three months old and a child less than 2.5 years old. The mother (left aisle)with baby, toddler nearly 2.5 and myself (right aisle) and the father behind me with 1 year two month toddler. I offered to swap with the father and was not allowed because the airlines have only 4 oxygen masks per row. So I enjoyed the trip with the two year old toddler trying to get to her father behind me. During the flight I was stepped on and kicked as the older toddler tried to reach the father. I have no children and in general love them but this was not an uncomfortable flight and the airline attendants could not offer another location.

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