Maybe you have seen some of the ink out there lately about being fed up with disruptive kids on flights and how to deal with this. One of the more informative pieces came to me from a visitor to this blog (thank you!) and involves a survey done by skyscanner.net…
After the incident where a woman claimed a baby’s screaming made her ears bleed on a Qantas flight (seriously!), they did a poll and they collected responses from 2000 people. As you might guess, parents and non-parents weigh in differently…
For the non-parent respondents:
8% thought people, parent or not, should be entitled able to sit where they want.
Almost 70% wanted to sit as far away as possible from kids.
68% liked the idea of a “family-only” section on flights.
Almost 25% would like flights that did not have kids on them at all.
Of parent respondents:
31% of them liked the idea of family sections.
45% didn’t want a families-only section because they didn’t want to sit next to “other people’s horrors”
24% didn’t like the family section idea because they felt that people should be able to sit where they want.
The family section idea at first reminded me of the recent scuttle about disruptive kids in public places in urban environments and all the brooha it caused. At first blush, like in restaurants, having a “kid” section on a plane seems appealing. But let’s face it. If there is a screaming kid in row 15, you are still going to be bothered by it wherever you are on the plane. It might work in a good size restaurant, but in all practicality, I am not sure it would work on planes.
Skyscanner PR manager Mary Porter thinks she’s got the idea–make the non-parents pay a higher fee to take kid-free flights. While another add on for the airline industry, at first I take offense at this. Why should those not doing the disrupting pay more? Then again, there are disruptive adults, so you could spend more to be on the kid-free flight and still have an aggravating experience.
Maybe it does not boil down to kids or no kids, but to just flat out respect for others in this strange, cramped type of public place. But we know that this does not happen automatically. Many people know what this means on a plane, parents and not. And lots others, are oblivious to what disrespectful behavior in this situation looks (smells and sounds!) like.
How about this–treat it like driving. Lay out the “rules” of respectful conduct at the time of purchase, including things like keep your children quiet, do not allow you child to kick the back of the passenger’s seat ahead of him/her, please do not wear strong perfume, do not snore, etc. And if “rules” are violated the passengers are fined like we get ticketed when we violate the rules of the road or parking. Ok I know, largely far fetched as well, but how else can respectful flight behavior from all ages be encouraged, even required?