Posts Tagged ‘ air travel ’

Another Airline Creates Kid-Free Zones on its Planes

Monday, August 26th, 2013

The Singaporean airline Scoot is the latest company to ban children 12 and under from areas of its planes. Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia X previously established child-free sections on their planes, and it’s part of a larger, ongoing trend of businesses with “no kids allowed” policies.

Here’s more on Scoot’s child ban from ABC News:

For a $14 upgrade, Scoot passengers can sit within the “ScootinSilence” area, a 41-seat cabin prohibiting anyone under the age of 12 under. The child-free zone advertises itself under the auspice of ensured peace and quiet. It also offers additional legroom via Super or S-T-R-E-T-C-H seats, “offering 35″ pitch – “4 more inches than the standard economy seat,” according to the carrier’s website.

Scoot is not the first to kick kids out of certain areas. Malaysian Airlines has long denied children access to first class and introduced an adults-only section in economy in 2012. Meanwhile, AirAsia introduced a “Quiet Zone” to its aircrafts last year.

While offering child-free zones may seem extreme to some, it beats being bumped off a flight for tending to an unruly toddler. That’s what happened to a Rhode Island family flying back from Turks and Caicos last year on JetBlue. At the time, the airline said the decision had been made at the captain’s discretion after a prolonged period of disruption prior to takeoff.

The anti-kid trend is reflected in other areas of the hospitality industry, with an increasing number of restaurants banning children.

 

Readers, what do you think of child-free zones on airplanes?

Image: Toddler on plane, via Shutterstock

 

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Airport Program Aims to Ease Travel for Kids With Autism

Monday, April 8th, 2013

A new program at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is trying to help take the anxiety out of air travel for families traveling with children who have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  The program lets families come to the airport for a “dry run” that enables kids to see what will happen before travel day, taking the surprise element out of the complicated and potentially overwhelming experience of flying.  More from Minneapolis’ KARE- 11 News:

“(They) really try to get over the sensory issues they’ll face like this, and hopefully have a good experience, and then when they do fly, they’ve already been through this,” said Dawn Brasch, with the Autism Society of Minnesota.

Volunteers lead the families through every step in the airport process, from security, to finding their way through the crowds, and even practicing the boarding process and finding their seats on a plane.

“Instead of doing it for the first time when there’s already added stress of going on vacation, it’s just like doing it again,” Nielsen said.

The Autism Society says it’s a helpful lesson not only for families, but for airport workers too.

“They don’t have the physical attributes of autism, you can’t just see it, so you don’t necessarily know when somebody’s coming through and they’re having a difficult time,” Brasch said.

Image: Mother and child at airport, via Shutterstock

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AirAsia X Begins Kid-Free Zone Program on Flights

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Children under age 12 will be banned from the first seven rows of airplanes making long flights to China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Australia, and Nepal beginning this week.  The area, called “Quiet Zone,” is supposed to protect passengers’ peace of mind from the intrusions that noisy or fussy children can bring to an airline flight.  More from CNN:

The child-free area, called the “Quiet Zone,” has softer lighting and is sectioned off from the rest of the plane by toilets and bulkheads, the theory being you won’t be able to hear the kids who are toward the back of the plane.

Still, anyone who’s been within 100 meters of a screaming child will know that their cries won’t be stifled by a few partition curtains.

Just as cigarette smoke could waft into the non-smoking areas before it was banned, so too will noise, said George Hobica, founder of Airfarewatchdog.com, speaking to NBC news when AirAsia X’s new option was announced last year.

“If you were just one row away from the smoking section, you still got the smoke,” he said. “And you’ll still hear the screams … if a child has strong lungs.”

Last year, Malaysia Airlines banned children under age 2 from its first-class cabins, and restricted children’s access to other areas of their planes.

Image: Toddler looking at airplanes, via Shutterstock

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Parents: Our Son Kicked Off Flight For Having Down Syndrome

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

A California couple says their 16-year-old son wasn’t allowed to board a plane last weekend because airline employees described him as a “flight risk.” But Joan and Robert Vanderhorst believe they were actually removed from the American Airlines flight from Newark, New Jersey to Los Angeles because employees did not want their son Bede, who has Down Syndrome, to sit in first class. The New York Daily News reports:

Bede and his parents had been in Jackson, N.J., visiting family and were eager to make the long return flight home. On a “lark” they had even upgraded their seats to first class, shelling out an extra $625 dollars.

“My wife said, ‘oh Bede’s never flown first class,’ he’ll be so excited.”

Vanderhorst said Bede, a freshman in high school, has flown “at least 30 times” through his life and has never caused any trouble.

Nothing was different before Sunday’s flight, he said. Bede was sticking close to his parents and was not acting unruly, nor was he upset.

But as the family waited to board, an American Airlines official pulled them aside and said the pilot had observed Bede and didn’t feel safe allowing him on the plane.

The airline told the Daily News that Bede was “agitated” in the waiting area. “Asking the family to take the next flight was a decision that was made with careful consideration and that was done based on the behavior of the teen,” the airline said. The family was escorted away from the gate by police, and rebooked on a United Airlines flight. Bede’s parents are considering a lawsuit accusing the airline of violating the teen’s civil rights and the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Image: Airplane parked at gate via Shutterstock.

 

 

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Flying With Infants: Parents’ Tactic Ignites Debate

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Any parent who has tried to soothe a fussy baby at 30,000 feet knows that flying with little ones is no picnic. It’s even worse when your fellow passengers are less than understanding.

One couple tried an interesting strategy when flying recently with their 14-week-old twins: they passed out candy to everyone on the plane, along with a note explaining that this was the twins’ first flight, reports The Huffington Post’s Lisa Belkin. The note apologized in advance for any crying, and offered earplugs to anyone who needed them.

One passenger posted a photo of the treats on the website Reddit on Sunday with this description: “Brilliant and thoughtful parents handed these out to everyone on my flight.”

The photo sparked instant debate. Within a day, it had attracted more than 3,000 comments and had been viewed more than a million times. Some people praised the gesture and expressed sympathy for the parents, while others stated that babies just don’t belong on planes. Some complained about times that they’d had to sit next to babies who cried or had dirty diapers.

One commenter suggested that the candy was unnecessary. “Really? You don’t find this to be overkill?” papabusche said. “I don’t require an apology for a crying baby on a plane. This is to be expected. I’m ok with it. People have babies, and they need to travel too.”

The subject of children on planes has sparked intense discussion in recent years. Last summer, Malaysia Airline banned babies under age 2 from the first class cabins of its Boeing 747-400 and Airbus A380 superjumbo jets.

Readers, what do you think? Were the treats a smart move, or overkill?

Image: Candy from babies via gigantomachy / Reddit.

 

 

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