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November 16th, 2010
04:25 PM ET

Would you pay extra for flight with no children?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

More in the Cafferty File today on the pleasures of modern air travel:

After you're groped, X-rayed and looked at like a common criminal, you finally make it onto your flight only to find you're seated in front of, next to or behind someone traveling with one or more small children.

For the duration of your flight, you can look forward to screaming, crying, kicking, food-throwing and yelling parents.

The New York Times says for some, sitting near such an uncontrollable child is "the second biggest fear of flying." They report on a growing push for airlines to create child-free flights or to designate "family-only" sections on planes.

A recent travel survey shows 59 percent of passengers support creating these special sections, while close to 20 percent say they'd like to see flights with no children.

Some travelers say they'd gladly pay extra to fly with no children on board. Even some parents support the idea of separating kids from the rest of the passengers.

They say a family-only section would give parents and children more freedom to make a little noise. They also point out it's stressful for parents when their kids are screaming and won't calm down.

But it's unlikely any of this will happen. A major airline trade group says the industry is working hard to return to profitability; and they don't want to start turning people away from certain flights.

As for family-only sections, they say it would be too complicated. Plus it could set a dangerous precedent once you start separating passengers by age. What if there are calls for elderly-free flights or obese-only sections?

Here’s my question to you: Would you pay extra for a flight with no children?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Ray in Knoxville, Tennessee writes:
I sure would, Jack. I would also pay extra for restaurants, theaters and stores with no children.

P. writes:
Oh, God. I would pay to not have a kid kicking the seat behind me. After a 4-hour flight and the usual unexpected delays, I would gladly pay an extra $50 for a flight without kids. Whenever possible, I take the train and get a full private room… it takes longer, but it sure beats the cattle drive of flying.

Debb writes:
Once you start creating "special" flights with family-only sections or kid-free flights, then the trains, busses and subways will be next. Sorry, kids and crying babies are part of life... YOU were one once.

Mike writes:
After enduring an overnight flight to Lima, Peru with a squalling brat sitting behind me and kicking my seat all night (the parents apparently didn't want to discipline their little angel) I would gladly have paid an extra C-note to anybody who would have stuck a cork in the little monster. I paid good money for that trip, to fly in peace and not be made miserable by somebody else's kid.

Susan in Roseville, California writes:
Parents should be the ones to pay extra: on a flight, in a restaurant, in a museum. Too many special occasions have been ruined by bratty, whiny kids and indifferent mothers and fathers. I would rather sit next to a smoker than a screaming brat.

Ann in South Carolina writes:
Why don't we all buy our own jet so we won't be bothered by other people on our flight?

Annie writes:
Children? Who cares about children? I'd pay extra for a flight that didn't begin with my body experiencing more groping at the gate than in my bedroom.

Gat in Texas writes:
Jack, I would give up my first born if that made it possible to fly without children. And he is 41 years old.


Filed under: Airlines • Children • On Jack's radar
soundoff (173 Responses)
  1. rs

    Children , people that can't stop telling you their life story or how important they are...and fatties,,let's not forgot them. 3 things that will certainly ruin a flight that I'd be willing to pay extra to be without.

    November 16, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  2. Tim Thorp

    I want child free flights.
    I want flights free of un-nice people.
    I want flights without groping security.
    I want free flights.
    I want someone to carry my luggage from the plane to my car.
    I want want airlines privatized. No more expensive monopolistic government supported airlines. (Wink)
    I want gourmet dinners ala carte for oversees flights.
    I want only happy people on flights. (that would exclude me sometimes : -)
    Hahahaha, ...

    November 16, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  3. Mike

    You have this reversed. People with kids should pay extra to be on a kids flight, and it is the 'regular' flight that is cheaper.

    November 16, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  4. Nancy, Tennessee

    Absolutely not! The children want to fly across country to see Grandma and Grandpa for the holidays. Parents just need to make sure that they provide the children with some activity to do quietly in their seats while on short or long flights. Whatever happened to discipline. Children should not become a problem because someone says we can't spank their rearends. What is wrong with this world – sparing the rod and spoiling the children.

    November 16, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  5. Bob in Kansas City

    No I wouldn't pay extra, we were all children once.....just grin and bear it, plane rides aren't an all day affair.

    November 16, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  6. Chad from Los Angeles

    Having flown as an unmarried person without kids, and now having flown with a 1 year old, it is 10 times more stressful for the parent. The parents should be the ones complaining for having to deal with insensitive uppity passengers, who act like they born into adulthood and kids should be seen and not heard.

    November 16, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  7. Joe Guerra

    I don't even like flying. It's a necessary evil. I do it as little as humanely possible. Flying is over-rated. Can we fast forward to the future where Star-Trek like transporters are the standard mode for travelling. Now I get to pay for the "conveniance" of travelling child-free? Someone has to re-think the concept of 21st century airline travel.

    November 16, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  8. April

    If airlines are really interested in returning to profitability, they need to start actually listening to their customers instead of treating us like cattle, but it seems every cost-cutting measure they make negatively effects the customer. This is the kind of backwards thinking that bankrupts companies in the service industry.

    No one is happy with commercial air travel these days– minimal leg room, food (or lack thereof), screaming children, X-rays, "security" molestation, luggage fee gouging?

    Train and boat travel are looking better and better.

    November 16, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  9. Jess C

    I'd gladly pay; no doubt about it!

    November 16, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  10. Paul in Boston

    From Boston to the West Coast? DEFINITELY.

    November 16, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  11. jim sleasman

    Just came back from the Caribbean and had crying, screaming kids in front of us on the way down and back. One set of parents didn't seem to care, guess they were used to it. Plus the boy was probably about 3 years old. Brat! The second instance was a rather younger child a girl who may have had an ear problem etc. and the parents tried very hard to clam her. Regardless, both instances were like brushing my teeth with tin foil!
    Some parents do try but whether they do or not, it is no less annoying to those of us who are not traveling with kids. A family section or grouping of young children would help.
    As to your question, I would pay a bit more to ensure that there were no children, especially for long flights. Or to be seated away from children.
    Taking my noise canceling headsets next time.
    Lewes, DE

    November 16, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  12. Capt. Midnight

    No, because I'd never want to be on a plane with a bunch of prudes. I'm sure if kids bother them there are going to be 10 other things that bother them as well. I've flown thousands and thousands of miles and it has never been so unbearable that I couldn't cope. There are far more adults that I would rather not fly with rather than kids.

    Have a glass of wine, put on the Bose and enjoy some music.

    November 16, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  13. Andy from San Diego

    You bet I'd pay extra, Jack! If the screaming and crying wasn't enough, there almost always seems to be a child behind me kicking the back of my seat every 5 minutes and preventing me from getting any sleep or peace.

    November 16, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  14. Reid

    I would pay extra for a seat that fits an adult human male, and gives me space for both elbows. All the airlines want to do is sell you a business class seat that is the right size, but for 10x as much money. Or, alternately, extra legroom. I don't need extra leg room! I'm an average-sized american male (5'10", 180lbs). I don't need a diet! I need a seat that can accommodate actual human shoulders and elbows!

    Instead they keep charging us $10 for a sandwich and $5 for a crappy TV, and complaining we won't pay for extra. No, I'll bring my own food and movies. Just give me a damn seat that fits! I'm happy to pay 50% more for a useful service.

    November 16, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  15. George Garvey

    Are you kidding. Just tell me how much. I will not buy powder if it has the name baby on it. I think I would rather have a terrorist on board then spend four hours next to a screaming little darling. At least we have a chance to overpower the terrorist. With a screaming kid you are out of luck. Grin and bear it. Time to break out the Bose noise-cancelling headphones and the Grateful Dead.
    I think that is called a fate worse than death.

    November 16, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  16. Tim

    Jack, this is ridiculous. I fly at least 4 times a month, and even when there is an unruly or fussy child on my flight, a pair of noise-cancelling headphones and a blindfold do wonders. Flying can be difficult enough for parents of these children without being relegated to the back of the bus. Flyers just need to arrive at the airport prepared for the possibility of disruptions.

    And if someone really wants no one touching them, and total peace and quiet, they can go buy a Business- or First-class seat to match their elitist attitude.

    November 16, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  17. Fuyuko

    I think family-only section would be good. But I also support a sick only section. Worse than flying with kids, are people who are obviously ill flying on a plane where you have no choice but to sit next to someone with the flu.

    In general the small kids with problems are understandable. Older whiney kids with more self-control? They are the ones I feel less sorry for. Obviously there are those who get upset about babies. But earplugs and noise cancelling headphones can help you.

    November 16, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  18. Bob

    Heck yeah! I would pay extra to fly with no kids, no stinky people, and people who don't snore!!!!!

    November 16, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  19. Bulmaro

    Why not make adults with kids pay extra to go on a kids-allowed flight?

    November 16, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  20. Cristobal Jose Prieto Inarritu

    In short...I MOST DEFINITELY WOULD! Especially on long-distance ones. I cannot tell you how many times I have had the misfortune of being placed in close proximity to screaming children. I feel very sorry for the parents and they are usually extremely apologetic but I am still frazzled by the end of the flight.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  21. Andy Allyn

    I am not interested in family sections for plane travel. I have 3 children. Although it's probably uncommon, they are actually quite well behaved. I have yet to deplane without several comments about how good my kids are. The last thing I'd like to do during an already stressful day is sit in an area of the plane where children are allowed to run amuck and with parents who already need no excuse for their lack of discipline.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  22. john

    it would depend on the price and the length of the flight

    November 16, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  23. lee r.

    No. I don't fly much but don't recall annoying people being on the flights. There was one man groaning as the plane hit turbulence going over the Rockies. One little girl who offered me some of her snack. No bad experiences.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  24. Ric Shaw, Athens, GA

    Absolutely, Jack. For some reason on flights, I am a screaming kid magnet. The process is already stressful enough for passengers with everything else they must endure just to be able to board, only to be stuffed in a flying cylinder for hours with someone's unruly demon spawn. Then the parents have the audacity to look at the complaining passengers like it is somehow their fault for not tolerating it. I don't think it would start a dangerous precedent. If it is considered, to some, 'the second biggest fear of flying," then clearly something should be done to remedy it.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  25. jj

    It seems to me that child-free passengers should not have to pay extra. The passengers with children are the ones who should have to pay an extra fee, for all the extras required for them.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  26. Chris in CA

    I was on a red eye flight from the SF bay area to Boston not too long ago and there was a child sitting behind me kicking my seat. When I finally turned around I said to the mother, "Would you please stop your child from kicking my seat?" Her response was, "He's only three." "Yes," I said, "but you're not." At which point she began to call me every name in the book. Obviously she was frustrated but I was certainly not in the wrong here and I had paid handsomely to fly in the first place. I would support the availability of childless flights or a surcharge to allow children on non stop red eye flights. There are plenty of other times of day to fly that this kind of behavior may not seem so rude or annoying. Of course, there's always headphones.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  27. George

    No, simply. I fly a great deal, it is rare to run into a problem child. Why I do my good old noise canceling headphone cover up with some nice tunes. Keep that ipod charged just in case!

    November 16, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  28. David Reed

    No I would not.
    The "little people" are our next "adults" and have just as much right to fly as anyone else. Why not keep the parents/guardians from flying if they can't keep the little ones "entertained quietly" on a flight. I've done a lot of flying and have felt "inconvenienced" by far more adults than children.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  29. Cathy

    Heck yes I would pay extra for a child free flight! People today think more about themselves than those around them, including parents with small children. Almost every flight I've been on has had an unruly child with a parent who is uninterested in the commotion they are causing.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  30. Jeff

    No, but I will pay extra to fly with no security. The TSA is a hell of a lot more annoying and obnoxious than the worst kid I have ever had to fly with.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  31. Joanna

    No, I would not waste my money on a 'child-free' flight because I am not such a delicate, wilting flower or such a childish, spoilt brat that I couldn't handle a toddler acting like a toddler for a few hours.

    I guarantee you, it's worse for the parents than the other passengers.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  32. Suzanne

    God YES!!

    November 16, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  33. Eric Brown

    Jack – Put the little buggers in First Class. Those folks can afford those expensive noise canceling earphones!

    November 16, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  34. Dave

    This is really a problem that needs to be dealt with?!?!?!

    Good grief people. Suck it up for the flight and deal with the crying child or buy some noise cancelling headphones.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  35. anotherflyer

    i wouldn't pay more for a child-less flight.

    my problem isn't with children or parents, it's with people who cannot be in those situations.

    i've seen parents with babies and they were fine, sleeping quiet all around pleasant. i've seen the kids who run up and down the isles, kick seats, scream, cry and the parents do nothing, or make it worse by just yelling. that's the part i can't stand. if you can't control your child, then don't bring them on a plane. but if you have to bring a uncontrollable child on a plane, don't do it at 5am or 10 at night. usually those people are trying to rest and don't need any disturbances. but that's just my thought

    November 16, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  36. Patricia

    Our society has become too cynical and is headed towards a sickening, self-centered society with little or no tolerance for our fellow man. Why don't we just separate the country down the middle and let all of the "annoying" people with children live on one side while everyone else lives on the other? Children will be children...is it really a life or death situation to unfortunately sit next to a little one that refuses to pipe down during the flight? It's but a brief moment in time. Deal with it.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  37. Brad

    Plain and simple..children are a part of life. However, the parents should be responsible for keeping their children in line and from disturbing the people around them. Small children are going to cry...fact of life. Feel a little compassion for them. I flew to London from Chicago and their were parents who went to sleep and let their kids run the plane like it was a playground. I went to the parents, woke them up and told them to take care of their children. My point is that we all need to be courteous towards are fellow traveler, but understand there are going to be issues with children, drunks, obnoxious people.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  38. James

    Actually, Jack, my biggest fear wouldn't be a small child, most of whom entertain me on otherwise dreary flights. It would be that gigantic man or woman who really should have purchased two seats, but spills into my seat instead. But then, some of those people end up being as delightful as the children some would banish to the "family-only" section. Airlines would do well before they limit the options for family travelers that the same men and women who travel with their kids also travel on business and might remember how they and their family were treated. Deciding that some passengers and their money aren't welcome on some flights is dangerous business. If you hate kids that much, get the 6:00 AM departure. Not many parents would fly then. If they did, the kids would either be asleep or well rested.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  39. Lori

    Hell yes I would pay extra for a child free flight! It seems like parents can't make their children be quiet these days or just think they, the little monsters, have the right to scream whenever, where ever they want. Not only the screaming, but, kids repeatedly kick your seat during the flight, I almost spilled my drink because of this - the parent did nothing, I had to tell the child to stop. Enough with the bad parenting, get me on a separate flight, please!

    November 16, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  40. Lyndsey

    I am extremely offended by this idea. I have flown on close to 80 flights with my son who is almost three years old. I have flown on 12 flights with both of my children , a six month old and an almost three year old. Most of these flights I have done without my husband or anyone else to help me. In all of this accumulated flight time my children have cried for a total of maybe 45 min. I work very hard to keep them happy and entertained during the flight. Every time I board and airplane I endure dirty looks from the passengers who have to sit next to me only to have them smile at me after the flight is over and tell me how great a job my children did. People do not need to assume that all children that fly kick seats, throw food, cry, and have parents that yell. Most children do a great job flying.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  41. Amira

    My concern is not so much the flight but the fact that we have to be subjected to a highly invasive search that invades our privacy and feels much like sexual harassment. I am not comfortable w the idea that kids are subjected to the screenings, esp the pat downs. Child porn and molestation in a legal way. This world has become most disturbing since I was a child. We are becoming dehumanized. Where does it end?

    November 16, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  42. calaurore9

    I'm fine with the kids near me, it's their obnoxious loud parents in sweatsuits that should have a separate section. Another reason to stay grounded.

    CCL thesidetrek ma.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  43. Jan

    Kids I can handle, but I would pay extra for a flight with no jerks on it. Can the airlines do that? I can see the questions now. Where it used to be "smoking or non-smoking," it'll be "screaming or no screaming?"

    November 16, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  44. nehumanuscrede

    In a moment. Without hesitation, here's my credit card. Sign me up.

    While you're at it, let's extend it to restaurants and movie theaters. I don't go to the movies any longer because of the parents who bring their screaming heathens that run the isles the entire time.

    If I'm about to be seated next to any family with children under ten, I request another seat. If I want to sit next to screaming children, I'll go eat at a restaurant designated for them. ( Chuck-E-Cheese and the like )

    God forbid you say anything to the parents or even look their direction. They act like " How DARE you say anything to ME about MY kids ".

    November 16, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  45. Allison

    Yes, if it was reasonable- I would pay extra. I actually sat on a flight once where a 15 month old with a very nice parent screamed for about 2 straight hours and I did not have any headphones! Even if I did it would still have been earsplitting. It felt like I had front row tickets to a metal concert after the flight my hearing was dulled for about an hour.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  46. Buster in Poughkeepsie, NY

    Dear Uncle Jack, I don't care about screaming rugrats on airline flights...that's why God created Bose sound silencing headphones. But I would pay double for non-stinking flights. On my last coast-to-coaster, they shoe-horned me between Shamu, who smelled of BO and chicken soup, and a lovely senior citizen who had a terminal case of halitosis and wore an entire bottle of Chanel No. 5. And to add insult to injury, we had a sadistic flight attendant who dived bombed us ever so often with his flatulence. I'll never get that flight out of my olfactory memory. Heavens to Betsy Jack, it's the 21st Century, why can't the Captain light the No-Stinking Light?

    November 16, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  47. Marian, Pennsylvania

    No, I wouldn't pay extra for flight without children. Contrarily, when children are around, I am more relaxed.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  48. Fred

    Would I pay extra for child free flight? Hell yes.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  49. rachael

    Next we'll be paying extra just to get to our destination – alive.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  50. Daniel Adam

    No I would not Jack. I'm what you call a Frequent Flyer and I would agree that sitting close to a restless child on a flight is not very pleasant. But let's remember that kids are NOT frequent flyers and that the average flying time is less than 2 hours. I think we can all be a little more tolerant and act as adults.

    Daniel
    Montreal, Canada.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  51. Ralph from Tacoma

    I would gladly pay extra for a flight with no children – specifically some of the longer flights. Rather than pay to move up from Economy class, I would rather pay that price for an entire flight with no screaming children. That would be a First class flight in my book.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  52. John, Charlotte, NC

    Absolutely! What is needed are parents who have control over their kids. We traveled with our twin babies and never caused a fuss becuase we had children that behaved on and off the plane. Coloring books, small toys were all that it took to occupy them. Never fidgeted in church either. Behavior that you see on the plane occurs in their homes as well. It's all about the parents, not the kids.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  53. scott silver

    ABSOLULETY I would pay more for Child Free flights. Screaming and yelling and msysterious diaper smells !

    Also have you ever been behind a family with Kids at Security? they have Buggies and Carriers and Bottles etc etc etc. thay have to re scanned and slow everyone down.

    Get us back to civilized flying – Scan me, Pat me, whatever, bt tkeep kids off the plane !

    November 16, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  54. Cheryl

    No, I would refuse to pay extra. Kid-free airlines are discriminatory. What's next? Male only airlines? Reno, NV

    November 16, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  55. Lizz Lloyd

    I think there should be an entire child-free country, so those of us that don't care to be inundated by their screams and germs can live in peace; however child-free flights would be a great start! Upstate, NY

    November 16, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  56. Dannie

    Hi Jack.

    Absolutely I would pay more. I would also pay more and have a full background check to pass through security with a thumb print and not have have to turn down my underwear band and avoid someone feeling up my privates.

    Dannie Kemp
    Pine Mountain Georgia

    November 16, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  57. Bruce, CA.

    Hi Jack:

    Remember when there were invisable lines drawn for those who smoked and those who did not; and, those whopaid for a meal & those who did not – it was always a MESS.
    Although I avoid most children by flying First Class when I can – to designate some flights 'no children' – seems to be headed back down the track of saying who 'sits where on the bus'....
    Grab a headset or bring your own & order a drink – kids are here to stay!

    Best,

    Bruce, CA.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  58. Sheila Burton

    I would pay extra for a childless flight. I agree that children running up and down the aisle is a danger to everyone. Kids are fine if the parents rein them in and keep them busy. Unfortunately, there are ages when you just have to drive to your destination.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  59. Ken in NC

    No I wouldn't Jack. The way adults are acting today we need children on board just to have some smarts on the plane.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  60. Vicente

    FIRST CLASS IS USUALLY BABY FREE FLY THERE! For the cheapskates, well sorry you get to fly with the peasants and their children and chickens and whatnot.

    The people who SAY they would pay extra for various comforts in fact will not actually do so. They are just whining they'd LIKE to have family-free flights, but actually are just griping for the airline to accomodate them gratis as usual. How'd Hooters Air work out? Yeah. Various airlines over the past 5 years also tried out "extra legroom" flights and found out people were NOT actually willing to pay more for comfort, as those flights lost money. How has any "luxury" move on flights over the years panned out? A niche compared to packing them in and moving them cheap. What do economy fliers look for? Cheap & everything else doesn't matter. So they get stuffed in a tube with everyone else and will have to live without lobster & foot massages. This seems to be the viral story this year again kind of like shark attack stories.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  61. Catherine Berryhill Easley, S.C.

    Children would not bother me, probably would make the flight more interesting. However, I believe, since most people are against the children, separate section is a good idea. I for one, would not pay extra for such a flight. Save my money!.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  62. Carol Campbell

    I absolutely would pay more to travel child free. I've traveled with small children, and they learned very early the dos an don't of air travel and we always had a host of acitivities to keep them occupied. Now my kids are adults and when I travel I look, with dread, around the departure lounge, hoping that the out-of-control children in the loung won't be sitting next to me, spilling food, screaming and fidgeting. On our honeymoon trip returning from Europe, a baby screamed for the entire trans-Atlantic flight. We ordered champagne and drowned the sounds out!

    November 16, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  63. Laura

    Why should I, a woman who is child-free by choice, be required to pay extra for reasonable peace and quiet on a flight. Let the parents with their ill mannered brats, darlings of course in their eyes, pay extra for bringing them on board.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  64. Shankar

    I would absolutely pay extra for flights without children. I for one can't stand children, let alone be locked in a fuselage 5 miles in the air with them for hours at a time. Of course, airlines still need to get in the black for this to even be brought to the table but in all sincerity, child-less flights would be an incredibly peaceful option for me.

    Groveland, MA

    November 16, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  65. Debbie

    Of course I would pay more to fly with adults only.Parents are to blame for unruly behavior.They will glare at you in you ask the child to stop kicking the back of your seat.Flight attendants claim that they will be written up if they try to speak to parents.I suffered from Milan to JKF flying First Class.My expensive flight was ruined because of a thoughtless family flying with 4 screaming kids.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  66. Amish Airline

    I don't think this issue merits anything as serious as "child-free" flights. Parents, control your children. Alternately, the airlines could use existing space to create an "unruly child" section. . .in the cargo hold. But the parents have to go, too.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  67. Phil

    I would pay double to fly without families. The kids are not the problem, the parents do not control the kids. Parents let there kids do whatever they want to do on a flight as long as the kid isn't bothering them while they read skymall. Kicking seats, OK, Throwing toy's, OK, Throwing food, OK....as long as none of that impacts the parents travel. Maybe a better solution is have all the kids sit behind all the parents and see how they like it.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  68. James Farnsworth

    Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Jack,
    I must say that I have been on more flights with annoying adults than children. I can't tell you how many times that I have been on flights with annoying "vacationing couples", drunken people from Mexico, and just plain weird people.
    But I do see where people are coming from. A screaming baby on a long international flight. Ouch.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  69. Laurie

    Yes, nothing is worse than a two+ hour flight with parents who don't know how to control their children. Yes I would pay extra for a child-free flight!
    Laurie
    Seattle, WA

    November 16, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  70. Christie

    Absolutely! Not only would I pay extra, but I would be most willing to give up my seat to a designated 'children under 13 section'. I raised 4 sons. I love children, but parents do not raise their children as I did. Parents do not teach their children respect for themselves and for others. Yes, I know children become cranky and do not like being couped up. Guess what, neither do I! But I would be much happier if I could be couped up with other quiet adults in a quiet section. Let the children emote in their own section. In fact, take out a few sections of seats, put in a play area, and charge 'parents with children; more, instead of us quiet and compliant adults.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  71. James

    Jack: Have you read "A Modest Proposal" by Swift. That would certainly solve the problem. I happen to like children when I travel. It beats having to talk to the Tea Partiers!

    November 16, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  72. Rob

    Would I pay extra to fly on a plane without children....Absolutely!!! My standard flight involves someone child bashing the back of my seat, or constantly screaming for 3-1/2 hours.....A nice quiet flight would be worth ore money.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  73. Sam Olecki

    Disney started a cruise line for family's, why not expand on that with Disney Airlines? I think parents would welcome an experience where flight crews are happy to see parents and kids!

    Sam O. – Orange, Ca

    November 16, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  74. Sal/Weston, CT

    Jack,

    As a father of twin (7 year old) boys I have had my share of stressful flights when visiting grandma in Florida. I am also a business traveler, and have had my share of flights from hell because of other people's children. I have to say the flights where your kids are causing the problem are more stressful than the others. I say separate sections for families! And I'd probably pay more when traveling on business not to hear other people's kids scream.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  75. Emily and Carroll

    What ever happened to customer service? Where is the suggestion of a kid only flight? This suggestion will lead to no more children on any flights. Parents pay for their childs' tickets. These adult only planes will most likely lead to more expensive flights for families.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  76. Frank Cape Coral FL

    My god Jack, with all the time I have put in the sky not once have I found children to be terrorist on planes, after all we were all children once, I have no problem with the little ones flying, but do have a problem with miserable travelers who hate everyone, keep them off the planes, why should i pay to listen to bellyaching people.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  77. S. Kobler

    I am entitle to a pleasant flight with no crying children. I don;t have to pay extra for it. But I support the idea that the families with kids have to have a separate section in the plane not to bother the rest of the passengers.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  78. Rebecca

    Yes, I'd pay more for flights free from : screaming.crying,running, throwing, bouncing, kicking, screeching, yelling, and spilling. I 'd also support kid-free restaurants and retail stores.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  79. Malena Riggs

    Jack:

    I'm not ani-chilren. In fact I quite like children, but why should the public have to pay extra because parents won't control their children. My mother would never have tolerated some of the behavior I've seen from some children. What happen to acceptable public behavior? Your children don't have the right to disturb everyoneelse. If they can't behave, you should keep them at home.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  80. Ruth

    YES!!! I would pay more. It's not the kids, it's the parents. Children that behave well in public behave well at home. So if a child is a brat on the plane, then he is acting the same way at home. All manners and education begin at home. My mother used to tell me, "if you don't behave, we will go back home". And guess what? It worked. As much as she hated to change plans, she did it as a form of punishment. Thanks MOM!

    November 16, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  81. AnneC

    No. I don't mind traveling with children and I think their parents are under a lot of stress already. They shouldn't be segregated or made to feel like second-class travelers.

    Brookfield, Wisconsin

    November 16, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  82. AverageJoe

    So with the no-kids section, how about a section only for those who have recently bathed but aren't soaked in perfume, people who don't snore and people who don't try to make akward conversation? I think those would be at least as valuable as the no-kids section.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  83. Tatyana

    I would prefer flying in the kids free sections. I would pay extra for a flight in the kids free section, specially on the long international flight.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  84. Alan

    Hell yes Jack, I would certainly pay extra to fly without children on the flight.

    Alan
    Virginia

    November 16, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  85. david shaw

    I like how the article, at the end, sums up the pointlessness of the whole "Children on Plane Controvery."

    Sure. When I was 25 I was like, "Yeah! Keep those brats off the planes! They bother me! Keep 'em at home if you can't control them! And out of my restraunts while you're at it! Blah!".

    Now that I'm 35 with 2.5 kids that we have to fly to visit the grandparents twice a year, I'm like, "Yeah, I was kinda being an idiot.....". :bag

    November 16, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  86. Jim in Indiana

    I once took a flight in which the fellow next to me insisted on loudly and rudely complaining on his cell phone about how horrible his ex-wife was and how wronged he was in whatever settlement he was going through, calling her every name in the book without concern to fellow passengers within earshot. So, Yes, Jack, I would gladly pay for a flight with no children, but how exactly do we tell who the children are?

    November 16, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  87. Bernard Noel

    NO! I will not play more for a flight without children.

    Honestly, I think this is not a feasible idea and it's also highly discriminatory.

    It's like saying "are you willing to pay more to fly without blacks, gays, seniors or overweight passengers"!

    Which brings me to the real problem: I do travel quite extensively; I my flights rarely got disturbed my unruly infants or children. However, i have been many many times annoyed with passengers who are overly overweight and taken some of my personal "seat" space, who are stinky, or listening to a loud "i-pod" music.

    In summary, NO, I will not support any children free flights!

    V/R,

    Bernard Noel, San Diego, CA

    November 16, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  88. Joe McInerney

    No; that's what the overhead bins are for.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  89. Richard Dabney

    Yes, I would pay extra to fly without screaming children, but it would be more fair to charge the parents of such infants a fine if the misbehavior continues more than three minutes. If they are not in possession of the necessary funds it would be applied as a surcharge on thier next ticket.

    I also feel that persons who cannot fit in thier seat with the armrest down should be required to fly first class. Having some portion of an overstuffed person's posterior on my lap for an entire flight is substantially more unplesant than being groped by TSA prior to boarding.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  90. MC in TX

    I have small kids so for me I wouldn't have a reason to want to pay for something like that. But even before I had kids I wouldn't have seen that as something worth paying money for.

    It seems to me that, as a society, we seem to be becoming overly comfort-obsessed, to the point that we don't even like being around other people. Certainly I can understand not wanting to be near a baby with colic on a 10-hour red-eye. But when I see people perturbed even by being near a child for 30 minutes in a restaurant I have to ask "What's wrong with you people?" I don't accept the "I'm not a kid person" excuse any more than I would accept the "I'm not a driving-sober person" excuse.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  91. Andrea Mitchell New York City

    I would not pay extra, however, I do think people traveling with children should pay extra. When I fly with my dog, 20 lbs. I have to pay 150 bucks. ONE WAY! The dogs has to stay in a bag under the seat in front of me. He doesn't bark, doesn't shed and just hang out. yet I still have to pay 150 dollars one way.. MEANWHILE babies who cry, cough, throw up and on and on , get to fly for FREE? This is crazy. Charge more for the kids.
    – Been dying to voice this opinion!

    November 16, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  92. Rob - Hoboken, NJ

    Abso-FREAKIN'-lutely, Jack! I was on a nine hour flight from Amsterdam Sunday night and there was this one kid who screamed at the top of his lungs for most of the flight. Passengers were clearly annoyed, but it seemed the child's father was immune to the bone-chilling schreeks of his son. I understand it must be difficult traveling with a kid, but why do the rest of us have to suffer?

    November 16, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  93. Rulio Oscar

    There is no need to pay extra for flight with no children. The airlines should be able to separate adultss flying with no children and the ones flying with children.
    No I would not pay extra for flight with no children.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  94. Roxy

    Screaming children on flights are only one of the reasons I don't fly anymore. A few years ago, before invasive searches and ungodly flight delays, I would've paid extra for a childfree flight. But now the whole airport and airplane experience is so dreadful I'd rather just drive, even if it takes a full day.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  95. Pat

    Family Only Flights? When did it become acceptable to corral families in a ghetto of separate and not equal? It is a sad day when kids are treated as nuisance as I believe your question implicitly assumes, Jack. As for the revenue, airlines would do a lot better to charge more for obese people; they are subsidized by people who a conscious effort to keep fit.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  96. Cathy

    I certainly would pay more for a child free flight and I'm a former kindergarten teacher who loves children!

    November 16, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  97. Robert from Utah

    Yes!!! Or maybe we could just put them with the luggage..🙂

    November 16, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  98. Alex

    Personally, the first thing I look for when I get on a plane is babies. I have a strange sense that their sinless lives will increase the chances of the Lord not letting the plane crash. Silly, I know.

    And I hate to say this, but I would pay for obese free sections. I'm sorry; but I recently flew on 6 flights in 2 months. On ALL of my flights I was squashed between very large people. I mean spilling over the seats, their fat touching me for the entire ride, couldn't put their arms down because they'd be hitting me in the face, large. Obesity is an epidemic in this country and it's about time we were all real about it. It's disgusting. I'm not a health nut; but I fit in airline seat with room to spare. There's no reason the human body should ever reach a size that we can't comfortably fit on airplanes anymore.

    So childless flights? No. Obese only sections, I'm all for it. I think you're on to something.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  99. Jamie Erickson

    Nope, love kids. Think they are hilarious and entertaining. Maybe we should pay more for the added entertainment, seems they charge for everything else.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  100. Burbank from CA

    Yes I would pay more for a child-free flight. It's also time to start creating child-free zones in restaurants. I have had many nice, even expensive meals absolutely ruined by out of control children with lazy oblivioius parents.

    The current generation of parents are the laziest yet and many don't bother to discipline their children at all. The only time they get after their own kids is if they are personally being bothered by them.

    I've finally had enough and have started loudly and angrily getting after these parents in no uncertain terms when this happens. If they feel the pain themselves they do something about it.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  101. sam

    I would not pay extra. Kids or no kids, I would be using my ipod and the extra noice does not affect me.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  102. Viv

    Come on Jack, what next?
    Although I won't pay extra for a child free flight, I will gladly pay extra not to seat next to a obese person as well as my junk not to be touched by the TSA.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  103. jacquelyn deLombard

    On the issue of family travel... as un PC as it is, the solution is to board able bodied flyers first and then the infirm and families. This would save time and get flights in the air on time. I'm seventy and travel with a companion who flies more than 100,000 miles per year.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  104. Cristobal Jose Prieto Inarritu

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    In short...I MOST DEFINITELY WOULD! Especially on long-distance ones. I cannot tell you how many times I have had the misfortune of being placed in close proximity to screaming children. I feel very sorry for the parents and they are usually extremely apologetic but I am still frazzled by the end of the flight.

    San Francisco, CA

    November 16, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  105. Shawn

    Hey Jack

    Screaming kids are one thing and i'd prefer they be seated in a specific section of the aircraft.

    However, on my last flight I sat next to a woman who asked for a seat belt extender (by the reaction of the flight attendant – this is a common request). I sat there with 1/3 of this person in my seat, rubbing up against me the whole time.

    Yes, I would pay more – but I want my WHOLE seat (as well as) some peace & quiet!!!

    Shawn
    Tucson, Arizona

    November 16, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  106. mason

    where do i sign up? yes i wold pay any amount

    November 16, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  107. Nate

    I would pay extra for a flight without other passengers.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  108. Mark / Minnesota

    No, When children fuss and cry in public, I tell the parents he/she will be a singer when they grow up.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  109. Joe

    I have close to 5 million miles, and I can put up with crying kids. That's what IPods, etc., are for. I have a much harder time putting up with the loud person that thinks people in the ten rows around him are interested in his stories, life, jokes, or belly laugh.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  110. Evelyn

    I think this is a win-win situation for everyone – parents don't have to worry about their kids getting too loud and others who are bugged by it can pay extra to have their peace of mind. I think we've all sat through a red-eye where a little kid has screamed the whole flight while you're trying to sleep, or sat in front of the kid who kicked your seat the whole way, or had your rest disturbed by the kid running up and down the aisle. It would be better for all if there was a way for certain people – business travelers in particular, who are traveling as part of their JOB, rather than for pleasure – to be sure they could have a business friendly environment. Conversely, I think families would benefit from the family-friendly environment when those people have their own flights.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  111. Kevin

    Yes!! I never understood why they don't reserve the last few rows for families with children. One of my worst flight experiences was being stuck between screaming babies during a two hour tarmac delay. It was absolute torture and just adds to everyone's stress levels, which is the last thing needed on an airplane.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  112. Bill

    I would not pay extra for a "childless" flight, but I would consider patronizing one airline over another if they offered noise cancellation headphones during the flight. Segregating passengers by "annoyances" would be a logistics nightmare. Common sense is always the best policy,

    November 16, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  113. Michael

    Absolutely I would pay extra. As an ex flight attendant and now a teacher I would pay extra to not have to listen to screaming children or worse yet, screaming parents. When I travel now, I go to places where anyone under 18 is not permitted. Just me and what I want. If you enjoy noisy flights, resorts or restaurants as someone else suggested, then by all means continue to support them. I support child free airlines!

    November 16, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  114. Liliane Morgan

    No, why should I have to pay more because of idiots who are breeding idiot are travelling on the same plane as I am. The reason children misbehave is because they have stupid parents who are too stupid to teach their children how to behave properly in public.

    In Victoria, a bus driver turfed a mother and her unruly child off a public transit bus - I said good for him. I'm just sick of these so called good mothers who want to bear all in public to feed a 4-year old spoiled brat, or when I go to church to pray, to be subjected to to antics of Romper Room.

    Have the parents first pass an IQ test in order to fly.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  115. Avedis

    I hate flying in the first place, but when there is a crying wining infant on the plane I have to listen to my wife’s constant complaining. Can I get a wife free Flight?

    November 16, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  116. In a Second

    Absolutely. I would also pay extra for a flight with no obese people, no people who smell awful, no people who think that I have any interest in talking to them, and no people who have never been in a plane before and go nuts whenever there's slight turbulence. Basically, I'd be for an inconsiderate idiot-free flight, but that'll never happen since airlines would have to stop serving about 90% of the American population. Shut up, don't bring your awful kids, and take a shower. Sincerely,

    Normal People

    November 16, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  117. Jim

    Your kids are not my problem, so don't make them my problem. I don't want to hear your horrible little monster screaming in a movie, on a plane, in a restaurant, or any other public place that I'm trapped in. It's completely inconsiderate of others. I'm all for kid free flights. Sign me up. I'll pay extra if I know that I won't have to endure ear piercing screaming for hours on end, or the kicking of my seat the entire flight while the parents do nothing.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  118. David M

    No I would not pay extra. That's silly. I don't view children as an inconvenience that I should be able to pay extra and avoid. Something like this says a lot more about us as a society than it does about the children.

    However, I would probably pay more to not fly with their parents. Are we so self absorbed that we consider anything or anyone that intrudes on us in the least to be an annoyance we can pay to avoid? Children are children. The problem is when adults act like children.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  119. Overby from Melbourne

    I'd pay extra in a flash. Only thing worse than a screaming kid on a plane is a screaming kid in a restaurant. My wife and I have often thought of opening an adults only restaurant just to have a peaceful meal when dining out. The least these places should do is have a private, soundproofed room where all the screaming kids could be put with their idiotic parents that somehow think their kids are somehow cute.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  120. Stan

    I think all airline attendants should be well stocked with duct tape to liberally apply to the parents and the unruly children. These individuals should then be placed on a no fly list so the general public is not subjected to this torture. Yes I have had the “wonderful” experience of flying with an out of control little brat. 😦

    November 16, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  121. Frank from staten island

    Jack, kids are great…as long as you can return them to their parents at the end of the day. I'd be happy if the airlines would just enforce their own rules regarding carry-on luggage. Let's start simple – if you can't lift that thing in one swoop and get it into the overhead compartment – luggage gets moved to check-in, if your bag is bigger than you are – boom, move it to the check-in and if your bag and the shopping bags full of stuff you bought at the duty free shop make you bump into everyone and keeps you from walking a straight line…well – check-in. With all that free overhead space a passenger might actually be able to fit their bag that meets the rules in the overhead compartment by their seat instead of five seats down. Hey, come to think of it, with all that additional overhead space…I know where we can put those annoying, crying and screaming kids!

    November 16, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  122. drinker

    As a mom of 2 (11 and 8 now) I would pay a little extra to not have to sit next to someone elses kids. The last flight I was on I had someones 18 month old spend half the time half in my lap. So not a good time.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  123. Andrew Gallagher

    Hi Jack, This is an interesting question and likely an opportunity for the airline that gets it right. If MacDonald's can have it's playground's for children certianly something can happen on planes. It may take a mix of the Airports and the planes but what an opportunity. If I was an Airline Executive and asked where am I going to go with this??? I'd likely say Disney World!

    November 16, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  124. Christy

    People that have a problem with children, (which are also people) forgot that they were once children, too. When a small child is crying they are communicating. Telling us things like, "I'm hungry.", or "Change me." To which the parent should respond. If people really want a "no-child" flight because they're annoyed, then I want a "no-whiner" flight. SInce when do we as consumers get to choose to go to a place where everyone is smilling and on perfect behavior? If you have a problem with people...STAY HOME!

    November 16, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  125. Brian

    I've flown around the country for two and a half years for my current company. There was only one instance I can remember when a young child was kicking the back of my seat. Sadly enough her mother did not stop the child until I gave her a disgruntled look between the seats. If it's the screaming that bothers travelers there is solution for that; a good set of noise cancelation headphones. I would only consider paying the equivalent of an extra bag fee to have a kids free flight and it would have to be a longer flight to make it worth me giving any extra money to an industry that is constantly coming up with additional fees.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  126. joe

    how about a whole country with no kids ? you'd get no education taxes and you could have an empty country in 90 years or so .. No thanks .. this seems like another selfish view we don't need ..

    November 16, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  127. Joshua

    I think that unruly children on flights are a big issue but I fail to see why we the customers are required to shell out extra money as a solution. I think that the bigger question is WHY are so many children today so ill-behaved; and so many parents so willing to turn a blind-eye to their kids' poor behavior. What ever happened to instilling discipline and manners in our youth. What ever happened to proprietors holding these parents accountable. So many times I wish a movie theater usher would come in and tell a parent "I'm sorry sir, your child's behavior is disruptive to the rest of the audience and you will need to silence them or leave." Why does the waiter or manager not speak up and a tell the diner patron "It is not acceptable for your children to run circles around your table while screaming". Why is so often the comfort of the many so idly tossed aside because no one wants to tell a parent that they need to be a parent.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  128. Greg Brookfield, CT

    After waiting at the gate at JFK airport in New York hours after we were scheduled to leave for Dublin, praying that the ash cloud would leave and open the airspace, we finally boarded our flight. It was now two in the morning and low and behold directly behind me was a screaming child who was out of control in the terminal well before we boarded and now being in a confined space was beyond belief. Would I pay extra for a no children flight, I sure would. I payed forty dollars extra for the seat I was in so as to give me a few more inches of leg room. Somewhere over Greenland the screaming stopped, just in time to see the sun filtering through the windows.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  129. Scott

    So your gonna pull the "that guy" card, huh? I'd rather sit next to a kid with a bad disposition and takes up very little space than sit next to a 400 lb. slob that carries their Long John Silvers fish and chips with vinegar on the plane because they can't delay their grazing and hour or so, till they get off the plane. Besides the only problem with first class seating is it doesn't matter how far back a crying kid is, your gonna hear it. So just plug your headphones in and order a double.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  130. Nick Easton

    Oh.....I don't know Jack.....I get annoyed by people who constantly whine about what annoys them. I am afraid if I had to pay extra for a seat to get away from those people, I would be paying for a private room. Grow up People.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  131. Bob

    Jack,

    I am being nickel and dimed for everything already. Now they want to use kids against adults to make more money. Look, I would rather be irritated by a crying kid than by a couple of drunk adults sitting next to me.

    You know as well and I, that airlines love to sell beer, wine and booze. As long as the passengers don't create to big of a problem, drunk or not, they will keep selling it throughout the flight. Let's talk about that problem.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  132. Christopher

    By the time people get on their flight after being molested by the TSA, most people are pretty cranky, including children. Let's try and make the experience enjoyable for people.

    I've been on flights with children on board and had no issues, other times it's been hell in the sky.

    For flights over 2-3 hours, yes I would pay extra. Under that, I can put with with the kids.

    Let's not forget that kids come in all ages from 9 months to 90+ years.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  133. Huflundu

    Well I have a child(10 yrs old) and ive never had any problem with him on an airplane, maybe parents need to lean how to control their children! I was recently on a flight from houston, where the woman behind me had no control of her 2 young daughters and my flight was terrible! And my son was right next to me behaving himself!

    November 16, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  134. Mary. Portland, OR

    Absolutely not. As a former flight attendant and mom of two small children ages 4 and 3 I believe that a special section would be a nightmare During an emergency and a child free flight is discrimination. From my expeience it is usually business travelers with a sense of frequent flyer entitlement that are the most annoyed by children. The way to pay extra for a flight without children is called a charter flight. You just can't put this kind of limitation on "public" transportation.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  135. momtoone

    I have a one year old and while she is great most of the, she can have moments of toddler madness. I love her but I would never fly with her nor subject others to some of her less than lady-like moments. If for some reason I HAD to, I'd be sure to have her sleeping or well entertained. Gotta be a parent everywhere, not just at home!

    November 16, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  136. Brian, Portland OR

    I have flown 158 times during 2010 and can't even think of the last time I had an issue with children around me. Most of the time kids have been well behaved and either slept or played with toys or coloring books brought by their parents. I have no interest in paying more for a child-free section, but if the airlines decided to create such a section it would concentrate all the kids into a small area and likely create more problems than it solved. With increasingly full flights these days I'm sure it would be me who gets stuck in the middle of newly created trouble so yes, at some point I suppose I might consider paying extra to sit in a child-free section. Just what we need, another way for airlines to squeeze more money from consumers.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  137. Janet Holmes, Alabaster, AL

    After spending all my working day with 13- and 14-year-olds, I would love to be able to go on a holiday on a plane with nothing but peace and quite and adults only. Yes, I would pay extra for child-free flights. Jack, just come spend a day or two at a middle school and you would also be glad to spend the extra money. I personally have been awakened from a nice nap on an airplane by a screaming child. I felt sorry for the passengers sitting next to the screaming child. I was fortunately 8 or 10 rows away, but it still disturbed everyone on the flight. When I pay the exhorbitant price of an airline ticket, I think a little guarantee by the airline that I won't have to listen to that is not too much to ask.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  138. Joe S

    Absolutely – I would pay extra to fly without noisy kids. Try flying LA to Europe or South Pacific with the fidgeting, bumping, running and screaming. It sucks. Or better yet, let the parents pay a hefty fee to take those kids and use the money to give the rest of us noise canceling headphones.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  139. Mike in St. Paul

    No way. I want to sit next to kids. I never have to fight them for the arm rests.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  140. MDDad

    Airports and airplanes are not exactly kid friendly, especially since they started forcing 3 year olds to take their shoes off and stuff. Any parent trying to travel with small children is likely having a *much* worse day than you are. I hope it will be a very very long time before I am forced to take my kids on a plane again.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  141. Linda

    Probably not. I have had the unfortunate experience of sitting directly in front of passengers with screaming children who surpassed the children screaming. The fact remains that peace and relative quiet is also our right which is violated.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  142. Paul Thompson

    It's like the CA happy meals fiasco. Parenting is all about teaching kids to behave. My kids fly regularly and never make a fuss. We have taught them the importance of peoples privacy. If every parent did this then there would not be an issue. No segregation and no paying extra. Just like the grown ups, throw the rowdy kids off the plane and make the parents pay for the diversion.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  143. Kelly, Austin, TX

    I’d definitely pay more to be on a child-free flight. Three of the most miserable hours of my life were spent on a plane, seated in front of a family with a baby who never stopped screaming and a 2-year-old who repeatedly bashed me on the head with his toy truck, kicked my seat, pulled my hair and, finally, dumped a glass of orange juice into my lap and all over the work I was doing.

    The airlines should try offering child-free flights. I think the industry would be surprised at how quickly those flights would sell out, even if they are more expensive.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  144. Jake

    I love where this is going. Airlines should give a menu to customize your 'experience' :
    How old your co-passengers should be?
    How heavy can they be?
    What race?
    What gender?
    What should be the color of clothes they be wearing?
    What perfume can they be wearing?
    What should be minimum IQ?
    (more to come. make suggestions and save $10 on your next flight!)

    Get a life people. Take a couple of shots and go to sleep in that cramped middle seat.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  145. Pam

    I'd pay extra for the longer flights but I could honestly bear a short flight. These unruly kids are not just pains in the ass on flights, but they have also spoiled some of my dining experiences and the parents should be blamed. If you can't control your child, leave it at home with a sitter. End of story.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  146. Ron Danielson

    Are you kidding me?I have over 3.3 million career miles with American Airlines over the past 22 years. Kids are generally fun to have on board. (My own kids have been there) – if you travel every week,To kids are fun to watch and be with as they go to fun destinations. In the scheme of things – kids are great, and fun to watch on first flights and going to fun places. To limit them would be allowing airlines to do what they have done with frequesnt fliers – make it impossible to use what you have earned or paid for to move your family from one place to another. Families and kids are always a joy to be with on a flight.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  147. brattyshay

    To pay a lil extra for a piece of quiet time oh hell yeah.! I had a 5 hr flight that a 2 yr old screamed right after take off and didn't stop until we got off the flight the parent sat there like the kid wasn't even there. But the planes are only so big and no matter where you are your gonna hear the brat!!

    November 16, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  148. Warren

    Forget kids–I want to see pet-free flights. As someone with a strong allergy to pet dander, why should I–and those like me–be forced to suffer through days of swollen eyes and asthma because someone prefers to bring their dog or cat on the flight in carry-on luggage?

    Screaming kids are a short-term nuisance. Pets can be a health hazard that can cause breathing difficulties and even hospitalization.

    I would gladly sit on a plane with two dozen children if I could be assured that no animals will be present.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  149. Ed

    Absolutely not, Jack. Why should I pay extra for a noise free flight? why should I pay for a set of "noise canceling" headphones? I short, Jack, why should I pay for someone's bratty kid problem again? Stick 'em on another plane and leave me in peace!

    November 16, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  150. John Barrymore

    If the mother behind me can hold her screaming 6 week old for free, then I should be able to do likewise for my purse rather than it counting as a piece of baggage therefore reducing my free carry on count.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  151. AndyZag Lynn, MA

    Your question addresses the wrong issue. Why not compile a list of those people that can not or refuse to control their children and make them pay triple to fly? That puts the onus where it belongs, on the parents.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  152. JK

    I already do pay extra. It's called business class. Now, if only business class didn't have whining adults.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  153. Brad

    That would be a logistical nightmare. In good weather, the airlines could segment however they wanted. But then imagine a snowy day with plenty of cancellations. Obviously there would be situations when people who paid for child-free flights had to board child-"full" flights and have to deal with refunds.

    What about the family who misses a flight and would get home easily on the next flight if it were not child free? Should a family be forced to stay in an airport all day and night because there are no planes that could take them? Before you answer, just think about gate changes at Atlanta Hartsfield. I know you're not that cruel.

    The truth is airlines already have this: it's called First and Business class. Of course, it is possible for children to end up in executive classes but the cost for an entire family is prohibitive for the average flier.

    This post confirms that there are at least some people who would be interested. Obviously if there's a market then a simple solution is available: start a child free airline that includes a private and exclusive membership in order to dodge equal protection laws. If people are really interested in this service, then it will thrive and be profitable.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  154. Frequent flyer and parent

    Coming from both sides here is my perspective: 1) the military operates family only sections on miltary flights – it sort of works when everyone is happy and comfortable but cryng and yelling inside a aircraft will affect everyone(ever hear of voice projection); 2) most children are well behaved but flights are boring for adults – do you expect the kids to not be bored also; and 3) adults can be just as painful.

    What is next? flghts only for thin people, people who are considerate (if you argue with this you probably don't qualify), not elderly or handicapped, ones who don't have carryons (ala RyanAir). Bottom line: you pay for what you get. Want no kids, then charter your own flight, take a train, fly first class. And finally, – for those complaining I hope you are not on a business trip financed by someone else? Grow up and join society.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  155. Dave

    I was not able to sleep on a recent flight to London due to a loud child. I am not a happy camper when I am forced to go 36 hours without sleep. Children should be banned from all flights, just like smoking.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  156. Randy

    YES !!

    I would pay extra for a flight to avoid screaming children and their immature parents who force others to put up with their life choice.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  157. DizzyBuzz

    Let's hear it for the thoughtful parents that tranquilize their kids with cough medicine right before their flight. Hmmm...flavored cough syrup.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  158. TC

    Absolutely, we need child-less flight options.

    And while we're at it, what about banning people who cannot keep their music in their own ear buds?

    November 16, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  159. Drew

    This is why I fly airlines with open seating (e.g. Southwest). It's easy to pick a seat away from babies and kids.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  160. Randy

    Actually, I just read a comment that made perfect sense.

    Since the parents who created the child are the noisemakers, THEY should be the ones to pay extra.

    The rest of us shouldn't have to pay extra to keep our sanity.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  161. TheChronic

    Boys and Girls – It is really very simple. If you don't like waiting in line, being searched, being delayed, being inconvenienced or god forbid having to deal with other human beings then please stay in your house, don't go to the airport and just don't travel. The selfishness and inability of people to consider anyone else but themselves never ceases to amaze me.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  162. Eric

    Wow, the level of compassion and understanding is at an all time high. It speaks volumes about a person who has so much disdain for a child and/or the people who bring them into the world. You people need to relax. Put on some headphones and tune the kid out. Its not that difficult, and the flight is not that long.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  163. Sasha

    No; we are part of this society, good and not so good. We all have to deal with things we may or may not like. Have we really become so sensitive and defensive that a person looking at us or saying something to us is a problem? Do you really think a screaming child is a problem? Seriously? Children are children; granted, their parents are not perfect and some of them really screw up the parenting thing, but, that's the way it is. Screaming for "separation" everytime we don't like something is a bit, well, childish, actually.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  164. Paul

    Yeah, kids can be annoying on flights, but parents must do what they can to keep them occupied and away from other peoples seats so that they don't whine.
    We will be flying to Europe next year with a 4 and 2 year-old. We are planning to keep them very occupied.
    But "no kids flights," well, I guess there are people that would pay for that. I say just put the parents with kids in one section.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  165. SoSharpItHurts

    So let me get this straight. Did we really get to the point where we choose who is on the flight with us? How about people who look different? Really? No Kids? Seriously people. That is what first class is for! Pay extra! Hey get a private jet while your at it. There was another nation that tried to separate people. What was it?

    November 16, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  166. Stewart in Portland

    Sure they could pay extra, and then parents with kids should be able to pay less – the kids would be helping airlines add value to their seats.....

    November 16, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  167. Donaldo in ATL

    In a New York minute

    November 16, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  168. lilsfgal

    Sure, go ahead but no one seems to remember the basic tenet of a LOT of airlines...

    People will pay that premium, there won't be enough purchased tickets for the flight to be worth it, then the flight's get canceled.

    Now what? Cranky, kid hating people inconvenienced by the canceled flight and stuck with the OMG, babies.

    I can't say I like flying with kids either but they're HUMAN beings, not monsters. grow up, buy some noise canceling headphones and suck it up. Better yet, if you don't want to sit with them THAT badly, buy a business or first class ticket.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  169. Todd Grigsby

    Not if they want me to fly again. The airline better be prepared to offer me a discount or flight coupon for having to deal with a screaming kid. And if they are prepared to do that, perhaps they will also do the other passengers the courtesy of being allowed to change seats if it turns out they'll be seated next to a potentially unhinged child.

    No, nevermind, it makes too much sense.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  170. Chris

    I have flown 1.5 Million miles in the last 9 years. I have had to sit near a noisy child ONCE that whole time. instead of making the situation worse by glaring at the parent, I took a small toy out of my carry on and shared it with the child, who then calmed down and went to sleep. This problem is wildly exaggerated in my experience. And it is troubling how many people seem to hate children. And amazing how little patience and compassion people have.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  171. Pete

    I think anyone showing up with a child to board a red eye flight should be sent home. It shows no sense or consideration at all.

    Chrysler invested minivans for a reason – to allow those that choose to have kids to deal with them on their own and not subject strangers to their misery.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  172. 4sanity

    What a ridiculous suggestion ! On a scale of 1-10 for problems in this world, this doesn't even register. If you're so sensitive to the presence of fellow human beings, I suggest you get a pilots license and fly solo.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
  173. Ronak Desai

    So whats next. Flights without old people who take for ever to get on and get off. Sunday night the lady behind me puked all over us during landing. She was neither old nor a child. I would rather sit next to a child then sit next to a puking adult. People need to learn to adjust with all circumstances. The child also does not want to sit next to a boring adult if given a choice.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:52 pm |