It may come as a surprise, but I am all for this.
It's a tricky issue – I've been on both sides of the coin. Having once been a childless traveler myself, I can completely understand that a screaming/moaning/chair-kicking menace is the average flyer's worst nightmare.
However, on our return flight from Portugal last year I suffered life on the other side of the fence. Following severe delays to our flight and ill-preparation on my behalf in the way of drinks and in-flight snacks, I was met with a writhing and screeching delight of a child.
Contrary to many miserable-faced and loudly voiced opinions, I was not pinching my child for the pure satisfaction of letting him disturb our lovely experience of sitting on the tarmac for 2 hours.
(Another mother with a child in equal mid-tantrum mode told me an awe-inspiring story; a woman, as her child was screeching for dear life in her arms, was kindly asked by her fellow passenger to "control her child" (I presume by all extent that the mother until this point was provoking her daughter/son to ensure maximum "uncontrollable" behaviour) – her reaction to which was to hand her scoundrel of an offspring over to the stranger with the words: "you give it a go.")
Having experienced both dilemmas, I can assure you that flying childless was much more pleasurable than traveling with my pride and joy. And it is with this first-hand research that I have come to the conclusion that I would greatly enjoy enforcement of child-free flights, with just a few provisos....
- There is an alternative 'Kids flight' – I'm thinking childcare-trained, perhaps magician air stewards, in-flight ball ponds, non-stop CBBC and CBeebies channels – all of which you could pick your child up from at your destination point.
- I like this idea of a double-decker 'parents and kids upstairs, childless miseries downstairs' approach, but do I get a cheaper flight for being in the clamour of the cattle cabin?
- We put the kids in the cargo hold like we do beloved pets crossing the borders. Can we organise some kind of six-month quarantine too?
I will ask you this though: if we do start to omit children from your flight, what are you going to do about Mr "I've just landed so I had better let everyone in my phone's address book know immediately and preferably at the TOP OF MY VOICE because clearly texting just doesn't do the trick" and Mr "I got upgraded from economy and I am just ECSTATIC about it – wow, do I really get a napkin and proper Champagne? This is well nice."?
What are your thoughts? Leave your comments below!