Child-free flights take off April 1
Friday 01 April 2011
There has been several surveys this year suggesting that children on planes aren't all that popular with some passengers - and this April 1, several companies have decided to indulge us.
First up is Ryanair, always one for a quick headline, which announced April 1 that it would introduce child-free flights from October 2011.
The publicity-hungry airline said that a survey had suggested had of its passengers would pay higher fares to avoid other people's children, with over a third suggesting that they have had flights 'ruined' by other people's noisy kids.
"When it comes to children we all love our own but would clearly prefer to avoid other people's little monsters when travelling," said a spokesperson for the airline, which has previously been criticized for being unfriendly to families.
However, the no-frills airline wasn't the only one keeping an eye on the mature - or immature - market.
Flight comparison site Skyscanner dropped us a note April 1 to say that a new startup - 'Urchin Airways' was offering a specialist service especially for children between London Heathrow and New York JFK.
Cabin crew dressed as clowns will be supplemented by nannies, according to the announcement, while in-flight meals consisting of gobstoppers, gingerbread men and cheese strings will be served before story time readings from popular children's books.
Two great wheezes on April 1, popularly known as April Fool's Day in countries around the world, although a survey last year suggested that perhaps these gags could be a little close to the bone.
Also conducted by Skyscanner - although definitely not on April Fool's Day - it suggested that 59 percent of passengers supported creating special "family" sections on board flights.
The ensuing debate revealed some fairly passionate views on both sides, although an industry spokesman contributing to a New York Times analysis of the idea said it was extremely unlikely.
So while the airlines can joke, it seems children and adults will be seated side-by-side for some time to come.
Resources for parents traveling with children:
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