Should airlines go child free?

Would you pay for a child-free flight? If the answer is yes, then you are not alone.

Escape recently surveyed its readers and found more than 50 per cent were keen on some form of child-free flights. Twenty per cent said there should be whole flights available for adults only, while 32 per cent said there should be an adults-only section on all flights. 

Surprisingly, those against children on flights represented vastly different demographics.

The groups most likely to say yes to adults-only sections on flights were 18 to 24-year-olds (42 per cent) and boomers (38 per cent).

Naturally, those with families were against the idea. The survey found that 48 per cent were against any form of child-free flights.

Despite the demand, no airline currently offers entirely child-free flights, although in the past a couple of airlines did use the idea for April Fool’s Day pranks.

However, there are two airlines in the Asia-Pacific area that offer child-free options, Air Asia X and the Singapore Airlines’ low-cost subsidiary Scoot, although the availability is not on all flights.

Both are for people aged 12-plus and can be booked ahead.

The Scoot option also offers wider legroom and adjustable headrests.

Raging controversy

Turkish airline Corendon also introduced child-free areas on selected flights last year to raging controversy. Passengers pay an extra 45 euros for the pleasure of being seated in their own section away from anyone under the age of 16.

Social media comments described it as a “dystopian shift” and “sad”.

Personally, the worst in-flight behaviour I have ever experienced has been from adults. Once on a flight to Queensland, a rowdy bunch of footballers on their end-of-season trip made the rest of the cabin miserable with their ‘antics’. Some of their worst behaviour included swearing at the attendants, standing in the aisles and throwing half-empty beer cans around. I was surprised the police weren’t waiting for them when we landed.

I had my then two-year-old in my lap and was seven months pregnant with my son. Upon landing, another passenger stopped next to me and asked if he wanted him to stay there and block the aisle so I could get off safely. We declined, but it was an awful trip.

However, I can understand people wanting child-free flights or areas. Small children, especially, can’t understand the need to behave or are even capable of it. If their ears are hurting under the pressure changes, of course, babies are going to cry. That can be a lot.

And some parents may jump at the chance to travel in an area where they don’t have to constantly worry that their children will disrupt other passengers, and may even have other children to play with.

Would you like a child-free flight? Why not share your opinion in the comments section below?

Also read: What to do when your plane is hit by turbulence

Jan Fisher
Jan Fisher
Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.


  1. I’m undecided, as yes there are many parents who do not actually look after their children on the plane, especially when their behaviour gets too rowdy. But then as you pointed out there are alot of obnoxious behaviours from adults. I thought having the different area on a plane would be a help. I suppose that a good pair of noise cancelling headphones (noise), something to poke that pair of feet that may try to come up beside you (depending where you’re sitting) and lots of patience is needed on flights, especially long haul ones.

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