If there is an airplane built for creating a zone where you won't find children, it's the double- decker Airbus A380. Malaysia Airlines begins flying this whale of an aircraft July 1 and is attempting to restrict families traveling with children to the all-economy lower deck.
The airline was the first last year to attempt an outright ban of children under the age of two from flying in first class aboard their Boeing 747 fleet by removing bassinets. Now it's further looking to create a serene area for its higher-yield business class passengers on the A380.
Malaysia Airlines executive vice president of customer experience Dato' Mohd Salleh told Terminal U that babies and children would still be allowed in business and first on the A380, but the airline will steer families traveling in economy to sit downstairs.
"Where there is overwhelming demand for seats in economy class from families with children and infants, resulting in a full load in the main deck, we will still accommodate families in the 70-seat upper deck economy class zone," he says.
So far no U.S. airlines enforce children-only seating sections.
I'm a bit torn about how I feel about this. While I don't have children, I might find it a bit discriminatory if it were strongly suggested I fly economy and sit in a certain zone if I did. Then again, as a frequent solo traveler in premium cabins internationally, I also would appreciate knowing in advance children wouldn't be disturbing me.
Suzanne Rowan Kelleher, editor-in-chief of WeJustGotBack.com, tells Today Travel that such a section is, "no different than the quiet cars provided by train companies. My guess is that many parents would opt for kid-free zones on planes when they're traveling without children."
As it stands, Malaysia will be outfitting the upper deck with six bassinet positions in business class and three in the upstairs economy section on the A380. Initially, the airline will be flying the aircraft on the Kuala Lumpur to London route. Additional routes will be added as more aircraft are delivered.
Tell us what you think. Should there be child-free zones on aircraft?