Airline stirs controversy with child-free zones on flights

IndiGo airlines

Close your eyes and imagine you’re on a long-haul, or even a short-haul, flight and a baby is crying the entire way. Annoying, isn’t it?

Well instances of this could be a thing of the past as an Indian airline has introduced a new initiative on its flights and it’s causing a bit of controversy. Budget carrier IndiGo has introduced child-free zones on its planes meaning premium seats will be designated ‘quiet zones’. It will restrict children under the age of 12 sitting in these parts of the plane.

The decision has caused a division with travellers with a large number both in favour of and against the move. It lit a fire under social media users with the likes of frequent flyers, travellers without children (and anyone who has had the unfortunate experience of a child kicking the back of their chair) being hugely supportive of the idea. However, parents massively resented the decision feeling that they aren’t welcome with their children on a flight.

Both sides were very vocal on the topic channelling their views through the #ChildFreeFlights hashtag on Twitter. Those in favour described it as a “very interesting idea”, added that they would “gladly pay extra” for the options and that it “needs to happen”. Objectors called it “discriminatory” and “disgraceful”.

Speaking to the Hindustan Times, Anshuman Sinha, from Pune in western India, said: “The policy is discriminatory. It means you cannot ask for more leg space while travelling with your children. It’s clear that they do not want children to disturb fliers paying extra for these seats. But then why permit children in the nearby rows?”

IndiGo clarified it’s policy and explained in a statement: “Keeping in mind the comfort and convenience of all passengers, row numbers 1-4 and 11-14 are generally kept as a Quiet Zone on IndiGo flights. These zones have been created for business travellers who prefer to use the quiet time to do their work.”

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