Should Airlines Separate Kids From Other Flyers?

Ever fantasize about putting screaming, misbehaving kids on a flight into a sound-proof bubble at the back of the plane? If you said yes, you're not alone. According to a new poll by SmarterTravel.com sister site Airfarewatchdog.com, 85 percent of respondents said airlines should have a section of the plane reserved for parents with babies and younger children. The other 15 percent said it's a bad idea.

In response to the survey results, Airfarewatchdog.com sought out the opinion of David Castelveter, spokesman for the Air Transport Association. Castelveter said separate sections for parents of kids would be hard to implement, especially in instances when other flyers might be forced to sit in the kids' section due to lack of free seats in the rest of the plane.

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I personally don't see the airlines adding separate kids' sections because of the cost and headache involved. In a few cases in the past, airline crews have forced parents with rowdy children to get off the plane. Overall, however, I don't think the airlines really want to take responsibility for onboard unpleasantness caused by other passengers (unless it's a security threat): If the airlines went ahead with creating kids' sections, they'd also be forced to look at other hairy issues such as obese passengers who don't fit in one seat and onboard pets some passengers might be allergic to.

Those who really want to get away from the kids do have one (usually) fail-safe option: Fly in business or first class. If you can't swing that, try to book exit-row seats (children younger than 16 aren't allowed) and bring a sound proof headset or earplugs to silence the kiddies nearby.

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