As I’ve said on many an occasion, airline travel is often like a social experiment. We are packed into a flying tin can like sardines and are subject to the strange idiosyncrasies of whatever passenger happens to be sitting next to us as a result of the always-dissapointing game of passenger roulette.
Idiosyncrasies can include such things as heavy breathers, people cutting down the rainforest [aka loud snoring], people eating hard-boiled eggs right next to you after which they pick their teeth with the edge of the in-flight magazine, fidgety people who cannot sit still for a moment, people in the window seat with bladder control issues while you are on the aisle, and people who simply do not understand that an airline seat is not the appropriate place to clip their nails or open a newspaper full and wide to read. Unfortunately for me, I have had all of these experiences.
Among the more controversial issues facing airline travelers is the issue of children on flights. I find that opinions on this issue pretty much mirror whether someone has children or not, however, children of course need to fly. They have places to go too, and many have parents who fly quite often. Their need to fly is not in question. The question is, where do we cross the line from cute cuddly but noisy and agitated baby to something that is lessening the experience [and sleep] of the majority of the other passengers?
In response to a plethora of customer complaints on the subject, airlines are searching for an answer. One in particular, Malaysia Airlines has made the first move. They will now be designating their luxury first class cabins as child-free zones. This means that the upper deck will have no children under 13 present – they will have to take their seats in business class or economy.
Again, this decision wasn’t made in a vacuum, it was in response to the myriad of customer complaints, many from passengers who had paid thousands of dollars for their tickets, about lost sleep on flights due to crying babies.
How do you feel about this?