Lonely Planet Writer

Would you opt for a seat in a child-free zone? Airline introduces divisive new policy

An Indian airline has won fans and detractors with the introduction of new child-free zones on its flights – and the topic has quickly become a source of heated debate.

An airline has introduced new child-free zones on its airplanes.
An airline has introduced new child-free zones on its airplanes. Image by Tang Ming Tung/Getty Images

The quiet zones – seats in rows one through four and 11 and 14 – will no longer seat children ages 12 and under in an effort to keep the areas quiet for business travellers. Kids will also not be able to sit in the emergency exit rows, which provide extra leg room. And while the decision was lauded by many – likely those with less-than-pleasant memories of a sleepless flight next to an infant – it was also decried by many who believe it is discriminatory and that grown-up travellers must be understanding of children.

But despite all the current controversy, there are some people out there trying to bridge the gap between parents and those who are less than amused by tiny travellers. Back in May, JetBlue turned passengers’ anger into happiness by offering them 25% off their next trip each time a baby cried on the flight. Since five babies on board the flight resulted in four rounds of crying, all of the passengers got a free round-trip flight on the airline. One mum has even tried to solve the problem by inventing the FlyBabee, a pop-up sleep canopy to help babies rest easier, and hopefully, cry less.