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Airline to create child-free zones for passengers

13th April 2012

Malaysia Airlines has banned all children under 12 from the upper deck of its A380 aircraft, following a series of noise complaints

As of 1 July 2012 Malaysia Airlines will ban all children under 12 on the top deck of its A380 flight from Kuala Lumpur to London. The airline has also confirmed that babies will no longer be allowed to fly in first class. Parents flying with kids will now have to book into a designated, economy class area on the lower deck.

"Some things in travel simply don’t mix: winter sun and Svalbard, Disney cruises and Somalia, budget travel and Antarctica… When it comes to family travel, plenty of people would probably lump ‘toddlers and long-haul flights’ on the same pile of mismatches," said family travel writer William Gray in an article about children and travel.

The decision was made to exclude children from the upper deck following complaints from high-paying business class passengers being unable to sleep during long-haul flights. The cause for sleep deprivation? Youngsters booting the back of seats and screaming at the top of their lungs.

Shashank Nigam, CEO of airline branding company SimpliFlying, told Travel Today: “Malaysia Airlines is trying to make its premium product on the A380 more appealing to the high-yielding business passengers.”

“They value their peace and quiet and (this way) can rest assured that they won't be disturbed by kids on long-haul flights.”

The 'family zone' will be located in the economy section of the lower deck, leaving the front of the aeroplane and the whole upper deck free of children. The airline has highlighted that the 'family zone' does have some perks, including a separate entrance and eight toilets.

The new initiative has not been received well by all; some have said it's discriminatory, while others have defended the decision, stating that it is no different to quiet carriages on trains.

In September, the child-free service will be introduced on flights to Sydney.

What do you think? Is the creation of child-free zones discriminating against families? Or is it acceptable to enable adults a bit of peace and quiet on long haul flights, having paid high fares to sit in business class? Let us know what you think.

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 Your Comments (2)

  • 8th June by Jayprime

    At last someone is listening to the vast majority, not just to those who insist on foisting children on everyone else!! I chose not to have kids. Why should I have to put up with other people's kids?

    They'd soon start yelling if I sat behind them and played loud music!!

    One time I complained I was told "Why shouldn't he run around and laugh and scream? He's on holiday!". Presumably I was thought to be traveling just for the sake of it and would therefore be willing to put up with anything!

    Sorry, people traveling with kids are often among the most selfish on the plane!!


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  • 2nd April by caroline

    I would love to go on a plane which had a children's zone. With two small active children it would make the flight far less stressful. I'd know everyone in that area had chosen to be there and there were no people there who wanted a quiet childless flight. I've avoided family holidays on planes for the last seven years because the thought of flying with my small children is too difficult to comtemplate; a children's zone on a plane might even tempt me to fly on a plane for a family holiday.


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