Would you pay more for child-free flights?

Posted by Sue Anderson, 13th May 2013

If you've ever been on a holiday that involved taking a flight, the chances are you've heard the odd screaming baby during your journey or seen a youngster running up and down the aisles with more energy that a Duracell battery.

We wanted to find out what people thought of the concept of child-free flights and whether it's something they'd like to see and even if they'd actually pay more money for it. We spoke to 2,152 adults from around the UK and everyone that took part in the poll was asked questions about the flight experience in general.

More than half of Britons would pay more for child-free flights

When we asked the question 'Would you pay more for a flight if you knew it was guaranteed to be child-free?', 52% of the people we spoke to said 'yes'. Now, that's all down to personal preference, but when we saw that a quarter of these people (23%) had children under the age of 10 themselves, we couldn't help but be shocked. They'd be shooting themselves in the foot if they supported child free flights, only to later struggle to get a ticket for their youngsters!

Two thirds said they'd had a bad flight experience due to children in the past

We wanted to get to the bottom of why so many people would not only support child-free flights, but would actually pay more for the privilege. 66% said they'd been on a flight before on which a child or children had caused it to be a negative travelling experience, perhaps explaining some way towards why so many would like the idea of a child-free flight.

In order to find out the specifics of these negative flight experiences involving kids, we asked respondents what it was they'd had to contend with that had made the journey so terrible. According to our poll, these were the results:

Screaming baby - 51%

Children running around - 44%

Children whinging - 23%

Children being too loud - 17%

Children kicking seat - 15%

Any respondents taking part in the poll who were parents of children aged 10 or under were asked if they felt they did their best to prevent their child(ren) from being disruptive on flights. Half, 48%, admitted that they 'probably didn't'. When we asked why, 55% said it was because they were 'on holiday' so they were more likely to let their children do what they wanted to.

We agree that it's good to let kids be kids most of the time, but there are certain situations in which you should try to stop your youngsters being too disruptive. Flights involve being in a confined space for some time, in close proximity to people you don't know. You need to make sure you're doing your best to not make other passengers' journeys horrible, especially if you'd expect the same from everyone else.

Some airlines already have child-free zones, but we're wondering how long it'll be before 100% child-free flights are introduced. Watch this space!
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