If you’re an experienced business traveler, the last thing you want to hear after cramming yourself into a small seat on an overnight flight is a child’s screaming.
Now one more airline has officially launched a solution for those who want to stay away from kids on flights. Air Asia X, the long-haul branch of budget carrier Air Asia, is offering a child-free seating zone on some of its flights. Beginning this week, kids younger than 12 are “strictly off-limits” in the first seven rows of the economy class on the company’s flights to China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Australia and Nepal, CNN reported.
According to the carrier’s website, passengers can choose to sit in this ‘Quiet Zone’, which also features special ambience lighting, for the standard seat-selection fee of $11-$35.
Air Asia isn’t the first airline to institute an adults-only section on its flights; competitor Malaysia Airlines announced in April 2012 that it would ban all under-12s from the upper-level economy deck in its Airbus A380-800 on the Kuala Lumpur-to-London route.
But while Air Asia says that its child-free zone is for those in search of some “peace of mind,” others call the move discrimination against families who pay for their tickets.
Simon Calder, travel editor of The Independent, told the BBC that he believed people who hate flying with children nearby just need to get over it.
“I very, very much think that people need to be tolerant,” he said. “If they don’t like it, I have two words for them- ear plugs. We are living in the 21st century where people have iPods.”