Singapore’s Scoot Latest Airline to Offer Child-Free Flying Zone

The budget carrier is offering a $14 upgrade that will keep you far away from any screaming babies or seat-kicking toddlers

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Wish your air travel came with a little less crying and kicking? Scoot Airlines is looking to make certain adults’ dream come true.

The Singaporean budget carrier is now offering a child-free zone, dubbed the “ScootinSilence” area, in which kids under 12 will not be allowed to sit. While the silence zone only lasts for five rows,  numbers 21 to 25, it should provide some assurance to travelers who bristle at the prospect of being seated directly behind, in front of, or, worst of all, next to a noisy child.

(MORE: Airline Replaces Built-in Entertainment Systems with iPads)

Not surprisingly, mile-high peace and quiet isn’t free of charge. Scoot is providing the ScootinSilence area as a $14 upgrade, so you’ll have to have to ask yourself whether a one time no-baby guarantee is worth the price of a pre-flight meal, or simply a reusable pair of earplugs.

Scoot is just the latest airline to cater to travelers tired of young children disturbing their naps. The Daily News reports that Malaysia Airline created an adults-only economy deck in 2012, and this past February AirAsia X introduced a “Quiet Zone” on its jets reserved for “guests 12 and above.” A 2010 New York Times article reported that an increasing number of flyers were pushing for both child-free options or flights with family-only sections “in the wake of some high-profile tantrums.”

(MORE: Turkish Airlines Crew Can’t Wear Red Lipstick, Nail Polish)

Those incidents included a 2009 lawsuit against Quantas by a woman who claimed she suffered hearing loss after sitting next to a screaming 3-year-old boy (Quantas settled); one year later,  an entire family was removed from an AirTran flight prior to takeoff after the group’s young daughter began hitting her mother and refused to take her seat.

The same Times article cites a study by fair-comparison site Skyscanner which found that “59 percent of passengers support creating special sections on flights for families.” And while many of those who voted for segregating the children away from other passengers likely do not have children themselves, many parents also support putting families in their own part of the aircraft.

One of these parents is TIME Magazine’s Joel Stein, who once used his column to argue that keeping children separated from the rest of the passengers is good for both families and the general public:

I want airlines to reserve a few rows in the back of coach for people with small children. Because the only thing more stressful than hearing a screaming baby on a plane is being the parent of a screaming baby on a plane. Shove us all in the back, where we can suffer together.

Stein even offered some suggestions on how to make the families-only section especially attractive to parents:

Put some old toys in the overheads, sprinkle juice boxes around and cover the seats with plastic. Instead of a selection of bad romantic comedies, the baby section will always show Toy Story. Instead of a drink cart full of alcohol, it will be loaded with even more alcohol and Children’s Benadryl. Instead of Us Weekly magazines, there will be children’s books, which have the same word-to-picture ratio as Us Weekly. The blankets, of course, will be the exact same size as the ones in the rest of the plane.

(MORE: Virgin Atlantic Employs ‘Whisper Coach’ to Teach Quiet in the Skies)

Unfortunately for travelers convinced by Stein’s logic, child-free sections on US airlines are probably not happening for the foreseeable future.  Janice Hough of Consumer Traveler lists four reasons why American carriers are leery to take the plunge, but perhaps their best reason is that it might not improve your flight as much as you think.

“Let’s be honest,” says Hough, “If it’s a question of quiet, often a well-behaved child is a major improvement over many adults.”

MORE: Attention Virgin America Passengers, That Creepy Guy in Seat 23A Would Like to Buy You a Drink

94 comments
SoteriaKafieri
SoteriaKafieri

It's Qantas, not Quantas (its short for Queensland And Northern Territory Air Service).

headbloom
headbloom

Will they give you a discount if you volunteer to sit next to families with small kids?

Cobalt1
Cobalt1

Fabulous idea!  While they're at it, people WHO ARE LOUD should be restricted also.

ladygodzilla
ladygodzilla

@riverblog prima di diventare madre la pensavo anche io così. Ora che sono madre continuo a pensarla come te.

pierretrehorel
pierretrehorel

@Onesque oui, et c'est un truc géniale ! idem, tu peux louer des tablettes ac film dans l'avion. c'est top car tu choisis vraiment tt !

gonzague
gonzague

@Onesque l'article commence en parlant de budget Airline. Ils doivent pas voyager beaucoup

danstpeter
danstpeter

A couple of thoughts from an ex kid farmer.  Some more polite people may say society, but I would say that corporations actually try to get your kid to misbehave, feel entitled and do the whine for stuff.  It simply makes them money.  Read the last line again.  Unfortunately, it snowballs.  The whiners of yesteryear(woy) now have there own noise makers. They truly believe that you need to accommodate them, and they can do what they want. those same "woy" will judge you for correcting a child, make laws that get them elected by the self entitled parents.


There is not a thing wrong with children, I would even say the (partially) grown up ones are just fine, too.  We can certainly make better choices, especially if we can escape the noise of advertising.  I think people really are that smart, they're just controlled by smarter people who have large staffs that study human behavior for the purpose of manipulating one into buying their product.  Even they are not "evil", wouldn't you do the same in their position, try to make the most money?

Go away from the noise that fills your mind and sit and think about this, if you don't fall asleep, you may see simple solutions.  I apologize to the people that feel attacked by this, it was not my intention, it was only a lack in my communication skills that would make you think I was attacking you.  We always capitalize "I", but we have no special capitalization rules for "you". 

EMSB
EMSB

I think what a lot of parents don't realize when they travel is that the plane ride is not about them, it is about the kid.  If you want a kid to sit  still and be quiet you had better be prepared to entertain them and remember that they have the attention span of a gnat. You do not get to enjoy the free alcohol and in flight entertainment on your international flight, no, you need to be the cruise director for your kid to ensure that everyone else around you gets to enjoy their 14 hour flight to China or wherever.  Coloring books, books, crayons, markers, paper, stickers, favorite foods and when that stuff gets old give them your ipad/iphone or whatever you have.  Bring a small DVD player and some movies.  Every stupid Disney princess buys you 90 minutes of silence.  If they want to sit in your lap, let them!  Finally, when you aren't entertaining them, keep an eye on the knees and feet, if they are uncontrollably drawn to the back of the seat in front of them it is time for a position change...or possibly a teaspoon of benadryl!  These were all lessons learned the hard way on a hellacious flight from the US to Ecuador.  Fortunately we were able to use what we learned on that tripto return home uneventfully and then to survive flights from NC to China with a high energy 4 year old and back home again with her and her new 8 year old sister.  Also, if you are adopting internationally, for the love of god, learn how to say "put your feet down" in your kid's native language!

ibrad
ibrad

When will they start an iphone/ipad free zone for the iassholes !

TomWatson
TomWatson

I think there should be child free flights.  Put all the kiddies on one flight and let the scream all they want to.

ObsessedAmerica
ObsessedAmerica

Kids are so outrageously rude, self-centered and entitled that businesses have to undertake this kid of measures to ensure respect for other customers. Parents can only blame themselves. If they taught their kids respect, there would be no problem. 

http://kidobsessedamerica.com/

necrochrist.redesecrator
necrochrist.redesecrator

The only problem is that the wrong people are being penalized.  The people who enable the disturbance are the ones who should have to pay extra.

ISPEAK
ISPEAK

WELL I THINK IF YOU RESERVE A COUPLE OF ROWS FOR THOSE WHO WANT QUIET AND A KID FREE ZONE IT WILL PROBABLY INCREASE TRAVELERS I HAVE A CHILD MYSELF AND WHEN I AM TRAVELING WITH OUT HIM YES I WOULD BE ONE OF THE PEOPLE REQUESTING TO SIT IN THE KID FREE ZONE I SHOULD NOT HAVE TO BE INCONVENIENCED . THIS IS NOT TO SAY EVERY CHILD IS SCREAMING AND KICKING MY SON FELL ASLEEP ON MOST PLANE RIDES AND I HAD NO ISSUES. BUT NOT EVERY CHILD IS LIKE MINES SO THEREFORE YES IMPLEMENT IT AND IF I TRAVEL WITH MY CHILD I WILL HAVE TO SUFFER BECAUSE OF THIS ITS NOT FAIR BUT I UNDERSTAND THE OTHER SIDE. 

rb2k
rb2k

@Nick_vh and I say that as a person who was kept awake on an 8 hour red-eye by a crying baby. For the whole 8 hours.

rb2k
rb2k

@Nick_vh why don’t you tolerate people's preferences? ;)

DamienMcKenna
DamienMcKenna

@Nick_vh Surprisingly enough there are people out there who hate babies and small children. These people grew from plants.

dlbdlb
dlbdlb

Every time I see one of these articles I can feel my teeth grating. My kids are going to pay all these "childless by choice"ers' social security checks, but the sanctimonious prigs get to act like kids are a plague. Hey, remember, YOU WERE A KID ONCE! Include children everywhere, teach them by example, embrace their quirks, and put up with it. Even though they aren't "your" kids. They are ALL our kids. Even on a plane. Bring earplugs if you can't stand it.

Onesque
Onesque

@pierretrehorel un IFE correct me suffit largement, mais alors le sans enfant (bien que certains se comportent bien), je signerais !

Nick_vh
Nick_vh

@rb2k I just don't agree with the way they approach this, and I think it can be done without the influence of money

Nick_vh
Nick_vh

@rb2k Similar to this whole debacle of playgrounds, they are seemingly too noisy so the kids should play more quietly.

Nick_vh
Nick_vh

@rb2k Sure, but preferences are different than setting expectations you won't hear any crying. Eg. kids are forbidden in first class?

necrochrist.redesecrator
necrochrist.redesecrator

@DamienMcKenna Riddle me this...if I was once an alcoholic, does that disqualify me from wanting to avoid being around alcoholics?  No.  In fact, it would give me added perspective on the matter. 

jefnvk
jefnvk

Actually, we grew from parents who didn't take us out into public until we were controllable.  Our family never once flew when we were children, all vacations were planned around driving.

necrochrist.redesecrator
necrochrist.redesecrator

@dlbdlb On a planet littered with 7+ billion humans, kids are a plague.  That I was a kid once is no fault of my own, as I had no hand in causing that.  People who use the "YOU WERE A KID ONCE" argument are irrational.  Your kids are not my kids.  You had them.  You deal with them.

ricport
ricport

@dlbdlb Every time I see yet another sanctimonious parent braying on about how everyone in the world should act like their kids are the only things on the Earth that matters, I can feel my teeth grating. And my tax dollars are helping to pay for your precious little darlings' education, BTW. Kids most definitely do NOT belong in bars, casinos, R-rated movies, white-tablecloth establishments . . . Your kids are YOUR kids and no one else's - PERIOD! And, one last point - it's called a babysitter - GET ONE!

Hmortensen35
Hmortensen35

@dlbdlb Every time I see one of these parents who think that everyone should have to embrace and tolerate their child in movie theaters, restaurants, and on planes, I can't help but grind my teeth.  It seems more like you're the one behaving sanctimoniously, acting like people who don't enjoy being around children, especially in a pressurized cabin, should just deal because people with children are somehow more right and know more about life and thereby have more rights.  Why don't you just "put up with" childless policies?  It's a two way street.  And just because you don't agree with someone's opinion doesn't warrant you believing that they're less than human, because it must be how you feel if you believe they shouldn't receive money or care when they're too old to work for themselves.  I know I was a child once, and I know I did annoying things too.  Maybe if you spent an 8 hour transatlantic flight getting kicked relentlessly by the child behind you in the booster seat that prevents your chair from reclining and your only respite is when the child repeatedly vomits and has to be carried to the bathroom, you'd understand people wanting their space on a plane.

KC_Clone
KC_Clone

@dlbdlb I'm a mother of six & a grandmother of 16, and I STILL resented being kicked in the rump from London to Atlanta.  It make take a village to raise a child, but it STARTS with the parents.

rb2k
rb2k

@Nick_vh I like to believe that personal freedom stops where other people’s freedom starts. Kids are certainly the extreme, but still.

jefnvk
jefnvk

And if we ever dared act up in public, we knew a swat on the behind would follow, no matter where we were.  That alone usually prevented any problems....

TomWatson
TomWatson

@KC_Clone @dlbdlb Me too.  I simply can't abide parents who allow their children to disturb other people.  I think that's why we are growing a nation of narcissists. 

pierretrehorel
pierretrehorel

@Onesque c'est la low cost de Singapore air, ils ont été obliges de lancer ca vs tiger air, airasia ou jetcost que tt le monde utilise ici

Onesque
Onesque

@pierretrehorel ha ouais ? donc peinard mais tout en option. remarque, ça m'irait bien quand même.

pierretrehorel
pierretrehorel

@Onesque aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah ok. sauf que sur scoot tu n'en as pas, c'est tablette obligatoire

Onesque
Onesque

@pierretrehorel in flight entertainment, l'écran intégré au siège de devant et le système qui le sous-tend !

TomWatson
TomWatson

@jefnvk Right.  My parents would have duck taped my mouth shut. They would of course be arrested today.