Social Question

reijinni's avatar

Should there be a designated section for families with children on airplanes?

Asked by reijinni (6924points) March 23rd, 2011

I stole this from a TV station in my area (WSMV for those who are curious.) I though it was an interesting question, so I’m using it.

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35 Answers

SpatzieLover's avatar


Before I had my son, I would have said yes. However,my son would not do well flying in a family area at all.

I do think if people are upset by how children/families are behaving on the plane they have a right to peace on the flight and should request that the family quiet down.

If it truly bothers someone, then I think a ticket in first class will address the issue.

ucme's avatar

Maybe situated on the wings would be good, I dunno.

YoBob's avatar

Well, as those kids (or rather their parents) paid just as much for their seat as you did, they have just as much right to be in whatever section of the cabin they choose as you do.

Yes, before having kids I might have suggested that anyone under the age of 15 be required to ride in a pet carrier in the cargo section. However, being a parent changes that perspective quite a bit.

As someone else pointed out, if those that comprise the future of the human race offend you, you are much less likely to encounter them in the business or first class sections of the aircraft.

ragingloli's avatar

There is. It is called the Cargo Hold.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Yes, please. I have seen too few parents with kids who mind the kids well. Worse is when they haul all the kid gear onto the plane and hold up the boarding/deplaning while trying to wrestle the stuff. Let them board last and exit first from the front of the plane. A new first class mode could be set up in the rear with an exit from the rear.

bunnygrl's avatar

No offence meant here honeys but why should folk be forced to (especially in these bloody hellishly money too stretched to bare times) shell out for a grotesquely eye wateringly expensive business/first class flight in order to avoid other people’s poorly parented children? If you’re going to travel with them make sure they know how to behave, if not stay home and don’t inflict them on others. I work in a large store and could tell you horror stories… seriously.

Like I said, don’t mean to offend anyone but not everyone thinks unruly noisy children are cute, and on a plane there is no way of escaping from it. Try having it going on around you with a migrane… been there done that. NOT good.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@bunnygrl I have chronic migraines and know your pain. I also have a husband & small son with Asperger’s. They would not fair well in a family section.

Also, I have been on many flights where the children behaved better than the adults.

I can recall with perfect clarity a flight from my childhood. There was a bomb threat. Many of the adults did not follow, nor did they attempt to follow the directions given by the whispering pilot. I was as cool as a cucumber luckily my dad had taught me airplane safety

I have been seated with rather obnoxious, intoxicated adults on many occasions.

bunnygrl's avatar

@SpatzieLover I agree honey!! I have a college friend who works as cabin crew for BA and she’s told me some pretty horrible things about what goes on during flights. I remember she said she always dreads a party of young lads (20’s 30’s) travelling together (holiday tours, club 18–30 that kinda thing) because she says they all think its hilarious (and that nobody ever did it before) to ask for a pillow and to put their hand up her skirt when she reaches up to get one for them. Classy huh? And there are worse stories <shudder> So, yes, definitely some adults need teaching manners and good behaviour too.
huggles xx

YoBob's avatar

Amen @SpatzieLover! I have found no shortage of adults on flights who are more offensive than most children I know.

I think @bunnygirl has a point though with regards to money stretched bare times. For that reason, given that those families are paying for multiple tickets even in these money strapped times in addition to the general expense of raising kids and go to the trouble of bringing along “kid gear” to keep them occupied (so they are less likely to get bored an annoy you), I quite agree that they should be treated differently. They should be allowed early boarding privileges!

All you genetic dead ends out there can mill around outside being all self righteous and indignant while the parents who make the world go round get their kids settled in.

Here’s an idea. The next time you see that mom carrying her luggage and the luggage of her two kids while holding one on her hip, and pushing a stroller, instead of bitching about how she is holding up the works, how about offering to give her a hand! (jackass)

bunnygrl's avatar

@YoBob wow! how offensive is that. “genetic dead ends” huh? Wow. You do not come out of that comment very well, although I’m sure you think you’re being terribly clever.

You don’t know me at all, if you did you’d know that I’d be the first one helping that Mum with her luggage, in spite of having very limited mobility myself. At no point did I say kids shouldn’t be allowed on flights, just that poorly parented ones should be taught manners before travelling. I come from a generation who had that lesson down pat before ever being allowed to visit anyone. Jackass? seriously? after a comment like the “genetic dead ends” one.. well honestly look in the mirror. I’m off to bed now, but you might like to consider that some of us “genetic dead ends” didn’t have a choice of whether to have kids. What a class act you are as a role model with spite like that. sheesh.

SeaTurtle's avatar

Why because some people don’t like them?
In that case maybe we should have a separate area for ethnic minorities too?

YARNLADY's avatar

Yes, every time this question comes up, I always put in my YES vote.

crisw's avatar


“All you genetic dead ends out there can mill around outside being all self righteous and indignant”

How incredibly insulting to anyone who cannot have children.

On your next flight- and make it a LONG one- may you have a wailing, puking, poop-smelling three-month old on each side of you, screaming continuously for nine hours. You deserve it after that remark.

crisw's avatar


“Why because some people don’t like them?
In that case maybe we should have a separate area for ethnic minorities too?”

I don’t think it’s a case of “not liking them,” it’s that some children cause acute discomfort to those around them, partially because of parental incompetence and partially because they are not old enough to know better. My husband, who travels a lot on business, has told horror stories of trying to overcome jet lag and be ready for a business meeting the next day by napping on a nine-hour flight only to be kept awake for almost the entire flight by a screaming child. I don’t know what a good solution to this problem is- but it really is a problem, not just a matter of like or dislike.

mrrich724's avatar

Having kids is a decision, and I think parents should do whatever it takes to ensure that no one has to bear that burden but the parents, and whoever chooses to.

I wouldn’t mind spending a cross-country trip next to a well behaved small one. But I went CRAZY last time I had to listen to a kid shriek for hours on end.

To the parents saying “I don’t think my kid would fare well in the family section,” well what about the people who don’t fare well in the screaming poorly behaved kid section? Whether the family section sounds appealing or not, I’d think it was fair for all those who decided to have kids, and for the others who decided not to.

My sister has two children who act up sometimes. She NEVER goes to the movies anymore b/c she has enough courtesy not to be “that person.” She LOVED going to the movies, but (as many mention here) remembers what it was like before the kids.

At the end of the day though, having kids doesn’t mean you don’t have to fly anymore, so what are you gonna do!?

SpatzieLover's avatar

I think knowing @YoBob for a few years here & in Askville he aimed that comment at the punk comments above, not at any adults that can’t conceive or choose not too.

I agree @YoBob. I have struggled with my luggage and had no help. My sister-in-law has complained about the same issue. She has 8 kids…they have traveled abroad.

@bunnygrl The flight to my elopement was filled with a bunch of twenty something young men. My husband & I were relatively annoyed by their arrogance, their language, their cologne and BO, and their inability to shut up. On the annoyance scale, they far surpassed any screaming or bratty children/parents I have ever been tormented to sit with.

If there was a separate area created for families, then there should be one for cranky old people, one for business people that want to take up all of the room with their files, another for people that need to be drunk/drugged in order to fly, people that are large not fat, but not quite large enough to need to purchase two seats that need their body to touch yours inorder to fit (ugh! I could smell that guy’s BO until I took a shower when I got to my hotel room) ....quite honestly my list could go on & on if I considered every annoying person I’ve ever sat near.

@mrrich To the parents saying “I don’t think my kid would fare well in the family section,” well what about the people who don’t fare well in the screaming poorly behaved kid section? Whether the family section sounds appealing or not, I’d think it was fair for all those who decided to have kids, and for the others who decided not to.

First, in my religion procreation is not a choice. Second, not all children are screaming brats. I suggest some of the adults commenting here should think back to their childhood and how he/she behaved.

As a parent and an aunt, I come prepared for kids…whether or not mine is with me. It is simple and cheap to carry lollipops, coloring books, stickers, etc in one’s carry-on bag. I readily give out rewards to well behaved children near me.

tranquilsea's avatar

I make sure I bring earplugs on long flights. If some poor child is beside himself/herself I just pop them in and read or sleep. I’ve spent a good portion of time playing peek-a-boo with young kids/babies too.

That being said, the parents who tune out their children as they kick seats, toss things about and shout continuously just to be annoying and/or relieve boredom should be handled (and usually are) by the flight attendants.

deni's avatar

I do think so….I was once on a flight where the kid behind me screamed literally for 2 hours while kicking my seat, then he puked and it smelled for the remaining 2 hours. It was disgusting. My other experiences with children and planes have only been negative as well. They scream and scream and scream and scream (and why shouldn’t they)...but plane rides are already horrible enough. Stale air, cramped, sore neck usually, weird suctioning toilet causing me to want to hold it, but usually if I wanted to get out I’d have to wake the 2 strangers next to me anyhow so….no thanks in the first place. Anyhow, I don’t see what would be so bad about it. A little divider, and the families with children sit in one section and people without kids in another. I’m not sure how you could have a problem with that.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@deni We all spend the same amount. As a flier with a child, I usually pay more convenience charges My money is the same as those without children.

I don’t want to have kids bundled together. As a kid, I never made noise on a flight…and I flew regularly. I wanted to sit by my mom and enjoy my books/art-etc. They used to separate kids in the 80’s from their parents…you could go all the way to the back of the plane and get snacks…so not for me as a kid.

optimisticpessimist's avatar

My answer is no. I have traveled with my children many times. People who did not see us board were surprised to see children disembarking near them. Just because I travel with children does not mean I want to endure hours of a crying baby or bratty child. I taught mine how to behave, packed things to keep them amused and usually tried to book night flights so they would sleep most of the way. I also hate it when they seat all the people with children near each other in restaurants. Maybe parents should not fly if their child cannot behave, but I guess that would be asking too much.

mrrich724's avatar

@optimisticpessimist well said. It gives me an idea, (impractical as it is). Maybe the parents should get a chance and once the kid starts getting on someone’s nerves, they get banished to a section far far away, like say, a safe spot in the undercarriage >:)

So it makes the answer an if/then response. If the kid is a chuckie doll, then he should sit in the “special” section.

I don’t think anyone really minds sitting next to a pleasant child. If they do, then they’re just a scrooge.

optimisticpessimist's avatar

@mrrich724 I do like your idea; however, it would never ‘fly’ with the airlines because then they could not realistically over book a flight as they would have a section which was not being utilized unless needed.

deni's avatar

@SpatzieLover I’m not sure what money has to do with it, because nothing would be different except there would be kids in one section, and not the others. The kids wouldn’t be seperated from their parents, that would make no sense, and make things worse.

I mean what it really comes down to is what @optimisticpessimist said, if kids can’t behave on a flight and are constantly causing a ruccus, parents should stop flying with them. But that would be too much to ask.

Really I don’t think it’ll ever happen. I don’t fly enough to truly care, either.

YoBob's avatar

@bunnygrl – Ever notice that when somebody starts a statement with “No offense intended” their subsequent statement is usually offensive.

Well… in case you couldn’t tell by my response, I was offended. Not so much by you, @bunnygrl, but in general those who seem to believe anyone under the age of 15 to be something less than a human being that should be shunned and isolated from public view for the egregious crime of existing.

Sure there are such things as bratty hellions out there and products of poor parenting. OTOH, as any parent can tell you, it doesn’t matter how great a parent you are or how well behaved your kids usually are, they have free will and are not equipped with an off button.

(It is also important to keep in mind that the kid you find so annoying might just be the one who grows up to do something extraordinary)

JLeslie's avatar

I haven’t read all of the above, but my vote is no. I fly quite often, and it is very rare that there is a problem with children on a flight. I only once had a situation where a baby cried for a prolonged time, and the poor thing must have been miserable. The mother could not get up, it was just one of those things. It wasn’t the whole flight, it was during descent and then we had to circle in some not so great conditions. I only once had a child behind me kick my seat, and after I asked her stop, which by the way I blame the parent not the child, she did stop and there was not another problem. So that is two times in all of my flying, and even those are not that big a deal. I have flown back from Tokyo with a plane having several Chinese babies being brought home, to Europe, Latin America, across country, domestically 6 to 10 flights a year, and basically nothing very negative regarding children.

jerv's avatar

I favor separate planes.

Seriously, while it is rare that I have had issues with children when I’ve flown, it has happened, But the real reason is that I want the same sort of thing in many other places. When I can’t listen to a movie in a theater or sit there without my seat being kicked or enjoy a quite dinner out with my wife, and parents either can’t control their kids or don’t even try, then I would like them in their own section where they don’t bother anybody, just as we do with smokers. (Well, not quite, but banning small children isn’t easy whereas banning smoking is popular, but you get the point.) But if we do that elsewhere then why should planes be any different? I feel they shouldn’t, so family sections on planes too.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with well-behaved children, and most kids actually do behave acceptably, but there should be a place where the others are sent. And for those parents that feel their kids are well-behaved when they actually aren’t, let families sit wherever, but if the ‘rents can’t/don’t control their kids then not only are they relocated, they are fined! That will either inspire them to control their kid(s) and/or help them realize that their little darling is a brat.

JLeslie's avatar

@jerv Do you say something to the parents when children are disruptive?

jerv's avatar

@JLeslie Often, but not always. Sometimes I don’t feel it worth risking unleashing more F-bombs in one sentence than most people do all week.

cak's avatar

I’ll go for that idea, just as soon as they have a separate plane for jack A$$es. Both of my children have been on planes, both have flown without issue – except one time. My daughter’s ear was bothering her (we didn’t know until we went to the doctor) but a very kind flight attendant (missing his own child) offered to walk her up and down the aisle. It was a fairly empty flight and he was a miracle worker.

Now, will someone solve the problem of the drunk guy that sat next to me in first class that had his arm around me? He was so toasted that he drooled on me when he explained that he need to drain the lizard.

Children are NOT the only problem on flights.

jerv's avatar

@cak If we all had flying cars like all the old cartoons said we would in the 21st-century, then the problem would be solved. It would cause other problems, but at least it would solve that one.

cak's avatar

@jerv I know. I was really looking forward to my flying car, too!

laineybug's avatar

I vote no. It’s usually not the child’s fault, it’s the parent’s. I think even though it’s quite improbable that parents should have a lesson on controlling their children before they board the plane. Most children are taught how to behave in public before they’re taken on a plane, and most parents bring things to entertain their children on a plane, but some don’t and they should just plan ahead better or not fly.

jerv's avatar

@laineybug Regardless, the blame falls somewhere in the group. If the parents can’t or won’t control their kid, the while group gets moved. That might teach the kids something, but it may also get the parents to step it up and learn how to be a parent.

AshlynM's avatar

I’m mixed about this. Some churches have crying rooms for this purpose. So while it WOULD be nice as well to have this room on a plane…I’m not exactly sure how this would be feasible.

Where exactly would they build the crying room on the plane?

I had a terrible experience on a 2 day Greyhound bus trip with a screaming youngster…pretty much nonstop. Next bus transfer I made sure to snag a seat way up front. Luckily, the mom and kid weren’t able to sit anywhere near me. I was so grateful to get off that damn bus. Of course, there was no place on the bus for them to go to be quiet.

Screaming kids are going to be everywhere and most likely, there won’t much you can do to stop them, short of lecturing their parents and perhaps causing a scene.

Just goes to show…you should ALWAYS bring plenty of snacks and toys for your child while flying to keep them occupied.

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