We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: there’s nothing worse than being seated next to a fussy baby on an airplane. Our persistent hatred of airborne children might seem a little harsh, but we are hardly alone: enough people despise kids on planes that one company plans to start offering baby-free airplane seats in the cabin’s “quiet zone.”

Starting in February, AirAsia (a discount airline with hubs around Southeast Asia) will hold the first seven rows in economy class for travelers above the age of 12, effectively segregating those most likely to be noisy behind a bulkhead. The best part? There’s no extra fee for snatching a “quiet zone” seat!

This plan is not without its faults, however, and according to NBC, some people don’t put too much faith in the program:

‘Logistically, it’s a nightmare for an airline to allocate certain seats for certain people,’ [founder of Airfarewatchdog.com George] Hobica said. ‘The last time they had to do this was back when there were smoking and non-smoking sections. Even if you were just one row away from the smoking section, you still got the smoke and you’ll still hear the screams … if a child has strong lungs.’

Furthermore, there’s still a chance that a kid could wind up in the grown-ups section for “operational, safety, or security reasons.” So long story short, baby-free airplane zones won’t be making it to the U.S. anytime soon, and even if they did you’d still probably be able to hear a screaming child from the back of the plane. Rats.

Despite those setbacks, I’m still a fan of the idea because at least it cuts the risk of me being seated directly next to a rambunctious kid. I’ll take the distant wails of an infant over a toddler staring at me, asking incessant questions, or vomiting in my lap, thank you very much.

What do you think about AirAsia’s baby-free airplane zone? Let us know in the comments!

Steven tried out for The Amazing Race one time and was denied. We're not saying this is why he started this site, but it may have been a contributing factor in his decision to explore the world online and share his travel inspiration with others.


  1. I was just having a conversation today about the merits of investing in a pair of good noise cancellation headphones for flights where there are screaming babies. BUT, I have to say, I am loving Air Asia’s decision. I hope it takes off (har, har) with US airlines too.

  2. Recently, I’ve had more loud adult passengers than children,
    Having flown Air (squeezed) Asia 7 rows is equal to about 4 on our domestic airlines. When I flew Air Asia with my children (teens) this summer we had to pay a premium to be in the first 7 rows as they offered 3/4 of an inch more leg room (or something like that).
    If you agree with this unrealistic approach then we should add sections for those over 250 lbs, left handed passengers, snoring people, and those with a propensity to chat with strangers.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here