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.