An airline has launched 'adults-only' cabins. Here's why it won't work.

When my daughter was just shy of four months old, I packed up all of her necessities (read: the entire nursery room) into an incredibly capacious bag and boarded an international flight.

I was shit scared. Terrified of not being able to troubleshoot whatever a newborn might throw my way 40,000ft in the air with no escape, and even more petrified of how the other passengers would react.

Mind you, it was only a three-hour flight to New Zealand, but regardless, I had my work cut out for me. She managed to fire off FOUR poo explosions in that time and screamed bloody murder for the final two hours. Nothing I did would console her. I felt trapped in and like everybody on the plane was seething at me. When the wheels hit the ground, it was the sweetest relief in the world. We were free.

During the past year since that fateful flight, it seems the fiery conversation over children on planes has erupted online, with parties for and against engaging in heated discourse. The debate seems to have really kicked into overdrive lately as it seems each week there’s a new story about someone publicly shaming parents for flying with their kids.

One TikTok user garnered attention when she posted a video from a flight she took and complained about a crying child. "Why isn’t there such a thing as adult only flights? I would pay SO much money,” she wrote.

@mooorganic The flight was 3 hours and I listened to this the entire time #travel ♬ original sound - Mo

Well, she and many others better start shelling out that cash because a new dawn of aviation is upon us. Corendon Airlines has announced they will start rolling out an adults-only section ticket available on their Airbus A350-900s flying from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to Curaçao International Airport. The first 102 seats at the front of the aircraft will be reserved for those wanting to fly without the disturbance of children.


Seems like a win, right? 

Sorry – I just can’t get on board with this being the great big ‘solution’ to people’s woes.

Firstly, adults-only flights are nothing new. In fact, low-cost airline Scoot launched their ‘ScootinSilence’ initiative in 2017, which sold tickets to passengers who were 12 years or older. Other airlines have trialled similar ticketing options and yet we still find ourselves smack bang in a war of angry words.

Secondly, you mean to tell me that you think a curtain partition is going to magically erase the noise a crying baby makes? Sure, you’ll be physically further away but I can assure you that a baby has the ability to raise decibel levels beyond what seems humanly possible. They’re LOUD. I fear that this will only spur a new level of dissatisfaction from flyers who fork out extra cash to fly in a ‘quiet’ section only to be pissed off even further when their tranquillity is disrupted.

If this adults-only flying idea is to really take off, airlines would need to launch ticketing options where the entire aircraft is reserved for passengers 12 and over. But somehow, I don’t see that happening. The aviation industry is experiencing turmoil as it tries to find its feet following COVID-19. Across the board we are seeing staffing shortages, flight cancellations and the huge jump in ticket prices, all of which are making travel seem more and more like a luxury many can’t afford right now. 

Adding in a flight service that is so restrictive would surely be untenable in a sector buckling under pressure.

Watch: People are more emotional on planes.

Video via Mamamia.

So, what’s the way forward? If I’m being totally honest, people just need to cop it.

Trust me, I get it, it’s shit. Before I had a child, I can’t tell you the countless number of flights I went on where a baby screamed the whole time. Was it a really annoying experience? Yes. Did it shake my whole being to its core and I’ve never been able to emotionally and physically recover from being inconvenienced for a few hours of my life? No!

Taking a flight is a public form of transport. If you’re not okay with the potential disruption of a child then perhaps it’s time to start thinking about other ways of moving about. People are always going to need to travel with their children and they have every right to do so.

If you want to ban kids from flights maybe you should ban the people who remove their shoes and stick their feet in other passengers' faces or clip their nails. In theory adults-only flying seems like a good idea but unfortunately I think it feels a bit too pie in the sky.

Maybe we all just need to respect each other’s space the best way we can and stop complaining about the kids screaming in seat 23F. Grow up and get over it.

Feature Image: Canva.

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