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Why Do Airline Passengers Hate Kids?
By Catherine | | 5 Comments

I guess it’s official. It’s been surveyed, quantified and statistically proven – the general flying public would rather not put up with kids on planes, thank you very much.

After all, young humans can be such a nuisance. They’re messy, and noisy, and unpredictable and frankly not welcome. They tend to cry for prolonged periods of time and even have been known to kick the back of the seat in front of them.

Ideally, they should neither be seen nor heard in the sky, not to mention the other senses they can affront. As a generous compromise, perhaps they could be sequestered in a special section at the back of the bus, er, plane.

Recently a slew of surveys have been released that address the pesky issue of airborne children. TripAdvisor’s 2018 annual travel trends survey of over 3000 flyers found that 13% of respondents think infants should be prohibited from flying altogether except in emergency situations. Prohibited! Sorry, but barring me from taking my baby to visit the grandparents overseas isn’t going to fly. Furthermore, 71% of respondents believe kids should be relegated to a designated area in the cabin, with 37% willing to pay a 6-10% premium to sit in a kid-free zone.

This parallels findings in an ongoing AirfareWatchdog poll where roughly 59% of over 10,000 respondents believe that airlines should have instituted a family section for travelers with babies and small children long ago, and a further 27% support the idea but feel that for logistical purposes it will never happen. That’s a combined 86% who want kids out of their airspace, so much so that 63% would be willing to pay to ensure it. Ouch.

With all the backlash against the airline industry’s nickel and diming of passengers for basic amenities like baggage, blankets and food, it’s astounding that people are volunteering to part with additional cash to try and ensure a more peaceful, civilized, adult-oriented flying experience. How about surcharges to ensure you don’t have to sit next to airplane archetypes like the chatty, fidgety, hefty, odorous or incontinent seat mate? Where do you draw the line?

Yet another air travel survey by global intelligence firm Synovate breaks things down by gender and nationality, with women, not surprisingly, being more tolerant of kids on a plane than men (though curiously not women from the United Arab Emirates). One third of those surveyed said they get “frustrated” when sitting next to or near children – and more than half of the British and Hong Kong respondents reported being perturbed by their presence. Well, like I council my kids, frustration is part of the human experience that we all have to learn to deal with. Grow up, stop whining and get over it.

Any parent who has deigned to take to the skies with their offspring could have told you this is the prevailing sentiment out there. We see the judging looks, hear the weary sighs, catch that cringe of disappointment as “unencumbered” travelers realize our brood will be sitting in their vicinity. We know it. We feel it. We get it.

After all, there was a time before breeding when we were the one’s inconvenienced and irritated by these juvenile creatures. However, now that we are the proud parents of these adorable little cherubs ourselves, it kind of stings to have the cold, hard numbers tell us unequivocally that we’re not wanted.

October 17th, 2018
Meg (B2B) says:

In the US there are a lot of people who don’t want to put up with kids anywhere. That being said, on trans-oceanic flights, international carriers usually put the families in the back coach section on the couple of rows near bulkheads. Isn’t that the same as a kids section?

Not many people are willing to put their money where their mouth is though. 5% premium, $10 more. Airlines would charge $50-100 each way for a child free fight – at least. I would pay $50 extra to be on an annoying road warrior – free flight. You know the ones that think they are entitled to talk on the phone every second possible, put their drink on your table so they can use their laptop, put their elbows in your space so they can do their important work and then get upset because you are reading the very sensitive info on their laptop. Sigh.

Better not let anyone know I used miles for first class tickets for holiday travel. It’s against the law to put children under 16 or women over 110lbs who aren’t “hot” in first class right?

October 17th, 2018
Manzanillo Blogger says:

You know, I tend to attract the worst possible people when I travel. The horrible drunk guys, the crazy chatty wierdos, and the screaming children families.

I think it’s families like that that give other families a bad name.

I’ve seen some really awesome families on airplanes. The last time I flew there was a whole family in front of us, the three kids were sharing a portable dvd player with some disney movie and singing along some of the time, but not at an outdoor level. The parents chided the kids when they got to loud, but let them have fun. That is how it should be. Except for when the poor babies can’t equalize their ears on ascent and descent. I feel so bad for those kids, it is so painful.

It would be cool if there was a special kids section to the airplane though. I’d like to sit in it, they probably get better snacks and cookies. :)

November 18th, 2018
aim says:

We are over populated in this world! All because folks just keep having kids without a thought about anyone else! I don’t have kids because I chose not too. Yet, I live in a world that is nothing but kids. Specifically kids NOT CONTROLLED by their PARENTS! When I was a kid, I was told to respect others around you at all times. I didn’t fly on planes or go to fancy hotels til I was old enough to obey! Kids are sooooo spoiled in this world now. NO DISCIPLINE! Its disgusting!

June 10th, 2010
WhatAPainInTheAss Blogger says:

The reason most of us hate traveling with children is not so much the children, but the parents. Good parenting has become a thing of the past and uncontrolled brats kicking seatbacks while their parents “sleep” or couldn’t care less, loud squawling children and unsupervised little “tykes” running up and down the aisles are not “cute” to those of us who have to be ready for action after landing. Babies are another matter altogether – they simply shouldn’t be allowed on airplanes. Basically, I blame the airlines – why has none of them come up with “family seating” where those of you traveling with babies and/or “tykes” under about 16 are automatically seated in the very back of the plane away from the rest of us, thus ensuring better travel for all of us and better chances of survival of your satanic offspring, should the plane go down…
I have made other suggestions in my blog (albeit, tongue in cheek)but still wonder why no one at the airlines thinks about really introducing an easy solution such as the one suggested.

July 23rd, 2018
Sara says:

I just had to comment on the whole baby issue. I’ve always been the type of person who gets annoyed with loud crying in general and at first, babies annoyed me to no end on airplanes! I mean think about it, you’re in a confined space for how many hours and sometimes even noise canceling headphones won’t do the trick.

I used to get so mad at the baby who is causing such a ruckus and the parents who had the nerve to bring this loud obnoxious baby on board. Then, the darndest thing happened one day…I got an ear infection in both ears while driving through the mountains. I gotta tell you, it hurt like hell!

Now I actually feel bad for the babies who were brought against their will by uneducated parents or parents who don’t care about their babies well being, on a plane where their ears are constantly hurting. Do you think it’s the baby’s choice of flying? No, if it were up to them, they’d rather stay in a quiet house minding their business not up in a plane with hundreds of strangers glaring at them to shut up from howling in pain!

I now get really upset when parents “insist” that they need to take the baby to a wedding, or to visit the grandparents. Why not wait until your baby grows to ensure they will not have to deal with the pain? I can only hope that all parents experience the ear pain that their baby goes through just so they know what they are subjecting their babies to. Babies and air travel do not mix parents, stop being so selfish!!!


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