Remember the days when your holiday aircraft had zones for smokers and no-smokers? Now one airline is offering what one wit has described as a ban on another kind of pollution: the noise from screaming kids!
Air Asia is offering soft lighting and no children under 12 in the surrounding seats in a 'Quiet Zone' for adults who can't bear the, er, distraction of other passengers' children.
And judging by the reaction on radio phone-in shows this morning, the £8 to £22 offer is guaranteed to be popular.
One supporter told BBC Five Live: "Baby and toddler noise pollution is even more intrusive than cigarette smoke.
"A screaming child, wherever you are in the plane, is difficult to put up with – especially if you don't have children of your own."
But another lambasted the move, saying: "The majority of children are well-behaved, not screaming children. Besides, being surrounded by children is fun. This is really harsh on parents, who are already being excluded from a lot of modern life.
"We should accept that kids make noise, and that's OK."
However, a travel writer from Wanderlust magazine chipped in: "There are so many places now, such as pubs and restaurants, where kids rule. I have even been vomited on by a baby on a plane. The mother cleaned the child up – but not me!"
Air Asia launched its 'Quiet zone' last week on flights from Kuala Lumper to Australia, China and Japan. It is offering seats just behind the Premium cabin, with 'minimal noise, no disturbances, soft ambient lighting and only guests aged 12 and above allowed.
According to a poll, one-third of Britons would be willing to pay higher fares if it meant a child-free flight.
In a survey by TripAdvisor, 22 per cent of respondents said a child kicking the back of their seat was their pet peeve on flights. A further 22 per cent said parents not controlling their children and idly watching them run amok was their biggest frustration when flying.
TripAdvisor's Emma Shaw said: "Even on a short-haul holiday the flight makes up a significant part of the travel experience, and a stressful flight can really have a negative impact.
"Any disturbance when flying is a frustration but it seems that unruly children are among the biggest frustrations for some passengers."
But one businessman remarked: "It's not the children that are the problem – it's the attitude to discipline of their parents. They don't care if their kids run amok."
What do you think?
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