Though some might disagree, there are plenty of people who will empathise with this woman’s weariness; imagine the scenario – you’ve just settled in for a long-haul flight, your knees jammed into the seat in front of you, a man who doesn’t understand the concept of personal space breathing heavily in your ear, hogging the arm rest for the entire journey. Just before the arrival of your microwaved, stodgy pasta dish that’s sure to shut down all aspects of digestion, you hear the sweet giggle of an excited toddler behind you. Her baby brother wails beside her because, God love him, his ears have never popped like this before, and he’s scared. Their mother, jaded from the journey thus far, has already fallen asleep, giving the little girl free reign to blare her iPad games into the back of your head whilst kicking your chair repeatedly, she does not yet know her own strength. A sharp headache lodges itself nicely into your prefrontal cortex as you say to yourself, ‘Ah, only 11 hours to go, I’m fine, it will be fine.’ Inevitably, several whiskeys (for medicinal purposes of course) ensue, ’til you’ve drowned out the cacophony of sounds (and smells) that surround you.
Yep, we’ve all been there. But would we go so far as to want to see kids under a certain age removed from planes? It sounds a bit extreme but let’s just hear this woman out. One writer and mother of a 12-year-old girl – Kelly Rose Bradford – has decided she just can’t take it anymore, and speaking on UK talk show This Morning, she’s launched a campaign that hopes to see the arrival of child-free flights to fellow weary travellers. Now she doesn’t mind kids of her own offspring’s age; it’s just babies with whom she’s got an issue.
“Is it really necessary to take a tiny baby on a long flight? I think there’s an element of selfishness from parents who insist on not changing their lifestyle once they have their children,” she said. “There are some things that just aren’t practical. We’ve got business class; we’ve got first class, why can’t we have a family section?”
You might expect that such a suggestion would cause uproar among mothers of young children but in actual fact, there’s a lot of support rumbling on Twitter for this, and they’re mothers too.
As a mom I would love #childfreeflights less stress on me worrying about my child upsetting other passengers. Why be in such an uproar?
— Rissa Watkins (@RissaWatkins) August 12, 2015
Richard Branson is also reportedly on board (yes, that’s a fitting pun), having pitched a ‘child class’ to Virgin just last year, in which nannies would sit with kids while adults could enjoy a well-earned break in their own area.
Would you advocate a kids class section or go for #KidFreeFlights in their entirety?