What's the Latest Development?
Last week, AirAsiaX, a division of Malaysian-based airline AirAsia, began offering passengers on some of its long-haul flights the choice of sitting in a "Quiet Zone" that excludes children under the age of 12. The zone takes up the first seven rows of the economy section, and is separated from the rest of that section by curtains and bathrooms. To drive home the point, it also has softer lighting. CEO Azran Osman-Rani says that this feature, which costs an extra RM35-110 (about US$11-35) will "[allow] our guests to have a more pleasant and peaceful journey with minimal noise and less disturbance."
What's the Big Idea?
AirAsia isn't the first to offer child-free zones on international flights: Malaysia Air instituted a similar policy last July banning children under 12 from its Airbus A380s' economy upper decks during its Kuala Lumpur-London flights. However, according to CNN, it compensated by making the economy main decks extra family-friendly and keeping the upper decks open to families with children if the main deck seating is full. Other airlines, such as Gulf Air and Emirates, also advertise services that encourage families to fly with them. Meanwhile, polls in the UK show considerable support for AirAsiaX's new policy.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com