Aug. 3, 2012 -- What is it, exactly, that the traveling public seems to have against kids? After all, we were all kids at some point. But in the latest online, unscientific survey on whether people would pay extra for adult-only flights, one-third responded they would.
The latest stat comes from TripAdvisor UK, and was a survey of 2,000 Brits. But the results closely reflect a survey taken recently on ABCNews.com (also online and unscientific). One-third said they would be willing to shell out money for a flight guaranteed to be free of children.
Kids are such a problem in flight, it seems, that an entire company has been created to help keep them quiet. NannyintheClouds.com was created to help flying parents keep their kids in check while in-flight.
But the question no one seems to be asking: Exactly how much would a person be willing to pay? How much is the guarantee worth? Now this is something airline executives would want to know. Because I can assure you, that if they believed there was actually a market for this service, they would find a way to monetize it.
Only one airline, Malaysia Airlines, has a child-free seating zone, and it's just on one route, from Kuala Lumpur to London. And they don't charge for it, which I believe they would if anyone would actually pay for it.
Now, I appreciate a quiet flying environment as much as the next traveler, but I can't say I'd be willing to pay for it. I travel more than most people and can count on one hand the number of times my flight has been disrupted by a child.
Adults, on the other hand, disrupt flights regularly. They take over the arm rest, put their feet in the space in the seat in front of me, take off their shoes, bring smelly food onboard the plane and much worse. While children rarely disrupt my flight, adults do so nearly every time.
Maybe the traveling public should be asked if they would pay for a flight guaranteed to be filled with people that have good manners.
I have a hard time believing air travelers would pay for a kid-free flight. I think it's easy to say you would in a survey, but when it actually comes down to it, I bet the number of people who actually did pay for the service, if it were even offered, would come in at far less than 30 percent.
Readers: Tell me if I'm wrong. Would you really pay for a kid-free flight? If so, how much?