Leading low cost airline Ryanair has announced it is to introduce child-free flights on high frequency routes from October 2011.
The airline has so far revealed no further details on the plan apart to confirm that the decision was made following a Europe wide survey of 1,000 passengers.
Results of the survey showed that half of the passengers questioned would pay more for their ticket to guarantee a child free flight while 18% urged Ryanair to restrict the number of children on flights.
Over a third of passengers claimed to have had flights ‘ruined’ by other people’s children and nearly all lay the blame at the parents’ feet. The main grudges against the parents themselves included complaints about them letting children run up and down the aisle, boarding late with children and expecting everyone else to accommodate them, and the frustrating habit of not stopping their children from kicking the seat infront of them. The most annoying thing that people found about parents on flights though was the fact that they expect preferential treatment just because they have children with them.
Stephen McNamara, speaking on behalf of Ryanair said the idea of dividing cabins into ‘adult’ and ‘family’ areas had also been suggested however due to Ryanair’s free seating policy, this would not be operationally possible.
Mr McNamara stated “When it comes to children we all love our own but would clearly prefer to avoid other people’s little monsters when travelling.” He continued “However, with clear demand for ‘child-free’ flights Ryanair will introduce child free flights on high frequency routes from the start of our winter schedule in October.”
Ryanair’s controversial chief executive Michael O’Leary has hit the headlines before with his harebrained schemes to make money. These include charging people to use the toilet on his flights and introducing standing room only on some aircraft. Many people are convinced that his ideas are purely publicity stunts and many doubt that the child free flights will ever take off, so to speak.