Recently postedpassionate opinions about the idea of creating child-free establishments, such as coffee shops, restaurants, cruise ships, and select airport lounges, that are "child free."
Readers were reacting to Disney's decision to ban children under age 10 from one of its Florida restaurants, and to AirTran's decision to kick a misbehaving little girl off of one of its planes. (See the earlier post for details.).
Here's a sampling of our reader's creative and impassioned thoughts about "sectioning-off children" on airplanes and in restaurants.
[Note: Comments have been edited for space]:
From a parent who's been criticized:
I've been given horrible looks, overheard people talking about my 10 month old baby, been asked to "Please move to the back of the plane" or "Please keep your baby quiet"...like I want my baby to cry! Who's being more childish in this situation? The baby who's ears are hurting or the adult in the next row who forgot their earplugs? Maybe you should move to the back of the plane, not the mother and child. NEWSBREAK: Babies Cry! Hello!!—Sari
From a parent who is disappointed with other parents.
I don't think they should ban kids, they should just ENFORCE RULES and make THE PARENTS RESPONSIBLE! I have four kids, all under age 12 and I have been thanked so many times by people on planes and in restaurants because my children were seated while other kids were screaming, running down the aisle or in one case rubbing soap from the airplane lavatory on peoples armrests. Fine the parents or ask them to leave.—Patricia
From a traveler who wants airplanes to have designated areas for families.
I definitely wish airlines would (at a minimum) limit children under 12 or so to their own section of the plane so child-free travelers aren't subjected to children running up and down aisles, kicking seats, crying, or screaming. Even better would be if airlines offered "children-free" flights during peak travel times for business travelers.—Evelyn
From another traveler who agrees:
Let's put all of the folks with children under 5 years of age in the back of the plane where they can enjoy each others company and not bother so many other folks. You shouldn't punish good parents. Don't say that is discrimination because we did it with the smokers in restaurants! —Charles
From a parent who dislikes the idea of "family sections on planes":
It's not fair to separate parents with children from the rest of the group is people like me who have very well behaved children, it's not fair to those children that they should have to put up with misbehaving children either. Maybe changing seats once the flight takes off is a better idea. The flight attendants SHOULD speak up for the rest of the people on the plane who deserve a comfortable and peaceful ride. —Lori
From another parent who also dislikes the idea of family sections on planes:
To me, flight attendants and the airlines need to deal with the behaviors individually instead of banning a group or seating them somewhere else. What if we need to fly, and the "children's area" is booked for that flight? We only have one flight a day to our destination to visit my husband's family, this could set us back several days, or we could just have to cancel altogether. I make sure I am well prepared for flights with lots of snacks, books, toys, and a touch of Benadryl for my two small children. You shouldn't punish good parents.—Maureen
From a traveler who thinks parents should not travel with sick children:
I totally agree that traveling with a sick child is difficult but that is why travel insurance was invented!. If your child happens to be sick, it is prudent to consider canceling the trip - this simple action will benefit your child by preventing exposure to additional germs and allow other passengers to travel in peace.—Yanna
From a frequent global traveler who's disappointed with other adults:
Think about all of the times you've been bothered by adults in restaurants and on planes. More times than by kids, I'll bet. The loud couple behind you that talk incessantly, the smelly guy next to you, the people walking down the aisle that hit your arm, the man that moves the back of your seat whenever he gets his fat butt up, the smoker constantly hacking pieces of his lung up, the guy on his 3rd beer that won't stop burping, the crotch in your face as they put luggage overhead. Why aren't we banning adults? —Bob