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Families feel the squeeze as more airlines adopt kid-free zones

They may be little, but more airlines are placing big restrictions on kids. 

Last week Singapore Airlines’ budget carrier Scoot Airlines introduced its "ScootinSilence" section.  For $14, travelers can sit in an area free of children under 12 years old, with legroom four inches greater than those in economy class. Two other airlines, Malaysian Airlines and AirAsia X, already ban kids on certain rows or sections on some flights...

...So far, no U.S.-based airlines have announced any plans to follow the trend in Asia. But as airlines introduce an ever-growing number of fees on everything from bags to beverages, the Scoot's fee-based quiet zone raises the question as to whether we could see airlines kicking kids and their families out of premium economy or first class seats here in the U.S.

Jami Counter, senior director for, a website that summarizes aircraft information for travelers, says he would be surprised to see a kid-free zone here in the States. He says the aircraft bodies that fly most domestic routes are too small, the public outcry would be too loud and government regulations likely wouldn’t let the concept take off...


As a solution, Counter says, instead of having a kid -free zone, airlines should create a family-friendly zone at the back of the plane, where they would be closer to restrooms and flight attendants if the kids need more snacks or drinks.

Now, families with younger children are forced to be proactive about getting seats together right when booking, or run the risk of having their 3-year-old sit with strangers. “Definitely shop ahead, look at seats early, look at the seat maps, and see where they can be together,” Counter said.

Even if the airlines charged a fee for a family friendly flight experience, some parents say they’d be happy to buy a less stressful travel adventure...