I was feeding my son breakfast this morning with the Today Show on in the background, when a story grabbed my attention. AirAsia is launching a new “child-free” zone on their aircrafts – a section that will be off limits to passengers who are 12 and under. AirAsia is promoting this experience as a place with minimal noise and soft lighting – a “quiet zone.”
Give me a break.
Is this for real? Am I the only one who thinks a “quiet zone” is the optimal place for babies?
In my son’s short (11 month) lifetime, he has already flown across the country many times. Such is life when you live far away from friends and family, and you have a husband who travels often for business. I know other moms can relate to the frustrations of trying to keep a sleeping baby asleep on a plane. Any time you fly with an infant or young child, the goal and hope is, of course, that they will sleep. No sooner have I shushed and rocked my son to sleep than my neighbor turns on his reading light, blasts us with cool air, or asks loudly for another club soda. The pilot comes over the intercom with a deafening BING! – and a loud announcement that we can now use the bathrooms. My son’s eyes pop open – my efforts for naptime are in vain.
When we travel, I spend the entire time trying to entertain, distract, and soothe my baby through any means necessary – all with the intentions of respecting my fellow passengers. His noises don’t bother me, but I am hyper sensitive knowing that others may not find them quite as cute. There will be no napping or reading for me – flying is anything but relaxing. I spend our time in the air with a ball of pressure in my chest and a ticking time bomb in my lap.
The article also mentions that, “A number of surveys have claimed that the majority of passengers find noisy children their biggest gripe when flying.” You know what my biggest gripe is when flying? Jerks who are unreasonably rude and aggressive toward parents with young children. I can’t tell you how many eye rolls I’ve seen when I take my seat on a plane, even if Cullen is asleep on my chest the whole time. On a flight a few months ago, one man actually stood up and made a huge scene when I sat down. He then proceeded to slam a Bud Light can and pass out for the duration of the flight. Traveling with young children isn’t easy, and grumpy passengers and discriminating airlines don’t need to make it any harder.
Since children as so offensive to other passengers, I’d like to know when they plan to launch a zone that is free from people who reek of cigarette smoke, people who bring offensively stinky food onto planes, or those who do not respect personal space in tiny seats. I guess the silver lining is that this new section will hopefully prevent nervous, stressed out parents from having to sit next to selfish jerks.
Read more from Emily on her personal blog Daily Garnish, where she creates healthy vegetarian recipes, recaps her latest running adventures, and chronicles life as a new mom to her son and two crazy dogs. You can follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest too!