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KIDCATION


C


hildren are travelling so much that someone has even dreamt up a new name for it – ‘kidcation’. This may all be very well if those children belong to you and are in your car or on your family cruise, but as several well- known personalities have made quite clear over recent months; kids are NOT welcome in the air. Jeremy Clarkson, the Top Gear


presenter, prompted a strong reaction from Twitter users after he suggested that flying babies “belong in the hold”. In a similar tirade, CNN anchor Richard Quest caused a stir last year when he advocated that infants be banned from Business class on airplanes. “A baby in Business class is invariably going to wail at some point,” wrote the Brit, who took his ban-the-babies campaign to Twitter in August. Seat-kicking and unruly children


ranked ahead of drunken passengers, surly cabin crew, and over-talkative neighbours as onboard annoyances, suggested a recent UK survey by Gocompare website. And even the arrival of a royal baby does not appear to have softened the Brits, with the majority of Telegraph Travel readers saying they would support child-free flights.


More than half of those questioned said they would welcome the introduction of in-flight crèches, and nearly a third said they would pay more to sit in a child-free zone. A quarter would pay up to £50 (US$80) per return flight for the privilege, and seven per cent said they would pay even more. And it’s not just the Brits. A poll of 1,800 Australians by TripAdvisor said that almost one in three Australian travellers would be prepared to pay extra to sit in a part of an aircraft from which children were banned. This could reflect the fact that Australians tend to fly for much longer distances to get anywhere, so the lure of a child- free cabin has a higher value. Jeremy Clarkson’s rant followed a short flight to Scotland. While 21% of the survey


respondents would not pay a kid-free surcharge and 8% indicated they have no preference, 11% of those polled rated the concept of child-free


"More than half of those questioned said they would welcome the introduction of inflight crèches"


Pictured above: P&O Ventura's'Noddy character keeps kids happy; top, Buzz loves kids in the air! below. Schafer Toys' colourful Brixies micro-block giraffe Opposite: A Funky Lunch fish sandwich goes down a treat


zones was 'offensive'. TripAdvisor’s poll didn't broach the question of how much extra those Australians would be willing to pay for flying in silence.


AIRLINES TO THE RESCUE Some airlines have taken up the challenge to keep their premium- paying passengers happy. Malaysia Airlines was the first airline to feature a kid-free zone in 2011 when the reconfiguration if its Boeing 747 First class cabin precluded the space for bassinets. The same now applies on its Airbus A380 service which also features a kids-free area in


Economy at the rear of the aircraft's upper deck. Two low cost carriers have now followed suit and the unveiling of an adults-only zone in Economy by Air Asia X earlier this year has been met


with nearly unanimous approval. Singapore Airlines' low-cost


offshoot Scoot has now launched  WWW.ONBOARDHOSPITALITY.COM 21


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