Child-free flights coming to Ryanair: good idea?
For an airline that services exactly zero North American destinations, Ryanair sure makes a lot of headlines this side of the Atlantic.
A quick rundown of its recent polarizing campaigns, all recognizable by just three hyphenated words: the “pay-to-pee” policy; the “only-one-pilot” initiative; and the “standing-room-flights” movement.
But for all the Dublin-based outfit’s bluster, there’s a reason the budget airline thrives – which is to say, it takes a no-nonsense approach to giving the customer just what it wants, no matter the PR consequence.
Ryanair’s latest strategy? Child-free flights, a decision every traveler has an opinion on, whether they’ll voice it or not.
Following a Europe-wide survey, which showed half of respondents would pay higher fares to avoid flying alongside other people’s kids, Ryanair announced on Apr. 1st it would offer child-free flights starting this fall.
Now, you’d be forgiven for thinking a Ryanair stunt unveiled on April Fools’ Day might be suspect, but the airline insists the plan is real. In fact, the idea of child-free flights has been bouncing around Europe as far back as 2008, when airfarewatchdog.com found 85 per cent of Euro travellers thought breaking a plane into “those with children” and “those without” was a good way to go.
In North America, though, the thought hasn’t made much of a public stir. You’ve probably had a flight hampered by a kicking or screaming kid here – and, parents, you most likely don’t care for the sneers you get when you may be the most embarrassed person onboard – but it probably wouldn’t play well for North American airlines to propose separating children on flights. Families are big money in the travel biz, and the risk of alienating such a lucrative demographic could prove costly.
Yet that doesn’t mean travellers wouldn’t bite on the idea. Since Ryanair’s April 1st announcement, interest has surely been piqued in Canada and the U.S. (“April Fools’ joke or just a good idea?” read one L.A. Times headline in reaction to the story).
Would you be in favour of child-free flights? If so, would you pay more for the option to fly in a different section from toddlers?
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money
*Follow Jason on Twitter here.
Posted by: Debbie - Calgary | Apr 11, 2021 1:00:48 PM
Some of these comments make me sick. My husband and I are on our way to Cuba this Saturday, with our 3 year old and 20 month old. We wouldn't be able to take a vacation without our kids (my parents are deceased), so does that mean we should have to put our kids in CARGO???? They are well behaved boys, but let's face it: even the most well behaved toddlers are going to have their moments.
I feel sorry for you that feel that kids should be treated like animals. It says a lot about how you were raised, and I pray to god you get neutered and don't reproduce.
Posted by: Dr. W. Lind | Apr 11, 2021 7:27:31 PM
That's why I always fly 1st class or exec business class. I fly weekly, and have been for 22 years. Never had any problems.
Posted by: Tim B | Apr 11, 2021 11:21:48 PM
Wow, I'm glad that everyone seems to agree on this. I cannot stand screaming kids on flights, I would gladly pay a little bit more to ensure that I get a nice rest.
I can't stand the passengers who go sans deoderant either. Especially on the overnight flights, think ahead people.
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