Although many disgruntled travelers have wished for children-free planes at some point,the idea is neither practical nor wise. Children are an essential part of our society and community and need to be treated as such. Most children are able to behave well if their parents expect it from them and come prepared. It is much more beneficial for everyone aboard the plane if there are no separate sections for passengers with children, but everyone works together to get along as well as possible in the main area of the plane.
First of all, there is no guarantee that children will be disruptive. Although many children are loud or difficult during a plane flight, there are even more who sleep through the flight, are entertained by electronics, books, or toys, or sit quietly and read or play with their siblings. Often, children are distracting or annoying because they’re not aware of what they’re doing, but change their behavior once they are asked to or their parents are spoken to. For example, a child may kick the back of another passenger’s seat without realizing it, but is likely to stop when asked nicely not to do so.
In addition, it is not actually possible to segregate all passengers who have the potential to become obnoxious. As long as drinks are served on flights, drunken adults will be far more annoying than children. It won’t help to have a separate section for passengers with children if passengers who take over the armrests, talk too loudly, or spread their legs wide enough to enter other passengers’ space do not also have their own section.
As we learned during the time of smoking sections on planes, airplanes are small and not easily compartmentalized. Just as you can’t contain cigarette smoke or odors, it is also impossible to contain noise. Special sections for passengers with children are likely to give these passengers a false sense of separation, allowing them to relax their standards of behavior for their children since their children are in a different section. However, the children who take full advantage of this separate section are likely to cause enough noise to continue to bother other passengers, even those not in the children’s section. All travelers will be better off if we all do our best to co-exist and make our fellow passengers’ travels as pleasant as possible.