An airline’s decision to carve out child-free zones on their commercial flights is garnering mixed reviews from flyers around the world.
IndiGo, a budget airline based in India, announced last month it would be introducing the concept across its fleet where children under the age of 12 would be forbidden in certain sections of their planes.
According to a statement made by the airline to WTHR, the decision is aimed at accommodating their business travellers.
“Keeping in mind the comfort and convenience of all passengers, row numbers one to four and 11 to 14 are generally kept as a Quiet Zone on IndiGo flights,” the statement reads. “These zones have been created for business travellers who prefer to use the quiet time to do their work.”
In another statement to the International Business Times, the airline added, “Creating quiet zones for passengers on board is an international practice, in both full service and low cost airlines – and IndiGo’s said policy is in-line with the global practice.”
The seats in these sections will also have extra leg space, better armrests and seat cushioning, the International Business Times says.
WTHR reports that children are also not allowed to sit where emergency exits are located, as well as seats with additional leg room.
IndiGo is not the first airline to implement the idea. Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia X and Singapore’s Scoot Airline have all done so in recent years, Today reports.
Airlines in the U.S. and Canada, however, are not considering the same move.
“We would not consider the idea,” WestJet spokesperson Robert Palmer told Global News. “We are a proud, family-friendly airline.”
“No we have not considered offering any child-free zones on our aircraft,” US Airways spokesperson Andrew Christie Jr. told Skift. “We at US Airways value all of our customers, including our young adventurers, and our goal is to ensure all of our customers have a safe and pleasant flight experience with us regardless of where they are seated.”
Many on social media have applauded the airline’s idea.
Others, however, are calling the policy discriminatory and don’t agree with the airline’s new offering.
According to a 2014 survey done by LateDeals.co.uk, 70 per cent of British travellers want to see child-free zones introduced on planes, The Daily Mail reports. In fact, more than a third of those surveyed say they would pay extra to travel on a child-free service.
It is unclear as to how much IndiGo is charging its customers for its child-free zone premium seats on board its flights.