Airline to introduce 'child-free zone' on planes

By Cassandra Mason

Malaysia Airlines says it will introduce 'child-free zones' on its new A380 planes.
Malaysia Airlines says it will introduce 'child-free zones' on its new A380 planes.

Malaysian Airlines will be able to boast a "child-free zone" when it bans children from the top deck of its A380 planes later this year.

From July 1, families wanting to travel with their children will have to book seats in the planes' 350-seat economy area - its "child-friendly zone".

Some have criticised the airline for discrimination against families, but the news has been well-received elsewhere, with passengers comparing the service to quiet carriages on trains.

Shashank Nigam, CEO of airline branding company SimpliFlying, told Travel Today: "Malaysia Airlines is trying to make its premium product on the A380 more appealing to the high-yielding business passengers.

"They value their peace and quiet and [this way] can rest assured that they won't be disturbed by kids on long-haul flights."

The airline responded to complaints by highlighting the perks of the family zone, which has eight toilets and its own entrance.

However enough demand could see the rules being bent.

In a memo to clarify its policy, Malaysia Airlines said: "Where there is overwhelming demand for seats in economy class from families with children and infants, resulting in full load in the main deck, we will still accommodate such demand in the 70-seat upper deck economy class zone of our A380."

The child ban is not new for the airline - the first class sections on all its 747s have already been altered to keep babies out.

The announcement came only days after Canadian airline WestJet put out an April Fool's Day video advertising a service which saw children travelling in the luggage compartment.

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