‘Baby Bigotry’ Or Blessed Peace? India’s 6E Adds Kid-Free Zones

Open Jaw

Virtually all airlines these days offer pax options to personalize their travel experience, usually at an additional cost. From extra legroom to inflight meals, the variety of choices is ever-expanding.

But Indian budget carrier IndiGo is wading into more controversial territory than, say, whether or not blankets should be free at 30,000 feet: child-free zones on the aircraft.

Last week, 6E debuted its "Quiet Zones," geared toward business travellers and which forbid children under the age of 12.

In a statement, India’s largest airline in terms of pax carried, said, “Keeping in mind the comfort and convenience of all passengers, row numbers 1 to 4 and 11 to 14 are generally kept as a Quiet Zone on IndiGo flights. These zones have been created for business travellers who prefer to use the quiet time to do their work.”

(The airline also noted that children are not be allowed to sit in seats with additional leg room.)

Unsurprisingly, opinions are mixed. Some on social media praised the move, while others referred to it as ‘baby bigotry.’

“The policy is discriminatory," Anshuman Sinha told The Hindustan Times. “It’s clear that they do not want children to disturb fliers paying extra for these seats. But then why permit children in the nearby rows, either?”

He has a point. The cries of a child know no boundaries. Being child-free in row 14 doesn’t mean you can’t hear (or have your seat kicked by) the child behind you. Kind of like no-smoking sections in the bad old days.

A 2014 British study found that nearly 70% of respondents would like to see more child-free zones on planes. Only a handful of other regional carriers have introduced similar measures. Since 2013 SQ subsidiary Scoot airlines has charged a fee to sit in a child free zone where kids under 12 are not allowed and Air Asia X offers a zone where children under 10 are banned.

We won’t be surprised if other carriers follow their lead.

(will not be published)