If you've ever had a child kick your seat or cry in your ears during a flight, you might be happy to hear about a new program that Dublin-based Ryanair announced in a press release dated April 1 -- or perhaps just floated as a bit of April Fools' fun. The low-cost airline says it will offer "child free" flights starting in October.
The press release cites "a Europe-wide survey of 1,000 passengers" that Ryanair said shows they would pay more money to fly child-free. It points to these as respondents' top complaints:
1. 50%: Parents who expect "special treatment" because they have children
2. 25%: Parents who allow children to annoy those in seats behind
3. 15%: Parents who board late and expect others to accommodate them
4. 10%: Parents who allow children to run in the aisles or kick seats
Hmm ... All the percentages are multiples of five and they add up to 100%. Coincidence?
Stephen McNamara, Ryanair's head of communications, is quoted as saying:
"When it comes to children, we all love our own but would clearly prefer to avoid other people's little monsters when traveling. While half our passengers would like us to divide our cabins up into "adult" and "family" areas, it is not operationally possible due to our free seating policy, with optional priority boarding. However, with clear demand for "child free" flights, Ryanair will introduce child-free flights on high-frequency routes from the start of our winter schedule in October."