David Koenig – The Associated Press
One airline plans to find out if solitude-seeking travellers will pay a hefty extra charge to avoid sitting near babies and little kids.
Corendon Airlines says that it will sell an adults-only zone — no one under 16 — on flights between Amsterdam and Curacao starting in November.
The Turkish carrier says people travelling without children will get quiet surroundings, and parents won’t have to worry that their crying or fidgeting kids will annoy fellow passengers.
Corendon announced last week that it will set aside 93 regular seats and nine extra-legroom seats in the adult zone in the front of its Airbus A350 jets, which have 432 seats in all. A wall or curtain will separate the section from the wailing masses farther back.
The airline said on its website that it will charge passengers an extra reservation fee of 45 euros ($49) for the no-kids zone, rising to 100 euros ($109) for one of the extra-legroom seats.
To answer your next question, a flight from Amsterdam to Curacao usually takes about 10 hours.
Brett Snyder, who runs a travel agency and writes the Cranky Flier blog, said Tuesday that there could be demand for adult seats.
“For a heavy leisure airline like Corendon, which is probably full of families with little kids, I can see the appeal for someone travelling without kids to pay extra to be away from them to have more peace and quiet,” Snyder said.
Then again, he added, people in the back of the adult zone might still hear crying, “so it’s like the old days when you were in the last row of the non-smoking section but could still taste that smoke.”
Scott Keyes, founder of the flight-search site Going, said the Corendon extra fee is low enough to attract plenty of buyers, and the airline benefits in another way.
“New leisure airlines need strong marketing to break through,” he said. “Trying something new and generating free press is valuable for an otherwise little-known airline.”
Corendon is not the first airline to try a section with no small children.
Scoot, a low-cost airline based in Singapore, sells a section where passengers must be at least 12.
Back in 2012, Malaysia Airlines announced it would not allow anyone under 12 in a 70-seat economy section on the upper deck of its Airbus A380 jets. The airline later retreated, saying that if there were too many families with children and infants to fit in the lower deck, it would find room for them in the adult economy section upstairs.
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