A Malaysian airline has taken steps to help passengers who are fed up with screaming kids on flights. Air Asia is banning children under the age of 12 from sitting in the first seven rows of its economy class cabins. The airline said it is responding to the complaints of thousands of air travellers who say their biggest gripe while flying is the noise from children. The budget carrier has said its new booking system will mean passengers can reserve a seat in the new "quiet zone" at no extra cost, and experience "minimal noise". The new system will come into effect from February 2013. Air Asia's initiative follows a move earlier this year by Malaysian Airlines, who banned children from the top deck of its A380 aircraft.
The moves by the Malaysian airlines could be the start of a worldwide trend in air travel. A recent poll by Britain's "Daily Telegraph" newspaper found that nearly 70 per cent of people supported the introduction of child-free flights, not just child-free areas. Frequent flyer Jonathon Stannard welcomed Air Asia's policy, saying: "It's about time. Economy is stressful enough without having to endure screeching kids and crying babies. It's usually the parents' fault. They rarely do much to control their children." Travel writer Simon Calder said: "People need to be tolerant. People who have a problem with children on flights need to get over it." He added: "I have two words for them, ear plugs."