Airline launches child-free zones

In-flight serviceDo you feel a sense of dread when you notice that your seat on the plane is next to a family with young children?

Crying infants and screaming toddlers can make flying exhausting - and not just for their parents.

But now, passengers flying with Scoot Airlines, the budget arm of Singapore Airlines, can pay S$18 (£9) to be upgraded to a 41-seat "ScootinSilence" cabin that is guaranteed to be free of children under the age of 12.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the child-free zone, which stretches for several rows, also offers four inches more legroom than passengers can expect in economy class.

Scoot Airlines is not the only company to offer customers the chance to pay more to avoid children on their flights, though.

In February, Malaysian airline Air Asia X also launched "quiet zones" with "special ambient lighting" and a "more relaxing atmosphere" on selected flights.

And last year, Malaysian Airlines banned infants from first-class cabins on its Airbus A380 "superjumbo" aircrafts and Boeing 747s, saying that it had received complaints of noise from crying babies in first class.

Those first class fliers are not the only ones to prefer child-free flights, however. A 2012 survey by review website Tripadvisor found that more than third of Britons would be prepared to pay more to avoid sharing their air space with other people's children.

And while some parents will undoubtedly be angry to hear that other passengers would prefer them and their kids to be moved to a different area of the plane, others have welcomed moves to separate families with young children from other travellers.

As mum Cathy Winston to the BBC: "I know from before I had my daughter what it's like when you're trying to get some sleep and there's a baby crying. If I knew that all the people around me had chosen to sit there, it would take some of the stress off."

Singapore-based Scoot Airlines runs daily services to Sydney and five flights a week to the Gold Coast.

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