There are few tortures worse than sitting next to a crying baby on a long flight, but would you pay a premium to avoid kids on a plane?
Dublin-based Ryanair announced last week that it would start offering child-free flights on its high-frequency routes in October.
Many suspect that this latest idea might have been an April Fools joke by the airline, a theory that was bolstered by the official press release in which Ryanair spokesman Stephen McNamara pointed out that most people “prefer to avoid other people’s little monsters when traveling.”
According to a Europe-wide survey of 1,000 passengers, half those polled were willing to pay higher fares to avoid other people’s children, Ryanair said.
The same survey also purportedly found that 36 percent of passengers had flights ruined by unruly kids and 18 percent of passengers wanted Ryanair to restrict the number of children on a plane.
Ryanair is known for its off-kilter and often-unpopular plans, including a proposal to put coin-operated lavatories on its planes.
Regardless whether or not child-free flights are an April Fool’s trick, it’s no joke that Ryanair might be using the announcement to draw attention away from its controversial new $2.80 fee.
The airline says it has added the new “fee” to each booking in order to recoup money lost because of European consumer laws.
These laws require that an airline pay for food and lodging costs to passengers caused by delays or cancellations, even those beyond the airlines’ control.
By Adriana Padilla for PeterGreenberg.com.
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