Scoot declares 'child-free zone' - no kids under 12 allowed

By David Flynn, August 21 2013

Singapore Airlines' budget offshoot Scoot is the latest airline to embrace a child-free zone, banning children from its new 'ScootinSilence' economy cabin.

Located at the very front of the economy section, the self-contained cabin has 41 of Scoot's Super and Stretch extra-legroom seats and has now been declared off-limits to passengers under 12 years.

The seats can be booked from an additional S$18 (A$16) on top of a regular economy fare.

"ScootinSilence is the perfect option for guests seeking an exclusive cabin, extra legroom and confidence that under 12’s will be seated in another part of the aircraft" said Scoot CEO Campbell Wilson.

"No offence to our young guests or those travelling with them", he added, "you still have the rest of the aircraft to choose from."

Competing low-cost carrier Air Asia X already offers a similar Quiet Zone in the first seven rows of economy, while  Malaysia Airlines has declared a kid-free zone in the first class cabin of its Airbus A380 and Boeing 747, along with the small economy cabin at the rear of the A380's upper deck.

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David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

 I am glad to see that "child-free" zone idea get adopted more and more. However I do believe that airlines do marketing mistake. Instead of declaring "child-prohibiting" zones, they would be far better of declare "child-dedicated" zones. Everyone understands that this is exactly the same, but sounds so much better!

19 Aug 2011

Total posts 22

Serg, not sure how that would work. Scoot is an LCC, so they make their money from selling "add-ons".

The only way the child-dedicated zone would work (i.e. actually achieve a section with more children, thereby making the rest of the plane quieter) is if they offered discounts for children to sit in that zone, which goes in the face of them charging more for stuff.

Unless they make the base fare for everyone more expensive (so basically include the S$8 in every fare) and then offer an S$8 discount for sitting in (enduring?) the child-dedicated zone.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2221

Agreed, chanvw. Essentially, being in a child-free zone is considered a perk, so this assists in selling the product.

Creating a 'child-friendly' zone is a nice attempt at political correctness, but Scoot is in the business of selling seats and add-ons, not trying to sound like an inclusive welfare state.

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

Nothing wrong whatsoever. They need obligatory (i.e. make as a rule) seating passenger with kids (and kids traveling alone to avoid “sexual discrimination” when they disallow men sit next to kids) in specific zone of the lane. Motivation is simple – having cabin crew trained to deal with kids and having kids specific equipment (games, books etc) concentrated in certain zone. Though I hear you argument regarding budget carriers – they cannot make “perk” out of it.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2221

Cabin crew dedicated to this? Uh, no. That increases cost, the whole evil thing LCCs like Scoot are trying to eradicate.

It's making it a lot more complicated than it needs to be. Scoot is taking advantage of the fact that people dislike sitting in proximity of young children (for various perfectly valid reasons), so by designating the first economy section a child-free zone and charging for the privilege they can create an ancillary revenue source through this new section and associated fee.

Scoot is making something out of effectively nothing that allows them to provide yet another add-on (but one customers want) and charge for it. Nothing more, nothing less.

Scoot isn't here to run a benovelent, child-friendly airline - unless it was to charge a fee for a child-friendly section, and while it is certainly a nice possibility, your proposed alternative solution would achieve something completely different.

Yur solution misses the two key points of the exercise, which are to 1) banish noisy children from a section of the plane, and 2) make money from fees related to sitting in that child-free section.

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

I said "motivation" - i.e. excuse. They still can advertize that there will be no kids in certaun zones. And again as I said in previous post I agree that my model may be not perfect for LCC

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 544

How stupid are people these days! Children are not "noisy", they are just needing help. I don't get all this "under 12" stuff, since the ones that really make noise are usually less than 3 years old. People are just missing the point.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 582

yes but a standard child ticket is under 12...this high age is to cover both infant and child tickets and it's easier to set up the function in the bookign system whereby you can't select a child or infant ticket.  It's not just the noisy babies that this is aimed at, but also the seat kickers that are always older than 2.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Dec 2012

Total posts 38

Is it just me though that age 12 seems a bit harsh? I feel most children by middle primary school age, especially those used to travelling, nowadays behave themselves even on long flights. In fact, with iPads and such, I'd say they are some of the most quiet in the cabin, occupied with their own games if not sleeping. On evening or night flights I come across rowdy adults way more often, having over indulged on drinks in the lounges and whatnot. And when they move around behind you in Economy because they can't get comfortable, you notice because their knees keep hitting your seatback, as opposed to the 8 year old who can't even reach the floor. I feel bad for families with two or more kids too; it'd be quite common for the older sibling to be middle to upper teens and already taller than their parents and therefore would love the extra leg space, but because their younger sibling is still 11 they have to sit in the back. I feel ages 8-12 is when flying becomes fun, and they understand the concept of a 'premium' seat. If I were that age, I would feel being discriminated against. Keep zones kids free to age 7 or 8 I think makes sense, but any more than that I think is actually doing a disservice. End of rant :)

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

8 y.o. may not reach floor and may not even scream through whole flight, but indeed (s)he is capable to jump up and down in nonstop regime in seat in front of you! I reckon that they pick 12 just because below 12 is children fare while 12 and more is adult.

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 544

My sister is 7 years old. I travel with her friends often and none of them behave like your description!

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

I have not said that ALL of them behave like this, but indeed probability of 8 y.o. behave as described if far far higher than say 16 y.o. Very young kids by their very nature cannot be constrained to one task and one posture for 12 flight. I do understand that this is not their fault, but why the heck I have to be punished for this?!!!

And sorry for being naughty – your sister is 7, then how old are you? And how much real life experience you have with kids on plane? FWIW my older “kid” is 27.

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 544

I may be 14, but I know my way around airplane cabins, including those with crying children. Don't challenge me personally.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 582

aeroplane*

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 544

Two ways of spelling airplane.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 582

airplane = north america, aeroplane = rest of the english speaking world...guess which category australia fits into.

Please keep discussion to the topic of the article, being "Scoot declares 'child-free zone' - no kids under 12 allowed", rather than discussing other users.

Further off-topic posts will be removed.

02 May 2013

Total posts 3

Great move.. as a parent myself.. I'd rather not subject the surrounding fellow captive audience with my child's protests. At least with the option of a child free section, even though it doesn't remove the responsibility to attempt to keep your child quiet, there is at least somewhere for people to escape to!


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