Child-free spaces are a controversial topic, but recent research has shown more North Americans are welcoming the idea of having them as an option.
In February, an Italian restaurant in New Jersey sparked conversation after introducing a new policy, banning children under 10 from dining in. “We love kids. We really, truly, do. But lately, it’s been extremely challenging to accommodate children at Nettie’s,” the restaurant wrote on its Facebook page.
A week later, another restaurant, a Chick-fil-A location in Pennsylvania, received attention for introducing a similar policy.
In March, Daily Hive conducted a survey to see how Canadians felt about these policies, and the results may be surprising.
Just over 76 per cent of Canadians thought the policies were “great” and wanted to see other establishments adopt them. Nearly 16 per cent thought child-free dining was not great, but a fair ask on the restaurants’ part. But almost 8 per cent believed it was “unfair and discriminatory” to exclude children from the experience.
Whenever the topic comes up in public discussion, it hits a nerve for flyers who find sharing an airplane with loud, crying children very stressful.
A US survey by PhotoAid in January found that eight-in-10 American travellers wanted adult-only flights, with 64 per cent saying they would pay extra for it for longer flights — a premium of 10-30 per cent.
Sixty-nine percent of those who were against the idea thought it was okay to have child-free seating zones.
Some airlines have already tried this compromise. In 2012, Malaysian Airlines announced child-free economy seating and defended it when backlash arose. Low-cost Indian carrier IndiGo also added “quiet zones” to its seating, where children are not allowed.
The desire to travel in an adult-only setting was so high it outweighed the need for sustainability. Eighty-nine percent of those who supported child-free flights in PhotoAid’s survey stood by what they said, even after discovering that it would lead to more carbon emissions.