Clarkson sparks debate on child-free flights

Never one to shy away from controversy, Jeremy Clarkson has this week caused a debate storm about child-free air travel. Following a flight earlier this month, Clarkson tweeted: ‘When are British Airways going to realise that babies belong in the hold?’

Perhaps unsurprisingly his comments met with some pretty harsh criticism. Justine Roberts from Mumsnet responded in the Mail on Sunday by saying: ‘There are plenty of Mumsnet users hoping that British Airways will realise that Jeremy Clarkson belongs in the hold.’

Rather than apologise (was anyone really expecting that?) Clarkson added further fuel to the fire by adding that: ‘Mine didn’t fly until they were old enough to behave themselves.’

Of course, Jeremy is famous for saying things that other people think are unspeakable; however, surprisingly a number of people seem to share his views. While no reasonable person thinks babies should be made to travel in the hold, the comments sparked a serious debate about children travelling on planes and the disruption this can cause other passengers.

More than 1,750 people took to Twitter to voice their opinion in support of the presenter by marking his tweet as a favourite. One Twitter user even added: ‘I couldn’t agree more with this statement from @JeremyClarkson’.

It’s not just public opinion that supports this view either. Last year Malaysian airline Air Asia X introduced ‘quiet zones’ where children under the age of twelve were not allowed to sit. In an online poll conducted by the Daily Telegraph, nearly 70 per cent of respondents said they were in favour of child-free flights. British Airways responded with the following comment: ‘We welcome all families, including infants, in all cabins.’ So it’s obvious not everyone agrees with Clarkson. No surprises there either. However, with resorts and travel insurance available just for adults, how long will it be before an airline caters solely for this group too?

Date Created: 21 May 2014

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