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Ryanair to Offer Child-Free Flights. Real or April Fools Marketing Genius?

Ryanair Boeing 737

Ryanair Boeing 737

Yesterday Ryanair “officially” announced that they will start offering child-free flights starting in October. Is this real or another free-publicity tactic by Ryanair? Well, the catch is that Ryanair might be crazy enough to do this. However, the fact that it is April Fools day tomorrow, makes me suspect this might all be a ruse. Also take into account that they have a history of pulling April Fools jokes in the past, from providing moon flightsoffering first class seating and selling porn on board, Ryanair has been a fun little jokster.

Don’t get me wrong, this is genius marketing. First you get media outlets to report on the story, creating buzz and free advertising. Then, after it is announced it was a joke, there is another round of free advertising, saying it wasn’t true and how silly Ryanair is being. I was able to get an official copy of the press release, but I haven’t been able to get any confirmation from them that this is an April Fools joke. Sure, maybe this is real, but I am willing to bet that it is not. Since the press release itself is so entertaining, I want to share it with you all:

RYANAIR TO INTRODUCE ‘CHILD FREE’ FLIGHTS

Ryanair, the world’s favourite airlines, today announced that it will introduce ‘Child Free’ flights from October (winter schedule) after a Europe-wide survey of 1,000 passengers showed that half would pay higher fares to avoid other people’s children.  The survey showed that a third of passengers (36%) have had flights ‘ruined’ by other people’s noisy kids with one in five passengers (18%) urging Ryanair to restrict the number of children on flights.

While the survey found that passengers would prefer to avoid other people’s children, it placed ‘blame’ firmly with parents with top gripes being:

  1. 50% Parents who expect ‘special treatment’ because they have children.
  2. 25% Parents who allow children to annoy those in seats behind.
  3. 15% Parents who board late and expect others to accommodate them.
  4. 10% Parents who allow children to run in the aisles or kick seats.

Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara said:

“When it comes to children we all love our own but would clearly prefer to avoid other people’s little monsters when travelling.  While half our passengers would like us to divide our cabins up into ‘adult’ and ‘family’ areas it is not operationally possible due to our free seating policy, with optional priority boarding.  However, with clear demand for ‘child free’ flights Ryanair will introduce child free flights on high frequency routes from the start of our winter schedule in October.”

So what do you think? Real or fake? Would you like to see child free flights?

Image: jplphoto

17 comments to Ryanair to Offer Child-Free Flights. Real or April Fools Marketing Genius?

  • John D

    I hope it is real, and I think it is a brilliant idea. They specified only high frequency routes, and I know I would pay extra. Here in the States someone would bring a lawsuit, and it might happen in the UK as well, but I still think it is a great idea.

  • Sounds like a dream come true.

  • cedarglen

    As much as I think this is another AFD spoof, I would dearly love to see it! I generally fly “J” or better and one of the several reasons is to avoid the Ankle Biters. No, I do not hate children. That said, I do not enjoy their noise, fits and wanderings in such a confined space. I may look like a warm and fuzzy “Grandpa,” to many of them, and I am “Grandpa” to a few. Those few are plenty and I do NOT need any more. While this may be the AFD joke from RyanAir, it is NOT a joke! One way or another, parents must control their kids when in public places and spaces. Little Janie or Billy may be the absolute love of your life and as cute as a bug. Please remember that s/he is not the love of my life. Please confine her/him, including their noises and odors, to the spaces that you have purchased – and out of the space that I have purchased. If you cannot do that, please do not fly on public airplanes. Just to be clear, NO! Just beacuse you have a child or two, your are not, repeat NOT entitled to special accommodation. Deal with it or please stay off the airplane. Thank you. -C.

  • cedarglen

    Addendum: I suppose that I probably would pay a modest remium or a Child-Free FLight. OTOH, why the hell should I have to? Control your children, parents. Please! -C.

  • giulio

    Hi everybody. i think you lot are quite insane, why don’t you try and keep a kid seated for 3 or more hours? Anyway, we did stop using ryanair long before having kids, they are just a bundle of low professional crews and money maker this news ,fake or not, just confirm it. Cedarglen, maybe if this is your idea, you could stop travelling by plane or you can buy a first class ticket on some other company or use one of those ryanair flyghts without toilets they are about to launch.

  • Jose B

    Is it legal? At least in Spain, I understand that you can not discriminate by the age. Freedom of movement is a fundamental right.

  • Onteo

    Fools day, obvious.

    But, to all the ones saying they would love it: John D, cedarglen, A. Lewis and others…

    “I wish you all having a couple of children having regular daily tantrums and not being able to travel around the world” Because you all wish to be stuck in your hillbilly town, don’t you?

  • I sincerely hope this is not Aprils fools..

  • William

    Always take along a plastic shopping bag. It always works to silence a little one who has wandered off from its parents.

  • Minerva

    One partial solution would be to insist that all toadlers have their own seats regardless of size. Trying to hold a squirming kid on a lap for a long flight is next to impossible. I had one of these my last flight and I was ready to murder the stupid mother who couldn’t keep him from kicking me and reaching over for my food, book etc.

    Had he been confined to his own kid-seat, he would not have been able to reach me and would have been able to move his’s limbs without harm to anyone sitting in the seat next to him.

    This is also a safety precaution because an unrestrained kid has the potential for becoming a human missle during severe turbulance.

    Finally, if the parhunts have to pay for their little darlings, they might not be so keen on bringing them aboard.

    When are the airlines going to wise up?

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  • Erica

    “unattended children will be given an espresso and a puppy!”

  • [...] Ryanair also recently announced they would start offering child-free flights this October. However, they announced the new flights right before April’s Fools and they have not officially announced one way or another if they will actually be offering the flights. [...]

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