Airline offers ‘child-free’ zone where under 12s are banned

A low-cost airline offering a “child-free” zone on flights is starting up services to and from the UK for the first time.

Singapore Airlines’ budget subsidiary Scoot has launched London Gatwick-Bangkok flights from just £210 one-way.

As one of its optional upgrades, the no-frills carrier offers passengers the chance to book a seat in a child-free area where travellers under the age of 12 are banned.

The “ScootinSilence” seats are located towards the front of the aircraft, between the economy and ScootPlus sections – the latter has reclining leather seats, in-flight entertainment and includes meals and 30kg of baggage.

An up grade to the child-free section can be purchased from £16 one-way.

Other optional extras available to buy on Scoot flights include ‘FlyBag’ (20kg of baggage from £41); ‘FlyBagEat’ (20kg of baggage plus one hot meal, a drink and a snack, from £50); and ‘MaxYourSpace’ (the ability to purchase up to two empty adjacent seats).

Scoot says demand for the new London-Bangkok route has been high, attracting an “overwhelming response”, with most services booked up until 8 January 2022.

The plan is to up capacity to three flights a week from March 2022 – although travel restrictions in response to the Covid-19 pandemic could scupper future endeavours.

Thailand announced just this week that entry restrictions would be tightened again for international travellers as the Omicron coronavirus variant spreads across the globe.

The country has brought back mandatory quarantine for all international travellers from 21 December.

The “Test and Go” quarantine waiver, first introduced last month in a bid to attract back foreign tourists, allowed visitors to swerve self-isolation as long as they met certain conditions.

The scheme has now been halted, with arrivals forced to stay in a quarantine hotel for between seven and 10 days instead.

“After 21 December, there will be no new registrations for ‘Test and Go’, only quarantine or Phuket sandbox,” said deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhanadirek, reports Reuters.

The “sandbox” scheme, launched in autumn, saw tourists able to roam freely outside the accommodation where they were staying, as long as they stuck within the confines of one destination.

This has been paused everywhere bar the island of Phuket, one of the destinations where the programme was originally piloted.

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