One airline says it will offer baby-free "quiet zones" on its flights. Should all planes and trains follow their example, or do adults need to learn to live with child passengers?
At 10,000 metres, the howl of a baby screeches through a pressurised cabin. For travellers already stressed by lengthy security checks, squeezed into cramped seating and unnerved by the very fact of being so high above ground, it's almost enough to make them shatter the Plexiglas windows and jump. It's a source of anxiety for the embarrassed parents too, desperately trying to pacify their offspring while facing disapproving stares from fellow adults.
One airline is offering what it says is a solution. Low-cost carrier Air Asia says from February it will provide a "quiet zone" for passengers aged 12 and over at no extra cost. Separated from the rest of the cabin, these seven rows of seats should be immune from the sound of children, the company claims. It is following the example of Malaysia Airlines, which in April announced it would ban families with children from sitting on the upper deck of its Kuala Lumpur to London service.
For the childless and the easily irritable, it may be a relief, but introducing segregation would risk infuriating families who resent the idea they should be treated as second-class citizens. After all, there are no separate compartments for adults who disturb the peace and quiet of others by snoring, for instance, or taking off their shoes to unleash malodorous feet. However, there appears to be support for segregation. In April, a survey of 1,666 British adults found that over a third of Britons would be prepared to pay extra to travel by air without the presence of children.
1. Write a summary of the text in English, including the most important points, using your own words whenever possible.
(maximum 50 words)
2. Find words or phrases in the text that correspond in meaning to the following
a) break shatterb) children offspringc) airline carrierd) smelly malodorous
3. Complete the second sentence of each pair so that it has the same meaning as the first one
a) It will provide a "quiet zone" for passengers at no extra cost.
- Passengers will be given a "quiet zone" without any extra cost/ having to pay extra/ paying extra/ extra money.b) Parents will be angry at the suggestion that they should be segregated from other passengers.
- If airlines suggest that they should be segregated from other passengers, parents will be /get angry.c) Do adults need to learn to live with child passengers?
- Is it necessary for adults to learn to live with child passengers?/ that adults should learn to live?d) Malaysian Airlines will ban children from the top deck of A380 aircraft.
4. Answer the following questions in your own words
a) Why are parents sometimes embarrassed by their own children when travelling? Because they make a lot of noise and disturb other passengers. They howl/ screech when other passengers may be suffering from stress.
b) What are some other things that can make passengers‟ journeys unpleasant and stressful? Other things that can make passengers‟ journeys unpleasant are security checks, having very little room in the plane, flying at great height and the snoring and smelly feet of other passengers.
WRITING5. Would you like to have children? What is the best age to start a family?
(Approximately 120 words).
Yes, I think I'd like to have a large family of maybe four or five children and live in a house with a big garden where they all could play. I'd like this house to be in or near a village, so that my children could have friends to go out with. I think I want to have so many children because I myself am an only child. I've got cousins, but they are much older than me and they live in Barcelona, which means that I don't see them very often, so I'm quite a solitary person, and quite shy, too. But I like children, and I normally get on with them very well. I wouldn't like to have a family now, though, because I want to do a university degree in education. I think the ideal age to have a family is when you are around thirty.