When you choose your seat on a plane ahead of time, you have no idea who might be sitting next to you. It could be someone awesome. Or it might be someone with body odor (here’s a solution for that, by the way).
Now image getting onto the plane and discovering you’re going to be on a 14-hour flight next to a baby.
Some of you may think that might be THE BEST thing on earth (OK, in the sky). But I suspect that for more of you, it could be considered one of the circles of hell.
Sometime around September, 2019, Japan Airlines introduced a new key image in its maps of its planes. Besides pointing out where the exit seats were and which seats had more leg room, they also began telling you where infants aged 8 days to 2 years were sitting.
It firm came to light, as many things do, thanks to the Twitterverse:
Thank you, @JAL_Official_jp for warnings me about where babies plan to scream and yell during a 13 hour trip. This really ought to be mandatory across the board.
— Rahat Ahmed (@dequinix) September 24, 2019
He wound up with nearly 300 replies – some for the new policy, some against. And, of course, some who didn’t care either way but they just wanted to stir the pot LOLOL.
Anyway, it’s been about 2 years since the policy started and apparently it’s doing well. It must be…JAL’s still doing it!
From their website:
Child Icons during seat selection
Passengers traveling with children between 8 days and 2 years old who select their seats on the JAL website will have a child icon displayed on their seats on the seat selection screen. This lets other passengers know a child may be sitting there.
- Child icons are not displayed in the following situations:
- Seats booked as part of a tour or using award tickets
- Seats selected through means other than the JAL website
Child icons may not be displayed correctly if there is a change in aircraft.
Heads up that the “baby map” only works for bookings made directly through JAL’s website (not third party websites), and icons won’t display if there is a change in aircraft.
As of about a year before COVID started, there were a few airlines that offered child free sections. However they were few and far between. I’d think that JAL’s ability to help your plans so you won’t (or will!) sit near a baby by telling you where they are is the next best thing. I’m glad the program has remains all this time!
Feature Photo: Bridget Coila / flickr
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary