Ever had your flight ruined by a crying baby? An airline initiative means this could soon be a thing of the past.
A Japanese airline has created a tool to show passengers where babies will be sat on a plane.
The new seat mapper, launched by Japan Airlines, indicates seats booked by those travelling with young children using a child icon.
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“Passengers travelling with children between eight days and two years old who select their seats on the JAL website will have a child icon displayed on their seats on the seat selection screen,” reads a statement on the Japan Airlines airport.
“This lets other passengers know a child may be sitting there.”
It is yet to be seen whether other airlines around the world will follow suit.
The initiative has received a mixed response. Entrepreneur Rahat Ahmed drew attention to the policy on Twitter, praising it to his followers and urging another airline, Qatar Airways, to take note.
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.
Please take note, @qatarairways: I had 3 screaming babies next to me on my JFK-DOH flight two weeks ago. pic.twitter.com/kQYQFIqqCD
— Rahat Ahmed ✈️ Tokyo (@dequinix) September 24, 2019
A number of Twitter user agreed with Ahmet, saying they would welcome such policies on flights and tagging other airlines.
I’ve been saying for ages we need a 21+ or 18+ only flight. I would gladly pay a fee for such a flight.
— Tarek Haidar (@TarekHaidar) September 26, 2019
@united this would be awesome, especially on long haul flights! 😊
— Frank Wolters (@_FrankWolters) September 25, 2019
A major UX breakthrough in airline booking. @emirates
— Simon Houeix (@simonhoueix) September 25, 2019
Absolutely agree with you Rahat, screaming babies are not welcome anywhere...and especially on long haul flights! There’s no escape from the noise, but noise cancelling headphones do help.
— Kathy Wilkinson (@WilkinsonPRLtd) September 26, 2019
However, other users took issue with Ahmed’s tweets, calling for “tolerance” in place of baby-flagging policies.
“Get over yourself,” one person wrote.
As a father of 5 and having travelled with each one as a baby at one point or another, I try to do everything I can to keep them from crying. It's hard on parents too. And remember: it's just one day. You'll survive your flight. Chill
— David Walker (@DDubDub21) September 26, 2019
Babies tend to sleep pretty good on flights. Get over yourself and book away from the bulkhead or fly business
— Marcus Bellot (@BellotMarcus) September 26, 2019
They are babies as we all once were. We need to learn tolerance or will soon start needing a map of seat locations for mouth breathers, droolers, farters, drunks, and perhaps a lot more things in life. What ever happened to life's surprises 😉?
— GS (@gsundar) September 26, 2019
This isn’t the first time an airline’s policies towards parents and babies have proved contentious.
Earlier this year, there was uproar on social media after Dutch airline KLM told a breastfeeding customer to cover herself up, who shared her experience in a Facebook post.
Another woman asked the airline to clarify their breastfeeding policy on Twitter, and the airline responded to say that while breastfeeding on flights is allowed, if other passengers are offended they may be asked to cover up – cue uproar.