Japan Airlines has implemented a system that allows travelers to avoid having a screaming baby seated next to them. While some passengers think it’s an idea that’s long overdue, others believe it takes a village to get an infant from town to town.
The controversy surrounding the airline’s online seating charts, which include icons of a baby’s face where kids under 2 year old are known to be seated, was picked up on in a BBC report that picked up a tweet from businessman Rahat Ahmed, who suggested all airlines should have such a system in place.
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
“Thank you, (Japan Airlines) for warnings me about where babies plan to scream and yell during a 13 hour trip,” he tweeted at Qatar Airways, which he blamed for seating him next to a trio of screaming babies on a recent flight. “This really ought to be mandatory across the board.”
One user wrote back in defense of infants who don’t have no control over their travel plans; that “babies are not capable developmentally to ‘plan’ crying or screaming.” Another tweeter encouraged Ahmed to try and reason with a baby if he thinks that will stop them from being disruptive. Others weighed in, suggesting that passengers who don’t want to hear other people’s babies pouting should purchase a good set of headphones to tune out the noise.
ABC News published a 2012 help-guide for parents wishing to travel with babies while being considerate with fellow passengers. The biggest error parents make, according to that list, is tuning out their crying kids.
“Kids act up, they throw tantrums, but nothing is more maddening than parents who just sit there and stare at the meltdown,” the list stated. ABC also urged parents not to assume the entire plane is their personal changing station. Finally, they suggest that parents who can’t keep their kids quiet might be able to silence angry passengers by buying them booze to ease the pain.