Japan Airlines is giving passengers as much information as possible to help them decide where they want to sit on a flight.
On Tuesday, a frequent flyer noticed a kid icon on the seating chart for his 13-hour flight on JAL, as the Japanese airline is known. He tweeted out his gratitude for what he called a warning “about where babies plan to scream and yell.”
This set off a round of commenters voicing differing beliefs about flying with babies and how fellow passengers should treat parents dealing with youngsters on trips.
The original poster followed up a few days later, conceding that the baby map is helpful but doesn’t solve all the problems of flying. There’s still plenty of sneezing, snoring, and loud, obnoxious people of all ages. It’s not just babies that can make a flight hellish.
Since this blew up quite a bit:
1/ Adults can be just as bad as babies.
2/ Empathy is important and every situation is different.
3/ Where babies sit can be one of many indicators that help travelers plan flights.
Ultimately, there are more important things to worry about.
— Rahat Ahmed (@dequinix) September 26, 2019
The New York Times and other publications discovered that the “baby map” is unique to JAL, which displays “child icons” for babies aged 0-2. The icons are a new addition to the JAL seat selection process.
There’s no promising a baby won’t be in a seat near you, but you can map out your seat choice strategically with the information you’ve got at the time of booking.
According to the JAL website section “Traveling with your baby,” the feature was added to let others know a child will be sitting nearby. Now you can plan around the smiling baby icon for when the IRL baby isn’t so smiley.
The more you know…
At least it’s not as bad as a budget Australian airline charging for a baby on your lap. Don’t forget your noise-canceling headphones.