Do You Hate Babies On Planes? Japanese Airlines Are Here For You

  • CULTURE
  • NEWS
  • TRAVEL
  • by Martin Danker

    Dramatic stories about people who complained about the babies they had to sit next to during a long flight are far too common, from this model who was criticized after posting an Instagram Story complaining about a baby , to this passenger who was kicked out of a plane for refusing to sit next to a baby.

    Putting it shortly, being inside a flying tube for hours does not bring the best in people.

    I would like to think that people wanted to behave their best these days. After all, the chances of being recorded while having an irrational outburst or throwing a tantrum are very high. Not to mention that such videos can have long-term repercussions, particularly if it goes viral, reaching the smartphones of one’s coworkers and supervisors. Nevertheless, each month we get some news related to people misbehaving in one way or another; and videos related to ill-mannered passengers always make headlines…

    However, not everyone who hates flying next to babies will have this type of bombastic reaction, opting instead to hold their anger and suffer in silence during the rest of the flight; and while some passengers might be sympathetic to parents, it does not mean that they would like to be seated next to infants.

    Japan Airlines and ANA

    That’s why JAL’s new feature that just took the Internet by storm is revolutionary. This feature allows people to know where families flying with young children will be (this is, of course, when those families have selected their own seats). The feature only works if people book the tickets using the airline’s website, and it won’t show this type of information if the aircraft is changed last minute, or if people are part of a tour.

    While this is not revolutionary in terms of the airline’s soft and hard products, it does make JAL and ANA stand out among other carriers. While JAL is the one benefiting from all the attention, a spokesperson from All Nippon Airways stated that ANA’s seat maps have been showing where toddlers are sitting “for a while.”

    The seat map’s feature also addresses a topic many find to be some sort of taboo: that many people don’t like flying next to babies.

    The reason the topic is considered a taboo is that those who complain about babies on planes tend to be scrutinized. After all, everyone who boards an aircraft is doing so for a reason, and thus complaining about those who have to do it with infants can seem cruel and pointless. For that reason, many people prefer to hold their tongues when this topic comes up during a conversation. This is not necessarily the case in online forums, where anonymity allows people to express themselves more freely (there’s a reason Twitter is so popular in Japan). When it comes to online forums, the sheer amount of people who complain about infants on planes becomes more apparent.

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    FLYING WITH BABIES & TODDLERS ✈️ // We use to live interstate and I flew many times solo with both boys as babies and toddlers. It can be hard work but it doesn’t have to be stressful if you’re organised, prepared and relaxed…. ok, so catching a flight is always a little stressful making sure you check in on time etc. and adding an infant into the mix will elevate your stress levels BUT… here are a few tips I’ve picked up along the way. 1. Breastfeed/bottlefeed on take off and landing to help your child’s ears, plus it relaxes them/distracts you #winwin 🤱🏼🍼 My children have never had any issues but I do swear by the sucking motion. 2. Give older children a lollipop to suck on for take off. Again, this helps their ears with the sudden change in pressure and also distracts them if they are at all anxious. 🍭 3. Formula fed babies; mums the flight attendants are there to help you, don’t be afraid to press the buzzer for assistance and they can fill your bottle with warm water etc. . 4. Ask other passengers for help. 9/10 there is always a beaming woman close by with a smile on her face that says ‘I’ll hold your baby!!!’ 😍 In my experience men are equally as helpful and I once had a man carry one of the boys down the stairs for me 🙌🏼👍🏼 People will of course be looking, don’t take this the wrong way, we’re all squashed up in a tight space together and there isn’t much else to look at. Most people don’t want to offend you by implying that you need assistance but are more than happy to help in any way. So don’t think people are sitting back judging you, they are most likely commending you and wondering if they should offer to help. . 5. Get to the airport early. Once checked in try to feed and burn your kids energy. Some airports have playgrounds (Adelaide 🙌🏼) . 6. Find an airport stroller. You’ve probably never noticed them before but they are often dumped everywhere in between security and the gates. They’re free to use from A to B. . Continued in comments… #flyingwithbaby #flyingwithkids

    M I D N I G H T M U M S 💜さん(@midnightmums)がシェアした投稿 –

    When people started tweeting to applaud JAL’s feature, many others users commented that it was important to be tolerant, and that “we were all babies once.” These discussions are not rare, and interactions between those who don’t want to be right next to a crying baby and those who demand tolerance tend to be so repetitive it’s like listening to a broken record.

    What About Pets?

    Now, I’m sure other people would also welcome a feature that showed where those with pets were going to sit. Another topic that causes a lot of debate is that of passengers flying with service animals. This has become an even more heated subject after the realization that some people were taking advantage of the system and its loopholes to fly with their pets. Needless to say, there are those who would not be entirely content having to sit close to an animal; and if someone has an allergy, you bet they won’t want to be anywhere near a pet.

    When it comes to flying with pets, I would also welcome a feature that would let me know where people with animals were going to sit. That way I would immediately choose the seats next to them! You might think differently, but I am the kind of person who adores flying “puppy class”!

    What can I say? I do love our furry family members.

    Final Thoughts

    I understand that passengers, myself included, have certain preferences when flying; and Japan Airlines decision to show a child icon on their seat maps is a welcome feature that provides those who would not like to sit next to infants with the option to select a different seat.

    Now tell us, are you excited about this new feature?