A child icon will automatically pop up to alert passengers to where a child between eight days and two years old is seated
Justin McCurry in Tokyo – The Guardian
A Japan Airlines booking tool will show the location of babies on its planes Photograph: Blend Images – John Lund/Sam Diephuis/Getty Images
Being stuck on a long-haul flight within earshot of a crying baby could be a thing of the past for passengers on Japan Airlines (JAL), after the carrier unveiled an online booking tool that indicates where toddlers will be seated.
When passengers with children aged between eight days and two years old reserve their seat, a child icon automatically appears on the seat plan, alerting other passengers who have yet to select their seats.
JAL was quick to point out that the new feature did not guarantee that passengers would be out of earshot of a screaming infant.
The icon would not appear if passengers booked their flight through a third party or were part of a tour group, or if there was a last-minute change of aircraft, the airline’s website said.
JAL and other airlines have yet to come up with way of anticipating seat reservations by serial snorers and passengers who fully recline their seats during in-flight meals.
But the move attracted praise from some social media users.
“Thank you, @JAL_Official_jp for warnings me about where babies plan to scream and yell during a 13 hour trip,” Rahat Ahmed, a businessman, tweeted. “This really ought to be mandatory across the board.”
Others, though, castigated travellers for intolerance towards fellow passengers.
“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,” one user said.