Don’t you hate when you get on an airplane and realize that you’re stuck in a seat next to a crying baby? Now an innovation solution from Japan Airlines can give passengers the option to sit as far away from crying babies as they can – so long as those highly-sought-after seats are still open. During the grand reveal of their new booking feature, Japan Airlines showed the world that they’re going to show paying customers seats which are to be occupied by babies up to the age of two.
Next time you book a flight with Japan Airlines, you’ll get to the seat selection stage of your purchase and see icons that reveal any seats that are occupied by babies. Because these seats will be highlighted with an icon of a baby, you have the option to book your seat as far from that child as you want.
While this system is not guaranteed to get you far away from crying kids on planes – if a parent books a flight after you the child might be closer than you want – it does help you get some control over who you sit next to.
The airline said, “Passengers traveling with children between 8 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. This lets other passengers know a child may be sitting there.”
Because this innovative offering has sparked a lot of discussions online, people are joining the conversation on Twitter.
Rahat Ahmed wrote: “Thank you, @JAL_Official_jp for warning me about where babies plan to scream and yell during a 13-hour trip. This really ought to be mandatory across the board.”
While Kathy Wilkson added: “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-canceling headphones do help.”
There is one caveat that makes the whole seating chart flawed. Japan Airlines will only know if someone is bringing a baby on board the flight if the seat purchases are made on the airline’s website.
A JAL spokesperson said: “The seat map displaying younger children has been available on JAL’s domestic website since 2013 and was introduced on our international reservation site in 2017 when JAL completed its reservation/web system renewal. Japan Airlines is committed to providing customers with the highest levels of quality in every aspect of its service, and this function was originally implemented based on customer feedback.
“Customers with children have voiced opinions to sit in seats occupied by other traveling children to avoid any inconvenience to those traveling without family members. Therefore, the company took the initiative to create a function in the domestic market in 2013 and for the international market in 2017.”
While this solution may be controversial, it can give passengers the option to stay away from crying babies, especially on long flights.
What do you think about Japan Airlines offering passengers the chance to sit far from the crying babies?
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