Asia Business Channel

Japan Airlines introduces ‘child maps’ so passengers can avoid sitting near children


Sitting next to young babies and young children may become less stressful to adult passengers, with Japan Airlines introducing a new feature on its booking system that displays where young children will be seated during their flight.

During the seat selection process, customers will be shown a “child icon” on seats where a babies and young children, under 2-years of age will be sitting.

The JAL system allows passengers to know where babies and young children will be seated

JAL explains the new system on its website and says that, “Passengers traveling with children between 8 days and 2 years old who select their seats on the JAL website will have a child icon displayed on their seats on the seat selection screen.”

The airline hopes that the system will be useful for other passengers to decide where they would like to sit on their flights but that the seats that the child icons show may not be accurate if the airplane type has been changed, or if the seats were not selected through the JAL website.

Other airlines, including AirAsia X, Air New Zealand, IndiGo and Quantas Airlines have also introduced different systems for passengers to avoid being seated near very young children.

In 2016, IndiGo introduced a “quiet zone” system for its premium extra leg room zones and bars them from being occupied by passengers younger than 12.

In 2017, AirAsia X introduced a “quiet zone” on all of its flights that sets aside rows of seats that cannot be occupied by children under age 10.

Both Air New Zealand and Qantas display bassinets on seat maps for selected flights to help parents traveling with infants select the right seats, and which also allow other passengers see where babies might be on the plane.

Malaysia airline's long-haul flights use the Airbus A380, where the plane's upper level — which carries first-class, business, and some economy class seats — are entirely child free.

As the news of JAL's new systems has been publicized, the majority of comments about it have been very positive and comments on Facebook and Twitter have said that this added layer of comfort in the flying process should be made mandatory for travellers everywhere.

A Japanese travel agent said that JAL’s new map system “is trying to make everyday life as convenient as possible with little behavioral changes." Japanese people are already in a certain mindset when boarding any kind of mass transportation — they don't want to make noise and they don't want to be bothered by noise.”




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