When Japan Airlines announced that it has launched a new tool to aid its customers avoid babies on a plane, little did it know that it would be the no.1 topic trending on Twitter that day. Whichever side of the fence you sit when it comes to crying babies on a plane, it seems that Japan Airlines have kicked a hornet’s nest. With both feet. And then kicked it again.
So what’s caused such a stir?
During the booking process and/or check-in process, Japan Airlines customers can now select their seat using the interactive seat map facility, only now they can see where babies have already checked in and avoid the seats immediately adjacent, or indeed sit as far away as possible from said seats. Of course, the tool is not fool proof, if you’re one of the first to check-in and select your seats, there is nothing to stop a parent and their baby selecting the seat next to you.
How do Japan Airlines know where babies are sitting?
Babies between the ages of 8 days and 2 years old have to sit on the lap of the accompanying adult who will have selected their seat. Babies under 2 cannot have their own seat on a plane and have to sit on the lap of a full fare paying adult and when that adult checks in and selects their seat, the airline know that a baby will be on their lap.
Whilst some have called for the Japan Airline seat map tool to be rolled out to all airlines, many have called for a little understanding and for passengers to be more accommodating and tolerant to fellow passenger needs. Whether other airlines develop a similar tool remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure, you’re not likely to see our seat map implemented any time soon.
What else annoys passengers on a plane?
It’s understandable that crying babies on a plane can be frustrating, but there are far more annoying passenger habits when flying worth investigating. We decided to have a little fun and carried out some ‘market research’ (read that as trawling a few forums about pet hates when flying) and have come up with a list of 7 of the most complained about fellow passenger habits.
With our new system, passengers would have to divulge to the airline which, if any, of the categories of passengers they fall into and when they select their seat, other passengers can see who they are likely to be sat next to. Have a look at our spoof plane seat map and see if you can find an available seat where you’d like to sit! Good luck.
Annoying Passengers on a Plane Symbols
- Baby on board - this seat is occupied by a child under 2 years old - expect crying, screaming and nappy changes to affect adjacent seats
- Snoring - this seat is occupied by a serial snorer, likely to fall asleep during safety briefing and snore until touchdown, dribbling possible
- Toilet User - the occupant of this window seat will visit the toilet at least once per hour, middle and aisle seat likely to see frequent disruption
- Seat Kicker - this seat is occupied by a child aged likely to kick the seat back of the row in front throughout the flight
- Chomper - this seat is occupied by a passenger who eats constantly during the flight, expect chomping, food smells and packet rustling
- Talker - this seat is occupied by an overly friendly passenger likely to chat non-stop for duration of flight - worst on return journey
- Legroom - this seat is occupied by a passenger who will insist on encroaching on your leg room, a knee basher by definition
- Elbow - this seat is occupied by an armrest hog, typically middle row passengers who have no window or aisle room
- Lights - this seat is occupied by a serial reader who will have their light on for the duration of the flight, day or night, sleeping unlikely