How Parents Are Reacting to Japan Airlines Introducing Baby Seat Map Allowing Passengers to Avoid Infants

How Parents Are Reacting to Japan Airlines Introducing Baby Seat Map Allowing Passengers to Avoid Infants

by Kendal Rodgers

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mom and baby on plane

Japan Airlines has revealed a new tool that allows passengers to dodge infants when booking their seats. This news has triggered mixed reactions amongst parents all over the world. Some are welcoming this new tool as a positive for their flying experience with their toddlers while others see it as a slippery slope in the wrong direction. And some are wondering why they are not creating seat maps for drunks and overweight passengers!

mom and baby on plane
Photo by Club Bebe Voyage member and mom Chelsie Oehlkers‎

I can relate…. Maybe this is actually good news for traveling parents?

A good number of parents actually saw a positive in this new tool.

Jessica: I can relate. If only I can choose to sit away from my own infant.

Evren: Actually I kind of like this map. I rather have people who are okay with infants/toddlers sit near me.

daddy traveling with kidsPilar: I totally understand this. I don’t want to sit next to babies and especially toddlers when I’m flying solo either and there’s nothing wrong with society for letting people choose to be as comfortable as possible on their flights. Plus, that will probably mean more seats empty near me when I’m traveling with my child! Win for everyone!

Justine: I think this would increase the chances of having an empty seat in our row. Win for everyone involved.

Susan: As someone who used to have to travel for work and go straight from the plane to meetings, I can imagine this being a great ting. As a mother of two little ones, I find this a bitter pill to swallow BUT as most people don’t want to sit near babies, maybe it will mean more empty seats near me? Interested to see how this plays out, especially as it is not an American carrier.

Bettina: I bet it’s good if I don’t have someone who’ll throw a hissy fit once he sees me and my baby. Takes off my anxiety of sitting next to someone who’ll give me a hard time (I already have a hard time flying solo with baby). Personally, I’d also love to know where other lap infants are located… I want to near them

Eliza If it’s a full flight, I’ll take that seat near a parent with kids. If I’m flying solo, I usually don’t mind helping and I know I usually need the help!

Stephanie: That’s fine. I love when people ask me on Southwest if my baby will cry before they sit down. If you are asking me that, move along.

JuliaI loooove that idea. If you are traveling with a baby, you’ll get either an empty seat, which is great, or a person who loooooves babies and might help you out a little bit. It’s a win-win for me!

Susanna: Definitely doesn’t bother me at all. I actually like it better because I’d rather someone who doesn’t want to be around us sitting further away than dealing with his/her rude looks/comments/huffs and puffs if he/she ends up close by.

Jacky: I’d actually want to choose to sit near babies if I’m traveling with one so I know I can bum an extra wipe or diaper off a neighbor if needed.

This seems highly inappropriate somehow…

A bunch of parents feel that this new seating tool is a slippery slope which could get ugly.

Eileen: This seems highly inappropriate somehow. I really don’t feel like this needs to exist. It legitimizes the idea that babies and children shouldn’t fly or something. It also feels like personal information. It also feels discriminatory. 

AlexandraI agree with you. From a legal standpoint, it’s a slippery slope. Where do you draw the line? What about disabled people? Sitting next to a an adult with special needs could be considered an inconvenience too. Pregnant ladies take more space, have to go to bathroom more and aren’t so steady on feet…or may be very nauseous. Just some examples but yeah this can go straight to hell.

Sara: Also a little creepy, if someone chooses to sit next to your baby…

AlexandraI think it has potential for (literal) abuse. Pedophile’s dream. And once you start marking babies on the map, who is next to be marked? Disabled people? Old, pregnant, overweight…it opens the door to a slippery slope, pointing out where a certain type of passenger is sitting and letting others choose to be near or far.


Why does society resist small children so much?

Why is it that in some parts of the world, society is more intolerant to small children than others? Could this be part of the resistance to this new seating tool? Why can’t people be more tolerant to families with small children?

Monica: It’s a plane…you’re going to hear that baby or toddler no matter where you are. Never understood why people get so annoyed with babies on planes. I’m MUCH more annoyed by people having loud conversations but I deal with that too.

Summer: I have always been welcomed with open arms by flight attendants and fellow flyers! On my daughter’s worst flight (flying home with roseola) I apologized to the man behind us. He told me that she was better than him on his best flight. We as a society should be more patient and understanding of children and families.

Abby: Not surprised that JAL is doing this. Kids in Japan should be seen and not heard, at least in my experience. But I do think this will result in more empty seats around those of us traveling with babies!

Enza: I travel for work and have 2 small children I also often travel with… Kids are part of life and society. I think this trend of segmenting them off from unavoidable parts of life is troubling for our society. I already think we do this way too much in the U.S. ‍♀️

Sue: Having just come back from Japan via JAL, I feel like tat they as a company are very service minded and are trying to be as accommodating as possible. We were in biz class with a baby and a two- year-old and we tried to keep them as quiet as best we could on the 10-hour flight.  But we had a man shoot us some glares and shake his head at us a few times Similarly, we traveled on Qantas when our toddler was a baby and absolutely losing it.  When they dimmed the lights,  a lovely lady called the flight attendant and asked her if she could ask me if she could hold my baby for me!! The attendant told me that she was shocked at the suggestion since she was expecting her to complain about my crying baby. So I feel like there are people who complain to airlines about crying babies. It’s sad how some people are intolerant to young children who are our future.


Babies are one thing, what about toddlers?

Amanda: Babies are one thing! Toddlers tho! Where are those two-year olds at!?!

-mother of three here ‍♀️

screaming toddlerBridgetI was thinking the same thing. A little baby will likely sleep most of the flight. A three-year-old might spend nine hours asking you endless questions, or talking nonstop. Let’s hope they serve plain noodles and butter for the meal, so we can maybe have five minutes of silence.

Carolina: Honestly, I have no problems with babies nearby. That’s what earplugs are for. The toddlers are what you should be careful about!


A seat map for stinky and drunk people instead?!

Jessica: I would also be interested in a map by weight… but that’s very politically incorrect .

Nandini: And stinky and drunk people.

Arleen: Can they come up with an airline daycare?!?

Sydene: Does the seat map show where the person who takes up more than their allocated seat, had one too many drinks, takes their shoes off, or just rude in general.

StellaWill the seat map show where the smelly people are too ?! ‍♀️

Carolina: I’ll take a screaming baby over a drunk grown up any day. I have no problems with this map, as long as people know that may not be completely “safe.”  As long as a drunk grown up doesn’t start screaming they reserved a ‘child free’ row, go for it!

Michelle I’ve sat near far more annoying adults then children. Can they come up with a douchey adult map for us?

KerstinHow pissed must people be if they book early and reserve seats far away from kids and then I come along and reserve the seat RIGHT NEXT to them. Some people must be in constant fear that this happens and check their reservation daily….


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