An Airline Lets You See Where Babies Are Seated And Parents Are Pissed

It’s very stressful to fly with a child, especially a baby. They don’t really know what’s going on, they hate sitting still, and for the smallest ones, just the pressure of the cabin changing is enough to set them off screaming for the duration of the trip. Even one baby losing it on a flight can make that metal tube hurtling through the sky into a temporary hell for everyone. Parents don’t have much choice but to endure it, but what about the rest of us?

A man named Rahat Ahmed tweeted about a policy on Japan Airlines which lets you see where kids are seated throughout the plane when you book your ticket.

That way, you can try to strategically avoid all the young people on board. He took a screenshot of how the seat selection page looks and wrote (somewhat rudely), “Thank you, @JAL_Official_jp for warnings me about where babies plan to scream and yell during a 13-hour trip. This really ought to be mandatory across the board. Please take note, @qatarairways: I had 3 screaming babies next to me on my JFK-DOH flight two weeks ago.”

The feature is real, but the BBC reports that Japan Airlines has said it’s not foolproof. If someone books a seat through a third party website, it might not show up that they’re accompanied by a minor. I also wondered what happens if you book in an empty row and then someone takes the seats next to you with a baby in one of them. Do you get a notification?

But most comments on Ahmed’s tweets aren’t about the practical logistics of this feature, they’re mostly from angry parents telling him he’s being an a**hole for even suggesting he doesn’t want to sit next to a baby:

It’s true that parents often feel judged when their baby is losing their crap in public. We shouldn’t judge parents, because yes, babies do cry. They especially cry on planes. It’s no one’s fault. They’re babies. It’s also no one’s fault that the sound of a baby crying is excruciating and not something anyone voluntarily wants to be near when the baby is not their own child. But parents seem to think Ahmed is being intolerant of baby culture:

Not sure why all these parents want someone who doesn’t like the sound of babies seated next to them, but here we are! A few people pointed out reasons why this feature might be positive for folks who have larger issues than being annoyed by children:

And Ahmed defended himself after getting so much criticism:

There’s no way to make the world perfectly suit all your needs, but I think it’s okay to book a comfortable seat for yourself on a plane, whatever that means. Japan Airlines is just trying to help.