Innovative Or Creepy? Japan Airlines Seat Maps Tell You Where Young Children Are

Don’t want to sit next to a lap infant on a long flight? Book your trip on Japan Airlines and pay attention to where babies are seated. Keep monitoring the seat map as your travel date approaches, in case and young children are added to the flight and change seats accordingly. Is this every frequent flyer’s dream feature, or…?

At first blush this seems like it’s great for other passengers, who don’t want to be seated near a young child. It’s not just about avoiding being next to them, but you may not want to have your seat back kicked either.

Japan Airlines Boeing 787 Economy

In practice this means that the seat next to a young child is likely to remain open, as long as the plane isn’t full. So this is good for parents and for other passengers.

On the other hand, it tells especially creepy people where they might want to sit, right? Airlines don’t – and shouldn’t – flag where young women are seated on the aircraft. That would create a target rich environment for creeps. Should we be concerned about people that would use the young child marker to opt into nearby seats rather than to avoid them?

(HT: @ChefSamGlass)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. *sigh* – being able to actually ‘enter’ Japan would be almost worth putting up with a child sitting near by.

  2. LOVE THIS. After two 15 hour flights with crying babies in the rows in front and behind us (and parents who pretty much ignored them) it would have been really nice to be seated away from them a bit.

  3. If JAL knows that infants disturb other passengers, create a separate are for infants and put curtains around that area but don’t shame them

  4. I applaud Innovative efforts where it is very easy lift for the company that provides very high value for the customer. In this case all they had to do was provide a little additional information that already exists in their reservation system for the customers to see. It allows the customer to stay clear of the seats that may have an infant and I would personally appreciate that as would many other people. I hope this is something that other airlines can take up in their efforts to add value oh, not that they actually do usually.

  5. Wonderful idea. Other airlines should follow suit.

    As to the creepy weirdo factor, do you really expect that: 1) Some deranged pervert would pick an airplane to try something with an infant and 2) is there any reasonable possibility that the parents would simply leave the infant just lying there unattended and 3) even in the exceedingly unlikely circumstance of both 1 and 2 happening do you think that fellow passengers would simply ignore an infant being sexually molested? That’s quite a chain of happenstance.

  6. This isn’t exactly new…or maybe I’m misreading the context and it’s coming across as something new when I’m reading it. JAL has had this since 2019 and probably before that. But then again…it’s seems like it’s bee n5 years since I’ve been on a plane to Asia…ugh.

  7. Anything that lessens the possibility of me having to be in close proximity to demon spawn is welcome.

  8. ” Should we be concerned about people that would use the young child marker to opt into nearby seats rather than to avoid them?” Seriously? Do you really think this is a concern? Like really does this seem like a reasonable and legitimate concern that there are somehow pedophiles that will target an infant they have never seen? And sorry but what the hell would the parents be doing during the flight if something like this were to happen? Sometimes the hysteria on this blog gets to be a bit much. This is a great idea because who the hell wants to sit next to a screaming infant on a long haul flight.

  9. did you just discover this? JAL has been doing this for years, many many years. This isn’t some new feature.

  10. Not a new story. And the old story raised the same pseudo-concern.

    FWIW, I’ve flown on several European airlines trans-Atlantic, and it’s well known that certain bulkhead seats are “creche” seats so babies can be attached to the bulkhead to sleep through the flight. (It may be a feature on American carriers as well, but I’ve never noticed it.) Do pedophiles select these known seats so they can molest infants while their mother’s sleep, in full view of the entire cabin and the roving crew? Or is that as ridiculous as it sounds?

  11. Terrific plan! Every airline should do it. I’d like to see it expanded to “children under 5” so they can be avoided. There’s just no upside being around kids on a plane for most of us. As far as “shaming” the families, that’s a bit much … parents know (they may not admit it) that their kids are of little interest to strangers, and most of us would rather avoid them because they’re disruptive. There’s no shame in attempting to mitigate the problem.

  12. I vote innovative. And while they are at it maybe they could post the weights of passengers as well as when they took their last shower before boarding.

  13. I remember that screaming kid on a lhr bos flight, felt sorry for those people in business class who did pay for the seat and that kid got it for free

  14. We let Google Maps show everyone including potential perverts where schools, parks and daycares are, places guaranteed to have children in them. I agree with others on this thread: the likelihood of a pedophile molesting a child onboard a plane without the parents or anybody else noticing or intervening is pretty low, and anybody attempting this on a plane would be incredibly stupid since there’s zero ability to remain unidentified, hide or run away if caught.

  15. Great idea. I do not wish to be sitting near any of the little snot gobblers…… and the crying and screaming.

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