JAL Seat Map Shows Where The Babies & Toddlers Are Seated

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

If you knew you were going to be seated beside a baby or toddler on a flight, would you change your seat? Plenty of travellers would.

Japan Airlines has a solution: a seat map showing pax where all the babies are so child-averse pax can choose not to be near them.

The carrier's seat-selection map shows where seats have already been purchased for infants and small children.

Passenger Rahat Ahmed told USA TODAY that he was selecting his seats for a long Japan Airlines flight when he noticed that the seat map had an indicator for a baby bassinet.

"Some of them were not where the bassinet would be, so I was curious if this actually was an indicator of a baby on the seat," he said.

Japan Airlines' website explains the meaning of the seating chart's "child icon."

"Passengers travelling 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 site notes. "This lets other passengers know a child may be sitting there."

JAL cautions that the baby map isn’t perfect. If, for instance, a child seat is booked through a method other than the JAL website (for instance, as part of a tour or award ticket), then the child icon would not be displayed. And if there is a change in aircraft, the baby locator icons may not be displayed in the proper spots.

Despite those disclaimers, Ahmed, who travels frequently for work and tries to sleep on overnight flights, considers the baby map to be an asset. Though rowdy kids have been the exception rather than the rule, he has had a few bad experiences.

"I have no issues with babies, but if I can avoid the risk of a parent who lets their child run amok, I’m happy to take advantage," he said. "And when you have transoceanic flights, you want greater certainty," he said.

Bruce Parkinson

Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief

An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.


Laura Kay - September 26, 2019 @ 11:39
I know this is a horrible thing to say but this is awesome! I wish all seat maps showed where children under the age of 10 were seated. I know babies cry and that is just as frustrating for the parents as the adults seated near-by. But it is shocking to me how many parents don't care how their child behaves in public. I'd rather sit next to a crying baby than an unruly child receiving no guidance from the parent/guardian.

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