No more crying babies onboard

I always try to choose a seat as far up front as possible. It’s a smoother ride, away from the smelly kitchen and bathroom and, usually, a little quieter.

That is, unless, a crying infant is sitting in the front row between business and economy.

This is typically where you’ll find families with babies, because the partition is used to hang airplane basinets.

But one airline can actually warn you if you’re sitting next to, or near, an infant on your flight.

crying baby on board plane

Japan Airlines (JAL) has implemented a feature into its check-in process that alerts you as to the position of potentially whinging whelps, giving you the chance to put as much distance as you want between yourself and a crying kid.

When passengers travelling with a child younger than two select their seats, an icon will appear on those seats alerting others of the child’s whereabouts.

While this feature may give you a greater chance of not sitting near an infant, JAL points out some disclaimers, such as:

  • child icons won’t appear if children are part of a tour booking
  • icons won’t appear if bookings were made on a non-JAL website
  • icons also won’t appear for passengers who bought their tickets with frequent flyer miles
  • placement of the child icons may not be accurate if the aircraft type changes after booking. 

The move has received praise from passengers.


JAL isn’t the only airline to shield passengers from children on board. Indian airline IndiGo has ‘Quiet Zones’ where children under 12 are not allowed to sit, and some other airlines offer child-free rows for an extra fee.

Would you like this to be rolled out across all airlines? Would you pay a little extra to know you weren’t sitting near a crying baby?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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