Who’s a crybaby?

Have you ever sat next to a crying baby on a flight?  I think we can all say yes to that question.  After all, as at 2018 Canadian travelers had taken over 20M trips – there must have been a few babies on those flights.  So getting a seat next to a crying baby is probably the bottom of the wish list for most travelers and generally it just seems to depend on how lucky (or unlucky) you might be getting that seat.

Now Japan Airlines is trying to take the guess work out of picking your seat away from the babies.  So now when you go onto the Japan Airlines website to select your seat, if you are travelling with a baby it will mark that seat as taken with a baby face image – so others know that the seat next to this might not be the most desirable.

It’s not foolproof because if you book through a partner airline you might not necessarily be able to pull up the seat map in the same way – or perhaps you book your seat in advance on the basis that there is no baby nearby and then a mom and baby book the seat behind you…..  But this brings me to a bigger question – isn’t this discriminatory?

We are all getting very sensitive these days – Gender, race, sexual identity, weight and size are all very sensitive topics …. So what about those baby haters???

People we are talking about a baby here – someone who doesn’t realise whether or not you are uncomfortable with their crying.  And that’s the problem because the baby haters don’t make the baby uncomfortable – they make the mom uncomfortable.  Trust me – I have been there.  Your baby starts niggling and you go through all the soothing motions you can think of – rocking them back and forth, trying the pacifier (we call it a dummy but that doesn’t seem to be the name here) and all the while anxiously glancing around at your fellow passengers – just waiting for that LOOK … you know the one I’m talking about.

In fact a real life incident for you – Tracy in my office had to fly to Vancouver when her little one was a baby. On the way there the baby slept all the way through. When she was getting off the flight everyone kept saying “Oh what a wonderful baby”. Different story on the way back – the baby cried and cried the whole way. When she got off the flight no one said a word to her! She just got the looks!

So I really think that Japan Airlines has made a mistake with this so called promotional tool – unless they take it all the way.  Now there’s a thought.

So when you select a seat you will be obliged to identify your own bad habit so as to warn other people maybe not to select a seat next to you.  And c’mon people – you got to be truthful here – just like the mom who books a seat with an infant and gets called out!

You talkers out there – you could be labeled on the seat plan like this

And if you are a fidget – someone who constantly digs in the seat pocket in front of you or kicks the back of the seat in front of you or has to endless jab the screen in front of you then you can be this one

And if you are one of those people with legs up to their armpits then this one

Image result for tall man cartoon images

But beware – because you never know where this might lead. All this Artificial Intelligence – access to previous passenger complaints or flight attendant notes. Remember that time you shouted at the aeroplan lady on the phone because she couldn’t find you the flight you wanted …… beware! This could be your seat selection icon

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.


  1. My husband and I just got back home from a long overseas flight that had us sitting in different rows. I was near a crying baby and he was beside a man that coughed, sneezed and farted the entire trip. I’ll take the baby any day! 😳


  2. My husband and I just got back from a long overseas flight which had us sitting in separate rows. I was near a crying baby and he was beside a man that coughed, sneezed and farted the entire trip. I’ll take the baby any day!!


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