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Airlines Qantas and Virgin Australia are under fire for their policy of moving men from seats next to unaccompanied children, causing humiliation to the passengers being moved. The airlines say the po

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Appalling. Ridiculous paranoid over-reaction. If I were a passenger and asked to move, I'd scream bloody murder before doing so. WTF is this world coming to?

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Why don't they just arrange the seats accordingly to begin with?

I wouldn't have a problem with it if I was moved next to an empty seat, or better yet, to first or business class.

I always insist on a aisle seat. If they tried moving me from an aisle seat to either a window or a middle seat, I'd make them pick me up and physically move me, and I would never ever use that airline again.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

this is easily solved with the seat allocations prior to the passengers boarding.... if there is an unaccompanied minor they should be allocated a 'suitable' seat beforehand then nobody has to be moved once people have boarded... seems pretty obvious to me...

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Sexual harassment.

I would sue them if they did it to me.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Bloody outrage it is. If you are that concerned or presumptious your child may be subject to sexual advances or comments after your failure to seat yourselves together, why don't you educate your child in how to respond appropriately, instead of inconveniencing the world around you? Bah.

9 ( +8 / -0 )

On the plus side, who wants to babysit someone elses kid on a long flight?

14 ( +14 / -0 )

If parents are so concerned with their kids' safety, then they should be accompanying them. It's selfish to inconvenience other innocent people because you can't be bothered to watch over your own kids.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

This is absolute nonesense. The clear implication is that any man sitting next to a child has to be a child molester. And how are they treating those potential women molesters?? I agree with the earlier comment, if the parents are so concerned, they should accompany their children.

17 ( +16 / -0 )

I'd rather not sit next to some antsy kid with a small bladder, who keeps asking "are we there yet?" anyway. Of course, it should be done before boarding - then no one would really need to know why or be "humiliated". If done professionally and courteously, I wouldn't have a problem with it even after boarding the plane - mildly inconvenient to move your stuff but they aren't booting you off the flight. I'd suggest that they bump me up to business class, that would put a pep in my step.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I don't get either side of this argument. If you are afraid of your child being touched, don't send them alone on a plane. If you are that embarrassed and inconvenienced by simply having to change seats, don't get on a plane. Seems there's much more people flying these days than really should be.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Being forced to change seats seems inappropriate... What if I reserved that seat in advance? If they really want to do this, it seems like the airline should reserve a seat for the child in the front row near the flight attendants instead of moving the man.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If someone must be moved, it should be the unaccompanied child, not the men.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

Causing humilation? "Humilation"?

Inconvenience, yes. Humiliation, not so much.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Last time i fly Quantas or Virgin

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Where is the "nanny" service for these solo child-clients? It's time the airlines created it and charged the full price of such service. Leave harmless adults alone. And let parents know they are sending their kids into the unknown without guarantees for their safety. Make them sign wavers to that effect. The fact is that no flight attendant--no matter how well-intentioned or caring--has the time to mind a child for every second of the long-haul international flight. It's not their job.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

This was the topic of an article in the TElegraph a few years ago - but referring to BA whom also do this. Seems to me that we are getting to the stage where any kind of risk whatsoever needs to be guarded against (bit like Japan really). The assumption that all men are potential paedophiles is obviously ridiculous.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It's insulting and it's sexual harassment/discrimination. It seems as if they should move the kids, actually.

However, I would be very pleased to be spared the experience of having to endure travelling next to an unattended child; many of the supposedly attended ones are bad enough.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Causing humilation? "Humilation"? Inconvenience, yes. Humiliation, not so much.

What, people thinking you did or said something to the brat sitting next to you and the CA moved you? That's not humiliating?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

To assume that every man could be a pedophile is absolutely insulting. But it is going to get worse before it gets better, they will start making any man traveling with a child prove his relationship to the child. Or how about the US with those public sex offender registries, will they start denying those people service and put them on the no-fly lists (OK there are some really bad people on those lists, but not all). Then what about long-haul trains and buses? Where does it stop?

If the parents are asking for this, then the parents are not doing a good enough job of teaching their children how to be safe. Maybe it's time to raise the minimum age of a passenger who flies alone and require a companion for any underage flier if there is that much danger in an aircraft.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Causing humilation? "Humilation"?

Inconvenience, yes. Humiliation, not so much.

It is humiliating!

You: "Why are you moving me?"

Airline: "We suspect you may be a sick perverted child molester, sir."

You: "Why?"

Them: "Because you are a man."

6 ( +6 / -0 )

the seats for unaccompanied children should be gazetted before hand. If somebody is to be moved, it should be to a higher level, say from economy to business class. It has ever happened to me when i flew with KLM...i was moved to business to give way for some refugee kids...since then, I only fly with KLM...got the trick?!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

As others have mentioned, it is completely ridiculous and paranoid and can be easily avoided by booking staff being a bit more careful when allocating seats... I mean how hard can it be???

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Also I agree with Rick, if they are going to do this, they should at least put the person they have humiliated up in business class.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It's the stupidest thing in the world. These days, men are so discriminated and are becoming 2nd class citizens. Those stupid airlines should put those kids at front seats where the flight attendants can see them (unless he is a man too, right?) Put them together so they can be "protected" from men.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

taj:

" nconvenience, yes. Humiliation, not so much. "

I understand the humiliation aspect. Because the clear implication is that you are a potential child molester. For no other reason than being male. And that is obviously profiling gone overboard.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

So all men are perverts are we? I agree with the others who say that if a chap is moved out of his seat he should be upgraded to business class.

This is surely discrimination, pandering to the paranoia of airlines afraid of being sued by parents.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Would they move the seats next to young flight attendants instead?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As far as I know, I believe most airlines carry employees and/or their families and I DO know that if anyone needs to change seats, these employees and/or their families will be the first to have to comply. (Straight from the horse's mouth).

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Go ahead and move me then...to Business Class!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Young in as how many years old?

I have seen kids better behaving at 3-5 age groups vs older ones.

Where to draw the line?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

When they say unaccompanied are they referring to kids flying alone, or not sitting with their parents? It could mean either... still a disgusting way to treat men and it stigmatises us. As we saw from a story about a female teacher yesterday, not all perverts are men... and not all men are perverts!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Utterly nuts!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Its me:

" I have seen kids better behaving at 3-5 age groups vs older ones. "

I don´t think 3-5 year olds are allowed to fly alone anywhere. I don´t know the regulations for the Airlines in question, but I am pretty sure they are talking about the age group of about 10 - legal age.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Thunderb:

" When they say unaccompanied are they referring to kids flying alone, or not sitting with their parents? "

Obviously, kids not sitting together with their parents, but being in the same plane would not be "flying alone". Clearly, they are talking those kids with the big airline pouches round their neck that are taken to and from the plane by airline personnel. You must have seen them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's the stupidest thing in the world. These days, men are so discriminated and are becoming 2nd class citizens. Those stupid airlines should put those kids at front seats where the flight attendants can see them (unless he is a man too, right?) Put them together so they can be "protected" from men.

Welcome to Australia. Or is it the 'west' in general . . .

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Up to how old are these unaccompanied children? 17?

And if they're under 12, why are they unaccompanied by an adult?

And why should I be moved away from a child because I'm a male adult?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If it were merely kids assigned seating--for some incomprehensible reason--away from their parent(s) on the same flight, it would seem to be simple enough to switch the seats to put them together. That might be inconvenient, and incompetent of the staff who assigned the seats, but not paranoid nor particularly objectionable/humiliating.

It definitely seems as if this policy is about really unaccompanied kids, sent to fly alone. There may be some very rare cases in which there is no choice but to do this (a kid suddenly orphaned overseas, for example, or having to return early from a school group trip abroad because of a crisis at home), but other than for truly unavoidable circumstances, I believe that no kid under teenage should be flying alone, and I'm dubious about the lower end of the teens.

Note that "unavoidable" does not mean "inconvenient" or "uneconomical".

0 ( +1 / -1 )

the seats for unaccompanied children should be gazetted before hand

Don't forget that people book seats online now-a-days. They don't ask for age, just the credit card.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Firstly, what do they mean by "children"? I mean I've seen teenagers flying in on foreign exchanges, kids flying to join their parents, etc. These aren't unusual, but if they seriously plan to move men away from any unaccompanied passenger under the age of 18 then they're going to find that men will soon get thoroughly sick of being bounced all over the plane like a pingpong ball.

Secondly, as many other commentators have pointed out, the implication is deeply offensive. As a father myself I'm darned certain that I'm more capable of keeping an eye on an unaccompanied kid that any number of the young women who fly on planes. Any parent is. The suggestion that I am potentially a pedophile, or am less able to take care of children because of my gender, or any other number of offensive, sexist, nonsense that could possibly be behind this decision is deeply offensive and inappropriate.

I don't fly Virgin or Qantas, but should the opportunity ever arise I will simply find an alternative carrier. I sincerely hope that this puts both of them out of business.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Sounds like soon men walking alone in Australia will have to wear T-shirt with pictorial pedophil-threat warning like on cigarette packs! Just paranoid!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If it were merely kids assigned seating--for some incomprehensible reason--away from their parent(s) on the same flight, it would seem to be simple enough to switch the seats to put them together. That might be inconvenient, and incompetent of the staff who assigned the seats, but not paranoid nor particularly objectionable/humiliating.

As long as it's the kid/parents being inconvenienced it's fine. I'm getting increasingly sick of being on planes where the most annoying passengers (parents with small, noisy children) are given the most preferential treatment.

I probably am just a bitter singleton though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Try it with me I dare you. A legal complaint of sexual discrimination would come flying your way.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This actually happened to me once on a Virgin Atlantic flight. Had just got married so was seated with my husband on a row of 3 seats. I had already prebooked an aisle seat (always do) but was asked to move into the middle when a little girl of about 7 or 8 arrived, so i sat at the window, hubby in the middle and girl at the end. The flight attendent then started telling us she couldn't sit next to a man so I would have to move to the middle. It WAS very humiliating and I argued that my husband was not a pedo and women were just as likely to be. I noticed the little girl was starting to get upset so I shut up and stated playing computer games with her. Was just a bad experience all round, we were made to feel terrible by the airline. I don't think these policies come from worried parents, they are definitely thought up by the ridiculous PC brigade airlines.

By the way GaroJ, the passengers with small , noisy children are given preferential treatment because travelling with them is really, really hard work. Trust me, I do not take my baby/toddler half way across the world to piss people off, I'm doing it cos I have to.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Pathetic. I flew alone as a child and never had an issue with sitting next to men. It's sexist for both men AND women. Do they assume a woman is going to look after the kid? The guys are pedos?! I'd be ticked off if they stuck a kid flying alone next to me - I did it twice a year and hated when the adults tried to talk to me. I certainly wouldn't have an interest in babysitting a kid while flying. Um, perhaps these guys are lucky!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The outrage of the peanut gallery is palpable. I dare say a few of our falsely indignant commentators may have suffered some angina. Has Sandusky caused trouble for all of us men who according to scientific fact think of sex only once every 20 seconds?

One conterargument of my exasperated brethren is that in case of some emergency wouldn't a sturdy lad be more helpful to the crying youngsters?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Imagine that some other minority were treated this way. Let's say that an airline had a policy of making black people move when an unaccompanied child were placed next to them. Suppose some dodgy "studies" were brought in to show that black people were more likely to be criminals or pedophiles or what-have-you. Society would be absolutely outraged.

And those of you arguing that the seats should be assigned in advance so that this situation doesn't come up: think this all the way through. Should there be an employee paid to go over the seat assigments for each flight, flip-flopping seats to achieve just the right arrangement to assuage paranoia? Can you imagine the reaction of the public and the press if a story came out about airlines having employees look over photographs of passengers assigned to each seat on the plane, and shifting people's seats around so that no black faces were next to minors?

That would cause an explosion of anger in the press. Airlines would be struggling to stay solvent after all the lawsuits. Black passengers, Muslims, any racial or religious group you care to name.

And think of the impression that these disgusting policies make on the children themselves, particularly the ones who have to fly unaccompanied frequently. An impressionable little kid sees an ordinary innocent man led away from his seat, perhaps multiple times a year, and always replaced by a woman. Think he or she will get the "men can't be trusted, but women always can" message? Is that what we want to teach our kids?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Imagine that some other minority were treated this way.

Men are a minority??

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The solution: If airlines decide to move someone for whatever reason they should get an automatic upgrade. That should keep everyone happy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What happens if they decide to move a sixteen-year-old boy away from an eight-year-old girl, and the only seat available is next to a fifty-five-year-old man with thick, goggle glasses and a tendency to rub his thighs over-energetically?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A thought just struck me.

I bet these airline companies have psychiatric/psychology "advisors."

This sounds like something one of these nutjobs would dream up.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They should obviously figure out how to organize themselves to do this before ppl are seated, like at the booking stage.

Or they could have the kid get up and move to a suitable seat.

Or they could give the "lone male" an upgrade, to take away from the humiliation of being singled out and move him to business class.

Doesn't seem like one of the most difficult problems in the world to solve.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

And what about abusive single women, and abusive couples, anyways?? Plenty of them around.

Obviously the kid can only be seated in the cockpit next to the pilot. But what if he7s a perv too???

OK, kid in cockpit alone, flying the plane, pilot in the back. Only possible solution.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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