Skip to main content

Airline’s online booking tool helps you avoid screaming babies on flights

Anyone who has been on a long-haul flight will know all too well how such trips can be a test of both body and mind.

It might be the cramped conditions, the recycled air, or the person behind prodding the seat-back display as if their life depended on it. It might also be the infant seated next to you who can’t help but scream from takeoff to landing, leaving your nerves shredded by the time you reach your destination.

In that case, you may be pleased to learn that at least one major airline is now offering a way to help you steer clear of potentially noisy little ones during your flight.

The system, launched recently by Japan Airlines, lets travelers see the location of infants aged between 8 days and 2 years old when they come to select their seat.

Passenger Rahat Ahmed recently praised the carrier’s move, suggesting that it “ought to be mandatory” for all airlines to offer such a service, while adding that just recently he had “three screaming babies” seated close by on a flight between the U.S. and Qatar.

Japan Airlines’ seat map uses a “baby face” symbol to indicate the location of an infant on the aircraft, allowing a traveler to make a more informed decision when they come to select their seat.

But it’s important to note that the feature won’t work for everyone. For example, the symbol won’t show for travelers who book their ticket through a third party, or if they’re part of a tour group. Seating arrangements could also differ dramatically if the aircraft is changed close to its departure time, the airline said.

After his tweet went viral, Ahmed suggested exercising empathy toward parents traveling with children on long flights, and also pointed out how plenty of adults are pretty adept at irritating their fellow passengers. Getting things into perspective, he noted that “ultimately, there are more important things to worry about” than babies on a plane.

Someone else suggested Japan Airlines’ feature was a step too far, and called for greater tolerance …

Anyway, if the in-flight noise is simply too much to handle, you could always stick on a pair of headphones and relax to some soothing tunes.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
The best portable power stations
EcoFlow DELTA 2 on table at campsite for quick charging.

Affordable and efficient portable power is a necessity these days, keeping our electronic devices operational while on the go. But there are literally dozens of options to choose from, making it abundantly difficult to decide which mobile charging solution is best for you. We've sorted through countless portable power options and came up with six of the best portable power stations to keep your smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other gadgets functioning while living off the grid.
The best overall: Jackery Explorer 1000

Jackery has been a mainstay in the portable power market for several years, and today, the company continues to set the standard. With three AC outlets, two USB-A, and two USB-C plugs, you'll have plenty of options for keeping your gadgets charged.

Read more
CES 2023: HD Hyundai’s Avikus is an A.I. for autonomous boat and marine navigation
Demonstration of NeuBoat level 2 autonomous navigation system at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

This content was produced in partnership with HD Hyundai.
Autonomous vehicle navigation technology is certainly nothing new and has been in the works for the better part of a decade at this point. But one of the most common forms we see and hear about is the type used to control steering in road-based vehicles. That's not the only place where technology can make a huge difference. Autonomous driving systems can offer incredible benefits to boats and marine vehicles, too, which is precisely why HD Hyundai has unveiled its Avikus AI technology -- for marine and watercraft vehicles.

More recently, HD Hyundai participated in the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, to demo its NeuBoat level 2 autonomous navigation system for recreational boats. The name mashes together the words "neuron" and "boat" and is quite fitting since the Avikus' A.I. navigation tech is a core component of the solution, it will handle self-recognition, real-time decisions, and controls when on the water. Of course, there are a lot of things happening behind the scenes with HD Hyundai's autonomous navigation solution, which we'll dive into below -- HD Hyundai will also be introducing more about the tech at CES 2023.

Read more
This AI cloned my voice using just three minutes of audio
acapela group voice cloning ad

There's a scene in Mission Impossible 3 that you might recall. In it, our hero Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) tackles the movie's villain, holds him at gunpoint, and forces him to read a bizarre series of sentences aloud.

"The pleasure of Busby's company is what I most enjoy," he reluctantly reads. "He put a tack on Miss Yancy's chair, and she called him a horrible boy. At the end of the month, he was flinging two kittens across the width of the room ..."

Read more