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Scoot: Should airlines ban men from sitting next to unaccompanied children?

8.15.12 scoot@wwl.com -  Recently, two different male passengers said they were humiliated when airlines asked them to switch seats with female passengers because they were sitting next to unaccompanied children. Both Qantas and Virgin Australian Airlines have policies allowing flight attendants to have male passengers moved when seated next to an unaccompanied minor.

There is an unfortunate assumption that all men might be pedophiles.  While the great majority of pedophiles are indeed men, the presumption of pedophilia tendencies by any man on an airline flight is simply a hysterical reaction.  In the United States, no major airlines prohibit men from sitting next to unaccompanied minors, but in most cases, airlines seat children close to the front so flight attendants can keep an eye on them.  In 2010, British Airlines changed its policy of banning men from sitting next to unaccompanied children after a lawsuit alleged discrimination.

As a man, I find the action of the Australian airlines appalling.  A man hanging out alone in a park or other places where children play could signal the possibility of malicious intent, but the act of being seated on a plane should not be alarming.  Since we never know who we will be seated next to on a flight, there is no reason to suspect that a pedophile would or could try to arrange an opportunity to sit next to a child on a flight.

But guys, there is another way to look at this – honestly, wouldn’t it be a blessing to be moved from a seat next to a young child on a flight?

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08/15/2012 10:07PM
Scoot: Should airlines ban men from sitting next to unaccompanied children?
Please Enter Your Comments Below
08/16/2012 6:43AM
Aussie Dad
I have two daughters, both of which flew unaccompanied as minors. In one case, where my daughter found she was next to a man, the airline moved him. SHE felt better, and post-event, when she told me of it, so did I. Sorry, men, but children are taught to beware of strangers (particularly men), and so they are naturally uncomfortable. If it's a choice of having a frightened child or an upset man, I know what I choose. GET OVER IT guys.
08/16/2012 9:59AM
That is Bullsh*t
Its sexual discrimination, what if I was to fell uncomfortable next to a woman should she be moved. What if the child was a racist and was seated next to someone of a different race, male or female,should they be moved so the child doesn't fell uncomfortable. If your daughter felt uncomfortable she should be moved no the male passenger that is innocent and paid for his place in the plane. This should not be allowed.
08/16/2012 2:48PM
02/07/2013 5:21PM
This is dumb
If this were a certain minority that was not allowed to sit next to children, we'd all be in a frenzy. If this were a women that wasn't allowed to sit next to a child, that too would be a media frenzy. This law is obviously sexist, but since it is for 'the children' and their safety, such sexism is tolerated. Wow, I can't believe this.
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