If you get cranky and fussy on flights, you might be a baby... or an adult who gets annoyed that they have to sit next to a baby. If you're the latter, there's now something you can do about it, at least on Japan Airlines.
Japan Airlines recently rolled out their "baby map," which shows you where there are babies scheduled to sit. As you're picking out your seat, now, you can choose from aisle, middle window, and far-from-babies seats.
I for one am trying not to get annoyed by babies on flights these days. They don't know what's going on. All they know is that their ears are suddenly uncomfortable. Of course they're going to cry! Some parents have resorted to bribing other passengers with candy not to be made about their crying infants.
I have a lot of sympathy for those poor people who have to try and silence their screaming children while getting dirty looks from everyone around them. Not to mention, as an adult, I have these things called headphones, and I can easily drown out baby cries with the soundtrack to The Lion King. Better yet, I can start a sing-along with the crying baby because who can weep through "I Just Can't Wait to Be King"? No one, that's who.
But some people want the option to avoid babies as much as possible, and I get it. I do. So Japan Airlines is providing the option. But, there are a couple caveats.
According to the Japan Airlines website, the infant icon will show up only for passengers who purchased their flights directly through the JAL website. If they bought their tickets through a third-party website, the map won't necessarily show their infant seat.
Additionally, the "baby" cutoff is any child under 2 years old. If your kid is 3, they won't show up on the baby map. And this is a problem because everyone knows that toddlers are the worst.
Many are very excited about this new seat selection feature and believe it should become the standard. "Thank you, @JAL_Official_jp to warning me about where babies plan to scream and yell during a 13-hour trip. This really ought to be mandatory across the board," one Twitter user wrote.
Others don't care so much about the babies but would love this option "for avoiding leery chatty personal-space-invading dudes." Now that's an airplane seating map option I can get behind.
If you do have to travel with small kids, first of all, I'm so sorry. You're going to get a lot of unwarranted hate on top of being so incredibly stressed out. It sucks! But there are some airlines that go the extra mile to accommodate families, especially those traveling with small children.
According to Working Mother, the best airline for traveling babies is Singapore Airlines. They have special meal options for babies in different stages of development, bassinets you can reserve in advance, and diapers, bibs, bottles, and baby wipes available. "Plus, there are age-appropriate stuffed animals, toys, and entertainment for kids, from babies up to teens."
Emirates also provides special perks for kids to keep them happy on long trips. Other airlines that make the "family friendly" list? British Airways, Etihad Airways (free on-board nanny service!), Qatar Airways, Lufthansa, Hawaiian Air, and JetBlue.
Flying with tiny kids is no small feat. And airlines are just doing their best to accommodate all their passengers. If you get stuck next to a baby on your next flight, try becoming friends with them. They have a lot to offer in the cuteness and making-you-remember-the-wonder-of-the-world departments.