Qantas and Virgin Australia criticised over seating policy
August 17th, 2012 by elisa

Qantas and Virgin Australia have been criticised for their policy not to let men sit next to unaccompanied children on their flights.

In an article in the Independent, one passenger claimed to feel as though he was branded “a kiddie fiddler” after he was asked to move seats away from a young girl and swap with a female passenger on a Qantas flight.

Qantas said that this was their policy, but passengers were rarely asked to move seats once they had boarded the plane.

A similar incident occurred on a Virgin Australia flight, where passenger Johnny McGirr was asked to move away from two boys.

“I said ‘well, that’s pretty sexist and discriminatory. You can’t just say because I’m a man I can’t sit there’ and she just apologised and said that was the policy,” he said.

British Airways however, were prompted to change their similar policy two years ago when they were taken to court by passenger Mirko Fischer, who claimed they had contravened the Sex Discimination Act. The airline settled the case by awarding him £2,911 in costs and damages and with the agreement to review their policy.

Should the policies be changed? Are they discriminatory towards men? Have you ever been asked to move seats away from a child on a flight? Please post your comments below.

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