Should Single Men Be Barred From Sitting Next To Unaccompanied Minors On Planes?

I’m a single guy (Hello ladies…) and I’ve also sat next to an unaccompanied minor on an airplane without issue. But if I were a passenger on Australian carrier Qantas, I would have to switch seats with an adult woman because apparently my Y chromosome tags me, and all adult males, as a potential threat to children flying solo.

The Sydney Morning Herald has the story of a man who was mortified when Qantas forced him to change his seat because he had the misfortune of being seated next to an unaccompanied minor.

He tells the paper he felt like he was viewed as a “kiddie fiddler” (which we assume has nothing to do with being a fiddle prodigy) for being called out in front of other passengers and asked to move because attendants had seated a 10-year-old girl next to him.

“After the plane had taken off, the air hostess thanked the woman that had moved but not me,” he explains, “which kind of hurt me or pissed me off a bit more because it appeared I was in the wrong, because it seemed I had this sign I couldn’t see above my head that said ‘child molester’ or ‘kiddie fiddler’ whereas she did the gracious thing and moved to protect the greater good of the child.”

The man, a nurse who is required to go through period checks to ensure that he is suited for working with child patients, asked to speak to a Qantas manager when the plane landed but was instead given a comment card to fill out.

While the airline didn’t get back to him until after his story began to catch fire in the social media sphere, he says he “was just told it was the policy and it was what people who send unaccompanied minors on flights want and it’s not their fault, which I disagreed with at the time.”

A rep for the airline confirmed the policy to the Morning Herald:

“Qantas’s policy is consistent with other airlines around the world and is designed to minimise risk… The policy reflects parents’ concerns and the need to maximise the child’s safety and well-being.

“In most instances unaccompanied children are allocated seats prior to boarding and there are no issues.

“On the rare occasion where a male passenger is seated next to an unaccompanied child, airlines need to take care when moving passengers to ensure this is done discreetly and respectfully.”

The nurse’s story comes hot on the heels of a similar situation on a Virgin Australia flight in April, during which a firefighter was moved after being seated next to two unaccompanied minors. That airline has said it is now reviewing its policy.

“I think it absolutely sucks,” says the nurse about the Qantas policy. “[I]t’s totally and utterly discriminatory in my mind. It’s a complete and utter generalization.”

Well, we know how he feels. But what about y’all:

Comments

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  1. GitEmSteveDaveHatesChange says:

    How many women have abducted children/babies vs. men? I’d be more fearful of a woman who pays attention to a child vs. a adult male who could care less.

  2. Coffee says:

    Is this a rhetorical question? Should single women be barred from sitting next to unaccompanied children? How about white men? Or black men? Or purple men?

    No…it’s discrimination.

    • Bsamm09 says:

      I think I’d be more than happy to suffer from this injustice. I am a white single male and as such I think this does not go far enough. I think they should move them and all children for that matter, as far away as possible.

      For further security, they should seat very beautiful women next to me as to provide more protections.

      Think of the children.

  3. Joedragon says:

    In the USA some airlines may try to change you for that and may to the extreme of you have to get off pay a change fee + the diff and get on the next flight.

  4. Marlin says:

    What happens when a female does something to a kid on a plane, make the kids sit with the pilot. I’m sure that will work well “so Joey, ever see a full grown man naked?”
    Then after that put the kids on the wing, as we know airplane gremlins never touch kids, only William Shatner.

    • Red Cat Linux says:

      +1 Airplane reference

      +1 Twilight Zone reference

      +1 in general – the airline is being stoopid.

  5. scoutermac says:

    does this mean adult woman cannot be seated next to male children?

  6. Not Given says:

    Hey, I don’t want to sit next to kids on an airplane. Be grateful.

    • Jane_Gage says:

      Nobody does. But make the kid move and not the man, it’s the airplane’s fault because they arrange the seating.

    • MarkFL says:

      Kids don’t take up a lot of space in the row. Also they won’t talk to you about insurance or try to convert you.

      I was once travelling alone and seated next to two kids traveling alone (on a redeye, no less). The kids were very well-behaved, and having traveled alone many a time as a kid myself, I could relate. There was one moment of mortification, that wasn’t their fault. Seated across the aisle from me was a passenger who apparently had Tourette’s. I knew this was coming eventually, but the kids wanted to know “whis that man making those noises?”

      Yeah, try explaning Tourette’s to a four-year-old and a ten-year-old. Discreetly.

  7. dolemite says:

    “The man, a nurse who is required to go through period checks to ensure that he is suited for working with child patient.” “Well doc, give me the news.” Doctor: “Mr. McCluskie, the results came back negative. Still no period.” “Whew.”

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      I saw that too – I think they meant periodical :)

      Still, tee hee.

      • catskyfire says:

        I think it would be ‘periodic’, unless they’re testing his magazine subscriptions.

        • dolemite says:

          On a serious note, I’m curious why he has to go through periodic checks to make sure he’s suitable to work with children. Is this a check all nurses go through in Australia, or do they frequently test single men to make sure they haven’t caught a case of the “pedo virus”.

          • CheritaChen says:

            I work for a county government, and we require background checks every year for people who will work with children. It’s just a way to filter out those who shouldn’t by law have access because of certain arrests. It’s not foolproof, but it certainly is a good idea.

          • SerenityDan says:

            I work for a school, they have to have everyone’s background checked every once in a while to make sure we are OK to be trusted around minors.

        • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

          Yes, like the table of the elements. I am word challenged today!!

        • RandomHookup says:

          A periodical check for a nurse dealing with children would be the ability to tolerate a 7-year old copy of Highlights.

  8. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    “On the rare occasion where a male passenger is seated next to an unaccompanied child”

    Rare occasion? You mean the 50% chance, or 100% (statistically) if the child is placed in a middle seat?

    • castlecraver says:

      Actually, it’s 75%. 50% chance for the person on the left, and 50% chance for the person on the right. Illustrated, the possible outcomes are M-M, F-M, M-F, and F-F; 3 of which involve at least one man.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        Fair enough. Still, not at all a “rare” occasion.

        • AtlantaCPA says:

          Sounds like from the article that they try to arrange it beforehand, to make it artificially rare. So really it’s “on the rare occasion our algorithm messed up or we didn’t know the gender of the adult…”

          Naturally, definitely should not be rare if randomness has its way.

      • Cerne says:

        Overly simplistic math. You’re assuming random seat distribution and that an equal number of both sexes are flying. Also you’re excluding unsexed on intersexed individuals.

        =)

    • phiiiiiiiiiiil says:

      That’s not how statistics work. Since the passengers on your left and right are not sitting next to each other, each of their gender selections is an independent event. The possibilities are as follows, all equally likely:

      M-you-F
      M-you-M
      F-you-M
      F-you-F

      As you can see 3 out of 4 times or 75% of the time you will be seated next to at least one male when sitting in a middle seat.

    • longfeltwant says:

      Close. It’s 75%.

  9. Almighty Peanut says:

    What if the man had a child with him and was seated next to an unaccompanied child? Would that be like a double whammy because it was just him without wife/girlfriend?

    Excuse me sir, you’ll have to take the next flight, you pervert!

    • axhandler1 says:

      What if every single passenger booked on a certain flight is either an unaccompanied minor or a male adult traveling alone? Flight gets canceled?

  10. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    I am female, and I hate that society is starting to view a single man, or a man near children, as a possible threat. Only a tiny, tiny percentage are bad people.

    “In most instances unaccompanied children are allocated seats prior to boarding and there are no issues.” – so in other words, they are put next to women?

    I’m sorry, but this is silly. Unless they’ve done a background check on the male passengers, and someone has been convicted and served time for child abuse or assaulting a child, this is wrong.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      This would be such a bad idea. I am terrible around kids. I have no maternal instinct when it comes to kids.

      • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

        During carpool this evening, one of my riders said “I think all children should be sedated”. I’m not sure she was kidding!

  11. dolemite says:

    It’s interesting that the airline hides behind: “this is what our customers want.” Well, sometimes customers are wrong. Perhaps Chik-fil-a customers would like all gay people banned from the store while they eat, or the KKK would like no black people on their adopt-a-highway stretch. Why is one subset of customers allowed to dictate rules over another subset, when they both have equal rights? If I had my way, children and people with an IQ under 100 would be banned from the movie theater. Guess it’s a good thing I don’t write the rules.

    • patrick bateman says:

      Really? Chik-fil-a customers don’t like homosexuals? I learned something about myself today!

      • Kuri says:

        He was getting at the airlines saying “this is what customers want” where it’s apparent that they never asked.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        He didn’t say all ,did he.

      • patrick bateman says:

        @ Kuri and Loias.. I think that putting Chik-fil-a customers (and homosexuals) and the KKK (and blacks) in the same sentence clearly exposes the poster’s belief about Chik-fil-a customers.

        • CheritaChen says:

          And I think your screen name clearly exposes your own irrational phobia of inferior business cards.

          Or maybe it was just snark?

        • AtlantaCPA says:

          He also clearly said “one subset of customers” so was not saying 100% of customers. Lighten up, there are clearly some CFA customers who feel that way, and now we all know you are not one of them.

        • patrick bateman says:

          Fair enough. Now I have to return some video tapes.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          Do you truly believe dolemite believes, and meant, that 100% of Chick-fil-a customers hate gay people?

          Really, do you?

          • patrick bateman says:

            I did when I quickly skimmed his/her post. Now after getting you all hot and bothered and thoroughly reading the original post, I can see that I was wrong. So, no, I don’t believe that was the intent of the post.

            • dolemite says:

              I have come back, from my plane of reality (ripping wide space and time for me to travel to your realm is exhausting by the way), MERELY to clear this up. I hereby state I do not think all Chik-Fil-A customers wish to completely obliterate homosexual people.

  12. axhandler1 says:

    Sexual discrimination, plain and simple. “Better safe than sorry,” are you kidding me? I’ll bet that line of reasoning has supported wide and varied discrimination practices in the past. NYPD stop and frisk comes readily to mind.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Evoking Godwin’s Law here:

      “Why did you kill all those jews?”

      “Better safe than sorry.”

  13. Stickdude says:

    “I have a dream that my sons will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by their genitalia but by the content of their character.”

  14. Duffin (Ain't This Kitty Cute?) says:

    If this is truly a problem, then why not just clear the row? Put the kids in their own row of seats or something. Utter and pure discrimination. It’s not like I can say I don’t want to sit next to a black man because I think he might be in a gang and try to kill me.

    • ctcatfur says:

      then the airline would lose money on those seats, we can’t have that!

      • njack says:

        It’s not like the plane would be oversold anyway. They’d just throw you a voucher if you’re lucky and let you catch the next flight.

    • FigNinja says:

      They should just seat the children in a very visible place, like the row right in front of the galley. The flight attendants are always in and out of that area. They should not be relying on passengers to take care of minors for them.

      • Brave Little Toaster says:

        I agree – put all the unaccompanied minors together and near wherever the flight attendants spend the most time. It’d probably be easier for them to keep an eye on them this way than if they were scattered throughout the plane.

  15. Stilor says:

    Next step: airline will disallow male parent to accompany his kid(s) and force him to sit separately and pay this “unaccompanied minor fee”.

    Oops, seems like I have discovered a new stream of revenue for airlines…

  16. kevinroyalty says:

    I believe this is what is known as Profiling here in the USA. don’t think they can get away with that here, but could be wrong.

  17. Golfer Bob says:

    Stranger Danger! Run! During my vaunted tenure as a manager for a national children’s merchandise retailer, I would run into this ideal quite frequently. Many times I would overhear parents telling misbehaving kids, “you better behave, or that man will come over and get you” or similar.

    However, this seems to the be the meme in our society. I hated being “that man” and found it distasteful to have a position of authority linked to a way to keep kids in line or the fear of a man used for the same effect. Since talking to the kids in our store was a required part of our job, I would usually go over and address the family and make it a point to get down on the kid’s level and talk to them to at least make it known that I wasn’t some sort of a monster in a red shirt.

    • dolemite says:

      I’ve been “that man” once or twice. “You be quiet or that man is going to get you.” The child looks at me with utter horror. Should I smile? Should I make a scary face? If he makes a noise, am I obligated to “get him” and take him home to feed the pig? I need to know the terms of the agreement in advance.

      • Golfer Bob says:

        If I had more time, I would write the story about the parents who brought their 6 year old son back in who “stole” a little item from the check lanes and they wanted me to perform some sort of version of “scared straight” on him, but after my recent crucifiction in the Dollar Store Balloon post, I am a bit reluctant to offer my expert opinion on children who commit major retail theft. lol.

      • Coffee says:

        If it’s not tacit permission to masturbate publicly, I don’t know what is.

      • Charles Edward Winthrop III, Esquire, Investigator of the Unknown Music says:

        Last time I was “that man” I just walked over and said “Actually, I’d be more inclined to kidnap YOU. How about NOT trying to scare your child with stereotypes?” and walked off.

      • Applekid says:

        I normally tolerate don’t mind kids, but the last time I smiled at a toddler, her mom cupped her head with her arm like my smile was really an open mouth and I was going to pull a Kirby on her.

      • Stickdude says:

        “She’s right, kids. If you don’t be quiet I’m going get you a lot of ice cream.”

  18. RandomHookup says:

    As long as it gets the middle seat next to me empty, I’m all in favor of it.

    • lizardking7112 says:

      As long as they shift the policy to all minors, unaccompanied or not. Then I am fine with their discriminatory practices. In fact, I think it needs to be at least a two isle buffer.

  19. Deep Cover says:

    If they are going to make them move can they at least upgrade them to first class.

  20. bsh0544 says:

    How is this different from telling a Muslim that he can’t fly, just in case he might blow up the plane?

    I’m all for keeping kids safe but not at the cost of essentially accusing single men of being child molesters. This is a disgusting policy.

  21. Kuri says:

    Sexism in the name of the children *facepalm*

  22. tungstencoil says:

    So I was asked by American Airlines to move once, on a fairly full flight. I was seated at the window, with an unaccompanied minor in the aisle and the middle empty. I was asked to switch with an unaccompanied minor so that the two would be in the same row, but I would have been placed in a middle seat between two adults. I’m 6’5″ and broad-shouldered.

    I said no; the flight attendant said, “but it would be a lot easier for us, that’s what we like.” The minor next to me was about 12, so was old enough to be minimal worry. I said they could move the other minor back to the middle seat next to me; they declined. In retrospect, I wonder if it was a similar thing.

    The kid actually flew all the time by himself and wasn’t a bother at all, except when he said, “watch this” and proceeded to talk his way into getting paid snacks for free from the attendant.

    • AtlantaCPA says:

      Kudos! Wish I could have seen the flight attendants face.

    • Jevia says:

      So having the second child take the middle seat between you and the other child would have satisfied the “we want the two unacompanied minors together” bit, which was their so-called excuse. But they refused to do it, because you were still there? I think you hit on their real reason in asking you to move.

      Lucky for you, you were able to see where they wanted to put you so you could decline. That may not always be the case for others.

      Chuckle at the kid getting the free snacks.

    • Cerne says:

      Can I ask why go the window seat instead of the aisle?

      I’m 6’7″ and built like a shit house door and always choose aisle so I can stick my legs out.

      • Stickdude says:

        The problem with sticking your legs out is that they’re always running the drink cart up and down the aisle.

        My personal solution (I’m 6’6″) is to always request an exit row seat – which now includes an extra bonus, as minors – unaccompanied or not – are not allowed in exit rows.

      • tungstencoil says:

        What Stickdude said – my legs splay into the aisle and get hit/banged all the time, until the inevitable drink cart bashes me. With a window, I can kind of wedge my shoulders in such a way that I can keep my feet in check.

        I, too, try for exit row. Every airline except United-Continental will give it to me at the airport without an extra charge if it’s not booked. I have the great (mis)fortune to travel just enough for work to not have status.

    • Portlandia says:

      Good god, I think I sat next to this kid. He flew all the time and when the FA came up to tell him how the seatbelt works he stuck his hand up in her face and said “Excuse me, but I do this all the time.” and proceeded to talk my ear of the entire flight about his video game.

      Precocious little thing.

  23. borahorza says:

    I’m surprised that Jenn Q Public hasn’t yet turned up to accuse all single men on airplanes with being ‘suspect’…

    • Portlandia says:

      Glad I’m not the only person that came here to say this. If you notice she hasn’t posted at least with that ID since that incident.

  24. Velifer says:

    We haven’t so much progressed as a culture as much as just slid the “normal” setting over to GIRL. Now instead of men being the norm and women being weak, women are the norm and men are overbearing monsters.

    • flychinook says:

      Now now, let’s be fair here…

      According to commercials and sitcoms, we’re also complete idiots, and incapable of making anything more than toast without starting the house on fire.

  25. redskull says:

    Jesus Jetskiing Christ, I have got to find a new planet.

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      Just make sure the jet ski doesn’t break down near an airport – oh wait – there’s that whole walking on water thing…never mind.

    • kc2idf says:

      Is he jetskiing near JFK?

  26. A.Mercer says:

    Back in my day we had to be put in a carrier and rode in the back with the baggage.

    • Red Cat Linux says:

      Carrier? We were strapped to the roof rack on the way to the airport, and had luggage tags tied to our coats for the flight!

      And we liked it!

      • The Beer Baron says:

        Bully for you! Back in my day, we had ships, and were forced to work in the boiler room with the Irish to earn our passage. It was horrible. You’ve never seen so many soulless gingers. Cover them in soot and they look like the devil himself!

        • MarkFL says:

          In my day, we had to build a plane for the adults, and then walk through snow to get there ourselves. Yeah, even in the summer in Florida. Uphill both ways.

          • Stickdude says:

            At least you got to walk. In my day, they gave us feathers and expected us to flap our arms really fast – with the adults riding piggy-back.

            • MarkFL says:

              My dad says that in his day when he wanted to go by plane he had to give up a rib so that his wife could be created, have kids, and wait several thousand generations for the Wright Brothers to invent the airplane.

              Personally I think he may be exaggerating just a wee bit.

  27. Fishnoise says:

    I’m a male and am raising three children as the primary parent. The playground paranoia about presumptive pedophiles is better than it used to be ten years ago, but nonsense like this is disheartening.

    I remember taking my firstborn into a men’s room when he was two and a cop followed us in and stood by the sink the entire time watching us with his arms crossed. (It occurs to me now I should have called the hotline to report a suspicious man in a weird uniform loitering in a bathroom to watch children poop.)

  28. Cerne says:

    This is blatant sexism. A better policie would be to seat unaccompanied minors in an area where flight attendants can keep an eye on them on a regular basis.

  29. Auron says:

    To the small minority of people who voted better safe than sorry: What should society do? Require a police escort for any male that dare venture out into public by themselves? After all, a male on his own out in public is only looking to do one thing, right?

  30. mentok1982 says:

    Everyone knows that women can’t fondle children because they don’t have hands.

  31. Hungry Dog says:

    I would like this very much, children tend to be very noisy and smell very bad. Then again this might be better than being sat next to a morbidly obese person whose ass fat is spilling into my chair.

  32. Ashman says:

    How about the ticket counter person is the one who should ensure that the child is seated appropriately. Or how about the parents of the child should need to make sure that their child is also seated appropriately by checking with the person at the ticket counter

    It should be dealt with prior to boarding. In the occurence where a mistake happens, the airline staff should be taught to use tact. They should either move the child with another passenger to an appropriate seat, or simply ask the person nicely that airline policy requires that a child be seated next to a person of x gender. And lets not forget that being polite goes a long way.

    I flew years ago with my brother both as unaccompanied minors, we were seated in an area where the flight attendants could see us and could interact with us as needed.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      What do you mean by “seated appropriately”? Because what is most assuredly not appropriate is assuming a male passenger traveling alone is a monster of some kind. So if that isn’t appropriate thinking, what is appropriate? Seating kids next to kids? Sure, that would be fine – but it would be because then the flight attendants could keep an eye on all of the unaccompanied minors, not because someone thought all male passengers traveling alone are skeevy.

      Moving a male passenger and reseating kids to sit next to other kids is reaching the same solution, but one of these is the wrong road to get there.

    • SirWired says:

      There’s nothing to “deal with.” There’s no “appropriate” arrangements to be made. To assume that every single male traveler is a is a potential threat is just stupid.

      • dush says:

        In the age of the TSA where every single traveler in general is considered a threat this is not surprising.

      • alana0j says:

        I feel that’s terribly discriminatory of the airline. It’s like in the South Park episode where they wouldn’t let Big Gay Al be the camp leader because they assumed that as a gay man, he was going to molest the children. To assume that a single man seated next to a minor is a bad situation is no different. I would rather the flight attendants simply keep a close eye on an unaccompanied minor, no matter who they were sitting by. You just never know about ANYONE, regardless of their age, gender, race, etc.

    • Smiling says:

      I would feel that my child being seated next to male nurse was perfectly appropriate. He probably deals with kids more than your average person, and probably knows how to be cordial better than most people.

    • Weekilter says:

      But it’s BS to assume that a man is the only dangerous one to the kid. That’s gender discrimination. From this assumption we are to assume that a woman could never be a child molester. Should we make that assumption?

  33. limbodog says:

    Wait… So I automatically get a new seat if they seat me next to a child? Where do I sign up for this feature?

    • jkhuggins says:

      Be careful what you wish for … that wonderful “new seat” might just be the middle seat in front of the lavatory …

      • nishioka says:

        Or worse, on an entirely different flight.

      • mianne prays her parents outlive the TSA says:

        Or you’ll be moved to the seat in front of the unaccompanied minor who will proceed to kick the back of your seat for the next four hours. And don’t you even *think* of making a comment or turning your head back to glare at them, you sicko pervert!

    • Krazed says:

      On principle, I agree with you. However, I also make the effort to reserve a seat with extra leg room when I buy my tickets. And I’m sure as hell not moving my fat ass out of that extra 2 inches of leg room. Make the kid move if you’re so worried I’m going to corrupt them, but leave me to my slightly less unbearable seat.

    • Geekybiker says:

      No kidding. I hope all airlines copy this. I don’t want to sit next to an unaccompanied minor.

    • Bor&Mitch says:

      “Right over here sir, please follow me…here we go..the center seat..in between these fetid snoring 300lb amoebas oozing over the arm rests. We land in 13 hours. Enjoy your flight!”

  34. humperdinck says:

    Perhaps the minor children should be wrapped in burqas so that single men are not tempted.

  35. samonela says:

    **Turns to person in next seat**

    “So Joey…you ever seen a grown man naked?”

  36. El_Fez says:

    Of course he should move! He has a penis and therefore could become full of strange and bizarre sexual urges to RAPE any and everyone at any time within arms reach. This is documented scientific fact!

    • StarKillerX says:

      While that’s true the woman is subject to bizarre urges to drown any child in arms reach so putting the kid next to a woman isn’t the answer either.

      • Mr. Spy says:

        No argument there. But what about young adults? They all carry guns and shoot people. We shouldn’t let anyone under 30 near a child.

        • Brave Little Toaster says:

          And the elderly? Whoa now. How many stories of child molestation start with “my grandfather used to babysit me…”

          Clearly we cannot allow children to sit near people who are over the age of 65.

      • tinyhands says:

        Furthermore, women’s periods attract bears. That’s putting the whole station in jeopardy.

  37. Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

    Just because .01% of the male population are monsters doesn’t mean some faceless corporation gets to treat me like a criminal.

    Suffice to say I’d sue the ground out from under these people for treating me or any other law-abiding, honorable citizen like a pedophile.

  38. LuvChikFilA says:

    It sucks but lets face it…white homosexual males are most to blame for child molesting

    It’s profiling. But it works. Not saying this guy is gay….but better safe than
    Sorry.

    • Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

      I really hope you’re just a troll.

    • thegrgs says:

      This is completely untrue, and this comment should be removed.

    • MarkFL says:

      See my comment below about Elizabeth Smart and Jaycee Dugard.

      Sexual orientation is irrelevant, as both boys and girls can be victims.

    • JJFIII says:

      So moron, this was a GIRL that was 10 years old that was sitting next to him. So in YOUR world moving a female next to him would be dangerous. You are an idiot Mr Santorum. By Santorum, I mean the Dan Savage definition, “”that frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.”

    • Portlandia says:

      JennyQ, are you back?

      • Kuri says:

        Giving that they just said homosexual males, and not ALL males, I don’t think it’s Jenny.

        • Portlandia says:

          yes, this is an obvious troll but her comments were far and away the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen on the Consumerist. She’s been conspicuously absent since that episode, likely changed her user name for the shame of her comments.

    • Kuri says:

      I read your username, and already decided that your worth is in the negative.

    • Kuri says:

      So, can I know a few things about you so I can treat you differently?

    • oldwiz65 says:

      Bull! I presume you have statistics to back up your allegation?

    • JEDIDIAH says:

      The problem with that is that marriage is not a going to ensure that the guy is not a monster or a gay monster or whatever. The whole marriage aspect of this does nothing to address the anti-man hysteria going on here.

      The married guys shouldn’t be considered any more benign.

  39. milkcake says:

    While the rule is just messed up, I wouldn’t mind sitting away from the kid as long as it’s window side.

    • longdvsn says:

      I think it’d only be ‘alright’ if it meant an upgrade in service class (ie business or first class). Because then you wouldn’t need to mention the reason – you’d just have to make the offer and any reasonable person would jump at it.

      But even an upgrade doesn’t make this policy any less sexist and deplorable.

  40. Stickdude says:

    Maybe they should just have all the single males sit in the back of the bus^H^H^H plane…

  41. MarkFL says:

    I should point out that Elizabeth Smart and Jaycee Dugard were both kidnapped by couples.

    Hypothetical: If an airline were to make a point of moving an unaccompanied minor next to someone who then did some harm to the child, would that not open the airline up to greater liability than if the child were left in a random seat?

    But I doubt it would come to that. An airplane would seem to be one of the safer places for a child to be, in terms of danger from a predator. The child is surrounded by dozens of potential witnesses and there is no quick escape route to run off with the child. The one change I might make is to have the UM exit the plane first after landing, rather than last.

  42. Lyn Torden says:

    The poll didn’t have my choice in it. My choice would be:

    The airline should place the unaccompanied minor(s) where they are deeded to be safe. In the event they end up being placed in what is considered an unsafe place, the MINOR(s) should be moved to a safe place.

  43. Difdi says:

    Women molest children too. For absolute safety, no one should be seated next to an unaccompanied minor, except another unaccompanied minor.

    But just ask the British about 9 year old boys and their sexually predatory ways. So we can’t have minors next to eachother either.

    And we can’t have anyone seated in the rows in front of the child or behind the child, they could always get up out of their seat and molest the poor tyke.

    So each unaccompanied minor flies alone except for the flight crew on an otherwise entirely empty 747. Oh wait, the flight crew are adults too, right? Right. From now on, only little kids can fly on planes.

    The pilots will have to take the bus.

  44. Bob A Dobalina says:

    Old ladies get searched and kids get molested to prevent accusations of “profiling” yet it’s okay to do this to adult males.

    I experience this same kind of thing when I DARE go somewhere with my teenaged daughter. I get “Look at that filthy old man with that young girl” looks.

    This would so be a lawsuit

  45. golddog says:

    It’s an absurd, misguided policy as bad as any racial or religious stereotype, and I’m seeing it play out more and more lately. Somewhere on the web last week I read the story of a father walking down the street with his daughter and a woman (not that her gender matters) called police b/c it looked suspicious. And because of a news story in Denver, I’m finding out this week that a number of child care centers and schools disallow ANY contact (e.g., tending to a scrape, picking a crying child up, etc) between male teachers and children – b/c all male teachers are assumed to be pervs.

    Instead of inching ever closer to a global idiocracy, maybe airlines could put some thought in to a policy that doesn’t assume roughly half of the world’s population are child molesters.

  46. Velvet Jones says:

    These policies are disturbing. I’ve traveled a couple of times with my stepson, who is a different race than me. I’ve gotten some looks from the FAs on more than one occasion. I’ve almost surprised they haven’t asked him if they wanted to move away from the “stranger” sitting next to him.

  47. astuff says:

    Anecdote: When I was a late-20-year-old male (still a male now, but no longer young), I was seated on a plane next to an unaccompanied 11-year-old girl.

    We had a great time. I was reading War and Peace, and she was reading a young adult book. We arranged that when we saw the flight attendant (then ‘stewardess’) approaching, we would quickly swap books. Which we did.

    The flight attendant was surprised, and asked the girl why she was reading War and Peace. I don’t recall what the girl replied, though it included a few facts from the book just to lend authenticity to the gag.

  48. Portlandia says:

    Waiting for JennyQPublic to come back and make a moronic statement about this article too.

  49. Bor&Mitch says:

    I absolutely would have raised a stink about this if I were asked to move. There seems to be this unspoken stereotype that any single male is a potential pedophile and this policy by Quantas just lends it weight.

    And the exuse that “the policy reflects parents’ concerns” is nonsense. There are passengers that are concerned about sitting next to muslims. Would a muslim passenger be asked to move too?

  50. Bender6829 says:

    God, are we really that paranoid?

    • Bor&Mitch says:

      If you’re a male the next time you go to the supermarket alone and a child smiles at you, trying smiling back in the presence of the mother, and see how warmly she reacts. That there is unspoken sexism against single males when it comes to children is undeniable. But for a company to encode that sexism into their policy is something else entirely.

      • Press1forDialTone says:

        Gosh, what market do you go too.
        I’m 56 and single and smile at a child
        who is smiling at me and get cruised by
        the mother.

      • eldritch2k4 says:

        It has nothing to do with being single. I’m married and I still get the stink eye when a child smiles at me and I respond in kind, sometimes even when I have my son with me. Doesn’t even have to be at a market; I get more stink eyes at the Pediatricians’ office than everywhere else combined.

        Sometimes, at the Pediatrician’s, I’ll sit on the floor with my son and read a book they have laying around and I get dirty looks from people; like they think I’m some stranger that randomly goes into doctors’ offices and gets friendly with the kids.

        Regarding the article, I think I would make a stink about the whole thing. I think I would loudly declare what their intentions were and then advise them that I would only move if they upgraded me to the next higher class of seating and, if they insisted that I move without giving me the upgrade, declare that I would sue them for Gender Discrimination. Then, calmly look at them and say, “Your move.” I’d definitely be a bit of a douche about it.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          That’s bizarre. Sometime ago, a building nearby was under renovation and the construction crew demolished the steps and put down a really shoddy piece of plywood as a makeshift ramp so people could still use that entrance. I saw this guy with a dinosaur-sized stroller and two kids having a hard time getting into the building. I helped him lift the stroller and t never crossed my mine that he wasn’t just a single (as in by himself) dad who needed help getting everything into the building. I don’t think it ever occurred to him that me, being a single (as in by myself) woman, had any ill will toward him or his kids.

  51. dcwaterboy says:

    Statistically, a child is more likely to be molested by a relative or friend of the family than by a stranger. Create your airline policies accordingly.

  52. Robert Nagel says:

    So men are more likely to be pedophiles than women? Who thought that up? As a matter of fact it would appear that if they are roughly equal the airline is exposing the child to an increased risk. Whereas the child is initially at risk on a one time basis it is put at a much higher risk when the attendant asks numerous women to volunteer. So if there are ten women asked the odds of a pedophile being put next to the kid are 10 times as much as the single man.

  53. MBZ321 says:

    With all the female “teacher” touching male student stories as of late (FARK– there is one almost weekly, if not more often), unoccupied minors should be sitting next to noone, or maybe other minors.

    • flychinook says:

      It’s interesting to see how differently those situations are treated though.
      Adult female + male child = Adam Sandler movie.
      Adult male + female child = Lifetime Network movie.

  54. SilverBlade2k says:

    I personally would lawyer-up and call for a 6-figure paycheck. This is pure sexism and discrimination.

    Or another solution would be to offer a child-free flight, even at a premium. Most single people would think it’s worth it.

    • Velvet Jones says:

      This is outside the US though. Almost every country on earth would offer little to no civil recourse in such an event. Even if you sued and won the award would be virtually nothing. That is why everyone LOVES to sue in the US if possible. Libel is virtually the only exception.

  55. oldwiz65 says:

    Next thing you know the U.S. airlines will make sure that only straight men are allowed to sit next to male children. The christians would love nothing more than to make sure that only straight people are allowed to sit next to children.

  56. baristabrawl says:

    Admittedly, I did not take the time to google this fact, but aren’t convicted child molesters almost always heterosexual caucasian men? Statistically, that is.

    • Bor&Mitch says:

      Even if that were true, so what? If statistics show that most of the violent crime in NYC subways are comitted by blacks and hispanics, can I ask the MTA to designate a subway car where only whites and asians are allowed. ‘Cause you know, statisically I’m safer that way.

    • Press1forDialTone says:

      Yes, in fact they are and this statistic has
      held up across vast amounts of time.
      However, there is the case of -celibate-
      -Catholic- priests and young boys and
      athletic coaches and players at Big Ten universities,
      um ONE Big Ten university.

    • MarkFL says:

      Admittedly, I did not take the time to google this, but aren’t heterosexual caucasian men usually not child molesters? Statistically, that is.

  57. Soco808 says:

    A 19 hour flight is the perfect place to diddle a kid.

  58. LastError says:

    How about THIS: let the fare-paying adults have their seats and peace and quiet and stuff the drooling whining rugrats into a cargo bin and let them take their odds in with the luggage and mail and other junk down below.

    Give them some cheap plastic chairs to sit in (easy to clean) and throw them some stale popcorn and water. No movie. No lights. Maybe pressurized air and heat. Who cares.

    “Oh what about the children!!!???” What about the taxes I pay? What about the money I earn and spend on a plane ticket? I contribute to society. I have a job. I vote. Kids? They don’t DO anything. They don’t contribute. They take. They mooch. They leech. And now they want plane seats to themselves? To hell with this. Until kids grow up and earn a living and prove they are human beings worth giving a crap about, they really don’t deserve all this “what about the children” garbage.

    But they’re fragile and stuff? So what. If they break, just have more of them. A lot of people have figured this out just fine and by the way they treat their kids, they place no more value on them than I do. Kids are hardly a scarce or precious resource.

    No I don’t have nor want kids. I’m more glad than you are.

  59. Press1forDialTone says:

    This is completely outrageous. Full stop.
    It is so outrageous in fact that I am trembling with
    anger and am unable to comment further. But of
    course many on this blog will look skyward and mouth
    “Thank you”.

  60. sonicmeerkat says:

    There’s be plenty of cases of women having sex with underage boy and girls, isn’t this policy sexist?

  61. Emily says:

    The “thinking” behind this is flawed on so many levels. Like all men are child molesters. Like a marriage license prevents someone from being one. Like women cannot be child molesters. If you wanted to perfect this inane theory, you’d have to seat the unaccompanied minors in a bubble of protective empty seats so no other humans could interact with them.

    Or you could just act rationally.

    • hoi-polloi says:

      I don’t think a marriage license is going to spare men this indignity if they’re flying without a woman they can trade seats with. It’s absurd that half the adult population are considered a serious potential threat to the wellbeing of a child, especially when they’re in a small metal tube surrounded by the flight crew and hundreds of witnesses.

      I agree with those who suggested a better policy would be to seat unaccompanied minors by the galley. This puts them in closer proximity to the flight crew, and the crew will have an easier job keeping tabs on them. Those seats can be some of the last assigned, and gender of the neighboring passengers shouldn’t be a factor at all.

    • cspirou says:

      I did a bit of research on this and it seems like it can be almost entirely prevented. One of the damning facts is that almost 100% of the cases involve males, so the airlines are not entirely wrong in their policy. However in the vast majority of cases the predator changes seats to be next to the minor. The person that is randomly assigned to be next to a minor is not likely to be a predator however the one that goes out of their way to sit next to one is very likely to be one. Especially if they do something unusual like moving from an aisle seat to a middle row seat.

      The solution to me seems clear. Do not allow anyone to change seats to be next to a minor, regardless if they are male or female. After people are seated just check the tickets of people sitting next to minors. If that is not their assigned seat then ask them to move back to their original seat. If that is not possible then move the minor.

      A simple policy like this should reduce cases of airplane molestation greatly and wouldn’t have the controversy of racial/sexual profiling.

      • Bob A Dobalina says:

        Almost 100% of terrorist acts involve Muslims. So it would not be entirely wrong for airlines to not allow them to fly.

        Please provide a link to data regarding cases of “airline molestation.” I mean other than that committed by the TSA

  62. Moo Strength says:

    I really don’t get this. How exactly is a child in danger when flying in an aircraft that’s 32,000 feet off the ground? I really think Qantas (and Virgin in the previous mentioned case) are being way to over-cautious.

    • mokie says:

      Occasionally pervs will take advantage of the fact that the child is unaccompanied and there’s no decent line of sight view among cramped rows of seats, and actually molest kids on the plane.

      Not over-cautious to try to prevent that, but their methods here are bad. Move the kids to the front where attendants can keep an eye on them (and they can’t kick seats, the little…) instead of counting on female passengers to play impromptu babysitter all flight.

  63. thomwithanh says:

    Personally, I don’t believe ANY adult should be permitted to sit with an unaccompanied minor.

    Seats are already reserved for baby bassinets and persons with disabilities, and released a few hours before the flight for general seating if they aren’t needed. Airlines could easily do the same thing for UM seating.

    • sykl0ps says:

      I don’t believe any minor should be on a plane unaccompanied. I don’t send my kids down to the park on their own.

  64. theamazingyeah says:

    Unfortunately men are in a Catch-22 in this situation. If you move then you feel humiliated, but if you raise a stink and mention something like “isn’t this the seat that I paid for?” then you’ll either be consider belligerent and a threat to the flight which carries ejection and a potential terrorism red flag, or everyone will wonder WHY you insist on sitting next to a child…

    • hoi-polloi says:

      I get what you’re saying. At least one commenter had a pretty legit reason for not wanting to be moved. He would have been placed in the middle seat of another row rather than his selected window seat. If this policy remains and I have to be relocated, I’d want to be moved to an equal or better seat. Still, the policy just sucks.

  65. triana says:

    No one mentioned Jerry Sandusky, who was married and whose wife looked the other way for years. ANYONE can be a pervert, and limiting your restrictions to single males isn’t fair.

  66. kobresia says:

    Of course unaccompanied minors shouldn’t be seated next to adults. Such a large number of minors, especially ones under the age of 5, act beastly on flights, I wonder how much worse an unaccompanied minor might act without parents/guardians to keep them in line.

    They’ll be much safer if placed in Sky Kennels, hopefully the airlines would avoid accidentally releasing them onto the tarmac, but it’d be for the best for everyone. The parents could just put the sprog’s necessary supplies such as food, water, and toys in the crate, put on a TSA-approved padlock, and problem solved.

  67. bobbydylan99 says:

    ha
    a similar thing happened to me yesterday
    i was waiting in line at the post office and didn’t have a single care in the world except for when it’d be my time to go up.
    as im scanning the the cashier areas, i see a man give me a look from the corner of my eye
    immediately he blurts out for his kid to come back.. so i start thinking to myself, “wtf, did i trigger that reaction”.
    whatever i tell myself, i try to forget it, but i just can’t cause
    the dad keeps yelling for his kid to get back to him every minute or so, usually only when hes by me. it pisses me off and i want to yell at the dad and say “who the phuck is going to try to take a kid with all these witnesses and camera’s, you dummy”, but i know it’d fall on deaf ears.
    to add to my embarrassment, the damn kid starts following me as i’m leaving the cash register area, lol. god damn this sensationalist media to hell.

  68. mulch says:

    They should if they look like this guy…sometimes, profiling is a good idea…
    http://forum.rickross.com/read.php?12,107232