Frances Kemp booked an aisle seat on a recent British Airways (BA) flight because she had a bad leg that required extra space. Her 76-year-old husband Michael occupied the middle seat. A nine-year-old girl took the window position.
When a stewardess asked Frances to switch seats with her husband, she declined. The stewardess explained that the seating arrangement breached the airline's child-welfare regulations and moved the child.
Michael is a retired journalist with no criminal record; he made no contact physical or verbal with the girl; no complaint or request to move was received; the child's mother was elsewhere on the plane. The girl's welfare was deemed to be in peril solely because Michael was male.
BA has openly joined the ranks of airlines such as Air New Zealand and Qantas that view all men as a danger to children. It is difficult to know how many other airliners share this policy as it is rarely announced and can be enforced invisibly when seats are booked.
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[HT: reddit ]