BA Changes Seating Policy for Men, Unaccompanied Minors

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British Airways has changed a seating policy that had one passenger complaining he was treated like a "child molester," and charging sex discrimination.

According to the Sunday Telegraph, the airline is creating a special zone for unaccompanied minors on some flights.

The change comes after Mirko Fischer, 35, a hedge fund manager, complained he had been told on a flight from London to Luxembourg to change seats so he was not sitting next to an unaccompanied child.

Fischer, who was traveling with his pregnant wife at the time, and had switched seats with her to be near the window, sought compensation from the carrier claiming sex discrimination and saying he felt like he was treated like a potential "child molester." He was awarded about $4,500 in costs and damages, and donated the money to Kidscape and Orphans in the Wild, two child protection charities.

The incident caused BA to review its policies to make sure "seating of unaccompanied minors is managed in a safe but non discriminatory manner," a spokesman tells the newspaper.

The spokesman says the carrier has tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors ages five to 11 as passengers every year and has a range of guidelines in place to make sure their "safety and security" is protected.

Now on some flights the carrier is creating a specific "Unaccompanied Minors zone within a short distance of the cabin crew in the galley."

Fischer, who lives in Luxembourg, says he is "absolutely delighted" by the policy change.

Tom Otley, editor of Business Traveller magazine in the UK, says the end of discrimination is "good news," and will probably be welcomed by business travelers, most of whom prefer to sit away from kids anyway.



Photo, eisenbahner, flickr
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