Women-Only Seats on Planes – What Will Airlines Try Next?

FareCompare has reported on a slow-but-steady trend toward kids-only seating – or sections on planes that ban children, if you prefer – but now you can add women-only seats to the mix, as well.

Kids not welcome here

Women-Only Seats on JAL

According to Pacific Business News, beginning Oct. 1, Japan Airlines (JAL) will allocate four seats in the back of its economy section on Japan to Honolulu flights for women “to apply make-up or to breast-feed their babies.”

Never mind that women have been successfully engaging in both these activities on planes for years now – with the occasional snafu as when an apparently overzealous American flight attendant allegedly harassed a breastfeeding passenger – JAL apparently thinks it’s time for a change.

Sit next the man or woman of your dreams (well, maybe)

Logistical “Nightmare”

As far as we’re aware, no U.S. airlines are considering any kind of exclusive seating. As air travel analyst Rick Seaney points out, it could turn into a “logistical nightmare” on reservation websites or at the gate. He also points out that on an airline like Southwest with its open seating policy, most passengers can sit where they want anyway.

No Kids Zones on Planes

But exclusionary cabins are gaining some traction particularly when it comes to kids. As we reported last week, another Asia-based carrier, the discounter Scoot is also adding a ‘no kids’ section to its flights. Question: Did Scoot do this for passengers or publicity? It sure got people talking about this somewhat obscure airline.

Pets on Planes

What’s next – aircraft for pets only? Actually that was tried, but the now-defunct Pet Airways has since gone out of business (it looked like fun while it lasted).

Exclusive seating: Wave of the future – or total insanity? You be the judge.


Published: August 27, 2013