Saturday, December 03, 2005


Men banned from sitting next to children

This is just crazy.

Air New Zealand and Qantas have decided to ban men from sitting next to unaccompanied children on flights, sparking accusations of discrimination.

The airlines have come under fire for the policy that critics say is political correctness gone mad after a man revealed he was ordered to change seats during a Qantas flight because he was sitting next to a young boy travelling alone.

Auckland man Mark Worsley (pictured above) says an air steward approached him after take-off on the Christchurch to Auckland flight and told him to change seats with a women sitting two rows in front. The steward said it was the airline's policy that only women were allowed to sit next to unaccompanied children.

"At the time I was so gobsmacked that I moved. I was so embarrassed and just stewed on it for the entire flight," said Mr Worsley.

"I felt that it was totally discriminatory. Besides the point of what the hell was I going to do on a crowded flight."

The 37-year-old shipping manager, who has 2-year-old twins, recently contacted National Party political correctness eradicator Wayne Mapp who said the airlines' policy was an example of political correctness that had got out of hand.

"I think this is a gross over-reaction by the airlines. What do they think men are going to do that women won't? It is the same as saying men shouldn't sit beside children on a bus."

Children's Commissioner Cindy Kiro meanwhile said she commended the airlines for putting thought into the policy and for endeavouring to keep children safe.

Dr Kiro said she did not think it was intended to be a slur against men.

Well I for one think this is a slur against men. Do only men abuse children? Of course not.

This individual, Mark Worsley, must have been absolutely mortified. I know I would be. Imagine being asked to move on the grounds that you are perceived as being a threat to a young child!

It's outrageous and I hope the airlines scrap this politically correct, but morally incorrect, policy very soon.


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