Moral Panics

Fear of perverts in aircraft


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Perverts in Aircraft

News Reports 2 : Dec 1-3 2005

One News
December 1 2005

Seating policy before commissioner

The Human Rights Commission is taking action over the policy of two airlines that won't seat men next to children travelling alone on planes.

Air New Zealand and Qantas have asked men to move if they are allocated seats next to unaccompanied children.

The policy came to light after a man seated next to a child was asked to change seats with a woman sitting in another row.

Auckland man Mark Worsley said he was told by a flight attendant from Qantas that the airline's policy stipulated that only women should sit next to unaccompanied children.

A Qantas spokesman confirmed the airline does not allow unaccompanied children to sit next to men and Air New Zealand says it has a similar policy.

The Human Rights Commission says the policy could be in breach of the Human Rights Act and has initiated a process of dispute resolution between the companies and a number of complainants.

Acting Human Rights Commissioner Joris De Bres says he's received five complaints about the policy.

On Wednesdaty a Motueka man who felt so strongly about the issue climbed a ten metre high gum-tree and stayed there for 22 hours in protest. Kevin Gill came down from the tree only after a call from De Bres, who assured him the commission would take on the case.

Both airlines will be called to mediation, which is voluntary, but which most organisations do go ahead with.