Do you think airlines should move males away from unattended minors to decrease the children's risk of being molested?
No. It's gender discrimination. If there was a publicly accessible worldwide database of registered sex offenders there could be a reasonable argument to be made for airlines ensuring that no known sex offender was seated next to a child, but to just slap a general rule down that no male should be seated next to an unattended minor is ridiculous. And while it is less common, females molest children too, and fathers molest daughters. There are sex offenders in just about every demographic.
My SO and I just say the news story on tv. I agree that is discrimination. They charge extra for unaccompanied minors and making sure they sit next to a certain passenger transfers their responsibility to a stranger. If this is truly an issue, the unaccompanied minor fee should go toward having an employee sit next to them. The other question I had was in the event of an emergency, who is supposed to help the children get their face masks on? You put yours on and then help the minor children. Not that I wouldn't help a child, but as a parent, I would be upset about the fact that I am paying extra for my child to travel unaccompanied and the airline is relying on a stranger to assist them.
I would want to know the statistics on how many airline passengers have ever been accused of molestation on the plane. If say, 1 child has ever reported it, is that enough to enact a policy for all men everywhere? It is definitely sex discrimination.
The news reporter said the airline settled a discrimination suit in 2010 over this. They need to evaluate the situation. Is it better to keep settling discrimination suits in an effort to minimize an already minute risk or protect a potential victim?
To summarize, it should be an employee sitting near the unaccompanied minors. It doesn't have to be a flight attendant, but someone who has been background checked, fingerprinted, cross-referenced, etc. I honestly didn't know this isn't how it works before this article.
I agree with what the others have said. A blanket rule like that is unnecessary and discriminatory.
I don't fly much and have never looked into the rules about unaccompanied minors, but I would hope staff would use common sense. The child should sit in an easily accessible and viewed location where staff are at hand to help if needed and keep an eye on the child. I would also hope at the slightest hint of inappropriateness (not just molestation - swearing, drinking, TV/movie viewing that isn't age appropriate) by any one seated next to the child, they would be moved.
I have never thought about this, has there ever even been a case where molestation has happened?
I don't agree with it.
I would hope if there was a minor without his or her parents the flight attendent would be keeping a close eye on the child. I do not see how making sure they only sit next to woman is going to help.