Friday, August 10th, 2012

Concerns on our policy for children travelling alone

We understand the concerns raised around our policy for children travelling alone, a long standing policy initially based on customer feedback.

In light of recent feedback, we’re now reviewing this policy. Our intention is certainly not to discriminate in any way.



53 Responses

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  1. Peter Specht August 10, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Stopping children from traveling alone isn’t discrimination, it is good and decent common sense as far as the boys up here are concerned.

  2. Scott August 10, 2012 at 3:24 pm


    Can you please elaborate on the review process for your policies to try and help us understand how a policy such as this was ever put into place?

    I find this policy appalling and discriminatory and has directly affected my perception of all Virgin Brands and Subsidiaries.


  3. Pete August 10, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Compensate the bloke you defamed first off and then address your misandry. What a joke you are. Will choose your airline as a last resort only from here on in. Discrimination against men is close to an epidemic and will not be tolerated.

  4. Chris Martingale August 10, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    I find it disturbing that it would take media comments before you reviewed such a blatantly flawed policy.

    How on earth can you say that “Our intention is certainly not to discriminate in any way.” when clearly it was exactly your intention to discriminate? Your whole purpose in drafting this absurd policy was to discriminate against men.

    I don’t care if you change the policy or not, I won’t ever fly your dirty airline ever again.

  5. Erin August 10, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    I’ve always been a big supporter of Virgin Australia, and I have to admit, the way this situation was handled has left a sour taste in my mouth. If the policy wasn’t bad enough (and I’m pleased to hear it is being reviewed, perhaps to NO one is allowed to sit on a row where an unaccompanied minor is seated), the way the crew handled asking this man to move seats was completely unprofessional. Something as simple as “Sir, as we don’t allow anyone to sit in a row with unaccompanied children, we’d like to offer you a seat in our premium economy section, would you mind moving?” I’m sure then you wouldn’t have had a single issue. Simple, customer friendly and non confrontational.

    Doesn’t sound so hard does it?

  6. Mark August 10, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Have you ever considered passengers who have had to put up with the screaming, seat kicking kids?

  7. Howie August 10, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    I know this is making headlines today, from some context Qantas has the same policy

  8. Kim August 10, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Essentially all VA are doing is the same as what the Red Cross does in regards to donating blood. Eliminate certain risk factors dramatically reducing the risk of something bad occuring.

  9. Jon August 10, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Why is it only after public ridicule that such a blatantly discriminatory rule is now being reviewed? How could you ever have adopted such a rule in the first place?
    I will now actively choose any other airline available before using Virgin again.
    This is just intolerable and your apparent surprise at the public reaction is very poor.
    Wake up Virgin, not all men are child abusers and we resent being treated like one.
    Women have been convicted of child abuse too… So now what?
    Your policy needs reviewing? Yeah, so does the jobs of those who passed this as company policy.

  10. David August 10, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    It’s not just discrimination against men.

    By re-enforcing stereotypical gender roles you pidgeonhole women into the role of sole caregivers for children, limiting their career options, and limiting the ability for men to be accepted as primary caregivers of children.

  11. Claire Rogers August 10, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    I have worked for numerous airlines worldwide and I can’t tell you one of them that DOESNT have this policy in place so before everyone starts pointing fingers you might want to get all your facts!!!

  12. Sam August 10, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Well the fact is that the policy DOES DISCRIMINATE AGAINST MEN.

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    What kind of moronic people do you have creating such policies?

  13. Jay August 10, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    Those of you who are vowing to avoid the services of Virgin or the Virgin group – do some research! Qantas was “caught” doing this several months ago, and many more airlines around the world continue the practice. Just ask them!

  14. Noel August 10, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Woah woah woah, I agree that the defamed passenger should be fairly compensated but I don’t see how Virgin would have intentionally set out to discriminate against anyone with this policy. The policy would have been put in place with the best of intentions. Not the defending the actions against this passenger – but don’t think Virgin should be copping this much flack from media or the keyboard warriors above.

  15. Chris Millynn August 10, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Disgusted – what message does this send to our society? You intentionally or not (IT DOES NOT MATTER!) are telling children that men are horrible untrustworthy creatures. The opposite is the reality – the EXTREME majority of men are excellent people – because the EXTREME majority of men had excellent fathers. If my daughter was flying unaccompanied I would prefer her to sit next a male, so she can see that men are respectable, caring, entertaining people. You must publicly alter your policy and shame other airlines to act appropriately. I will not fly or use any Virgin products until this is done. I reiterate – Disgusted!

  16. Adam August 10, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    So very, very disappointing. I don’t know what to say, I have loved your brand and airline so much. This is the kind of utterly absurd behaviour I expect from Tiger not Virgin.

  17. DMM August 10, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    “Our intention is certainly not to discriminate in any way” Don’t make us angrier — that is EXACTLY your intention!

  18. matt noble August 10, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    @ Peter Specht, do you even know what this is about? Clue: It’s not about banning lone child passengers.

  19. Mike August 10, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    The majority of child sexual assualt is perpretrated by someone known to the child, e.g. a family member. Perhaps children should not be allowed to sit with their families, just in case. There is about a 1 in 26,000,000 chance of being seated next to a paedophile and about a 1 in 11,000,000 chance of the plane crashing — perhaps the little preciouses shouldn’t be on a plane alone at all. 100% of murders are committed by people — perhaps nobody should sit next to anyone on a plane **end sarcasm**. Dear Straight Men, welcome to the world of the gay man, where everyone is considered a potential paedophile by so many paranoid delusional morons.

  20. Nick Brennan August 10, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    If the purpose of this policy was for the protection of children, then children onboard Virgin flights should NOT be allowed to sit near their family members and friends. Children are far more likely to be molested by a family member or family friend, than by a stranger.

  21. Jen August 11, 2012 at 12:28 am

    His treatment was disgusting, the staff member should have handled it better but honestly, when did kids safety become about the ego of a man?

    He should not have been seated there in the first place, that is an issue with the ‘check in staff’ and the flight attendant should have offered the man a better seat rather than humiliate him BUT the policy itself isn’t to blame.

    Grow up people, it’s about children, not you.

  22. AN August 11, 2012 at 10:37 am

    I think this is a great policy. Looking after children is a woman’s job, move the man somewhere else so he can get some real work done without any interruptions.

    (Yes this is sarcasm, but I’m surprised more women aren’t outraged at being told they have to mind a stranger’s children so the man doesn’t have to.)

    Also to those people saying other airlines have the same policy, we know – but if we can focus our disgust on Virgin and get them to change the policy, there’s a better chance the other airlines will follow suit.

  23. Tom August 11, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    The vast majority of sexual abuse on Kids is committed by Parents, perhaps they should also be banned from sitting next to Kids?

  24. NTSA August 12, 2012 at 2:52 am

    “Our intention is certainly not to discriminate in any way.”

    So drop the sexist, discriminatory policy.

  25. Ken S August 12, 2012 at 3:23 am

    Way to go, Virgin Airlines! You’ve managed to set a policy that discriminates against half the planet’s population. Interesting strategy for your business, wat?

    BTW, I am a subscriber to Virgin Mobile here in Canada. I will be disconnecting my phone today, as I would not want to have anything to do with a company that is capable of such misandry.

  26. Anthony Deluca August 12, 2012 at 3:32 am

    I will not fly on this airline until this policy is changed. However props to you for getting feedback and considering changing these things.

  27. Magnus August 12, 2012 at 4:54 am

    Now that I’m essentially regarded as little more than a potential pedophile and child rapist by your company merely because I’m a man, I will be absolutely certain never to give you one thin dime of my money, and when I need to fly, will look to anywhere else but your bigoted, sexist corporation. The people on this site defending this policy are disgusting.

  28. EP August 12, 2012 at 5:32 am

    If it’s dangerous for unaccompanied children to sit on a plane, then the solution is obvious – ban unaccompanied children from flying!

  29. Howitzer August 12, 2012 at 5:46 am

    God, all these people complain complain complain about ANYTHING that would darken the name of “men”, EVEN IF statistically it would prevent sexual assault against children, a noble goal.

    How many of you stupid “justice warriors” are protesting the Red Cross’s ban against LBGT people donating blood? Oh, zero. I WONDER WHY.

  30. gthnk August 12, 2012 at 5:58 am

    It’s misandry plain and simple. You are automatically assuming men are predators. Statistics show women are far and away the greatest threat to kids. So maybe going forward you can ban women from sitting near kids… oh wait, that would never fly.

  31. jesus_marley August 12, 2012 at 7:22 am

    @Jen – It has nothing to do with the children. Women are just as likely to abuse children as are men and there is no such policy preventing women from sitting next to children. This is a direct result of the Man bad, woman good dichotomy we live in. It is policies such as this that are based upon flawed “research” that reinforce the beliefs that man are violent sex beasts. It is a sexist, disgusting policy and you are nothing but a concern troll trying to derail the issue. VA is using the “safety of the children” as a convenient excuse to continue with their reprehensible discrimination policies.

  32. USman August 12, 2012 at 7:31 am

    I am pleased you are reviewing your policies on this, but kindly do not give us the lame corporate speak that you don’t mean to discriminate. This just insults our intelligence.

    I don’t know the statistics in Australia, but here in the US women commit the majority of child abuse in general and are rapidly growing as the perpetrators of child rape and molestation. A week does not go by that we are not treated to the story of a woman raping a child. Should US airlines forbid women from sitting next to unaccompanied minors?

    Child abuse is a serious problem. However, victims are only helped and crime is only prevented when we operate on the basis of REALITY. And REALITY is that the vast, vast majority of men and women are not abusers. REALITY is also that it is everyone’s responsibility to look for signs of abuse on a child, regardless of what adult they’re sitting next to. Assuming that men are paedophiles and women are harmless is a MYTH that harms everyone.

    Thank you for your kind attention.

  33. William August 12, 2012 at 8:45 am

    All I have to say is that I will no longer be using Virgin, nor will my family, and I will encourage my friend to use other airlines.

    I will not give money to any organisation that discriminates against me.
    (I won’t fly BA for the same reason.)

  34. Esras August 12, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Absolutely disgusting and disgraceful.

  35. Russell Swanker August 12, 2012 at 10:08 am

    My god, I would be so humiliated if for no valid reason, with no explanation to the others on the plane that it was based on a “colorblind” company policy, I was asked to move like this gentleman was. This is ridiculous. I will think twice about traveling on Virgin.

    I wonder what the policy is on other airlines?

  36. Jenna Marshall August 12, 2012 at 11:24 am

    And there goes one of my favorite companies (Virgin). Whether or not you intended to discriminate is irrelevant, you did. Your company has, at least for now, lost my support.

  37. C.J. August 12, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    It’s clearly disciminatory and we will not be using ANY Virgin products until the policy has been changed and a VERY PUBLIC announcement has been made.

  38. J August 12, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    LOL Jen: when did children become automatically unsafe when a man sits near them? I think you’ve completely missed the point.

  39. James August 12, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    To the women defending this offensive policy, why not ban all adults from sitting next to the children, then see what the outcome would be from women, being told they are potential child abusers.

  40. DC August 12, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    It seems the main issue with Virgin, given most airlines appear to have the same policy regarding children travelling alone, in the unprofessional way Virgin staff handled th situation. If check in staffed reviewed the seating situation and made appropriate changes discreetly before boarding commenced then everyone would be non the wiser. To humiliate the gentleman on board is unprofessional and unacceptable.

  41. Evil Weasel August 12, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Your policy deliberately discriminates against men. Any man treated unfairly and unprofessionally by this policy should be compensated. Virgin needs to address this misandric policy and start having respect for the male half of its passengers.

  42. Roddy August 12, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    Either let all adults sit by children or don’t let any.

  43. Innocent Bystander August 12, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    > when did kids safety become about the ego of a man?

    As someone who was abused by two women during childhood I find your assumption that men and only men are child abusers ridiculous and offensive.

    And statistics in fact suggest women are the predominant abusers of children.

    Time to drop your stupid and offensive stereotypes Virgin.

  44. Roger My Trousers August 13, 2012 at 12:59 am

    This is disgusting. You need to take a long hard look at your policies and ask yourself what kind of world you’re looking to create.

  45. Luca B August 13, 2012 at 1:04 am

    I think your police is wrong.

    Why can women sit next to unattended children, but men can’t? Is there any logic behind your descicion?

  46. alt August 13, 2012 at 1:21 am

    @Kim “Essentially all VA are doing is the same as what the Red Cross does in regards to donating blood. Eliminate certain risk factors dramatically reducing the risk of something bad occuring [sic].”

    The thing is, women are just as likely to commit abuse against children (there is gender parity). If the policy were to do what you suggest, it would need to restrict both genders, not just men.

  47. John August 13, 2012 at 10:42 am

    “we’re now reviewing this policy”

    What is there to review? It’s clearly sexist, disgusting and discriminatory.

    Any decent company doing something that is clearly wrong and offensive doesn’t have a “review”, they just stop immediately and apologise for the harm they’ve caused.

  48. John August 13, 2012 at 10:47 am

    “Essentially all VA are doing is the same as what the Red Cross does in regards to donating blood. Eliminate certain risk factors dramatically reducing the risk of something bad occuring.”

    No they aren’t. If they were eliminating risk factors they’d stop children sitting next to all criminals who had committed sexual or violent offences, both male and female or perhaps just anyone with a criminal record.

    The current policy means Vanessa George would be seated next to any child and they would be assumed to be safe. Therefore it’s actually like the Red Cross happily accepting blood from AIDS and hepatitis patents and giving it to others, just as long as the infected blood comes from someone belonging to a particular group.

  49. (Putu|bali holiday) August 13, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Please review your policy
    Thanks , Putu

  50. Denny August 17, 2012 at 1:02 am

    Keep doing it. Better safe than sorry. There are a lot of parents supporting your policy. Keep doing it please!!

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