Stop Australian Airline From Discriminating Against Men

Target: John Borghetti, CEO of Virgin Australia

Goal: End the airline policy that prohibits men from sitting next to children.

On the airline Virgin Australia, men are currently barred from sitting next to unaccompanied children in a misguided effort to prevent child victimization. This rule humiliates men by treating them like pedophiles. Virgin Australia must abolish this narrow-minded policy.

Firefighter Johnny McGirr was recently seated next to two unaccompanied young boys on a flight with Virgin Australia. A stewardess approached him and insisted that he trade places with a female, as he was not allowed to sit next to children traveling alone. McGirr stated later that he felt as though he was, “presumed a pedophile,” and that the experience was incredibly embarrassing. He hasn’t been the only one to feel this way  as the airline policy has been in place for years.

While it may be true that the majority of sex offenders are male, this does not justify treating an entire gender as a threat. This policy takes a ‘guilty until proven innocent’ stance and openly discriminates against men. An airline that is thought to practice racial profiling meets public outrage. We should be similarly intolerant of gender profiling. By signing the petition below, tell John Borghetti, CEO of Virgin Australia, to remove the policy that prohibits men from sitting next to unaccompanied children.


Dear Mr. Borghetti,

The Virgin Australia policy that prohibits men from sitting next to children traveling alone openly discriminates against males. Men who have encountered this rule have been publicly humiliated, feeling as though they were, “presumed a pedophile.” While the intention to protect children is good and noble, this is the wrong way to accomplish it.

Although it may be true that sex offenders are primarily male, we cannot hold an entire gender guilty for the crimes of a few. The message your airline sends gives a narrow and harmful view of the male sex. All humans have the right to be treated equally, without stereotyping and profiling. Please end the policy that restricts men from sitting next to unaccompanied children.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Greg via Flickr.

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  1. Sally mclean says:

    As a mother of 1 daughter I think this is a great rule! Not only do I not trust a strange man with my daughter most children in general are more comfortable with women then they are with men! My opinion is that this airline would be my choice of travel if I were to send my little girl anywhere! So any blokes who are offended? Sorry but get over it!!! I know how I would feel being a mother sending a child alone on a plane. Much rather sitting next to a woman! Not that there are not sick women out there but just read statistics!! Get off your high horse and back to reality!!

  2. Gen Lovyet Agustsson says:

    do not send children to travel alone! children are too early to travel alone. its the best for children to travel with parents. letting children travel alone is child abuse!

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