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Businessman Sues British Airways For Ban On Children Sitting Next To Males

PTI 16 Jan 2010, 12:09:41 IST

Mirko Fischer, a 33-year-old businessman is suing British Airways over a policy that bans children from sitting next to male passengers they don't know - even if their parents are on the same flight, reports The Mail, London.

Fischer has accused the airline of branding all men as potential sex offenders and says innocent travellers are being publicly humiliated.  Fischer, a hedge fund manager, became aware of the policy while he was flying from Gatwick with his wife Stephanie, 30.

He was in the middle seat between her and a 12-year-old boy. After all passengers had sat down a male steward asked Fischer to change his seat.

Fischer refused, explaining that his wife was pregnant, at which point the steward raised his voice, causing several passengers to turn round.

He warned that the aircraft could not take off unless Fischer obeyed.  Fischer eventually moved but felt so humiliated that he is taking the airline to court on the grounds of sex discrimination.

If he wins at the hearing next month at Slough County Court, BA will have to change its policy.

Fischer, who lives in Luxembourg with his wife and their daughter Sophia, said: 'I was made to feel like a criminal in front of other passengers. It was totally humiliating'. BA declined to comment.