Airlines have been urged to clearly communicate their policies relating to travel by unaccompanied children.

The call came from flight comparison site Skyscanner on the back of a poll which found that more than two thirds of people would feel insulted if asked to move away from a child on a flight. 

Only 14% said that they did not like the idea of their child sitting next to a stranger.

The majority (86%) of the 500 respondents said that they would be happy for their own child to sit next to a stranger if the child was flying unaccompanied.

Of these, 40% said they would actually prefer their child to be seated next to an adult in case they needed help in an emergency.

But 28% of parents said they would prefer their child to be seated next to a female rather than a male.

Company co-founder and business director Barry Smith said: “It’s a very delicate area for airlines and it is important that they [airlines] strike the right balance.

“Airlines are obviously responsible for any unaccompanied minors that they carry so must do everything they can to ensure the safety and comfort of that child during the flight; this includes the threat that other passengers may pose as well as ensuring safety should oxygen masks be required.

“It is important that airlines tread carefully and communicate their policies clearly.”