Choosing to sit young child with strangers on a plane

(53 Posts)
redskytonight Fri 02-Sep-16 20:20:38

Yes, I am being very judgey but do I have the right to be?

Long haul flight -family of 5 comprising 3 small children (ages 2,4 and 6 at a guess), mum and dad. They have a block of 4 seats across the middle of the plane, plus a seat in the middle of the block of 4 behind. The seat is next to a man sitting across the aisle to the rest of his family on one side. On the other side is a 12 year old girl, and her mum, and the rest of their family across the aisle.

I have to admit that if this was my family I would sit one parent + all children on the single row (these were the seats they were assigned if it makes a difference), and the other parent behind. And maybe swap the adults half way through the flight.

The family actually chose to sit their 6 year old in the row behind. She spent a lot of time calling for her parents, the 12 year old spent a lot of time helping her to do things (operate ife, manage food) and telling her not do things (climb on seat), and the man sitting next to her felt obliged to swap seats with his wife (presumably because he wasn't happy sitting next to a young girl, but that is just my guess).

AIBU to think this was a really odd seating choice to make?

KingJoffreyLikesJaffaCakes Fri 02-Sep-16 20:21:58

Was her name Meg?

Madbengalmum Fri 02-Sep-16 20:22:18

Yes, and not very considerate of anyone else.

redskytonight Fri 02-Sep-16 20:26:01

Her name wasn't Meg, no hmm.
<scuttles off to find out what I've missed>

DailyFailAteMyFish Fri 02-Sep-16 20:28:20

I think the Meg is a Family Guy reference wink

SunnyBanker Fri 02-Sep-16 20:31:58

Hmm...ds2 is 6 and fairly self sufficient.

I'd love to say I would sit the three dc with me and dh behind us or vice versa - but having a 2 and 4 year old is hard (i've been there)...and a 6 year old just seems so much more competent by comparison. So I can understand why their thinking might have led them to conclude that the 6 year old sitting behind them was the best idea.

Misguided probably but I don't think it makes them awful people.

Crocodileclip Fri 02-Sep-16 20:33:50

We are a family of 4. DH, me , DS(6) and DS(2). The last two times we flew our older son sat by himself. Our reasoning was it takes two parents to entertain an active 2 year old, whereas my oldest is easy to entertain with a film.

shaggedthruahedgebackwards Fri 02-Sep-16 20:34:50

I would definitely choose the seat in the row behind and leave my DH with all the children. Bliss!

Mausageandsash Fri 02-Sep-16 20:35:20

If the child could do things for them self and not disturb other passengers then I don't see why not

SaucyJack Fri 02-Sep-16 20:36:10

Tempting, but essentially cunty.

YANBU.

Thefitfatty Fri 02-Sep-16 20:37:21

Personally I would have put the 12 year old my themselves. But perhaps the 6 year old "demanded" they wanted their own sear and in hindsight that wasn't a great choice

maddiemookins16mum Fri 02-Sep-16 20:39:27

The 12 year old was a different family.

thegoodnameshadgone Fri 02-Sep-16 20:40:18

Would of thought one parent would of sat on their own and swapped half way through the flight??

RealityCheque Fri 02-Sep-16 20:41:31

The 12 year old was from a different family.

EttaJ Fri 02-Sep-16 20:43:06

One of the adults should have sat alone. No idea why they would not do that but i fly a lot and I see all sorts.

MakeMyWineADouble Fri 02-Sep-16 20:44:37

I'm surprised the airline allowed it I have been on s few flights now where people have had to move as children have to sit next to an accompanying adult. So Not a great choice IMO. Even if the child demanded to sit alone they should have have swapped things round once it became clear the 6 year old wasnt able to things without help. They basically had a free baby sitter for the flight: I hope they thanked the 12 year old.

BarbarianMum Fri 02-Sep-16 20:45:00

I don't necessarily think it was a terrible idea to try it. But if it wasn't working they should have swapped.

MammouthTask Fri 02-Sep-16 20:56:41

The thing is, it was a long flight so it would have been obvious to them that leaving the 6yo on his own wasn't a good idea. That said child was misbehaving, that two people (the 12yo and the guy/his wife) had to do the 'looking after' they didn't do.

In a similar position, I would have asked if someone would have been happy to swap seats (maybe the guy with a parent) so that one parent was with one child (the two yo?) and another with the other two.

I would have been annoyed that seeing their arrangement wasn't working, they didn't try another combination.

PovertyPain Fri 02-Sep-16 21:03:29

Maybe they want one if the other family members to swap with them, so a parent could sit with a child, but other family refused. They then decided to 'punish' the family by leaving them to look after their child likes some arseholes on MN advocate, at times

Discobabe Fri 02-Sep-16 21:20:04

Yanbu. I'd never expect complete strangers to essentially mind my child. I'm surprised it's allowed, what happens in an emergency/bad turbulence with no guardian near them? They'll hardly be a random strangers priority.

Crunchymum Fri 02-Sep-16 21:29:30

I've been on a plane (short haul, 4 hours) where DP were on aisle seats adjacent to one another. Family get on and find their allocated seats, the 2 kids [I'd say aged about 4 and 6] are next to me and the parents next to DP.

Nobody other than me I'm an emetephobe and kids on a plane are a puke risk seemed bothered and I had to engineer the seat swapping. Parents looked disappointed they weren't getting a 4 hour break from their kids shock

Hulababy Fri 02-Sep-16 21:38:08

No way should they have sat the 6yo on her own behind the rest of the family! Its obvious pretty much every 6y would need some attention for at least part of the flight.
Yes, having 3 children sat with one parent might be harder work, but lets face it - if one 6y is so competent to be on their own (when clearly this wasn't the case as someone else's 12y had to look after her) then actually the parent would essentially only have two anyway. Unless the other two children had more complex needs then not sure wy the family couldn't have managed.
Or maybe paid to book seats a bit closer together perhaps???

dollywobbles Fri 02-Sep-16 21:39:27

I'm really surprised anyone would choose to sit a 6 year old with strangers.
If a 6 year old was placed next to me, while its parents were sitting together I'd be really pissed off.
However independent the 6 year old may seem, they're 6. On a flight next to a stranger.
Odd choice.

grumpysquash3 Fri 02-Sep-16 21:55:35

I think the airline wasn't great at allocating sad I think they would have been better with 4 in a row and 1 across the aisle.

We once had a flight where we were separated. DH and DS2 (then 4) sat together. DS1 (9) and DD (6) were near each other, but opposite sides of an aisle. I was 3 rows in front of DD but in a middle seat.

It was very far from ideal. DS1 and DD just had to get on with it as I had limited access to them. None of the adults around wished to swap seats with me to make it all easier....

grumpysquash3 Fri 02-Sep-16 21:56:29

But yes, I do agree that the 6yo shouldn't be alone by the parents choice!

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