To think easyjet are unfairly taxing families?

(75 Posts)
specialknickers Mon 25-Feb-13 13:55:46

Really pissed off with easyjet today. We're fllying with 3 year old DS on Friday and I've just gone online to add all our passport details to have found out they've just introduced allocated seating.

I thought I'd better seat us since we're going on a 4 hour flight with a toddler. They've charged me £18 for the privilege of sitting with my own child! Obviously, if I was flying on my own I could have easily avoided paying, but as a responsible parent, I can't.

This is totally unfair isn't it? Am furious. Tempted to cancel the seats now and let the cabin crew sort out the preschooler whilst i relax on my own somewhere else...

CajaDeLaMemoria Mon 25-Feb-13 13:57:23

They will seat at least one of you with your son (presuming by we you mean you and your partner).

So you don't need to book seats unless you specifically want to sit next to your partner. If you don't mind the small chance that he'll be elsewhere, you can leave Easyjet to seat you.

FillyPutty Mon 25-Feb-13 13:57:40

lol, it's not a tax, they are a business.

You don't have to pay the fee, and they are not going to allow your child sit by himself in any case.

If you want specific seats, pay for them.

If not, wait till boarding and you will get somewhere.

Indith Mon 25-Feb-13 13:58:24

Well no, they are not taxing families. You chose to pay. You could just as easily choose not to. There are rules about the age that children are allowed to sit alone so you would not be separated from him.

ComposHat Mon 25-Feb-13 13:59:09

No it is not 'a tax on families' it is a service offered to anyone who wants an allocated seat.


Bunfags Mon 25-Feb-13 13:59:30

YANBU. It's totally shitty. I also hate the fact that all of these travel companies hoik their prices up in school holidays. I must admit to getting very envy at my child free friends and relatives who can enjoy cheaper, more frequent holidays because they are not restricted by term times. envy

Sorry, I know you were specifically talking about the allocated seating, but I just had to slip that in.

annh Mon 25-Feb-13 13:59:47

Well, they're certainly not the only ones! Lots of the low-cost airlines are doing this now. I wouldn't have bothered paying. Do you really think they are going to let your 2 or 3 year old sit on their own?

Bejeena Mon 25-Feb-13 14:02:25

Also I am sure whoever sits next to your toddler will gladly swap with you anyway.

Bluemonkeyspots Mon 25-Feb-13 14:02:35

I have just paid £100 to Ryan air to book our seats.

Worth every penny in my opinion as I can stand back and let the scrum board then toddle on at the last min.

We are not rich but to me I would rather book the seats then cut back on the spending money a bit.

scaevola Mon 25-Feb-13 14:03:28

I've no idea whether there are rules, or what they might stipulate. But I've found airlines (even crappy rapacious ones) manage to keep children with an adult from their group until they're about 12ish (no matter how hard you try to get away from the little blighters).

expatinscotland Mon 25-Feb-13 14:05:59

It's not a tax! It's a service you are chosing to purchase.

BadRoly Mon 25-Feb-13 14:06:01

I dream of the day that I cannot get a seat on the plane next to my grumpy 3yo, chatty 6yo, fidgety 9yo or hormonally stroppy 11yo...

It never works, I always get at least one of them confused

Amateurish Mon 25-Feb-13 14:06:36

Sorry OP I think you misunderstood. If you don't pay, you will still be sat together. When you check-in online, it will allocate seating for your group together. You just don't get to choose where on the plane that will be.

livinginwonderland Mon 25-Feb-13 14:06:58

yabu. they are never going to seat a toddler away from you, booked seats or not, and last time i flew easyet, they let families with young children on first, so it's not like you'd be stuck finding a seat anywhere.

specialknickers Mon 25-Feb-13 14:07:47

Now I'm even more annoyed! I wouldn't have paid the extra if I didn't think there was a possibility ds would be on his own.

specialknickers Mon 25-Feb-13 14:14:59

But the allocated seating thing is brand new... We last flew with them in November and could choose our own seats on the plane. Now you can choose (and pay) online when you check in, meaning that most of the seats are already taken.

Would they other passengers out of the seats they'd paid for to sit children with their parents?

I didn't think so, hence feeling like I was forced into paying, whether I wanted the service or not (why I called it a tax).

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Mon 25-Feb-13 14:17:51

They aren't allowed to sit toddlers without a parent. Its some sort of civil aviation rule or something because in a crash/emergency the parents/dcs would be trying to get to each other rather than do whatever you are supposed to do in a crash.

specialknickers Mon 25-Feb-13 14:18:32

Sorry, crap typing on iPad - that should read "would they move other passengers...

NatashaBee Mon 25-Feb-13 14:19:07

They will make sure at least one of you is sat next to your son. It just won't be in a location of your choosing.

Amateurish Mon 25-Feb-13 14:19:21

I flew with my kids in December. I checked in online did not pay extra to choose seats, and was allocated four seats togther (or at least 3 together, and one across the aisle).

Your seats are allocated at the point you check-in online. So you know straight away where you will be sat.

On Easyjet you automatically priority board with five and unders.... we always did anyway, I never paid extra and we always boarded first.

Jins Mon 25-Feb-13 14:25:26

Just flown with them. The check in clerk said that the only people who pre-booked seats seemed to be larger families. I was considering pre-booking the extra legroom seats which were the most expensive but when we rocked up at check in they took one look at DH and gave them to us anyway.

It's a much better system than the free for all

Oh sorry, just realised, I haven't flown Easyjet since the new system so don't know if they still allow priority board with young children (and of course, if everyone else has prepaid for allocated seating, then that still doesn't work anyway.....)

specialknickers Mon 25-Feb-13 14:26:19

But I didn't want to check in online, so we might not have been able to sit together (we have a pushchair so have to check that in at the airport anyway).

It's all a bit unclear (and I'm not especially stupid).

specialknickers Mon 25-Feb-13 14:29:02

Still want to know if they would move other passengers to sit ds and I together...

I'd be quite cross if I'd paid for a specific seat then had it taken away from me by a three year old!

Tee2072 Mon 25-Feb-13 14:32:16

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

CajaDeLaMemoria Mon 25-Feb-13 14:33:02

You and DS HAVE to sit together. There is no choice. If it came to it and there was no way to seat you with your DS without moving someone who had booked, that is what they have to do.

Your son has to sit with one of you. If you don't pay you can't choose where on the plane you sit, but you WILL be together.

Jins Mon 25-Feb-13 14:33:34

OP I never check in online as we always have hold luggage and the queue for bag drop is always big

We weren't the first at check in by any means and we still got extra legroom seats together.

They do still allow priority boarding for people with under fives but because seats are already allocated you don't get the situation where the extended family of the four year old all race to the front as well smile

What you will probably get if checking in at the desk is aisle seats next to each other but that's not a problem I'd have thought.

It's a much better system all round. They know who is on the flight and they know who they can separate. I can't see that young children will be seated away from parents unless they are the very last to check in. Even so unless the flight is completely full there wouldn't be an issue

CajaDeLaMemoria Mon 25-Feb-13 14:34:48

They'd obviously refund whoever got moved, but it is in the T&Cs of booking a seat that this may happen. They have to comply with airline code.

ComeOnYouTwo Mon 25-Feb-13 14:38:19

Even if they are the very last to check in, they will NEVER leave a child on his own wo an adult, let alone a 3yo.
Imagine the situation if you have a child (even a 9yo) on his own who has decided to be a pain the * and no one to calm him down!

Jins Mon 25-Feb-13 14:38:49

The chances of them moving someone who has paid for a seat is very slight. The majority don't pre-book seats

EuroShaggleton Mon 25-Feb-13 14:38:55

You seem to be mixing up checking in and dropping baggage. You can check in online and still drop baggage at the airport.

As others have said, you would have been able to board early with a young child. At that point it would have been highly unlikely that only single seats would have been left and if they had been, the airline would have had to sort it out.

Seems a much better system than when I last flew Easyjet with sons then aged 4 and 6....I was last on the plane and offered the 4 year old to a couple of passengers before being seated all together, almost in the loo (but that has its advantages too).

specialknickers Mon 25-Feb-13 19:20:20

But fedup under he old system you were seated together for no extra charge, and would have been able to board first, if you were at the gate on time. With the new system you will have to pay £24 to all sit together and priority boarding won't mean anything if you haven't all been seated in the same place - which you almost certainly won't have been, unless you've paid this extra charge (because all the seats will have already been allocated, either on selection or earlier check in).

eurosingleton I can assure you that I am not mixing up checking in and dropping baggage. As a frequent easyjet flyer I can tell you that the baggage drop queue at Gatwick is no shorter or faster moving than the one for check-in. Hence checking in the buggy. Always easier to do it in the check-in desk, and you save yourself the bother of printing off boarding passes.

Thanks everyone else for the comments about not sitting children on their own. I'm sure you're right but will quiz them on friday about the new policies, and if that's not the case I'll start another thread. Would hate anyone else to be caught out like I was!

Snazzynewyear Mon 25-Feb-13 19:29:09

I bet you there is something in the small print saying that even if you pay for allocated seats of your choice, cabin crew have the right to override this if they deem it necessary for the safety of the passengers or some such. They would then invoke this if some obstinate passenger refused to move to let you sit with your 3 yo - though in any case I really can't see this happening.

If it's not a long flight, I would be tempted to save the money and take the chance that only two seats will be together and you/your partner will have to sit elsewhere.

Have just seen that Caja said pretty much this above. Oh well, I've typed it out now grin

MrsBW Mon 25-Feb-13 19:35:17

Bunfags your choice to have children. Don't get narked at those that don't and can then enjoy cheaper, term time holidays.

EnjoyResponsibly Mon 25-Feb-13 19:35:18

if everyone choses not to pay they wnt be able to allocate the seats.

work together and fight back people!

foreverondiet Mon 25-Feb-13 19:40:20

I wouldn't pay they won't make your toddler sit next to someone else!!!!!

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 25-Feb-13 19:50:26

We flew with them in January. Didn't pay any extra for our seats, were all sat in a row (aisle inbetween) and you still get to board after the speedy boarders (why anyone pays for that is beyond me!) if you have a child under 5.

Sorry OP, I think you've wasted your money in this occasion but at least you'll. ow for next time wink

Jins Mon 25-Feb-13 20:21:15

But fedup under he old system you were seated together for no extra charge, and would have been able to board first, if you were at the gate on time.

OP this is only the case because you have a child under five. Believe me there were no guarantees about sitting together under the old system and it was hell on wheels for those boarding in group B

The new system is so much better.

Prority boarding with under 5's is a joke, I traveled with Dd who was 3 and my elderly mother, and were sent down the steps to priority boarding, along with a couple of other families, then they allowed everyone down not more than a few seconds later, we were almost bowled out of the way and elbowed out of the way on the steps up to the aircraft, it was chaos.
So if you pay to prebook seats together how do the hoards stampeding onto the plane ahead of you know not to sit in those seats? Do they put little tickets on like the trains?

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 25-Feb-13 20:56:51

Everyone now has an allocated seat squinkies. If you don't precook one, they'll just allocate one to you.

fairylightsinthesnow Mon 25-Feb-13 21:05:17

its not a tax, you don't have to pay, you don't have to fly. You have chosen to. That's like saying you are being taxed because you have to buy nappies and childless people don't. Life is about choices - once you have made them, don't moan about the consequences - that also goes for the term time holiday thing - its a business, supply and demand determine the prices.

13Iggis Mon 25-Feb-13 21:17:35

Why on earth can't be moan about profit-crazy businesses? Or how expensive it is to have a family?
Have I misunderstood what mumsnet is for ?

SunsetSongster Mon 25-Feb-13 21:29:38

I was a bit confused by this when I booked EasyJet flights last month but looked on their website and found this..

It’s important that we know if you have children in your booking in order to make sure they get an appropriate seat and are seated with you. When you make your booking for your family, please make sure you clearly identify any children in the booking. Just add the number of children and infants in your party in the relevant section and include their ages when prompted

I didn't pay for seats and the three of us were sat together (DH, DS and I). I've always found EasyJet really good when we've flown with them - we were once last on the plane as we had been delayed and they had saved us a row of 3 at the front of the plane.

MidniteScribbler Mon 25-Feb-13 21:33:24

Never not got the seat I wanted when checking in on a flight. EVER! Never paid a cent for priority/allocated/extra leg room either. You just have to show up early to check in, be nice to the check in staff and you can pick and choose what you want. Pre-kid I was always given the exit row (extra leg room) seats for free, and now post-kid I've always been allocated a spare seat between us. You just have to be organised and not show up five minutes before check in closes then moan because you can't sit exactly where you want.

Startail Mon 25-Feb-13 21:41:34

The whole allocated seat thing is a con.

If you have a small DC they aren't going to separate you and if you have an older DC I'm sure people would swap.

We've always got two twos or one and three near enough to talk and pass drink bottles without paying.

ceeveebee Mon 25-Feb-13 21:55:29

Yes I think they would move other passengers. When DH and I flew with our baby twins we sat together (this was unallocated seating) they made one of us move as you are only allowed one lap infant per row of seats due to number of oxygen masks, so they made other passengers move to swap with me (we were so popular...)

I don't see the issue. Just flew easyjet with a child. Checked in online, didn't book seats, allocated seats together. This was about a week before the flight. Printed off boarding passes, instead of paying 20 quid at the check in desk - you are happy paying this?
Then arrived, queued to check luggage in, and all was well.

Christelle2207 Mon 25-Feb-13 23:08:35

It actually says on the website that they'll sit you together where possible. Its not a con.

13Iggis Tue 26-Feb-13 08:08:16

I wonder does it only go up to five? I can see why there might be a cut-off, but my five year old would be a gibbering mess if away from me on a plane. Or maybe he would surprise me! Either way, if there were sore ears or turbulence he would be looking for me.

sashh Tue 26-Feb-13 08:19:01

Still want to know if they would move other passengers to sit ds and I together...

I'd be volunteering.

Theshriekingharpy Tue 26-Feb-13 09:05:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TWinklyLittleStar Tue 26-Feb-13 09:22:08

Still want to know if they would move other passengers to sit ds and I together...

They do. I fly easyjet fairly often and have seen cabin crew move people (before and after the new system). People shift fairly quickly when they announce nobody's going anywhere until the parent and child are seated.

I've also known them to ban nuts etc on flights when someone with severe allergies flies. I actually think their customer service is pretty good.

specialknickers Tue 26-Feb-13 10:50:01

I called it a tax fairylights because I deemed it to be a "burdensome charge, duty or demand", as per the dictionary definition of the word. I am well aware that I'm not obliged to go on holiday, as I said, I'm not especially stupid. If you read the thread back you'll see that I thought it was a charge I HAD to pay, in order to be seated with my 3 year old on an already full 4 hour flight.

Thanks to the genius of mumsnet I now realise that's not the case and I've been duped into paying £18 for a service I didn't require, since I couldn't give a rats ass which part of the plane I sit in.

I'm still cross about it though. I've always thought easyjet had great customer service (especially when regularly flying solo with a newborn, the cabin crew couldn't have been more helpful each time) and I feel like a bit of a fool.

13iggies is right. Where can you have a moan if to on mumsnet and enjoy too right! Hopefully anyone reading this thread won't get bamboozled into parting with thier cash as easily as I was. Fight the power!

ProudAS Tue 26-Feb-13 12:05:52

Remember it isn't just parents and children who need to sit together. I have Aspergers and anxiety and would find being separated from DH very difficult.

We always pre book seats or speedy boarding rather than expect people to move and I don't see why those with children should behave any differently.

I do think however that it's common courtesy for someone on their own to move so that families/couples can sit together.

ifancyashandy Tue 26-Feb-13 12:20:48

do think however that it's common courtesy for someone on their own to move so that families/couples can sit together

Totally depends on the length of flight. If I am flying long or mid haul and I've booked / paid for specific seats, I would need a damn good reason to move for a family / couple (especially a couple) who had not pre-booked and paid for seats in the same manner. I am single with no kids so frequently fly alone - buggered if my forethought would be put asunder for others.

DelGirl Tue 26-Feb-13 12:29:05

I've flown with EJ a few times in the last 12 months and never book seats ( I know it is a relatively new thing anyway), seriously, I doubt anyone would choose to sit next to a child if they didn't have to and would swap seats with you if it meant you could sit next to your own child. (dreams of the day when I can sit by myself instead of fidgety dd. That said she is a pretty good flyer and doesn't cause too much fuss hmm

livinginwonderland Tue 26-Feb-13 12:39:43

I do think however that it's common courtesy for someone on their own to move so that families/couples can sit together.

debateable. if it's a short flight, fine, but i would rather sit next to my partner or friend on a six hour flight if it's possible, and if i've pre-booked (and paid extra) to do so, i shouldn't be expected to move.

ProudAS Tue 26-Feb-13 12:48:26

*I do think however that it's common courtesy for someone on their own to move so that families/couples can sit together.

debateable. if it's a short flight, fine, but i would rather sit next to my partner or friend on a six hour flight if it's possible, and if i've pre-booked (and paid extra) to do so, i shouldn't be expected to move. *

I wasn't talking about expecting someone who has pre-booked to move even if they are travelling alone. Sorry if that wasn't obvious from my previous post.

BTW I don't think there is any requirement for airlines to sit conjoined twins together.

Fillyjonk75 Tue 26-Feb-13 12:52:34

I would just a) not pay b) let them sort it out when you get there c) expect one of us to be able to sit with the child in any event d) If they fuck you about, fly with someone else next time.

Mind you I can't stand flying generally these days, it's a pile of poo.

mrsscoob Tue 26-Feb-13 13:03:17

YABU they are trying it on and they only get away with it because gullible people fall for it

ifancyashandy Tue 26-Feb-13 13:05:38

Fair enough Proud smile

bryte Tue 26-Feb-13 13:10:28

Bear in mind one of the reasons low cost airlines have kept their costs low(ish) is by not offering allocated seating. I've always hated the extra anxiety that not having an allocated seat causes, so I am pleased that booking a seat is now possible with EasyJet. Those who still want to fly at the cheapest price possible can forgo this extra payment.

Jins Tue 26-Feb-13 13:15:21

I am old so I remember the days when you couldn't prebook seats at all and they were all allocated when you checked in.

There was never an issue. Nobody ever panicked about not sitting next to family.

It's the Easyjet scrums that have led to panic. Having flown under the new system it is a million percent better.

rubyrubyruby Wed 27-Feb-13 22:47:55

I always take the piss out of the 'early boarders'


MajaBiene Wed 27-Feb-13 23:03:53

I flew Easyjet recently with DP and a 2 year old - we didn't pay for allocated seats, but they allocated us 3 seats together at the gate and we also got automatic priority boarding.

MajaBiene Wed 27-Feb-13 23:04:21

Actually our seats might have been allocated when we checked in online.

annoyednow Thu 28-Feb-13 00:15:55

We flew with easyjet last summer. I had a 9 year old. We were ok going from london as we got two seats together so a parent could sit beside him. On the way back, we were told by a easyjet employee at the gate as we had not paid the fee to book a seat beside him, he could be seated away from either of us. Cue was when the little shuttle bus delivered us to the plane, we ran like bats out of hell to get in to try and have one of us beside him.

I think it is interesting as I don't think easyjet officially allow unaccompanied minors on their planes. However this is basically the position easyjet's employee said he could be in. No flexibility whatsoever officially. I guess they can't charge extra for a minor's seat, but can charge extra under the guise of seating allocation. If it is illegal for a minor to travel unaccompanied (and I don't know if it is), I don't see why you have to pay extra.

I meant to write to them but as we successfully raced for seating beside him, it didn't become a burning issue.

annoyednow Thu 28-Feb-13 00:33:10

Interesting as I see easyjet officially say they don't accept unaccompanied minors under 14. Are they possibly in breach of something or other in practice. Placing a child randomly on plane without responsible adult to ensure their safety.

rubyrubyruby Thu 28-Feb-13 06:46:33

He wouldn't of been flying alone though, you were also on the plane.

washngo Thu 28-Feb-13 06:54:06

We've just flown with easyjet. They will sit you with your child - no need to book seats (if they didn't just think of the fuss people would make, no other passengers want to babysit someone else's child for the duration of a flight).. They do not board people with children first anymore though - fine by me, the less time spent entertaining toddlers on a plane the better.

Jengnr Thu 28-Feb-13 07:31:53

YABU with this one as you have the choice about the seats.

However we are flying with JET2 with a baby in September. Not only have they charged 20 quid each way for the privilege of him sitting on my knee but you HAVE to reserve seats with a baby, which they then charge you for.

I don't like referring to things as a 'tax' because it's bollocks but I do think that's unfair.

forevergreek Thu 28-Feb-13 07:33:08

You can still check in online with a buggy btw. You can print a flight tag for buggy and use it right up to plane, then just fold with tag attached.

So if just hand luggage and buggy no need to queue

They will just move others. Although we last flew in jan with easyjet as a group of 8, no pre booked seats and just wandered on and all sat together.

13Iggis Thu 28-Feb-13 10:31:59

I assume a child crying because its parent is at the other end of the plane would annoy passenger/flight attendants, as would a child announcing they need to do a poo or whatever, or needing the person next to them to cut up their food (not that you get any on easyjet). The biggest inconvenience would be the parent standing on your head to get to the end of the plane where their child was during an emergency evacuation.

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