To not book reserved flight seats for us and the kids?

(728 Posts)
LittlePudding1 Tue 18-Jun-13 16:47:48

Hi, I have a 6 year old and a 3 year old and was under the impression that even if we weren't all sat together together on a plane they would sit me with 1dc and dh with the other but a couple of people have told me they can sit you anywhere. Surely they wouldn't sit a 3 year old away from a parent and next to a random stranger, would they?

Foosyerdoos Tue 18-Jun-13 16:50:40

We have never reserved seats on a package holiday flight. I have always assumed no one will want a random child sat next to them and will swap. We always check in early though.
On a scheduled flight we just pick seats when we check in online.

ruby1234 Tue 18-Jun-13 16:52:22

Why take the risk? Just reserve the seats!

SuperiorCat Tue 18-Jun-13 16:53:03

Don't be surprised if you end up separately, especially if it is Ryanair.

They seriously don't care whether you want to sit together unless you pay for it.

Probably someone would swap, but not necessarily, especially if they have paid to sit together

MrsMcEnroe Tue 18-Jun-13 16:54:45

We once made the mistake of not booking our seats on a Ryanair flight and the DCs were aged 4 and 2 at the time. By the time we got on the plane, after everybody else who had reserved their seats, their were 4 individual seats left. The flight attendants were not bothered. In the end DH managed to persuade someone to move so he could sit next to DS, and I persuaded someone to swap so that I could sit on one side of the aisle with DD, aged 2, on the other side - I was able to reach out and hold her hand during takeoff and landing, she was really upset and NOBODY would move so that I could sit with her, bastards. She was 2!!!!!!!!

It was horrendous. The cabin crew and other passengers didn't give a shit. I know there are regulations about unaccompanied minors etc but honestly, when it came down to it, nobody cared.

We have always booked our seats since then!

SuperiorCat Tue 18-Jun-13 16:56:34

MrsMcEnroe while I would feel really sorry for you, if I'd paid £60 to make sure the 4 of us are sitting together then I would not be best pleased that I was expected to move because you had chosen not to pay.

LastTangoInDevonshire Tue 18-Jun-13 16:58:18

Many years ago I was persuaded by a parent to move so his child could sit in the row in front of him. It was just supposed to be for the take-off and landing. Then he refused to swap back and I spent the whole journey separated from the people I was travelling abroad with.

I wouldn't do it again I can assure you.

squeakytoy Tue 18-Jun-13 16:58:39

I agree with SuperiorCat. If I had paid to reserve my own seats, why the heck should I swap with someone else. No chance.

Thereonthestair Tue 18-Jun-13 16:59:01

I understaood they weren't insured to carry unaccompanied minors.

Last time we flew we hadn't reserved seats because when we booked you couldn't but by the time we flew you could (return journey bought separately we reserved). We always do late online check in because of the sheer number of times we have had to claim on insurance for flights not taken (went into labout at 29 weeks, fil died, ds went into hospital - you know usual expected things) and it is much much easier to switch flights than claim ryaniar flight or easyjey flights back on travel insurance becuase of getting proof you didn't fly from the airline...

Anyway the flight was full and the staff did have to switch us around so one of us sat next to DS (3 disabled - whole different thread about what they told us for his needs for his disability) but it was very very stressful doing so. In the end all fine, and no other passengers paid, but I would always pay if i had the choice. Why have somethign else to worry about

carabos Tue 18-Jun-13 16:59:29

IME they will always try to sit families together. The hassle of not doing that, of putting a random 2yr-old next to a random couple isn't something the cabin crew really want to deal with when they are trying to get a late departing, hot, crowded plane away.

Last time DH, DS2 and I flew together, we didn't reserve seats as we didn't care if we sat apart for the 2 1/2 hr flight. The crew still sat us together as "You're a family". DS2 was 19 confused.

Heavywheezing Tue 18-Jun-13 16:59:31

Why should people swap for you ?

I buy priority boarding to make sure we all sit together. And get to the gate early. Which is what I suggest you do.

You make life more difficult for the cabin crew, who are not there to find you seats etc, to get you away on time.

It's your decision obviously but don't expect others have paid to give up their seats because you haven't paid.

Ladymuck Tue 18-Jun-13 17:00:01

Now that they have offered you the option to pay in advance and select your seating, they don't have to move other passengers for you. And it isn't just Ryanair/Easyjet who do this: Air Canada refused to ask anyone to move when 4 of us were in separate rows on a nighttime transatlantic flight at Easter.

If they haven't given you the chance to prebook seats (ie if you book late and all prebookable seats are gone), then you may have a better case to argue.

hermioneweasley Tue 18-Jun-13 17:00:13

Agree with superiorcat. This is the deal with cheap flights. If you want to guarantee your seating, you need to pay.

tmae Tue 18-Jun-13 17:00:42

Yeah I wouldn't move if I had paid and someone else didn't have the foresight to do so, it isn't my problem. I would feel bad for your child, but not for you as you decided to risk it, you are the one who caused your child distress no-one else.

Also I have a very bad fear of flying and would book a seat I felt comfortable and no amount of love nor money would make me move.

I don't really understand why you wouldn't book seats in advance to be honest but to each their own!

hardbeingme Tue 18-Jun-13 17:00:47

we flew ryanair, didn't reserve seats and then found that we HAD to sit together, you have to be there to arrange the life jackets, breathing stuff and such (after making sure your own is correctly fitted of course)
it meant that a few people had to be moved to accomodate us which was a bit awkward but no one seemed to mind.
On the way home we mentioned again that we had been told we needed seats together but we were still told to queue and people still had to move to accomodate.
booking seats would save having to move other people around to suit you but you do have to sit with your dcs (not sure till what age) regardless.

Floggingmolly Tue 18-Jun-13 17:01:23

What SuperiorCat said. Most of the people you would be expecting to swap with you will have actually paid the reservation fee. Why would they suck it up because you haven't?

Talkinpeace Tue 18-Jun-13 17:02:38

this easter we did the Easyjet reserve seats thingy
once you allow for the fact that we got a free bag into the hold and priority boarding and picked EXACTLY where we wanted to sit on the plane (right hand side, in front of the wing, two window seats) there and back
it was only about £10 dearer for 4 of us.

I've flown back from the US with my kids sitting away from me next to strangers ....

Scarletbanner Tue 18-Jun-13 17:03:58

I've never paid either and have always been seated with the dcs.

If they separated us, and I was the random adult who ended up sitting next to unaccompanied dd (4), I would be wanting the airline to do something about it.

MrsCampbellBlack Tue 18-Jun-13 17:05:21

This is such a rubbish policy by the airlines. People generally behave pretty dreadfully on flights, in a 'I'm alright Jack' manner, note the people who recline their seats on short flights.

But if going with children, I would definitely pre-book.

ShadeofViolet Tue 18-Jun-13 17:07:54

I wouldn't swap with you.

I have paid £75 so we can sit together on a flight to Greece next year. I know its a bit of a pain to pay but its worth it IMO.

ChunkyPickle Tue 18-Jun-13 17:07:56

I agree that if you've paid, why should you move, but on the other hand, if they are compelled by regulations to seat you together (after all, are they taking responsibility for your 4 year old should there be an emergency, or regarding meal allergies, or any other thing that could happen to a lone 4 year old), then I don't think that they should profit from that.

Their systems should notice that they have a requirement to fulfill, and assign seating accordingly upon booking (ie. not at the last minute so people have to move). If there is no room on the flight for you to sit together, then they would just not sell you the tickets.

I know it'll never happen, but that's what should happen.

SuperiorCat Tue 18-Jun-13 17:09:21

Oh and in case I come across as selfish - the reason that we pay extra to sit together is because I have a 14yo 6' DS with ASD, so he needs to be near both of us for his safety and that of everyone else.

Why doesn't everyone who flies on Ryan Air just refuse to pander to their up-selling shenanigans? No one pay extra to book seats, then it will become like other airlines who shock, offer this for free, on a first come, first served basis.

velvetspoon Tue 18-Jun-13 17:11:05

I suppose it depends on the cost, if you can afford it I'd say pay to avoid the hassle. But if you need every penny for the hols don't. I've never had pre-booked seats and always been able to sit with my DC (without other people moving). Possibly we've just been lucky!

chickieno1 Tue 18-Jun-13 17:11:24

I don't book seats on Ryanair etc but make sure I get to the gate early to q. Or dh does and rushes on and saves seats for ds and I

mrsjay Tue 18-Jun-13 17:11:32

just book them it doesnt take long or cost that much more we always prebook seats

MrsCampbellBlack Tue 18-Jun-13 17:11:59

Isn't it a rubbish policy though - its just bound to get people angry. I mean, realistically I'd be pissed off if I'd paid to sit together and ended up swapping. But there is no way I'd let a 2 year old sit on its own if I could swap with its parent - am quite surprised anyone would really.

I would ask for a refund on the booking fee though and can imagine how well that would go wink

sarahbean123 Tue 18-Jun-13 17:12:54

I hate having to swap seats and end up stuck in an aisle seat next to a random couple because people with children haven't reserved seats, or made sure they've got to the plane early enough on a non-allocated seat flight.

I make sure I'm there in plenty of time to choose a seat and resent having to move for someone who is the last person to rock up. Ok, sometimes people can't help but get held up, but it always seems to be the people with special seating requests that get on last.

ShadeofViolet Tue 18-Jun-13 17:14:01

Its not just Ryan Air though.

Easyjet too, and Thomson.

Flobbadobs Tue 18-Jun-13 17:14:35

Definitely pre book your seats, it's well worth any extra.
superiorcat it's not selfish to want to sit in the seats you paid for at all, I'm of the opinion that if I prebook a seat to sit next to the DC's (especially DD1 who is a nervous wreck during takeoff) and someone started mithering to swap because of an assumption they made it's them that have to deal with it and learn the lesson for next time.
Harsh maybe but not particularly selfish.

mrsjay Tue 18-Jun-13 17:15:53

we recently went with jet 2 and we booked seats there were people split up all over the place I had somebody next to me and his wife was over from him I spent most of the flight head back as they were conversing over me sigh on the baby was passed back and forward between them ,

stealthsquiggle Tue 18-Jun-13 17:16:26

This would be why I avoid travelling budget airlines when at all possible. I know flag carriers sell preferred seats nowadays too, but we yet to have BA be anything other than helpful, and they have always managed to sit us together.

dufflefluffle Tue 18-Jun-13 17:19:01

A friend was having to sit seperately from her 3 and 5 year olds shock. Ryanair of course. The 3 year old was quite calm about it but the 5 year old was hysterical. AFAIK the hysterics did the trick and they all got to sit together. I would reserve seating if you could. Not worth the stress.

SuperiorCat Tue 18-Jun-13 17:20:34

OP so if you don't pay and then end up apart, would you be prepared to reimburse whoever moves to accomodate you? And if not, why not?

CelticPromise Tue 18-Jun-13 17:22:15

If no-one paid for this they writes have to go back to the old ways and most people would get seated together. Just saying. I won't pay on short haul, I figure DS has to sit with one of us.

Ladymuck Tue 18-Jun-13 17:22:15

I think that the reason we got caught out with Air Canada is that a lot of people had printed off their boarding cards for all legs of their journeys and were in the air on inbound connecting flights. We arrived from a cruise (so no printing facilities), and got stuck with what was left. [Though fortunately there was a delay which meant we missed this flight and got on the next one which allowed us 3 seats together].

OddBoots Tue 18-Jun-13 17:31:58

I think they should allocate one accompanying adult per child in seats of the airline's choosing for free as standard as a child would weigh less so makes up for it that way. If both parents want to sit with a child then that could be charged. When I say allocate I mean at time of booking, not by moving people around once they have paid for particular seats.

Flossiechops Tue 18-Jun-13 17:35:01

You can't book seats on Ryanair apart from the exit aisle seats (have to be aged 16+ to reserve these). You can book priority boarding which means you get on the plane before the hoards - but what if all the hoards book it too?? It's a crazy policy - I am terrified of flying and have always paid priority as its just another stress I don't need, there's no way I would move from my dc to make way for another family - sorry!! Easyjet have now introduced pre booked seats for the whole plane which far far better imo!

tmae Tue 18-Jun-13 17:35:08

I do agree it should be automatic that a child is allocated to a seat next to a parent at booking (not moving people around!) - sadly airlines make things as difficult as possible for extra cash

spillows Tue 18-Jun-13 17:42:55

I would rather die than give Ryan Air extra money for booking seats. It is a matter of honour. Also, I'm pretty sure anyone who was sitting next to DS would arrange a swap pretty quick. I can't believe the people who pay for speedy boarding for a two hour hop. Have a slightly inconvenient flight then spend 75 quid on a nice meal to get over it.

sarahbean123 Tue 18-Jun-13 17:51:06

I know easyjet have just introduced allocated seats for everyone, which are given to you when you check in online, but surely if you don't check in until the last minute (AFAIK you can check in as late as 2 hours before the flight) there will still be the problem of families getting the random, not together seats that are left?

DP and I have checked in online for our flight next week and been allocated seats next to each other, but what if a family checks in very late, they could still expect us to move as their seats may not be together...

So really, giving everyone allocated seating before the day won't help if people who want seats together don't check in early enough, as there will still have to be shuffling round on the plane to accomodate them.

Tailtwister Tue 18-Jun-13 17:54:24

I wouldn't leave it to chance tbh. Just book the seats and if there's a surcharge then pay it. Personally, I couldn't see someone separated from their child during a flight and would move, but I appreciate not everyone would.

teacherandguideleader Tue 18-Jun-13 18:01:13

I got really annoyed a couple of years back when me and bet friend had paid speedy boarding. A family rocked up last minute and caused such a fuss they couldn't sit together we were made to move. Neither the family or airline offered to refund our fee.

Heavywheezing Tue 18-Jun-13 18:07:30

I've just spoken to my husband, who knows about these things and he said fine, don't pay for your seats but be prepared to queue and queue early.
It's a nightmare when families turn up at the last minute and expect to sit together.

Mindyourownbusiness Tue 18-Jun-13 18:11:57

I wouldn't bank on people swapping ! I had a great seat once, loads of leg room on the outside of the aisle with a window just in front, you could stand up and look out of at will , near toilets but not too close. Sat next to very quiet people and so on.

My DH was in the middle aisles and in the middle of them iyswim, (we were separated as late checking in for some reason l cant remember) and had a lady sat next to him who was travelling alone. Neither of them could get up without having to disturb people.

I am petrified of taking off and landing and hang onto DH for dear life usually.

DH asked lady very politely if she would mind swapping with me and explained why and also that l had a very good seat for all reasons stated above.

I was in a right state and even thought of asking to get off blush. She flatly refused, no reason - and yes l know she was under no obligation to give one etc.

Only a lovely air hostess managed to calm me down a bit and l survived take off obviously grin, but was in tears and shaking with fear with no DH to cling onto as usual.

When the plane took off the woman started to try and engage DH in conversation for most of the four hour flight. He was like this hmm. Let's just say he wasn't his usual friendly responsive self.

So however good your case or argument or reasonable your request seems to you, you just never can presume someone will oblige.

dost Tue 18-Jun-13 18:13:09

You can book allocated seats on Ryanair, I just have! flying glasgow to murcia this summer, costs £10 per person each way, worth it for us

41notTrendy Tue 18-Jun-13 18:14:49

We've never paid to pre-book seats, but we've always got to the gate early and DH gets on plane as quick as poss to reserve 1, or 2 seats. I find the whole flying thing stressful but when every penny counts I suck it up and prepare to find getting on the plane a nightmare. It usually works out ok. I need to get in my head that its only 2 hours and I can deal with that if the worse happens grin.

mrsravelstein Tue 18-Jun-13 18:16:42

we just flew with thomas cook, didn't prebook seats as it would have added about £100 ish to the cost of the flight, and we assumed that they wouldn't separate a 3 yr old and a 5 yr old from parents (less worried about 12 year old ds1). they had indeed sat us all together. really don't see why i should pay extra as it's quite obvious that a small child (say 10 or under) shouldn't be sat with random adults, and the airline knew the ages of the kids from the original booking.

Alisvolatpropiis Tue 18-Jun-13 18:19:30

Best not kick off when you end up not sitting together and people won't move to accommodate your family then.

CloudsAndTrees Tue 18-Jun-13 18:27:07

If you are prepared to take a chance and queue early, then don't bother paying. The airline may well seat you together.

I wouldn't move for another family if I'd queued up really early or had paid though. If it was a short flight I'd consider it if we were offered the same amount of cash we had paid for our whole family, but otherwise I wouldn't. We like being seated together enough to make the effort to ensure it happens.

Scarletbanner Tue 18-Jun-13 18:28:41

But the airlines don't sit families together to avoid inconveniencing parents who haven't paid. They do it because of the non-parents who would be super unhappy about sitting next to someone else's unaccompanied 3 yo.

BusterKeaton Tue 18-Jun-13 18:30:50

Certainly you cannot assume that someone will oblige, but nor should you assume that someone who doesn't want to move should give you a reason. For instance, for some months after an operation I had to use a catheter with a urine bag. I liked to sit in an aisle seat so that the bag wasn't next to someone and so that I could empty it easily. I fail to see why I should have to explain my medical condition to a complete stranger.

Shutupanddrive Tue 18-Jun-13 18:31:56

How much more does it cost roughly if you do book them?

CloudsAndTrees Tue 18-Jun-13 18:33:18

Sitting next to someone else's child wouldn't bother me that much. I am quite capable of telling a child that I'm going to sleep, or that I'm reading.

I'd chat if I was in the mood to, and switch off without feeling guilty if I wasn't,

livinginwonderland Tue 18-Jun-13 18:37:41

Surely kids that young board first anyway, so you'll get your pick of seats? After those who have reserved, obviously.

AllBoxedUp Tue 18-Jun-13 18:42:12

Easyjet seat children with families without you having to pay. It's on their website somewhere.

WicketWoo Tue 18-Jun-13 18:45:54

I flew alone with my 2 girls with Ryan air and I simply approached the flight attendants and told them that they were legally obliged to sit us together (they were both under 5 but I'm unsure of the legal limits) so would they please arrange it. I'm pleased to say that they did.

I dislike the up-selling and I wouldn't have thought more than about 10-20% of the flight had per-booked. So I felt my attitude was reasonable.

WorrySighWorrySigh Tue 18-Jun-13 18:47:48

The last time I flew EasyJet the speedy boarder people were on first and then the various special cases.

You are taking a huge risk if you dont reserve your seat.

BlueSkySunnyDay Tue 18-Jun-13 18:51:47

Thomson charter is £8.50 for adults and £4.00 for children each way.

Id just like to say i've prepaid ours for August, over £100 for our party. The seats were looking pretty booked up already to the extent that I couldn't be in the area of the plane I wanted to on the return. So don't make assumptions it will be OK not to pay.

Having paid for DH and I to sit with the boys I would be unlikely to go off and sit on my own and certainly not without being reimbursed by the person requesting the move.

RugBugs Tue 18-Jun-13 18:51:48

Last time I flew with ryanair in April they only allowed a certain number of seats to be reserved. We got to the airport stupidly early but because the gate was up a few flights of stairs and we had a buggy we were towards to back of the queue. Was a 6.25am flight travelling with a 2yr old, funnily enough a lovely young chap was quite happy to not sit next to DD (he missed out on 70mins of sticker fun).
I'm not sure I would take the risk during school holidays though.

ShakingSultana Tue 18-Jun-13 18:52:33

If I had paid to reserve my seat I would expect to be refunded if I had to move for people who hadn't paid the extra or who turned up at the last minute. It seems really unfair otherwise.

Binkybix Tue 18-Jun-13 18:58:17

I'm sure that it goes: speedy boarding, then people with young children/disabilities, then everyone else on Ryan Air at least? So you'd be unlucky not to be seated together I'd have thought (unless child-heavy flight).

I would be peeved at having to swap if I'd paid or got on first to be a seat where I wanted it (nervous flyer).

rufusnine Tue 18-Jun-13 18:59:42

Once - 7 years ago - we were offered 3 separate seats for 2 adults and a 3 year old for a 3 hour flight.We weren't late just unfortunately at the end of the queue - the check in staff were just shrugging their shoulders as if it wasn't their problem so we used our initiative and chased after the two girls who had just checked in in front of us and ask if they would please swap so that we could have at 2 seats together - thankfully they did!! I always reserve now even though she's 10!!

Talkinpeace Tue 18-Jun-13 19:00:16

everybody on easyjet is given an allocated seat - the free for all has gone

SnookyPooky Tue 18-Jun-13 19:04:31

I worked in travel for many years and it is not a legal obligation to seat young children with their families though it is CAA guideline. Check in staff will do their best not to split families up wherever possible but if pax don't prebook they do run the risk of being split up.
I have lost count of the amount of numpties who shouted at me in the airport when they were not seated together, this was grown ups with no kids mainly. More often than not the kids would be with at least one parent.

TheSecondComing Tue 18-Jun-13 19:08:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Coconutty Tue 18-Jun-13 19:15:52

I think you should book seats if travelling with children. I have seen families separated many times and I have also seen big arguments between people expecting others to move.

Just pay and have peace of mind. Why have a lovely holiday and then risk a really stressy flight home?

I've booked for August and the flight was almost full - it shows you what seats are still available and I'm telling you now there will be families split up on that one - it's chocka.

MrsMcEnroe Tue 18-Jun-13 19:20:21

Yes we have booked seats on Ryanair for this summer too - as others have said upthread in response to my story, people do get understandably pissed off if asked to move from a seat they'd paid for, and it's not a mistake that we will make again ( had been under the impression that we would automatically be seated with our children but we were wrong!)

"Now that they have offered you the option to pay in advance and select your seating, they don't have to move other passengers for you."

But the guidelines still apply in that case, because the guidelines aren't for the benefit of the family with the small children -- they are for the benefit of the other passengers, who in an emergency situation may be endangered by the actions of the separated family. They are guidelines not regulations, but an airline that doesn't comply with them isn't a particularly safe airline.

Equally, hypothetically if I am split up from my children I'm not the one who is inconvenienced. I (hypothetically) get to enjoy a nice quiet flight by myself and actually read my book for once. The people who are inconvenienced are the people who have my unaccompanied children next to or behind them -- so this is essentially a "you pay extra to avoid inconveniencing other people" charge, and that's an... interesting ... economic model.

Tilly333 Tue 18-Jun-13 19:21:27

There is always that rush at the gate ... then you get on the bus... then you're last off the bus (because you got on first)...then you're last to choose your seat ...makes me laugh every time!

LtEveDallas Tue 18-Jun-13 19:24:34

We have paid to be seated together for our summer holiday flight. I wouldn't move for a family that hasn't, sorry.

I agree that you shouldn't have to, but unfortunately whilst everyone else is, then you have no choice.

ChasingSquirrels Tue 18-Jun-13 19:31:17

Reading this (having just booked on Ryanair with 10 & 7 yos and not paid for extras) about families being split up I am reminded of a flight I was once waiting for, the plane was late, actually the plane wasn't coming at all but another smaller one was, so they were bumping people.
There was a couple with a small child, 2 or 3 ish. They were told that they were on the plane but their child wasn't!!!!
There was just no arguing with the check in staff, and they wouldn't even swap the allocation so that one parent & the child could go - it was the 2 adults, the child couldn't fly and that was it!

SkivingAgain Tue 18-Jun-13 19:39:26

I refuse on principle to pay to pick seats, this is newish thing and just another way of profiting from us. Weve booked a package so not the same as when using one of the budget flight only operators but our holiday is costing a substantial amount already so I refuse to pay even more. If we all did this the airlines/holiday companies would revert to sorting this out and there wouldn't be a problem as seats are not allocated randomly at check in anyway. Threat of splitting up families is a ruse IMO.

RikeBider Tue 18-Jun-13 19:40:30

I would love to palm my 2 year old off on someone for a flight. Bet they'd be willing to swap once the vomiting started grin

holidaysarenice Tue 18-Jun-13 19:43:30

Last year I cudnt pick a seat when I checked in online. It looked like they were all full.....they were, we got the remaining first class ones!!!

Floggingmolly Tue 18-Jun-13 19:45:01

How does it work exactly? You can pay extra to guarantee a particular seat; but can be hoofed out on a child's mothers say so? I wouldn't be too happy to be told to move...

Coconutty Tue 18-Jun-13 19:45:11

People who say they refuse to pay more obviously don't mind if they don't sit together.

We do so don't mind paying to guarantee it.

RikeBider Tue 18-Jun-13 19:46:08

I would rather move than have to take responsibility for someone else's child - you inevitably would have to help with the seatbelt or get help if they were sick/needed a wee etc.

Coconutty Tue 18-Jun-13 19:46:27

Molly people hate being asked to move, causes massive bad feeling usually. There's always a family last on struggling with babies and toddlers who look surprised to not be sitting together.

theoriginalandbestrookie Tue 18-Jun-13 19:46:55

What happened with the family chasingsquirrels?

For the OP, it very much depends on the airline. We paid priority boarding for Ryan air coming back from Tenerife, then they boarded the flight stupidly early and as it was a quiet airport there were no departure calls, we ended being at the back of the queue anyway. Thankfully the staff were pleasant and sorted it out for us so all 3 of us were together ( think DH was hoping that they could only find 2 seats together).

I can see why people other than young families want to sit together or have medical conditions which require them to sit together. I'd happily move if it didn't inconvenience me and if I hadn't paid for priority boarding or a specific seat though. A few friends are going to Rome in September and I don't give two hoots where I sit, the chance to be on a flight uninterrupted is sheer bliss to me.

redexpat Tue 18-Jun-13 19:51:21

Why take the risk? Just pay the extra for peace of mind.

MrsMcEnroe Tue 18-Jun-13 19:52:18

I should add that in our case, nobody had paid to reserve specific seats - they had paid for priority boarding (this was a few years ago and you weren't able to reserve seats on Ryanair back then). So we weren't asking people to swap seats that they had paid for, we were asking them if we could sit next to our children - the lady who wouldn't move so I could comfort my screaming 2yo was particularly unpleasant but it was the attitude of the airline staff that annoyed and upset me the most. We were last to board the plane because the check-in staff couldn't find our booking on the computer system, which certainly wasn't our fault.

I agree that families should be seated together without having to pay extra - your child, your responsibility. But there is no guarantee of this OP, so I think you will have to pay for specific seats .... Yes, Ryanair will happily seat your 3yo next to a random stranger unfortunately.

RikeBider Tue 18-Jun-13 19:54:58

So would those saying they wouldn't move for a family be happy to sit next to someone else's toddler?

Groovee Tue 18-Jun-13 19:57:25

Sitting with a parent could mean the row in front or across an aisle. Always pays to prebook and not expect people who have paid to sit together to move.

theoriginalandbestrookie Tue 18-Jun-13 20:01:50

Maybe it should work that if someone who has paid for their seats ends up having to move to accommodate a family, that family should refund them the price of priority boarding. Seems only fair.

ihearsounds Tue 18-Jun-13 20:03:41

No I will not be moved. I pay for this service and I don't see why I should be guilt tripped into moving. And yes this has happened, but I refused point blank. It's not my fault if people don't book, and/or show up at the very, very last minute as happened the last time a call went out to switch seats. The family weren't even appologetic. They were pushy and demanding, and laughing that they were late because of all the shopping they were doing.

SuperiorCat Tue 18-Jun-13 20:07:48

"So would those saying they wouldn't move for a family be happy to sit next to someone else's toddler?"

No, not happy, but I wouldn't move, because doing so would be to leave my 14yo ASD DS or my 9yo DD on their own. Why should my DCs be disadvantaged because someone else was either too tight or too stubborn to fork out for reserved seating?

Splashsplosh Tue 18-Jun-13 20:16:58

YANBU OP - can't believe the number of people who think you are. Just because some airlines charge extra for you to pick a seat/get on early enough to pick a seat doesn't mean that your payment overrides safety (and common sense!) concerns. Safety for all passengers should always come first, your personal seating preference and the amount an airline chooses to squeeze out of you to give you the impression you can have your preference accommodated comes AFTER.

How many who pay extra to get choice of seats and think that parents who don't should be split up from young children would like to try and calm an extremely distressed toddler once a bit of turbulence occurs? Or try and evacuate a young child if the plane needs to be cleared urgently when the child has no idea who you are, what you're trying to do and only wants their parent? Or try to evacuate your own seat when an anxious parent panicking and trying to find their child is determined to go through you if necessary to do so? Or take responsibility for a child who copiously vomits all over themselves and you? Or just be sat next to a whinging toddler with permanent snot dribbles for four hours? Or can these things never happen on a flight you're on?

Have no sympathy for a family of 23 who want to be seated all together just because but it's basic safety to put any young child in a seat next to their parent and if that means the airline can't honour your seating choice then complain to them and demand your money back (or refuse to pay what is little more than mini extortion), don't expect the parent to join you in paying.

NiceTabard Tue 18-Jun-13 20:17:06

Interesting policy on the part of the airlines.

In the event of an emergency it would get very sticky.

Parents would be trying to get up and down to get to their toddlers.
People sitting next to said toddlers could not be relied on to look after them with oxygen and stuff.
Kids would be absolutely freaking out lights out plane going down or whatever and no-one to look after them. So potentially getting up out of their seats if they could and trying to find parent.

not sure why the airlines think this is a good idea. Something goes wrong, no-one looks after child and as a result child dies, airline is screwed surely?

NiceTabard Tue 18-Jun-13 20:18:49

We are going BA in the summer and have checked and it said they will allocate seats in pairs for people with young children automatically.

Flew ryanair the other day and it was fine, I have to say I would rather sway than be responsible for someone else's child in an emergency / know that if I wasn't arsed then I'd be in the papers for being an utter shit.

MiaowTheCat Tue 18-Jun-13 20:18:54

I'd pay to be seated together (hate flying as a general rule - I like being on the winning side where gravity's concerned - so would want to minimise my own stress levels by sorting it out in advance). I'd be bloody pissed off if I'd paid or made sure I was there very early to get a seat and then someone chucked a strop and expected me to move so they could save a bit of money and still be seated together. I'm a wimp so I'd probably be bullied/guilted into it (which is what you're relying on isn't it - bullyboy tactics working) but I'd hate you with a passion for it.

I think it's an arseholish thing to do really - just the usual assumption that no one else matters.

googlyeyes Tue 18-Jun-13 20:23:19

I would always pay to reserve seats as the stress otherwise just wouldn't be worth it.

However no way would I sit there puffed up with self righteousness if a TODDLER was going to be on their own. Fuck what the parents should or shouldn't have done, it's just having some basic decency. Unless you yourself have small kids or special circumstances then FFS what does it really matter if you shift seats?

This 'wild horses wouldn't move me' attitude is pretty depressing. This seat's MINE, it's all MIIIIINE!!!!!

theoriginalandbestrookie Tue 18-Jun-13 20:31:35

Umm I wouldn't bet on it nicetabard for BA.

Last time we flew with them with DS age 5 at the time I couldn't book in online as the place we were staying with didn't have a working computer. We rocked up to the airport only to discover we had 3 separate seats and they wanted to leave it until boarding for the cabin crew to sort out.

DH does a nice line in assertive silence. After five minutes tap tapping, we were assigned two seats together and one separate.

Googlyeyes, I agree. I'd be peed off if I had paid for a seat and a family rocked up and hadn't paid, but when it comes down to it, if I wasn't with DS, then I would swap if they had a child under 8. I would complain to the airline and demand my speedy boarding money back, mind you with Ryanair would probably cost me more to do that than I'd get refunded, if I ever got any money at all, but I wouldn't let a child sit on their own.

One time we didn't pay as we had booked a package holiday with Sovereign and I had assumed since we got non essential fripperies such as airport lounge access they would ensure that we were seated together. Turns out not to be the case, I contacted the airline and they said we would be provided we turned up early enough so we were 3 hrs before flight departure, it was really stressful though and I'd rather just pay the money.

CloudsAndTrees Tue 18-Jun-13 20:32:26

It's more depressing that some parents won't make provision or their own children's needs googly.

I get what you are saying, but I'd have thought an airline would accommodate toddlers anyway.

I think the problem is more relevant to children over four, who would probably cope next to strangers, it just wouldn't be very pleasant for them.

chickieno1 Tue 18-Jun-13 20:34:44

All the tips for flying with babies, toddlers, young children actually suggest getting on the plane last so less time for them to get fidgety and bored before take off. Speedy boarding not the best option in that case. I guess safest thing is to book seats together if you can.

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Tue 18-Jun-13 20:35:52

Rikebider I wouldn't mind sitting next to someone else's child, that doesn't mean I'd automatically take responsibility for them though

I think the airlines should ensure all minors are with a parent but I think it's complelety unfair to not pay and expect others to move for you

theoriginalandbestrookie Tue 18-Jun-13 20:38:59

It also depends on the flight length.

I go to the toilet a lot, for that reason I always try to get an aisle seat. If it was a long-haul flight ( where thankfully United Airlines allocate seats together for free ) I'd be much less willing to vacate my aisle seat for say a middle seat due to some parent's lack of preparation.

NiceTabard Tue 18-Jun-13 20:39:59

Well, quite.

So in the event a 2 yo is next to maytheodds and the oxygen masks come down, the child will not be assisted.

How on earth do the airlines thing that will reflect on them?

theoriginal we do have access to a computer and the site says seats are allocated automatically a week before so maybe they have changed their policy since you travelled.

OddBoots Tue 18-Jun-13 20:40:46

It seems like people who like a bit of control and reassurance to minimise stress pay to reserve seats, but if there is a risk that someone could then come and take that peace of mind because they have a young child and haven't reserved then it adds the stress back.

As someone who lives a few minutes walk from an international airport but who doesn't fly because I find the whole thing too stressful (yeah, maybe I'm a control freak) I can totally understand the upset this could cause to fellow worriers.

This does play second fiddle to safety concerns but it does make me wonder if there are more people who would fly if they had more reassurance that they would get seats they reserved.

NiceTabard Tue 18-Jun-13 20:41:14

Out of interest, if there is a 2yo sitting away from people it knows, on a long haul flight, who takes it to the toilet, feeds it and so on?

CloudsAndTrees Tue 18-Jun-13 20:45:50

It's a bit extreme to say a child wouldn't be assisted with oxygen just because they are seated next to a stranger!

If I was next to someone else's child I wouldn't be willing to entertain them, and I wouldn't have been prepared to move for them, but if the oxygen masks came down then of course I'd help them, after fitting my own and my children's of course.

There's a big difference between keeping your own seat and refusing to help a child who could suffocate hmm

CelticPromise Tue 18-Jun-13 20:46:45

Clouds I think the most depressing thing is that the airlines want to charge through the nose for every last little thing and the people who are being criticised are the ones who won't pay for it! What's wrong with how it used to be done?

Being asked to move is not limited to the budget airlines mind. I always choose an aisle seat if I can, was once asked to move on a flight from Fiji to LAX ' because little x feels sick and needs to get out'. I sat by the window next to two little boys for 12 hours, grrrr.

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Tue 18-Jun-13 20:49:31

Nicetabard if I were sat next to a two year old I wouldn't be able to help it at all (severely disabled) and that is why it should never be left to strangers to look after young children

It absolutely should be down to the airline to ensure minors are with a parent but until that happens it is the parents responsibility to make sure their children are safe and not expect others who have made arrangements to move

CloudsAndTrees Tue 18-Jun-13 20:49:36

I agree that airlines want to charge for anything and everything, but as you discovered on your flight from Fiji, the system where seats are allocated randomly at check in has its drawbacks too.

If you don't want to pay, you pretty much are going back to the way it used to be done. I like having the choice.

SuperiorCat Tue 18-Jun-13 20:50:41


"Interesting policy on the part of the airlines.

In the event of an emergency it would get very sticky.

Parents would be trying to get up and down to get to their toddlers.
People sitting next to said toddlers could not be relied on to look after them with oxygen and stuff.
Kids would be absolutely freaking out lights out plane going down or whatever and no-one to look after them. So potentially getting up out of their seats if they could and trying to find parent.

not sure why the airlines think this is a good idea. Something goes wrong, no-one looks after child and as a result child dies, airline is screwed surely?"

I would replace airline with parent

If they want to make sure they are sitting with their child they have the option to pay to book seats.

Someone mentioned extortion - it is simple economics - supply and demand.

RikeBider Tue 18-Jun-13 20:51:43

I think if you end up sitting next to a 2 or 3 year old you will inevitably have to take some responsibility for them.

What if they ask you for help with their seatbelt?
What if they feel/are sick, or need a wee?
What if they drop something or get upset?

I can't imagine many people would just blank a kid in those situations confused In my experience children under 5 do not just sit quietly and accept that the person next to them doesn't want to get involved.

I can understand a person already sitting with young/disabled children wouldn't want to move, but surely if you are a couple of adult grouping you would swap rather than sit next to a small child.

TheSecondComing Tue 18-Jun-13 20:52:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NiceTabard Tue 18-Jun-13 20:53:39

That's what I was asking maytheodds - in the event that a 2yo is seated next to someone who is not responsible for them on a long haul flight, then what happens when the child needs the toilet or help opening their food. Do the flight attendants do it, is the parent called over to come and help, how does it work in practice?

ihearsounds Tue 18-Jun-13 20:54:44

Also, by taking the chance of not booking you are making the assumption that there will be seats that can be moved.. You don't know how many people on that flight require 2 adjacent seats for whatever reasons..
By not prebooking, what would you do, say hypothetically if no-one could move to give seats to be with your child(ren). I am not talking does not want to, but cannot because the passengers have children, or is travelling with someone who has any additional requirements?

CelticPromise Tue 18-Jun-13 20:54:58

What TheSecondComing said.

NiceTabard Tue 18-Jun-13 20:56:28

Logistically it sounds like a bit of a nightmare and that's even before you are looking at emergency situations.

RikeBider that is the point though, I'm not sure how the child alerts if they need help / who they alert / what happens in an emergency.

I suspect it will take a disaster and then there will be a law made about it.

OttilieKnackered Tue 18-Jun-13 20:57:42

But at the expense of other groups of travellers, TheSecondComing? I'm going on holiday with two friends in a few weeks. We've also paid for tickets, travelling as a part and used the same booking. I also love my friends. Basing it on your principles, if my friends and I get there first, you and your children might be split up.

NiceTabard Tue 18-Jun-13 20:58:19

ihearsounds well then you get what you're given obviously.

Seems an unlikely scenario though, IME single business types don't tend to book as they don't mind that much where they sit and are fit healthy and quick etc so able to secure a seat they want a lot more easily.

Sleepgrumpydopey Tue 18-Jun-13 20:59:09

Can you put a price on your child's safety? Would you let your child drive to school with a stranger to save £10?

Budget it into the holiday, buy yourself one less outfit for the holiday, or drink 2 less cocktails when there.

I chose to have kids, I choose to take them on holiday so I should pay to sit next to them.

CelticPromise Tue 18-Jun-13 21:00:52

ihear I presume they would deal with it the same way they used too deal with it when everyone got allocated their seats by the airline. What if all the passengers reserve in advance and you are the last to do so? Could be in the same position.

Clouds I meant by my long flight example to point out that there's really no way to guarantee seats, and perhaps I also feel that although I didn't like moving it wasn't awful, and I don't understand the feelings of grown adults who don't want to sit apart on a two hour hop. confused

I hope we get a 2 and a 1 when we fly next week, bagsy I sit alone!

dickiedavisthunderthighs Tue 18-Jun-13 21:01:26

Surely these are the decisions you have to make if you book a low-cost airline? TheSecondComing what you're basically saying is that you refuse to pay the extra levy that low-cost airlines charge (in order for them to be low-cost) and you'll make people move for you as a result?
If you don't want that level of hassle then book an airline (of which there are many) who include 'extras' as part of the price.
BA, Air France etc often work out the same price and sometimes cheaper once you add up all of the extras that Easyjet or Ryanair charge.
It's not fair to put someone else out just because you refuse to pay.

TheSecondComing Tue 18-Jun-13 21:01:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NiceTabard Tue 18-Jun-13 21:01:33

So you think it is unsafe to have toddlers sitting without parents on flights?

But you support the airlines right to separate them?


CelticPromise Tue 18-Jun-13 21:03:36

Sleepy no, you should be given seats together automatically.

Has anyone been separated before this extra payment for seat booking came in? It's making travelling more stressful and expensive but lots of you seem happy to pay. Don't get it.

TheSecondComing Tue 18-Jun-13 21:03:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RikeBider Tue 18-Jun-13 21:04:37

I wonder if the airlines will start charging £10 if you want a seat belt...

flipchart Tue 18-Jun-13 21:05:07

I don't pay in the hope I don't have to sit with my kids!

Sleepgrumpydopey Tue 18-Jun-13 21:05:40

Nice I don't support the airlines separating them. I don't agree with people having kids and expecting others who've paid to move to accommodate their frugality.

People should pay and stop moaning.

Imagine how that child feels. Mummy doesn't want to sit next to me on this exciting/scary experience as it will cost her £20. Hmmm but the other kids are sat with their mummies.

It's the same as people who are on benefits saying they have no money but buying scratch cards, cigarettes or alcohol.

CloudsAndTrees Tue 18-Jun-13 21:06:09

Common sense doesn't dictate that we should sit next to our kids at all.

It's common sense to sit a toddler next to an adult, but a six year old who could do their own seat belt, take themselves to the toilet, open their own food, pick up their own toy, has no more right to sit next to their parents than my 12 yo does.

We pay for our children to sit next to us at 10 and 12. Because common sense dictates that they are old enough to be fine without us, and they would even be capable of following emergency procedures perfectly well without us. But we want to sit together, so we pay for it. The airline is not obliged to guarantee that we all sit together when there is no physical need for it.

Sleepgrumpydopey Tue 18-Jun-13 21:07:54

Why do you buy 3d glasses? Shouldn't they provide them. Just stop being so cheap.

Plus the flights are cheap anyway. If you fly with a decent airline you have free seat allocation.

RikeBider Tue 18-Jun-13 21:08:03

Ottilie, would you rather sit next to a lone toddler on a flight that swap seats with a parent? My 2 year old is very chatty and a bit of a wriggler but he does tend to be a puker too.

TimeofChange Tue 18-Jun-13 21:08:07

I think the airlines have a duty of care to seat children with their parents / carers.
Surely it's a child protection issue too.
A child could end up seating next to people who are pervy.

Who would be keeping an eye on what touching could be going on.

But I suppose the extra cost of reserving seats just needs to be added on and thought of as part of the ticket price.

I love holidaying in the UK as the whole airport experience is so crap.

Going through security at Manchester Airport is worse than going through security for prison visiting.

Rosa Tue 18-Jun-13 21:08:18

I am flying next week with BA - on looking at my booking they have already allocated my seats I can pay to change them but I am and always have been allocated adjacent seats to them.
There is not a hope that I would be separated from them during a flight - I would refuse to get on the plane . Dd2 gets a seat over the aisle from me on a 2 seat / row . Now she is 7 and dd2 4.
When travelling for work I have offered to change seats so a family has sat together .

When we travel as a family as long as we have. 2 x 2 seats I don't care where they are.
"in the unlikely event we have to evacuate the aircraft I would hinder the exit process as I would 1st go for my child and 2nd go for the exit so if the 2 are in the opposite directions imagine the caos" other passengers would not give a toss about my kids .
I think it should be CAA rules that airlines have to seat a child up to 12(??) next to an adult unless the adult signs a disclaimer - maybe a child is a super frequent flyer or similar. Then say if a family of 3 or more members ( meaning more than 1 adult) chooses to sit together then they pay if they want or take a chance.

Sleepgrumpydopey Tue 18-Jun-13 21:08:44

Clouds and trees... The voice of reason.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Tue 18-Jun-13 21:09:01

Haven't read the whole thread but I used to work for a major airline and children were always next to a parent unless unaccompanied, in which case they'd be with a designated staff member. This was regardless of pre-booking or not.

I hate the money grabbing polices of the cheap and cheerful airlines. Yes, they've opened up the world to people who may not have had the chance to travel in the past, but they've removed the glamour and treat their passengers/customers appallingly. But then, I guess you get what you pay for.

dickiedavisthunderthighs Tue 18-Jun-13 21:10:33

FGS this is WHY they are low cost TheSecondComing so they don't do all the seating plans. Fly a proper airline if you want to stick to your principles, otherwise your principles are going to seriously bugger up things for other people.

NiceTabard Tue 18-Jun-13 21:11:46

clouds you contradict yourself.

This thread is about age 2 up, you seem to have decided it is about children over 6, for no apparent reason.

TheSecondComing Tue 18-Jun-13 21:12:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NiceTabard Tue 18-Jun-13 21:14:29

God I hate low cost airlines.

Reduce everyone to such appalling behaviour. Suddenly all bets are off and everyone is in some kind of pushing shoving survival of the fittest type situation.

Hate it so much.

CelticPromise Tue 18-Jun-13 21:15:42

Nonsense. You don't have to pay. It doesn't make you better than others because you paid. I expect the T&Cs say you may not get your paid for seat if someone has greater need. The airline are causing you inconvenience, not the people who have chosen not to pay the optional fee.

flipchart Tue 18-Jun-13 21:17:33

After once paying for my seat I ended up being sat next to a girl aged about 4. Her parents didn't ask to swop and it was a 4 hour flight.

I think they expected me to help with seat belts, meals etc.

I flatly refused. I left my kids with their dad and I wasn't going to mother someone else's kid, especially as I had paid for my place.

CelticPromise Tue 18-Jun-13 21:17:49

dickie you have an interesting view of what seriously buggers things up for people. Sitting apart for three hours isn't on my list.

OddBoots Tue 18-Jun-13 21:17:53

Out of interest I looked on at the CAA guidelines:

The seating of children close by their parents or guardians should be the aim of airline seat allocation procedures for family groups and large parties of children.

Young children and infants who are accompanied by adults, should ideally be seated in the same seat row as the adult. Children and accompanying adults should not be separated by more than one aisle. Where this is not possible, children should be separated by no more than one seat row from accompanying adults. This is because the speed of an emergency evacuation may be affected by adults trying to reach their children.

Whenever a number of infants and children are travelling together the airline should make every effort to ensure that they can be readily supervised by the responsible accompanying adults.


I couldn't see an age but I might have missed it.

Splashsplosh Tue 18-Jun-13 21:21:47

Someone mentioned extortion - it is simple economics - supply and demand

Right, so as long as someone's willing to create a demand it's fine for that to come ahead of safety? So it would be ok to charge you 50p a time to use a pedestrian crossing to keep it free for people who are really important and busy and want to pay to cross quickly, on the basis you could cross at your own risk elsewhere on the road for free? Just supply and demand after all. Or charge you for two bus seats if you have a wheelchair and a couple have to stand - after all the couple have had to pay for both and if you needed the space you could have taken a quieter bus or done your journey another way. Again, simple supply and demand but no way would anyone support it!

pointythings Tue 18-Jun-13 21:25:23

I've never paid and never had a problem - we've been 2 and 2, but that's fine. We do always arrive mega early though, which helps.

Floggingmolly Tue 18-Jun-13 21:29:02

It doesn't make you better than others because you paid
What a bizarre comment hmm. The only thing it makes you is pissed off at having paid for a service you don't actually get, as a direct consequence of someone else not paying.

JudgeJodie Tue 18-Jun-13 21:29:42

Well we flew with Ryanair in April to the canaries. DS (5) hadn't flown before so I wanted to make sure we were together. DD (12) wouldn't have minded being on her own. When checking in online it would only give the option of pre booking all 4 seats at an increased price of £15 per person each way. £120! So I thought well I will just call them to book 2 seats, I will swallow £60 to make sure DS and either mum or dad are together and take a chance on the other two seats.

Call them up, 10 mins after doing the online check in to be told, oh of course I can do that now for you but we have doubled the price for doing it over the phone. My protestations that it was all or nothing online fell on deaf ears.

In the end we ensured we were there really early to check in and all got sat together on the way out. On the way back we were not as lucky but then we were not the first in the checkin line. There were loads of people in pairs who were sitting in a row of three with the middle seat empty meaning that as soon as the plane took off they could sprawl out over the seats. Selfish to the extreme and the cabin crew did feck all about it. Weren't bothered at all, just leaving people to sort themselves out even when they were blatantly saving seats!

DH and DD ended up further up the plane one behind another and DS on one side of the aisle with me on the other. All the people around were lovely and helped put Ds seatbelt on etc when he had nodded off and helped me off the plane. Restored my faith in human nature!

Not sure how the airlines justify charging for something that doesn't actually cost anything. Proven by the fact that it is £10 per person on most flights but £15 to the canaries. Why? Makes no sense! And we flew easy-jet a month after and they only charged £3 pp each way, and if you didn't book you still were allocated a seat on checkin. I wouldn't fly Ryanair again given the choice. Maybe for a really short flight.

NiceTabard Tue 18-Jun-13 21:34:15

Oddboots they are just guidelines though, not rules.

OddBoots Tue 18-Jun-13 21:35:17

Just to be nosey, what would happen if instead of charging for allocation they put the prices up and offered a discount if you didn't mind where you and others in your booking sat - would the parents now who say they refuse to pay apply for that discount?

theoriginalandbestrookie Tue 18-Jun-13 21:36:22

I must say that having read some of these views I would be less inclined now to give my seat up to help a family.

I naively thought that if I helped someone out, they would be grateful, instead apparently some of them would be laughing at me for being a mug and thinking they had got one over the airlines.

I agree with judgejodie, avoid Ryanair where possible.

NiceTabard Tue 18-Jun-13 21:36:45

i doubt that many people would deliberately asked to be seated at the other end of the plane to a toddler, oddboots.

I am still amazed that some airlines think it is appropriate / safe / anything to do that.

NiceTabard Tue 18-Jun-13 21:37:50

Some might, of course. If they were a rubbish parent and their child was annoying or something.

In those scenarios would it be reasonable of the airline to give the discount and split them up?

CelticPromise Tue 18-Jun-13 21:37:57

Flogging it's in response to all those saying that if you don't book seats you are somehow a worse parent hmm

Don't get angry with the other passengers people, blame the airlines! They are the ones selling a 'service' that should be included when they can't even promise to provide it.

ChuffMuffin Tue 18-Jun-13 21:40:37

They (Air France) separated a 5 year old and his mum on my last flight, they sat them next to each other on the same row but between aisles They were only able to sit together because someone swapped seats with the mum. That's not right, is it? sad

NiceTabard Tue 18-Jun-13 21:40:54

YY basically the airlines are breaching the industry guidelines in order to get more money out of people.

I mean how much of a hassle can it be to ensure that vulnerable people get seated with a carer. Just basic common sense I'd have thought. There is a reason they don't do it and that reason is money.

CloudsAndTrees Tue 18-Jun-13 21:45:22

I must have missed the post about the thread being related to children of two and up, what with the OP stating her youngest was 3. hmm

Anyway, last time I checked, six was upwards of two.

According to the guidelines posted above, it is acceptable for a child to be in the row in front of or behind their adult. So if that's ok with people who don't want to pay, there really isn't a problem. The problem starts when that isn't good enough and parents want to be right next to their child.

Bearbehind Tue 18-Jun-13 21:46:14

I am flying next week with BA - on looking at my booking they have already allocated my seats I can pay to change them but I am and always have been allocated adjacent seats to them. There is not a hope that I would be separated from them during a flight - I would refuse to get on the plane

How entitled Rosa? And refusing to get on a plane would achieve what exactly? Oh yes- you wouldn't get where you wanted to go!

If you pay for a service you are guaranteed it, if you don't you take a chance.

CelticPromise Tue 18-Jun-13 21:48:05

You aren't guaranteed it Bear, you may well be asked to move to accommodate a family.

Bearbehind Tue 18-Jun-13 21:51:09

You can be asked celtic but as others have experienced, you don't have to do so and, if you have forked out in order to have the seating arrangements of your choice, then why should you move to accommodate someone who didn't pay for the privilege?

CelticPromise Tue 18-Jun-13 21:51:47

original I wouldn't think you were a mug for swapping, I'd be grateful. The fees are optional and I'm sure the airlines think everyone who pays is a mug. If no-one did, we'd all sit with our families.

NiceTabard Tue 18-Jun-13 21:51:56


1. Children age 2 and up have their own seat on planes
2. The guidelines are not rules. They are guidelines. The airlines do not have to follow them, and from some of the posts on here it seems they are not
3. You talk about age 6 and up. Now you are saying it is appropriate for age 3 and up? Or not? A bit confused.

twilight3 Tue 18-Jun-13 21:55:06

Ι have never paid for allocated seats with easyjet. During the booking procedure they ask for the age of the passengers and they say that this is in order to make sure that minors are seated next to an adult in their party. It makes sense. We always have either 2+2 or 3+1, both situations work just fine.
I wouldn't bother paying, I wouldn't rely on other passenger's kindness (as many have mentioned, they don't HAVE to swap), but the airline has the legal obligation to sit you next to your children. If they don't, kick up a fuss, show them you know your rights. You shouldn't have to pay for you're legally entitled to, even if it's £1. To me it's a matter of principle.
(having specific preferences over seat location is a different matter).

CelticPromise Tue 18-Jun-13 21:55:54

The guidelines say my 3yo should be sat with one of us. I'm fine with that, the other will sit alone. The airline should accommodate that, and if that clashes with whatever add ons they have chosen to sell that is not my problem. I'm not going to pay extra for it, and if everyone did the same more of us could probably sit with our companions.

NiceTabard Tue 18-Jun-13 21:56:37

Bear because having a toddler sit on it's own on a plane isn't going to do anyone any favours?

Not the parents, not the people around it, not the 2 yo itself, not the airline.

I am just totally amazed that people are saying that it is reasonable for airlines to do this! In the event of an emergency, people can't be expected to take responsibility for someone else's child, the flight attendants will have plenty of other stuff going on, how can the airlines think this is a good plan?

Even if it's just a toddler pissing itself because there's no-one to take it to the toilet, that's got to be a downside for the airline surely, with their fast turn-arounds and everything?

NiceTabard Tue 18-Jun-13 21:58:56

twilight and celtic it is not the law or the rules, they are simply guidelines.

there is nothing to say that children have to be seated with an adult they know, and certainly I have seen threads on MN (and a poster on here) who were separated / were going to be separated from 2 / 3 yo and the airlines were fine with that. In the posts I have read, people have offered to swap rather than have a very small child next to them / a long way from a parent or carer.

OddBoots Tue 18-Jun-13 22:02:06

So maybe if the airline only sold allocated for a max of 60% of the plane and those people plus special cases got on first then each child under whatever the age is could board with an adult next, then everyone else got on last and filled the gaps.

TheSecondComing Tue 18-Jun-13 22:02:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bearbehind Tue 18-Jun-13 22:03:36

twilight it is not a legal requirement and you'd get nowhere trying to show them you know your rights when you are actually wrong.

It is common sense and personally I'd rather move than be seated next to someone elses unaccompanied child but if the only seats which have not been prebooked are not next to each other, wtf are the airline supposed to do?

NiceTabard Tue 18-Jun-13 22:06:22

bear I'm sure that the airline have final say in who sits where.

LtEveDallas Tue 18-Jun-13 22:09:12

With our holiday booking we could choose and pay for our seats online 8 weeks before departure.

We checked after about 3 days, and over half the flight/seats were already allocated. On quite a few rows there were single seats. We couldn't take the chance - I refuse to be separated from DD, but I need DH close too (I am a shite flyer). So we paid.

It's a scam, of course it is, but I have a feeling there are going to be a number of unhappy families on that flight, and no, I won't be swapping, sorry.

twilight3 Tue 18-Jun-13 22:09:30

Bear, when you book the flight they can see the ages of the children, so they should automatically allocate the seats, that's what they're supposed to do, and that's what they do ime.

It is a legal requirement, it's human rights legislation and airlines know it, most people don't. There was a case years ago in the states and since then they're supposed to deal with it. However if they can get away with it they will, cheaper for them, and convincing customers to pay in the future.

You might want to google it, can't remember dets.

Bearbehind Tue 18-Jun-13 22:11:26

I'm sure you are right nice but why would they risk pissing off passengers who paid to prebooked seats in order to accommodate people who just think they are entitled to them because they have children when the airline have no legal obligation to ensure they are seated together.

I don't agree with paying to book your seats full stop but I don't think you should believe you are exempt from the charges but still have the seats you want if you have children.

SuperiorCat Tue 18-Jun-13 22:11:36

But on a packed plane full of families there are bound to be some parents who cannot sit with their children, as people tend to sit 2 to a 3 seat row, leaving odd seats dotted around the plane, so the last people on end up with those seats.

I'd rather not be in that position.

NiceTabard Tue 18-Jun-13 22:11:46

Oddboots that is what easyjet used to do - they had no allocated seating but certain people went first (people with small children, those who'd paid etc). Of course the other people followed straight afterwards and as I discovered people who aren't with children/vulnerable in some way are quick and shovey and I am slow and a bit disabled and was carrying a baby and it was stairs and they were steep and people were shoving me and I was trying to hold the baby in one arm (she was about 7mo) and hold onto the handrail with the other and try to get down the stairs which is tricky at the best of times and it was awful.

So despite being "first" in theory, I ended up being last and utterly shaken.

This may be why I have a slight problem with the way some low cost airlines work with this stuff.

Bearbehind Tue 18-Jun-13 22:15:09

IME airlines do the absolute minimum they can get away with and until it becomes and actual violation of law to fail to seat children with parents they won't do so no matter what the guidelines say.

kilmuir Tue 18-Jun-13 22:16:18

and the motto is avoid cheap airlines!

NiceTabard Tue 18-Jun-13 22:17:34

So there are people who are saying that in the event a parent and 2yo are on a plane and haven't paid the extra, they think it is right that they should be seated well away from each other?

I just find that mind-boggling.

I guess that's capitalism for you confused

It really wouldn't be difficult for them to seat young children with an adult. It really wouldn't. the reason they don't is that creates anxiety which in turn makes people empty their wallets which then feeds in on itself as people who have paid extra won't move (obvious, psychology innit) and you have a few cases of small children by themselves and before you know it everyone is paying through the nose to avoid a situation which has been created by the airline.

i can't imagine that many people saying they wouldn't swap seats on a tube, train or bus so a 2 or 3 yo could sit next to a parent/carer.

BegoniaBampot Tue 18-Jun-13 22:19:15

It's all bollocks. Passengers are being fleeced. Now you pay foran allocated seat, to put a bag in the hold, a meal (fair enough as the food is often crap anyway). They aren't offering cheap flights - they are making up the difference by charging all these extras. Next it will be a fee to use the loo, using the airbridge to board, to get a seatbelt, to get a sick bag - they need to be tackled on it - thieving arses.

CelticPromise Tue 18-Jun-13 22:19:24

Bear I don't think I should have the seats I want. If travelling with adults and older kids I'm not bothered. But I do my 3yo not to sit alone, don't care where on the plane. I do expect that to be accommodated.

CelticPromise Tue 18-Jun-13 22:21:22

Good post NiceTabard. You've expressed what I was thinking through in my mind and what LtEveDallas describes too.

McNewPants2013 Tue 18-Jun-13 22:22:44

I have never been on an areoplane, so if we was ever to go on holiday i wouldn't have had a clue that it is wise to book seats as well as flights.

seems abit of a rip off, but i would pay it to be by my children.

Floggingmolly Tue 18-Jun-13 22:24:14

On a tube or bus you wouldn't have been rooked of an extra £60+ for the myth that you could choose your own seat, nicetabard.

ophelia275 Tue 18-Jun-13 22:24:24

Sorry but I think this is selfish, irresponsible and tight. Why should someone else who has paid to reserve their seats have to move because you don't want to pay out a bit extra and make a fuss? I also think it is unfair on your children to potentially put them through the stress of possibly having to sit apart from you. On Easyjet it cost £3 to prebook a seat (just done it), so hardly a fortune for peace of mind.

twilight3 Tue 18-Jun-13 22:28:58

that's beyond the point ophelia.

LtEveDallas Tue 18-Jun-13 22:34:39

Its not just cheap airlines. After paying £3.5k for a holiday it grips my shit to have to pay another £75 to sit next to my family, but it's not a risk I'm willing to take.

I was separated from DH on our flight to Cuba (pre-DC). It was a horrible flight and I spent the full 12 hours in a state of near panic. The thought of the flight home ruined the last few days of our holiday. In the end we paid a 'bribe' to the guy on the check-in desk to seat us together.

That was 10 years ago and I'm afraid I've paid ever since. If I wasn't a shite flyer maybe I wouldn't care, but I am so it's up to me to 'manage' the risk. I cannot expect other to do that for me, it is my choice.

Suzieismyname Tue 18-Jun-13 22:38:23

Another one agreeing with Nice. Mind boggling...

I wouldn't move if I was travelling with my DDs (2 and 4) but would if I was travelling alone or just with adults.

itchychin Tue 18-Jun-13 22:42:54

I was on a flight once which was delayed as a couple wanted to be seated together (Emirates or BA from Dubai to London). There was a resigned announcement from the pilot to the effect that "a couple in business really want to sit next to each other" cue lots of 'aahhs' " so we are asking for one person in economy to be upgraded to business so they can sit in economy together" after a short pause "or they are threatening to refuse to fly and we will have to identify their luggage and remove it from the plane which will result in a lengthy delay". I think there were slow hand claps and boos as they relocated into economy!

Not suggesting this as an option btw. Just adding my story!

SuperiorCat Tue 18-Jun-13 22:46:14

Kilmuir I agree, unfortunately there are only cheap airlines that fly where we want to go as they priced the likes of BA out, who didn't charge extra for a meal, hold luggage, pre-booked seats etc etc.

If you go with a low cost carrier you do get what you pay for...hopefully.

LtEveDallas Tue 18-Jun-13 22:46:20

Oh and twilight, the Families Flying Together Act hasnt been passed yet. There is a US senator trying to get it passed, but it is not legislation anywhere is the world - yet. Great if it happens, but the airlines have no legal requirement to follow. Their own policies (across the board) are that it is a 'nicety' or 'best practice' but they cannot be forced to comply.

Whilst all airlines are cutting services and saving money wherever the can, I cannot see them giving up this moneyspinner without a fight.

impecuniousmarmoset Tue 18-Jun-13 22:47:55

To those who say 'I wouldn't move, it's your problem you didnt pay extra'. Surely if you are sitting next to my unaccompanied two-year-old, he rather becomes YOUR problem?! If I were you, I'd certainly not want to hear him screaming for three hours, eating your food and smelling of poo, because I wasn't around to change his nappy? If I encountered someone who refused to move, I'd say 'ah fine, I'll have a peaceful read of my book over here then'. I reckon it would take them about 40 seconds to change their minds...

EmmelineGoulden Tue 18-Jun-13 22:49:25

I think airlines should be legally obliged to seat young children next to the responsible adult they are flying with.

I would (and have) move seats for a party where children were separated from their parents providing it wouldn't separate me from mine. I'd also do this for honeymooners. Though it's happened rarely and if it was every flight I'd probably stop.

I think people talking about the economics are missing the fact that this didn't come about because of airlines trying to make people pay to stay together, it came about because of airlines getting people to pay for aisle, window and extra legroom seats, which flyers consider premium. In many ways I kind of agree with this. The middle seat sucks and getting that seat for less than other people are paying does seem fair to me, perhaps instead of allowing airlines to charge for the premium they should make them give out as a cash bonus to those stuck in the middle once you board. <not serious emoticon>

NiceTabard Tue 18-Jun-13 22:49:33

flogging and ophelia you both illustrate my point very nicely.

Floggingmolly Tue 18-Jun-13 22:54:37

I woudn't actually refuse to move if there was a two year old involved, NiceTabard, but I wouldn't be remotely happy about it. Why should I be?

TheDoctrineOfAllan Tue 18-Jun-13 22:59:00


Which airline?
Will you be able to check in online both on the way out and on the way back?

twofalls Tue 18-Jun-13 23:03:13

Am absolutely amazed at the amount of people who wouldn't move so a toddler or young child could sit next to their parent.

Concreteblonde Tue 18-Jun-13 23:05:17

Am flying with Thomson in a weeks time and although it boils my pee to have to pay for allocated seats I have done so. I have actually just checked the seat planner thingy and see that there are quite a few random seats not yet reserved. Will I move to accomodate someone elses family ? Erm no hmm
It is shit that airlines can be so exploitative but that's life.

Alisvolatpropiis Tue 18-Jun-13 23:07:47

I would move,but if the airline had made reserving seats an option I'd be annoyed about it.

If the airline didn't then I'd just move.

It's the entitled attitude of "I won't take advantage of the option because I have to pay but damn well expect somebody who may well have paid" to move I don't like.

twofalls Tue 18-Jun-13 23:08:48

Concrete, I can understand that if you have young children. If you don't and wouldn't move so a scared toddler could sit with their parent then I think that is awful.

LittlePudding1 Tue 18-Jun-13 23:11:53

Thanks everyone for your opinions. I think it might be best for me to prebook. As tempting as the idea is to be sitting on my own reading my book, realistically it is not an option as I think it would be a nightmare for the kids if they were sat on their own!

Am flying with Thomson.

Concreteblonde Tue 18-Jun-13 23:13:15

My children are still young enough to need to be seated beside me. So I pay for them to be able to do so. If you care so much about YOUR 2 year old, then it would be 'awful' if you risked them being scared because your massive sense on entitlement means that you refuse to ensure they remained close by you.

RikeBider Tue 18-Jun-13 23:14:57

Obviously if you are already seated with your children no one would expect you to move.

But I am surprised that adult parties would rather look after a random child on a flight than swap with the child's parent.

NiceTabard Tue 18-Jun-13 23:15:39

No the AIRLINES should ensure that small children are seated with an adult they know as that makes sense from a logistical, safety and customer satisfaction POV.

The reason they do not is to create anxiety so as to generate funds.

Amazed that anyone is defending this.

NiceTabard Tue 18-Jun-13 23:17:33

RikeBider they wouldn't necessarily look after the child, even in emergency situation, as per previous posts.

And they shouldn't be expected to.

Which is why I am surprised that the low cost airlines follow this line, even though it makes them money, come the first emergency they're gonna be fucked.

RikeBider Tue 18-Jun-13 23:21:14

Unless you could literally just blank a small child, you'd end up doing some looking after/being disturbed. Things like seatbelts, retrieving dropped items, opening food packets, getting assistance if the child is sick or needs the toilet.

twofalls Tue 18-Jun-13 23:22:32

But you are assuming that the person who didn't pre book had a massive sense of entitlement. A poster earlier said she didn't know/understand. What if you booked late and there were no seats together. Don't just presume that the 2 year old us on their own because the parents had a sense of entitlement.

And why are you saying "your 2 year old". I don't fly with my dcs yet because I travel a lot with work and see the pretty abysmal "me,me,me" way most people behave on flights and cannot be doing with the stress. I have often moved for families who are always really grateful.

BlueSkySunnyDay Tue 18-Jun-13 23:26:06

Am absolutely amazed at the amount of people who wouldn't move so a toddler or young child could sit next to their parent. That will be because we care enough to pay to sit near ours - feel free to judge me, I am judging you for caring more about making a point to the airlines than for your small child's wellbeing

I agree with Ophelia "I also think it is unfair on your children to potentially put them through the stress of possibly having to sit apart from you"

I don't think a child under 4 would be seated separately from its parent but if it were next to me (nervous flier) I will have my headphones on with eyes shut, thinking calm thoughts so I wont notice (the children nudge me if they need me to rummage in my bag for their stuff)

Of course I will accept the £8.50 in cash from you if you are desperate and H doesn't mind dealing with the children on their own.

tomorowisanotherday Tue 18-Jun-13 23:26:45


I'm glad you decided to pay because I would not move for you... and moreover... I wouldn't move when a stewardess told me to move so that a mother and child could have the double air mask that was assigned to my seat.

* I pay for my seats
* i don't care which seat it is... just the one we have booked. I don't care if its in the front back sides or wherever - just has to be the one on the manifest
* I'm scared of flying... i want to be with people i love in case we die/ i have to help my family get out of the plane alive etc
* What if the plane crashes and the person sitting in my seat dies and i live... I have to live with that for the rest of my life? Have you not seen BOUNCE?
* If i were separated from my family, i would be anxious to the point of hysteria, and this would disrupt the whole flight
* I would disrupt the people around me with my anxiety - not on purpose!
* Why should i put myself through this - when I can pay for a seat that i'm happy to sit in - my assigned seat.
* if a mum and baby want a double mask.... they should have booked it/the plane should have enough without me having to move.... either way its not my problem. why make it MY problem? as you can see i have enough of my own problems to deal with

For information:

I wouldn't swap with a member of my own family either.... I have the seat on the flight manifest... or I'm not going... and neither is anyone else, because i paid for that booking of that particular seat. and really flights should be that simple.

Now... let me get on the plane, sit in the seat i have booked, and i'll be very happy. I don't care if I'm sat next to your unaccompanied minor... and i'll keep them happily entertained (i'm a childminder, used to dealing with 2 year olds!!!!).


NiceTabard Tue 18-Jun-13 23:28:47

RikeBider, people on this thread have said they wouldn't/couldn't.

TBH before I had kids I was clueless and would have sat there like a lummox, not out of evilness just out of not having any idea at all about children. Just would've read my book in my own headspace, and assumed "somebody else's problem" about the child. Not that unusual I think. Also wouldn't have crossed my mind to swap because, hey, no idea about kids. Someone has put kid there so that must be OK. But was always fine to swap when asked. Also many small children won't try to talk to people they don't know, even if seated next to them. So they won't get to the toilet, or fed, or whatever.

Just how is this a good idea again?

BlueSkySunnyDay Tue 18-Jun-13 23:31:40

Tomorrow the first bit should have read as a quote from someone else "Am absolutely amazed at the amount of people who wouldn't move so a toddler or young child could sit next to their parent."

To which my answer was That will be because we care enough to pay to sit near ours - feel free to judge me, I am judging you for caring more about making a point to the airlines than for your small child's wellbeing

RikeBider Tue 18-Jun-13 23:31:52

Somehow I don't think ear phones and calm thoughts would drown out a toddler shrieking and poking you because they can't get their crisps open grin

Actually my kids would probably just be out of their seats and tearing up and down the aisles if unsupervised.

To be honest, if I found myself seated away from my under 5 I would just make a huge fuss until the airline sorted it out. I'd want to know what th safety procedures were in case of a problem/turbulence, I'd want to know what they proposed to do if my child was sick or wet themselves etc.

NiceTabard Tue 18-Jun-13 23:33:11

tomorrow it is normally people who are travelling alone or with other adults who will be asked to move.

I can see you are anxious so please don't worry.

Am interested to know what a double mask is though, never heard of that.

twofalls Tue 18-Jun-13 23:33:12

And your post tomorrow's sums up precisely why I will not be flying anywhere with my children, especially in busy periods, for quite some time. Flying turns normally sane people into complete loons. grin

By the way I am not saying I wouldn't pay. Or that I would expect other people with young children to move. It's just the adamant "it's the principle of the matter" attitude I really hate. I mean it's just a seat like every other seat on the plane usn't it?

BlueSkySunnyDay Tue 18-Jun-13 23:35:42

Actually RikeBider people have been quite amazed by how well I can tune out the world when I need to for my sanity. grin

tomorowisanotherday Tue 18-Jun-13 23:37:28

double masks - you know when you crash... the masks fall down.... well some of them have two. one for mum/dad and one for baby.... they say put your own mask on then help anyone else.

But for info.... I sat there HATING myself the whole flight for refusing to move..

what if they died cos i didnt move
the looks i got
the tut brigade went into overdrive!

Leave me alone! I just wanna fly in the seat i've booked.

bluesky i dont understand what you mean?

BlueSkySunnyDay Tue 18-Jun-13 23:38:00

And actually - I have the aisle seat so your children would only ask to get in and out once after which I would tell them to sit still, behave and amuse themselves as I would mine too

tomorowisanotherday Tue 18-Jun-13 23:39:10

twofalls normally i'm a sane person... I promise!

But all plane seats aren't the same. If i've booked it.... that's where i SUPPOSED to be

megsmouse Tue 18-Jun-13 23:41:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BlueSkySunnyDay Tue 18-Jun-13 23:41:47

Tomorrow I thought you assumed the first entitled comment in my post was what I thought but actually I was quoting someone else and the second bit was my response

You may have been saying "I'm glad you decided to pay" to someone else.

BlueSkySunnyDay Tue 18-Jun-13 23:42:56

Yeah the ones who wont pay for their children to sit near them. £8.50 per adult and £4 per child so £12.50 for peace of mind...shocking.

tomorowisanotherday Tue 18-Jun-13 23:45:25

I was glad that the OP decided to pay... I HAVE to pay.....

I preferred the old way, where seats were automatically booked when you booked the plane. then i dont fret at all.

That will be because we care enough to pay to sit near ours - feel free to judge me, I am judging you for caring more about making a point to the airlines than for your small child's wellbeing i agree with this too. if you care about where your child sits then pay the booking fee.

Am i being contradictory?

Concreteblonde Tue 18-Jun-13 23:46:20

'Wow, lots of shockingly selfish people on this thread!'

I agree. It's shocking how many selfish parents there are who risk their small children being distraught, tearful and upset upset for the sake of making a point against airlines. And who expect other parents to compromise for them. Awful.

NiceTabard Tue 18-Jun-13 23:48:25

tomorrow so there are seats which have oxygen masks especially for parent and under 2 - where the child is carried on the lap - and you refused to give that seat to a parent travelling with a baby on lap, even though you didn't need the extra mask?

That is a bit, Wow.

I understand you suffer from anxiety, but still.

The AIRLINES should be sorting this stuff. ensuring that babies on laps can access a double breathing thing. I just got it - so there are 3 seats but 4 breathers. So in an emergency, a parent with a baby on lap would have to choose between them and their baby to have the oxygen.

So even more. The AIRLINES should be sorting it. They know how old the passengers are. The idea that two people, one a baby, should only have one oxygen mask to share, while one person has two because they paid for extra legroom. I mean, seriously???

BlueSkySunnyDay Tue 18-Jun-13 23:48:52

I don't think its right we have to pay but there are loads of things in life I could drive myself crazy over that I don't think are right so I just part with the money and am now going to be hoping no one asks me to move.

I totally understand tomorrow - I get a bit crazy and anxious at the airport (hence the music and meditating)

megsmouse Tue 18-Jun-13 23:51:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NiceTabard Tue 18-Jun-13 23:52:24

bluesky 2yo are very small. your post sounds like you are thinking of older children.

Many 2yo are still in nappies for eg and have limited speech. The idea of them "getting in and out" is unlikely.

Still. I know I had no idea before i had kids. And certainly 2yo need looking after. So all the more reason for airlines not to separate them when they don't actually need to.

CelticPromise Tue 18-Jun-13 23:53:34

If no-one paid this fee everyone would be seated with their families. This is an airline created panic. They are not only getting you do the seat booking admin, they are also getting you to pay for it, and when their greedy system doesn't work who gets the blame? Those who didn't pay, who must be bad uncaring parents hmm

I won't pay, because no-one will sit my 3yo on his own and the rest of us aren't bothered. I don't expect you to sort it, I expect the airline to sort it. If they get a stroppy passenger because they have oversold the reserved seats although they know exactly the number and ages of children on the flights, well that is not my problem. I am happy to swap for others, I did on the last flight I took.

You're all angry with the wrong people!

megsmouse Tue 18-Jun-13 23:54:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NiceTabard Tue 18-Jun-13 23:55:12

It is understandable that a person would keep a seat designed for a parent and child, with 2 oxygen masks, and make them sit in a seat with only one oxygen mask, even though there are 2 of them?

I've heard it all now.

I'm honestly a bit baffled. Thank god people don't act like this in other situations. And the worst thing is the airlines have made people feel this way - induced anxiety - to make money. People in the UK don't generally act this way.

It's awful, frankly.

tomorowisanotherday Tue 18-Jun-13 23:55:46

Nice tabbard my seat wasn't the ONLY one on the plane with double oxygen masks.... But i was told to move, and i refused and said that wasn't appropriate to move me.

Now had it been the ONLY one on the plane .... I'd have got them to offload the woman and the baby. I don't care where about on the plane i sit, but I'm not flying anywhere without my family around me in seats which are on the official manifest. THIS IS THE AIRLINE PROBLEM NOT MINE We shouldn't have been able to book these seats if they were reserved for those with babies on their lap.

Why is it my problem that they didn't have oxygen masks?

I bet you'd have been one of the ones tutting

Nah, mine wouldn't be distraught, tearful or upset. They'd just be annoying.

tomorowisanotherday Tue 18-Jun-13 23:58:11

Annoying kids... i can cope with.

seat moves... i cant

Oh i'm in the UK by the way.

megsmouse Tue 18-Jun-13 23:59:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Concreteblonde Tue 18-Jun-13 23:59:29

Bu I' not angry Celtic. That's the whole point. If you and others want to froth about the injustice of it all and make your children suffer as a result, then you are welcome to do so. I, and my kids, will float unto the plane in a cloud of excited holiday anticipation, settle into our pre booked seats and enjoy the adventure (with earphones firmly plugged in)
If you want to plough on stressed and harassed with small toddlers in tow and then get arsey because you're not all seated together then that is your perogative.

NiceTabard Wed 19-Jun-13 00:01:01

How many seats on a ryanair type plane have the double mask thing then?

Incidentally "Why is it my problem that they didn't have oxygen masks?"

Erm, basic humanity? Not sure I have understood your question correctly there.

NiceTabard Wed 19-Jun-13 00:03:23

I'm not sure anyone "floats" onto a ryanair flight, TBH.

Except me when I am travelling for work and wouldn't think twice about moving so a toddler could sit with it's parent / carer.


tomorowisanotherday Wed 19-Jun-13 00:04:19

megsmouse you are really missing the point... I'd still be sitting in seats that we weren't supposed to be sitting in.

SELF INTEREST! I suppose that asking people to move to accommodate you isn't int he least bit self centred or in self interest!

Concrete blonde said it so eloquently:
I, and my kids, will float unto the plane in a cloud of excited holiday anticipation, settle into our pre booked seats and enjoy the adventure (with earphones firmly plugged in)
If you want to plough on stressed and harassed with small toddlers in tow and then get arsey because you're not all seated together then that is your perogative.

BUT also you are wrong to push that stress and hassle onto me because i'm sitting in the seat you didnt have the foresight to book

You can have your drama's, but dont make them my problem.

twofalls Wed 19-Jun-13 00:05:07

But there could be lots of other reasons why the parent hadn't managed to pre book. What if they had booked late, an emergency in their home country which meant they had to fly last minute with their baby. And tomorrow you would seriously have the airline offload that person and their baby. Even if they offered to move your family too because the seats are not on the manifest??. I would honestly seek help for your fears, they are totally irrational. To see a mother and baby offloaded, or without possible oxygen, rather than move is really quite shocking.

JudgeJodie Wed 19-Jun-13 00:07:39

Yeah the ones who wont pay for their children to sit near them. £8.50 per adult and £4 per child so £12.50 for peace of mind...shocking.

If I had wanted to prebook with Ryanair over the phone it would have cost £240!!! Adds a fair old whack to the price of a quick week away.

NiceTabard Wed 19-Jun-13 00:08:50

So you think that if people book the seats with the double breathy things, and are alone, then it is OK for people with under 2s on laps to sit in seats with one oxygen mask.

I find that rather callous, I have to say.

if I was on a flight and the attendant said, oh hey, you in a 2 oxygen mask seat, please can you move over there so that these 2 people (parent and baby) can have the two oxygen mask seat, i wouldn't say no.

I mean, holy crap, that's just, wow. There are (thankfully) not many people around like that (reassures lurkers).

tomorowisanotherday Wed 19-Jun-13 00:09:16

twofalls I'm baffled by your (and other responses) that i should skip gaily around the cabin with no regard to my own feelings.

I should put all my feelings aside so that someone else's feelings can be taken into account.

I don't need help for my fears. I manage them quite well, thank you very much. I need to book seats and then be left alone to enjoy them, without being involved in other peoples dramas, that's what i need!

megsmouse Wed 19-Jun-13 00:10:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NiceTabard Wed 19-Jun-13 00:11:32

Self interest? You accuse others of?

You say you don't care having double oxygen and leaving parent & baby with 1/2 each!

And you call self interest?

Jesus christ.

Hope you never get involved in any kind of emergency situation. I am envisaging trample trample and that is never helpful.

Concreteblonde Wed 19-Jun-13 00:14:17

Shocking! Deranged! hmm

Can I suggest an extra sangria before you all board ? I sincerely hope that none of the professionally outraged amongst you are on my flight grin

NiceTabard Wed 19-Jun-13 00:14:33

tomorrow because what you are saying is that you will take more resources than you need, even though it means someone else dying, when they don't need to. And not in a theoretical way, but in a "just looked them in the face and told them to piss off and I don't give a fuck" way.

The oxygen isn't there for larks.

OK planes don't decompress often but you have stated your case.

<shakes head>

tomorowisanotherday Wed 19-Jun-13 00:16:02

nicetabbard where did i say that it is OK for people with under 2s on laps to sit in seats with one oxygen mask

she actually sat in a different double masked seats with someone who didn't mind moving. I mind moving.

If they cant fly safely..... ITS NOT MY PROBLEM.

Oh and if you cant afford the £240 with ryanair seat booking... may i humbly suggest you don't go? youd rather have your kids half a plane away than pay the money.... how would you live with yourself if something happened and you weren't there, right beside them? oh wait... i know... you'd blame me for not moving seats.... not yourself, no never yourself.

You'd rather inconvenience other people than book seating that is acceptable to you? THATS madness, and selfish. oh yeah, the whole plane will wait while you and your kids are shuffled into seats... while you've paid 240 less than them.

Hope you are not on my plane.

megsmouse Wed 19-Jun-13 00:16:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tomorowisanotherday Wed 19-Jun-13 00:17:24

when did i laugh in a dying kiddies face?

Its time you lot were in bed... you're all getting silly now.

tomorowisanotherday Wed 19-Jun-13 00:19:56

megs why am i selfish to want to sit in seats that i've booked?

I'm baffled, honestly.

my problems are my problems.... i dont foist them on you.

NiceTabard Wed 19-Jun-13 00:21:56

i wouldn't fly on an airline which doesn't prebook seats with the children, because I suffer from anxiety.

I travel on them for work, because I am not anxious when with the children. It is fine. I have never refused a request to move, and I certainly would never take up a double oxygen mask seat if a parent with a child needed it.

NiceTabard Wed 19-Jun-13 00:22:54

Oh here

"If they cant fly safely..... ITS NOT MY PROBLEM."


Sleepgrumpydopey Wed 19-Jun-13 00:22:55

When I was 9 I was allocated a seat away from my mum flying London to Washington. BA upgraded us to business to allow us to sit together :-)

I think those of you on budget airlines should stop moaning about the price. If you want to be treated well go on a proper airline. Cattle class is just that.

Concreteblonde Wed 19-Jun-13 00:23:06

See Tomorrow - you have caused the deaths of dozens of people on planes. DOZENS. HUNDREDS. all those babies gasping for oxygen whilst you sit by reading yer Hello and eating a £7 muffin angry Won't somebody think of the children ?????

Meg -you are starting to sound a leetle bit hysterical wink

twofalls Wed 19-Jun-13 00:23:40

But tomorrow you said you wound have them off the plane rather than move. It's a seat for crying out loud like all the other seats. Only yours had an extra oxygen mask you didn't need, someone else did and perhaps they didn't know you had to pre book those type if seats. I wouldn't have done.

And noone is addressing my point about those who perhaps booked last minute and couldn't reserve seats. It happens.

NiceTabard Wed 19-Jun-13 00:24:19

No it's the AIRLINE'S problem and they should be seating vulnerable people appropriately rather than encouraging anxiety in order to make more money.


Having said that I don't want you anywhere near me in an emergency, tomorrow hmm

MidniteScribbler Wed 19-Jun-13 00:24:56

There's an extra oxygen mask per row, usually the middle seat, so it doesn't matter which lap the child is sitting on, you just grab the extra. It's why airlines will only allow one infant on a lap on most planes.

NiceTabard Wed 19-Jun-13 00:25:49

concrete the masks and safety protocols are there for a reason.

passenger airline emergencies are rare, but the stuff is there for a reason.

otherwise why not take out the masks and jackets and save a lot of weight.

Concreteblonde Wed 19-Jun-13 00:26:57

But what's your take on the £7 muffins Nice?

twofalls Wed 19-Jun-13 00:29:13

See, still no comment in the people who are asking you to move because there were no seats together when the booked.

Probably because it's easier to froth about the entitled.

NiceTabard Wed 19-Jun-13 00:30:05


maybe different planes have different configurations

It is certainly possible that a low cost airline would only put them in certain rows, to avoid extra weight/maintenance/costs

or some of what is being said on this thread is inaccurate


Either way I wouldn't expect a couple, say, or a person who is feeling stressed, to think to assist a toddler in an emergency situation.

I guess that some airlines are also operating on the "it's not going to happen" mentality, which is always a bad move.

megsmouse Wed 19-Jun-13 00:31:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NiceTabard Wed 19-Jun-13 00:32:31

concrete easy I eat before i get on the plane

I only go uk/ireland on ryanair on business so am by myself and all relaxed and fine. excellent opportunity to catch up on some reading.

Snazzywaitingforsummer Wed 19-Jun-13 00:33:06

I do blame the airlines who have got all grabby about this. I think though rather than not paying for the pre-booked seats, the world as a whole would be better off if we all stopped taking cheap flights altogether - Michael O'Leary would soon stop being such an annoying belligerent arse if his airline was losing custom. Flying is not cheap and shouldn't be, and no-one is 'entitled' to be able to fly off on an allegedly cheap holiday. Suck it up and expect that there are costs to it.

Likewise, am fairly shock at the level of condemnation for people who say they'd refuse to move, having paid, for people who hadn't paid, compared to the relative lack of criticism of those saying they would just read their book and ignore their own distressed child so that they could get one over on the airline and the person who didn't want to move. There's no moral high ground in that attitude.

Concreteblonde Wed 19-Jun-13 00:34:00

I'd say there is a fairly even split on this thread to be honest. Some of us pay the cash for an easy life, ensure that our kids are close by and enjoy the muffins. Some of us DON'T pay the cash and prefer to make an issue whilst expecting other people to look after our children.

NiceTabard Wed 19-Jun-13 00:35:19

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

megsmouse Wed 19-Jun-13 00:36:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NiceTabard Wed 19-Jun-13 00:38:08

snazzy too cheap is too right.

My cab to the airport (40 min drive) costs more than the flight to ireland. That is ridiculous.

NiceTabard Wed 19-Jun-13 00:40:13

Oh someone upthread said they wouldn't assist with a toddler in an emergency situation (oxygen etc).

Not great, is it.

that's why you stick them next to a parent. To, you know, look after them and all.

i can't see how sitting a 2 or 3 yo away from it's parent is going to be positive for anyone.

SoggySummer Wed 19-Jun-13 00:40:56

Its been a few years now since I did my airline training but I am sure there was at some point some CAA legislation that strongly recommended airlines sat children under a certain age with their accompanying adult - for reasons of safety during an emergency situation. I have the feeling it is/was a grey area though because it was only a recommendation as opposed to a stipulated rule.

If this still exists then it basically means that its at the total discretion of the airline where they sit you and where they try to sit you.

Having in the past (years ago before paying for reserved seating existed) worked on check in - I would imagine if no policy exists and the check in agent is maxed out (long queues/boarding/gate closure time approaching) and you are not early to check in then you will all get seated where the computer suggests. The only thing that may help you is to be at the front of the check in queue - but even that wont guarantee anything.

missingmumxox Wed 19-Jun-13 00:41:21

I pre-booked seat for a trip to Canada for Mr DH and Dt's 7 months old at the time with sky cots, we where put all over the plane, told sky cot where only for babies under x pounds, don't actually remember now what is was but both mine as premmies where way under the weight, they then said it was babies under 6 months, I pointed out they would be if born on due this point the host..haha, said well we don't have any.
we would have spent the flight juggling babies if it haddn't been for a wonderful family from Birmingham, who where all travelling for a funeral, brother of the 3 ladies I was next to, he had 10 year old twin boys, My boys spent the flight being passed around fussed, cradled, feed and basically cared for the whole flight, every so often I would ask where they where and a family member who stand up holding a baby alight, all round the plane, the ladies next to me didn't speak English, but another family member said there was around 40 to 50 family members on the plane.
on the way back a very vocal American lady saw us caste to the four winds and insisted on us being moved together despite the hostesses protest, apparently we needed to be in the central section as a spare O2 mask is there, this flight was half empty and yet despite my booking we where not together! just took asking a couple next to me to move, they appeared delighted, they got a 3 seat section to themselves.
the American lady I talked to later and she had 5 year old twin girls and said how feed up she was with the way airlines could not use some common sense and took our money and when at our most vulnerable, ie a plane so no higher authority to appeal to at that moment. choice is fly or end up arrested

MidniteScribbler Wed 19-Jun-13 00:41:54

Tabard, that info came from someone who is involved in aircraft engineering for Boeing. I don't know what individual airlines do.

That said, I'm always wary of low cost airlines. Not sure what else they are cutting costs on. We had a cas here of a budgt airline being shut down for safety concerns. If I'm flying through the air in a metal tube, I want to be sure that the airline is looking after those tubes.

twofalls Wed 19-Jun-13 00:48:19

Concrete would you feel the same way if a person had booked too late to reserve sears, or all the seats were gone when booking? It's a simple question.

I agree it's the airlines who are at fault, all of this is so unnecessary.

BegoniaBampot Wed 19-Jun-13 00:56:33

I can't believe that people aren't more pissed off at the scuzzy greedy anics of these airlines bt just calmly accept it without a murmur. They are often not that cheap, especially if you don't book way in advance. Sometimes the scheduled more expensive airlines can compete once you add in all the extra crap. Folk in the UK accept any old shite and then say thank you for that shite.

But what you're saying there, Concrete, is that you can pay more and look after your own children or pay less and not look after your own children. That's why this is an economically screwy move on the part of the airline.

Rosa Wed 19-Jun-13 06:40:08

Little pudding with Thompson yes book .... In the past I found that the allocating of non prebooked seats very random . they might have changed this but on return flights where Thomson were not doing the handling as the outbound the changing of the seat allocations was a nightmare . On many occasions overriding the sent allocations took time and as they have a fast turnround sometimes they were reluctant to do it. i was a 'naice' person and always insisted in finding seats to try and put people together and yes with a small child I moved 2 people from the pre booked seats - shoved the cash in the hand for a refund and gave them a complimentary drink on board ....mind you that was a good few years ago so the computer systems one would hope now take this into account and staff are just as naice as I was......

exoticfruits Wed 19-Jun-13 07:00:40

It is the airlines fault. I think that if you sit your 3 year old next to someone and say 'this nice lady will look after you' and tell the 'nice lady' that she might need to have a sick bag ready there will be a swap!
Airlines shouldn't be making money out of making you pay extra to sit next to your child.

WorrySighWorrySigh Wed 19-Jun-13 07:35:41

There is a very simple solution to all of this:

If you book with children below whatever the given age is you have to pay to sit at least one adult with your child. If you dont pay or there isnt room then you dont get a reservation.

Airlines have stripped down the service to the level of bus or train travel (I'm just waiting for strap hanging to come in). If you get on a bus or a train without a seat reservation then the driver wont sort it out so that you can sit with this or that person. You have to sort it out yourself.

In the good old days a white gloved steward would usher you to your seat. Problem is that the ticket price matched this. If you want cheap travel then everything is an extra.

flipchart Wed 19-Jun-13 07:42:07

I said earlier I was sat next to a kid of about four.
I had paid for my seat, her parents hadn't. I wouldn't/ didn't take responsibility for her. Every. Time she needed something the person on the other side called flight attendants to get the parents to sort it out.
Harsh but other kids are not my problem if parents are in the vicinity.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 19-Jun-13 08:00:04

To the posters saying that if no one paid, this wouldn't be a problem, I disagree.

Planes come in different sizes with different seating configurations, and families comes in different sizes too.

If lots of families of four checked in first to a plane that had two sets of seats, each with six seats on a row, three either side of the aisle, then those early families would probably get four seats in a row, with one seat on the other side of the aisle to the others. That would leave lots of spaces of two seats together, and inevitably the later families of more than two people would be spread across those.

So even without people paying to book seats, you would still end up with some families separated.

I understand that airlines are making money out of something that don't have to make money out of, but if people want the option of paying to avoid being split up, or they want the option of paying so that they don't have to get to the check in desk ridiculously early, then it's right that the airline should offer it. Otherwise they simply can't accommodate all families sitting together as they would want to.

It isn't just the budget airlines, BA charges GBP 40 to book a seat from Dubai/UK/Dubai (not sure about other legs).

JudgeJodie Wed 19-Jun-13 08:24:58

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

tomorowisanotherday Wed 19-Jun-13 08:33:21

I see that i am outnumbered but i have one question to ask:

Why does your need to sit with your child trump my need not to move my seat?

As i have said earlier... I WILL HELP YOU WITH your child. I'm JUST NOT MOVING. I have taken steps to ensure that i dont have to..... if you haven't booked seats, then you havent taken steps to.

I appreciate that i am in the minority and it pleases me to know that when i refuse, there are a plane load of people who are quite happy to move.

BUT you MUST consider that there are other people with reasons for not wanting to move. IE dont expect that all people will be able to skip about the plane to accommodate you - that's just an overinflated sense of entitlement

tomorowisanotherday Wed 19-Jun-13 08:38:10

by the way... if I cant afford to pay for the seat bookings.... I dont fly.

thats what reasonable people do

JudgeJodie Wed 19-Jun-13 08:46:50

Oh Lordy you really don't get it do you? I didn't expect nor ask anyone to move for me. I dealt with the situation by using my time so as not to inconvenience anyone else.
I absolutely don't think that someone who has paid for their seat should move for me. I do think the airlines, who know the age of the passengers way in advance should automatically accommodate parents with young children sitting together.
Out of interest how do you justify the difference in pricing to reserve seats, a service which doesn't actually cost the airline anything? £10 for this destination, £15 for another, doubled the cost over the phone, £3 with easyjet. These are not standard charges but immoral money grabbing schemes.

BastardDog Wed 19-Jun-13 08:48:06

Earlier this month I flew Ryanair with my dh and 2 teens. We hadn't booked seats and were one of the last few to board.

An elderly couple were being boarded immediately in front of us. He was about 80, but seemed fit and able. She was the same sort of age, but was being boarded in a wheelchair with airport assistance staff. This couple had booked seats over the wing, where the emergency exits are, these seats have extra legroom, but You have to be a fit adult to sit in those seats. The cabin crew staff wouldn't allow them to sit there. They were moved and dh and I were seated there with our two teens sat together a few rows away. Later on in the flight the elderly man approached us and ranted at us that we'd been seated in the seats he paid for.

On the return flight the plane was full again. A family boarded after us without reserved seats, man, woman, young child and teen. Cabin crew staff found seats so the the woman and the young child could sit together, but there were no other 2 seats together so the man and the teen were told to sit separately. The man refused to sit down and was demanding to sit with his daughter. Cabin crew asked a few people to swap seats, but no one would. The pilot asked the man to sit down, so he did, but he sat the teen on his knee. Obviously that wasn't going to be allowed. We missed our departure slot and the plane take off ended up being delayed about an hour. Eventually someone agreed to swap, but people were fuming with this man and calling for him to be chucked off the flight.

If its important that you sit together, you HAVE to prebook.

WorrySighWorrySigh Wed 19-Jun-13 09:03:58

I agree with you tomorowisanotherday. I dont see why people assume that they can demand something for free (ie the right to sit with a particular person) which everyone else has to pay for especially when to get what they havent paid for they have to disrupt someone who has paid.

Out of interest I had a look through Ryan Air's reservation process and it is quite clear that to reserve a seat then you have to pay for it. So why does this come as a surprise to people? It is quite clear at the time of making a booking. To fly Stansted to Maastricht with a reserved seat is £120 return per head with luggage, £90 without luggage. This still seems a bargain to me.

I am guessing that people get sulky when they realise that the base price is only for a seat on the plane. Everything else has to be paid for.

TarkaTheOtter Wed 19-Jun-13 10:00:26

I agree with midnight, there is a spare mask on every block if seats on every row. So if you are two adults with two one-year-olds you would be able to sit on the same row but across the aisle from each other.

I have reserved seats in the past but mainly so dh can help with dd. I would be very unhappy if dd was sat away from both of us when she was at an age when she still needed help.

amicissimma Wed 19-Jun-13 10:37:56

How about looking at it the other way?

The price of a seat is x but you get a reduction of y if you don't mind not sitting with your group.

flipchart Wed 19-Jun-13 10:45:27

I don't understand the need to be sat with older kids/ family and friends on a flight if there isn't spaces.
If you are a nervous flyer or your kids need supervision for what ever reason, fair enough reserve your seats together.

We just roll up and sit where we can, in fact it's nice to be separate from them for a bit, especially when I'm going. To be in their company 24 hours a day for the next week or two more or less.i can survive without being next tome.

In fact one friend in particular I'm glad not to sit next to, she never shuts up! My boys bicker like mad when I'm near them but barely move a muscle sat next to someone else!!

MummytoKatie Wed 19-Jun-13 10:51:54

amic I agree. In my old (child free) life I wasn't really that bothered if I sat by dh or not so we didn't bother. We nearly always got seats together. Now we have dd (and ds but at 3 weeks old he's not that we'll travelled) we pay the extra as we really really want seats together.

Seems sensible to me - those that want the seats together slightly subsidise the flexible ones.

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 10:59:03

I have never been on a flight that I had to pay extra for securing seats on, seriously! Who would do that? Can you not see that it is just a way to make your part with more money?

If I didn't gets seats with my 4yr old & 9 yr old, this would happen

9 yr old would sob uncontrollably the entire flight, between vomiting & asking for her parents, because well, you know, some kids like to be with their parents, cos like, it makes them feel all safe & shit!

4yr old would would start off upset, throw an almighty fit & then realise that this is actually a great thing because she can do what the hell she likes & she bloody well would! Including talking to death who ever was next to her & probably climbing all over them & kicking seats (not that she does that normally, but tell me, how many unsupervised pre schoolers are going to sit nicely?)

You would probably end up with your dinner on you, perhaps your drink too oh & hers too. And make no mistake that she will order coke & sunkist (no, she isn't allowed them) & be on a sugar high for the whole time (oh & she would probably vomit too as she has no idea of when to stop eating)

You would also probably have to move several times for her endless desire to see use the toilet, because she can. But you can't ignore this, because you will have NO idea exactly when she does need the loo (& it could happen at the point that she is climbing over you). If you don't oblige & move, she WILL climb over you/your legs to get out. Also, she will relentless put her tray up & down & the people in front of her will think she belongs to you & be pissed off with you! Oh & good luck if she wets herself!

After a while she will get bored & want you to play or have you read her book. Try saying no...go on, I dare ya! I bloody double dare ya in fact! grin

She may sleep (although she didn't on a 13hr flight from Dubai - Australia) so you might get some peace.

When we are at our destination, I will come get her, and tell you that I hope the entertainment was worth you being precious over your seat! I of course, will be thoroughly refreshed & clean, tidy & ready for my holiday. You might not be.

But if you like the idea of that, I hope I get you next time I fly Australia - London. gringringringrin

impecuniousmarmoset Wed 19-Jun-13 11:05:59

'if it were next to me (nervous flier) I will have my headphones on with eyes shut, thinking calm thoughts so I wont notice'

hahahaha!! Good luck with that if you have my two-year-old screaming right next to you.

I don't prebook seats because for our next flight on ryanair, that would amount to an extra 200 quid on tickets we can barely afford already. I love the idea that someone thinks that amounts to a massive sense of entitlement and that I don't care about my children as a result. The attitudes I see MN amazes me sometimes. Luckily, I know from past experience that the vast majority of the world don't think like this - people have never been other than super helpful when I've been travelling with small children.

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 11:23:49

I chose to have kids, I choose to take them on holiday so I should pay to sit next to them

What do you think you pay for when you hand your money over? You aren't paying for the privilege to stand in an airport for a few hours, or for them to get your luggage when you need it to go, you are paying FOR YOUR SEATS. Why would you give them more money for your seat, that you have already paid for???

I paid $11,000 for 4 flights to the UK. Airlines can get fucked if they think I would pay anything additional on top to secure a seat!

twofalls Wed 19-Jun-13 11:25:23

Nobody, but nobody has answered this question. I will make it clear.

If I booked late (family emergency, last minute windfall, etc) and coukd't pre book seats together, what is my 2 year old supposed to do for a 3 hour flight. She would probably scream in fear for take off, and have an almight meltdown, be really scared, and feel totally abobdined etc, etc. why would that be my fault? For those of you (without the need to look after your own children) who wouldn't move in situation, why? What if i had tried to pre book but there were no seats left together?

LtEveDallas Wed 19-Jun-13 11:25:44

If I didn't gets seats with my 4yr old & 9 yr old, this would happen

Actually what would happen is that YOU would be responsible for upsetting YOUR child. For YOUR child being so upset she vomits.

But that's OK to you, as long as you didn't have to fork out some extra cash?

9 yr old would sob uncontrollably the entire flight, between vomiting & asking for her parents, because well, you know, some kids like to be with their parents, cos like, it makes them feel all safe & shit

Actually 9 year old would be even more traumatised by 42 year old telling her that its her mothers fault that she is sitting away from her because she was too tight to pay an extra few quid to guarantee sitting next to her.

4yr old would would start off upset, throw an almighty fit & then realise that this is actually a great thing because she can do what the hell she likes & she bloody well would! Including talking to death who ever was next to her & probably climbing all over them & kicking seats (not that she does that normally, but tell me, how many unsupervised pre schoolers are going to sit nicely?)

4 year old would be lifted into the aisle and told to go and find her mother.

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 11:27:09

who include 'extras' as part of the price

I didn't realise having a seat was classed as an "extra" now!

arabesque Wed 19-Jun-13 11:30:08

Haven't read the whole thread (sorry!) but I think it is really selfish to check in late or wander up to the departure gate at the last minute and then expect other people to shift around so that you can sit with your kids. If you have a real need to sit together either book priority seating, check in on line as soon as possible or, if there's no assigned seating, make sure you're at the gate good and early and can be one of the first on the plane.

impecuniousmarmoset Wed 19-Jun-13 11:30:40

LtEve - frankly I wouldn't much care who you thought was responsible or otherwise for the predicament. It would still be you dealing with it wouldn't it! And you can tell my 2-year-old what you like, cos he won't really get what you're talking about. Also, he'd be screaming too loudly anyway.

And all because you think your ability to pay extra makes you morally superior, and therefore entitled to behave without common human decency.


impecuniousmarmoset Wed 19-Jun-13 11:32:34

For the record, any airline that makes parents pay extra for the 'privilege' of sitting next to their toddler is the morally dubious outfit in all of this. How could it be otherwise?!

LtEveDallas Wed 19-Jun-13 11:34:14

It would still be you dealing with it wouldn't it! And you can tell my 2-year-old what you like, cos he won't really get what you're talking about

No it wouldn't. I wasn't actually talking to you, but your 2 year old would be lifted into the aisle and told to find his mother.

And all because you think your ability to pay extra makes you morally superior, and therefore entitled to behave without common human decency

No, all because I have pre-booked my selected seats because I care deeply that I sit with my DH and DD. It is worth it to me to pay extra to guarantee not being seperated from them. I don't care how much it costs, I will always pay it because being with them is more important to me than money.

flipchart Wed 19-Jun-13 11:36:08

differentname. You have paid for a seat and that is exactly what you get.
If you want a particular seat so that you sit together you organise it that way.

And as for being sat next to your kid on the flight my response would be the same as I have said further. Down the thread. I called the flight attendants to get the child's parents to deal with her. When she cried I just put my ear phones in. Not as harsh as it sounds, the parents were a row or two away. Not my kid, parents in the vicinity, not my problem. And when she did attempt to talk non stop, I said I'm having quiet time and reading so I'm not chatting right now. Hurt feelings? Mum and dads problem. Not mine.

flipchart Wed 19-Jun-13 11:40:03

twofalls would you reimburse me for the money I had paid then.
If not, then no, sorry. Why should I be out of pocket.

Noisy kids are dealt with by me by putting earplugs and a flight mask on.
I've had my own two to deal with in the past and dealt with it. Other parents can deal with their own kids.

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 11:44:48

No I wouldn't be responsible for upsetting her, just because I refuse to pay twice for my seat!

If more people had the balls to do the same, they would stop doing it.

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 11:46:34

* said I'm having quiet time and reading so I'm not chatting right now*

Hahahahahaha, like she would give a shit. You wouldn't hurt her feelings, because she would just keep talking & making a racket! You telling her you are having quiet time would just give her a mission!

Bearbehind Wed 19-Jun-13 11:47:58

I am astounded that so many posters think it is more selfish for someone who has paid to sit in a specific seat not to move than it is for people to expect others to move because they believe they are entitled to sit with their children without having to pay.

It is shit that the airlines charge for this but some do and you just have to get on with it. Why should someone with children expect their seating requirements to be accommodated above those of say a nervous flier that wants to sit with their partner or feels the need to seat by the window or aisle.

Some people's crushing sense of entitlement is truly unbelievable.

Floggingmolly Wed 19-Jun-13 11:53:58

differentnameforthis. Given that you have a 9 year old who would have such an extreme over reaction to being separated from her parents; why would you object to paying the extra charge to ensure it doesn't happen?
You seriously imagine it's up to someone else who has paid the charge to facilitate it for you? Why?

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 11:53:59

So would all those who happily pay for their seats twice, be happy if hotel rooms started to charge you more on top of what you pay already, so you can share a room?

"yes we can give you a room for $300 for your stay, plus we charge an additional $15 per bed, per night if you want your children in your room, otherwise we will put them in any room that has an available bed"

Yes, I can see LOTS of people willing to do THAT!!!

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 11:55:43

How about coaches? Yes, you can pay $300 for your coach holiday, But you want to travel on the same coach as your kids? That will be $15 each extra per journey!

I am shocked that no one can see it is just one huge rip off.

flipchart Wed 19-Jun-13 11:56:10

You don't get it. You are not paying twice for your seat.
You have a seat. You are paying for a particular place where you want to sit.

I am very good at putting eye masks and ear plugs in. I've had years of practice!
I'm glad these days that I don't have to go on the cattle run. It's tends to be peak time eg school holiday weekends that this is a major problem.
I just don't go on a plane to popular places then!

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 11:56:32

why would you object to paying the extra charge to ensure it doesn't happen?

Might have something to do with the fact that I have already paid for my seats?

ProudAS Wed 19-Jun-13 12:00:22

If the airlines planned properly there would be no need for parties to be separated (other than across an aisle or row immediately in front etc).

I'm not a parent but had a bad experience a few years ago. I have Aspergers and anxiety and being separated from my DH would be extremely difficult so we always book either seats together or speedy boarding. We were to fly to Palma to join a cruise - the cruise line would not book setas together for us and the airline said that they could not pre-book our seats without a booking reference which the cruise line would not give us. In the end I persusaded the airline to get it from the cruise line. This same company were more than happy to arrange airport assistance for passengers with visual or mobility impairments.

flipchart Wed 19-Jun-13 12:01:03

With. Hotel you have booked a room with beds.
Sometimes there are surcharges.
If I stay in a hostel and there are four beds but i have gone without DH and just the boys I have paid for the extra bed so I can guarantee the room to myself.

Once I didn't do this and it was a 5 bedroom room and I booked 5 bed, and at 3.20am a young bloke rocks up. (This was is in Slovenia). He had the right to be there, my fault for not booking the 5th bed.

flipchart Wed 19-Jun-13 12:02:06

Are you deliberately being dense?
You have paid for a seat.

If you desire a particular seat there is a surcharge.

Floggingmolly Wed 19-Jun-13 12:02:30

Have you misunderstood the concept of the reservation fee, differentname?
You wouldn't get my seat because you didn't want to pay for yours "twice". hmm.
And yes, your vomiting 9 year old would most assuredly remain your problem, likewise your gobby 4 year old. I wouldn't be playing nanny to anyone else's kids when I've paid "twice" to ensure I was sitting next to mine.
Your selfishness is quite astonishing.

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 12:03:28

NO, YOU don't get it. YOU HAVE PAID FOR YOUR SEAT! Common fucking sense (you now that, it isn't that rare that it needs to be a super power just YET) tells any airline that children NEED to sit with their parents. PERIOD!

And if you are too stubborn to facilitate me sitting with my 4yr old, good luck to you!

It is principal. I am not paying for common sense to put into place!

twofalls Wed 19-Jun-13 12:03:53

"twofalls would you reimburse me for the money I had paid then.

If not, then no, sorry. Why should I be out of pocket."

Yes, of course I would in theory. I don't carry much cash so you would probably refuse to move anyway as it is unlikely I would be allowed to stand in an aisle counting out my small change to find the £8.50 you would need in order to move. But I would hope there would be one decent person on the plane putting the needs of a small child above their own (remember, I tried to prebook my seat but couldn't because I was too late).

But lots of people on this thread have said they still woudn't move even if someone was willing to reimburse them because it is their seat. Someone said they would rather see a mother and child off the plane because they need to be in the seat that is on the manifest, I mean fgs.

Honestly, this is why I holiday in the UK. Sharing a confined and potentially dangerous space with people who would put £8.50 over the needs of small child doesn't bode well if there actually was an emergency on board.

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 12:04:59

My 9yr vomiting wouldn't only be my problem until I needed to tidy her up, it is not me she has thrown up all over.


OddBoots Wed 19-Jun-13 12:05:36

If you booked a concert which had a choice of general admission tickets or allocated seating would you buy a general admission but if you found you couldn't gets seats with those you were with expect those with allocated seating to move to facilitate you?

Yes, my example is silly but so are those talking about buses, the same principles don't apply in either case.

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 12:06:47

My selfishness to not have to pay anymore than the advertised price for my seat is astounding?

Good! I am not often selfish, but I refuse to pay greedy airlines to line their pockets, because that is all it is.

What is equally as astounding is how fucking easily we, as the consumers accept this bullshit.

Its sadly becoming a fact of life that to sit together you have to pay. The sensible thing to do would be to factor it in the budget for your holiday if you do want to sit together.

Floggingmolly Wed 19-Jun-13 12:07:49

I hope you're being wilfully obtuse instead of just plain stupid, differentname hmm
Everyone will have paid for their seat.
Some people will have paid extra for the privilege of choosing their seat, and will object to meekly handing it over to someone who has not.
I hope we meet on a flight someday...

OddBoots Wed 19-Jun-13 12:08:14

(I still think that when a child under (say) 8 flies then they should automatically and inclusively be allocated with one of the adults travelling with them btw, in my mind it is still a cost trade off with them being so much lighter so using less fuel.)

flipchart Wed 19-Jun-13 12:09:14

I would probably move if you would reimburse me.
For some people the price of a reserved seat between £8 - 10 is the equivalent of an hour at work. Some people work bloody hard in that hour, so yes I would want reimbursing.
I wouldn't mind if it was in cash or if you bought me an in flight meal or drink with your credit card.

Now you know the pitfalls of not booking twofalls maybe have some cash on you for your next flight.

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 12:09:17

Buses, perhaps a little out there, but certainly not hotels.

And I don't go to concerts, they are way too overpriced over here.

Good god, I am so tight, I should be a millionaire by now.

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 12:11:22

When I last flew, I paid over $11,000 for my flights. I would hope that choosing my seat would be given at that price, to be fair.

mezza123 Wed 19-Jun-13 12:11:34

Yes, I wouldn't bother paying extra either

Looks like easyjet accept kids need to sit with their parents and say u only need to book seats if u want particular ones.

flipchart Wed 19-Jun-13 12:12:09

You have paid the advertised price.
If you want an optional extra, in this case a certain seat, you have a surcharge to pay.

Anyway I'm bored with this now it's going in circles.
I am very good at ignoring sickly whiney vomiting children if their parents are there.

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 12:12:47

Well I am not stupid, Floggingmolly


differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 12:13:19

I am very good at ignoring sickly whiney vomiting children if their parents are there.

Even when they vomit on YOU?

impecuniousmarmoset Wed 19-Jun-13 12:14:03

'your 2 year old would be lifted into the aisle and told to find his mother'

You sure as hell aren't entitled to move anybody, toddler or otherwise, from their allocated seat, and I'd love to see the stewardesses' response if you tried, especially during take-off. If you have decided you'd prefer to sit next to an unattended 2-year-old rather than move seats, that's your lookout not mine.

And if the response is 'well I paid to sit next to my dd/dh/whatever', then fine. There are likely to be enough adults travelling only with adults on a given plane to make it entirely straightforward for small children to sit with their parents.

Is there really anybody who thinks the desire of (say) an able-bodied, non-flying-phobic 40 year old to sit in seat 6B rather than 4F trumps the needs of a 2-year-old to sit with a parent?!

twofalls Wed 19-Jun-13 12:15:21

In all honestly flipchart, this really is just hypothetical. I don't fly with the dc at the moment. I fly too often for work and see how hellish it can be for families. My last flight to DC I spent helping a woman with 3 children by jiggling her baby up and down the aisle and talking to her 7 year old. I didn't mind because I put myself in her shoes and thought how hard it would be to be in that situation. Which is why i have always moved for other people. But then I am empathetic like that. We can't all be the same.

I agree that the airlines should be made to ensure a child is seated with a parent.

coffeeinbed Wed 19-Jun-13 12:17:14

I'm surprised no one's mentioned CRB yet.

LtEveDallas Wed 19-Jun-13 12:18:49

You have paid for A seat, not YOUR seat. You will be given whatever seat is available.

I have paid for A seat and I am also happy to pay for MY seat. I will be given the seat I have selected.

I am happy to do so.

In hotels you tend to pay one price for adults and another for children - ie when I stayed at the Moat House they charged £80 for me, £80 for DH and £15 to supply DD with a Z Bed.

Oh and my parents always pay extra for selected seating on coach journeys so that DM can be as close to the front as possible.

So it's a normal charging regime.

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 12:21:22

Looks like easyjet accept kids need to sit with their parents and say u only need to book seats if u want particular ones

So all those who have paid extra to choose their seats, to ensure they can sit with their children, have just been ripped off then? Awesome!

A fool & his money, as they say!

flipchart Wed 19-Jun-13 12:21:38

I think if your kid is that bad you are not doing it any favours by taking iton an aeroplane to be honest.

In over 35 years of flying, and in the last 15 years I fly at least5 times a year, sometimes more, no one has ever vomited. Not even my own kids.

ProudAS Wed 19-Jun-13 12:24:38

I think we may be going off topic here.

A parent chooses to take their children on a flight and not pre-book seats when other passengers have. That parent does not have the right to expect someone with a pre-booked seat to move just because they could not be bothered to book nor to expect another passenger to babysit their child. If other passengers are prepared to move then fine - otherwise the children either take care of themselves or get off the plane

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 12:26:06

Well all the hotels U have been in have a (family) room charge, no additional charge. I don't then get there & get asked to pay another $15 per person to ensure we are all in the same room.

MNEdBlackpoolWiganandSalford Wed 19-Jun-13 12:26:31

I travelled without booking just once, the plane was packed and I was told dd had to sit next to an adult but ANY adult capable of putting her life jacket on and air mask, and this did not have to be an adult she knew or we knew. DD sat next to some chatty elderly lady and had a wonderful time but that was not the point.

I always pre book now.
And nope I am not moving if I have paid extra because someone else has not unless there is a very very good reason.

impecuniousmarmoset Wed 19-Jun-13 12:26:45

twofalls thanks for restoring my faith in humanity. I'd like to think that on any given aeroplane, there'll be enough people endowed with common decency, as opposed to self-righteous I'm-alright-jackery, to ensure that we don't have to give grubby Ryanair a extra 200 quid for the 'privilege' of sitting next to our 2 and 5 year olds. You give me hope that that's indeed the case!

impecuniousmarmoset Wed 19-Jun-13 12:28:42

on the other hand, if someone else would like that extremely dubious privilege, and indeed effectively have paid extra money for it, I'm not sure what I'm complaining about grin - be my guest!

TarkaTheOtter Wed 19-Jun-13 12:31:26

Seating a small child with an adult it knows (or who has agreed to be responsible for it) is not an optional extra, it is a necessity and should be included in the base price of the ticket so that people can accurately compare the price of flying with a particular airline.

Also, I hate Ryanair and happily pay "more" to avoid flying with them but on some routes they are now the only choice so it would be nice if they upheld some basic minimum standards.

Peetle Wed 19-Jun-13 12:32:04

It's about £3 on Easyjet to allocate a seat. It also saves having to dash to the gate the second it's announced and then stand there for an hour just to get your choice of seat. I'm surprised BAA haven't complained about the loss of shopping revenue this causes.

I refuse to fly Ryanair.

Having flown a lot in the 80s and 90s when it was an altogether more civilised experience (even in economy) I find the open combat between airlines and their customers depressing.

ProudAS Wed 19-Jun-13 12:32:48

I may be an adult but being separated from my DH in a confined aircraft could be very problematic because of my condition.

I like children but how inclined I am to babysit yours depends on my mental state on the day. We would certainly ensure that their oxygen mask or life jacket was put on in an emergency however.

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 12:34:50

flipchart when I flew Australia - London & back again, my kids were dreams to be honest. They slept most of the way. And dh was at the other side of the plane, so I had the 2 on my own. No, I didn't pay to book seats together, because it doesn't work like that on international flights. We rocked up, said what we needed & got 3 & 1 for the first flight, all the others were 4 together.

Dd2 did throw up, but we caught it in time. She was also restless coming home & didn't sleep well.

I guess I was being somewhat OTT with my descriptions, but dd2 would certainly think it great not to be restricted by her parents.

And what the hell could I honestly be expected to do about it? Would other passengers be happy with me constantly bending over them to attend to her? In reality, she would probably spend the entire time on my lap.

On principal, people should not have to pay extra to sit with their little kids & certainly as linked to below, easyjet won't even let you sit away from 13yr olds, so people paying to sit with their under 13s are being ripped off, in essence.

TimeofChange Wed 19-Jun-13 12:36:04

The airlines still have a Duty of Care to their passengers.

By seperating children from parents they are failing in their of Duty of Care.
What if the children get sexually assaulted (under a coat or blanket) or touched up by the random adult they get put next to.

It may be a normal charging regime now, but it didn't used to be.

Budget airlines don't have budget prices anymore.

nappyaddict Wed 19-Jun-13 12:38:10

"Ok, sometimes people can't help but get held up, but it always seems to be the people with special seating requests that get on last."

We flew with Ryan Air and got on last because we had assisted boarding as my son has Autism. Passengers sitting on the plane wouldn't have known he had Autism when we boarded the plane.

We didn't pay to book our seats as disabled passengers have to sit on certain rows on the plane anyway. However the rules on which rows these are changed between our outgoing flight and return flight. When we got on the return flight the wrong seats had been reserved and people had to move around.

People probably just thought we couldn't be bothered to get to the gate early and wait like everyone else though and couldn't be bothered to pay the extra to reserve seats together.

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 12:42:15

I naively thought that if I helped someone out, they would be grateful

If you gave your seat up for my family I would be grateful, buy you a drink if you wanted etc. I certainly wouldn't be laughing at all.

I would laugh however, if you refused & got stuck with my (apparently) gobby 4yr old!

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 12:49:55

I won't be swapping, sorry This implies that you think people would expect YOU & YOUR child to separate to accommodate people who don't want to be ripped off. I wouldn't expect that.

I wouldn't ask any adult to move from their child at all. I just don't see why you have to pay for the privilege to be sat with them.

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 12:51:30

but still have the seats you want if you have children

I don't want any particular seat, just one next to my children. That shouldn't have to cost me extra.

ChasingSquirrels Wed 19-Jun-13 12:52:30

theoriginalandbestrookie - they decided dad would go, and mum & child would follow later. As it happened the airline sent 2 smaller planes so it all worked out. But we just couldn't believe the stupidity of the check in staff.

I have to say I didn't take much notice of the option to reserve seats when I booked the other day (Ryanair).
I have just been back to look, and you can't add it after booking online, although you can by calling and paying an even more inflated charge.
BUT looking at the seats there are (on Ryanair) very few seats available to pre-book anyway, and some of those wouldn't be available to families because they are emergency exits.
So, if flying with a small child there aren't many seats available to pre-book.

flipchart Wed 19-Jun-13 12:52:59

I didn't know about under 13s not being allowed to sit away from their parents on Easyjet!

There have been many many occasions I have flown with EasyJet and We haven't sat with the boys.
I just checked with DH but we flew to Zurich with Easy Jet when DS1 was 8and DS 2 was 6 and we were apart then. That was the first time both boys were separate from us.
I remember flying from Dusseldorf and the announcement at the gate was for families with children to board. Dss were 9 and 7 then and it never occurred to me to go because I thought it was for toddlers. The gate staff got us and I was so embarrassed, I felt like a fraud!

TimeofChange Wed 19-Jun-13 12:54:45

i would be quite happy to swop seats with anyone as I travel on my own.

Last time I swopped my aisle seat that I had asked for because I needed to be near the loo (kidney problems) with a lady who was claustophobic and didn't want to be in a window seat.

I did say that I might have to squeeze past them to the loo a few times though.

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 12:54:58

Ok, sometimes people can't help but get held up, but it always seems to be the people with special seating requests that get on last

Wanting to sit with your child is not a fucking special seating request, it is a given, surely!

WorrySighWorrySigh Wed 19-Jun-13 12:57:11

Why is it so difficult to understand that companies like Ryanair advertise the lowest possible price for the seat and that everything else is added on top?

Why should children be automatically placed with their parents, inconveniencing others who have paid, just because the parents chose to ignore the opportunity to reserve particular seats at the time of booking?

If it is a safety issue then I would make parents pay extra to reserve the seats together. If they dont want to then I would decline the booking.

There seems to be an assumption that the charge for a child should be automatically lower than the charge for an adult. However there are times when children do cost more eg increased boarding time, stowing buggies in the hold etc. This being the case what is wrong with compulsorily making a surcharge for children?

WorrySighWorrySigh Wed 19-Jun-13 12:58:29

Wanting to sit with your child is not a special seating request, it is a given, surely!

Book it then, like everyone else if it matters to you.

Bearbehind Wed 19-Jun-13 13:02:06

different some of your comparisons are bonkers. If you book a hotel you get a set room type for a set fee. If you want an extra bed in a double room there may or may not be an additional fee but if there is a fee, just as there is to book seats on some airlines, you either pay it or you take a chance that you might not get what you want.

And you are not paying twice for your seat. Your booking enables you to get on the plane, paying a surcharge enables you to sit in the seat of your choice.

I am completely shock at your totally selfish and entitled belief that having children exempts you from a fee that others have to pay if they want the seat arrangements of their choice.

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 13:04:00

My children are still young enough to need to be seated beside me. So I pay for them to be able to do so

This is why airlines charge, they are preying on your insecurity that you may not be able to sit with your children. They are breeding fear just so you pay to avoid it.

Or, they are ripping you off.

Dancergirl Wed 19-Jun-13 13:05:00

This is what really pisses me off about these so called budget airlines. Surely the simplest solution to avoid all these shenanigans is to have reserved seating for everybody!

How on earth does it make it cheaper not to have allocated seating??

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 13:05:12

Why should children be automatically placed with their parents


Why should tiny, vulnerable children sit with their parents?

Are you thick?

impecuniousmarmoset Wed 19-Jun-13 13:07:56

I'm shock that anyone thinks that sitting next to their small children can be called 'getting the seat arrangements of your choice', as if it's an added luxury. Sitting parents next to children is a VITAL aspect of a safe flight. Ryanair wouldn't be able to charge extra for seatbelts, neither should they charge extra for sitting small children next to their parents. If I'm going backwards down 6 rows of seats to get to my 2-year-old in an emergency, it is everyone who suffers. You really think airlines should delegate safety to whether a parent can afford 200 extra quid to sit next to their child? (and it really is that with Ryanair - 50 quid extra per seat) That really is truly bonkers.

MNEdBlackpoolWiganandSalford Wed 19-Jun-13 13:08:00

I had something similar on a coach recently, everyone else had paid extra to chose a seat (mum is disabled/ child has SN and I get travel sick so chose to sit near front), on walks family with two children age baby and 4. There is one seat next to my mum, three further back the coach.

I move next to my mum so the four year old can sit next to dd and not a "scary adult" I tell mum this but Oh no we have to move so they can all sit together because they kick off meaning my mum who has major mobility problems has to struggle to back of coach, I spend journey feeling ill and my sen dd has to sit separate from us. Oh and we paid £9 each for that privilege.

I have also had to move on a plane and my dd ending up sitting with someone else (luckily a family with a girl similar age) because someone got on and kicked off they wanted to sit next to their younger child. Yes mine is 10 but she has SN.

I DO think that under 8s should automatically be given seats next to parents at booking but that's not the policy at the moment on lots of flights so it is definitely your duty to arrange this if you want it.

There are lots of things that I do not agree I should pay for but I think its very entitled to throw a strop over not wanting to pay for something but demand someone who has to move so you can stick to your view.

impecuniousmarmoset Wed 19-Jun-13 13:08:52

Differentname - I can't think of another explanation why someone might genuinely query why a toddler is entitled to sit next to a parent on a flight!!

Bearbehind Wed 19-Jun-13 13:11:13

different I fear it may be you who is thick.

There is no law which says children have to be placed with their parents. The airlines are business who want to maximise their profits so they charge for having allocated seats. Generally more expensive airlines don't charge extra for this, but you are still paying it within your flight price.

Cheaper airlines give you the option of making the flight price suit you by allowing you to take a chance on your seat allocation or only take on hand luggage in order to keep the costs down.

If you are too fucking selfish to potentially allow tiny, vulnerable children to sit away from their parents by not booking your seats then that doesn't say much about you.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 19-Jun-13 13:19:08

Nine year olds like you are talking about Differnt, are not tiny and vulnerable.

I suspect you have bigger problems in your life if your child would behave so badly if she wasn't seated right next to you, especially with the certainty you have that she would throw up on someone next to her.

What sort of parent wouldn't give their child who they know gets travel sickness some kind of receptacle to be sick in to?

What sort of parent would just ignore their child for an entire flight if they weren't seated together meaning that complete strangers were forced to look after them?

2rebecca Wed 19-Jun-13 13:21:30

If you want to ensure you sit together as a group you sort out seats in advance, if you aren't bothered then you just get what you can on the day. People with young kids should be no different to anyone else.
When my kids were young I just saw the advance booking fee as part of the flight cost.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 19-Jun-13 13:27:43

Absolutely with Bearbehind on this. Some of the posters here are absolutely outrageous. If you don't like the costs and don't agree with the format - find another route. Don't expect everybody else to suck it up for you. Oh and don't bleat on about human decency - your child, your responsibility - human decent extends as far as you too.

Anybody's child sitting next to me and misbehaving as different describes would have the flight attendant called. No way should children behave like that, unattended or not. I'd be ashamed beyond belief if mine performed that catalogue of attention-seeking antics and they would be told, in no uncertain terms, to stop it.

That's assuming of course that I HADN'T been able to pre-book seats because if I had, I WOULD because it's important to me, you know, to have my children with me, regardless of the rights and wrongs of the airline's policy.

MadamGazelleIsMyMum Wed 19-Jun-13 13:31:15

Yes, paying for allocated seating is an annoying expense which shouldnt be an additional charge.

But if I was flying with DC, I would do everything in my power to guarantee we would be together. For lots of reasons, but preomindantly for their safety, my peace of mind, and so as not to distress them or inconvenience anyone else. If I paid to guarantee my seating arrangements, i.e. sit with my DC, then I would not move for someone else.

DH and I are going on holiday just the two of us later in the year. We dont care where we sit. We will try and sit together, but will happily move if someone else has a greater need to the seat we end up with.

But no way would I take a chance on not being seated with DC, or make assumptions about the airlines or fellow passengers' willingness to move to accommodate mine and my children's needs. Your kids, your responsibility to ensure the seating will suit you.

The system may be wrong, but it is what it is. In my opinion, you cough up or take your chances. If you dont like it, dont fly.

PNBandJam Wed 19-Jun-13 13:31:35

I have flown very regularly with my (now) 4 year old since he was 10 weeks old. My parents sadly live abroad and the ONLY airline that flies there is Ryanair. When all of us go (DH too), we drive but on my own it's too far to drive alone in a day really (over 1,000 miles). Anyway, I HATE Ryanair and would gladly pay someone else if another airline flew that way, and would never, ever, ever, pay for sitting next to my child because I don't want to give Mr O'Leary the slimely eyed satisfaction.
Not so much now, but when he was two, and still in a buggy, I HAD to wait until the end to Board as I had a buggy, his bag, my bag and a two year old to get down 4 flights of stairs and then up into the plane on my own. As you probably know, Ryanair staff offer no assistance whatsoever, so I would have to take the bags down the steps, leave them at the bottom, climb back up the 4 flights of stairs, take DS down, then come back up and then take the buggy. The only people that will help normally are kindly other passengers (I don't expect this and would never ask) but they generally do, as I would if I saw someone struggling.
There would be no point paying for assigned seats (as they are not suitable for children and this is only recent on Ryanair anyway) or priority boarding as by the time I've done my climbing steps for the 4th time, everyone else has boarded anyway!
So, I wait until the near the end to avoid the scrum and then make my way onto the plane. I don't mind if DS and I get split up but at 2 (and even now) most people offer to move. Again, I don't expect this.
I think it would definitely make sense for airlines to allow an adult and a child (poss under 8) to Board first - as the inconvenience is mainly to other passengers of not having this rather than to the adult and child. As most people agree, if I'd got on the plane, and then had to move I'd be pissed off. Let them on first (crucially only one adult per under 8 not entire 'families' of parents, uncles, aunts and teenage kids...).

GladbagsGold Wed 19-Jun-13 13:35:44

I wouldn't pay extra for sitting next to my child. Bloody rip off.

I would always swap seats to help out a family. I would expect other people to swap seats if I was separated from a small child. Its common decency and safety innit!

Much as I love my DC I can't see why anyone else would want to sit by them on a flight anyway tbh. Other people's children are annoying!

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 13:35:52

Yeah, of is me who is thick. Stupid me. I thought it would be common sense to sit little children next to their parents.

If thinking that make me thick, I agree!

Brownowlahi Wed 19-Jun-13 13:36:05

we came back from Disney land Paris last year, me, DH, dc, aged 5,3,1. Plane had seats in rows of three. DH and dc, me, dc and baby on the row behind. Along comes a family who had all been split up. I ended up with their three year old sat by me for the journey. Her parents weren't happy, nor was I tbh. My own children fell asleep, she didn't. Pay the money and book your seats. And that was on air France.

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 13:37:31

Anybody's child sitting next to me and misbehaving as different describes would have the flight attendant called

And what would you expect the FA to do if said child cannot be moved?

impecuniousmarmoset Wed 19-Jun-13 13:37:49

So if ryanair started charging for seatbelts, that would be ok? (shouldn't give Michael O'Leary ideas...) And if you don't cough up and die in a crash, that's just your own moral turpitude at fault? Nothing at all to do with the airlines, no no. It's the 'your child your responsibility' kind of attitude that allows Ryanair and the like to get away with the kind of outrages they do.

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 13:39:23

Nine year olds like you are talking about Differnt, are not tiny and vulnerable

Well 9yr olds are vulnerable, but I am not talking about 9yr olds being tiny, I was meaning toddlers!

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 19-Jun-13 13:39:53

I would expect the flight attendant to find the parent and instruct them to come and tell their child to behave. Because if they didn't, I would.

MNEdBlackpoolWiganandSalford Wed 19-Jun-13 13:40:20

different, no one thinks you are "thick" because you think small children should sit next to their parents. Of course you aren't and of course airlines should include booked seats as part of cost when traveling with a small child, you should HAVE to prebook a seat as part of your initial holiday booking to travel.

BUT thats not the case so its terribly entitled to be annoyed at other people who do book and expect them to be financially at loss and move (and I know you said you would pay them) because you do not agree with a charge.

As I said there are lots of charges I do not agree with.

LadyBryan Wed 19-Jun-13 13:41:45

The thing that shocks me here is the sense of entitlement and sanctimonious rambling from the people refusing to pay for seats together. Because you see here's the thing: -

It doesn't matter whether you think the airlines are thieving idiots or not. That is the process in place. So you either decide its rather important to have to sit next to your children and pay. Or you run the risk of not getting a seat with your children and then having to ask people to move.

Now when we go on holiday we go together - so should I fly an airline that operates this policy I would pay for myself, my husband and our daughter to sit together. If you hadn't paid for the same privilege well, quite frankly, tough.

And to all those saying "hoho how funny for those that don't move, won't they be gutted to sit next to my child as he eats like an animal, kicks the seat, behaves in a generally appalling manner" - don't you teach your children to behave??? Because my child is fully capable of behaving both with me and when she isn't with me

impecuniousmarmoset Wed 19-Jun-13 13:41:45

Ooh, how about charging for the privilege of using stairs to access the plane? Those who don't cough up have to use a climbing wall to get onto the plane - if they're lucky. The disabled can just pay extra or not fly, I guess.

There is a limit to what airlines can decently charge extra for. Seating parents next to small children comes squarely under this heading, and I refuse to indulge Michael O'Leary in his disgusting money-grabbing any more than I absolutely have to.

LtEveDallas Wed 19-Jun-13 13:42:21

differentname, you can "think" what you like - it doesn't make you thick, but it doesn't actually matter what you think, airlines are going to keep charging for selected seating and it is up to you alone if you want to risk it. They are businesses that are out to make money, if you think they care what you think, then yes, that is pretty thick, sorry.

I do what's best for me and my family - no matter what the cost. You should do what you think is best for your family. Just don't expect others to feel obliged to assist, especially if they have made the opposite decision to you (ie paying/not paying)

MNEdBlackpoolWiganandSalford Wed 19-Jun-13 13:42:56

I think the easy answer to this would be if they are not going to automatically give seats for children under a certain age next to a parent then it should be part of the initial booking that if you are traveling with a child under a certain age they automatically charge for chosen seats as part of your booking.

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 13:44:42

If you are too fucking selfish to potentially allow tiny, vulnerable children to sit away from their parents by not booking your seats then that doesn't say much about you

So now you are calling my parenting into question because I won't be conned into paying more for what should be a given. I am not selfish, my children come first, but I refuse to be conned into allowing that to happen. Good job I don't give a fuck about what you think of me, seeing as you don't know me & have no idea about my parenting, but judge away on this one aspect why don't you. Go for it.

It is because people like you buy into the anxiety that the airlines give off that we are in this position. If people stopped paying, there would be no issue.

Bearbehind Wed 19-Jun-13 13:45:20

different I'm not saying you are thick to think it is common sense to seat children with their parents but when did common sense come into a commercial airlines charging system.

They charge and you either pay or you might not get to sit with your children.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 19-Jun-13 13:46:36

Different, if you were talking about toddlers, then fair enough, I agree that toddlers shouldn't be seated away from parents.

But a 9yo from a family that don't want to pay to sit together is fair game to be seated alone. There is absolutely no reason why a nine year old shouldn't be able to sit on a plane without their parent right next to them.

If your 9yo has higher needs than the average, why wouldn't you do whatever you had to do to ensure those needs are met?

It's not about safety, it's about ensuring your child is as comfortable as possible in a situation they find difficult, and ensuring that you don't impose on other people needlessly.

SoupDragon Wed 19-Jun-13 13:47:23

Of course, another way of looking at it is that you are paying less for not booking allocated seating. Not booking seats was always the norm - you just had to get to the airport before everyone else.

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 13:47:32

(ie paying/not paying)

You don't get it, do you? I will have paid! It is not like I am asking to travel for free!

FasterStronger Wed 19-Jun-13 13:48:20

Surely they wouldn't sit a 3 year old away from a parent and next to a random stranger, would they?

I think this sentence should read:

Surely a parent wouldn't sit their 3 year old away from them and next to a random stranger, would they, just to save a few quid on a plane fare?

Bearbehind Wed 19-Jun-13 13:48:58

^So now you are calling my parenting into question because I won't be conned into paying more for what should be a given. I am not selfish, my children come first, but I refuse to be conned into allowing that to happen. Good job I don't give a fuck about what you think of me, seeing as you don't know me & have no idea about my parenting, but judge away on this one aspect why don't you. Go for it.

It is because people like you buy into the anxiety that the airlines give off that we are in this position. If people stopped paying, there would be no issue.^

I give up. People aren't going to stop paying as the airlines are not going to stop offering it as a service so quit your moral crusade and accept that if you don't pay others will question your parenting as you have deliberately chosen to put you children in a situation they might not be happy with rather than paying to ensure they are happily seated with you.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 19-Jun-13 13:50:14

If people stopped paying, there would be no issue.

Yes there would! Families got separated all the time before airlines offered passengers the chance to pay for booking specific seats, and they still would now.

I already addressed this point upthread, because it's bollocks.

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 13:50:16

Well I am going around in circles here. You guys keep paying for the "luxury" of sitting with your toddlers. And don't be surprised when they start adding everything else on top too.

MNEdBlackpoolWiganandSalford Wed 19-Jun-13 13:50:24

"If your 9yo has higher needs than the average, why wouldn't you do whatever you had to do to ensure those needs are met?

It's not about safety, it's about ensuring your child is as comfortable as possible in a situation they find difficult, and ensuring that you don't impose on other people needlessly."

This ^

LtEveDallas Wed 19-Jun-13 13:53:37

impecunious, why do you keep going on about Ryanair? Selected seating isn't peculiar to them, I have paid for selected seating on Thomson, Monarch, Thomas Cook, CyprusAir, Britannia and Virgin so far. They are all businesses, just like Ryanair and just like all businesses want to make money wherever they can.

Until an actual LAW is passed that says children of a certain age MUST be seated with at least one parent, then the airlines can do as they wish.

You pay your money (or not) and take your chance.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 19-Jun-13 13:54:35

You don't get it, do you? I will have paid! It is not like I am asking to travel for free!

It really is you that doesn't get it.

You have paid to have a seat, any seat, on the plane. It could be one at the back, middle, front, aisle, window, mid row.

Each ticket you buy entitles you to a seat somewhere, which the airline will allocate for you, so if the ticket bought for you turns out to be on row 3 by the window, and your nine year olds turns out to be on row 28 on the aisle, then you are already getting exactly what you have paid for.

We flew with Easyjet at christmas and found it much easier being able to choose and reserve seats anywhere on the plane with small children. Their staff were helpful too. However, Ryanair only have a couple of rows that you can reserve with small dcs so if they are booked you're stuffed. Ryanair are wankers, but they are the only ones who fly to our destination. I found it less stressful with Easyjet and put up with driving further to Gatwick instead of Stansted and also add an extra hour to our journey on arrival than fly with Ryanair if we can.

flipchart Wed 19-Jun-13 13:56:34

The way I see it is you get a baseline fare.
After that you take what options you want.
You want/ need to sit together in a group for whatever reason. Ok. There is a charge for that
You need a case in the hold. You pay for that.

As it stands I don't care where I sit, I take hand luggage
only and so do my kids and I pay on my debit card. My fare is minimal.

However if my needs were different I can see what options I have got and book accordingly.
What's difficult about that?

And if you don't like it fly with a company that gives you what you want 'free'. But has a high ticket price to begin with.

SoupDragon Wed 19-Jun-13 13:58:54

You don't get it, do you? I will have paid! It is not like I am asking to travel for free!

You don't get it, do you? You haven't paid for allocated seating. Allocated seating was added as an optional extra - it did not exist prior to this for normal travel.

impecuniousmarmoset Wed 19-Jun-13 14:00:55

I keep going on about Ryanair because their charge for allocated seating is so insanely high that it really is a question of flying without allocated seating or not flying at all. And no, there's often no choice to use them because they are the only ones that fly to certain places.
I suppose you think we should therefore stay at home.

Of course, there are a lot of straw men about here - it's in the vast majority of cases, it is not a question of turfing someone else out of their allocated seat, since 90% of the plane is unallocated. It's a question of asking an adult, travelling without children, to move from one seat to another seat. Both have nasty cheap upholstery and a little table to pull down. One might be an aisle seat or a window seat, but you know what? I'm an adult. If it's a question of a 2-year-old not sitting next to a parent, and I'm a lone adult, then I'll give up my cloud-admiring privileges for the sake of common humanity. I find it astounding that others would not, but then I guess this is the country that voted Thatcher in.

impecuniousmarmoset Wed 19-Jun-13 14:03:27

I suppose most of the people arguing the 'your child your choice' would also argue that wheelchair users should pay extra for the airline to carry their wheelchair? For once it is actually a direct equivalent, not like parking threads or the like. A small child CANNOT travel without a parent, just like a wheelchair user MUST have a wheelchair. It's just as unreasonable to have to pay to sit next to your 2-year-old as to have to pay for a wheelchair.

TimeofChange Wed 19-Jun-13 14:03:50

There are a few people on here with impecabably behaved children - well done them.

Not sure what Lying thinks she would say to a child in meltdown that would magically turn it into the perfect child (like hers).

I think this issue needs a law suit, maybe after a traumatic bumpy flight or a near miss landing.
There must be a No Win No Fee company wanting to take it on.

Ledkr Wed 19-Jun-13 14:06:12

Just out of interest when tickets are booked as a group why aren't they just allocated together? Like theatre seats.
Sorry if this has already been answered but I've often wondered.
My dd was 6 when she sat apart from me next to a young couple practically having it off.
Luckily when the girl put her hand down his trousers I was visiting her so threatened them was able to deal with it.
They were also found later to be in possession of cocaine!
My solution was to give up flying buy a camper van and hey presto we all get to be together on our journey to holiday.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 19-Jun-13 14:06:37

I'd be happy to move out of one aisle or window seat into another aisle or window seat if I was travelling alone.

What I don't like is the assumption that I should move if I'm an adult traveling with another adult, or that I should move out of a seat that is vaguely comfortable into one on the middle of the row, where I hate sitting.

SoupDragon Wed 19-Jun-13 14:06:37

Carrying a wheelchair has always been free though hasn't it?
Allocated seating has not. It is an optional extra introduced relatively recently.

LtEveDallas Wed 19-Jun-13 14:06:53

impecunious, if you ask a lone adult if they would mind moving to another seat, then they probably wouldn't. Thats fine and isn't going to cause any angst.

If you ask an adult travelling with another adult to move and they wouldn't, then you have to accept that. You don't know why they may have said no, they may have very good reasons that they do not wish to share with you. You cannot assume that they are just being selfish any more than that adult can assume that you are a bad parent for not pre-booking your seats.

To crow about how badly behaved your child would be, without knowing the reasons that people did not want to move is very bad mannered and horribly entitled behaviour.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 19-Jun-13 14:09:12

TimeofChange... If the flight attendant didn't tell the parent to come and sort the child, I would. There's a difference between a distressed child and one being naughty and attention-seeking, or there is in my book.

Either way, it's for the parent to sort out but any child kicking, climbing on me or anything of that ilk will be told - by me - to stop it. I have experience of that because that's what I tell my own - and it works. No perfect children here but no inattentive or lazy parenting either.

LadyBryan Wed 19-Jun-13 14:10:24

The thing is impecunious, it isn't about common humanity.

It is about people being perfectly able to avoid this situation, but because they believe they're entitled to get for free what others pay for, then they don't.

Still I imagine little Jimmy will be perfectly happy when mummy explains "no sorry darling, we can't sit together because mummy doesn't believe in funding the capitalist beast"

Just for arguments sake, each seat on the plane happens to be filled with one adult travelling next to one child. Who moves then to accomodate those who aren't willing to pay?

Yes, in an ideal world children should be sitting with their parents automatically. But this isn't an ideal world and I would be doing everything in my power for a stress free journey by paying to have seats with my child.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 19-Jun-13 14:11:49

Actually, many airlines do charge extra for medical equipment. I have travelled with disabled people before who have been allowed their one wheelchair to travel free, but have been forced to pay for the mobile hoist they need, or for the toileting chair they need. And it's not cheap either.

They are far more entitled to have their essential equipment go for free than a parent has to have their older child travel next to them. But they don't so they make the choice to pay, or not to travel.

They don't turn up at the airport and demand the other passengers have a whip round to cover the cost of their equipment the way parents turn up and demand their child has to be next to them.

impecuniousmarmoset Wed 19-Jun-13 14:13:16

I'm not crowing. Surely it's axiomatic that if I stick my two-year-old on his own for a 6 hour flight, he's very soon going to be uncontrollably distressed? Whatever someone's reasons for not moving, they have to be pretty bloody brilliant to trump that. And if one person genuinely can't move, it beggars belief that on the entire plane there will be nobody else able to do so. That is why I refuse to give Michael O'Leary 200 quid extra every time I fly. It's a faith in common decency, which is pretty lacking on this thread.

TimeofChange Wed 19-Jun-13 14:15:30

Ledk: The airline failed in their Duty of Care.

They have Risk Assessments and this should be a priority but O'Leary is a law unto himself.

What couold happen on a longhaul flight, when lights go out and blankets on.
A sleeping child could be molested.
I don't see paedophiles everywhere, but it is airlines responsibilty.

FasterStronger Wed 19-Jun-13 14:16:51

Surely it's axiomatic that if I stick my two-year-old on his own for a 6 hour flight, he's very soon going to be uncontrollably distressed? Whatever someone's reasons for not moving,

what about your reasons for choosing to save a little money to prevent his distress?

LadyBryan Wed 19-Jun-13 14:17:27

The other side of the coin is, those that aren't willing to pay for seats: -

There are three seats, one by the window with my child in, one in the middle with me in, an empty one by the aisle. Are you REALLY saying that rather than pay to ensure you're sitting with your child you think its appropriate to dump your child on someone else? If no-one is willing to move, that is actually what you're saying.

"I wasn't prepared to pay, so sorry - you did, but do look after my child for me"

LtEveDallas Wed 19-Jun-13 14:20:17

Whatever someone's reasons for not moving, they have to be pretty bloody brilliant to trump that

Valium taken
Colostomy bag
Insulin dependant Diabetic
Cancer sufferer wanting to spend every last minute of her life with her dear husband.

Do you need more?

What's your "pretty bloody brilliant" reason for not paying to ensure you sit next to your two year old?

impecuniousmarmoset Wed 19-Jun-13 14:22:59

of for crying out loud, yes - when did I say there weren't any reasons? I said they'd have to be good. Most adults should be able to move!

My reasons for not paying an extra 200 pounds for allocated seating, fasterstronger, is that then we can't afford to go on holiday.

Melty Wed 19-Jun-13 14:23:36

This is a bit of a heated thread....
Those of you who are refusing to move because you have been lucky/early/wealthy enough to pre book, You do realise that even if you pay for your special seats, the airline has a little clause that they are not guaranteed as seats may need to be changed for operational reasons....

impecuniousmarmoset Wed 19-Jun-13 14:23:46

In the real world, luckily, most of you will not be on my flight, so I'll get to sit next to him without paying 200 quid for the privilege!

FasterStronger Wed 19-Jun-13 14:24:29

imp My reasons for not paying an extra 200 pounds for allocated seating, fasterstronger, is that then we can't afford to go on holiday.

how many and where were you flight to?

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 19-Jun-13 14:24:44

*... sleeping child could be molested.
I don't see paedophiles everywhere, but it is airlines responsibilty.*

Yes, because it was the airline's decision not to stump up the extra cash needed for parent/child to stay together, of course it's their fault.

Why do some people bother having children when all they want to do is abdicate responsibility for them at every turn? Utterly baffling.

I actually think that the parents on this thread who don't safeguard their childrens' needs, whilst bemoaning the selfishness of others who won't accommodate their lacksadaisical attitudes, seem quite willing to take the risks but absolutely NO responsibility, not now, not ever.

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 14:25:25

My 4yr old is a pretty good kid. She probably wouldn't do half of what I listed & she isn't gobby, but neither is she impeccably behaved, because, well...she is 4!

She probably wouldn't spill stuff all over you, but she would want to wonder around (thus getting you to move for her, if she wasn't on the aisle) she would need help with her in flight entertainment system. She would want drinks, snacks. Which would probably be packed for her, but she may need help getting them out the over head, she would also need help getting her books/stickers/toys etc. She did tend to drop a lot on the last flights we were on, so that is to be considered too.

She would actually see it as an opportunity to make a new friend & you would be told all sorts of interesting facts about Concorde (including why it crashed & doesn't fly anymore), about world war 2 & dinosaurs. Oh & why she likes Thomas. She would be upset if you asked her to be quiet, because she would think that you didn't like her.

My 9yr doesn't need anything special, she just would want to be with me. She would throw up, but she would be OK after that with her earphones.

I wouldn't expect a mother to leave her dcs, I wouldn't expect any one to move at all to be fair, but they would have to put up with my dc. They aren't badly behaved actually, and I would do what I needed to do to ensure they weren't a nuisance, just as I would if they sitting with me or in any other place in the world. But I would be limited as to what can be done depending on where my seat in in relation to theirs.

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 14:27:42

She would throw up because she gets travel sick, not for any other reason, btw!

FasterStronger Wed 19-Jun-13 14:28:50

differnent - DP is a HT but he used to work in early years.

he'd enjoy having your children sitting next to him. he'd keep them busy. they'd keep him busy.

a win win for me grin grin grin grin

KellyElly Wed 19-Jun-13 14:29:32

Haven't read all of this thread but it got me thinking as I'm off on holiday next week with Thompson and hadn't even thought to book seats. I called them and they said as my DD is three she would be seated with me as standard practice and told me not to pay the extra for booking the seats.

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 14:30:01

FasterStronger She would love your dh! He could teach her stuff, she is never happier than when she is learning! grin

NiceTabard Wed 19-Jun-13 14:30:10

i think it is really awful that if someone found themselves next to a distressed 2yo they would simply unclip their belt and put them in the aisle.

That is really dangerous and just mind-boggling. I feel a bit shaky reading that. It's a huge safety issue and just so unbelievably callous.

myboyfriendsback Wed 19-Jun-13 14:30:27

Haven't read the whole thread, but let me tell you a story before you decide to not book ahead;

Before I had children I had friends who were twins; one was my best friend and the other was a real brat, like huge brat, the only way to describe him, but he was great to travel with as he spoke several languages and had one of those rare 'don't mess with me' auras about him. Anyway we were on a flight from Dubai to London and him and his brother ended up in seats with a five year old next to the window and brat twin next to her. Come hell or high water he was not changing seats as he had booked his seats and I had already endured his wrath before this child and her parents had boarded the plane so that a deaf girl could sit across the lane to her carer. I actually think that had the plane crashed he would of just stayed put in the seat he was so attached to it.

So of course he refused to move when the mother asked and everything that could go wrong went wrong; kid vomited, wet itself, screamed and cried, all of which friend completely blanked. Then kid starts misbehaving and being cheeky, climbing over stuff ect but believe it or not my friend was an even bigger brat than a five year old.

He started having conversations with his brother about how Santa and the Easter bunny isn't real, about really violent video games in great detail and THEN takes out his Ipad and proceeds to watch horror movies on it angled just right so 5yo could view what was happening. His reasoning? If the parents were going to be selfish and not book a seat and then have their child make his flight uncomfortable, he was going to make their holiday uncomfortable.

So don't think people not moving is the worst thing that could happen to you, stop and think that if these people have no problem letting a young child sit apart from it's mother what else do they not have a problem with? Would you be fine with your child watching Texas chainsaw massacre and child's play because you didn't want to spend eight pounds to reserve your seat? Because the flight attendants could see what he was watching, but did nothing to stop him as he had a 'Right' to watch whatever he wanted on his Ipad and it's not their problem if your child can't sleep the next night.

Think about it.

NiceTabard Wed 19-Jun-13 14:33:01

This thread is really shocking.

This is why i never travel with my family on these types of airlines - once was enough with the baby it was one of the worst experiences of my life.

They just encourage everyone to behave in such a selfish, appalling way. Shoving people who are disabled and trying to carry a baby down the stairs. Refusing to call for assistance for a distressed toddler. Taking it's seatbelt off and sending it into the aisle. WTF is the matter with people.

LtEveDallas Wed 19-Jun-13 14:33:06

the airline has a little clause that they are not guaranteed as seats may need to be changed for operational reasons

But moving out of my selected and paid for seat because a parent could not be bothered to pay for selected seating is NOT an "Operational Reason" so not relevant to this thread.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 19-Jun-13 14:33:18

Different... Why the faux concern for your children at all? After all, you'd willingly and knowingly putting your children in that position.

Why not stop flying altogether, lining the pockets of the fat cats you so hate? Or don't your sensibilities extend quite that far?

LadyBryan Wed 19-Jun-13 14:33:33

If your child is likely to wander around/throw up etc then you have a responsibility as a parent to ensure your seat is with theirs. And unfortunately if that means paying for it, then sobeit.

And I probably would ignore them if they were chatting, because I'd want to chat to my own child - you know the one I've paid to sit next to.....

Further to my last post, I think small children should automatically be sat with their parents, but as Ryanair have no decency then I will either pay for one of the available two rows that they have or preferably fly with Easyjet who have a choice of seats to reserve anywhere. When I was five months pregnant last year, we flew with ryanair and the flight was late. There was a rugby scrum to get on the plane and people pushed me and DS1 (4YO) out of the way. Nice.

impecuniousmarmoset Wed 19-Jun-13 14:34:15

It is pretty shocking isn't it.

Travelledtheworld Wed 19-Jun-13 14:34:31

I flew back from the USA with my DC's aged 4 and 5.
Even though we had pre allocated seats all together, in reality I was seated across the aisle and diagonally behind my children. The stewardess was very snappy with me when I left my seat to fasten the younger ones seatbelt for him.....but refused to help.

Boo to United Airlines

My kids are actually usually quite happy as long as they can sit together and know which direction I am sitting in. Even on budget flights we have always managed to find two seats together and there is usually some obliging passenger who will move so I can sit next to them.

My eight year old had to sit on her own all the way to Alaska once, but the young soldier sitting next to her was happy to chat to her for five hours, so did me a favour really......I had a good sleep.

United airlines seat allocation failure again......

Travelledtheworld Wed 19-Jun-13 14:36:09

PS my husband once flew LHR to Washington and sat next to a little boy from Delhi who was unaccompanied. He vomited for the entire flight.
The BA cabin staff gave my hubby a bottle of champagne for being so tolerant.

Melty Wed 19-Jun-13 14:36:26

Yes, but they dont actually need to tell you what the operational reason is...
And you have no idea whether or not the parent couldnt be bothered. People up thread have have already given a myriad of reasons why they might not have been able to pre book seats.

Yes, it is shocking. You really see the basest behaviour coming out. Someone upthread summed it up 'I'm alright Jack'.

LadyBryan Wed 19-Jun-13 14:39:31

Melty the thing is, it is the sense of entitlement that gets me: -

"I'm so sorry, I don't know what to do. When I booked the flight there were no seats available to book together" or

"I'm so sorry, there was an accident and we're really late for the flight"

is so vastly different from

"I have a potent and misguided belief that I dont' have to behave as other people and people should bend over backwards to accommodate my children, mmmmkay?"

Melty Wed 19-Jun-13 14:44:48

Yes Lady, but people are generally a bit stressed when travelling with small people. You are not going to know if they are being a bit arsey because they are entitled sorts, or because they have not been allowed to bring the buggy to the gate or the toddler vomited in the departure lounge or whatever...

I like an aisle seat. I generally get one, but I wouldn't dream of not swapping to assist a parent and child.
I dont bother paying to reserve seats either.

whatsleep Wed 19-Jun-13 14:45:40

We flew with Ryan air last summer. Their policy at many airports is to charge for priority boarding. What this actually means us that you are first to get on the bus that takes you over to the plane, once off the bus it is a total scrum to get your seats. Not, in my opinion, worth paying extra for! This year we are traveling with Thompson and are more than happy to pay to choose our seats, infact after sitting up half the night waiting for the allocation screen to open I was first to get onto the booking screen this morning grin.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 19-Jun-13 14:47:58

Oh definitey 'I'm alright Jack'... and that's from the parents of the unaccompanied children.

| would move - and have done so numerous times when I'm flying for work. I move for anybody, child, adult, all the same to me but it's my decision. If I came across some of the entitled posters here I wouldn't move - and I'd let them know why. Disgusting.

Everybody has the right to consideration you know... extend it a little yourselves and stop expecting the moon on a stick from people just because you don't want to book the seats. That's YOUR lookout, not theirs.

ophelia275 Wed 19-Jun-13 14:48:05

Maybe they should have compulsory seat pre-booking so that situations like this don't arise.

Also, to the people complaining. This is part of life. If you don't like it, don't fly. In the same way that if you disagree with Amazon's tax avoidance, don't buy from them. My opinion is that you can't fight all these companies, it is what it is unfortunately and in my experience booking a flight just the other day, the ones that didn't charge extra for pre booking seats were simply more expensive overall than the likes of Easyjet etc, even with seat booking.

Also, you do not always know why a stranger may not want to move seats and may have a genuine health (or other) reason (not that they need to justify not wanting to move for someone who hasn't pre-booked). If you are against paying for pre-booked seats but your morality/tightness potentially impacts on the rights of others who have paid, then perhaps you need to accept what you get and not expect to have your cake and eat it.

LadyBryan Wed 19-Jun-13 14:49:27

Great post Ophelia

At the end of the day, if you think the airline is morally corrupt - vote with your feet. Don't vote by placing your child on some poor unsuspecting adult.

And if you're still willing to fly - well then the objections aren't that great!

CloudsAndTrees Wed 19-Jun-13 14:53:48

There will be people on most flights that have chosen not to pay for booking seats together. They can be asked to move before anyone who has paid is asked to move.

Passengers with children are unlikely to be asked to move. If two adults have gone to the extra expense of booking seats together, then sitting together obviously matters to them.

Ask them to move for your children if you want to, but take cash so that you can reimburse them what they have paid. Don't expect them to do it for nothing.

I can do human decency, but not for people who would expect me to pay for them to sit next to their child.

MNEdBlackpoolWiganandSalford Wed 19-Jun-13 14:57:10

My general feeling is that adults travelling alone will have prebooked their seats for a reason, fear or medical. Otherwise you would just get on the plane and not care.

I find it difficult that someone has such strong beliefs about paying something is so happy for someone else to have to pay financially and then move for them.

Nannyowl Wed 19-Jun-13 15:01:25

I haven't read the whole thread, but think it is cruel to children to sit them away from a parent, if they are young or would be distressed. Also not fair on another passenger to sit next to an unaccompanied (so to speak) child. So would advice choosing another airline or booking a seat if that's what you need to do. Why can't everyone be allocated a seat ? like theatre bookings?

CloudsAndTrees Wed 19-Jun-13 15:06:00

When you make theatre bookings, you can't always get three or four seats together unless you book a long way in advance.

SoupDragon Wed 19-Jun-13 15:38:02

I would do what I needed to do to ensure they weren't a nuisance

Everything except pay to ensure you were sitting together.

TimeofChange Wed 19-Jun-13 15:39:32

I look forward to the time when the Internet system collapses either permanently or temporarily and no doubt it will one day.

Who would have predicted flights being cancelled because of volcanic dust?

SoupDragon Wed 19-Jun-13 15:47:24

Yes because that will prove... er nothing.

Firstly, it is clear that it is the airlines who are causing this situation, by the way they are charging for allocated seating.

However, to those like impecuniousmarmoset and differentnameforthis, who are saying 'if you don't move out of the seat you have paid extra for, then you will have to deal with my child, and will have a nightmare flight', I would say that that that is blackmail.

I also think tomorrowisanotherday is getting a very hard time. She obviously has very real anxiety issues around flying, and needs the security of knowing where she and her family will be sitting. She is. It just saying she wouldn't move to be difficult or selfish - it would be a real hardship for her.

DarkWinter Wed 19-Jun-13 16:02:04

Simple answer to all this: Never take your children on holiday. Hope that helps everyone!

OldBeanbagz Wed 19-Jun-13 16:03:46

Air France expected my DD to sit on her own when we were transfered onto their flight as our KLM one couldn't take off.

It was a 11 hour flight and my DD was 4 years old at the time!

Luckily my DH managed to persuade someone to swap seats with him. I was on the other side of the plane with my DS. Thankfully they'd seated us together as even though he was under 2, we'd paid for a seat.

I'd never take the chance on not being seated together. Imagine if there was a problem, wouldn't you want to be with your children?

We were on a flight recently which had to turn back due to 'cockpit control problems' and the little girl behind us was hysterical. If her parents hadn't been there, there's no way she would have calmed down.

OddBoots Wed 19-Jun-13 16:06:40

Holidays involving flights anyway, DarkWinter.

Bearbehind Wed 19-Jun-13 16:07:38

Or even better dark never get on a plane at all then you're not even filling the fat cat airline companies pockets at all.

SoupDragon Wed 19-Jun-13 16:07:40

Or you could just factor in all the costs before booking.

It's morally wrong to expect young children to sit apart from their parents and unfair on other passengers. I said to DH that I won't take the children on a flight unless we have reserved seats. It made for a stress-free flight at Xmas with Easyjet. They are more family-friendly. Ryanair are all about the £££££. DH seemed to think that people would be moved so young dcs can sit with their dps. I will make him read this because I told him this is not the case.

KateSMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 19-Jun-13 16:31:21
ophelia275 Wed 19-Jun-13 16:32:36

I don't get why people would pay for flights and then get all huffity about paying a bit extra for the convenience of sitting with your loved ones. If you don't want to pay extra because you are against capitalism/profit making by the airlines then you need to go the whole hog and not book any flights whatsoever. I find it a bit strange that people take a moral stance over paying a few pounds to pre-book a seat (for their own convenience and comfort) but are happy to pay hundreds for the flight in the first place. Once again, if you don't like the airline policies you can choose not to fly or take alternative routes such as by car/train (to continent) or by ship (although all these will also have their bugbears).

NiceTabard Wed 19-Jun-13 16:36:41

I don't travel on these airlines with my family.
I am struggling to understand why people think it is reasonable for the airlines to place toddlers away from the people they are travelling with, from a safety POV.
And I am saddened that there are people who have stated that they would do things like taking a 2yo out of its seat and send it away, not assisting with oxygen masks, or refusing to call a steward if a child was distressed, ill or needed the toilet.

That kind of summarises where I'm coming from.

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 16:47:20

i think it is really awful that if someone found themselves next to a distressed 2yo they would simply unclip their belt and put them in the aisle. That is really dangerous and just mind-boggling. I feel a bit shaky reading that. It's a huge safety issue and just so unbelievably callous.

Exactly! And people have dared to question my parenting because I refuse to be a sheep & pay extra for what is essentially a safety aspect on all flights!

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 16:48:24

I would say that that that is blackmail

My daughter has the right to sit in a seat that I have paid for. Where else do you suggest I put her? In the hold?

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 16:52:15

If your child is likely to wander around/throw up etc then you have a responsibility as a parent to ensure your seat is with theirs. And unfortunately if that means paying for it, then sobeit.

I have not refused to pay for a seat. I have refused to be conned into paying extra as my child sitting with me should be a given, not a luxury I should be conned in paying for.

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 16:54:01

False concern for my children?

What, buying them a seat rather than I dunno...sitting them on the wing!

theoriginalandbestrookie Wed 19-Jun-13 16:59:23

Just checked the Ryanair charges. Priority boarding which pretty much guarantees you a seat together is £7 pp, reserved seating is £10 or £15 pp dependant on the route. For Easyjet it is from £3 per seat.

These don't seem huge charges when you factor in that if you book far enough in advance then you can get good deals on the flights.

I appreciate that people think they should automatically be seated with their young children from a safety perspective, and I'm sure where possible reputable airlines will try to facilitate that - Not Ryanair, with them I'm pretty sure you're on your own.

I'm with Ophelia275, I can't see why any responsible parent wouldn't rather pay the £7 or £3 pp rather than taking the chance. We had to fly Ryanair on our last shared family holiday, two families paid for priority boarding, one didn't, they were lucky enough to get seated all together, but why take that risk. The flights for a family of 4 cost around £1000, was it really worth the extra stress aggro to avoid paying an additional £28 each way.

LtEveDallas Wed 19-Jun-13 17:00:11

i think it is really awful that if someone found themselves next to a distressed 2yo they would simply unclip their belt and put them in the aisle

Who said that NiceTabard, could you point it out please?

Bearbehind Wed 19-Jun-13 17:09:21

Exactly! And people have dared to question my parenting because I refuse to be a sheep & pay extra for what is essentially a safety aspect on all flights!

But you can be enough of a sheep to book the bloody flights in the first place!

It is not a legal safety requirement and it is made perfectly clear that if you want this adding to your flight bill you can chose to do so.

If you believe so strongly it is a safety requirement why don't you fucking pay for it. Not all things that make things safer are free- cycle helmets for instance.

You do not deserve to have a seat where you want without paying just because you have a child- that is massively entitled and unacceptable.

Differentnameforthis - I did not say your child did not have a right to sit in a seat you have paid for. Nor did I suggest they should travel in the hold (though I suspect some parents would pay extra for that option).

You said that, if someone who had paid for allocated seating did not want to move from that seat so a parent could sit with their child, then they would have have a nightmare of a flight, dealing with that child screaming, vomiting, demanding help and entertainment. That smacks of blackmail to me. It is saying, "I haven't paid for allocated seating, but I expect you to give up the seat you have paid extra to have and if you don't, you will have a horrible flight".

I do get that this is a problem that has been created by the airlines. They could make things better by automatically offering to refund the extra fee people pay to allocate seats in advance, if a member of the party has to move to allow a parent to sit with a child. That would probably make people more willing to help.

Or they could open only a certain percentage of the seats on a flight for pre-allocation, then they could allow parents with children (or others with specific needs) onto the flight first, to get first pick of the non-allocated seating, followed by those with allocated seats, and then the rest. That, I think, would solve things - people could pay to pre-allocate their seats if they chose, and parents would have reasonable confidence that they'd get seats together if they chose not to pay extra.

But if a parent makes the decision not to pay extra to allocate seats, then they are gambling on either being lucky enough to find seats together or on the fact that someone else will move for them - but that is their choice and their gamble, and if it doesn't pay off, they can't blame anyone else for this - under the current booking rules, of course.

NiceTabard Wed 19-Jun-13 17:13:12

Come off it eve you know fine well who said it.

As you can't edit MN I assume it is still there.

LtEveDallas Wed 19-Jun-13 17:22:59

If you are talking about me NiceTabard, then considering I even quoted te post I was quite clearly talking about differentnames badly behaved 4 year old - the one that thinks its funny to climb all over people and kick chairs. Not a 'distressed 2 year old'. There are enough strawmen on this thread as it is.

A distressed 2 year old I would guide back to their mother and tell her that their child needed them, once the seatbelt sign was off of course.

2rebecca Wed 19-Jun-13 17:26:36

It sounds as though it would be best for all if when booking flights for children the airline insisted you prebooked the seats and only allowed adults to sit wherever on the day, that way it is more obviously part of the package.
Ryan air's current system is mad as on the last flight with them i had prebooked a seat but found someone else sitting on it as there are always folk who start boarding before they should and there is nothing to show that certain seats are reserved. The easyjet system where everyone knows their seat number before boarding is more sensible, including seats in the basic fare and just paying extra for extra leg room is best, but you get what you pay for and if you CHOOSE to fly with an airline where you pay extra to get seats together then you have to pay extra if that's what you want.
People with kids aren't necessarily poorer than those without so why should they be exempt?

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 17:27:28

But you can be enough of a sheep to book the bloody flights in the first place!

Thankfully the airlines here all still understand that people shouldn't be charged extra to sit with their children, so no, I don't pay additional for that.

It isn't blackmail at all. I really don't see how you can think it is. My child would be sat in her seat. I wouldn't expect anyone to move. But that is her seat, she is entitled to sit in it. It would only be blackmail of I FORCED the person in the seat next to her to stay there, which of course, I do not have the power to do.

At least I know not to book easyjet ot Ryanair in the future.

LadyBryan Wed 19-Jun-13 17:28:11


If you call being guaranteed a seat next to your seat "conned" then fair enough.

Yes, you have paid for your daughter to sit in A seat. Not a SPECIFIED seat. By not paying you are basically saying either those that have paid have to move / "hello Mrs Random, please do babysit my child for me"

The charges are not exorbitant. £10 per person. So you pay £20 for peace of mind and a GUARANTEE for sitting with your child who needs to sit with you (I note this need isn't enough to warrant £20.....)

CloudsAndTrees Wed 19-Jun-13 17:28:22

I very much doubt that the vast majority of people who have been expected to babysit a two year old would actually remove their seatbelt and shove them into the aisle. hmm

I would easily ignore someone else's two year old if they were seated next to me because their parents had turned down the option of seats together, in exactly the same way that anyone else in the vicinity would have to, but that doesn't mean I'd be horrible.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 19-Jun-13 17:30:21

My child would be sat in her seat. I wouldn't expect anyone to move. But that is her seat, she is entitled to sit in it.

I don't think anyone has said any different have they? A well behaved 9yp should be no problem at all to six next to.

impecuniousmarmoset Wed 19-Jun-13 17:30:43

Actually Eve you said 'your 2 year old would be lifted into the aisle and told to find his mother.' Not quite the same as 'guiding him back', is it!!

And the seatbelt sign takes a good 20 minutes to turn off. I'm not blackmailing, I'm merely stating a fact that by 20 minutes of acute distress at his volume, you'd probably be prepared to pay me to change seatssmile

LadyBryan Wed 19-Jun-13 17:31:20

My point completely CloudsAndTrees.

I would be giving my attention to my child. You know, whilst baa-ing at her that I've paid for the chance to sit next to her....

CelticPromise Wed 19-Jun-13 17:31:59

Well I'm getting an education on this thread. I honestly thought that very few people would bother to pay for reserved seating, I skip over it in the same way as I skip the 'bargain' insurance or in flight meals. I rarely fly, and this hasn't been going long, and I don't think ( as I've said over and over again) that anyone should have to move to accommodate me. The airline should accommodate me or DH sitting with 3yo DS anywhere on the plane. Easyjet and others in fact do accommodate this as someone pointed out. Since it would take a dire emergency to get me to fly Ryanair I should think I'll be alright.

impecuniousmarmoset Wed 19-Jun-13 17:32:28

'I would easily ignore someone else's two year old if they were seated next to me because their parents had turned down the option of seats together, in exactly the same way that anyone else in the vicinity would have to, but that doesn't mean I'd be horrible.'

My god, if you have a lone 2-year-old next to you, with all the distress and needs that that entails, then ignoring them is about as horrible as it gets!

CelticPromise Wed 19-Jun-13 17:34:17

Oh and whoever mentioned planes are getting more like trains, you can reserve seats for free on a train, you don't pay for under 5s and you get discounted child fares. Much more civilised all round.

SoupDragon Wed 19-Jun-13 17:35:08

I've searched but can't find anyone who said they would unclip a child's seatbelt and put them in the aisle.

TheYamiOfYawn Wed 19-Jun-13 17:36:00

When I last flew, Ryanair charged £35 per person per flight, making a total additional cost of £280 to pay in order to dit together. That was far more than I could afford for a four day trip to Ireland for a family wedding. We just arrived quite early and did our best to be at the front of the queue for seats. There was plenty of space on the plane anyway.

SoupDragon Wed 19-Jun-13 17:36:27

My god, if you have a lone 2-year-old next to you, with all the distress and needs that that entails, then ignoring them is about as horrible as it gets!

You clearly missed the bit where she said if they were seated next to me because their parents had turned down the option of seats together

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 17:37:02

4 year old would be lifted into the aisle and told to go and find her mother.

How is a 4yr old different to a 2yr old? You would have no right removing the seat bet of either & leaving them to wonder around on their own.

Regardless, my daughter (if you read my follow up posts) is nothing like that when we travel together. She was pretty bloody amazing on long haul flights recently. I cannot guarantee that if I can't sit with her, of course. It is up to the airline to make sure I am supervising my children, it isn't up to me to pay them extra to ensure it.

NiceTabard Wed 19-Jun-13 17:38:16

You are supposed to keep your seatbelt on at all times during flights these days, unless you need to get up for the loo or something.

Undoing a 2yo seatbelt, putting it in the aisle and telling it to "find it's mother" is ridiculous. The child might be travelling with it's father or someone else, it is unlikely to know which way to go to find it's carer, it possibly won't be very good at speaking yet. Also they are not able to look around easily as they cannot see over the seats or even probably around people very well. Plus it is just dangerous to send a toddler off on a plane by itself - what if the seatbelt sign comes on? What if it can't find it's mum and decides to hide or goes and locks itself in the toilet or something?

Just really dangerous and callous.

NiceTabard Wed 19-Jun-13 17:39:23


"It would still be you dealing with it wouldn't it! And you can tell my 2-year-old what you like, cos he won't really get what you're talking about

No it wouldn't. I wasn't actually talking to you, but your 2 year old would be lifted into the aisle and told to find his mother. "

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 17:39:43

I've searched but can't find anyone who said they would unclip a child's seatbelt and put them in the aisle.

I looked a little harder than you did...

LtEveDallas Wed 19-Jun-13 11:25:44

4 year old would be lifted into the aisle and told to go and find her mother

OhCobblers Wed 19-Jun-13 17:40:09

We booked with Thomson this year and I was told that my husband and I could sit with one child each (4 and 6 years) without having to pay to pre-allocate however there was no guarantee that the 4 of us would all be together so I've just forked out another £50 to make sure we do! Possibly a little necessary but would rather we weren't at oppos ends of the plane!

NiceTabard Wed 19-Jun-13 17:40:16

I would have thought a 4yo would have a better chance of finding who they are travelling with on a plane, than a 2yo? They are taller, and can communicate much better.

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 17:42:23

Quite possibly, NiceTabard But I still don't think anyone would have the right to unsecure a child & leave them in the aisle.

impecuniousmarmoset Wed 19-Jun-13 17:43:42

'if they were seated next to me because their parents had turned down the option of seats together'

I didn't miss it - I just don't think that refusing to pay extra for a safety essential on a flight constitutes moral degeneracy such that you are entitled to behave incredibly, astonishingly callously to a lone 2-year-old.

I have to say, this thread has been an education for me too. I genuinely had no idea people thought like this!

NiceTabard Wed 19-Jun-13 17:44:45

No. My younger DD is nearly 4 and I don't think she would be able to find someone on a plane very easily.

Under the booking and seat allocation system as it exists now, if a parent decides not to pay extra to book allocated seating, then it is their gamble, and they are responsible for the consequences to themselves and their child if the gamble doesn't pay off.

I would not be happy at having paid extra for allocated seating, then being expected to give it up to someone who had chosen not to pay for it and who expected me to move, and lose the money I had forked out, to sort out their problem.

I probably would move - but whether I did so willingly or reluctantly would depend on whether the parent who was asking for my seat was asking pleasantly and was apologetic for the inconvenience to me, or whether they were expecting someone (me) was going to move for them. And I would be pretty pissed off at the airline for taking my money for pre-booking allocated seating, and then making me give up my seat without offering a refund.

LadyBryan Wed 19-Jun-13 17:45:40


However you dress is up the airline are giving you perfect opportunity to supervise your children. If you don't want to pay for it, well then that's your look out. But neither is it anyone else's responsibility to make sure your children are adequately supervised.

I am honestly a touch amazed that anyone thinks its ok to affect someone elses journey like that.

And you keep saying "yes well I paid for my daughter to have a seat" - the thing is, so did every other person on the flight. And I as a parent think its my responsbility to do my absolutely damndest to make sure my child doesn't make the flight uncomfortable for any other paying passenger

NiceTabard Wed 19-Jun-13 17:46:18

It's people who are travelling alone and haven't reserved a seat who get asked to move, generally. Most people travelling for work don't book IME as they are by themselves and unencumbered and don't really mind where they sit.

NiceTabard Wed 19-Jun-13 17:48:26

Surprised that people think it is acceptable for airlines to do this from a safety POV.

I can't see who is advantaged by a toddler being seated alone. Could potentially be disasterous for the airline in emergency situation.

I reckon it'll take some kind of news-worthy event and the existing guidelines will be made rules.

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 17:48:51

NiceTabard You are right actually. When we travelled both of my girls walked straight passed our row of seats each & every time we got up for the toilet. Come to think of it, I did once or twice too. Especially when we weren't sat with dh, because I didn't have the back of his head as a reference for where we were sitting grin

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 17:52:58


I have absolutely no fucking objection to supervising my child.
I have no objection to paying for a seat for her, me & anyone else who I am travelling with. That is my end of the contract, to buy all appropriate persons a seat to sit it.

It is NOT up to me to make sure I pay extra to reserve my seats, because I have paid them already. I don't care where my seats are, but if the airline want me to supervise my children, they will damn well make sure I am sat with them.

If they don't do so, I am not making anyone else travel any journey like anything. I don't allocate seats, the airline do & if their staff are too stupid to sit me with my children, it is not my fault.

differentnameforthis Wed 19-Jun-13 17:53:55

And I as a parent think its my responsbility to do my absolutely damndest to make sure my child doesn't make the flight uncomfortable for any other paying passenger

And I will do exactly that to the best of my ability with what the airline give me.

TheSecondComing Wed 19-Jun-13 17:55:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

impecuniousmarmoset Wed 19-Jun-13 17:55:35

'if a parent decides not to pay extra to book allocated seating, then it is their gamble, and they are responsible for the consequences to themselves and their child if the gamble doesn't pay off.'

Well this is where our moral universes differ. It doesn't matter what I think of the parent - they could be a mass murderer for all I care. If there is a lone two-year-old next to me on a plane, i would consider it my moral duty to ensure that it does not come to harm. If I do not do this, it is MY fault if harm ensues.

I'm guessing that the woman who failed to intercept my toddler running towards water took the same attitude as you. She gave me a dirty look as I ran and screamed towards him, but failed to do a thing about it (he ran right past her, straight towards a lake). Sure it was my fault, but she was actually prepared to let my toddler drown to make a point about my 3-second lapse in supervision. Pretty depressing stuff!

"It is NOT up to me to make sure I pay extra to reserve my seats, because I have paid them already. I don't care where my seats are, but if the airline want me to supervise my children, they will damn well make sure I am sat with them. "

I actually agree with this, to a certain extent. But you know what the system is, and you know what the risks are when you don't pay in advance to get allocated seating - you risk not sitting next to your child - so your decision makes you responsible too.

And the one group of people who are not responsible for your situation are the people who have prebooked allocated seating, but it is they who end up being inconvenienced. Why should they be responsible for sorting out the results of your decision and the airline's policy?

OhCobblers Wed 19-Jun-13 18:01:35


impecuniousmarmoset Wed 19-Jun-13 18:01:51

Gah. 90% of flights are not allocated!!! No-one is asking allocated seat-holders to move!!!!

impecuniousmarmoset Wed 19-Jun-13 18:02:12

I mean 90% of seats, sorry.

LadyBryan Wed 19-Jun-13 18:03:33

That's fine - your choice, your risk. But exceedingly stressful for you should the situation ever arise when no-one will move <shrug> and it may be that everyone is saying flippantly "oh how wonderful, someone else watching my child for the flight, I'd sleep or read". But if it were my child I REALLY wouldn't be thinking I was doing my best parenting foisting them off on someone else because I was too tight to guarantee our seats being together. And I would spend the entire flight stressed out beyond belief to know that they weren't with me.

OhCobblers Wed 19-Jun-13 18:03:44

Oh c**p that was in relation to my post earlier!

Lasvegas Wed 19-Jun-13 18:04:52

We flew BA from Switzerland. 2 adults and one 10 year old child. They split all 3 ofjs up. We were not late checking in. Had an argument at desk as husband has gold frequent flyer status but they didn't care.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought there were accounts on this thread of people who had paid for allocated seating having to move to allow a parent and child to sit together.

Bearbehind Wed 19-Jun-13 18:07:29

but if the airline want me to supervise my children, they will damn well make sure I am sat with them.

So you'lll only supervise your children if the airline want you to. If they are happy to seat your children away from you then you won't bother your arse? Nice hmm

hippohugger Wed 19-Jun-13 18:13:06

Just to say, we fly longhaul several times a year with young children. For all those bitching that it's crap parents refusing to pay, this is not always the case. I pay when I can, but sometimes (maybe 30 - 40% of bookings?) all pre-bookable seats are already sold. So we have to argue the case on board and switch. It's stressful and worrying for us, and seriously fucking annoying for people who have paid for those seats. But we have always, always ended up next to the kids (often not all together, which is fine). It also requires knowledge of the seat booking system on that airline, which I have, but I assume many do not. (To know when more seats will become available for purchase, etc).

But... and I want to stress this for the "I will not be moved because you are feckless" crowd... IT IS NOT MY FAULT.

This is on major national and international carriers, not RyanAir. And for flights of up to 12 hours.

And by the way, the cost per seat on AA is £75 for some longhaul flights. I pay it, but it is a considerable cost.

LtEveDallas Wed 19-Jun-13 18:13:31

Actually Eve you said 'your 2 year old would be lifted into the aisle and told to find his mother.' Not quite the same as 'guiding him back', is it!!

Again my original comment wasn't about your child impecunious, and I quantified that at the time. However I made the above statement following your assertion that your child would be also be a pain in the ass, just like differentnames. No once did you say that your child would be "distressed", in fact you seemed to find it very funny that someone would be stuck with your child and how badly your child would behave.

Had you have said your child would be distressed, then my reply would have been different. But you didn't. Are you changing your statement now? Because if you are saying that your child would be distressed, then why on earth would you, as his mother, put him through that for the sake of a few quid. I think that is a rotten thing to do to your child and wouldn't dream of putting my daughter through that.

hippohugger Wed 19-Jun-13 18:16:08

SDTG... I can guarantee that people who have paid for seats have had to move. I have both moved for someone else's child, and had others moved for me... we all moved out of paid-for seats.

It is a terrible, divisive, stressful and unsafe policy on the part of the airlines. There are moves in the US to legislate against it.

crashdoll Wed 19-Jun-13 18:19:01

I've read this entire thread and LOL at the twit poster who said this: "Ooh, how about charging for the privilege of using stairs to access the plane? Those who don't cough up have to use a climbing wall to get onto the plane - if they're lucky. The disabled can just pay extra or not fly, I guess." Yeah, because the legislation protecting a disabled person's right to have reasonable adjustments made is totally the same as having to pay for chosen seating. grin

Mrsrobertduvall Wed 19-Jun-13 18:19:12

We always prebook (never fly Ryanair/Easyjet) as dd and I have very long legs and need extra legroom.
We book 2 seats together, and 2 behind for ds and dh.
No one under the age of 12 can sit next to us as we are close to emergency exit have to be able to get out independently, so that solves the problem of having random children next to us.
Dd has great anxiety and ocd so we have to make sure she is seated appropriately.

Airlines are not going to change their systems...there are always people wanting to fly.
Would I move from my prebooked seat to accommodate a family sitting