To Thank Thomas Cook for clarifying the matter of paying to sit beside your children

(295 Posts)
Groovee Sat 29-Jun-13 02:57:19

I flew Thomas Cook today to Florida. I paid extra for seats together and got to choose where we were sitting.

We decided to go on last because we had seats and there were near the cabin door. When I got settled a family were not happy that they had 5 single seats. The cabin crew were quite adamant that they could not ask customers who have paid to choose their seats to move.

So last weeks thread is solved gringringringrin

heidihole Sat 29-Jun-13 03:35:04

We're any of the 5 family members small children? Did Thomas cook make toddlers/preschoolers sit alone?!

samandi Sat 29-Jun-13 04:17:49


BoneyBackJefferson Sat 29-Jun-13 07:42:41

"Did Thomas cook make toddlers/preschoolers sit alone?!*

Surely the parents made the children sit alone?

TimeofChange Sat 29-Jun-13 07:50:34

Here we go again.

A business that provides a service to the public has a Duty of Care to its clients.
It has Risk Assessments and Method Statements that covers every aspect of the service.

If a child is molested by the random stranger/s that the airline has put next to the child, rather than its carer, the airline has failed in its duty of care.

No doubt a court case is required, but god help the molested child.

Ilovesunflowers Sat 29-Jun-13 08:02:01

Molested? Surrounded by 200 people. Doubtful.

DarkWinter Sat 29-Jun-13 08:06:59

Love how these threads instantly fall prey to paedophile fear-mongering! Never fails.

littlewhitebag Sat 29-Jun-13 08:11:03

I think what OP is clarifying is that the airline can't make you move if you have paid extra for specific seats. It is up to families to ensure they have got seats together before they go. I don't think being molested was ever raised. That is frankly ridiculous.

I must admit that a little while ago I was on a plane where no-one had booked their individual seats and a family of 4 got on at the last minute. The mother had the baby on her lap, but the dad had to sit away from them as did the little girl (probably about 3yo), she was heartbroken. I wanted to swap with them but my own DS was scarred of flying (first time, well second, as we were on the way home) and really needed me to sit next to him. I was really shock that none of the couples offered to swap. The flight was only an hour long. Surely it wouldn't really hurt to sit apart from your DP for an hour. Listening to this little girl crying was awful. I know, I know, that there is no obligation to move, that the people already on the plane had arrived in plenty of time and this family could have done the same, I have no idea why they were running late - possibly organised transport from hotel was delayed, possibly they were just disorganised, No idea. But really, no-one would swap, isn't that a bit sad?

learnasyougo Sat 29-Jun-13 08:17:50

it IS possible to be molested among 200 people.

a stray hand or whispered words are enough.

Also, other people nearby will assume the adult is known to the kid (this happened to me at a fairground. The ride staff assumed the man in the queue behind me was my dad. I was stuck sitting next to him and didn't have the confidence to speak up to ask to move.

kids should be next to a relative as STANDARD imo. with adults it's not so important.

as a child I would have been too scared to ask to go to the toilet, or say if if feel sick.

is the airline prepared to treat separated children as an unaccompanied child?

Coconutty Sat 29-Jun-13 08:19:16

Thanks for clarifying, I bet it felt nice to have paid to sit together and not to have had a long flight all separated. I'm glad I've pre booked mine. Would hate for DCs to be miles away.

<wonders if this thread will be as long as the last one>

learnasyougo Sat 29-Jun-13 08:20:22

oh and the guy at the fairground DID abuse his opportunity. He was feeling my bum. I was 14. longest three minutes of my life.

BoundandRebound Sat 29-Jun-13 08:20:41

Its the Parents' responsibility-pay extra or be first in line

TimeofChange Sat 29-Jun-13 08:22:59

The following is taken from the SF Weekly News:

In going over the news stories, court documents, and FBI reports on the molestation cases, certain patterns begin to emerge. The predators were all adult males, although they did not fit any other stereotype. One was a computer consultant from India. Two were Hasidic Jews. Another was a world-renowned hairdresser from Savannah, Georgia.

In a majority of the instances, a man switched seats to be next to a child traveling alone. Also, a significant number of the reported molestations occurred on evening flights, when the victim and any potential witnesses were asleep. Several children reported that when the touching began, it seemed accidental or even well intentioned, and only later crossed the line.

In many of the stories, a representative from the airline explained that short of placing a flight attendant beside each traveling minor, there was nothing that could be done to prevent these incidents. America's Aviation Consumer Protection Division — a branch of the U.S. Department of Transportation — declined to comment on the issue of unaccompanied minors, although it does put out an information packet titled "When Kids Fly Alone." The first two lines read: "Many children fly alone. There are no Department of Transportation regulations concerning travel by these 'unaccompanied minors.'"

TimeofChange Sat 29-Jun-13 08:26:14
mezza123 Sat 29-Jun-13 08:26:39

IME cabin crew don't actually know their own company's policies, or at least don't always adhere to them. How old were the kids in this case?

TimeofChange Sat 29-Jun-13 09:05:18
DarkWinter Sat 29-Jun-13 09:08:10

<sigh> it's really rather sad that this fear-mongering goes on.

TimeofChange Sat 29-Jun-13 09:09:25

Paying extra to pre book seats originally was aimed at long legged people who were willing to pay extra for more legroom.

CheeryCherry Sat 29-Jun-13 09:17:02

Surely families know the risk of being split up in the plane? They either pay up or take a gamble, parental choice. I doubt an innocent single passenger wants to be next to an unknown child... partly for fear of being accused of something.
Pay up or be first in the queue.

MadeOfStarDust Sat 29-Jun-13 09:17:48

When we travel with kids we suck it up and pay to be together.... when we travel alone or as a couple we don't....

as a family who have paid extra, we would not move... as a couple who haven't paid extra I would move (and have twice)

We have no fear of predatory monsters - just a fear that if the kids needed us when you cannot safely leave a seat, we would not be there.

Longdistance Sat 29-Jun-13 09:18:44

You pay for a flight, and that's enough.

Airlines are cashing in on people for pre booking seats.

Personally I think it's a disgrace having to pay extra. They'll be asking for passengers to pay for oxygen next hmm gives airlines an idea

TimeofChange Sat 29-Jun-13 09:26:19

Dark: I do not 'see' child molesters every where, but how can anyone think it is ok for a child to be sat next to random strangers, away from their family, on a plane for hours.

You might be surrounded by 200 people, but none of them can actually see what may be happening under the blanket or coat, hear what is being said, or see what films are played on an ipad.

Would you accept a stranger, totally unknown to anyone, get on the school trip bus and sit next to your child?
You would not expect to pay extra for this not to happen.

onedev Sat 29-Jun-13 09:30:46

I agree Longdistance - it's shocking behaviour on behalf of the airlines simply because they can get away with it.

BoundandRebound Sat 29-Jun-13 09:35:37

It's a shopping list now though so you need to adjust your perceptions of flight booking

Budget price
Seated together

Is the price you pay for your holiday, as a family you can't pay the cheaper fare because it doesn't meet your needs.

It's like saying you must give me this organic free range chicken for factory farmed prices. It is not the same thing

exoticfruits Sat 29-Jun-13 09:36:07

On a bus or a train of course your DC might sit next to a stranger. Strangers don't go on school trips!
The mind boggles at the imagination that people have about being molested under blankets etc. Do people not do 'what if ...........' Scenarios with their DCs? I would think that a loud 'stop touching me now' would do the trick- if they dared risk it in the first place. At 2yrs I embarrassed my mother when the bus conductor helped her by picking me up by saying 'put me down at once'! Therefore I am sure that an older child could manage it.
I think it common sense that airlines sit families together without getting more money out of them. However if I have paid to choose my seat then I am not moving.

Wonder how many paedophiles book flights on the off chance that they might be seated next to a stray child so they can get their pervy kicks. Airports must be full of them.

BringOn2014 Sat 29-Jun-13 09:43:57

exotic what you have just written is truly offensive to people who have been abused and just smacks of victim blaming. A 2yr old should be able to shout 'stop touching me now' ??!
You clearly dont know how terrifying it is to be in that kind of position so until you have been abused yourself and realise how difficult it is to 'speak up' just fuck off.

exoticfruits Sat 29-Jun-13 09:47:23

Sorry- I made that mistake once before and forgot. A 2 yr old isn't going to be away from a parent anyway. I would make it quite plain that you are allowed to shout and make a fuss- children are programmed to think that they can't hit them hard and yell. People round about will help- you are packed like sardines.

exoticfruits Sat 29-Jun-13 09:48:25

An airline can't put a real infant away from the carer.

StayAwayFromTheEdge Sat 29-Jun-13 09:49:35

When it comes down to airlines keep their prices low by adding in optional extras. It seems pretty clear that if you want to sit together that this is something you have to budget for and pay for, or risk sitting apart.

If you aren't bothered about being together you benefit by having cheaper airfare.

I don't really see the problem.

Longdistance Sat 29-Jun-13 09:50:16

My dd1 at 2 could barely speak, let alone tell someone to not touch her.

I agree Bing well out of order exotic

It's only time when the airlines will be banned from cashing in on their passengers.

StayAwayFromTheEdge Sat 29-Jun-13 09:51:48

Longdistance - The airlines will make the same money regardless of a ban on seating payments - they will just increase the price of a basic ticket for all.

exoticfruits Sat 29-Jun-13 09:52:08

I have apologised.
I still think they can't sit a 2yr old away from the carer.
Thomas Cook are useless anyway- they booked us, as a family of 4, into seats that didn't exist! We then got split up.

exoticfruits Sat 29-Jun-13 09:53:36

Prices look good on Easyjet until you realise that your suitcase could cost more than your seat!

Longdistance Sat 29-Jun-13 09:55:37

Stay away it's not the case of low airfares, it's the case of greedy fat cat airline CEO's, on what can we charge passengers for next, as they won't want to buy our soggy sandwiches, and booze.

SoupDragon Sat 29-Jun-13 09:56:30

Would you accept a stranger, totally unknown to anyone, get on the school trip bus and sit next to your child?

You would not expect to pay extra for this not to happen.

I already do pay to ensure this doesn't happen. That's why they are on a school trip with only approved travellers. Otherwise I'd stick them on public transport for less.

StayAwayFromTheEdge Sat 29-Jun-13 09:58:01

Rubbish - they know how much profit they need to make and will adjust prices accordingly. Airfare is ridiculously cheap on the low cost airlines - if you want to the extras you need to pay.

SoupDragon Sat 29-Jun-13 09:58:22

Paying for prebooked seating is not something that was ever included in the airfare. Allowing people to do so is an optional extra. In the Old Days you simply turned up to check in as early as possible. It's not like the airlines are charging for something that used to be free.

crashdoll Sat 29-Jun-13 10:18:53

I'm not sure why so many MNers are fixated on 'stranger danger' paedo hysteria when most children are sexually abused by adults who are well known to them.

CloudsAndTrees Sat 29-Jun-13 10:19:46

Being someone who pays, I'm glad to hear that Thomas Cook didn't ask anyone who had paid to move, but I'd still like to know if this family of five included small children.

Without that information the OP is pretty much useless.

MidniteScribbler Sat 29-Jun-13 10:43:26

I was really that none of the couples offered to swap. The flight was only an hour long. Surely it wouldn't really hurt to sit apart from your DP for an hour.

If I'm travelling with someone, then I want to actually travel with them. I would pay for the privilege of doing so if necessary. Regardless of whether it is a child, partner, parent, sibling, cousin or friend, why should I have to sit apart from my travelling companion, just because someone else wants to try and make a point and not pay?

LtEveDallas Sat 29-Jun-13 10:55:43

I'm not sure this confirms or clears anything up. A number of people on the other thread stated that they had seen children split from their families and others posted that they themselves had been split from partners etc (myself included).

I think it remains clear that until airlines stop wanting to make as much money as they possibly can (yeah right), or until legislation has passed making it LAW for airlines to seat parents and children together, then you either pay your money or take your chance.

What you cannot do is expect airlines or air stewards to move other passengers, especially those who have paid, so that you can be seated together, and neither can you get shirty with other passengers who you make ask to move, but politely refuse.

Groovee Sat 29-Jun-13 10:59:08

The children were not preschoolers. They were age around 10/11 and 8/9.

They had 5 single seats behind each other. That is classed as sitting together apparently.

exoticfruits Sat 29-Jun-13 11:02:21

I think that sums it up LtEveDallas. Even if it is a short flight I want to be sitting next to the people I am with and am not going to swap because they didn't pay to prebook seats. Once the DC is over 7 yrs they can manage for 2/3 hours in a different row.

exoticfruits Sat 29-Jun-13 11:04:21

Well that is fine Grooves- I can't see a problem. We were like that when Thomas Cook booked us into seats that didn't exist. We were close enough and got free drinks because they made a mistake.

Pozzled Sat 29-Jun-13 11:07:02

I'm definitely not one to see a paedophile round every corner, but I do think it would be very easy for strangers to take advantage on a flight if they wanted to. I imagine many children would be in shock, frightened and confused if it happened- not able to confidently yell 'Stop' and ask for help.

I've never flown with my family, but if I did I wouldn't take the risk of not being seated together.

heidihole Sat 29-Jun-13 11:10:16

boneyback I think you misunderstood my comment. I was asking if they were toddlers because I strongly doubted that they would be. OP has now confirmed that they weren't. Personally I don see the problem with a 10 yr old being a few seats from their parent if the parents didn't bother to pay for them to be closer.

If I had a 2 year old and they were seated miles away I'd be upset. But I doubt it happens because common sense would prevail.

exoticfruits Sat 29-Jun-13 11:11:46

I would just pay up.
As they get older you can't rely on always being there and you do have to discuss what they should do if they are uncomfortable, or worse, about a situation.

exoticfruits Sat 29-Jun-13 11:13:07

I really don't think that health and safety would allow a 2year to be separated. 8/9 yrs is fine.

LastTangoInDevonshire Sat 29-Jun-13 11:21:37

How come nearly every thread on MN lately turns into paedo/abuse/not smoking?

ShellyBoobs Sat 29-Jun-13 11:36:16

It's only time when the airlines will be banned from cashing in on their passengers.

It's a business!

You have a choice of paying for 'extras', like choosing seats, or not paying for extras.

If you want everything included in the price, don't use budget airlines/travel companies; use scheduled flights instead.

Just be prepared to pay 5 to 10 times as much for your tickets.

SybilRamkin Sat 29-Jun-13 11:43:29

What Shelly said.

FFS, all those outraged people talking about how it's the airline's responsibility to sit families together - no it bloody isn't! You are the parent, therefore it's your responsibility to ensure you can look after your children adequately. If this means paying extra or arriving ridiculously early then you must do so. I really hate this culture of parental entitlement that makes people think the world should bend over backwards for them just because they have children!

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 29-Jun-13 11:57:19

I don't think it is because they are parents more that they are paying customers and have paid for every member of their family

Primrose123 Sat 29-Jun-13 11:58:00

Perhaps it should be compulsory to pay for your seat choice when travelling with a child under 6. Then children wouldn't have to sit on their own and people who have paid to reserve seats together won't be expected to move for those who don't.

It is the parent's responsibility to make sure they sit with the child, not the airline's.

Are there any airlines that do not allow passengers to prebook seats? In that case I wouldn't think it s unreasonable to ask others to move.

Thomas Cook managed to book DD and I into a seat with only 1 oxygen mask (old style plane) outbound - they moved all 3 of us. Inbound they booked us in a row with two other infants so again not enough masks - that time we got upgraded. Their booking system seems woeful.

Primrose123 Sat 29-Jun-13 11:59:24


ShellyBoobs Sat 29-Jun-13 12:12:25

I don't think it is because they are parents more that they are paying customers and have paid for every member of their family

And every member of the family will have a seat, so they've got what they paid for.

Eeeeeowwwfftz Sat 29-Jun-13 12:16:59

How much does it really cost the airline to seat family groups near each other, though?

I reckon that for most combinations of family groups that might book themselves onto a flight it would be possible to apply the caa guidelines. It also wouldn't be that difficult to construct an algorithm for doing it - at most a week of a competent programmer's time in my opinion (I consider myself to be one so might put this to the test!). It would only be costly to the airline in the sense that while people believe an actual expense is incurred by optimising the seating arrangements, they can continue to charge for it.

Thinking back to the pre-budget airline era I can't th

Eeeeeowwwfftz Sat 29-Jun-13 12:18:42

Gah. ... I can't think of any instances where our family group didn't sit together. But we didn't fly much so I can't say for sure. Back then many many more tickets had open validity so there was an addition problem of frequent no-shows which would make advance seat allocation difficult. Now everyone has inflexible tickets and checks in months in advance there's no excuse for it really.

CloudsAndTrees Sat 29-Jun-13 12:27:06

How much does it really cost the airline to seat family groups near each other, though?

It won't cost them anything, but that's it the point.

As a business, they have certain costs to cover before they can make a profit for their shareholders, and like most businesses, they face rising costs. Even more so when they are a business that has to contend with rising fuel/oil prices.

They have identified a way they help to meet those costs, and it's optional, so it's better for the majority than putting up the cost of all seats.

Why should every individual that wants or needs to fly have to bear the rising prices? Surely it's better to give each passenger a choice over paying extra, or possibly being seated away from their travelling companions?

If you don't mind where you sit, you don't have to pay. If you do mind where you sit, then you pay extra. Where's the problem?

ShellyBoobs Sat 29-Jun-13 12:29:42

Thinking of the pricing in another way makes more sense.

A ticket is £100 but if you're not bothered where the seat is, you get a £15 discount so it's £85.

If you want seats together, you pay the full price and don't get the discount.

Now how unreasonable does it sound for some parents to demand the discounted price for not having allocated seats but still expect to receive the allocated seats, because they're special?

Utterly ridiculous.

youarewinning Sat 29-Jun-13 12:38:19

Bloody hell times have changed!

I use to work for first choice and know that seats could be previews to garuntee sitting together - however the airline also arranged the seats in advance to check in so families were at least 1 adult with a child.

The no if people asking to change their seats and being told no was high. There is no way nearly every family pre booked - in fact I know it to be true that they didn't!

Nearly every time I have travelled with my DS we have had the 3 seats in our row when the lanes not been at full capacity. This is due to the way the planes are laid out and blocked seating is done. Also added to the fact the no meal clients are placed at the back and I never book a plane meal.

BrianTheMole Sat 29-Jun-13 12:51:57

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.

This is the CAA stance on it. So you don't have to pay more, but you shouldn't be more than one row away. Fwiw I never pay more. If a stranger wants to sit next to my very loud 3 yr old, they can go right ahead. They might regret that decision though. I'll just put my feet up and read my book smile

BlessedDespair Sat 29-Jun-13 13:04:25

This again?

Cheap flights

You get what you pay for - a random seat on a plane (basic price) seats together (a little bit more) if you don't pay don't moan or just don't bother with cheap airlines

Longdistance Sat 29-Jun-13 13:17:40

Nice find there Brian

If only the paying public knew how much money is haemorrhaged for the wrong things in an airline, they'd be rather shock

<taps nose>

SoupDragon Sat 29-Jun-13 13:42:25

If a stranger wants to sit next to my very loud 3 yr old, they can go right ahead. They might regret that decision though. I'll just put my feet up and read my book

Nice attitude.

maddening Sat 29-Jun-13 13:55:40

Why see it as paying more to sit together - surely it is paying less to not sit with specified people - as it is paying less to not take hold luggage etc etc - it is better to be able to taylor your flight and pay for what you need -you need extra luggage, you want to sit as a group (which may leave random single seats - therefore a single traveler who doesn't have a preference can be placed in those spots) you pay for that - you don't want these things then you cost the airline less and they pass on the savings.

captainmummy Sat 29-Jun-13 14:48:29

If a stranger wants to sit next to my very loud 3 yr old, they can go right ahead. They might regret that decision though. I'll just put my feet up and read my book - And if there is an emergency evacuation? Would you expect that kind stranger to help your 3yo out?

BrianTheMole Sat 29-Jun-13 15:25:52

Erm no captain, i'll be barging people out the way to get to my child obviously. Exactly the scenario the CAA want to avoid, hence their stance (as the aircrafts licening authority) to sit people near their children. Why would I pay for that privilage when I don't need to. hmm

SoupDragon Sat 29-Jun-13 15:30:29

Not being next to your child doesn't absolve you of responsibility for their behaviour.

SoupDragon Sat 29-Jun-13 15:31:55

It is easy to see why some people hate flying whist seated near families with small children.

BrianTheMole Sat 29-Jun-13 15:32:34

Well, as I dont need to sit separately from my children, and I never have, its not a problem is it.

LtEveDallas Sat 29-Jun-13 15:41:35

Except Brian in cases like Air France Flight 296 that was linked on the other thread - sometimes the momentum carries you past the people you are trying to reach.

I like the analogy about people being given a discount not to sit together rather than paying a premium to sit together. If the Airlines worded it like that there wouldn't be so much foot stamping about it.

CloudsAndTrees Sat 29-Jun-13 15:44:09

You'll be barging people out of the way, thereby hindering their evacuation of a burning plane, right after you've left them dealing with the drinks/dropped toys/incessant chatting that has come from your child?


According to the guidelines, you could in theory, be seated on a different row, five seats away. That's still classed as being seated with your family.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 29-Jun-13 15:51:57

Surely "peedo" wise a child is safer sitting with strangers than with someone they know as most people are molested by people they know?

As for an emergency situation I am sure a parent would be forcibly prevented from returning to their child and they would have to place their hope in the person with them - the same as any other vulnerable person travelling alone.

BrianTheMole Sat 29-Jun-13 16:11:54

You'll be barging people out of the way, thereby hindering their evacuation of a burning plane, right after you've left them dealing with the drinks/dropped toys/incessant chatting that has come from your child?

Well then it would be more sensible for the airline to sit you next to your children, which is the first choice outlined by the CAA, in the interests of everyones safety, wouldn't it. Lets face it, the airlines know how many adults and children are flying when you book your tickets. Theres nothing to stop them setting aside those seats in accordance with CAA guidelines. Its an absolute con and they rely on peoples fear that they will be sat miles away from their children in order to get vast sums of money out of them, for something that should incur no extra cost.

ShellyBoobs Sat 29-Jun-13 16:17:41

Why would I pay for that privilage when I don't need to.

The CAA don't specify that a child needs to be sat right beside the adult they're travelling with therefore you do need to pay for the 'privilege' if you want to be sure of sitting beside them.

pompeii Sat 29-Jun-13 16:25:25

Its surprises me that people are so gleeful about having to pay a fortune to sit with their travelling companions. It costs the airlines nothing to provide this 'service' and they are blatantly taking the piss.

LtEveDallas Sat 29-Jun-13 16:34:04

No one is arguing that Brian. I think that we are all in agreement that the airlines should seat families together, no matter what.

But they don't and they don't have to

Until they do, then it has to be the responsibility of the parent to do what is right. If you have a child that could look after itself, then you may not feel the need to pay for designated seat, but if your child can't, then surely it is up to you to make sure you do whatever you have to - even if that includes paying- to be with them.

Yes, absolutely, the airlines are bastards and are in the wrong. But they don't care. They are a business. They are going to make money however they can. They don't care about your child, that's why you need to.

Mandy2003 Sat 29-Jun-13 16:40:33

What stops airlines from putting all the people on each booking seated together? How is it more efficient to split up groups that have boarded together (like families)?

Therefore it must be used as yet another reason to get extra money out of travellers?

ShellyBoobs Sat 29-Jun-13 16:45:54

It costs the airlines nothing to provide this 'service' and they are blatantly taking the piss.

Yes, absolutely, the airlines are bastards and are in the wrong.

FFS. They're running a business! If they're currently making £1000 per flight from people paying for extras then the alternative they have is to put prices up across the board.

I actually wish they would, then people would see what a bargain they're getting compared to the price of scheduled flights with premium carriers where the seat choice, food and extra baggage is included.

You have a choice with the budget carriers: either pay for the service you want or don't have it.

If you want 'cheap', do what you need to do have 'cheap'. If you want a different service from the business then pay for it.

It's not rocket science is it?

CloudsAndTrees Sat 29-Jun-13 16:53:10

Its an absolute con and they rely on peoples fear that they will be sat miles away from their children in order to get vast sums of money out of them, for something that should incur no extra cost.

You're missing the point that the airline will make their money somehow, and if they don't make their money this way, they will make it another way. This is a fair enough way of doing it, although I do think it would be better if they gave a discount to anyone who didn't mind where they sat, and let everyone else pay a going rate.

Hulababy Sat 29-Jun-13 16:55:16

This is all very well but on some flights they will nto allow all of their seats to be prebooked, meaning some people on flights have no choice but to miss out,.

We flew with VA to Vegas. DD was 8y at the time, and there was no way she would have been fine on an 11 hour flight, sat without a parent. It's a very long time after all. However, when we tried to reserve our seats, incidently at no extra cost anyway, we couldn't. It said there were none available. We could for the return flight, but not the flight out.

So we called VA as we were concerned. They stated, on 2 or 3 different calls, that they only release a %age of seats, for pre booking, and not all. And, the prebooked seats are not guaranteed in any case. We were told to let the check in staff know on arrival that we needed 3 seats together and it would be sorted, and it was. No idea if anyone else had to be moved to accommodate this.

VA also told us that there was no way they would have a child, in this case an 8y, sat without a parent.

Re the no guarantee of prebooked seat - again I have personal experience of this. We flew to New York with friends - 4 adults, 3 children aged 3-7y. We had prebooked 7 seats together, in a row, across the plane. However, when we checked in we had been moved. We were still near by, but with 3 in the middle of one row, 2 on left in row behind, and then another 2 in row behind them. So not same configuration at all. They also would not allow 3 children sit together with no adult, so because they changed our config of seats, we had to split the children too. I assume we'd been moved to accommodate other people needing to sit together.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 29-Jun-13 17:17:13

"I think you misunderstood my comment."
actually I didn't misunderstand. How is is thomas cooks' fault that a parent didn't reserve the seats?

"If I had a 2 year old and they were seated miles away I'd be upset."
then reserve the seats.

BrianTheMole Sat 29-Jun-13 17:34:48

You're missing the point clouds that what they are doing is completely against the CAA rules. Airlines are NOT allowed to sit your child miles away from you. In light of this, its obviously not a fair enough way of doing it as its not a choice anyway.

LtEveDallas Sat 29-Jun-13 17:39:49

Brian, they ARE. It's not law yet. An American Senator is trying to make it Law - but right now it ISN'T.

The C&P you did - look at it again. It's full of 'should be' 'ideally' and 'should not be'. Not 'HAS' to be. Sorry.

LtEveDallas Sat 29-Jun-13 17:43:52

ShellyBoobs. It's not just budget or bargin airline that do this. The reason I always pre-book and pre-pay for selected seating is after a horrendous flight to Cuba with a premier airline that separated DH and I. It was the longest and hardest 12 hours of my life (I'm a crap flier) and I said I'd never risk it again.

BrianTheMole Sat 29-Jun-13 17:59:04

This may be the case LT, but its not going to bode well for individual airlines if a catastrophe is made even worse because airlines have ignored the guidelines and not made safety a priority when the CAA investigate the carnage.

leftangle Sat 29-Jun-13 18:32:09

We had the opposite problem with virgin. We wanted a window so I tried at online checkin to change our 3 assigned centre seats to 2 window and 1 accross the aisle. Plenty of room but the computer would not allow me to split the party so we had to stay put.

Sallyingforth Sat 29-Jun-13 18:51:51

So much entitlement here. It's a parent's responsibility to look after their children, and that doesn't stop just because you are on a plane. If it costs more to book a block of seats than individual ones, then that's what you do. Don't leave it to chance/luck/other people moving seats, just to save you a few quid.
Flying is a luxury and like all luxuries you get what you pay for.

blondefriend Sat 29-Jun-13 20:17:36

I have never flown with my children so knew absolutely nothing about this. I hope this is all made very clear when booking. I would be absolutely devastated to be separated from my children, firstly because they are so young (why would anyone else want to be sat next to my preschooler/toddler), secondly I want to enjoy the experience with them. It is totally my responsibility to look after them but would I know this when booking. I've always chosen seats when booking a flight before, does that not happen anymore? I probably sound really naive.
However I am a very excited flier so would probably be at the airport 4 hours early clutching my ticket anyway.

exoticfruits Sat 29-Jun-13 20:31:05

It will be very clear, blondefriend- they want the money!

Gonnabmummy Sat 29-Jun-13 20:36:20

The occasional times I've Travelled on the train you have to pay to book seats and I've never heard any problems about that don't see why it's different on a plane it's a business of course they want to make money. The rest are first come first served so you have the choice.

flatmum Sat 29-Jun-13 20:56:04

I am utterly staggered at am these threads. airlines operated for decades with the policy that their staff use their judgement about where to seat people at check in. this is how it should have stayed. what kind of people think it is acceptable to seat scared children away from ther parents. and what kind if idiots would rather be on a flight sitting next to someone else's un monitored child just because some people on the plane have paid to say where they want to sit (utterly pointless unless you are an adult and can sit in the over 16 extra legroom seats - these are the only ones you should be able to request)

money making greed on the part if the airlines which will surely come back and bite them in the not too distant future. I have recently pre booked my seats with Thomas cook - not that I paid 75 quid for the priveledge I simply asked them to throw it in as part of my booking. I noticed that the whole plane was virtually fully booked with 2 sets in every row of three. so I had one choice of 2 rows for my family. so no choice at all and no point paying (not that I am bothered). but they will continue selling this option at booking until the last seat is sold. what happens when people pay and there is no more choice left? and what about all the couple who have paid to choose where to sit in a row of three but will still get all te random kids from parties that have not laid sitting next to them? pointless and stupid.

FacebookAnonymous Sat 29-Jun-13 21:23:18

'what kind of people think it is acceptable to seat scared children away from ther parents.'

That'll be the parents who think that they are vair special witha huge sense of entitlement.

Notcontent Sat 29-Jun-13 21:43:19

If you add up all the extras then sometimes the non-budget airlines, with normal allocated seating, work out the same or cheaper.
If I fly a budget airline then I never pay for any extras because they are just designed to rip you off. If there were no seats left I would just ask politely if someone cold move. I am sure they would prefer that than have a small crying child next to them, spoiling their trip - perhaps threatening to vomit into their lap!!! grin

FreyaSnow Sat 29-Jun-13 21:43:30

The paedophile argument is bizarre. Yes, most child abusers are known to the child. But that doesn't mean we should not be concerned about abuse carried out by strangers. Transport situations are common scenarios for abuse by strangers. Bus companies have lists of people who are banned from their services and premises for this very reason. I reported a known paedophile when I saw him in a bus station, as I knew he had been in prison for abusing children who he attacked on public transport. The people in the bus company went through a list of offenders they had when I made the report.

I don't know what the purpose is of going on about paedophile hysteria. There are many predatory paedophiles and they aren't all on an island somewhere. They're just walking around in society.

FreyaSnow Sat 29-Jun-13 21:47:52

Trains are different because open tickets are sold and you can just turn up and make a decision if you want to squeeze on a train and hope there is a spare seat or stand in the aisle. On a plane, they know exactly who is getting on and that there is a seat for each person, and that very specific procedures must be followed with breathing masks, evacuation etc. They have to make safety decisions that don't apply on trains.

It doesn't maytterbif you've paid for your seats or not. If cabin crew require you to move for safety reasons then you move. Failure to comply with a request made by cabin crew in he basis of safety is an offence and you can be prosecuted. Fwiw, many moons ago. People had to moved on a flight so I could sit with my three year old. I'd paid for priority boarding but by the time I got to the foot of the plane and taken the baby out of the push chair and folded it up (all while the ground crew looked on) the masses has trampled past me and there were no seats together. Safety is the airlines responsibility. It's not an optional extra.

crashdoll Sat 29-Jun-13 21:56:32

" There are many predatory paedophiles and they aren't all on an island somewhere. They're just walking around in society."

Statistically, it is far more likely to be Uncle Dave than it is to be the weirdo on the bus. I know that's a bit unsavoury for most people to accept but it's true. Over focusing on stranger danger does no favours for being aware of who you (the wider 'you') leave your children with.

FreyaSnow Sat 29-Jun-13 22:00:03

It isn't a question of over focusing on stranger danger. It is a question of considering both. Nobody on this thread has claimed that most children are abused by strangers, so there is no reason for dismissing people's concerns about strangers by talking about abuse by people the child knows. On a plane, everyone apart from me is unknown to my child. There is no Uncle Dave flying to worry about.

crashdoll Sat 29-Jun-13 22:03:02

It's just typical MN that it's mentioned on a thread like this, it just screams hysteria to me. Most people don't think like this.

FreyaSnow Sat 29-Jun-13 22:12:33

CD, that's your perception, not factually based on anything said on this thread. For every instance of child abuse, there is always some excuse as to why the adult should be trusted.

Stranger abuse: most abusers are known to the child.
Uncle Dave: why are male family members considered less competent than female ones?
Teacher: why would anyone enter the teaching profession with all these hysterical allegations flying around?
Youth club leader: do you realise these people are giving up their time for free?

And on and on. There is always some reason why we're told to stop being concerned about child abuse for the well being of adults. I would consider concern about paedophiles to be a problem when it prevents children from playing, going out outside etc. Telling children to avoid sitting with strangers on transport, to sit near the driver etc is giving them strategies to keep their freedom while being safer. I want my children to go out, travel etc. I just want them to use strategies that will increase their safety and to do the same when they are adults. The strategies for working out the likely behaviour of people they know is a different skill set.

Isatdownandwept Sat 29-Jun-13 22:20:45

Hulababy, we had exactly the same problem with virgin, it was only after paying for the whole booking we found ourselves unable to book seats. Spent weeks on phone to Virgin trying to get it sorted, had notes 'added to our file' to guarantee seats and still ended up with them sitting my autistic daughter of 5 separately as well as my 7 year old, for a 9 hour overnight flight. We turned up an hour before checkout and spent most of that hour arguing with the ground staff before having to shell out £5,000 for upgrades to get 2 pairs of seats.

And to really rub it in they swore blind it never happened when I complained.

That was 18 months ago and I have since spent more than £20,000 flying BA instead of virgin. I will never forgive virgin for fucking it up, for not sorting it when they could, and then for acting like cunts when I complained.

Buyer beware. If it happened to hula and to me, it can happen to any virgin customer.

MidniteScribbler Sat 29-Jun-13 22:32:09

I honestly think a lot of the problems come from people who either don't check in online, or show up to the airport just before check in closes. I always seem to be one of the first to check in for any flight, and I've always been seated exactly where I wanted to be. Pre-DS I always got seated in the exit row, without paying any extra for a ticket (show up early, ask nicely), and every time I've flown with my infant DS they've blocked out a spare seat next to me to use (once even a whole row). Oh, and politeness always seems to go a very long way! The ranters and ravers never get anywhere with staff who've seen it all before.

I'm sure that if people travelling with a large group, particularly with children, that haven't checked in online or prebooked their seats, would show up early to get their seats assigned and organised, that there would be an awful lot less problems. Once boarding passes are assigned, it's a lot amount of effort to try and shuffle seats around.

Isatdownandwept Sat 29-Jun-13 22:38:40

Scribbler, when it happened to me I checked in exactly 24 hours before the flight (had been refreshing for a few hours before that), then spent hours between then and flight itself on phone to virgin, and then turned up an hour before the airport check in officially opened. And still got fucked over... And that was with a full price, scheduled airline.

exoticfruits Sun 30-Jun-13 06:33:38

I am with you there MidNiteScribbler- I always find that politeness gets you much further- the ranters upset staff at the start and are less likely to get a good outcome.
I think that I you have more than 2 people in your party, and want to sit together, you need to just pay the extra.

LtEveDallas Sun 30-Jun-13 06:58:26

Maybe it's because I am a bad flyer (verging on phobic since DD was born) that I am so anal about us being sat together. I wouldn't get on a flight if it meant we were separated (DH, DD and I). I would be polite and ask the airline to change it, but if they couldn't/wouldn't then I just wouldn't fly. I suppose that would cause pain to other passengers due to the unloading of bags etc, but it shouldn't actually get that far - I'd know at boarding surely?

I have a knee jerk response to people that say things like "well if someone else ends up sitting next to my kid more fool them." I couldn't be that blasé about it - God forbid if the worst happens then I want to be holding my daughter to me, holding my husbands hand and telling them how much I love them. I want my daughters last moments to be in her mothers arms, not sat next to a stranger, screaming. No matter how old she is 3, 8, 12 or 16.

I KNOW I am being dramatic. I KNOW that it isn't going to happen... but what if?

It's a visceral response and it means that I will always always pay. I don't care if the airline is making more money out of me. I don't care if people think I am being a mug. It's the only way you are getting me on a plane.

stella1w Sun 30-Jun-13 07:09:12

If airlines want to charge additional feed for something people have a choice/preference about, that's fine. But parents of small children don't have a free choice about whether they are prepared to pay to sit togehter or not. It is a safety issue. Paedos, emergencies, putting oxygen masks on, ettc, not to mention toilet trips etc. So families are forced to pay for something that the airline should be taking into consideration.
If the airlines had a firstcomefirst served pick your seats at booking, that would help. And if most eople had not paid for their seat choice they could and should be asked to move if necessary.

stella1w Sun 30-Jun-13 07:13:31

Oh and i stopped flying virgin when i was travelling alone with a toddler and a baby in a sling and their staff refused to lift my suitcase sic inches onto the scales due to health and safety. When i asked her to hold the baby so i could lift the suitcase she said she wasn't allowed and said i should have brought someone to the airport to help me.

OhMerGerd Sun 30-Jun-13 07:31:33

Paying extra to be seated together is airlines needing to find ways of making money on tight margins.

When tickets are booked, if there are child tickets purchased in a group booking the tickets should automatically group together or at least each child should be attached to an adult in the booking. So one adult would be grouped with two/3 children and the other adult seated far away.

Better still when you book you should click on a seat and the earlier you book the more choice you have. As a parent I'd therefore not book a plane if my young child were separated.

When you have very young ones the last thing you need is to have to spend extra hours at an airport anxiously waiting to see if you've beaten the other families and can get seats together.

It's not just the flight. The scrum on some planes to get off is horrendous. If there is an emergency who's going to do the oxygen, life jacket, position child to brace?

Better still when you book you should click on a seat and the earlier you book the more choice you have. As a parent I'd therefore not book a plane if my young child were separated.

There is a lot of this self righteous I've paid, I'm alright, tough luck for you if can't and you're not ok, attitude in life at the moment. All that indignation and smugness would be better directed at getting better deals all round for everyone.

If we all said no, as parents we refuse to fly with you on principle until you revisit this policy ... None of us would be paying to sit next to our kids. Ok we might be paying more for something else but distressing, potentially unsafe and harmful situations would be avoided.

MadeOfStarDust Sun 30-Jun-13 08:04:28

OMGerd - mmm - but whilst there is charging, some of us choose not to pay - so get there cheaper - but you are saying I should probably pay more so you can travel with your kids....

Last week I travelled to a Scottish island - was a double hop - changing planes in Scotland - if I had paid for seating I would have had to pay £54 extra - I chose not to...

most kids end up seated next to a parent whether they have paid extra of not.

ShellyBoobs Sun 30-Jun-13 08:51:35


As I said earlier, why not just consider it in the way that if you don't want to choose seats, you get a discount. Therefore as you want/need to sit with your child, you don't choose to have the discount from the full price?

Your position seems to be one of wanting the discounted price for not having a choice of seats while simultaneously demanding the choice that you've chosen to omit by accepting the discount.

OhMerGerd Sun 30-Jun-13 10:00:46

Not really. I'm all for the cheapest option and we rarely fly as a family as a result. My children are too old for this to be an issue but I do feel for families who're affected and I wonder whether the discount should come on other things like the baggage, or time of flight or comfier seat sitting up front or whatever.

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 10:01:44

So although its generally agreed that its a necessity to sit for parents to sit next to a child in the interests of safety, many people think they should pay extra for that privilege. What about other groups of people that need particular seats? A guide dog owner who needs particular seating because of the dog? Generally the seats at the front with more leg room so the dog can sit on the floor. Should he/she pay extra for that seat? Or should they sit anywhere and try and squash the dog on the floor in front of them in the limited space there?

Hulababy Sun 30-Jun-13 10:10:37

Nightmare Isat...

Tbf to VA in our case, we did get seats together on the time we couldn't prebook chairs. At check in there was no question that we would be separated.

It was on the flight where 7 of us ore poked seats in a row where we were moved. Still mostly together but split by rows and not same config. A pain but I guess we were close by and seated in groups, just lot 7 in a row.

Hulababy Sun 30-Jun-13 10:13:08

Midnight - we couldn't check in online night before. We tried. But it wouldn't allow us as said there were no 3 seats together and wouldn't check in in apart. I guess as not VA policy to split groups ESP with children.
So had to wait at proper check in. They did sort it though.

On the occasion with 7 of us. We had done online check in. Seats were changed at bag drop.

Sallyingforth Sun 30-Jun-13 10:16:45

Yes Shelley that's exactly the way I see it.

LtEveDallas Sun 30-Jun-13 10:58:41

Brian, my issues with flying and the fear of being separated from my family are in no way comparable to someone with a disability. A blind or otherwise disabled person has no CHOICE in the matter and should not be treated as if they do. I can CHOOSE to fly, or not and I can CHOOSE to pay for selected seating, or not.

A person with a disability should be given the seat that best accommodates their disability, and for free.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 30-Jun-13 11:10:08

What about tall people?

They can't help being tall, but they still have to pay extra for a seat that accommodates their needs if they want it. Or, just like parents, they can opt not to pay the extra and end up having an unpleasant flight.

I think tall people should be entitled to fee assigned seating before parents are.

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 11:18:34

Why should they clouds? A budget airline needs to make its money somewhere, as everyone keeps saying. If said tall person wants a more comfortable seat surely they should pay for that privilage.

RedToothBrush Sun 30-Jun-13 11:33:47

Forget the paedo comments or safety issues.

Thinking of the pricing in another way makes more sense.
A ticket is £100 but if you're not bothered where the seat is, you get a £15 discount so it's £85.
If you want seats together, you pay the full price and don't get the discount

Regardless of that I do not want to be sat on a flight next to a child whose parent is no where near them. Whether it's classified as discount or because they don't want to pay a supplement.

I don't want to be next to the kid whose parent who doesn't keep an eye on them when they deliberately messing about, and having to tell other peoples children to pack it in (isn't this a recipe for confrontations on flights that airline staff have to deal with, when parent gets upset at another passenger) or the child does something like the kicking the back of the seat constantly because they lack the maturity to sit still for long periods of time unsupervised.

It disturbs other passengers, if the airlines don't give thought to seating families together.

Its not just about it being 'unfair' to families. Its about whether seating policies like this are fair to all the other paying customers (who may not have paid budget prices).

Nobody wants this situation. Its incredibly poor customer service. Airlines have a really tough competitive market out there; the smart ones will realise that there is very little profit to be made from having these inflexible policies which are actually worse than no allocated seating at all and are first come, first served.

ShellyBoobs Sun 30-Jun-13 11:58:39

If said tall person wants a more comfortable seat surely they should pay for that privilage.

In just the same way that anyone else who wants a particular seat should pay for the privilege.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 30-Jun-13 12:24:52

I don't actually mind tall people being asked to pay for bigger seats, as long as the price isn't extortionate.

I just don't think that parents needs for free allocated seating are more worthy than the needs of many other people.

It's the entitlement from parents that annoys me, as if they are more deserving than anyone else. So if tall people have to pay for something they had no choice about, then parents should have to pay for something they did have a choice about.

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 12:48:22

In just the same way that anyone else who wants a particular seat should pay for the privilege.

guide dog owner? Person with poor mobility skills who needs to get to the toilet? Larger person who needs two seats?

flatmum Sun 30-Jun-13 12:59:12

Facebookanon, he's you're right, the owners of budget airlines are being "vair" entitled to think it appropriate to require small children to sit away from their parents if their parents can't or won't fork out for the priveledge of sitting next to the infants they have moral and legal responsibility for. They are also providing terrible customer service to their customers travelling without children who may have to sit next to unaccompanied children - can't think of anything worse.

it's all a scam to make prices seem cheaper than they are. it won't last. people will eventually go back to flying BA who will cost the same for standard seats where the cabin crew seat you sensibly and you don't have to pay for the ridiculous "extras" like bringing luggage and daring to have children.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 30-Jun-13 13:06:54

A guide dog owner and some people with limited mobility have a need to have particular seating. It's not a want. The consequences of their needs not being met are not comparable to a tall person feeling squashed, or a toddler being upset.

A larger person who needs two seats should absolutely pay for their two full price seats to be together, the same as a parent with a child who needs two seats together. They may have a need, because if they don't have two seats together then they simply won't fit on the plane, but they are not more entitled than a parent and small child.

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 13:18:32

A larger person who needs two seats should absolutely pay for their two full price seats to be together, the same as a parent with a child who needs two seats together

Why? Surely being larger is a need that they can do nothing about? Same as the guide dog owner or the person with mobility issues. There is no alternative for them, unless you think they can cut themselves in half to fit across two seats in different parts of the plane.

ShellyBoobs Sun 30-Jun-13 13:20:52 dog owner? Person with poor mobility skills who needs to get to the toilet?

Of course those people shouldn't have to pay, in the same way that people with a blue badge quite rightly don't have to pay to park in many places.

The fat person should pay for two seats, though, if they can't fit into one seat without spilling out all over the poor person in the next one.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 30-Jun-13 13:24:33

The alternative would be not to fly, to lose weight, to upgrade to a larger business/first class seat.

For a mobility impaired person who needs to be close to the toilet, the alternative would be not to fly, or to piss or shit themselves. Not really an option.

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 13:25:53

The fat person should pay for two seats, though, if they can't fit into one seat without spilling out all over the poor person in the next one.

lovely. Just lovely. How do you know the larger person hasn't got a medical condition where they can't lose weight? Calling them the fat person is low. And ignorant.

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 13:32:53

For what its worth I have seen Ryan air totally ignore the needs of the person with mobility issues, making them walk the length of the plane so that they can be nearer to the exit at the back. And they have fallen en route to their seat. I have seen Ryanair staff not provide an alternative seat to the guide dog owner, trying to insist that they shove the dog in the narrow gap in front of their feet, because using the aisle is not allowed obviously. Its a physical impossibility to fit a dog in that space. Just more examples where they don't follow the CAA guidance. Completely unacceptable.

crashdoll Sun 30-Jun-13 13:34:43

I would move out of my paid seat if someone asked me nicely so they could sit next to their child. If they stomped around and acted all entitled like some people on both this thread and the previous thread, I would feel less inclined to move.

It's a moot point for me anyway because I am disabled but if I wasn't, I'd not happily move for any of the foot stompers.

ShellyBoobs Sun 30-Jun-13 13:45:16

What should they be called then, Brian?

The larger person? That could describe someone muscular/tall.

Is 'fat' an insult rather than a fact?

BegoniaBampot Sun 30-Jun-13 13:55:02

not everyone on a buget airline has a cheap fare. we often book nearer to date and are probablsy paying up to 5 times more than some passengers. if is all about you get what you pay for maybe we should be gettng more for ourmoney then. also families with young childen are being targetted here in a way that adults on their own or without children arent. i think its disgusting polcy from these ailines. so greedy and unprincipled and the punters just accept it and feel smug that they are being rsponsible and better parents rather than realising they are allowing themselves to be ripped off.

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 13:58:07

Yeah it is rude Shelly. And offensive. But you know that really hmm

ilovesooty Sun 30-Jun-13 14:03:08

Adults on their own are targetted on holiday in all sorts of other ways.

I don't see parents with children being "ripped off". If you choose to fly with a budget airline the basic seats are cheap and the rest is extras which you pay for. If you want to have children next to you at no extra cost fly with a scheduled airline in the first place.

Dackyduddles Sun 30-Jun-13 14:07:54

Really don't get the point on this thread. Just pay and sit together? Then no pedo issue.

There you go! Solved.

If you're going to pay for holiday abroad why would you try to save a few pounds on the plane. Whoopee! Spent 1500 on hols but saved 50 quid not booking seats? Just daft. In for penny in for (multiple) pounds.

Sallyingforth Sun 30-Jun-13 14:08:44

I have seen Ryanair staff ...
Everyone knows how Ryanair treat their customers, and if you still choose to fly with them I'm afraid YABU to make any complaint at all. That's just the way it is. But not all airlines are as bad.

How do you know the larger person hasn't got a medical condition where they can't lose weight I submit that is a very small proportion of obese people, and a responsible airline might be persuaded to make an exception if the person has a medical certificate to that effect - providing there is a spare seat available.
The problem with an obese person turning up and demanding two seats is that if the flight is full, either the obese person or someone else will have to miss the flight. The only way for this to be avoided is for them to book two seats in advance.

On the politeness issue, I was once behind a guy at a checkin for a flight to Stuttgart, who was insisting on an upgrade to business class. That flight is regularly half empty. "I work for BigCompany, we put lots of business your way and I require an upgrade!". I smiled sympathetically at the checkin staff who refused him, and as soon as I moved up they said very quietly "Good morning Ms Forth, I can offer you an upgrade to Business Class". It really made my day.

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 14:12:52

That's just the way it is

it might be how they act, but its not and should never be accepted as being just the way it is. Its disability discrimination and there are actually laws about that.

IsabelleRinging Sun 30-Jun-13 14:14:09

Some people are fat, some are thin, it's a description surely, not an insult, anything else used to describe them is just trying to skirt round the issue without saying it.

Sallyingforth Sun 30-Jun-13 14:22:13

That's true Brian but if people didn't use them that would solve the problem permanently.
As has been pointed out many times, if you book in advance with a responsible airline and choose your flights carefully you need pay little or no more than for Ryanair with its extras. You get treated better, plus you end up at the destination city you want and not some unheard-of airport miles away.

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 14:35:13

I know Sally. But at my local airport Ryanair seems to be the only one for the places I want to go to. I would gladly take an alternative because even if you pay more with Ryan air, you still get treated like cattle.

And Isabelle, calling someone the fat person is a derogatory term. I'm surprised you can't see that.

BegoniaBampot Sun 30-Jun-13 14:48:38

It's not about cheap fares. Many passengers are not paying buttons. These airlines are using any excuse to get more money and preying on the fear of parents or vulnerable passengers. We are flying this summer with TC. Thomas Ookmhas never been seen as a budget airline as with EasyJet and Ryanair. We are paying over way over 500 a ticket, and still they are charging more for bags, meals and choosing your seat. they need a kick up the arse. But everyone gives them a by and fights with the other passengers.

ilovesooty Sun 30-Jun-13 14:51:27

If they didn't charge for extras the basic fare would be higher. Fuel and taxes have gone up a lot in recent years.

BeeMom Sun 30-Jun-13 15:02:43

They'll be asking passengers to pay for oxygen next

They do - medical travel. They will refuse to let you use your own oxygen concentrator (or you must use a specific battery powered one and each battery pack only lasts 2 yours). Otherwise, you pay the airline (a king's ransom) to use their oxygen.

Yeah - that is yet another reason we don't travel any more...

MidniteScribbler Sun 30-Jun-13 15:10:24

People need to stop looking at flights as some form of magical carpet ride. You get what you pay for. If you want to take lots of luggage, get guaranteed seats with five star service, then pay for the full service airlines. Budget airlines are like basic public transport. Deal with it, or pay the higher fare on a different airline. But don't pay fifty bucks for an airline seat then complain that no one rolled out the red carpet for you.

Primrose123 Sun 30-Jun-13 15:15:03

*How do you know the larger person hasn't got a medical condition where they can't lose weight I submit that is a very small proportion of obese people, and a responsible airline might be persuaded to make an exception if the person has a medical certificate to that effect - providing there is a spare seat available.
The problem with an obese person turning up and demanding two seats is that if the flight is full, either the obese person or someone else will have to miss the flight. The only way for this to be avoided is for them to book two seats in advance.*

You may well think this, but are you an expert on overweight people? I find your attitude insulting. If losing weight was so easy, there would be far fewer overweight people.

I am overweight since having children, I was slim before that. I fit easily into a plane seat though. I eat healthy food, small portions and don't drink at all. I do lots of exercise, but I can't lose any bloody weight. Doctors aren't interested. What's your recommendation?

I know plenty of people like myself, I also know lots of slim people who do no exercise and eat as though they have hollow legs. Just because someone is overweight, it is not a choice, they may be trying hard to lose weight, but failing.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 30-Jun-13 15:34:35

also families with young childen are being targetted here in a way that adults on their own or without children arent

That's not true. It can target honeymooners, any couple that want a romantic holiday, families with older children, blokes on a stag do that want to sit together for fun, people traveling with elderly relatives that might need help as well as anyone who has a preference to sit near the back/front/aisle/window/over the wing/whatever.

Parents with young children that can afford foreign trips are not victims here!

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 16:06:22

That's not true. It can target honeymooners, any couple that want a romantic holiday, families with older children, blokes on a stag do that want to sit together for fun, people traveling with elderly relatives that might need help as well as anyone who has a preference to sit near the back/front/aisle/window/over the wing/whatever.

It is true. Because the majority of the groups of people you have mentioned (aside from some older people who may need help) are not vulnerable people who can generally manage to cope sitting on their own if they don't want to pay. Unlike a very young child who is not going to be able to negotiate for the things they need, order themselves a drink from the trolley or take themselves to the toilet and find their way back to the seat afterwards.

Eeeeeowwwfftz Sun 30-Jun-13 16:08:40

When people say "guaranteed seats", do they mean "specific seats" (eg row 8) or "a group of seats that are near to each other anywhere on the plane"? There is a big difference. It seems to me to be not unreasonable to expect people on the same booking to be near to each other, given that this can almost always be accommodated. It is clearly unreasonable for everyone to expect to be in an exit row seat with extra legroom or near the front so you can get off 15 minutes before the people at the back (and substitute the 15 minute wait on the plane for people to get off with a 15 minute wait on the bus for people to get on.

There seems to be a consensus that providing proximate seating where this is possible is the decent thing to do given that there is no actual cost in doing so. That people feel entitled to having their fares subsided by other people needing to pay extra just for a company to do the decent thing is depressing, but inevitable in the shitty world we live in today.

ilovesooty Sun 30-Jun-13 16:16:57

If I holiday as a single traveller I've already paid a single supplement, often fot the privilege of sleeping in a tiny room which costs nearly as much as a much more spacious room for two people. I don't, therefore, have much sympathy for people being asked to pay a supplement to ensure that they sit next to their children. If they didn't have to pay a supplement the airline would get their money in other ways, probably by increasing the base fare, and that would mean all childless people would have to subsidise those with families. That hardly seems fair to me.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 30-Jun-13 16:33:36

Unlike a very young child who is not going to be able to negotiate for the things they need,

No, they have parents whose job it is to negotiate the things they need for them. That includes the need to be say next to a carer on an airplane.

Being a parent is a normal part of life where you have to make normal adjustments for a while.

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 17:00:19

and that would mean all childless people would have to subsidise those with families. That hardly seems fair to me.

Parents pay vastly more for travel during key periods anyway, purely because its the school holidays. But you would also like them to pay more, and subsidise your travel, (because thats what it is) even though it costs nothing to seat vulnerable people near their carers, and even though it flies in the face of CAA safety guidance, because then that means you get to pay less. Righty ho hmm

ilovesooty Sun 30-Jun-13 17:10:34

Parents pay vastly more for travel during key periods anyway, purely because its the school holidays. But you would also like them to pay more, and subsidise your travel, (because thats what it is) even though it costs nothing to seat vulnerable people near their carers, and even though it flies in the face of CAA safety guidance, because then that means you get to pay less. Righty ho

I travelled as an adult during school holidays due to my work. Parents of toddlers can travel outside peak periods and quite a few parents take term time holidays. Whether or not it costs airlines to seat children next to parents, if they cease to make a charge for that the base fares will rise for everyone. The guidelines (which are not law) don't specify a child sitting directly next to a parent, I believe.

I'm not after "paying less". I don't see why I should pay more to subsidise families when I pay a single supplement already. I don't think it's unreasonable for parents to pay for guaranteed seats next to children on budget airlines.

Sallyingforth Sun 30-Jun-13 17:12:45

I find your attitude insulting
Well I'm sorry you feel that way Primrose, but there it is.

If you require two rooms in the hotel, you have to pay for two rooms.
If you require two seats on the plane, then you should pay for two seats.

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 17:28:18

Airlines are choosing to jepordise safety and play on peoples fear by issuing this charge. If it wasn't that it would be something else that maybe wouldn't make you so happy. It just suits you at this moment in time. And, I don't believe you pay a single supplement on a flight anyway, do you! And you are being subsidised by the people that buy in to this, obviously. Although its a moot point anyway for me, because I don't pay extra and I do sit with my children. Because the airline staff don't want to take responsibility for my children, which they will be doing if they sit them miles away, next to someone like you smile

BegoniaBampot Sun 30-Jun-13 17:39:17

Once again not everyone flying on the same Ryanair or EasyJet flight are paying a cheap 50 quid ticket. So how are you getting what you pay for. You might be paying 50 quid but the person sitting next to you might be paying hundreds more. If they are paying more, do their righs and wants trump yours? Budget airlines doesn't necessarily mean cheap fares.

ilovesooty Sun 30-Jun-13 17:40:20

I never said I paid a single supplement for the flight but I do for the holiday as a whole. I'm also not able to take advantage of subsidised / special offer deals as someone travelling alone.

I'm glad you manage to sit next to your children without paying extra: it's therefore a non issue for you.

I think you make assumptions about "what suits me at this moment in time" - I don't have the option of doing things any differently in trms of being disadvantaged as a single traveller. I am, however, delighted to discover that airline staff would have to take responsibility for any child I ended up next to. grin

I don't quite understand what else it might be that "would not make me so happy" but I don't see how the airlines are "jeopardising safety" by levying a supplement on a discounted fare. If parents choose not to pay it and end up separated from their children that is a choice they make.

I have paid extra for the seat I wanted on my next flight. I would move to accommodate a disabled person and their carer who were separated but not to allow a parent and child to sit together because the parent thought they should be accommodated for free.

exoticfruits Sun 30-Jun-13 18:01:56

It is really quite simple. Airlines keep the prices low and you pay for extras. If you really want to be together then pay to book, if it doesn't matter you can save money. You may not like it but the solution is there. You don't say with other things 'I want it - but I want it free of charge'.

slalomsuki Sun 30-Jun-13 18:02:58

I can give a Thomas Cook example of where we paid to sit together but the plane was switched to a different model and the seating arrangement went out the window. We ended up split up across the plane and a 3 year old sitting next to strangers the first time they flew. This was despite paying for group sitting and not being the only group to suffer. No amount of discussion with the crew or ground staff could resolve this.

Read the small print as we couldn't get our money back due to "unforeseen circumstance"

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 18:05:06

The safety issue comes into it ilovesooty because if something goes wrong, parents will be barging up the plane to get to their child, jepordising the safety of others and impeding a possible safe evacuation from the plane. Everything the CAA wants to avoid. Hence the guidelines of children being sat near their parents in the first place. Safer for everyone.

exoticfruits Sun 30-Jun-13 18:05:09

We got a free drink when this happened to us, slalomsuki.

CharlieUniformNovemberTango Sun 30-Jun-13 18:17:28

The only time we flew without pre booked seats my 3 yo was given a seat apart from me.

I kindly handed the stranger next to her a sick bag, baby wipes and her comfort blanket and said he'd definitely be needing them.

He immediately offered to swap seats with me for some reason....

I have swapped with someone before so they could have a child with them. I really don't understand why that would be so difficult for others to do and it's surprising that more adults don't do it.

BegoniaBampot Sun 30-Jun-13 18:34:38

Because it is in the airlines interests to create this dog eat dog situation with the passengers bickering amongst themselves rather than directing it at the airlines.

mikkii Sun 30-Jun-13 18:55:50

The only time i have had a problem travelling with 3 DCs and DH. We had seat allocations that could not be changed as there was an infant in the party, they had put me in an aisle seat with DC3 on my lap, with DS (6) and DD1 (4) in the window and centre seats, whilst DH was much to his delight sat two rows away on his own. It was with Iberia, I called their customer services and had a really good chat with the agent, I asked her to move DS to sit with DH so I only had to manage the girls, she also volunteered to put DH (and now DS) across the aisle as it would make toilet trips etc. easier for me.

I asked if she could put all the kids with DH (as he thought it was funny that I had been given them all hmm ) but apparently as I was the lead party I had to keep DD2.

On a subsequent flight I managed to have just DD2 whilst DH had to deal with the other 2!

We fly regularly but usually use scheduled airlines (Ryanair will never get another penny from me as a result of their usual client service), as we travel in school holidays I find there is usually very little difference in the overall cost between BA/Iberia/Easyjet. I don't mind connecting flights if it means we get closer to our destination, or I can fly from a closer airport , or if the price makes it worthwhile.

Ifancyashandy Sun 30-Jun-13 18:56:47

Charlie If I'd paid for a particular seat, I'd hand them straight back to you, suggesting you pass them on to a flight attendant.

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 19:00:39

I expect you would have had a great time with the child crying in your ear and vomiting over you then iloveashandy. smile. We all make our choices I guess.

ShellyBoobs Sun 30-Jun-13 19:06:16

I kindly handed the stranger next to her a sick bag, baby wipes and her comfort blanket and said he'd definitely be needing them.

Why would you just politely ask them if they would mind swapping seats with you instead of the cuntish, patronising, exchange you claim you had?

Ifancyashandy Sun 30-Jun-13 19:06:59

Earphones are a godsend! wink.

Like the PP, I often travel alone and pay a single person supplement in hotels. I accept it as a part of the cost of the holiday. I am tall, with long legs so I pay a premium for specific seats. Like parents should if they want to sit with their children. I won't swap seats with someone who hasn't bothered to pay. Really don't see why I should.

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 19:15:56

I'm sure earphones are the absolute best barrier against vomit for sure.

Ifancyashandy Sun 30-Jun-13 19:20:07

Never ever seen anyone throw up on a flight in many many years of flying. Sure it happens but not in my personal experience. I'll keep on taking the 'risk'.

MadeOfStarDust Sun 30-Jun-13 19:24:47

I kindly handed the stranger next to her a sick bag, baby wipes and her comfort blanket and said he'd definitely be needing them.

and I would have said - it is your child - if you want to sit next to them, then you can pay me my £22 booking fee and I will swap - otherwise, you can hand your sick bag et al to the flight attendant. If you choose in this instance not to reimburse me and your child is sick on me, you will be billed for dry cleaning.

exoticfruits Sun 30-Jun-13 19:25:42

If someone explained the problem politely and asked me if I could change then I expect that I would. If they were to hand me baby wipes etc I would just bury my head in a book and tell them to give them to the flight attendant. I said earlier those who are polite and friendly get much further.

exoticfruits Sun 30-Jun-13 19:27:34

I have to say that if I had paid to choose my seat and was being asked to swap because someone else hadn't bothered, I would only do it if my booking fee was refunded.

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 19:31:25

Billed for dry cleaning? Hillarious. I wouldn't be paying for that when you had a choice to sit away from a vomity 3 year old. You're too funny, should be on the stage grin.

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 19:32:58

The only entity that would be refunding your payment for the seat is the airline.

Elquota Sun 30-Jun-13 19:34:08

It should definitely be standard for a child to sit with their relatives.

MadeOfStarDust Sun 30-Jun-13 19:37:02

Brian.. You would have had the choice to sit with your little darling - by firstly paying to , or secondly refunding me to - so too damn right you would be billed.... or are you seriously suggesting I should altruistically choose to pay £22 to let a stranger sit next to their child - in a seat that I had picked personally .... for me.... (my turn to laugh)

LtEveDallas Sun 30-Jun-13 19:38:30

Brian, it's people like you, posting shite like that, that are the reason that children are so looked down on and treated with disdain in this country.

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 19:39:43

Nope, I wouldn't be paying the airline to sit with with my child, so erm, nope I wouldn't be paying you either. Its the airlines responsibility I'm afraid, not mine. I wouldn't be paying for dry cleaning or seats. Sorry about that wink

ShellyBoobs Sun 30-Jun-13 19:47:46

I wouldn't be paying for dry cleaning...

If your child threw up over me, you would be.

Or you'd find yourself wearing something suitably staining yourself, such as some red wine or whatever else was to hand.

Two can play the cuntish, entitled game.

MadeOfStarDust Sun 30-Jun-13 19:48:35

your child is ALWAYS your responsibility....

once we were in the air I would be unclipping their belt and telling them to toodle along to mummy. I wouldn't entrust your child to me if I were you.

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 19:51:27

You'd be charged with assault then shelly. Big difference between a child accidentally vomiting on you and an adult physically assaulting another. You sound like you have anger management issues. Maybe you should see your GP about that. . Hope this helps smile

ilovesooty Sun 30-Jun-13 19:52:45

No way am I moving out of a seat I've prebooked and paid for and I'm not prepared to be responsible for the child of someone who was unprepared to exercise responsible parenting by paying the prebooking fee. And if someone tried to pass me a sick bag and a load of baby wipes they'd get them straight back.

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 19:53:04

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

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 19:54:57

Brian, it's people like you, posting shite like that, that are the reason that children are so looked down on and treated with disdain in this country.

is that right? All down to me eh? What a responsibility. Oh well <shrugs>

ShellyBoobs Sun 30-Jun-13 19:57:05

Perhaps, Brian, you should have a look a little closer to home to see why other people are so annoyed by your shite entitled, selfish attitude.

I won't add a cuntishly, patronisingly immature "hope this helps" as that's your territory.

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 19:59:21

Wow, you really love that word don't you. Over and over again. It makes you sound so witty.

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 20:04:37

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

HomelessAngua Sun 30-Jun-13 20:05:32

Ryan Air and the CAA - wrong avaition authority for this airline, please try again.

ilovesooty Sun 30-Jun-13 20:06:01

I don't see why people who've paid to prebook seats should lose their money and be inconvenienced to accommodate entitled parents who won't make appropriate preparations for their flights.

MadeOfStarDust Sun 30-Jun-13 20:08:05

You know what Brian - when I haven't paid for my seat (i.e. I am travelling alone) I have moved to help a parent sit with their child - and it IS attitudes like yours that would stop me.

But both times it has happened the parent has been so contrite and apologetic and thankful that it has been my pleasure to move to help someone out.

Your way would mean I would not move, not ever...

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 20:08:40

No the CAA deals with Ryan air as they fly in and out of this country homeless.

CharlieUniformNovemberTango Sun 30-Jun-13 20:09:39


I did ask to swap. And the flight attendant also asked if anyone would mind swapping so we could sit together. Everyone looked at their hands and ignored us. No one could book seats as far as I was aware - this was a while ago mind.

I was just commenting that I felt it odd grown adults would not take a 3 year olds feelings into consideration. How could anyone feel comfortable making a small child sit apart from a loved one?

As an adult you could probably cope with sitting next to a stranger alot better then a child could. It just doesn't make sense to me. Thinking of my DD at the time, she would never have been brave enough to tell a stranger she needed the toilet or a drink and wasn't old enough to sort these things for herself. I'm sure many other kids are the same so what do people expect them to do? Sit and suffer for the whole flight?

that's what seems cuntish to me personally...

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 20:09:50

Your way would mean I would not move, not ever...

i'll be crying into my cornflakes.

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 20:11:45

Although in fairness stardust, I wouldn't be going round begging people to move anyway, I'd be leaving that for the flight staff to deal with.

ilovesooty Sun 30-Jun-13 20:13:15

I agree with MadeOfStardust
If I hadn't prebooked my seat I'd be happy to help out a polite parent but not a strident and entitled one.

Ifancyashandy Sun 30-Jun-13 20:13:56

But Charlie, it was the parents / airline who neglected the feelings of the 3year old, not the fellow passengers. Why should someone who has paid for the security of planned seating pick up the pieces?

ilovesooty Sun 30-Jun-13 20:16:15

And I would imagine that the last passengers to be asked to swap would be those in paid prebooked seats, or at least I would hope so.

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 20:18:47

I would imagine they would ask the people who hadn't prepaid anyway. It wouldn't be worth the hassle to do anything else.

CharlieUniformNovemberTango Sun 30-Jun-13 20:24:21

I'm not sure about paying to book seats - this was on a flight where we couldn't do that.

I had asked nicely - honestly.

I'm just shocked at how some people really wouldn't feel concerned about the child being made to sit away from it's parents so you could prove a point about being more organised/perfect/richer then the childs parents.

Ifancyashandy Sun 30-Jun-13 20:28:35

It's nothing to do with proving a point. For me, it would be about the fact I'd paid to reserve seats with additional leg room. In this instance, my comfort is my priority. Not 'beating' you at a game I would be unaware I was playing.

LtEveDallas Sun 30-Jun-13 20:32:58

Nothing to do with proving a point. For me it would be the fact that I had paid for selected seats so that I could fly with my DH and my DD - and die with them if necessary.

CharlieUniformNovemberTango Sun 30-Jun-13 20:34:19

so if I asked if you would mind swapping seats with me, you would check that the seat would be of equal comfort first?

ilovesooty Sun 30-Jun-13 20:35:08

I wouldn't be proving a point either. If I've paid extra for a specific seat that's my priority. It's the parent's and airline's job to negotiate the comfort and safety of others. In a non prebooked seat I might well be prepared to move depending on the request, the seating and the circumstances.

Ifancyashandy Sun 30-Jun-13 20:36:12

I'd check if it had the additional leg room as per the seat I had paid to book, yes. If it did, I'd move. If it didn't, I wouldn't.

HomelessAngua Sun 30-Jun-13 20:40:22

But they cannot control them Brian - please check, Ryan Air are controlled via their own AA, there are reciprocal agreements in place across many countries but their controlling AA is Eira.

Have you checked their guidelines out?

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 20:54:50

Have you checked their guidelines out?

Not personally. My bil works for the caa so tells me all I need to know. If I want to know something aircraft related I just ask him.

Moxiegirl Sun 30-Jun-13 21:04:04

Of course I would move so someone could sit with their child, as long as I wasn't flying with mine. Ask me nicely though please grin

crashdoll Sun 30-Jun-13 21:07:20

So, in a nutshell; some entitled parents don't want to pay extra to ensure the safety of their own "scared, vulnerable" offspring and are basically handing it over to someone else and then stamping their feet when Joe Public isn't jumping out of his pre-paid seat to accommodate your stinginess.

exoticfruits Sun 30-Jun-13 21:10:31

I certainly would refuse to move for BriantheMole- I would be bolshy and - smile at the flight attendant and say that I didn't mind children. Obviously if he won't pay extra he doesn't mind strange women looking after his DC.

exoticfruits Sun 30-Jun-13 21:11:42

From the safety point of view I am just as capable of looking after a 3yr old as he is.

NiceTabard Sun 30-Jun-13 21:18:26

The situation that groovee talks about sounds perfectly reasonable to me. The children are pretty big, and they were next to each other albeit in front / behind.

The situation being discussed on the other thread was a 2 / 3 yo being sat at the other end of the plane to it's carer.

exoticfruits Sun 30-Jun-13 21:23:01

BriantheMole just says he would leave it to the flight attendant to sort out. They are interested in safety and if I have promised to look after them I am just as safe as BrianTheMole. I would just change seats if he came out and asked me nicely, but if he is going to be entitled and say that he didn't pay but expects seats together then I would be difficult.

CharlieUniformNovemberTango Sun 30-Jun-13 21:23:50

crashdoll - I don't think it's just about stinginess. In my case we couldn't book seats. Others have mentioned different situations where seating arrangements have been changed etc beyond their control.

You do not know the reason behind them not having a prebooked seat at all.

For me it's been very eye opening to see some of these responses. Parents are judged as stingy, disorganised whatever and that gives a person free reign to disregard the feelings or needs of a small child during a flight?

I honestly don't get it.

It seems like some of these non moving adults are being more childish and stamping their feet in a "but it's miiinnnneee" way.

Yes, wherever possible parents should make the effort to prebook seats but can you honestly say that any parent who hasn't has done so on purpose? I don't think you can. And beyond that, why couldn't you extend some kindness to a small child regardless of what you felt about the parents?

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 21:27:36

Exotic, I'm a she not a he. Not that it matters greatly. But very kind of you to offer to look after my children.

sameoldIggi Sun 30-Jun-13 21:28:52

Skimmed only, but have seen this thread re-done a zillion times.
Always makes me wonder what a lot of you would be liked if faced with a lifeboat situation. Does money buy you a seat on that too?

crashdoll Sun 30-Jun-13 21:31:00

If it were a situation beyond your control or you asked nicely, of course I would move but the entitlement of some people...! Several posters have said they refusing to pay for extra so why I should I be out of pocket for them? And it is mine if I bloody paid for it! Do you think people in economy on cheapo airlines are swimming in money. I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't be narked to have to move from my PAID for seat.

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 21:31:27

^ Does money buy you a seat on that too?^

i believe it can do. Depends who you are I guess.

ilovesooty Sun 30-Jun-13 21:32:25

Several posters here have indicated that they wouldn't pay for prebooked seats in order to guarantee sitting next to their children and those are the ones I wouldn't want to move for - or indeed for someone who seemed to view others moving as an expectation. And I'm sorry: a paid for prebooked seat is mine unless I decide otherwise.

charlottehere Sun 30-Jun-13 21:33:00

Outrageous, I would refuse to sit separately from my Dcs unless with another adult I knew. Ryan aired tried this with my 3 year old. angry

exoticfruits Sun 30-Jun-13 21:37:01

And therefore if I am kind enough to look after your DCs BriantheMole your bluff is called and safety is satisfied - I can list my qualifications if it is doubted. Why not simply ask me nicely?

exoticfruits Sun 30-Jun-13 21:37:44

You may have to get off Charlotte if everyone refuses to move.

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 21:39:01

I would ask you nicely. And I'd stretch to thank you too.

exoticfruits Sun 30-Jun-13 21:39:20

Is the flight attendant supposed to manhandle us? hmm
You can't even call it a breach of safety if I say that I will look after your child.

exoticfruits Sun 30-Jun-13 21:40:45

I should do that in the first place BriantheMole - it would get results with me- an air of entitlement would make me sit tight at all costs!

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 21:42:04

You may have to get off Charlotte if everyone refuses to move.

not necessarily true, cabin staff seem to get people moving very quickly or they miss their take off slot. Much money would be lost because the bags would have to come back out of the hold. And it would have a knock on effect on the following flights on that aircraft.

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 21:43:39

I always would always be polite about it exotic.

impecuniousmarmoset Sun 30-Jun-13 21:46:45

My god, this again. The basic point is that airlines are charging for what should be a basic principle of safety - to sit small children next to their parent on flights, in case of emergency and for any number of other blindingly obvious reasons.

The idea that parents should have to pay extra to ensure the basic safety of their children on an aircraft beggars belief. To those who think 'your children, your responsibility' - do you also think you should pay extra for seatbelts? For having a little table that doesn't have razor-sharp edges? For having the 'put seatbelts on' sign lit up so that you know when there is turbulence? Maybe we should only give those safety cards to those who pay a fiver for them?

The mindset is frankly unbelievable. Luckily I've never encountered anyone in real life who thinks this way.

ilovesooty Sun 30-Jun-13 21:48:04

I daresay the cabin staff could as easily move a parent off the plane as another passenger from their seat. I would hope that someone not in a prebooked seat would move if they were asked nicely but the parent shouldn't behave as though they should be entitled to receive a swap as a God given right.

crashdoll Sun 30-Jun-13 21:48:36

It pisses me off that people are assuming those who are already seated are not moving for selfish reasons. Perhaps they are shit scared of flying or have an invisible disability that they don't want to announce to the whole plane...? Compassion goes both ways.

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 21:55:20

Well if they had an invisable disability presumably they would pre book, for free, a seat reserved for people with disabilities. Then no one would be asking them to move.

And its not an easy decision to move anyone off the plane because of the time delay in taking off the baggage. The plane can't fly with the baggage and not the passenger these days in light of the Lockerbie bombing.

ilovesooty Sun 30-Jun-13 21:55:46

No I retract that. Moving someone of the plane means offloading their luggage. I still see no reason why there shouldn't be a supplement for assigned seats on budget flights though. Scheduled flights where seats are allocated are different. Of course they should try to seat families together where possible but surely parents can help the process by checkingoin as early as possible to avoid having to sort it out on the plane.

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 21:57:57

It doesn't work like that though sooty. Families can get there as early as they want with ryanair, but they still get loaded last because all the pre payers go first.

ilovesooty Sun 30-Jun-13 22:01:04

Seatbelts, safe tables etc are a standard need for everyone and not comparable to parents expecting specific seating on a discount / budget airline where the base fare is very low and the chosen extras area for a supplement.

crashdoll Sun 30-Jun-13 22:03:38

Many disabilities are not physical so many not necessarily require the space. My friend has Crohn's Disease and needs to be near a toilet at all times. My auntie has anxiety and would only be able to sit on the end of the row. Not everyone would want to let the airline know they have a disability and not everyone would realise that either.

ilovesooty Sun 30-Jun-13 22:04:47

Brian I was referring to airlines with allocated seating which is why I think parents should prepay on Ryanair if that is the only way to guarantee seating next to one another. Didn't they let families on straight after the reservations at one time or have I got that wrong?

NiceTabard Sun 30-Jun-13 22:13:08

ilovesooty that used to happen on easyjet but of course going along with a baby / toddlers especially with lots of stairs and stuff means that those with mobility difficulties / not so speedy elderly people and those with small children are last on anyway.

Personally I think they should adhere to the guidelines as I don't see exactly who is benefited by splitting people who are less able to look after themselves away from those who are there with them.

It might as well be a 90yo man as a 2yo child, or someone with a disability. To split people up seems to go against all common sense from a safety POV.

impecuniousmarmoset Sun 30-Jun-13 22:13:14

Seating children with parents with children is as much a basic safety requirement as seatbelts. What do you think happens in an emergency if a 2 year old is 3 rows away from its parents? They will trample you to get to their child and compromise the evacuation of the entire flight. It's not an added luxury, it's basic safety for which the airline is responsible. If you want to start delegating aircraft safety to the whims of the passengers, we really are arguing from different universes.

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 22:17:34

Last time I went sooty the families were the very very last to get on. There was a handful of families that had pre booked, but the majority were singles or couples strangely. Despite people saying they would prebook to sit near their kids on here, the majority didn't appear to.
Crashdoll, its not a space thing, they prebook out seats at the back near the toilets and the exit. They're just normal seats. Although if you have a disability seat you have to sit by the window. This is because if there is an emergency you get off last, in case you get in anyones way.

ilovesooty Sun 30-Jun-13 22:20:06

EasyJet has allocated seating now doesn't It? With Ryanair I think they should load the prepayers and those with disabilities then families and they should the

ilovesooty Sun 30-Jun-13 22:22:49

Then let the rest of the people on. I still think files would be better off prebooking but they should if not get on before the adults who chose not to prebook.

ilovesooty Sun 30-Jun-13 22:23:40

I mean families would be better off prebooking.

onedev Sun 30-Jun-13 22:32:54

Couldn't agree more Impecunious! I'm not saying that if you want to book groups together, then you shouldn't pay extra (I could get convinced of the logic!) but as a bare minimum, children under a certain age (maybe around 8?) should be sat with at least one of the adults they are travelling with.

This could mean families spread out all over the plane, but if each child is with an adult from their own party, that would be fine. Anything less is dangerous & inexcusable on behalf of the airlines.

exoticfruits Sun 30-Jun-13 22:36:09

Has anyone actually seen an under 5yr old split from a parent? I certainly haven't.

ilovesooty Sun 30-Jun-13 22:41:39

And a two year old can't be three rows away from its parents as one of the parents would swap.

NiceTabard Sun 30-Jun-13 22:56:12

Not if all 3 were sat in separate seats around the place sooty.

sameoldIggi Sun 30-Jun-13 22:56:29

3 rows in front, other 3 rows behind?

BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 22:58:06

Thats assuming theres two parents there and not just one traveling with child.

ilovesooty Sun 30-Jun-13 23:01:37

impecunious referred to a child 3 rows away from its parents.

candyandyoga Sun 30-Jun-13 23:03:16

It is fucking disgusting that we have to pay for seat allocation. Everything is a fucking add on nowadays. It's shit.

They'll ask us to pay to use the bog next. Ah, isn't that Ryan Air?!

ivykaty44 Sun 30-Jun-13 23:06:01

Civil Aviation Authority gives this information:

Families, children and infants

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.

Child seats and child restraint devices

Infants under the age of two need to be secured whenever the seat belt sign is on. This can be achieved through the use of a seat belt loop provided by the airline to secure the infant on an adult’s lap, or by using a child restraint device i.e. car type seat, or an alternative provided by the airline.

Forwards facing child restraint devices may be installed on both forward and rearward-facing passenger seats but only when fitted in the same direction as the passenger seat on which it is positioned. Rearward-facing child restraint devices can only be fitted to forward-facing passenger seats.

Child restraint devices can only be fitted on a suitable aircraft seat using the type of seat belt/harness for which they were designed. For example a child restraint device that needs to be secured by a car type seat belt which includes a shoulder harness, cannot be installed on an aircraft seat that is fitted with a lap belt only.

The permitted use of restraint devices can differ between airlines, so it is important to contact your airline in advance of your booking or flight to ensure that the device that you may wish to use is acceptable.

Seats by emergency exits

Some passengers may not be permitted to sit in a seat row next to an emergency exit. This is because if the emergency exit is needed, it is important the exit can be opened and the aircraft evacuated as quickly as possible.

The following passengers are among those who should not be allocated, or directed to, seats by emergency exits:

Passengers with physical or mental impairment or disability to the extent that they would have difficulty in moving quickly if asked to do so.
Passengers who have significant sight or hearing impairment to the extent that it might be difficult for them to respond to instructions quickly.
Passengers who, because of age or sickness, have difficulty in moving quickly.
Passengers who, because of physical size, have difficulty in moving quickly.
Children (whether accompanied or not) and infants.
Passengers travelling with animals i.e. assistance dogs.

NiceTabard Sun 30-Jun-13 23:10:02

Sure ivykaty, but they are "should" things, not "must" things.

They are guidelines only, they do not have to be met.

ivykaty44 Sun 30-Jun-13 23:12:43

Thomas Cook airlines FAQ:

My child is travelling alone. Who will take care of him/her?

children under age 5 : may not travel alone
children between ages 5 and 12: assistance is obligatory
children between ages 12 and 16: assistance is not obligatory
Assistance costs € 50 per child per direction. You must provide in advance the name, address and telephone number of the person who will bring the child and of the person who will collect the child.

Please note: a request for assistance must be submitted to our Contact Center in advance.{1ACCC6F3-AB79-4101-9ECB-16780F055E99} scroll to very bottom of the page

So if Thomas Cook deem your dc can't travel alone or assistance or obligatory - then they need to be reminded of there own rules.

it is easy to find the rules for children travelling alone on any airline website, print them out and take them with you when you fly and then show them to the cabin makes it really awkward for them as they can't break their own rules and when you are armed with the evidence of the airlines rules they can't change them either

NiceTabard Sun 30-Jun-13 23:16:50

BA aims to put young children with family as well.

Also a child who is boarding with family is not "travelling alone" so those rules wouldn't apply IYSWIM.

I think the other thread was basically about ryanair who have no such rules.

ilovesooty Sun 30-Jun-13 23:18:13

Ryanair have charged me £10 each way to choose the seat I want. I don't consider that unreasonable in order to relieve stress and know exactly where I'm sitting.

NiceTabard Sun 30-Jun-13 23:20:34

I would hope that most airlines would sit a 2 or 3yo with a parent but with ryanair (I fly with them sometimes for work) it's just every person for themselves and the air crew don't really have anything to do with it past giving the obligatory safety talk and then trying to flog you scratchcards.

As a lone passenger I never book a seat and would always move. I don't care where I sit (well I prefer a window!) but still would move so a child could sit with its parent.

I think maybe the real lack of seats only comes in on summer holiday type flights - I am on business travel type flights and can't imagine there would ever be a situation where there was no-one happy to move.

ivykaty44 Sun 30-Jun-13 23:25:41

It is up to you but I have never paid to sit next to my dc and never had a problem getting seats together.

ivykaty44 Sun 30-Jun-13 23:27:29

I will admit though i have never gone with ryan air and never would book with them.

DingbatsFur Sun 30-Jun-13 23:32:46

I don't get this thread. Surely this is a 'you pay peanuts you will deal with monkeys situation'. If you fly with ryanair then you can expect them to fleece you.
We've flown long haul twice with the kids, never paid for seats together & found both BA & American Airlines to be accomodating.
Don't fly ryan air & you can deal with sensible rational people.

ilovesooty Sun 30-Jun-13 23:34:55

If I were travelling for work I probably wouldn't prebook but I'm going on a holiday flight in August and I'd rather guarantee a degree of comfort in advance if at all possible.

MummytoKatie Mon 01-Jul-13 00:38:33

exotic On the way back from Menorca last year there was an announcement that there was a man travelling with his young daughter in two separate seats and could anyone swap with them? Not sure how old she was but not much bigger than dd who was just 2 at the time. I remember looking round the plane which (being a lovely toddler friendly daytime flight to toddler friendly Menorca in perfect-weather-for-toddlers May) was jam packed full of toddlers and thinking he might be in trouble here. Not sure how it ended but they didn't ask again so hopefully he found someone to swap.

I don't get people who don't book seats though. With Thomson it is a really small amount of money compared to the cost of the holiday so why make your life hard? I think they will (and should) try to get people to swap if necessary but presumably only so one adult is with the kids - not both if travelling as a couple. And it makes things so much more fraught. And travelling with kids is only just bearable if things go well!

MidniteScribbler Mon 01-Jul-13 01:28:18

so if I asked if you would mind swapping seats with me, you would check that the seat would be of equal comfort first?

Yes. I prebook because I like an aisle seat because I get cramps in my legs if I sit too long, so like to go for a wander down the back of the plane and stand up for a while mid flight. I don't like clambering over people, so I always go for the aisle. If you wanted me to swap my aisle seat for a middle seat (::shudder:smile or next to an obese person spilling over the armrests, then I would decline.

atrcts Mon 01-Jul-13 01:57:44

When I went on a flight last September I was told by the airline that they can split a family in terms of parting the parents, but they always have to sit one parent with a your child.

I'd have insisted on an upgrade to accommodate wink

exoticfruits Mon 01-Jul-13 08:11:51

I expect it happens on the odd occasion- mistakes happen. Booking us into seats that didn't exist must have caused them problems!
I would swap if asked very nicely and if I got a refund of my booking fee. I wouldn't swap if the parent took the 'entitled ' view -and if they handed me wet wipes etc I would call their bluff- I am just as capable of looking after a 2yr old as they are and safety wouldn't be compromised.

flatmum Mon 01-Jul-13 08:13:36

I think the lesson fr

exoticfruits Mon 01-Jul-13 08:13:38

I certainly wouldn't move if one parent was next to the child- the family don't need to be together. They can book if they want to guarantee it.

flatmum Mon 01-Jul-13 08:24:56

I think the lesson from these threads is never fly Ryan air because it turn normal people into raving arseholes all in the service I making Michael whatsisname another couple of million. This kind of appalling customer service will only stop when people vote with their feet and pay a reasonable fare for air travel. the balance is tipping anyway, the normall airlines have had to streamline to compete and Ryanair an easy jet have had to raise prices after initial business model of ludicrously cheap to lure people in.

you could not pay me to travel on Ryan air, it simply isn't worth it. my in laws live in France near a town that is served only by Ryan air, supposedly (that old trick of luring the retirees out with a new airport and ludicrously cheap flights, only to bump them up a few years later once they were all dependent). in fact, you can fly BA to a nearby city, hire a car and take a pleasant couple of hours drive through lovely countryside to reach them. and you can take a reasonable amount of luggage without paying through the nose for it. last time we went, it cost is about £30 more I clouding car hire and petrol. that's where I'd spend my money, not in paying to sit next to my children.

the Thomas cook argument is ludicrous as well. they are not a budget airline, many people have paid 1000s of ponds to go on a family holiday with them and most people are paying 4 or 500 quid a flight.

exoticfruits Mon 01-Jul-13 08:28:52

You get what you pay for- if they have rock bottom prices they make up in other ways.

flatmum Mon 01-Jul-13 08:44:38

they don't have rock bottom prices, anymore. that was their initial business plan. if you do a like for like comparison by the. time you've paid for all the extras like having luggage, children, buggies etc they aren't rock bottom prices. they just think people are too stupid to realise that.

exoticfruits Mon 01-Jul-13 09:20:33

Exactly- but that way they get to advertise the cheap price- people need to factor in the 'extras' to get the true cost. If you want to keep it cheap sit anywhere, don't take a suitcase etc.

BegoniaBampot Mon 01-Jul-13 13:53:23

With Ryanair and Easyjet - you don't always pay cheap fares. Why do folk always say you get what you pay for when two people sitting next to each other might be paying a difference of hundreds of pounds.

Just don't understand why folk can't see it's immoral of an airline to create this kind of fear and panic with people travelling with their young children. It just be normal for a young child t be seated with an a complying adult. Airlines shouldn't be charging people for this 'privilege'.

LtEveDallas Mon 01-Jul-13 14:51:34

People keep saying it's all about the cheap fares, cheap airlines.

It isn't. Normal, scheduled flights, premier airlines and airlines/companies providing package holidays all do it too.

We are with Thomson this year and got an email at the 60 day point I think telling us that the flight would open for online selected seating the next day. I logged on as soon as I could and loads of seats were already gone - people stay up until midnight to book the seats they want.

We paid £75 for allocated seats for DH, DD and I. Extra Legroom seats are different and a different (dearer) price.

I have paid for selected seating on Thomson, Monarch, Thomas Cook, CyprusAir, Britannia and Virgin so far. CyprusAir and Virgin were normal scheduled flights, the rest as part of package holidays.

Ryanair may be bastards, but they aren't the only ones that ask for payment for allocated seats.

ivykaty44 Mon 01-Jul-13 17:16:25

My dd1 looked at going to Spain last half term, for her and her two siblings it was over £1200 for three return flights to Mercia with Ryan air. I don't think that is cheap when you can go by train for £400 each, ok you start in London on the afternoon and get there the following tea time but you can take luggage fro free and you get sat next to each other as part of the booking and it is a pleasant way to travel if you have a bit more time.

That said wasn't there an airline this weekend sat for 30 hours on the tarmac, the budget airline flybee at a hot airport and they wouldn't let the passengers of the plane

ivykaty44 Mon 01-Jul-13 17:18:15

Oh and as he siblings are still classed as children they get half fare so it is cheaper than flying

itwillgetbettersoon Mon 01-Jul-13 20:20:20

When I buy three theatre tickets on line I get three tickets next to each other. When I bought Olympic tickets last year online we were seated together. So why can't airlines do the same? I buy three tickets I expect the three tickets to be next to each other. It is a rip off and just another way to make money. They know in advance the configurations of tickets so it isn't rocket science to work out!!!

ivykaty44 Mon 01-Jul-13 20:59:23

if you pay to sit next to someone - they also have to pay to sit next to you, it is the biggest con ever.

The only reason that the airlines charge for seating is due to the fact they can and people will pay.

Sallyingforth Mon 01-Jul-13 21:23:16

ivykaty44 You can drive from London to Mercia in a couple of hours.

Coconutty Mon 01-Jul-13 21:37:59

Couple of hours?!

Sallyingforth Mon 01-Jul-13 21:39:05

Yes you can drive to Mercia in a couple of hours. I do so regularly from London.

Sallyingforth Mon 01-Jul-13 21:43:50

Straight up the M1.
On the other hand, Murcia takes a bit longer.

ivykaty44 Mon 01-Jul-13 23:02:30

could you show me on a map where Mercia is please?

ivykaty44 Mon 01-Jul-13 23:03:46

Sally that will be the mercia you can drive to in a couple of hours - where is it near?

Sallyingforth Tue 02-Jul-13 09:09:11

Google is your friend.

ivykaty44 Tue 02-Jul-13 16:06:48

Sally mercia was in the past an area stretching from the boarders of sussex to northumberland - but then as you left london you would already be in mercia as it was incompassed int he area.

I used to listen to the radio station but it isn't a place any longer

Where do you mean now? come on give a proper answer none of this google is your friend malarky

DarkWinter Tue 02-Jul-13 17:35:11
Coconutty Tue 02-Jul-13 18:03:44

Oh, you were being funny, I missed that.

Sallyingforth Tue 02-Jul-13 20:31:19

You asked me where was Mercia that I could drive to in two hours. You have found the answer.
Now please tell me where was the Mercia that you can fly to with Ryanair? I have looked on their website but it doesn't seem to be listed.

ivykaty44 Tue 02-Jul-13 21:28:02

wel if yu cn't find it then posibly yu will nevr get to go their sally, but then it will not be there loss

Sallyingforth Tue 02-Jul-13 21:36:56

No, looks like I never will. But I have been to Murcia though, and enjoyed it.

holidaybug Tue 02-Jul-13 21:40:01

Terrible airline policy!

ivykaty44 Tue 02-Jul-13 22:10:52

well be careful in that time machine on the M1 hit the wrong button and you could end up in the ducking pond

Sallyingforth Tue 02-Jul-13 23:15:03

Seriously though *ivykaty44", I would suggest your DD and family consider going to Murcia instead. The weather is certainly better. Goodnight smile

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now