to be disappointed that someone didn't offer

(167 Posts)
BillyNotQuiteNoMates Mon 20-Jan-14 02:25:01

I've just read the thread about a train journey with a buggy and it put me in mind of a situation I saw recently. I wondered how many people would have moved..
I boarded an aeroplane with my DH and 5 DCs, none of whom had flown before and were all nervous (truth be told, I'm terrified myself) there weren't enough seats in one row for all of us so DH sat between 2 DCs, I sat between 2 DCs and oldest sat alone (he didn't mind). Plane filled up and just before take off, a young family boarded. There was a Mum with a baby, a Dad and young girl (approx 2yo). There were no seats together, so Mum sat in a single seat with baby on lap, Dad sat in another with DD behind him. She was distraught, obviously scared and broke her heart. He was trying to hold her hand but couldn't because everyone needed to be strapped in. I was really shocked that no-one offered to swap with him so he could sit with his DD, even if it had just been for the take-off, and it was only an hour long flight anyway. I genuinely would have done so myself if my own DCs hadn't been so nervous. I don't know how they got to the airport but if they were on a transport bus, they would have had no control over what time they got to the airport (in case people post that they should have got there earlier). So, if you had no DCs to consider, would you have offered?

NatashaBee Mon 20-Jan-14 02:29:14

What airline was it? If its one where you can pre book seats in advance then I probably wouldn't be that sympathetic, but I would move. For an hour's flight I wouldn't be that fussed where I sat really.

SkinnedAlive Mon 20-Jan-14 02:30:31

I almost always travel alone and am very happy to swap seats to help someone out, so yes I would offer if I saw that sort of situation. I am surprised one of the cabin crew didn't ask someone to move/arrange it for them. Poor little girl sad

BillyNotQuiteNoMates Mon 20-Jan-14 02:32:30

No pre-booked seats, just first come, first served (cheap skates that we are! grin)

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Mon 20-Jan-14 03:04:21

Yes, I would, and have, moved in similar circumstances.

I'm not sure really how that helps you though.

Some people are inconsiderate/oblivious/arseholes.

Some people try not to be any of the above grin

Hope you enjoyed the rest of your trip.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Mon 20-Jan-14 03:21:58

Which airline? Children are supposed to be seated with an adult in case of emergencies. It wasn't the other passengers in the wrong, it was the airline.

nooka Mon 20-Jan-14 03:45:18

I suspect the problem was that they were so late there was no time to make any changes, it was more of a get you on and sat down and then off we go. On a short flight people don't tend to move at all, so unless the people sitting immediately next to the dad/daughter offered their seats probably no one else particularly noticed. Plus unless the person immediately next to them moved it would have needed two people to change seats, so would have needed a couple to offer, or a more complicated seat swop.

So given that I might not have offered because it wouldn't really help. I have swopped seats on occasion, and for longer flights. Last time I offered to move so that parents with tiny twins (3mths I think) could sit together, but the dad told me that they had been told by the airline that they couldn't have the babies in adjacent seats.

twofalls Mon 20-Jan-14 03:49:45

YANBU at all but there will be loads that disagree with you, which I think is shocking. The last thread I saw on this subject ran and ran.....

NickNacks Mon 20-Jan-14 04:37:35

Nooka that's because there's only one extra oxygen mask per row so you're only allowed one infant on lap per row.


GoldenDomino Mon 20-Jan-14 05:00:17

I wouldn't have moved, but for my own personal reasons rather than simply being an inconsiderate arsehole.

If if was possible to book seats and they wanted to sit together, they should have booked them. If it wasn't possible, then it's unfortunately just tough luck. I don't think it's anything to be disappointed about, but feelings can never be wrong so YANBU in that respect.

MidniteScribbler Mon 20-Jan-14 05:07:57

The thing is that is is rarely as simple as everyone should move to accommodate someone with a child. People often have reasons for booking the seats that they do. For me, it's because I am extremely claustrophobic, and sitting in a middle or window would make for a nightmare of a flight. If my aunt is travelling she needs an aisle due to complications from cancer a few years ago meaning if she needs to go to the bathroom, she has to go now. People also want to travel with their travelling companions, or they may need to do work with their seatmate during the flight.

And as we have seen on every other thread of this type, the approach is also a big part of it. Using phrases such as "would you mind?", "is it possible", "is there any chance", and the old faithfuls of "please" and "thankyou" get you a lot further than "I haz reproduced, move it" or the inevitable "well I'll plonk my child there and let them puke all over you" threat that gets raised.

I've moved once. A gentleman approached me and used the key phrases above, and it was a straight aisle to aisle swap. When the drinks trolley came round, the flight attendant told me my drink was already taken care of because he had paid for it. Everyone happy (especially me after a free glass of wine).

JeanSeberg Mon 20-Jan-14 05:17:35

I'm trying to think of an airline that doesn't offer speedy boarding or seat selection at an extra cost. Which one was it?

WhenWhyWhere Mon 20-Jan-14 05:19:53

This is why I don't fly on cheapo airlines confused.
I would have moved because I would feel sorry for the little girl but I would have secretly been very judgey about why they didn't book seats or arrive at the airport/departure gate quicker.

It sounds odd that this happened. It's strange that a 2 year old would be seated away from their parents???? hmm

Which airline was it?

purplemurple1 Mon 20-Jan-14 05:56:15

Weird the airline didn't sort it out - I got asked to move at 18 so a 19yr old could sit with his parents. I did and definnately would for a 2 yr old if someone asked or I was in a seat that would help.

HoneyandRum Mon 20-Jan-14 06:06:30

My guess is it was Ryan Air, we fly quite a lot on budget airlines with our three kids (always book seats in advance if we can) and all the other airlines are very reasonable about helping families with small children. I have only seen shocking behavior from the airline from Ryanair - to the point that other passengers have rebelled.

GoodnessKnows Mon 20-Jan-14 06:11:59

A little one was upset and in distress. Of course I'd move.

KepekCrumbs Mon 20-Jan-14 06:12:01

It is sad that noone would offer regardless of circumstances. The family may have not realised how hard it would be to sit together, or maybe it was an emergency last minutes flight because a relative was sick... anyway a child was distressed and most people you'd think would want to help alleviate that situation. .. did he ask?

JeanSeberg Mon 20-Jan-14 06:17:32

You can pay extra for priority boarding with ryanair.

Morgause Mon 20-Jan-14 06:27:55

I'm a very nervous flier which is why we always book seats to make sure we sit together and that I have a window seat.

Nothing would make me move to sit away from DP, especially not a family who could have booked seats together but chose not to.

Sorry if that sounds harsh but no way am I starting a holiday with a panic attack.

KepekCrumbs Mon 20-Jan-14 06:30:58

Fair enough but lots of people are not like that.

CrohnicallySick Mon 20-Jan-14 06:37:24

Technically the little girl wasn't seated away from her parents, the airline guidelines are same row, or seated in front of/behind parent.

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 20-Jan-14 06:38:01

I swapped seats so a couple could sit together once, and they ate my pre-ordered veggie meal. Which on an 8 hour flight meant I didn't get a meal to eat. So I'd not do it again. Because people are often just out for themselves and screw everyone else.

sarahquilt Mon 20-Jan-14 06:39:02

I would move if I was flying on my own but not if I was flying with my own family.

BoneyBackJefferson Mon 20-Jan-14 06:40:07

I have never understood why people that don't give up their seats are "nasty", "selfish" and "uncaring" when parents who refuse to book seats so that they and their children can sit together aren't.

TheDoctrineOf2014 Mon 20-Jan-14 06:40:12

But who could see them? and presumably it only became clear that the girl was distressed after the plane began moving?

JeanSeberg Mon 20-Jan-14 06:40:43

Did they realise they'd eaten your meal though or did the person serving not realise you'd moved so they just assumed it was for them?

TheDoctrineOf2014 Mon 20-Jan-14 06:41:06

But who could see them? and presumably it only became clear that the girl was distressed after the plane began moving?

pussycatdoll Mon 20-Jan-14 06:43:14

I don't know why anyone would want to sit next to a crying child
The noise would do my head in

This has reminded me of a flight I was on with dh before we had kids. We had prebooked our seats, window and middle, and arrived to find a couple sitting in them. We politely asked them to move. Firstly they said 'oh can't you just sit there, a seats a seat' (there being aisle and aisle). We politely pointed out that we booked next to each other as we wanted to sit next to each other and we'd like to sit in the seats we had booked. They did move then but not without a lot of muttering about why people care and couldn't we just sit down. Only then as they moved it became apparent that their 2 early teenage kids were on the window and middle seats on the opposite row and they were obviously trying not to sit together! Twats.

lunar1 Mon 20-Jan-14 06:51:50

I only book flights where I can book my seat and I make sure that my family are together. Have you not seen lost? I'm not having my family on separate bits of the island!

But seriously, I'm a nervous flyer, I book seats where I need to be to feel safe. If there were no appropriate seats for latecomers that hadn't booked then they could get another flight if it's such a problem.

BrickorCleat Mon 20-Jan-14 06:52:35

I have flown with DC for decades and before that as an UM or with Universal Aunts (age showing) and firmly believe that it is up to the airline and passenger involved to sort out situations like this.

Approached professionally by staff, most people wi be reasonable, but not this emotional blackmail 'it would have been the nice thing to do.' We don't have access to the passenger details and cannot know who is seated where and for what reasons.

Plan ahead, like other travellers, and take responsibility for those with whom you are travelling.

That's an upsetting and annoying situation you describe, but not for other passengers to offer to change.

The dad WBU.

Bunbaker Mon 20-Jan-14 06:53:39

"I wouldn't have moved, but for my own personal reasons rather than simply being an inconsiderate arsehole.

If if was possible to book seats and they wanted to sit together, they should have booked them. If it wasn't possible, then it's unfortunately just tough luck."

Unfortunately your second paragraph does make you sound like you are inconsiderate. They might have been first time flyers, not familiar with the idea of pre-booking seats. I would have offered to move because I wouldn't want a screaming toddler next to me during the flight. I am horrified that the airline allowed this to happen as well.

Fairylea Mon 20-Jan-14 06:57:49

I would have moved. I think unless there is a real medical reason why someone cannot move then they should.

I'm always shocked by how selfish people are towards children. I regularly had to do a 6 hour coach trip with dd when she was between 3-6 due to contact issues with her dad and I was always annoyed by how many people would insist on sitting on their own where there were two seats (seats were booked in advance but no one paid any attention to it) even when they saw I had a small child so often we ended up sitting apart. Used to drive me crazy.

Pumpkin567 Mon 20-Jan-14 06:57:53

No experience of this, but I'm not sure I would be happy watching a child in distress. I probably would have swopped, especially if I was not with my children.
If I really didn't want to move I would have offered to swop for take off and landing.

I'm usually very considerate as I have children and sometimes a bit of kindness and help is very appreciated.

janey68 Mon 20-Jan-14 07:00:25

Which airline was if? All the budget ones I can think of offer booking or priority boarding. It's difficult to imagine a scenario where this family only had the option to fly with a specific airline which wouldn't allow this. Sometimes families don't bother to take the very simple steps to alleviate the potential problem themselves which makes it more difficult to feel sympathetic

iliketea Mon 20-Jan-14 07:00:28

Why should anyone offer? I it was a problem, then the parent should take responsibility and / or ask the cabin crew if they could do an announcement asking people to move. It may well be that other passengers were too wrapped up in whatever they were thinking about to notice / pay attention to what someone else was doing.

Also, the transport method doesn't excuse latenes to the departure gate - check in and luggage drop off shuts 30-40 mins before departure - they didn't get to the boarding gate on time (their problem) or waiting until the last minute to get on figuring that someone would move for them (at their own risk).

Bunbaker Mon 20-Jan-14 07:04:26

Wow! Some selfish travellers on here as well. Some of the responses make them sound so entitled. As I said, it might have been the first time the family flew. You can't assume that every passenger knows about pre-booking seats.

We don't fly with budget airlines BTW.

ComposHat Mon 20-Jan-14 07:09:06

Did the parents or the aeroplane staff ask anyone? In such a situation I think it lies with them to ask politely.

If someone asked I would happily move, but as a pas anger I wouldn't initiate a game of musical chairs, especially when there may be very hood reasons why an airline have placed a person where they are (for example I didn't know about one infant per row rule)

TheDoctrineOf2014 Mon 20-Jan-14 07:25:14

If it was literally just before take off, may the people on one of the two rows they were on could have swapped, but otherwise there wouldn't have been time for a big rearrangement.

WitchWay Mon 20-Jan-14 07:32:03

Poor little thing - I'd've swapped.

With Iceland Air the fantastic cabin crew swapped folk about so myself, DH & DS could sit together - we'd had problems trying to reserve seats on line - & he was much older - about 11 - people were fine about it (The Icelandics are fantastic though much nicer than Brits )

Mim78 Mon 20-Jan-14 07:33:45

I would have moved. I find it a no brainer tbh. If little girl distressed then that would be enough to know.

I find it odd that so many people look for reasons why maybe it would be ok not to help.

JumpingJackSprat Mon 20-Jan-14 07:42:12

Is the parents business to make sure they prebook or get there early enough to sit together. Did they even ask? It drives me bloody crazy on here when people who don't get up and offer their seats are seen as selfish and nasty but the op (not this one) are usually little wallflowers that never ASK! I'm not the most confident person but if I needed a seat I would ask. And I'd also make damn sure when I booked the tickets that I would be sitting with my child. The parents caused her distress not any of the other people on the plane.

happymilly Mon 20-Jan-14 07:50:41

I might sound heartless but I probably would not have moved. If it had not been an inconvenience to me and I was travelling on my own I might have offered but I can think of lots of reasons why people might not.

People might be going to a meeting and need to do work together, couple on a romantic break or someone who is a nervous flyer and wants to be with their partner. Personally I always have to have an aisle seat as I have a nervous bladder and would not give that up for anything!

It's the families responsibility to book tickets together or to get there early enough to get a seat together - I thought most of the budget airlines let families on first anyway?

As I said above I always make sure I get there early enough to book my preferred seat and if I couldn't get it then I would just have to lump it - I wouldn't expect others to move for me.

I once got on a flight to find a woman in my pre-booked aisle seat. I asked her to move and she said that she needed an aisle seat because she got nervous. I said that I did too and please would she move. She said that she had really wanted an aisle seat but couldn't get a ticket. I said that wasn't my problem and could she move! In the end I had to threaten to get the steward. I was astounded that she was so rude and entitled as to just plonk herself in my seat and hope I would give it up!

LoopyLobster Mon 20-Jan-14 07:54:18

I saw this once and (bossy me) organized the other passengers so the family could sit together. Karma struck, and the same family were on my return flight, saved me a seat and nursed my hangover, even bought me water and gave me paracetamol!

WooWooOwl Mon 20-Jan-14 08:15:12

For an hour flight if I was alone, I would have moved as long as I didn't get stuck in a middle seat next to strangers. Don't mind the aisle or window next to strangers though.

If I was with DH I wouldn't move. If we were on a cheapy flight where you can't pre book then we would have made effort to get there early enough to sit together, and I wouldn't ruin that because someone else didn't do the same.

CombineBananaFister Mon 20-Jan-14 08:17:08

I wouldn't mind moving if i was possible in these circumstances - no pre-booking etc. Don't fly budget for this very reason with the mad scrum for seats it's just too stressful with kids leaving it to chance/kindness of strangers. (appreciate some have no choice, we are tight budget but save for longer to be able to afford a less stressful situation IYSWIM)

Does get my goat a bit though when people rock up late and think everyone should re-arrange for them when they couldn't be arsed to pre-book (but aware) and didn't feel the need to get to the boarding gate in good time (seen in bar) and seem genuinely offended others don't realize the world revolves around them. Have witnessed this entitled attitude far too often recently so sympathy wains - still wouldn't see the kids distressed though, would move under duress grin and be silently resentful of divvy parents angry

I must be going on the wrong holidays where we always seem to be waiting for late-comers, disorganized twunts

purplemurple1 Mon 20-Jan-14 08:17:31

Weird the airline didn't sort it out - I got asked to move at 18 so a 19yr old could sit with his parents. I did and definnately would for a 2 yr old if someone asked or I was in a seat that would help.

Nanny0gg Mon 20-Jan-14 08:20:27

I understand that if you've pre-booked because you need an aisle seat, or extra space or to sit with your own children then indeed you should keep your seat.

But because you want to hold your partner's hand for an hour you would be able to listen to a toddler in distress (whether the parents should have pre-booked or not) - well, I don't get it.

I would have swapped.

BrickorCleat Mon 20-Jan-14 08:25:58

I'm always shocked by how selfish people are towards children

I'm equally frequently shocked by how parents assume that the 'village' will bend over backwards to accommodate their own lack of planning, organisation and forethought.

This was not an emergency, it was a child distressed by her own parent not sitting next to her.

Parent needs to deal.

Tryharder Mon 20-Jan-14 08:26:48


It seems like people won't move on the principle of it; family should've reserved seats, only got themselves to blame etc

In the end, if a child is screaming, I would move which I would perceive as being the decent and compassionate thing to do...

WooWooOwl Mon 20-Jan-14 08:27:22

I don't think never having flown before is a reasonable excuse not to make arrangements that ensure you are seated next to your two year old.

Information on airline policy is not exactly hard to find out.

Maybe they read one of the previous threads on here where the advice is not to worry about it because the airline will always ensure small children are seated with parents!

SaucyJack Mon 20-Jan-14 08:30:34

I'd move if I was in a position to help, but logistically speaking potentially very few people on the plane would have been in a position to help.

Unless you were sitting right next to the girl or her dad then swapping your single seat would've have achieved anything. Just swapping one single seat for another.

lastnightopenedmyeyes Mon 20-Jan-14 08:31:05

As long as it didn't mean abandoning my own small children, I would absolutely offer to swap.

I need to stop reading these threads because it honestly makes me despair when so many people are just so selfish and seem to have no consideration or compassion hmmconfused

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 20-Jan-14 08:33:15

Id have moved obviously.

However doesn't this happen a lot. People pay extra to pre book seats to ensure they are together and then turns out airlines make sure that kids are with parents anyway so they waste the extra money on trying to be sensible and planning ahead.

Really the parents should have sorted it out it's not defying else's responsibility to accomodate them. People ha error own reasons for sitting where they do. Needing to be near a window or the toilet or near the front as they can't walks far etc
But I do realise that not an entire plane would r full of disabled people or those who needed to stay put. There must have been someone able to be kind.

I'm healthy and able and if I wasn't with my kids id move in a heart beat but the family should really have sorted it out.

thegreylady Mon 20-Jan-14 08:36:05

I would have moved like a shot especially if I could still have an aisle seat but regardless I could not sit next to a distressed child knowing I could help.

NotNewButNameChanged Mon 20-Jan-14 08:36:40

Bunbaker - sorry, you can't have it both ways. Why is someone who chooses not to move selfish and entitled, but a parent who expects others to move seats so that they can sit with their children, not selfish or entitled? As is evident on this thread, there are plenty of people who have perfectly valid reasons for not moving, anything from being nervous flyers, weak bladders or long-legged so it helps if they can stick their legs out in the aisle when people aren't walking up and down it.

I flew for only the second time in 40 years last year. I was an absolute nervous wreck - it probably has something to do with the fact that a friend was killed on the plane that crashed on the M1 at Kegworth all those years ago when I was young. I flew with a friend and there is no way I could have coped if she hadn't been sat next to me there and back.

If it's not possible to pre-book seats, then you have to get to the gate good and early to be able to be allocated seats together. While I agree that we should try and be accommodating and reasonable, we also all have responsibility for ourselves and our loved ones. Just because someone is a parent does not give them carte blanche to play the 'parent card' to get their own way in situations that could have been avoided.

TheDoctrineOf2014 Mon 20-Jan-14 08:38:04

But Giles, since the plane was about to take off, and OP and family were sitting in two of the rows that could actually see the problem, it's quite possible that dad and DD were not seen by anyone else who could help (if the other seats in their two rows had families in, for example)

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 20-Jan-14 08:38:33

I can't imagine flying with small children and not having every last detail worked out.

You just can't wing it.

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 20-Jan-14 08:41:53

That is very true doc

I guess I can see both sides tbh. And I don't think it's fair to use a two yr old to prove a point. And someone if they saw or heard perhaps morally they should have helped. However children are the responsibility of the parents and to hold others responsible for their mistake isn't on.

I would never let that stop me from moving though. I just couldn't leave her there crying.

TheDoctrineOf2014 Mon 20-Jan-14 08:47:12

Once the plane was taxiing then no one could have swapped, though I'm surprised no one offered once the seatbelt signs were off.

WooWooOwl Mon 20-Jan-14 08:48:23

I don't think it's fair to judge whether other people should have moved or not. No one knows anyone else's personal circumstances or feelings about flying, and it's something that a lot of people find very stressful.

I don't think a child's distress is any more important than an adults distress in this situation tbh. An adult will have developed the self control not to scream and cry like a two year old, but their feelings of nervousness on take off can be just as real and valid to them.

cardamomginger Mon 20-Jan-14 08:51:12

We don't know what the situation was regarding the parents, booking, turning up at the airport on time, or getting to the gate on time. However, even if the parents had been completely negligent in not pre-booking, turning up to the gate early enough to be first in the queue for early boarding, etc, etc, even if they were completely selfish idiots who expect the world to revolve around them, none of that was the little girl's doing who had no control over the situation at all. The reality is that moving seats helps a small innocent person in distress, it's not enabling wanker parents to continue in their wankerish behaviour. It's not about the parents and the attitude we take towards their (unknown, but presumed faulty) behaviour. It's about the child and the fact that she is crying.

You did not move because you wanted to sit with your own family.

I guess the other people on the plane did not move for the same reason.

What makes your reason more valid then theirs, and why are you disappointed that THEY did not move, as opposed disappointed in yourself?

Now that our sons are 11 and 8 we dont bother booking together. We are usually very early at the airport and that is not a problem, we are always ending up sitting together as the places are allocated next to each other at the time of booking anyway...

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 20-Jan-14 08:54:27

It's also about recognising that those who don't move arebt selfish or mean etc that they have their reasons for sitting where they do and may well have paid extra to ensure they got that seat.

Fears are fears regardless of age.

WooWooOwl Mon 20-Jan-14 08:57:58

Cardamom, we don't know the situation regarding the nearby fellow passengers either, so an accurate judgement over whether they were selfish is impossible to make.

MidniteScribbler Mon 20-Jan-14 09:01:41

Having caught many planes in my life, I can honestly say that in most cases I wouldn't even be aware of what is going on outside of a row or two around me. I don't sit and watch everyone board just in case I need to switch seats with them, I just sit down, earphones in or nose in a book. If someone needs to switch they need to use their words and actually ask, not assume everyone is a mind reader and knows exactly the relationships between who is sitting where on a flight.

ProudAS Mon 20-Jan-14 09:40:53

Having children is a lifestyle choice, having anxiety or an ASD isn't.

Families can wait till their children are older to fly (awkward and inconvenient as it may be) but a hidden disability is likely to be for life.

Adults may not make their distress at being separated from travel companions so obvious but that doesn't lessen it.

WooWooOwl Mon 20-Jan-14 09:47:40

Good points ProudAS.

Morgause Mon 20-Jan-14 09:49:01

Just because someone is a parent does not give them carte blanche to play the 'parent card' to get their own way in situations that could have been avoided.

Such wise words NotNewButNameChanged.

That could be a thread in itself. I shall remember those words and quote you constantly.

kali110 Mon 20-Jan-14 09:54:37

I wouldn't move. Im a very nervous flyer. Sorry if the child is in distress but im not going to have a panic attack on a flight and cause myself and partner to have distress.
This is why i pay extra not a heartless bitch at all, i do however suffer from extreme anxiety. Not everyone who refuses to move are selfish.

ProfPlumSpeaking Mon 20-Jan-14 09:54:42

There was an odd situation with BA when I used to fly with young DC (I assume they have changed it now) where you could preselect your seats on the internet 24 hours (or maybe even a week) beforehand UNLESS your party included children in which case you were allocated seats at check-in. By the day of the flight, most seats had gone to adults who had selected them on the net beforehand and so it was sometimes not possible to sit together as a family. A bizarre system.

Grennie Mon 20-Jan-14 09:59:19

I would have moved. But I am a nervous flyer and wouldn't have liked to be separated from my DP. So I would have done it, but reluctantly

GhostsInSnow Mon 20-Jan-14 10:01:45

Oh, its one of those AIBU's I like to call 'wind em up and watch em go' hmm

IamRechargingthankYou Mon 20-Jan-14 10:12:46

I would have moved if I could - just as I would for a distressed adult passenger - the last thing I would think is 'well, that'll teach 'em for not pre-booking'. I also find it annoying when I see parents travelling alone (usually mothers) with at least one infant, struggling with one arm to get their stuff out of the overhead lockers (hoping the stuff doesn't pile out on to their baby held in the other) as people ignore and push on past. A little 'I'll get that for you' takes just a few seconds.

Also, I'm very curious what the passenger actually sitting next to the distressed child in the OP did? Stare out the window?

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 20-Jan-14 10:25:34

Did they realise they'd eaten your meal though or did the person serving not realise you'd moved so they just assumed it was for them?

I asked the hostess to go and tell them as she walked past but even though they hadn't started it yet [the veggie meals come early and the standard ones all come together] they refused to let me have it.

They didn't say 'oh that won't be for us, we swapped so it will be a lady in seat number X/over there/someone else'. They kept it and refused to give it back.

So hence; never again.

ComposHat Mon 20-Jan-14 10:26:23

iam I don't thimk you can blsme the person who has an upset child sitting next to them. I don't have any children and don't interact with thrm much. I really wouldn't know how to comfort them or would worry thsy hsving a stranger babbling on st yhem would frighten thrm further.
I wouldn't wamt to get accused of getting inaproptely close to a child by holding their hand, stroking their hsir in case it was seem as being sinister.

Crowler Mon 20-Jan-14 10:30:02

I would move, but I would be extremely pissed off at the parents if I were trading an "OK" seat (i.e. aisle) for a "bad" seat (center), or if I were separated from a traveling companion.

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 20-Jan-14 10:32:01

You raise a good point comp

Every ones pretty wary these days regarding speaking to and touching/cuddling other people's children.

I don't thing it's fair to blame someone who dates sit in a seat they paid for. Students and back packers wing it. Parents are meant to be responsible. No ones fault but their own if they didn't bother to organize themselves.

Having said that surely the dad could have got up and sat his daughter on his lap once the seat belt light went off.

WooWooOwl Mon 20-Jan-14 10:33:49

Lots of people travel with headphones and would be using them anyway, so may not even notice a screaming child in their own row.

diddl Mon 20-Jan-14 10:37:11

Seems odd that no one offered-it's unlikely that everyone was stuck due to being with their own children!

I flew with my 15yr old recently & she was terrified that we wouldn't get seats together!

I always get to the airport in good time.

But that often means that later arrivals get closer to the get as I have sat down iyswim.
Also I'm a shortarse & not very assertive.

WooWooOwl Mon 20-Jan-14 10:42:55

If they arrived late then there probably wasn't much time for nearby passengers to notice what was going on and then start swapping anyway. Whenever I've traveled on a budget airline I've very much got the impression that everyone needs to sit down and do as they're told as quickly as possible because the airlines turnaround time is paramount.

I pre-booked seats together once with Thompson, as ds was 3 and it was the first time he'd flown. We got sat on technically the same row, but, because of the extra legroom seats and the emergency exit, he was actually about 5 ft behind me, and I'm afraid I did kick up a stink as he was so scared he was crying so much he was being sick, and wouldn't let go of me to sit in his allocated seat. Flight attendants just kept repeating that they were adjacent seats, when clearly they weren't! It's a bit like your next door neighbour being the other side of a 3 acre field! After politely asking several passengers if they would mind swapping (most ignored me and kept their heads down), someone eventually offered to swap after the woman ds was supposed to be sitting next to flatly refused to put up with "that" for a 4 hour flight! I complained when I got back and got compensation.

Grennie Mon 20-Jan-14 10:47:27

Yes I probably wouldn't have noticed what was going on anyway unless I was sat right next to them. As a nervous flyer I always distract myself by chatting to my DP or reading a magazine. I have been aware before of children crying, but haven't a clue why as I haven't looked.

I know some people are just selfish. But it is easy to underestimate how much of a bubble people can be in, and thus how unaware of their surroundings they are.

TheDoctrineOf2014 Mon 20-Jan-14 10:54:18

Exactly, Grennie - probably only a few seats had line if sight to see the DH wasn't sitting next to the DD - the dd could have been crying like that sat next to her dad too.

justgirl Mon 20-Jan-14 11:01:06

I would move. If my own kids were fine and happy with their dad....I would still move if it helped. We were that family once....late for reasons beyond our control, my 1.5 year olds first plane journey, and I was heavily pregnant....I was a little bit sad that nobody thought to offer so we didn't have to sit would only have taken one person to move so I could sit with my son and DP.

WooWooOwl Mon 20-Jan-14 11:04:50

Did you ask anyone justgirl? People might have been willing to move if they had known you were bothered. I bet people thought you were going to enjoy a peaceful flight while your DH dealt with the toddler!

cardamomginger Mon 20-Jan-14 11:07:50

woowoo - I wasn't talking about what the passengers on the plane did or did not do. My comments were more for posters here who were saying things like - well, if the parents can't be arsed and I can't stand it when the 'parent card' is waved about then why the hell should I move when I was organised and I want to sit next to my DP for an hour.

Domaby Mon 20-Jan-14 11:08:53

Even when you book seats in advance you don't always get seats together. When we were flying last summer DH phoned the airline and paid to get a row of three seats together (we had DS aged 3 and a baby). It worked fine on the flight out but on the flight back they had no record on their system of the arrangement. Even when we showed the confirmation email they couldn't sit us together since the seats had all been allocated.

PartPixie Mon 20-Jan-14 11:15:05

I would have moved without a doubt. Poor little thing. Even if the parents were disorganised that is not the child's fault.

cardamomginger Mon 20-Jan-14 11:20:22

ProfPlum - I think some airlines are still like that? And then there are the cases where you have selected your seats and the sodding airline changes them without telling you. I was flying with DH and DD (2.6 at the time) not long after I had had major surgery. I was fine to fly, but needed mobility assistance - which was noted on my booking. We had chosen 3 seats together in a row. Came to do online check in and found that DD and I has aisle and centre and DH had a centre about 6 rows away. No way was DD going to out up with not sitting with me for a 5 hour flight, yet I couldn't manage the situation on my own without DH being constantly at hand to lift her, get things out of the overhead etc. In the end we managed to change them over the phone and it was OK. But you can end up with shit seats that clearly don't work for your needs even though you have been organised.

As for 'early boarding' - so many people book early boarding, that it can end up being pretty meaningless, unless you can get to the gate as soon as it is announces and ensure you are first in the queue. However, sometimes it's not going to be possible to do that - a small child who needs a wee, a baby who needs changing or feeding, medical issues that mean you simply cannot stand for that amount of time. And this assumes that you KNOW that 'early boarding' still means one hell of a long queue. I flew Easyjet with DD in December and, although I've flown with them before, I completely forgot that Speedy Boarding is anything but. We got to the gate pretty smartish, but there were 70+ people ahead of us. Yes, we had reserved seats, but it was a scramble to get locker space that was convenient. If you don't know because you haven't flown with a particular airline before, then you can still be screwed even though you've done your best to make the right arrangements.

cardamomginger Mon 20-Jan-14 11:21:23

DD and I had WINDOW and centre...

Poloholo Mon 20-Jan-14 11:23:55

The whole seat allocation issues is for me a big part of why I am loathe to travel low cost airlines with children.

LessMissAbs Mon 20-Jan-14 11:23:57

tbh I appreciate its mumsnet, but the world doesn't revolve around families with young children. There are probably people with tons of issues on planes, deep in thought, too far away or stressed or busy to be looking out to take over the seating plans for a family of 4. On public transport, most people tend to mind their own business.

The plane and crew would also be concerned with getting the plane to take off and not miss its take off slot, not resitting families for a very short flight. The father was directly in front of his child too? Not really that bad then.

If the family didn't book seats together, did they actually politely ask people to move for them, or did they just expect everyone to do it for them? That's probably where they went wrong.

I'm sure they all survived without major trauma.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Mon 20-Jan-14 11:28:27

If I were sitting next to the Dad and was either on my own or just with DH I would swap seats with the little girl so she could sit next to her dad. No doubt about it.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Mon 20-Jan-14 11:28:58

What a horrible thread. A little girl was upset. sad
SHE wouldn't have booked the tickets. It could be her parents fault, it could be the airlines fault or it could be no ones fault. But it definitely wasn't her fault.
I would move to help anyone if I didn't have my own LO to deal with.
I know that people have issues of their own, but a whole plane full of people who 'couldn't' move and would rather see a small child in distress? Nice. hmm
I hope she screamed the entire journey!

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Mon 20-Jan-14 11:30:56

Or if DH and I were over the aisle from them I'd take their seats so they could sit together. Who would want to see a child upset over something they could help? Also who wants to sit near an upset child on an aeroplane.

Grennie Mon 20-Jan-14 11:34:29

Saggy, there would be no point anyone else on the plane moving, only those seated next to the child or parent.

WooWooOwl Mon 20-Jan-14 11:38:15

It wouldn't be a whole plane full though Saggy, it would likely only be the very few people in the same row as the child and the dad that knew what was going on. And event he if they were listening to music or reading they might not have noticed. The parents didn't ask as far as we know.

Even then, the only people that could help would have been the two passengers seated right next to either the father or the child unless two people were both willing to move.

You're right that it's not the child's fault, but it's not the fellow passengers fault either. Appointing blame isn't really necessary, it's just one of those things.

Of course it would be nice to think that people could help if they were in a position to, but they aren't obligated to. And it's reasonable to think that the nearby passengers had their own reasons that are just as valid for staying put.

choceyes Mon 20-Jan-14 11:42:50

I certainly would have moved without hesitation. Poor little girl.

We made the mistake of not prebooking seats on a flight last year and me and DD (nearly 3 at the time) had seperate seats. I asked if the young man next to me would mind moving seats and he was more than happy to, which was lovely of him. Some people are a better bet for moving seats than others, young males on their own usually don't care where they sit!

MaidOfStars Mon 20-Jan-14 11:52:26

I don't think a child's distress is any more important than an adults distress in this situation tbh

I disagree.

For ten years, I was a terrible flyer. Avoidance, alcohol self-medication, bruised husband/hands from gripping. I have even had cabin crew offer me freebie extra drinks to calm me down. My husband and I have always prebooked seats and, on one occasion where the airline messed up and the couple in our seats refused to move, I in turn refused to sit down (shaking and crying in the aisle) until the cabin crew had sorted it out so I could be next to my husband. I'm quite embarrassed by it all and much better now. Occasionally even do it without alcohol wink

However, in the middle of the horror period, my husband and I found ourselves sitting in front of a couple with their youngest child, while their oldest child (maybe 4 ish) was sitting next to us. He was in pieces. My husband was concerned about how it would affect me (zero sympathy for child). I was the first to offer to move and swap with one of the parents. My distress and panic became secondary to the child's, no question - I didn't even think about it. Perhaps that suggests my fear wasn't as great as some, but I can assure anyone it was dreadful. But I am a grown up and, however bad, I can TRY to cope (and failing that, get hammered). A child had no such resources.

It's possibly just about the only maternal moment I've ever had wink

PurpleSprout Mon 20-Jan-14 12:12:40

The assumption that families will be seated together so they won't book ahead / will rock up last annoys me intensely.

If I have organised a pre-booked seat and a family rock up who couldn't bother their arses to get organised, I may well be given no choice but to move. Some people know this and do it anyway. Incredibly entitled behaviour IMO.

I once had a stroppy cow woman ask myself and DP to move from our upgraded seats so she could sit there with her children, having clearly only paid for an upgraded ticket for herself. She got short shrift and I politely suggested she offer her upgrade to the person next to the children (who were tween if not teen, so I wasn't just being an arse).

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 20-Jan-14 12:19:15


I'm sure there was a thread on that once. A lady, a nervous flyer had paid extra in order to secure a seat which was by the window and with plenty of leg room etc all because she was trying to ensure that things went smoothly and she knew she has a seat and it was meant to take away part of the stress for her.

Then a family rock up having not pre booked on the basis of the airline having to sit them together and the op being expected to just move.

BumPotato Mon 20-Jan-14 13:01:14

We tried and tried to pre book seats online on recent long haul flights. At the last stage the website kept saying we'd been unsuccessful. Five of the six were okay. The last leg on the way over DH, DCs 9 & 5 and I were all given separate seats. I asked the gate staff to sort it out before we boarded, which they did. We were 2 and 2, which suited us. We weren't bothered about all being sat together. There was a couple in their early 60s kicking off because they weren't sitting together and the staff assisted them too.

I would not have boarded the plane if they'd expected either of my kids to sit themselves. Who would help lone children in the event of an emergency?

PurpleSprout Mon 20-Jan-14 13:21:52

Not my thread Giles but I imagine it's a fairly common scenario.

bigbrick Mon 20-Jan-14 13:25:55

It's easy - the parents just ask the person next to their child to hold the sick bag open - that person will move

Kidsarehardworkbutgoodfun Mon 20-Jan-14 13:47:42

You can't really see other people on a plane unless you're sitting near them. Possibly if there had been a request from staff then someone sitting further away would have volunteered

It happened to us once. We were lucky to be in the plane at all, as the one we were meant to be on was cancelled (or something like that). Kids survived the trauma and we were glad to get home.

I also think you can't tell someone's life story by just looking at them. Perhaps we should all stop angrily judging each other and just smile and politely ask for help.

NutcrackerFairy Mon 20-Jan-14 14:01:58

Maybe I am being unfeeling but it does make me a bit hmm those who say they wouldn't move so a frightened 2 year old could sit next to her Daddy as they are 'nervous' flyers.


I am a bit of a nervous flyer myself but I am also a big girl who chose to book a flight for myself. I am sure I can get through a one hour flight without having to be latched onto DH. And if I couldn't, I would book myself some pre flight hypnotherapy or take some valium along just in case.

The frightened 2 year old just needed to be next to a parent. No other way around it. I am surprised that the flight stewards didn't step in tbh.

antimatter Mon 20-Jan-14 14:07:10

the only solution is to pay extra 4 or 6 pounds to have seats together

Wibblypiglikesbananas Mon 20-Jan-14 14:09:12

Hmm, posted earlier and see we still don't know which airline.

Having spent a great deal of time working for airlines, there are many stories here where safety protocol clearly hasn't been followed (unless some of the stories are rather old).

I've flown lots with children and not had any problems so far. So - which airlines treat people like this? Because none of those I've flown on have had people with children switching seats at the final hour...

Grennie Mon 20-Jan-14 14:25:36

Nutcracker - nervous flyer is sometimes a euphemism for bloody terrified. I have a friend who can only fly with hypnotherapy beforehand, valium and lots of support from her partner. They rarely fly, but have for things such as family funerals.

If she wasn't sitting next to her partner, she would probably have a panic attack and end up a sobbing mess. This isn't just being a little bit nervous before take off.

I am a nervous flyer although have got better. When I had to sit separate from my DP I ended up crying during take off. I was very embarassed afterwards, but I was also really scared.

jenniferalisonphillipasue Mon 20-Jan-14 14:27:20

For all those saying just cough up the extra money for priority boarding; it's all well and good but having traveled Ryan Air a number of times it is not that simple.

We are a family of 6 with very young children. By the time we have gone through check in and got to the boarding gate they have more often than not finished with the priority boarding so there would be little point. There are often no lifts available (obv depends where you are travelling) so getting through the airport can take ages. When you finally get to the gate people are so super keen to get their own seat on the plane that they just push past you with no regard to a queue system.

This happened to me a few years ago when I was travelling alone with 3 of my dc. Despite being first in the queue for check-in we were last boarding the plane yet we had not stopped at all and had priority boarding. Other people had to move for us when we got on.

It is not always as simple as being more organised. I would have moved for the dad and his dd if I was able.

NotNewButNameChanged Mon 20-Jan-14 14:34:29

Nutcracker I repeat what I said earlier. I've flown twice in 40 years (ie only when I absolutely have to) because someone I knew died in a plane crash. So, yes, I am more than just nervous. I was once due to fly to a wedding and was so terrified at the thought I turned the car round on the way to the airport and backed out completely. I coped on the most recent flight through valium and the fact that I had my friend next to me to literally calm me down the whole time. A spot of turbulence and I started to feel panicky. I wouldn't remove my seatbelt the whole flight, look out of the window, get up to use the loo. The flights previous to this 20 years before had horrendous turbulence (I was told afterwards by a steward it was the worst they had ever known) and I was just this side of basket case (but managing not to scream the plane down).

While I appreciate some people will feel differently on every thread, you can keep your sceptical face to yourself, thank you.

IDugUpADiamond Mon 20-Jan-14 14:51:22

On a recent flight back from Chicago I turned up to the airport 5 hours early. I don't know if you know this airport but there's NOTHING to do there. Anyway I am also a nervous flier and I wanted to make absolutely sure I had an aisle seat so that I could stretch my legs and go to the bathroom as many times as I wanted without bothering my fellow passengers. Once settled in the seat a man came over and requested I moved so that him and his wife could seat together. I told him that as long as I could go to another aisle seat I didn't mind moving. He stood there trying to argue with me like I was being beyond unreasonable. I didn't move in the end.

I would actually have moved had there been children involved.

Flossyfloof Mon 20-Jan-14 14:54:34

Surely the only people who would have seen what was going on would have been those very close? And if it was an in everybody on board and off we go there would not have been time? Sometimes life is tough. Had I been there alone and noticed what was happening I would have offered to move but honestly, people are usually too wrapped up in themselves to notice what is going on a lot of the time. Had I been with my partner I would not have offered in any case. Doesn't make me nasty or selfish, just means that I would have wanted to spend the flight with him. People aren't bloody mind readers.

Floralnomad Mon 20-Jan-14 14:58:18

I've flown with lots of cheap airlines and I've never come across one that doesn't allow pre booking , that's how they make their money . If you want to sit together you book ,end of . That said I would have swopped with the dad purely because I wouldn't want to sit next to someone else's upset small child ,but I wouldn't have been impressed with their lack of planning .

CrohnicallySick Mon 20-Jan-14 15:00:21

Priority boarding is useless. When we flew Ryanair, the priority boarding people were on the bus and taken to the aircraft first via the front doors where we all had to queue and show tickets etc before boarding. However, the bus immediately after (with non priority boarding) pulled up and let the passengers on via the back doors. We were at the back of the priority queue and the plane was half full by the time we got on.

Didn't bother me though, we paid the extra to book specific seats (which, by the way, were right at the back of the plane so we had to fight against the onslaught of free-for-all passengers) and will always do so in future to ensure that all 3 of us can sit together.

MerylStrop Mon 20-Jan-14 15:00:26

I'm terrified of flying, always have been
Don't plan on doing it again unless I have absolutely have NO choice
But if I did….I'd move for a wee kid, or even a bigger kid, to sit with their family (unless it meant leaving my own wee kid sitting alone)

Because I am going to be crapping myself wherever I sit.

Crowler Mon 20-Jan-14 15:01:07

I can't believe that an adult would ask another adult to trade an aisle for a non-aisle seat so they can sit next to their wife. WTF?

O'Hare is not a bad airport, though?

IDugUpADiamond Mon 20-Jan-14 16:21:10

Crowler I saved my dollars for the 5 hour wait and only bought a cinnamon bun!!!!

kali110 Mon 20-Jan-14 16:21:58

Im already on high doses of anti depressants as it is!im not selfish just bloody terrified with an anxiety disorder thrown in. Because of my fear of flying i couldn't face it so last time we went abroad we went via coach which took 24 hours which i would happily do again if it wasn't for my disabilities now making it impossible. Drinking onboard wouldn't be advisable either. Being separated from my dp would leave be a sobbing hysterical wreck. I spend my time onboard trying not to cry or throw up as it is.

WooWooOwl Mon 20-Jan-14 16:29:59

The fact that some people would be able to deal with any panic or anxiety they were feeling if they were made to move is great for them, but it doesn't mean that everyone else should be able to.

Either way, I actually think it's ok to be a little bit selfish when you've paid hundreds of pounds for something that is part of the highlight of your year.

Parents are responsible for their own children, and if they haven't taken responsibility for ensuring that they are with them, it really shouldn't have to become someone else's problem.

kali110 Mon 20-Jan-14 16:31:34

Wooeoo take it you may be an anxiety sufferer?

wobblyweebles Mon 20-Jan-14 16:37:25

Pre-booking quite often makes no difference to whether you actually get the seats you pre-booked, so let's stop assuming the parents were feckless idiots who didn't pre-book shall we?

I've been in the situation where despite us pre-booking they have tried to dot us as a family all around the plane. At one point they expected my 18 month old to sit on his own 20 rows from anyone.

goinggreyagain Mon 20-Jan-14 16:41:02

For all we know the family was flying stand by or even airline employees flying stand by, they may have just been happy to get on the flight.

Mim78 Mon 20-Jan-14 16:42:12

Crowler I agree I would only move for kids, not so someone could sit with their wife. That is daft.

If I were there I would have issues moving to a non-aisle seat for whole flight as like others I'm really (very properly) claustrophobic. It is a fear of not being able to move specifically and feel I can cite it with confidence as it has also led me to turn down an epidural in induced labour.

However, I think if I was next to them (and they were both in middle seats or similar) I'd tell hostess I would be happy to move but could they help me find a different aisle seat. As long as that didn't mean being away from own dcs, I wouldn't care if I was separated from my party of other adults as that's just silly.

I think the key to this would have been for the airhostess/steward to help out though as there must have been people who would have moved.

ShadowOfTheDay Mon 20-Jan-14 16:46:03

we always fly with airlines that let you book your seat because we always want to sit together with our kids... costs more, but we make that choice...

people still swan up last to check in and try to get people to move to get seated together, when most people have paid to book their seats ... so sometimes it does grate....

if I travel alone, I don't book a seat, so would move at the drop of a hat (so long as it was not to a cramped seat at the back by the toilets....)

WooWooOwl Mon 20-Jan-14 17:12:40

Kali, I don't like flying, but I don't get panic attacks and suffer badly. It's just the principle of the thing because I always make the effort to book seats if I have requirements.

I think it's selfish not to when you know that other people will be expected to move to accommodate you if you don't just because you have a child and an aversion to planning for yourself. Especially when people have paid a lot of money for something.

Pre booking has always worked for us, and I wouldn't move for a family that hadn't pre booked unless they refunded us the full cost of pre booking for all our family in cash there and then.

I did once offer to swap so that a parent could be near their child, and ended up having to move from my aisle seat to a middle seat, which resulted in the most uncomfortable and unpleasant flight I have ever experienced. Add that to the fact that the parent in question wasn't even vaguely appreciative, and I'm now of the opinion that it's not worth bothering again.

ConferencePear Mon 20-Jan-14 17:36:20

I fly fairly regularly on Ryanair and I always book a seat.

kali110 Mon 20-Jan-14 17:52:42

Woo i understand and agree with that point also. I think i said the same thing on a thread a year ago and was shot down! It isnt fair though to be expected to be move when someone has paid a lot of money to make sure they are sat where they want to so completely see your point.

BillyNotQuiteNoMates Mon 20-Jan-14 18:53:15

Sorry, have been out all day. I'm trying to remember which airline we flew with. It was either EasyJet or RyanAir, but I'm not sure which. I don;t remember there being an option to book seats at all, if there had been we would have done so, as all the children were so nervous. The family in question, didn't ask anyone to move, they didn't come across as entitled so much as concerned for their sobbing 2 yo. As I said earlier, it just struck me as sad that no-one offered to move. Not that they SHOULD have. As for them being late on board, I don't know how they got to the airport (again, as I said earlier). We booked a package holiday and everything was included, including the coach to the airport. We didn't get a say in which coach that was, it was a case of "the coach will pick you up at .... be there!". If they had had a similar deal they wouldn't have had any say about it.

twofalls Mon 20-Jan-14 19:07:55

I think that is a very sad reflection of society that people would rather judge the parents for not booking a seat and refuse to move on principle (and because they had paid an extra tenner) than actually put the needs of a terrified and sobbing 2 year old first. Surely at that point anyone decent and without special needs of their own would say to the parent "your poor dd, let me swap so you can comfort her". Does it really matter if parents had been disorganised/naive/tightwads at this point? Surely the sight of a terrified toddler trumps all that?

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 20-Jan-14 19:22:19

YANBU to think that someone should have offered to move but I wonder if no one realised until it was to late and then, the plane was already on the move.

PasswordProtected Mon 20-Jan-14 19:32:13

It is threads like these that remind me why I fly business class with Lufthansa!

feelingvunerable Mon 20-Jan-14 20:08:36

I don't think you should have to pay to sit next to the people you have booked to travel with. Likewise I think it is reasonable when booking hotel rooms that members of one party are situated next to each other (where ever possible).

The same as when you go into a restaraunt you sit as one party on one table.

It's all a money making con charging extra to sit together.

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 20-Jan-14 20:13:09

But when you phone a restaurant you book for a table of X

And when you just walk in , if a table big enough isn't available you have to wait til one is.

WooWooOwl Mon 20-Jan-14 20:45:05

That wouldn't work though because planes and families and groups of passengers come in all different sizes.

It is impossible to always sit groups together, so some people prefer having the option of paying so that they can sit together.

FudgefaceMcZ Mon 20-Jan-14 20:55:37

YANBU. It has nothing to do with what the parents 'ought' to have done, all adults, regardless of their relationship to the child, should put children before themselves as children are vulnerable citizens and require greater levels of care. This is so basic a human concept that it's actually shocking that society is failing so much in teaching people of their duties to those less able than themselves.

feelingvunerable Mon 20-Jan-14 21:27:54

It used to work previously.
You get to the check in and you are seated in order, filling up as you go, no gaps in seating allowed.
There wasn't a problem before.
Imagine if customers chose where to sit in a busy restaraunt.

Look at all the uproar on here when couple occupy large seating areas in cafes etc.

SeaSickSal Mon 20-Jan-14 22:38:22

Are you sure you were not mistaken about who was her parent and who was with her?

An airline would not seat a two year old alone. If the person in the seat next to her had touched her up they would have been sued to buggery. Can't see the other passengers being delighted about being sat next to an unsupervised toddler. Plus all the h&s laws it would have broken.

Unless they simply didn't tell the cabin crew I refuse to believe such a situation would happen. You must have been mistaken about which adult was her father.

BrianTheMole Mon 20-Jan-14 22:44:54

I would have moved if it was just me, or dh and me.

difficultpickle Mon 20-Jan-14 22:50:41

I'm really surprised that the airline would allow a 2 year old to fly not seated next to one of their parents (who whomever was travelling with her). Ds is 9 and a very seasoned flyer. At 2 he didn't see the point in having his seat belt done up so I usually had to hold the seat buckle to stop him undoing it.

amyshellfish Mon 20-Jan-14 23:18:40

Hang on so in every situation, ever, I should put a random kid above myself, even if they are accompanied by a capable parent? Random kids comfort and wellbeing is not my responsibility. that probably makes me sound like a bitch but it's true.

Her parents should have ASKED if they were that bothered and let the stewards sort. They didn't, so presumably the child wasnt that distressed or they would have done something about it.

cardamomginger Mon 20-Jan-14 23:35:29

Am I allowed to lighten the mood by posting a link to a Hitler Rant? Password's comment about flying business class with Lufthansa just made it too tempting grin

Caitlin17 Mon 20-Jan-14 23:41:05

I'd have moved. I'm usually on my own or with grown up son. He and I don't need to sit together and we do sit separately if it allows others who want/need to sit together to do so.

Caitlin17 Mon 20-Jan-14 23:51:32

I'd have moved. I'm usually on my own or with grown up son. He and I don't need to sit together and we do sit separately if it allows others who want/need to sit together to do so.

BrianTheMole Tue 21-Jan-14 00:06:30

I'm really not seeing the humor in that link

cardamomginger Tue 21-Jan-14 00:08:29

Really? I think it's bloody hilarious.

BrianTheMole Tue 21-Jan-14 00:11:05


wobblyweebles Tue 21-Jan-14 01:04:58

An airline would not seat a two year old alone. If the person in the seat next to her had touched her up they would have been sued to buggery. Can't see the other passengers being delighted about being sat next to an unsupervised toddler. Plus all the h&s laws it would have broken.

Which H&S laws exactly? In which country?

Morgause Tue 21-Jan-14 06:39:03

* It has nothing to do with what the parents 'ought' to have done, all adults, regardless of their relationship to the child, should put children before themselves as children are vulnerable citizens and require greater levels of care. This is so basic a human concept that it's actually shocking that society is failing so much in teaching people of their duties to those less able than themselves.*

There are adults who are every bit as vulnerable as children. An elderly adult with arthritis who books a seat so she can travel in comfort trumps a crying child for me. Children cry. Adults don't have to dance attendance on every crying child, they really don't.

willyoulistentome Tue 21-Jan-14 06:45:36

amyshellfish yes it does make you sound like a bitch.

Bunbaker Tue 21-Jan-14 06:48:16

"I think that is a very sad reflection of society that people would rather judge the parents for not booking a seat and refuse to move on principle (and because they had paid an extra tenner) than actually put the needs of a terrified and sobbing 2 year old first. Surely at that point anyone decent and without special needs of their own would say to the parent "your poor dd, let me swap so you can comfort her". Does it really matter if parents had been disorganised/naive/tightwads at this point? Surely the sight of a terrified toddler trumps all that?"

I agree.

Bunbaker Tue 21-Jan-14 06:50:21

"Adults don't have to dance attendance on every crying child, they really don't."

And if the crying child was someone else's seated next to you on a plane because it couldn't sit with its parent, what then?

BoneyBackJefferson Tue 21-Jan-14 06:54:13

It has nothing to do with what the parents 'ought' to have done

Yes it does, if the parents had sorted seating out, then the situation would never had happened.

all adults, regardless of their relationship to the child, should put children before themselves as children are vulnerable citizens and require greater levels of care.

interesting how this only appears to be the case when (some) parents want it to.

This is so basic a human concept that it's actually shocking that society is failing so much in teaching people of their duties to those less able than themselves.

Unless the law has changed there is no duty of care to others in this situation and if there was why do the parents seem to be exempt form it?

Morgause Tue 21-Jan-14 07:02:10

bunbaker The crying child would never be sitting next to me because I always book a window seat (anxiety around claustrophobia) and my DH would be between me and her/him. My level of anxiety at take off and landing would be so high I doubt I'd notice.

Presumably the child would move to a parent's lap as soon as the seatbelt signs went off.

amyshellfish Tue 21-Jan-14 07:08:29

Ah yep I'm a bitch because I think a child accompanied by two parents with tongues in their heads isn't my responsibility.

Child crying on their own with no parent apparently in sight, is absolutely my problem and there's no way I would ignore. I think that helping a child where help is actually required makes me not a bitch but what do I know eh?

Bodicea Tue 21-Jan-14 07:23:33

I once got asked to move when I was 14 on a long flight on my own so a couple could sit together. Being 14 and someone who wouldn't say Booh to a goose I said sure. I went from a nice comfortable ailse seat to being sat in the middle row, in between two extremely large and slightly smelly middle aged men. I spent the whole flight not daring to move!
They were there before I sat down so the woman who swapped with me must have known. To this day I can't believe that someone could do that to a young girl on her own.
Would still move for someone though if they needed to sit together (but would assess the situation first ;-) )

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 21-Jan-14 07:37:28

amy actually you raise a good point. Doesn't seem to matter where you go, what you do , how much time , inconvenience or money it costs you, somehow despite the presence of parents, grand parents, older brothers etc , some random child will be your responsibility I.
And no matter what fuck up the parents make, the innocent bystander who is the one who's being unreasonable.

I'd of course help

But it is the parents responsibility to ask we arebt mind readers

Jinsei Tue 21-Jan-14 07:37:51

I'd have swapped happily on a short flight like this. Yes, I'd have been hmm at the parents for not booking seats or paying for priority boarding, but that's not the little girl's fault. Poor little thing. The crew should have asked someone to move.

Grennie Tue 21-Jan-14 07:56:25

I don't think adults should always put every child they meet first!

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 21-Jan-14 08:09:17

It's just not possible most the time is it grennie

Who's looking after our kids while we sort out everyone else's.

WooWooOwl Tue 21-Jan-14 08:09:51

I agree it doesn't matter what the parents ought to have done.

What would matter to me is sitting with my own family if I have made an effort to be able to do so, whether that be by turning up early, standing at the gate for ages to be at the front of the queue instead of taking my time at duty free, or paying for allocated seating.

I doubt anyone would deny a seat swap just because they are judging parents, they would do it because they have every right to prioritise themselves if they have a reason for wanting to keep their seat.

amyshellfish Tue 21-Jan-14 12:50:38

The crew should have asked someone IF the parents asked them to. They didn't so we can only presume the parents didn't actually care that much that their child was sat separately.

Primarily the child is the parents responsibly.

Floggingmolly Tue 21-Jan-14 13:09:34

Why didn't you offer to move, op, instead of sitting there feeling "sad" that nobody else did?

BoneyBackJefferson Tue 21-Jan-14 18:24:52


Because the OP has children which makes her exempt and the responsibility for other peoples children should fall on the singleton which is somewhat ironic.

SeaSickSal Tue 21-Jan-14 18:37:11

UK health and safety laws. A two year old without proper supervision and a caretaker should an accident occur would certainly break UK health and safety laws regarding proper assessment of risk and duty of care.

amicissimma Tue 21-Jan-14 18:40:36

I might take my cue from the parents.

If they don't think it's important enough to book seats together/arrive promptly/ask the staff, who am I to disagree with them?

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