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To assume that allocated airline seats would be included in a package holiday

(33 Posts)
rookiemater Fri 30-Sep-11 16:58:12

We are going away in a fortnight for the october break (YAY). We booked through a tour operator in December and I got out the docs today to precheck in online only to discover that we have no allocated seats and that these would be an additional £10 per person each way.
This has not been mentioned to us before and as such non essential extras such as airport lounge were included I naively assumed that we would have allocated seats. I complained to the company because a) it should have been mentioned at time of booking and b) why on earth would they offer things that you don't really need when they can't even offer the basics like a family sitting together on a plane.
In the end I will probably end up paying for at least one of us to sit beside DS there and back because otherwise we will be reliant on the airline following guidelines or the kindness of strangers ( who have probably paid for their seats) and I would rather have the certainty of knowing that DS aged 5 will be ok.
Oh and yes we can afford it, but had we known about this at the start we may have taken the decision to book independantly like we normally do due to comparative costs.

However am I being unreasonable to assume that if you book a package holiday your airline seats would be included, particularly if the company markets itself as a high end one?

minibmw2010 Fri 30-Sep-11 16:59:57

Well yes I suppose you could expect it but I don't think seats have been allocated or without cost for at least two years, it's not a new thing I dont think ?

KittyWalker Fri 30-Sep-11 17:03:03

Can you book in online 24 hours before you fly?

I think YABU as paying for sitting together appears to be "the norm" nowadays angry.

We are going away in Dec and as we haven't booked directly with the airlines we can't book in online 24 hours in advance so goodness knows if we will be together - there's 5 of us and the youngest is 2!!! I pity the person put next to her all the way to to Oz if it isn't us!

rookiemater Fri 30-Sep-11 17:03:33

No I know its not a new thing and if I had booked the flights myself I would absolutely have expected to pay for it but as I was booking through a tour operator I would have thought that either it was included or at the very least they would have told me about the extra cost and asked if I wanted it at the time of booking.

Icelollycraving Fri 30-Sep-11 17:03:34

Yabu. This thread has popped up before (the subject). It is not a new procedure. I'm afraid you need to suck it up & pay if you want allocated seating.

abcdangel Fri 30-Sep-11 17:05:32

We had this situation in the summer. The choice was take the seats they offered us when we checked in online (not 4 together) or pay £7.50 each to have seats together. I paid the money as we have 2 DDs.

On the plane I asked the stewardess what they would have done if I had not paid, but instead had taken the seats allocated to me by the airline which would have resulted in DDs (8 and 12) sitting on their own - she said they wouldn't have allowed that and would have moved people to ensure the DDs werent on their own (and we wouldn't have had to pay anything!).

So if you have the balls and it wont spoil the run up to your holiday you could take a chance and not pay for allocated seats...

Good Luck

rookiemater Fri 30-Sep-11 17:05:38

Its not the paying I object to. Its the not being told by the company at the time of booking, no mention of it on the website, no mention of it by the lady I booked it with.

slavetofilofax Fri 30-Sep-11 17:06:05

YABU.

rookiemater Fri 30-Sep-11 17:07:22

I'm just very disappointed as normally we book ourselves but this time I thought I'd save myself the hassle and get everything done through one place with one payment, I think they are in the wrong because they should have mentioned that an extra cost was required to sit together.

Hullygully Fri 30-Sep-11 17:07:52

Don't pay! It's blackmail. They'll seat you together.

rookiemater Fri 30-Sep-11 17:11:42

Thanks but I read the other thread Hullygully I don't want to have to argue with the flight attendants or get people huffing and puffing about moving, it would spoil the start of the holiday and at the end of the day we can afford it.

I just want the company to acknowledge that they should explicitly state up front when you are booking a holiday with them that you will not be seated together unless you pay extra.

divingworldchampion Fri 30-Sep-11 17:12:28

We had this in the summer too, took the risk and didn't pay and we all sat together there and back, it was fine, we did get there pretty early though. I thought exactly the same as you rookiemater

Hullygully Fri 30-Sep-11 17:12:59

It's policy to sit families together. They just want some extra wong.

youarekidding Fri 30-Sep-11 17:15:24

YANBU. I took DS away last year and they tried to charge me £20 to garuntee we'd sit together. I refused on the basis if they seperated us they'd have an unsurpervised 5yo on their hands and that was their problem!

I think when 2 ads and 1ch they would place 1ad with chil but the other could be serated and with 2ad and 2ch theres's the chance you could be split but an adult with each child etc etc.

What made me chuckle was when I had booked I then got told which plane seats I had and could go online to change them. confused So I would have been mighty pissed off if I had paid.

rookiemater Fri 30-Sep-11 17:15:32

The company kindly hmm looked up regulations for me:

CAA guidelines ask airlines to develop procedures for the seat allocation of family groups, particularly when a group includes children. Children and infants should be seated where they can be adequately supervised by an accompanying adult in the event of turbulence or a decompression in the cabin.
Airlines procedures should take into account the following factors:
Children, accompanied by adults, should ideally be seated in the same seat row as the adult. In wide-bodied aircraft, 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.

Therefore no guarantees we are together.

I have no objections (well I do but not for this thread) on the policy of airlines charging for allocated seats. My objection is that if you book through a tour operator I would have thought that this cost was factored in the overall cost, or if it wasn't this should be stated clearly at time of booking.

youarekidding Fri 30-Sep-11 17:33:21

I agree about clearly stating. It has always been clearly stated to me. I still refuse to pay having worked for a tour operator for 6 yrs and knowing what they say and do differ on principle that they seperate children they deal with the consequences.

gordyslovesheep Fri 30-Sep-11 17:36:39

I'd pay NOT to be sat with my kids - so go a head First Choice - sit them next to some other poor saod - I'll be at the front drinking wine and reading in peace

LIZS Fri 30-Sep-11 17:39:54

If you check-in online beforehand (or vene just log in to see) you will probably find you have been provisionally allocated seats together anyway, as we did this summer with BA flights through a tour operator, or you can amend to ensure you are. BA charge in advance but not at the check-in stage. Makes no odds to the airline who you booked with though.

rookiemater Fri 30-Sep-11 18:14:01

Thanks Lizs, ironically we can't check in online because we don't have an email reference as it was done through the tour operator.

i also know that provisional allocations can change, we flew BA this summer and as we didn't have access to a computer we didn't book in online and as seating was free I assumed it would be ok. Got to the airport and we were all meant to be in separate seats and the plane was fully booked, luckily DH is v good in situations like this and stood implacably at the customer service desk until DS and I were seated together.

I guess I have learnt my lesson, the company we have booked through has some blurb going like this

" Assured QualityWe put you first at all times, whether it’s taking care of those little details before your luxury holiday or once you arrive, where you will benefit from the knowledge of our experienced Concierge team."

Strange that "those little details" don't extend to ensuring that a 5 year old sits with his parents.

youarekidding Fri 30-Sep-11 18:43:23

but they are 'taking care of the little details' - unfortunatly they do it a cost. That's the way of the world now. And as you said should they have told you this you would have done it. The fact they didn't is wrong but sadly hard to prove. I've booked package online and the inflight meals and seating together costs can be moved if you want so they can say they told you.

I do hope you have a fabulous half term break envy Where are you going?

LIZS Fri 30-Sep-11 20:13:33

Ask the TO for the reference number to enable you to check-in online. It may be on your documentation but wasn't anywhere on ours so got it from the airline.

rookiemater Sat 01-Oct-11 09:19:22

Thanks I guess I just need to suck it up, oh well back to booking our own hols next time.

We are going to Tenerife, I am very excited about it - wish the pre holiday bikini diet was going better though!

duckdodgers Sat 01-Oct-11 09:32:51

"gordyslovesheep
I'd pay NOT to be sat with my kids - so go a head First Choice - sit them next to some other poor saod - I'll be at the front drinking wine and reading in peace"

That made me grin - a woman after my own heart!

Unfortunately my last trip on a plane with one of my boys was so awful we go driving holidays now - just back from driving from Glasgow to France - 2 days of hell with them in the car is then made up for with all the wine when I get there!!!

LIZS Sat 01-Oct-11 09:40:42

Sorry but I think you are making heavy weather of this . Chances are it will be fine, especially if you get to the airport early or you can check-in online 24 hours ahead if you get the reference number, for free. Who are you flying with ? PILs just gone on a cruise with flights booked by TO and their passport details had already been entered and they had pre-allocated seats without having requested it.

venusandmars Sat 01-Oct-11 10:31:16

OP - YANBU to expect the tour operator to be upfornt and clear about all the charges.

But, my dsis and her dh paid for pre-booked seats together because my dsis is a very, very nervous flyer. On the plane they were put under pressure by the airline staff to move to seperate seats to accommodate a family, and the family (who hadn't booked / paid for seat allocation) tutted and muttered, and other passengers called them selfish. My dsis was in tears.

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