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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?

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

YellowDinosaur Mon 20-Jan-14 06:49:48

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...

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