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To think airlines should have some flexibility when booking seats.

(20 Posts)
LadyPenny Mon 08-Dec-14 12:16:42

I've just booked our seats for next years holiday. Dh and I have as usual booked extra leg room seats.
This year I decided to book 14 year old DS a seat with extra leg room only to find that they can only be booked for people over 16 years.
I completely understand that. For safety reasons the people in these seats need to be able bodied. However, DS is 6.4 now and when we travel next August will probably have sprouted another inch or two and will be 4 months away from his 16th birthday. He is without doubt a lot stronger and more able bodied than me or any tiny little frail old ladies who could also book those seats
I phoned the airline to ask if it would be possible to book him a seat, or failing that could he sit in my extra leg room seat. They said under no circumstances would he be allowed to sit in one of the extra leg room seats.
So bless him his seat is booked right next to mine. He will be all scrunched up while 5.4 me reclines in comfort.
AIBU to think that's a bit ridiculous.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Mon 08-Dec-14 12:18:46

YABU. If airlines changed the rules for every individual what would be the point of having them ?

LuisSuarezTeeth Mon 08-Dec-14 12:19:27

Yes that's daft. Which airline is it?

soulrebel63 Mon 08-Dec-14 12:21:06

Just swap with him after take off

december12 Mon 08-Dec-14 12:24:32

Yes, just swap

LadyPenny Mon 08-Dec-14 12:25:17

Its Airtours. We will try speaking to the cabin crew but I don't hold out much hope.

chemenger Mon 08-Dec-14 12:25:20

Swap with him on the plane, nobody will check.

Unexpected Mon 08-Dec-14 12:26:01

No issue. He can move into your seat after take-off - or indeed, probably before. Apart form counting the correct number of people are on the plane, no-one has ever gone around on any flight I have been on to check that the passenger names and ages match to seats.

samesizetoes Mon 08-Dec-14 12:27:18

Swap seats during the flight, its only during take-off and landing they require an able-bodied person in those seats.

I had an extra room seat and between booking my ticket and the flight, I broke my ankle. Stewards just asked me to swap seats with the guy behind for take-off and landing.

Andrewofgg Mon 08-Dec-14 12:27:51

Swap. Just don't fuss about it.

CMOTDibbler Mon 08-Dec-14 12:30:00

He may be strong and able bodied, but sitting in an exit row carries a certain level of responsibility that they can't let an under 16 take. Sit in your seat for take off and landing, then let him sit there during the main flight.

Little frail ladies would be moved from an exit row btw - I saw someone moved last week, and have been moved myself as I don't have full use of one arm.

december12 Mon 08-Dec-14 12:31:38

No, don't check with the cabin crew, they'll be obliged to tell you no. Just swap, no-one will notice or care.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Mon 08-Dec-14 12:31:39

Yup. I was moved out of an exit row when I was your sons age. They do check and if someone looks too young/infirm in any way they will move them, even if pre booked.

Sprink Mon 08-Dec-14 12:31:39

To me, what's unreasonable is that airlines charge significant money to 'allow' passengers to book specific seats in advance.

I can afford it, but why the hell should I have to? Why should anyone?

They have managed to eliminate something that was annoying but at least a somewhat equitable service (seat assignment at check in) and replace it with something that ultimately costs them less in labour but is wholly unequal (automated advanced booking), then CHARGE for it, the bastards.

So hey, poor people, you can sit next to the toilets in the non-reclining seats while my hedge fund honey and I relax away in capitalist comfort.

(And I'm really sorry OP, because I don't mean you--I've not met you, I'm sure you're lovely, I'm 5'4" as well so we already have something in common, woo hoo!). I didn't think all extra leg room seats were also emergency exits, eg the ones right before 1st class with the wall separator have a bit of space. Anyway, your 6'4" son should obviously sue the airline for being "Tall-ist".)

loveareadingthanks Mon 08-Dec-14 12:37:23

I don't think it's an airline thing; I think it's an aviation legal thing and they aren't allowed to put under 16s in these seats.

Didn't stop them putting me and my son in them by mistake once. We took off in those seats, the crew twigged he was only about 12 so they made us move for the landing. Leaving the seats empty instead. Didn't quite get how that was safer but never mind, they were adamant it was out of their hands once error discovered, as it was aviation law.

december12 Mon 08-Dec-14 12:39:17

Sprink, how is paying/charging a bit more for a more comfortable seat in Economy different to charging a lot more for 1st class?

simbacatlivesagain Mon 08-Dec-14 12:45:33

It is because they are emergency evacuation route seats. Bulk head seats are usually extra leg room but not evacuation- look for those

LadyPenny Mon 08-Dec-14 12:46:16

Completely agree spink but we have 6 dc, not all ours as we are foster carers. We need to sit together as one hasn't flown before, two are nervous flyers and another would cause mayhem if I'm not close by to keep her under control. The airlines have got us over a barrel.

I didn't know the safety issue was only for take off/landing. We will just keep quiet and swop seats.

MaidOfStars Mon 08-Dec-14 13:07:31

I have seen plenty of people removed from exit row seats, including (most pertinently for you) a strapping teen boy who looked like he could hoist one person onto either shoulder whilst deploying the chute with his teeth. It's the age thing that's a problem though, which (generally) goes with the ability to stay calm, make quick decisions and display appropriate judgement*

*This is not the case across the board, of course, and I would hazard the opinion that if you are likely to panic/faint int he case of an issue, you shouldn't be booking exit row seats. There are other extra legroom options on most flights.

Sprink Mon 08-Dec-14 13:31:37

LadyPenny, it's the airline laziness I object to. Someone should sort it out so you can all sit together. You shouldn't have to pay extra.

December12 that's a very good question which I will answer after a cup of tea. I should never go online and post anywhere when I'm this ill and grumpy. blush

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