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About pre-booking airline seats

(107 Posts)
Jollyphonics Fri 01-May-15 13:58:24

This is a common topic on AIBU - the dilemma of whether or not to pay extra to ensure you can sit with your kids on flights. The general consensus is usually that it's unfair to expect others to move when they've paid extra for specific seats, and that if you want to all sit together you should just pay the fee.

Fair enough - so I've just done my (compulsory) on-line check-in, and chose the option to pay for specific seats. Despite the fact that the check-in only opened a couple of days ago, virtually all the seats appear to be taken, and the only ones available were randomly scattered around the plane.

I just rang Jet2 as this seemed a bit strange, and was told that most of the seats have not actually been taken, but that the airline keeps aside a big chunk of seats precisely in order to sit kids with carers. So although it may appear that we're in 3 different places, we will actually all be seated together.

This is totally at odds with what I've heard on here! So, if anyone gets moved on our flight so that we can sit together, I apologise sincerely. I really did try to sort it out! I'm still sceptical about what will happen on the day though.

Has anyone come across this before? Would you do anything different?

Fudgeface123 Fri 01-May-15 14:00:06

Never, ever heard of that and I fly with Jet 2 about 5/6 times per year (business & pleasure)!

youngestisapyscho Fri 01-May-15 14:00:14

I was always told that a booking with children would always have seats allocated together....

Patapouf Fri 01-May-15 19:39:36

If they block them out that means that no one can book them, and nobody will be asked to move to accommodate you.

TheHoundsBitch Fri 01-May-15 19:43:28

I have prebooked seats for flights in June, when I mentioned this to my flight attendant friend she laughed at me blush She said they will always get people to move so that minors can sit with their parents.

PerspicaciaTick Fri 01-May-15 19:47:50

I've heard that airlines will always sit children and parents together. However, I have also heard that they may not sit the whole family group together (so parents may be separated, and although children will sit with at least one parent it may be that mum sits with DC1 and dad sits elsewhere with DC2) and that they include seating families either side of the aisle or in adjacent rows as "seating together" (so you may end up sitting behind or in front of part of your family).
I'd love to know if this is true - I haven't dared risk it myself.

MeggyMooAndTinkerToo Fri 01-May-15 19:56:48

She said they will always get people to move so that minors can sit with their parents.

I'm one passenger among a lot of people that refused to move a few months ago on a flight. The mother and air steward were not impressed. I ended up sat with a 4 year old next to me. The mother was saying in a VERY loud voice that the child got sick and making a fuss because she hadn't pre booked. I put on my headphones then fell asleep. The child hadn't threw up on me when I woke up. I have witnessed many times that they can't force people to move who have booked their seats for people who haven't paid.

justmyview Fri 01-May-15 20:01:23

I think it's an airline regulation that they have to sit a child under 12(?) with a parent, so I wouldn't pay for something that the airline has to provide anyway. I would argue that it's up to the airline to ensure they keep enough seats available for parents and children to sit together. If the airline ends up having to ask another passenger to move, then that's the airline's problem, not yours

AbbeyRoadCrossing Fri 01-May-15 20:03:26

I thought a minor had to be sat with someone willing to do their oxygen mask etc in case of an emergency. So you'd get at least one parent with one child, although they could split up the adults. I guess a stranger could help if willing and perhaps the rules have changed?

TarkaTheOtter Fri 01-May-15 20:03:55

I can't believe someone would be proud to admit they wouldn't move so a 4 year old had to sit apart from a parent when they intended to sleep the whole flight.

ilovesooty Fri 01-May-15 20:05:53

But as others said together doesn't mean on the same row or everyone on the same part of the plane. It just means that an individual child will be in close proximity to at least one parent. I've paid extra to prebook for my next flight and I wouldn't expect to have to move.

EscapePea Fri 01-May-15 20:10:41

I agree with justmyview - it's the airline's problem. I have never paid extra to sit with my DD and I refuse to do so. On the other hand, I wouldn't expect someone who had paid for a seat to move for me. If the airline hasn't ensured that it can seat one parent with one kid it should offer attractive compensation to those who may have to move. It's greed on the airline's part, not tightfistedness on parents' parts.

MeggyMooAndTinkerToo Fri 01-May-15 20:10:48

Tarka I PAID to reserve seats. If someone with a child didn't bother then it's not my issue. That's simply being 'entitled' to seats together when they can't be arsed paying the money for them. Other people's children are not my responsibility on public transport.

ConfusedInBath Fri 01-May-15 20:11:06

Why would you not move meggy?

ConfusedInBath Fri 01-May-15 20:11:55

Ok you paid to reserve.
Extra leg room?

Metalguru Fri 01-May-15 20:12:43

Different airlines will have differing policies on this, there are no aviation laws that cover this as far as I know. All I can tell you is that easyjet sat dd(5) with DH, I had a seat nowhere near them and five rows behind dd(8) because she was the older of the two. Nobody was asked to move, I didn't ask anyone as it was a short flight, but I did show dd and tell her neighbour where I was seated. So it does happen.Couldn't be helped as last minute booking.

ilovesooty Fri 01-May-15 20:14:38

I paid because I wanted a window seat not too far down the plane. I prefer not to have people climbing over me for the toilet, it's easier to sleep and the refreshments might not run out before they get to my row.

MeggyMooAndTinkerToo Fri 01-May-15 20:15:21

Confused because I had paid for extra leg room seats at the front of the plane. I'd had surgery on my back 8 weeks before and no way was I moving. This aside, if I'd paid to reserve seats and someone else hadn't but expected me to move then I still wouldn't have moved.

ConfusedInBath Fri 01-May-15 20:16:04

We flew long haul at Easter.
Flying back we had seats one in front of the other, myself, DH and DS aged 8.
When we boarded the steward said just sit together and we will speak to the passengers.

So we did. One woman was a bit put out but it was fine in the end.

People are usually reasonable thank goodness.

ConfusedInBath Fri 01-May-15 20:17:53

Ok meggy I understand why you'd want extra leg room in that case.

Why didn't you just tell us about your operation/neck in the first place? confused

ilovesooty Fri 01-May-15 20:19:45

Moving someone out of a randomly allocated seat and moving them from one they've chosen and paid extra for are very different when expecting reasonableness.

Mynxie Fri 01-May-15 20:20:07

Dont bank on it ilovesooty. I was told to move on my last flight so that a family could be sat together even though I'd prebooked several months earlier. I was particularly upset about it because it was my husbands 60 th birthday and retirement holiday, and it was supposed to get the holiday off to a good start with extra leg room. There was no way I could refuse without making a huge fuss - not how you want to start a special holiday.

MeggyMooAndTinkerToo Fri 01-May-15 20:21:24

confused because regardless of my operation I still wouldn't have moved. If I pay to reserve seating I expect to have the seats I've chosen. If someone chooses not to reserve seats why should I be inconvenienced because of them choosing not to reserve seats? When my children were small I always reserved seats together for us. I would never have inconvencienced other passengers.

TarkaTheOtter Fri 01-May-15 20:21:51

I don't understand why they would ask the people with extra legroom to move. Especially as most extra legroom seats are exit aisle and children can't sit there anyway.

ilovesooty Fri 01-May-15 20:22:58

I think it's ridiculous to have forced you out of seats you'd prebooked Mynxie if you paid a supplement for them.

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