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To want to be allowed to sit with my family when pre-booking seats for a flight?

(24 Posts)
BinToHellAndBack Mon 06-Jul-15 14:41:27

Mumsnet opened my eyes to the idea of pre-booking seats to ensure your party can sit together.

The airline website that I'm travelling with shows very few of the seats on our plane have been booked yet so there's a huge choice. I have a 1yo who's travelling on my lap, a 3yo with their own seat, and another adult, but the system won't allow us to sit together in any configuration. Apparently we are not allowed to sit together for 'safety reasons' and must put the children in separate rows.

Is this normal? If so, what are the 'safety reasons' (nothing about it on the airline website which I have trawled through with a fine toothed comb)? I've seen families travelling together pretty much every time I've been on a plane!

Has anyone else had this problem and got around it - if so please tell me how! Of course we will sit separately if it is necessary... but it would be really nice to not have to.

CrystalHaze Mon 06-Jul-15 14:43:01

I've never heard of having to sit the children separately. How odd. Which airline is it?

BinToHellAndBack Mon 06-Jul-15 14:43:56

It's BA, I thought they were really family friendly confused

iamnotaponceyloudperson Mon 06-Jul-15 14:44:54

Never heard of this. We are a family of 5, fly approx twice a year. Always sat together when we've paid.

LazyLouLou Mon 06-Jul-15 14:45:05


Email/ring them. That sounds wrong, or badly worded!!!

CrystalHaze Mon 06-Jul-15 14:45:42

It must be a typo, surely? confused

PosterEh Mon 06-Jul-15 14:45:55

That is very odd. I'd give them a call. I know they don't allow two infants (on laps) in the same block of seats as there is only one extra oxygen mask but we have flown in the configuration you describe many times.

iamnotaponceyloudperson Mon 06-Jul-15 14:46:12

BA??? That's very odd. If you have several hours to spare you could call them and they'd sort it out.

RepeatAdNauseum Mon 06-Jul-15 14:46:25

Are you picking seats near the emergency exits? Your three year old won't be able to sit there - you need to be able to remove the door, if anything happens.

Otherwise I'd give them a call, it must be a website glitch and they'll be glad to be told!

CrystalHaze Mon 06-Jul-15 14:47:01

grin at 'several hours'!

Groovee Mon 06-Jul-15 14:47:21

When I was booking online for Thomas Cook seats, I noticed a bit talking about infants having to sit I'm certain seats where there were 2 oxygen masks.

I'd call BA as normally they are pretty flexible.

cuntycowfacemonkey Mon 06-Jul-15 14:48:25

Ah I think repeat may have it, if you are trying to pick emergency exit seats that would be why. If not I have no idea!

Teabagbeforemilk Mon 06-Jul-15 14:48:35

Depends on which seats you are booking.

Also we could never check in online when DS travelled on our knee. The system just didn't seem to work. Call them.

It may be because the child is on your knee?

CountlessScreamingArgonauts Mon 06-Jul-15 14:50:12

I had this and found picking a different row solved it. I think there was another baby next to the row I'd chosen (which obviously I had no way of knowing) but the error message made it seem like my 6 year old couldn't sit next to the me and the baby!

BinToHellAndBack Mon 06-Jul-15 14:51:22

It doesn't seem like a typo, just because it won't let me continue the seat selection process unless the children's seats are on separate rows. It brings up a bold red error message about 'safety' every time (regardless of where in the plane, we're not trying to book the emergency exit seats or anything silly like that).

I guess I will have to ring them, although it it's actually their policy I don't suppose it'll make any difference.

BinToHellAndBack Mon 06-Jul-15 14:55:36

grin several hours. Already spend over a day on the phone when the children got randomly deleted from the booking so I don't relish starting all that again... but yes it looks necessary.

Will try argonauts idea trying even more seats around the plane first in case there's already a baby on the rows I tried. I expect there will be lots of babies as it's in the school holidays.

iamnotaponceyloudperson Mon 06-Jul-15 14:55:58

I'm sure calling them will help. Our DCs have flown around the world since tiny and never been separated, although we have had to call for various reasons to sort seats out (hence I know about the bloody hold time for BA!)

Rascalls3 Mon 06-Jul-15 14:59:48

Hi BA cabin crew here. I will try and help. Where are you going? Which aircraft is it on? You can certainly sit in a row of 4 seats with the party you describe ( not an exit row obviously) Is it a long haul flight? Would you not be better with a bassinet position if it is, so that your 1 year old can have a baby seat. I am pretty sure you will need to ring them to prebook ( for free) the bassinet ( apologies if it takes ages!)

Rascalls3 Mon 06-Jul-15 15:08:40

Just to add... the majority of our seats are pre-booked for free. You just need to go onto 24 hours before your departure time and select them. Will be a lot of choice as long as you do it promptly. No need to pay!

BinToHellAndBack Mon 06-Jul-15 15:12:19

Thank you Rascalls, that's really lovely of you! I think I've just solved the problem based on what argonaouts suggested (thank you too btw).

Looks like there are infants on my flight across the aisle from every seat I was attempting to book. By systematically going through all the rows I have eventually found some that we can sit in! It was really not clear that this was the problem - the wording made it sound like my two children were the problem.

Rascalls3 Mon 06-Jul-15 15:29:48

Oh well done bin! It will be to do with the drop down oxygen system. There obviously has to be enough masks for everybody ( for a decompression) hence not too many babies on laps in one area. Have a good flight!

CrohnicallyAspie Mon 06-Jul-15 17:02:39

I remember this from flying with DD- they have a different size oxygen mask for babies on laps, and there was one baby size per half row (one for seats ABC and one for seats DEF, the aisle was between C and D).

Fluffyears Mon 06-Jul-15 18:04:05

That's interesting I didn't know that about the masks. I love how they say 'put the mask on and breathe normally' erm ok I think I will be hyperventilating and/or screaming my head off so normal breathing will be difficult .

Hoppinggreen Mon 06-Jul-15 20:45:11

When we flew with Jet2 and the Dc were under 2 we couldn't check in online, could it be something similar to that?
We used to have to check in at the airport but weren't charged extra for it

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