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Do I REALLY need to pre book seats on the plane?

(439 Posts)
StephenKatz Thu 03-Mar-16 16:05:49

Flying to Spain in a couple of months, Thomson have told me I now have the option to pre book my seats on the plane. The last time I went it was just allocated from the very beginning (different airline and quite a while ago to be fair!) It's going to cost £28 for the four of us, something I wasn't really anticipating and I kind of resent paying it. But if I don't, would they seriously sit DC away from us? They are 4 and 6.

Whilst I don't really mind having a couple of hours peace from them sipping wine wink , I fear I'll be one of those people that Mumsnet whinge about! I won't demand rudely that a stranger give up their allocated seat or anything! But I'm trying to decide if it's worth paying, or trusting that they'll sit us together? I don't mind DH and I aren't sat together, as long as we have a child each to look after? AIBU not to pay?

AliceInUnderpants Thu 03-Mar-16 16:08:50

If you want to guarantee sitting together, pay to prebook. There's no guarantee otherwise.

bookbook Thu 03-Mar-16 16:10:37

I haven't pre booked seats from Thomson or EasyJet in the last 3 years ( only 2 of us though, no children ). I just printed off the boarding passes as soon as it was possible, and the seats were allocated then, always together.

logfiresspit Thu 03-Mar-16 16:11:02

At 4 and 6 I'd risk it, myself. If they seat you apart and it doesn't work out, then people will be all over you wanting to change. And if it does, then great.

Twitterqueen Thu 03-Mar-16 16:12:31

I believe airlines are not allowed to separate young children from adults so I wouldn't pay!

PutDownThatLaptop Thu 03-Mar-16 16:12:48

I flew with them and went online at midnight when the general seat allocations opened. Got 5 seats together both ways.

Katenka Thu 03-Mar-16 16:12:56

It's up to you. If you don't you can't guarantee you will be sat together.

If you are ok with that don't do it.

We do, because I am scared of flying and couldn't sit with people I don't know. So me and dh for example wouldn't move and sit separate.

I have to be sat with dh or it's awful. I can only guarantee that by pre poking so I do.

Shakirasma Thu 03-Mar-16 16:14:18

I have never paid to pre book and we have ways been seated together. We always check in in good time though, obviously if you do it at the last minute you will get allocated whatever seats are left.

Katenka Thu 03-Mar-16 16:15:12

Lol pre booking not pre poking gringringrin

Junosmum Thu 03-Mar-16 16:15:44

I refuse on principle, it did mean that on the 13 hours flight to Thailand for my honeymoon I was sat apart from my husband. They have a legal obligation to seat children close to parents, but not next to, so potentially they could be in the row in front or behind you. Often though people don't want to be sat next to a child by themselves and so will move.

Katenka Thu 03-Mar-16 16:16:54

I believe airlines are not allowed to separate young children from adults so I wouldn't pay!

I have no idea if this is true. But my last 3 Jet 2 flights have been late because a parents has been kicking off about it, whilst on the plane and it's not been able to leave. So it does happen.

StephenKatz Thu 03-Mar-16 16:17:47

We'll definitely be there in good time, we're always stupidly early for everything! Plus we live about 5 minutes from the airport! Like I say, I understand I'm risking not being sat with DH (it's only a 2 hour flight, I don't think I'll miss him!) But I'm just uncertain about whether they can separate us from the kids completely?

StephenKatz Thu 03-Mar-16 16:18:53

grin Pre poking!!!

Pollyputhtekettleon Thu 03-Mar-16 16:19:33

I'm not going to. We'll all survive if they separate us. Here's hoping the 3 yr old gets a seat a few rows away!

BarbarianMum Thu 03-Mar-16 16:20:21

I believe airlines are not allowed to separate young children from adults so I wouldn't pay!

They don't have to put them next to you though - the row in front counts as not separate. Or they may split you 1 adult 2 children w other adult at far end of plane. Or in two adult/child pairings.

I've never paid but always go on line as soon as check in opens and reserve seats. But for £28 I'd consider paying.

BarbarianMum Thu 03-Mar-16 16:21:51

No matter what time you get to the airport check what time on line booking opens. If it was 24 hours before, you'll find that most people use that to check in.

Lambzig Thu 03-Mar-16 16:30:02

If my booking says allocated seat then I assume it's already sorted? With Thomson.

ZedWoman Thu 03-Mar-16 16:34:06

I was on a FB group and exactly the same thing was being discussed.

A woman hadn't paid to pre-book seats, and had asssumed she would be sat with her young kids. When she came to do onine check-in (Thomson), they were not sat together. Basically, the plane was very full and most people had pre-booked. Although the CAA give 'guidelines' on seating families together, there is no actual law about this.

She went into the local shop and was told 'don't worry, the check-in staff will sort it out'. What that actually meant was that cabin crew had to sort it out and shuffle passengers - many of whom had paid to pre-book - around on the aircraft. She said that she felt like public enemy no. 1 and never again wanted to put herself in that position.

Greengardenpixie Thu 03-Mar-16 16:35:18

There was a thread on here last year probably every year and I am going to go with the comment, its only £28 fgs!! I would pay it for peace of mind. Your dc are 4 and 6. They might feel anxious not sitting next to you but a stranger.

lovelyupnorth Thu 03-Mar-16 16:36:02

i've flown a lot- and never yet or ever will pay for seats, I tend to check in online as soon as i can - last time we flew 3 families all checked in and we where all sat together 12 of us ....

Haroldplaystheharmonica Thu 03-Mar-16 16:38:30

They would sit you separately, yes. My brother refused to pay the charge and they say him, SIL and 2 year old DD all rows apart. Brother asked the stewardesses if they could sit together, they asked everyone on the plane and everybody refused. I'd pay if I were you...

ZedWoman Thu 03-Mar-16 16:38:43

Thomson on-line checkin opens a couple of weeks before the flight. Those who have paid for allocated seats get to choose them 90 days befroe the return flight.

Those who haven't paid get the pick of what's left. You may be ok, you may not.

BoomBoomsCousin Thu 03-Mar-16 16:42:14

Civil aviation authority guidelines state airlines should seat young children next to parents. But next to includes seats behind or in front, not just to the side. A lot of people would change seats with you rather than be stuck with an untended 4 year old next to them, though probably not older if it means moving to a middle seat. My 6 year olds rather like the opportunity to sit away from their father and me, though obviously this won't be true for all 6 year olds, but if likely for yours then much less concern and not booking but checking in online at earliest opportunity will probably be fine. Even if not, it's just a flight. They may not enjoy it much but they aren't likely to come to any harm, so then it's a matter of calculating how much the booking fee is worth for the opportunity to guarantee a seating combination you will like.

KellyElly Thu 03-Mar-16 16:43:52

You will have a child each to look after at that young age with Thompson. Don't bother spending the money. I've flown a few times with Thompson and it's never been a problem.

Mistigri Thu 03-Mar-16 16:44:10

Most airlines will try to seat people on the same booking together.

I never book seats but my kids are older. I've never had an issue. I'd just check in as early as possible, My experience of flying low cost airlines in Europe is that few people are prepared to pay the extra.

I'm not sure what an airline would do if it were really impossible to seat a young child close to a responsible adult - in the event of an accident or loss of cabin pressure there could be serious safety implications.

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