To believe Thomsons advance airline seat booking is a con....(49 Posts)
I've just come back from a Thomson holiday with my 2 teenage sons.
To pre book our seats it was going to cost us £7 each, so £42 in total there and back. This annoys me (always has) that it's another way of getting money out of us, and puts pressure on families, so I decided to keep track of the seats available in the weeks leading up to the holiday.
So every few days I would log in and could see which seats had been booked and which were still free. 10 days before we were due to fly, the whole of the front of the plane was booked with about 9 sets of three seats still available towards the middle and rear - so I decided to leave it. My thoughts being - It's a 2 hour flight, I have older teenagers so if we don't sit together it's no big deal and I'll save myself £42
So we check in, I ask if we can sit together. And guess where we sit...?
Right at the front, the first row of seats that weeks before were TOTALLY booked. We had extra leg room, which with two 6' lads was a bonus!
On our return journey we sat in row 16 over the wing - again extra leg room.
I will NEVER pre book seats again. It's a total con.
Sometimes you'll get this, sometimes you won't
It's all about if you want to risk it on the day. For you it would be OK not to sit together, but that might not work for others.
Or it could be that there were cancellations which freed up those seats
Donald - what?
I agree with you OP - it's a big gyp. The best seats I've ever had have been when I didn't pre-book!
Ah donald, don't you have anything better to do? It's 7am! (Last post was on a different thread, and said 'maybe the train will crash', odd little troll)
OP I think it's a swizz but then with two small dd's I can't really take the risk that it isn't
It just plays on the fear of there being some inconvenience to your hols. As you say, if you think about whether you really do need to sit together, you can save money.
Also I think the front row of seats is 'saved' for emergencies. So although essentially they looked to be booked, actually they just weren't bookable from the start
For the sake of £42 I would have booked. I don't understand people that don't. But hey, as long as someone that didn't book doesn't try to move someone that did book out of their seats, what does it matter? It makes no difference to either party.
Extra leg room seats aren't available to people paying for reserved seating. It's for people who are willing to pay extra.
So they wouldn't show as available. If they aren't booked they will be allocated as part of seating. Chances are the person on check in saw your tall sons and thought they would give them to you.
How much time did you spend checking and do you value that time at less than £42? If so, you came out in front.
The front row is always blocked out until the last minute as medical seats, you can't pre book them. They're the only seats where a hoist can be used to get a wheelchair user into the seat so can't be pre booked in case they are needed at short notice. The next 3/4 rows behind that are medical too then there's extra legroom which will also be blocked out in case someone decides to pay for them nearer the time. You were just lucky that the medical seats weren't needed.
I never pre book.
Many will disagree with my opinion but I travel alone with DS who has ASD. I make sure I put he has a disability on booking. To me it's a good test of a companies customer service towards me, my DS and other passengers if they don't sit us together.
So far anyone ove travelled with clearly does not want to piss off their other passengers and DS and I always have window and middle seat.
Many also give us priority checking for free due to queuing and crowds issues.
I'm a total believer in that if you polite, form and expect good customer service you'll get it.
Eg, I explain about ASD and ask what they can do to make our trip an enjoyable experience BEFORE I part with my cash to them!
It's all about choice. Fly with someone else if it bothers you that much? If you were in a supermarket & you didn't agree with a price, what would you do? You pays your money, you takes your choice.
Have a great holiday
I'd never pre book seats usually flights short enough not to worry. But saying that always try to check in as early as possible. Never yet not sat at least in twos. That's 3-4 flights a year over the last 15 years with various carriers. And kids now of an age not to worry. Wouldn't pay for hold luggage either.
You're right, it is a total con. It costs absolutely nothing to allocate seats and it is a total money making exercise.
I am firmly in the belief that at least one of the airlines that we use regularly deliberately offers separate seats in order to encourage us to pay. I won't fall for that and don't mind sitting separately from DP for a couple of hours but obviously that is not an option for families with small children.
On our last holiday we booked it very last minute (not booked until 6 days before travel and not checked in until the day before because we were undecided whether a hold bag was necessary) and when I checked in, taking the free 'randomly allocated' seats, we were ones of the very last people to do so and while the seats on the way out were separate, we were together on the way back and on the way out, one of the seats was an extra legroom seat that you normally have to pay £16 for - if I had have paid for that seat, I would have been extremely miffed because the amount of extra legroom was about 2 inches over not very much at all - hardly worth the bother.
I'm in 2 minds about this - we save money because we take what we are given and don't pay out of principle. However, I don't think they should charge extra for seats, especially when people are travelling with children under about 12.
So if they didn't charge extra for seat allocation, all fares would go up and we would end up paying more, but I do think it would be fairer to seat parents with young children together without extra cost, and then everyone else where possible. Maybe only charge extra for the extra legroom seats?
I'm not saying families should have special treatment, but the reality is that you can't leave a 3 YO on their own during a flight. <awaits anger from adults saying what about me, I'm scared of flying and need to hold DHs hand during take off, what about my adult DC with SN, what about mobility impaired FIL etc etc etc>
I've paid it in the past when they were younger. I can afford £42 but would rather spend it on something else.
Interesting to find out about the medical seating - I didn't know that.
I don't know about Thompsons but this happened with us with BA long haul - it was because the seats at the front had the sky cots and were blocked off in case families with babies needed them, which obviously they didn't thus releasing them at online check in.
It's not a con, it just another way of generating money. However you may have got your seats because the people who booked the extra legroom seats weren't eligible to use them. On a recent trip I forgot all about seat booking until the last minute, when I did log on the only seats together were emergency exit seats suitable for over 14's, I booked two to ensure DD and I were together and left dad to his own devices (no groups of 3) and when we got to the airport we were moved to the front and sat together because DD wasn't old enough to sit where I'd booked.
It may also be because people refuse to pay the inflated price for extra leg room. So those seats might be left but it's a gamble which if you can take the risk could be worth it.
Donald, are you a troll? This is the second thread I've seen you on making silly comments.
It's strange that you specify Thompson. I tried to book my parents seats on their plane and the whole plane is blocked out bar 5 scattered seats but I tried to make a new booking and it was letting me book extra legroom seats so they must be a available. When you say you asked at check in if you could sit together do you mean at the airport? You didn't check in online?
ken the flight plan will only let you select the seats you've paid for do unless your parents had paid for e tea legroom they would be blocked out as unavailable to then.
youarenotkiddingme.I never pre book. Many will disagree with my opinion but I travel alone with DS who has ASD. I make sure I put he has a disability on booking. To me it's a good test of a companies customer service towards me, my DS and other passengers if they don't sit us together.
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