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Online Check In - seats together with children

(355 Posts)
madmare77 Tue 23-May-17 11:09:46

I'm going on holiday next week. Thomson package holiday with DH, DS (12) and DD (9). Online check in opened today. Logged on at 6.30am and could not check in. I left it until after 9am and still not able to check in.
I called Thompson to query and was told they only allow 70% on people to check in online (God knows what time they got up to do this!).
I told the lady I was concerned as I had children (especially my 9 year old) could I pay to pre book seats and was told no. I'm concerned as it's a 4.5 hour flight and I don't want my kids sat next to any Tom, Dick or Harry.
Are there any airline industry people who can tell me if they will try to seat us together or are we screwed?

CowParsleyNettle Tue 23-May-17 11:11:27

I thought you booked seats when you paid for tickets? That's what I've always done.

Can you log in and try a different screen? Does it specifically state in their communication you can only book seats at check in?

BarbarianMum Tue 23-May-17 11:13:03

It's quite common to only be able to choose seats at check in. In my experience, its the norm.

troodiedoo Tue 23-May-17 11:13:39

Not in the industry but always holiday with Thomson and I've always pre booked and checked in online and they've heavily encouraged me to do that, even after I've done it. Very surprised at the 70% and that poor customer service. I'd try phoning them again or going to a shop if there's one near you.

crunchermuncher Tue 23-May-17 11:16:41

This happened to me with American Airlines when DS was 4 on a flight to Chicago! They swapped someone else around when we got to check in, said there was no way they would leave a child unaccompanied. Im sure they would do the same for you - I cant imagine the cabin crew want to be looking after random kids that cant get a seat with their parents. Try not to stress.

WhatToDoAboutThis2017 Tue 23-May-17 11:26:17

You should have paid to prebook seats if you were so concerned.

Not acceptable for other people to have to be moved to accommodate you.

madmare77 Tue 23-May-17 11:27:36

Thanks everyone. I think that they wouldn't really want a 9 year old sat next to someone random due to safety - face masks in emergencies etc. and I think it would freak her out too. My 12 year old is level headed and sensible so I'm sure he would be ok.
I suffer with anxiety so I just wanted it sorted today and off my to do list!

madmare77 Tue 23-May-17 11:29:55

I've never had an issue before What so that's why I didn't. I asked to pay to pre book today but apparently they have to online check in 30% for security reasons confused and wouldn't allow me to.

ChardonnaysPrettySister Tue 23-May-17 11:32:23

Yeah, because every Tom, Dick and Harry will be fighting to sit next to your children.

WhatToDoAboutThis2017 Tue 23-May-17 11:34:48

You can't pay to prebook afterwards, when everyone has already paid to choose their seat or is using the check in, you do it when you buy the flight.

When airlines say they will seat you next to your children, that includes the row in front or behind or across the aisle. 'Next to' is a loose definition.

madmare77 Tue 23-May-17 11:54:00

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

BarbaraofSeville Tue 23-May-17 12:05:03

Maybe they only allow 70% to choose their seats to give capacity to switch people around to allow for families, healthy adults on the emergency exit row, infant oxygen masks, any mobility problems etc?

I would have thought that they would be able to give you 2 x 2 at the very least so you and DH will have to sit with a DC each.

If there's 3 in a row (I'm guessing you're going somewhere like Canaries, Turkey or Cyprus from the flight time), someone will be behind or across the aisle anyway, so not that close even if all on the same row.

Try not to stress and have a great holiday.

BarbaraofSeville Tue 23-May-17 12:09:09

I would be quite pissed off if I'd paid to sit next to someone and found that they were on a different row. That's not worth paying for, even though I know what the rules are.

I almost never pay anyway. No DCs so its only me and DP and I just take what the airline gives us. Only time I pay is if we're going on ryanair and it means I can check in for the return flight in advance rather than faffing around trying to do it on my phone on holiday, and then not losing or breaking phone or letting battery run out.

If we're separate for the flight, that's fine, DP usually wears headphones and watches films and I can pretend I don't know him if he falls asleep and starts snoring.

EssentialHummus Tue 23-May-17 12:16:33

When airlines say they will seat you next to your children, that includes the row in front or behind or across the aisle. 'Next to' is a loose definition.

This. I'm a bit confused at the 70% thing, though.

madmare77 Tue 23-May-17 12:21:52

Thank you Barbara. Yes if it's just me and DH I have no issue with it. Also I don't care what part of the plane or seat I get. Even if they sit DD across the aisle or infront etc. As long as I can get to her quickly in an emergency.
12 YO will be fine and well behaved wherever he's seated.

Laiste Tue 23-May-17 12:23:52

BarbaraofSeville - I would be quite pissed off if I'd paid to sit next to someone and found that they were on a different row.

I think when you actually pay at the time of booking to choose a seat then you do get the specific seats you ask for.

Personally i've never risked it. Got 4 DCs. Sorting out the seats is a major part of the booking process for me (not next to wings or too near the front, who's with who ect) worth every extra penny.

NotISaidTheWalrus Tue 23-May-17 12:24:27

I just stood there until they moved someone last time. As if I was going to let my 4 year old sit 6 rows away next to complete strangers for a couple of hours!

blaeberry Tue 23-May-17 12:31:33

I am always bemused on these threads how people blame other passengers for not paying for prebooking when really the fault lies with the greedy airlines putting profit above safety. Children should always be sat with parents or you would get parents trying to reach their children in event of an emergency holding up evacuation putting everyone at risk. That is before you even start to consider good customer service. A computer should be able to save spaces for children to be sat next to an adult from each booking somewhere/anywhere on the plane whilst offering choice to those who want to pay. Obviously choice would eventually be limited by the fact that a group could be moved but not split but not significantly so,

madmare77 Tue 23-May-17 12:35:59

You're so right Blae. I've spent nearly £3k on 1 week holiday for the 4 of us and then they want more money for sitting in the same area! Plus the extra I've paid for a term time holiday!

theymademejoin Tue 23-May-17 12:49:45

Blaeberry - You always paid for seat allocation, you just had no choice previously. Now you can choose whether to pay to have an allocated seat or not pay and take your chances.

From the airlines perspective, the sensible way to do it would be to include the cost of seat allocation and then allow the passengers who don't want it to opt-out. However, that's illegal under EU legislation (another plus for Brexit......). Ryan Air have the right approach whereby they require pre-booking of seats if you are travelling with children.

TiredMumToTwo Tue 23-May-17 12:58:35

Yes, people with children should be required to pre-book.

EnglishGirlApproximately Tue 23-May-17 13:04:18

Anyone who paid to prebook their seats checks in 14 days before departure so that's why 70% will have done it already. Even if you had been able to check in you wouldn't have been able to choose your seats, they're system allocated unless you've paid. They've leave 30% unchecked to sort out the inevitable issues when people haven't paid for their seats and they need to move things around when people start kicking off that they've been separated.

They'll try to seat you together but won't force people who have paid to move. Together is as already said across an aisle, in front or behind. There's no law covering this only guidelines. I was a manager for Tui until last year so this I accurate!

BarbaraofSeville Tue 23-May-17 13:04:31

Despite being the very type of person who benefits from the extra charges to pay to sit together (always travel alone or with another adult that I don't mind sitting separately from, don't care where I sit, can manage without extra leg room) it still feels a bit mean to require people travelling with children to pay extra to guarantee seats near each other.

I suppose Ryanair's new policy is a response to arguments and possible delays caused by people expecting others to move to accomodate them?

I used to suspect that Jet2 deliberately gave people separate seats when checking in online in order to 'encourage' them to pay to sit together, but it doesn't seem to be the case for our next holiday in June. I checked in the other day and we got seats next to each other both ways automatically, for free.

JigglyTuff Tue 23-May-17 13:12:28

NotSaidTheWalrus: "I just stood there until they moved someone last time. As if I was going to let my 4 year old sit 6 rows away next to complete strangers for a couple of hours!"

They should have thrown you off the flight. If you want to sit with your child, book your seats

blaeberry Tue 23-May-17 13:15:09

jiggly they absolutely shouldn't throw her off the flight. The airline should never have allowed her to be put in that position.

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