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to want all of my dcs to sit with me on a long haul flight.....

(137 Posts)
posieparker Tue 16-Jun-09 12:14:16

Flying to HK, 12 hours, with my dcs....7,6, 2 and 7mths alone. BA want the two older dcs to sit accross an aisle from me as another booking may require the basinette that the dcs will sit in front of. I have phoned customer relations but can't get anywhere. It means that one of the older dcs will be sat next to a stranger and behind, potentially, a basinette....which really get in the way.
Anyone got any tips how to improve my situation, we're only flying cattle class but we do this once a year and my parents at least three times.
Or does anyone know the number to get further with BA?

OrangeFish Tue 16-Jun-09 12:17:00

Travel on another date?

Having the older children accross the aisle is not as difficult as it may look (unless we are talking of the person sitting to their side, but I'm sure that in such cases, if there is a single free seat in the aircraft, this person would happily move to it! )

lljkk Tue 16-Jun-09 12:19:39

I wouldn't have a problem with a 7yo sitting immediately across the aisle. It effectively means a bit more elbow room when the trolley's are going by, too.

Actually, we are flying to California next year and I'd actively pay to get eldest DC somewhere too far away to argue with other DC during the flight grin.

funnypeculiar Tue 16-Jun-09 12:21:34

Any chance they'll change you at the check in desk if you turn up early & beg?? Have done that very successfully in the past - although with younger children...

posieparker Tue 16-Jun-09 12:22:14

Their policy won't allow them to sit us all together.... we always do night flights and the last couple of times I have flown either to or from Thailand... about 50% of the flight were people I would not want my dcs to sit near....shudder, shudder.

mumblechum Tue 16-Jun-09 12:22:39

Across the aisle in cattle class is only about 18 inches!

posieparker Tue 16-Jun-09 12:24:02

Although sometimes a row behind....

CMOTdibbler Tue 16-Jun-09 12:24:08

I think they'll be fine. Surely you don't want another family to have their baby on their lap the whole time because your family are in all the bassinet seats (ie the front 4 seats in the middle - no bassinets on the sides).

No one will want to sit next to your 7 and 6 year olds, believe me. I am often (fly long haul a lot) put next to children as a lone female, and always try to move. No offence to them - but 12 hours on a flight is bad enough without someone elses children

posieparker Tue 16-Jun-09 12:25:26

There are basinettes at the side, well it's where I used to sit....before number four and number three being too big for a basinette.

hedgiemum Tue 16-Jun-09 12:35:04

I've had this problem before, when we've been assigned seats where one of our DC is across the aisle, with an adult stranger the other side of them. I stated, in writing (via email), that this puts my child at risk of sexual assault, especially on a dark night flight, that |I completely oppose this seating. Funnily enough, they then managed to rearrange the seating!

I guess the problems have arisen because you need a bulk-head seat because of your 7month old. However, there aren't many bulk-head seats to go round, and other parents of infants need them too. Have you looked online at the exact layout of the seats on your flights? You can google and find them, then you may be able to think of a solution to suggest. If you unhappy to have your DC anywhere but right next to you then you may need to say you'll have non-bulkhead and keep LO on your lap. A pain, but if there are 3 infants, and typically three bassinet places, then your other DC are going to end up dotted around. That wouldn't be acceptable to me either...

mumof2222222222222222boys Tue 16-Jun-09 12:36:50

Having been on an absolutely packed flight with DS1 aged 7 months needing a basinet, I'd have been pretty annoyed if I'd been bumped from a basinet seat by anyone who didn't need it.

They will be fine and it is not as though they are sitting at the other end of the plane from you - that would be unacceptable.

the other option is that you give up the basinet and try and manage - but that would not be my preferred option.

posieparker Tue 16-Jun-09 12:37:23

Funny that you mention assault as that was one of my objections, they just keep saying ask on the day.....
I do feel a little more empowered to go back to them now, without sounding like a crazed DM reader!!

posieparker Tue 16-Jun-09 12:39:17

My problem with it all is that I booked well in advance, have paid lots of money and still can't get what I want. I would never book a flight without knowing I could have a bassinet and now feel that BA does not cater for my needs.

mumof2222222222222222boys Tue 16-Jun-09 12:42:24

Posie - I did all that with just the one child...and still no guarantees. Turned out all right, but remember on a flight to HK in presumably holiday season there will be lots of kids with very similar needs. BA has to balance everyone.

GreatGooglyMoogly Tue 16-Jun-09 12:45:07

Isn't there usually only one bassinette in the middle row (which would be yours)? What type of plane is it?

posieparker Tue 16-Jun-09 12:49:08

3,4, 3 accross.

StripeyKnickersSpottySocks Tue 16-Jun-09 12:54:33

Point out to them that Civil Aviation Autority state that families should be seated togetehr as in the event of an emergency landing if a family is seperated they won't go straight to the exit but to help/find each other. May not be much of an arguement if they are only the other side of the aisle I guess. hmm But you can ask them who will be resonsible for putting on the older children's O2 masks in the event its needed? You would not be able to reach across the aisle in turbulance when belted down to pull the masks down.

posieparker Tue 16-Jun-09 12:58:10

I like your style, stripey

talbot Tue 16-Jun-09 13:00:56

Stripey, how does that apply to Ryanair? On our last flgiht with them, the five of us were all separated as it was a full plane and we hadn't paid for speedy boarding. Our 3 kids (5,7 and 9) were in 3 completely different areas. Easyjet give familiies priority but not Ryanair.

StripeyKnickersSpottySocks Tue 16-Jun-09 13:02:53


I reckon if they're still awkward if you say that you'd like it in writing that they still consider it safe for your children to be out of your reach and therefore not with a responsible adult in the event of an emergency then they will back down. Tell them to put it in writing so you can contact the CAA and double check that they agree.

StripeyKnickersSpottySocks Tue 16-Jun-09 13:03:48

I really must preview before posting, that last post is hard to understand! Sorry.

potoroo Tue 16-Jun-09 13:04:43

Posie, I've been on a long haul flight that had 7 babies in 7 bassinets - which was the limit of the flight - BA flight - sounds the same plane as yours.

They tried to split up one of the families who had 2 children in seats and 1 in a bassinet. Quite rightly they kicked up a stink at check-in and mysteriously, once they got to the gate, the seats had all been changed so the family were sitting together.

If the bassinets are full, then that is understandable, but it seems from my experience, that this is not always the case (even though they say it is). The problem appears to be that they don't know until check-in who needs a bassinet, or worse, other adults who don't have children have requested bulk-head seats thinking they will have more leg room.

This seems to be really a BA issue more than other airlines. I don't fly long haul with them any more.

StripeyKnickersSpottySocks Tue 16-Jun-09 13:06:37

Talbot, it should still apply to Ryanair but I had exactly the same proble, as you on a flight from Tenerife last year. I didn't know this CAA stuff then so even though I begged the air stewerdess to move someone else she refused as they were in a rush to take off. But now I know this if it happened again I would refuse to be seated, I would insist they move someone else and quote CAA regulations. I think if you are this awkard the ywill move someone as they can't take off with you standing in the aisle. If they want to chuck you off the plane they have to unload everyones' bags which will take ages and they will miss their take off slot. I would refuse to sit down if it happened again to me. DD was hysterical.

talbot Tue 16-Jun-09 13:11:29

Stripey, have just looked at the CAA site and as you say, it is pretty clear. I am going to write to them about Ryanair as they are clear that it is the airline's responsibility to make the effort.

Our 5 year old was 10 rows way from the nearest family member and I dread what to think what would have happened in an emergency. My little boy just sat there and sobbed.

stleger Tue 16-Jun-09 13:11:55

You can try pointing out to Ryanair that they refuse to accept unaccompanied minors. As with most Ryanair rules, sometimes it works in your favour, sometimes they ignore it.

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