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airlines and seat assignments with small children - Page 2

post #21 of 35
Another thing -
if for some reason they dont sort out the issue at the gate, make sure you stand around right by the gate and get on the plane first (they will let you with a kid with you, just say you need time to install the carseat), and go intall the carseat and hang out in that row, when people get on the plane THEN ask them to swap seats (BEFORE they get settled and AFTER they see you already have your stuff all in place!)

Also, people are way more likley to switch with you if they are getting 'upgraded' either from a middle seat to an asle, or from any seat to a seat closer to the front of the plane (I had to sit in the back row once, giving up my seat up front, but I got to sit with ds and the guy who got my seat was very happy not to sit next to the restroom!)
post #22 of 35
I think part of it is their hope of selling those "premium" seats to people at check-in.

I've had that happen and it was fine. Sure, it's a pain to have one more thing to deal with at the airport, but really, you will get one of you by your child and it will all work out.

HTH

Tjej
post #23 of 35
I'm astounded at how common a problem this is. Seriously we just flew with a bunch of family and were able to set it up to have 15 seats together. Just had to go to the airline's website within the 24 hours before the flight.

And when I checked in, I was given another chance to change seats.
post #24 of 35

There are regulations about this!

My experience is flying with a budget carrier within Europe. I understand that there are international regulations that children under 14 years have to be supervised by responsible adults during all parts of a flight. Otherwise the plane should not leave the stand. Perhaps US domestic flights are different.

The airline I fly with wants to charge me extra to choose seats so that me and DS1 (7 years) and DS2 (4 years) can sit next to each other. They suggest this possibility when I buy the seats and when I check-in online. I refuse and they usually allocate us seats spread around the plane. When we board, I make sure we are one of the last few people onto the plane. When we have climbed up the steps onto the plane, I just politely tell the first cabin crew member that I pass that our seats are not together and ask them to help me find seats together. They usually do this when everyone else is seated. Until then we stand in the kitchen area. The last two times we have ended up sitting in the very last row of the plane. This means we are first off as the plane usually disembarks through the back door.

When DS1 was about 2 1/2 years old, we flew with an airline that does not allocate seats. You just board and sit where you can. Even though we were almost last on then, the cabin crew made sure that me, DH and DS1 sat together. They did not want to have to help me (pregnant) care for DS1 during the flight.

I have never taken a car seat into a plane. My kids now just sit in a seat with the normal seat belt on. When they were under 2 years, they sat on my lap with an extra seat belt looped into mine. I have also never seen anyone with a car seat inside the cabin. I do see people checking them in. Perhaps that would make things easier if you have to move at the last minute.
post #25 of 35
About 10 years ago, my cousin and I were flying back from Europe. There was this family of 3 and they were seated all over the cabin in 3 different center seats. My cousin and I had the two aisle seats in a 3-3-3 bulkhead configuration plane. So we were in the middle three grouping with a seat between us where the little 4yo was assigned. The flight attendants wouldn't help the parents find seats together (United). My cousin and I didn't want to give up our great seats and the parents completely understood this, so they asked us if we'd just keep an eye on the girl. We said, "Sure!" even though it was a 9 hour flight.

It turned out great... neither my cousin nor I were married or had kids, so she and I had fun with the little girl (as a change of pace for us, and lubricated with a couple of gins and tonic) playing different games and the parents were able to enjoy a peaceful and relaxing flight unencumbered by entertaining a 4 yo for so many hours.

We have flown all over the world with dd in the past 7 years and now that I look back on it, it seems very odd to me because no way in heck would I sit separately on a flight from my dd.

I hope it all works out for you, OP.
post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaddieMay View Post
Otherwise, if they are totally booked go ahead and board the plane and let the gate agents and flight attendants know. We've had to do this before. Seriously, people are understanding and they will move.

You will be fine, trust me!
Yes. We've flown quite a bit, and there is NO WAY that anyone will want to sit next to your dd the whole trip without a parent next to your child. Someone will volunteer to give up their seat without hesitation. You will get switched around.
post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peony View Post
I forgot about this but when DD1 was small I had the same thing happen, someone refused to change seats. The plane was packed so I didn't much choice in the matter. So I plopped her in the seat, buckled her in, told the unfriendly person sitting to DD1 (in a very nice tone) that she was prone to motion sickness and I hoped they had extra clothes with them because they might need them. I turned around, DD1 started screamed, two seconds later I got a "Miss! You can have this seat now!".
I am LMAO over here! Awesome thinking on your part!

I just cannot imagine not being willing to move.
post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
About 10 years ago, my cousin and I were flying back from Europe. There was this family of 3 and they were seated all over the cabin in 3 different center seats. My cousin and I had the two aisle seats in a 3-3-3 bulkhead configuration plane. So we were in the middle three grouping with a seat between us where the little 4yo was assigned. The flight attendants wouldn't help the parents find seats together (United). My cousin and I didn't want to give up our great seats and the parents completely understood this, so they asked us if we'd just keep an eye on the girl. We said, "Sure!" even though it was a 9 hour flight.

It turned out great... neither my cousin nor I were married or had kids, so she and I had fun with the little girl (as a change of pace for us, and lubricated with a couple of gins and tonic) playing different games and the parents were able to enjoy a peaceful and relaxing flight unencumbered by entertaining a 4 yo for so many hours.

We have flown all over the world with dd in the past 7 years and now that I look back on it, it seems very odd to me because no way in heck would I sit separately on a flight from my dd.

I hope it all works out for you, OP.
Well, they figured you would gladly give up your seat rather than entertain a 4 year old. I might be willing to let my 6 year old sit separately if she were, say, a row ahead of me, and her seatmates were kind to her. I wouldn't go to the far opposite end of the plane though, I'd have to be able to see her for safety's sake.
post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by EviesMom View Post
Well, they figured you would gladly give up your seat rather than entertain a 4 year old. I might be willing to let my 6 year old sit separately if she were, say, a row ahead of me, and her seatmates were kind to her. I wouldn't go to the far opposite end of the plane though, I'd have to be able to see her for safety's sake.
They came to check on her regularly, of course. They were actually really thrilled to let us look after her and thanked us profusely for doing so (they even bought us some duty free something or other on the flight... chocolates, maybe).

I wouldn't feel comfortable with it, either, though, as much as I'd love to have someone else entertain dd for these long transatlantic flights.
post #30 of 35
Yes, when you get to the airport to check in for the first flight, you will have the option to review your seat assignments before your boarding pass is printed. Try to move them then and if you aren't able to get it to work, the flight attendants will help you on the plane. I would let the gate agent know as soon as you get to your gate and the flight attendants once you board to help as much as you can. Unfortunately, airlines aren't set up to deal with this situation until you are on the plane, but try not to stress too much, it is their own fault and they will get you next to your child before they take off.
post #31 of 35
CHECK IN ONLINE 24 HOURS EXACTLY BEFORE YOUR FLIGHT!!!!

Sorry for yelling, but I read through the whole thread, and I didn't see anyone say this. If you check in 24 hours in advance of your flight (seriously, set an alarm so you can do it right at 24 hours before), you'll be able to adjust your seats. Just look for the button/link that says seats or something like that and click on it. You may not get ideal seats, but you will almost certainly get seats together. Most airlines do not assign all the seats in advance. They hold a certain percentage back so that there are many people with tickets who don't have a seat assignment at all. Those held-back seats become available 24 hours in advance of the flight. We usually end up able to get the bulkhead when we do this (except on some airlines that charge extra for that), but we've always been able to get two seats together doing this.

The bigger issue is when your original flight gets cancelled after checkin and you get rebooked or go standby. That's when there's a bigger hassle of getting seated together. In those cases (or if some how checking in online didn't work out), I suggest the barf bag trick:

Walk over to the passenger sitting next to your child, and hand him or her a couple of airsick bags. Explain that your child sometimes gets sick on take off and landing or when there's turbulence, so you wanted to make sure that there were some bags ready. Suddenly those people who weren't willing to trade before generally get a whole lot more willing to move.

It will be fine! Try not to worry!
post #32 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainyday View Post
CHECK IN ONLINE 24 HOURS EXACTLY BEFORE YOUR FLIGHT!!!!

Sorry for yelling, but I read through the whole thread, and I didn't see anyone say this. If you check in 24 hours in advance of your flight (seriously, set an alarm so you can do it right at 24 hours before), you'll be able to adjust your seats.
I think this depends on the airline, because the time we were seated apart from our 1 1/2 year old, we had tried to get seats together when we purchased the ticket, when we checked in (a day before the flight), when we checked our bags, and at the gate. Each time we were told there were no other seats available, and we'd need to wait until we boarded the plane.
post #33 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peony View Post
I forgot about this but when DD1 was small I had the same thing happen, someone refused to change seats. The plane was packed so I didn't much choice in the matter. So I plopped her in the seat, buckled her in, told the unfriendly person sitting to DD1 (in a very nice tone) that she was prone to motion sickness and I hoped they had extra clothes with them because they might need them. I turned around, DD1 started screamed, two seconds later I got a "Miss! You can have this seat now!".
Ha! I love it. We have an 11 hour flight to look forward to this fall, and I think I'm going to take your approach if we can't get seats together.
post #34 of 35
Just my personal experience, but I've flown with my daughter many times on Delta (and other airlines), and I've never had a problem getting seats reassigned at check-in. At this point I don't even worry about seating until we're in the airport - if there's a problem, they've fixed it.

Worse case scenario - they don't fix it (highly unlikely) - I bet the person who would otherwise be seated next to your 4yo would be more than happy to swap seats with you.

Short and sweet: it's not worth worrying about now. They'll take care of it when you check in.
post #35 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
They came to check on her regularly, of course. They were actually really thrilled to let us look after her and thanked us profusely for doing so (they even bought us some duty free something or other on the flight... chocolates, maybe).

I wouldn't feel comfortable with it, either, though, as much as I'd love to have someone else entertain dd for these long transatlantic flights.
It probably depends on the child, too. I would've adored that as a 4 year old, and I know my niece would like it now. My SIL would be too nervous about the other people to let it happen with dn and I'd be too worried that it was an imposition to let it happen with dd (when she's 4), though.
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