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View Full Version : My friend is making a HUGE mistake......


Nurse_Mommy4
02-23-2009, 05:16 PM
To make a long story short a friend of mine (who has never been to disney for more than a day visit) is heading to WDW the same week in June as me and my family. We both booked Airtran from Chicago to MCO. Since I am staying longer than her, we are not on the same return flight but we are on the same outbound flight.

Now here is the problem......she refused to pay for seat assignment! There are 5 of them (herself and 4 children under the age of 10). My family also consist of 5 and I purchased our seats because I wanted to all sit in a row. I tried to explain to her that there is no gaurantee that Airtran will sit them together (in fact they probably wont).

I know she is an adult and I cannot make select their seats but I fear that she is setting herself up for a bad start to a vacation. :scared1: :scared:

pixierella
02-23-2009, 05:31 PM
Well, you did warn her. I have to say after that it's all on her. And she's probably thinking that the flight attendants will figure it out for her. just go and enjoy the fact that you did your planning ahead.

Nurse_Mommy4
02-23-2009, 06:07 PM
I agree, I think she is probably thinking that since her kids are young that Airtran will put them together somewhere. I am just not a big gambler and I would have a hard time playing the wait and see game.:rolleyes1

Oh well, I guess I tried so whatever happens it is "on her".

dioxide45
02-23-2009, 06:19 PM
While I know alot of people gruble about the seat fees, I agree with them. The fact that they don't make everyone pick a seat leaves lots of open rows. Even if I some accross late in booking there are lots of rows with two seats together for us to select.

I do have a couple of complaints.

I don't like how on the 3x3 planes they block out the middle seat on the left side of the plane. If that is all that is left it means someone who didn't select a seat ahead ends up between us.
I don't like that they don't open up the first several rows in coach to those selecting and paying for seats. I feel if I am willing to pay for a seat I should be able to pick any seat on the aircraft, and those that didn't select get whatever is left.

Cdn Gal
02-23-2009, 06:55 PM
Some people think they know everything- live and learn!:confused3

kaytieeldr
02-23-2009, 06:59 PM
Can't help you with the second issue, dioxide45 - but on the first, you could offer to change seats with the person in the middle. Yes, I realize that puts one of YOU in the middle seat - but at least you're seated together.

That's actually something a lot* of travelers do on their own: two people flying together will book the window and aisle seats, and hope that nobody takes the middle seat - giving them more room ;). Sometimes they get lucky, sometimes not (and then, sometimes they're fighting by the time the plane boards, and they each keep their seats with the person in the middle seat as a 'buffer' :)).

*Not many, not most, not a majority (although not necessarily NOT any of those things ;))

arielmomma
02-23-2009, 07:01 PM
It is her call. I must admit that I haven't prepaid for my seats the last couple of times that we flew to and from Disney and we have always been seated together. Even when we weren't originally assigned near each other during the first flight, the airline put us together when we got to the airport. Maybe we were just lucky, but I must admit that I'll probably take the risk again. She is an adult. She knows the risk, its her choice to make.

Nurse_Mommy4
02-23-2009, 07:03 PM
While I know alot of people gruble about the seat fees, I agree with them. The fact that they don't make everyone pick a seat leaves lots of open rows. Even if I some accross late in booking there are lots of rows with two seats together for us to select.

I do have a couple of complaints.

I don't like how on the 3x3 planes they block out the middle seat on the left side of the plane. If that is all that is left it means someone who didn't select a seat ahead ends up between us.
I don't like that they don't open up the first several rows in coach to those selecting and paying for seats. I feel if I am willing to pay for a seat I should be able to pick any seat on the aircraft, and those that didn't select get whatever is left.


You know I forgot about the fact that they block the 1st few rows of coach. :confused3
I'm sitting here worrying about her trip and she could end up getting better seats then me! :lmao:

dioxide45
02-23-2009, 07:04 PM
Can't help you with the second issue, dioxide45 - but on the first, you could offer to change seats with the person in the middle. Yes, I realize that puts one of YOU in the middle seat - but at least you're seated together.


We have done this when booked in seats A and C with a B seat in the middle. We have started by just sitting in A and B and then asking the person when they come if they want C. Usually no argument.

Another thing that confuses a lot of people on the 2 x 3 planes is that the right side is actually seats A and C and I hear a lot of people asking if someone is in between them.

kaytieeldr
02-23-2009, 07:08 PM
Oh, could I have fun with that question! ;)

Nurse_Mommy4
02-23-2009, 07:08 PM
It is her call. I must admit that I haven't prepaid for my seats the last couple of times that we flew to and from Disney and we have always been seated together. Even when we weren't originally assigned near each other during the first flight, the airline put us together when we got to the airport. Maybe we were just lucky, but I must admit that I'll probably take the risk again. She is an adult. She knows the risk, its her choice to make.

Wow that's very interesting! Did the airline do this without you having to ask? That was pretty nice of them. What airline was it?

HolliePoppins
02-23-2009, 11:33 PM
To make a long story short a friend of mine (who has never been to disney for more than a day visit) is heading to WDW the same week in June as me and my family. We both booked Airtran from Chicago to MCO. Since I am staying longer than her, we are not on the same return flight but we are on the same outbound flight.

Now here is the problem......she refused to pay for seat assignment! There are 5 of them (herself and 4 children under the age of 10). My family also consist of 5 and I purchased our seats because I wanted to all sit in a row. I tried to explain to her that there is no gaurantee that Airtran will sit them together (in fact they probably wont).

I know she is an adult and I cannot make select their seats but I fear that she is setting herself up for a bad start to a vacation. :scared1: :scared:

Guess who she is going to look to if the airline cant help her. I have a feeling she will want you to split up your family to accomidate hers. Hopefully I am wrong. Have a great trip. I hope all goes well.

kaytieeldr
02-24-2009, 05:43 AM
Some people think they know everything- live and learn!:confused3
Whereas DIS Board members KNOW we know everything ;)

Nurse_Mommy4
02-24-2009, 05:59 AM
Guess who she is going to look to if the airline cant help her. I have a feeling she will want you to split up your family to accomidate hers. Hopefully I am wrong. Have a great trip. I hope all goes well.

I too hope everything turns out alright because I would not be willing to split my kids up. I'm letting this go (as much as a worry-type can:rolleyes1 ), my friend is an adult and has made her own decision.

Thanks everyone for your kind words! :goodvibes

Tasha

aubriee
02-24-2009, 06:41 AM
This past Sept (slow time of year) we saw people at the AirTran desk raising holy heck yelling that they couldn't believe Air Tran would separate their families and when told the flights were completely full, were demanding that other people be moved. They were told in no uncertain terms by AirTran, that since they had had the chance to pay for their seats and chose not to, there was no way AirTran was moving people who did choose to pay the money to pick their seats. They were also asked why if it was so important for them to sit together, why didn't they choose to pay the $6.00. However, they were then told that once they got on the plane perhaps other passengers might choose to give up their seats, if they were asked nicely and if not, the FA might be willing to ask for assistance for them, but they were told that if people refused to give up their paid seats, that they would not be forced to.

Your friend is going in June, during a time that plane will be full of vacationing families with kids. I would not be expecting those families who paid to sit together to give up their seats for a family who chose not to pay. Sorry. Also flights seem to be flying completely full these days. I know my flights in Sept and also in Jan were completely full and they were asking for volunteers to fly on later flights. With all the kids out of school, and everyone vacationing, that situation is only going to get worse in the summer. I'd be afraid that if I didn't have an assigned seat I'd be the one involuntarily bumped.

Even people who are not with big families often choose to pay for their seats, because they like to be in a certain part of the plane. I know I travel down there solo several times a year and usually choose to pay for my seat, because I don't like flying and want to be as close as possible to the front, and will not sit in a middle seat, and don't particularly like window seats. I have no problem paying to get my favorite row 13 aisle seat and have no intention of giving it up. As soon as my neighbors (in the middle and window seats) get seated, I put my eye mask on and try my best to get to sleep to avoid thinking about how high up I am:rotfl: . I have flights booked on Air Tran for both my upcoming May and my Sept trips. This time I have decided to pay for seats only on the flights back. For the flights down there I am hoping to get a seat in those first few rows that they open up at 24 hours. I know it's a gamble, but one that as a solo I am willing to take. If was going with family (even adult family) I would not be willing to take that chance. For my flights home, I will not have access to a computer 24 hours from my flight times, so chose to pay for my seats and got an aisle seat as close to the front as I could. Sorry, but unless I get a comparable seat (an aisle close to the front) I am not moving. My feeling is that family had a chance to purchase seats just like I did and chose not to. If it wasn't important enough for them to pay the $6.00 to assure they were sitting together, why should it suddenly become important to others.

Laurabearz
02-24-2009, 06:54 AM
I think your friend is quite smart.

I would prefer my kids sitting next to others so I can sleep!!!


:thumbsup2

Lewisc
02-24-2009, 08:28 AM
The airline is going to try and make sure a young child (under 5?) can sit next to one parent. Your friend may not care if the 10 year old has to sit a few rows away.

Edd
02-24-2009, 09:01 AM
I had one passenger DH tell me, he was flying Allegiant, "if the airlines want someone else to babysit my kids, I don't mind that and will get some rest on the flight." He did not pay the extra $12.00 per leg for each seat.

MemoryMakers2669
02-24-2009, 10:22 AM
Just reread and I see it is just one parent. I personally wouldn't worry about it. AirTran will do their best to put them together. She will get seats assigned 24 hours prior, so she needs to be on top of that and call and see what they can do if the seats are far apart.

MEK
02-24-2009, 11:02 AM
It's only $6 to assign a seat. That's reasonable.

I would just tell your friend to log on exactly 24 hours before boarding time so she can select her seats. I did this the last time I flew air tran and everything was wide open. I sat in row 11. There did not appear to be too many preselected seats and the flight was completely full when we boarded.

Hopefully all will go well. :lovestruc

Lewisc
02-24-2009, 11:26 AM
I had one passenger DH tell me, he was flying Allegiant, "if the airlines want someone else to babysit my kids, I don't mind that and will get some rest on the flight." He did not pay the extra $12.00 per leg for each seat.

Flights to Orlando are filled with famlies. I'm sure the airline/FA will do whatever it takes to make sure a 4 or 5 year old gets to sit next to at least one parent. Some posters want to be sure they can sit next to an 11 year old. Those parents should pay for seat assignments.

cbrfan
02-24-2009, 02:08 PM
While I know alot of people gruble about the seat fees, I agree with them. The fact that they don't make everyone pick a seat leaves lots of open rows. Even if I some accross late in booking there are lots of rows with two seats together for us to select.

I do have a couple of complaints.

I don't like how on the 3x3 planes they block out the middle seat on the left side of the plane. If that is all that is left it means someone who didn't select a seat ahead ends up between us.
I don't like that they don't open up the first several rows in coach to those selecting and paying for seats. I feel if I am willing to pay for a seat I should be able to pick any seat on the aircraft, and those that didn't select get whatever is left.


1) You can pretty much always get the person in the middle row to swap for one of your aisle or window seats. As as mentioned by a PP, you can sometimes get the whole row to yourself if the flight's not full.
2) They don't open up the first few coach rows for advance purchase because those are the seats they're going to put passengers needing extra help, unaccompanied minors, etc. They WILL bump passengers who have selected those seats to seats further back if they need them for certain passengers. This just happened to some of my family members last week. They had their boarding passes for Row 11, Seats E&F and were moved to Row 29 when they got to the airport.

BigTigger
02-24-2009, 05:23 PM
I was Airtran A+ Rewards Elite level for a period of time last year and one of the perks was the ability to pick advanced seats on any fare class and to pick those first few rows of coach. I'm not sure if that's still the case, but it was from April to September of last year. Other perks were very cheap or free upgrades to Business class and two free bags.

MCO non-stop flights can be very full except during September/October and January from my experience. If the flights connect through Atlanta they are usually less full. Midway is one of Airtran's busiest airports from my experiences flying in and out of there. Flights are usually full and if they aren't they cancel one to fill the rest.

lacrosse_lady72
02-25-2009, 02:38 AM
This past Sept (slow time of year) we saw people at the AirTran desk raising holy heck yelling that they couldn't believe Air Tran would separate their families and when told the flights were completely full, were demanding that other people be moved. They were told in no uncertain terms by AirTran, that since they had had the chance to pay for their seats and chose not to, there was no way AirTran was moving people who did choose to pay the money to pick their seats. They were also asked why if it was so important for them to sit together, why didn't they choose to pay the $6.00. However, they were then told that once they got on the plane perhaps other passengers might choose to give up their seats, if they were asked nicely and if not, the FA might be willing to ask for assistance for them, but they were told that if people refused to give up their paid seats, that they would not be forced to.

Your friend is going in June, during a time that plane will be full of vacationing families with kids. I would not be expecting those families who paid to sit together to give up their seats for a family who chose not to pay. Sorry. Also flights seem to be flying completely full these days. I know my flights in Sept and also in Jan were completely full and they were asking for volunteers to fly on later flights. With all the kids out of school, and everyone vacationing, that situation is only going to get worse in the summer. I'd be afraid that if I didn't have an assigned seat I'd be the one involuntarily bumped.

Even people who are not with big families often choose to pay for their seats, because they like to be in a certain part of the plane. I know I travel down there solo several times a year and usually choose to pay for my seat, because I don't like flying and want to be as close as possible to the front, and will not sit in a middle seat, and don't particularly like window seats. I have no problem paying to get my favorite row 13 aisle seat and have no intention of giving it up. As soon as my neighbors (in the middle and window seats) get seated, I put my eye mask on and try my best to get to sleep to avoid thinking about how high up I am:rotfl: . I have flights booked on Air Tran for both my upcoming May and my Sept trips. This time I have decided to pay for seats only on the flights back. For the flights down there I am hoping to get a seat in those first few rows that they open up at 24 hours. I know it's a gamble, but one that as a solo I am willing to take. If was going with family (even adult family) I would not be willing to take that chance. For my flights home, I will not have access to a computer 24 hours from my flight times, so chose to pay for my seats and got an aisle seat as close to the front as I could. Sorry, but unless I get a comparable seat (an aisle close to the front) I am not moving. My feeling is that family had a chance to purchase seats just like I did and chose not to. If it wasn't important enough for them to pay the $6.00 to assure they were sitting together, why should it suddenly become important to others.

:lmao: I didn't realize it was only $6..... why in the world would anyone take the chance of having their kids split up for $6 per person. That is just ridiculous.

This is why I don't like flying Southwest... or AirTran (I didn't know they didn't really assign seats).

kristenrice
02-25-2009, 11:19 AM
I think the airline's obligation to assist in seating familes together ends at them offering pre-assigned seats. If a family chooses not to pay the $6/person to secure seats together, then that is their choice. When the airline offers you the chance to pick your seats (at a fee) and you turn it down, you are effectively letting the airline choose where you sit. You have surrendered your right to choose and you are obligated to sit where they put you. If you choose to not take the responsibility of choosing your own seat, then you have no right to complain when someone else assumes that responsibility for you. (This is just a blanket statement and certainly not directed at anyone in particular:hippie: )

I concede that airlines who do not offer pre-assigned seating fall into a different category. I think they do have a bit more of an "obligation" to sit groups together, when feasible.

TaraPA
02-25-2009, 11:51 AM
I'm sitting here worrying about her trip and she could end up getting better seats then me! :lmao:

OR her 4 kids could be seated all around you & she could be elsewhere....she might actually enjoy that....

Good luck & let us know how it turns out!

Nurse_Mommy4
02-25-2009, 05:53 PM
OMG, that's not EVEN funny! :scared1:

But seriously I wouldn't have a problem if her kids were in the row in front of or behind me; as long as my kids are in the same row as me I'm happy!:goodvibes

eliewriter
02-28-2009, 03:44 PM
We're flying AirTran and I too agonized over spending the extra money but in the end I couldn't in good conscience risk my young son possibly getting stuck sitting alone with some offender.

I don't know if the airline has a policy on separating children from their parents but with the way things are going in the not-so-friendly skies, I couldn't see ruining our vacation just to save the $6, even though we're traveling on a budget. If we were separated he could be sitting by the kindest person in the world and I'd still be sweating it. That's no fun. Besides I want to see his reaction when he looks out the window, etc.

My friend just flew AirTran and she and her husband also paid for assigned seats only to get to the airport and find they'd been switched. But she said AirTran was very nice and switched things around so they'd be sitting together, although on one leg of the flight I believe they were in aisle seats opposite each other.

Guess there's few guarantees but at least if you pay the $6 you have some recourse if things don't go as planned.

finallygoingtoWDW
02-28-2009, 05:43 PM
I would have her look up the seat assignments and make a mental note of what's available. Then have her do it next week, and the next week to see how the seats are becoming less and less available. Maybe she'll change her mind then.

CarolMN
02-28-2009, 07:09 PM
....My friend just flew AirTran and she and her husband also paid for assigned seats only to get to the airport and find they'd been switched. But she said AirTran was very nice and switched things around so they'd be sitting together, although on one leg of the flight I believe they were in aisle seats opposite each other........Well then I hope Airtran refunded the $24 they paid to select their sets. If the airline wants to reserve certain seats for gate assignment, then they should not be available for selection ahead of time.

ruadisneyfan2
02-28-2009, 09:56 PM
Airtran only blocks off the first few rows of coach seats if you're paying a discounted rate. If you click on the most expensive coach rate for a flight, you will see the front rows open up for you. ;)

I am new to AirTran having only flown them 2x. I am willing to pay the $6 seats for the 4 of us as it's important to me that we all sit together. My kids are 8 and 12 and I still want us together.

To the pp who stated they won't fly Southwest b/c they don't pre assign seats I just want to say we've flown them for probably 15 vacations in the last 5 years and I've never worried that my kids would not sit with us. We simply check in at the 24 hr. mark and when we board, the plane is more than half empty and we can easily all sit together, usually in front of the wing. Not a big deal at all. I'm not trying to convert you, just saying don't close your eyes to the possibility.

To the op: dh and I realized a long time ago you can give other adults advice but you can't make them follow it. Try not to worry and just know that you are doing the right thing for your family.
Reminds me of the time we went with my bil and sil and kids. It was their 1st trip (prob. our 10th) and all of our kids ranging 5-8. They were excited to get there as early as possible and wanted a really early flight, like 6 or 7 am and go straight to MK. We learned that we didn't mind that pre-kids but as parents, that's hard on our kids. We learned this the hard way and explained that to them. We declined flying with them and took the noon flight and agreed to meet after dinner. By then they were all soooo tired, cranky and bickering over every little thing. :rolleyes1 OTOH, we had a very relaxing travel day and had time to swim and change clothes before dinner. Two very different starts to the same vacation...
I am all about minimizing stress rather than creating more of it! :thumbsup2
I hope you still have a great time! :goodvibes

S'sMom
03-01-2009, 09:14 AM
To make a long story short a friend of mine (who has never been to disney for more than a day visit) is heading to WDW the same week in June as me and my family. We both booked Airtran from Chicago to MCO. Since I am staying longer than her, we are not on the same return flight but we are on the same outbound flight.

Now here is the problem......she refused to pay for seat assignment! There are 5 of them (herself and 4 children under the age of 10). My family also consist of 5 and I purchased our seats because I wanted to all sit in a row. I tried to explain to her that there is no gaurantee that Airtran will sit them together (in fact they probably wont).

I know she is an adult and I cannot make select their seats but I fear that she is setting herself up for a bad start to a vacation. :scared1: :scared:
We have flown Airtran many times, as a family of 3 and now of 4. When we traveled in December, I did pay extra for the seats, because I did not want any hassle trying to get my 6 year old to sit with us. Like some other posters, I would not give up my seat to a family that did not pay, because if I sacrifced the cost of a lunch (about $36 roundtrip), they could do the same.

Like some of the other posters, I would just let your friend find out for herself. And if it turns out the way she wants great, if not, she doesnt have to right to complain. Just deal with it, is what I think. You have told her and that is all you can do.

I would be interested in finding out what happend when you guys return.

ruadisneyfan2
03-01-2009, 09:19 AM
I would be interested in finding out what happend when you guys return.

Me too! Let us know OP.:goodvibes

annie1995
03-01-2009, 09:22 AM
While I know alot of people gruble about the seat fees, I agree with them. The fact that they don't make everyone pick a seat leaves lots of open rows. Even if I some accross late in booking there are lots of rows with two seats together for us to select.

I do have a couple of complaints.

I don't like how on the 3x3 planes they block out the middle seat on the left side of the plane. If that is all that is left it means someone who didn't select a seat ahead ends up between us.
I don't like that they don't open up the first several rows in coach to those selecting and paying for seats. I feel if I am willing to pay for a seat I should be able to pick any seat on the aircraft, and those that didn't select get whatever is left.


I agree 100%

ruadisneyfan2
03-01-2009, 09:28 AM
While I know alot of people gruble about the seat fees, I agree with them. The fact that they don't make everyone pick a seat leaves lots of open rows. Even if I some accross late in booking there are lots of rows with two seats together for us to select.

I do have a couple of complaints.

I don't like how on the 3x3 planes they block out the middle seat on the left side of the plane. If that is all that is left it means someone who didn't select a seat ahead ends up between us.
I don't like that they don't open up the first several rows in coach to those selecting and paying for seats. I feel if I am willing to pay for a seat I should be able to pick any seat on the aircraft, and those that didn't select get whatever is left.



I think this is because some planes are 2x3, we had one in Jan, so if they have to change planes, no one has chosen seats that won't be there.
When there are only 2 seats on the left side of the plane, they are labled seats A and C. A is always window and C is always aisle.:thumbsup2

LauraAnn630
03-01-2009, 09:29 AM
Another reason not to go to Disney with other people...lol :)


We will never ask anyone to go with us again. Other families have always ruined our trip.

We know how we want to do things, pay a lot of money and we dont want to change...lol

We took our most expensive trip with other family members everything went wrong and when I accidently see the pictures on my pc, it still makes me sick.

Good Luck!

TDC Nala
03-01-2009, 09:31 AM
I think they do have a bit more of an "obligation" to sit groups together, when feasible.


All groups? Or just families with young kids? Should Southwest have an obligation to make me move to accommodate, say, an adult couple who didn't check in early enough to make sure they got seats together? I would object to that if I did bother to check in early so I didn't get a middle seat.

bavaria
03-01-2009, 12:26 PM
There is no obligation at all, and even in the UK where it is 'recommended' that airlines make this attempt, there is no enforcement for not doing so.

Whatever happened to parents being 'obliged' to take responsibility and paying for their seats in advance, or checking in early? Having children does not take precedence over every one else's rights and needs.

redrosesix
03-01-2009, 12:47 PM
There is no obligation at all, and even in the UK where it is 'recommended' that airlines make this attempt, there is no enforcement for not doing so.

Whatever happened to parents being 'obliged' to take responsibility and paying for their seats in advance, or checking in early? Having children does not take precedence over every one else's rights and needs.

Stuff happens. We flew Air Canada in the fall and paid for advance seat selection ($17 each) But they changed planes the day before the flight and seated me and DD8 at opposite ends of the plane. Problem is, we couldn't change it even by checking in early even though I tried to do that right at the 24 hour mark. Even the reservations people couldn't change it.

And then they had the nerve to tell me I would have to pay extra so she could travel as an Unattended Minor, since she was under 12. The situation couldn't be resolved until the day of the flight (when the other department opened for the day), and I think they had to move somebody to seat us together.

Reservations told me that happens a lot when they change planes or consolidate the schedule, and recommended we rely on early check-in instead.

Just saying...

robinb
03-01-2009, 02:11 PM
Your friend can select seat assignments 24-hours in advance without paying for it and I would recommend doing it online. IIRC, Airtran saves the back of the plane for last minute seat assignments. We flew Airtran twice last year and didn't pay for seat assignments either time.

sandiegosusie
03-01-2009, 06:42 PM
Can't help you with the second issue, dioxide45 - but on the first, you could offer to change seats with the person in the middle. Yes, I realize that puts one of YOU in the middle seat - but at least you're seated together.

That's actually something a lot* of travelers do on their own: two people flying together will book the window and aisle seats, and hope that nobody takes the middle seat - giving them more room ;). Sometimes they get lucky, sometimes not (and then, sometimes they're fighting by the time the plane boards, and they each keep their seats with the person in the middle seat as a 'buffer' :)).

*Not many, not most, not a majority (although not necessarily NOT any of those things ;))

DH and I did just that on Continental flying WC to EC. We got lucky on both flights.