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pamjb
11-05-2009, 07:36 AM
This appeared in my local paper this morning

http://www.mcall.com/news/all-a7_5dog1105.7073665nov05,0,4906854.column?page=1

Jestocost
11-05-2009, 07:48 AM
Just goes to show that getting split up is a risk even for airlines with so-called assigned seats, as some of us have tried to point out in the past.

safetymom
11-05-2009, 07:58 AM
It also looks like the family didn't catch the equipment change.

pamjb
11-05-2009, 08:37 AM
That's what I am guessing as well, but I am wondering how many "normal" travelers do check for equipment changes? I have a lot of friends who just book their vacation flights and then don't worry about it till check-in. Me, I check my flights almost daily, mainly because I fly SW and look for fare changes.

goofy4tink
11-05-2009, 08:46 AM
Equipment changes...about the only way you will know, if the airline doesn't tell you, is to continually check your flights. But, that's kind of a pain to do.
The thing that bothers me the most is the lack of concern on the airline employees' part. They evidently showed no concern for those kids. I'm sure there had to have been a few people that might have been willing to change their seats in order to have those kids seated with a parent. And to have to sit with a 2 y/o on your lap, after paying for a seat, is just intolerable.
United needs to look into how their gate people are trained and what they are doing...or, in this case, not doing.

ogreenlee
11-05-2009, 08:50 AM
We didn't have seats together (DH, DD6, me) going or coming from Denver on Delta this past February. The flight was sold out both ways.

Delta made it so that all three of us flew together going and coming. I was impressed. I was so worried about it, and figured they'd manage one of us sitting with my DD, but not the whole family. Granted, we're Delta Platinum Amex people and fly them a lot, but I think it's nice that they made sure we could fly together.


I would have raised a holy stink if my DD had to fly with strangers. I would have gotten off the plane if there was no getting around it.

tjmw2727
11-05-2009, 09:11 AM
Unfortunately I am not surprised, when my dd's were younger this happened quite a few times on Delta and AA although we always manged to get at least one adult with the youngest child.

This is why I actually prefered SWA when the kids were toddler/preschool age!!

I am pretty sure that FAA regs were broken when the 2yo was forced to lap sit as well. The least the airline could do was refund the seat the 2yo wasn't provided!

Hannathy
11-05-2009, 09:18 AM
Oh give me a break. She was 6 not 1. If I got a refund every time one of my kids had to sit apart from me, I'd be at Disney a heck of a lot more times! Do these people and this lazy journalist think this is the first time this has happened?

If they get a refund then United is going to go broke giving refunds for this sillt reason, where do I get in line for mine?

lost*in*cyberspace
11-05-2009, 09:23 AM
This isn't news. Happens all the time.

Tozzie
11-05-2009, 09:33 AM
There is something that is unclear and I will reserve judgement on this as a newspapers account is biased based on one persons version, and I wonder if there no seat for the 2 year old or was the seat that was available unacceptable to the parents.

pamjb
11-05-2009, 09:45 AM
My point in posting the article was to point out that you don't necessarily get the seat you are assigned, even on a legacy carrier. It wasn't about the family getting a refund.

crashbb
11-05-2009, 10:02 AM
Oh give me a break. She was 6 not 1. If I got a refund every time one of my kids had to sit apart from me, I'd be at Disney a heck of a lot more times! Do these people and this lazy journalist think this is the first time this has happened?

If they get a refund then United is going to go broke giving refunds for this sillt reason, where do I get in line for mine?

The refund was for the 2 year old who didn't get a seat (illegally sat on mom's lap). The story says that there "no open seats". Assuming (yes I know) that that actually means no open seats (as opposed to no open seats that the family liked), then they do deserve a refund. They paid for a seat (for the 2 year old) and didn't get one.

I rarely jump on the "the airline owes me" bandwagons, but I do think that this refund was justified.

RMulieri
11-05-2009, 10:28 AM
Sorry.. I pay extra to sit with my child. If I get split up,YES I am going to make a deal about it.I don't care if the whole family is separated as long as me or DH is with my daughter she is only 5 and it is not like the airlines screen who the heck she is going to sit next to.Where is the incentive anymore to book early and pay for seats? As for paying for a seat and being told there isn't one, I would also expect a refund

tjmw2727
11-05-2009, 10:48 AM
Oh give me a break. She was 6 not 1. If I got a refund every time one of my kids had to sit apart from me, I'd be at Disney a heck of a lot more times! Do these people and this lazy journalist think this is the first time this has happened?

If they get a refund then United is going to go broke giving refunds for this sillt reason, where do I get in line for mine?

I agree about the 6yo, I was referring to the 2yo. They paid for a seat and were forced (accd to the article) to lap sit the 2yo.

If that was the case then IMHO they paid for a seat for the 2yo and did not receive one.

DebbieB
11-05-2009, 10:54 AM
It sounds like a small plane. The issue about not hearing the announcement happened to me at Dulles in March. I was in first class, which was 2 rows, I was in row 1 so no seat in front of me. I was carrying a small carryon that had my breakable souveniers from India. I didn't hear the announcement and got on late. I had to put my bag half way back in the plane and hoped no one would try to move it and break stuff. It was a CRJ so the overhead was tiny. The commuter terminal at Dulles is terrible, very crowded.

dis-happy
11-05-2009, 11:30 AM
I'm shocked that a 2 year old was allowed to be a lap child. Doesn't that break FAA rules?

NotUrsula
11-05-2009, 11:58 AM
I'm shocked that a 2 year old was allowed to be a lap child. Doesn't that break FAA rules?

Sure does, and the fine is a hefty one. The airline is going to get busted for that if indeed they forced it to happen.

tjmw2727
11-05-2009, 01:10 PM
I'm shocked that a 2 year old was allowed to be a lap child. Doesn't that break FAA rules?

I mentioned that earlier and yes, I am quite sure that all ticketed passengers need to be in a seat and buckled for take off and landing. The fine is going to be much more than the cost of refunding the families ticket.

kaytieeldr
11-05-2009, 01:39 PM
Oh give me a break. She was 6 not 1. If I got a refund every time one of my kids had to sit apart from me, I'd be at Disney a heck of a lot more times! Do these people and this lazy journalist think this is the first time this has happened?
::yes:: I'm thinking the same thing. There is SO much in that article with which I have issues. Most airlines accept UNaccompanied minors by age six. They don't do background checks on the seat companions of unaccompanied minors (yes, I'm sure - while I'm entirely safe, nobody on Southwest asked me anything except, "is it okay if this child sits with you?"). Why the H would they???? The parents were ON the plane, and especially since the six year old's seat companions offered to take care of her - in an emergency they would have, and if she'd gotten sick they KNEW where to find the parents.

There is something that is unclear and I will reserve judgement on this as a newspapers account is biased based on one persons version, and I wonder if there no seat for the 2 year old or was the seat that was available unacceptable to the parents. Excellent observation. I'd lean toward the latter, since if there'd been NO seat available United would have had to deny boarding to a passenger. After all, there are no accommodations for standees on a plane :teeth:

ExPirateShopGirl
11-05-2009, 01:45 PM
Sounds like the family showed up late to the gate which added to their difficulties. I can't imagine they would be the last 3 onboard if they were ready to board regardless of any announcements. I am not sure why the father would complain about allowing someone else to sit in his own seat on the outbound portion of the trip, either. There are a few things that just don't add up in this man's story.

bumbershoot
11-05-2009, 02:33 PM
...since if there'd been NO seat available United would have had to deny boarding to a passenger. After all, there are no accommodations for standees on a plane :teeth:

Considering the number of times I've seen FAs knowingly allow a 2 year old to sit on a parent's lap all through takeoff etc, I actually could believe the gate agents (though I think he said it was a pilot manning the gate?) getting confused.

I think there's a miscommunication in FA school where some think the kids can be all the way through the year of being 2 before they need their own seat. Which would, if they thought about it, mean 3 and up kids need a seat, when the rule is 2 and up...but seriously, I've heard conversations between parents of 2 year olds and the FAs, and the FAs haven't banned the 2 year olds, who do not have paidfor seats, from the flight.

Sounds like the family showed up late to the gate which added to their difficulties.
There are a few things that just don't add up in this man's story.

I don't disagree with that last sentence, but the article said it was a connecting flight:

"...the flight home on United Airlines.

They flew through Washington Dulles International Airport, and when boarding the plane to Lehigh Valley International"...

It's possible they were later to the gate through no fault of their own. Possible.

maxiesmom
11-05-2009, 02:38 PM
If the journalist is shocked by all of this, he doesn't fly much.

I am suprised that there was not a gate agent at Dulles though. Does that sort of thing happen often?

NotUrsula
11-05-2009, 02:46 PM
You are certainly right about the journalist being ignorant. He probably flies quite often, but never with young kids.

DebbieB
11-05-2009, 03:35 PM
If the journalist is shocked by all of this, he doesn't fly much.

I am suprised that there was not a gate agent at Dulles though. Does that sort of thing happen often?

There had to be a gate agent. The commuter terminal at Dulles is basically 1 huge room with about 10 gates. It is very noisy. It's possible the agent stepped over to another gate if they were late arriving or was out on the tarmac (they don't use jetways in that area).

I looked at United's current schedule. This route is operated by Colgan with Saab 340 aircraft, which is a prop. These planes have 12 rows with 1 seat on one side and 2 seats on the other side. So it wasn't a huge plane, about 34 seats. It's possible it was scheduled originally with a larger plane with 2 x 2 seating. The comment about no air conditioning makes sense because on a prop plane they can't operate the air conditioning unless the props are running, which they can't do with the door open (safety hazard). I've flown a couple times on these planes from Pittsburgh to Allentown, they are very cramped. I had to fly there again, I flew into Newark instead on a regular plane and drove to Allentown. That plane just made me too nervous.

http://www.united.com/page/article/0,6867,51070,00.html

Canyon girl
11-05-2009, 09:52 PM
::yes:: I'm thinking the same thing. There is SO much in that article with which I have issues. Most airlines accept UNaccompanied minors by age six. They don't do background checks on the seat companions of unaccompanied minors (yes, I'm sure - while I'm entirely safe, nobody on Southwest asked me anything except, "is it okay if this child sits with you?"). Why the H would they???? The parents were ON the plane, and especially since the six year old's seat companions offered to take care of her - in an emergency they would have, and if she'd gotten sick they KNEW where to find the parents.

You and everyone else can flame me if you want. First of all, airlines take unaccompanied minors because of the children's parents' choice. I choose not to send my kids that way. I choose to have my kids sit with me. That is why I make reservations on an airline that allows me to make seat assignments. I also check for equipment changes frequently and make sure that we are at the airport early. Secondly, have you not read stories of girls/women being groped on planes? As far as these people taking care of the 6 year-old in the case of emergency, we wouldn't know if that would actually have happened unless the plane had actually gone down. Then, it would have been too late to have moved her to her parents if these older people had not helped her or had had a heart attack and had been unable to help her. My kids may be older, but they will not be sitting with strangers. If you want yours to, that is your choice. It is not mine.

kaytieeldr
11-05-2009, 10:28 PM
You and everyone else can flame me if you want. First of all, airlines take unaccompanied minors because of the children's parents' choice. I choose not to send my kids that wayNo reason to flame you. That's your decision. I don't have an issue with it.

What I do have an issue with is people who are automatically judgmental, suspicious or mistrustful of everybody on an airplane who is not them. No, I'd rather have your kid sit with you - but if for some reason he/she can't, DON'T be thinking I'm a dangerous psycopath just because you need to sit several feet, rather than several inches, from your child.

Secondly, have you not read stories of girls/women being groped on planes?A couple. Compare this to the number of passengers daily. It's miniscule. It shouldn't happen, but the number is statistically negligible - three, four this year? Well over 350,000,000 (this http://www.ask.com/bar?q=2008+domestic+airline+passenger+traffic&page=1&qsrc=2106&dm=all&ab=1&title=Airline+Passenger+Traffic+Down+In+June&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.consumeraffairs.com%2Fnews04%2F 2009%2F09%2Fairline_traffic_june.html&sg=2iokXg1AJdAO6S2hFBPfo8YlVW3vd4Fb8mNQ1S9cilQ%3D&tsp=1257481291044 site shows January to June figures at 345,000,000; reasonably, at least 100,000,000 passengers have flown since then). Again, it shouldn't happen. NO crime should, but crime happens. Four incidents out of over four hundred million passengers? That's one in a hundred million. Find any other crime statistic so low. Respectfully, most such assaults/attacks are by people known to the victim.

As far as these people taking care of the 6 year-old in the case of emergency, we wouldn't know if that would actually have happened unless the plane had actually gone down. Then, it would have been too late to have moved her to her parents if these older people had not helped her or had had a heart attack and had been unable to help her.Just as we wouldn't know what would happen to the parents. Being "older" is relative. I've seen posts from DISers concerned about their aging parents, only to find out the parents are in their forties!!!

Canyon girl
11-05-2009, 10:41 PM
The problem is that we don't know who is who. You might be fine, but the other person might not be. The point that I am trying to make about the couple is not know if they really would have taken care of the child in an emergency. It is just reality. Many (generalization) people who own their home take better care of it than a person who rents their home. [Renters, don't take this personally. I rent, too.] My point is that I would lay down my life for my kids. Will a stranger do the same? I am not trying to start something. I rarely read this part of the board because of some of the strong personal opinions over here. I came over to find out more about ME. It really is a personal opinion. I just don't like the generalization that all kids over 5 or 6 should be able to sit with strangers because the airline will take them that young as unaccompanied. My flight is a 4-5 hour flight. I don't think anyone would want to entertain my kids for that long!!! I'm not sure that I do!:rotfl2:

Hannathy
11-05-2009, 10:41 PM
You and everyone else can flame me if you want. First of all, airlines take unaccompanied minors because of the children's parents' choice. I choose not to send my kids that way. I choose to have my kids sit with me. That is why I make reservations on an airline that allows me to make seat assignments. I also check for equipment changes frequently and make sure that we are at the airport early. Secondly, have you not read stories of girls/women being groped on planes? As far as these people taking care of the 6 year-old in the case of emergency, we wouldn't know if that would actually have happened unless the plane had actually gone down. Then, it would have been too late to have moved her to her parents if these older people had not helped her or had had a heart attack and had been unable to help her. My kids may be older, but they will not be sitting with strangers. If you want yours to, that is your choice. It is not mine.

Then you should not fly!!! You better always drive everywhere because you are not guaranteed a certain seat on any form of public transportation only A seat.

Canyon girl
11-05-2009, 10:45 PM
Then you should not fly!!! You better always drive everywhere because you are not guaranteed a certain seat on any form of public transportation only A seat.

This is exactly why I avoid the Transportation area. I am leaving now! You can have your party!!!

crashbb
11-05-2009, 10:52 PM
This is exactly why I avoid the Transportation area. I am leaving now! You can have your party!!!

Because she pointed out a very true fact?

I wouldn't go so far as to say that you should never fly and I understand your feelings about not sitting apart from your kids, but it is totally true that even on airlines that allow you to choose your seat (heck, even on airlines that charge you for that ability), sometimes things happen and you aren't seated in the seats you had selected. It is far better to know that in advance (not just you - anyone who reads these boards) so that you can try to formulate a plan before it happens.

NotUrsula
11-05-2009, 11:22 PM
[You would THINK that she'd want to know the truth before she embarassed herself in an airport, or worse yet, waited until she got onto the aircraft to protest and ended up being escorted out in cuffs.]

The truth is that the ONLY time that you are guaranteed a contiguous seat next to a child on a US carrier is if that child weighs less than 40 lbs, is a ticketed passenger, and is seated in an approved carseat. In those cases, US federal law requires the airline to seat a responsible adult in the party next to the child, to insure that the child is taken out of the seat in the event of an emergency evacuation. In *no* other case is it required by law, even if the child is under age 5. It is up to the airline in all other cases, and they WILL NOT guarantee contiguous seating.

It never fails to amaze me how many people just do not get this. If you want the rules changed, don't gripe to your airline. WRITE YOUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVE!

FWIW, I can tell you this much. If you want to always be assured of sitting next to your minor child on a domestic flight, it is best to fly SWA, because YOU control where you sit on SWA. If you show up late to the gate because of a connection, SWA passengers are more likely to be willing to trade seats, because they are NOT assigned, and for that reason the majority of SWA passengers tend not be be particularly invested in what seat they are sitting in. On carriers that assign seats, you are at the mercy of the airline when it comes to vacated seat assignments. ALL of them reserve the right to vacate those assignments at will, and don't kid yourself that they won't ever do it to you.

seashoreCM
11-06-2009, 08:26 AM
In the linked article, the "other couple" were not stuck with attending to the 6yo. They could have swapped seats so somebody else would attend to the 6yo. When your party does not exactly fill a row, anybody else could be assigned to the remaining seat and each is expected to treat the other(s) with dignity.

Let's start a fad! When you reserve a seat on the plane for your infant*, bring a (FAA approved) car seat. This way the airline personnel will never ever ask you to lap sit the child and will ask for volunteers to be bumped if needed.

* Defined by Disney as under 3yo.

DebbieB
11-06-2009, 08:36 AM
In the linked article, the "other couple" were not stuck with attending to the 6yo. They could have swapped seats so somebody else would attend to the 6yo. When your party does not exactly fill a row, anybody else could be assigned to the remaining seat and each is expected to treat the other(s) with dignity.

Let's start a fad! When you reserve a seat on the plane for your infant*, bring a (FAA approved) car seat. This way the airline personnel will never ever ask you to lap sit the child and will ask for volunteers to be bumped if needed.

* Defined by Disney as under 3yo.

If this was a 1 x 2 plane, how could the couple have been sitting directly with the child? If they were in the same row, the child would have been in the single seat.

Hannathy
11-06-2009, 09:04 AM
This couple must have been very obnoxious and demanding if I had to guess because I have flown on these little planes many times and with kids and usually it is a very congenial atmosphere. It is so few people and you are in such close accommodations that it is very personal. I have had some very good interactions on these planes with complete strangers and usually more than willing to move around. I have even had people offer to move so my kids could have a window or be near me when we haven't asked. I never ask anyone to move so I can be by my kids. So IMO there again is more to this story probably.

Plus the size of these planes my goodness they hardly were any distance from the girl. it isn't like it was one of the huge international planes!

ohlas
11-06-2009, 09:23 AM
wow im sock someone didnt just switch seats with you i have almost everytime i fly i never sit in my assigned seat lol

dis-happy
11-06-2009, 10:38 AM
Let's start a fad! When you reserve a seat on the plane for your infant*, bring a (FAA approved) car seat. This way the airline personnel will never ever ask you to lap sit the child and will ask for volunteers to be bumped if needed.

* Defined by Disney as under 3yo.

Only in a snowflake parent's dreams. More likely to be told "sorry, this flight it overbooked and there's no room to seat you next to your carseat as mandated so we have to reschedule you both to the next available flight."

ExPirateShopGirl
11-06-2009, 11:18 AM
I've flown in puddle-jumping Saabs more times than I'd like to recall... and there isn't one seat in that particular aircraft that can't be seen by another. They are tiny. Just because the parents lack the social skills and assertiveness to even make a polite request of other travelers is not cause for a "Beware: This Could Happen To You!" article.

Hannathy
11-06-2009, 11:49 AM
I've flown in puddle-jumping Saabs more times than I'd like to recall... and there isn't one seat in that particular aircraft that can't be seen by another. They are tiny. Just because the parents lack the social skills and assertiveness to even make a polite request of other travelers is not cause for a "Beware: This Could Happen To You!" article.

yep as my Mom would say spitting distance!!!

DebbieB
11-06-2009, 12:32 PM
I've flown in puddle-jumping Saabs more times than I'd like to recall... and there isn't one seat in that particular aircraft that can't be seen by another. They are tiny. Just because the parents lack the social skills and assertiveness to even make a polite request of other travelers is not cause for a "Beware: This Could Happen To You!" article.

What I love on those planes is when they start moving people around for "weight and balance". :scared1:

Hannathy
11-06-2009, 01:52 PM
What I love on those planes is when they start moving people around for "weight and balance". :scared1:

Yea isn't that fun? My son and I volunteered recently but were told thanks but no thanks the 2 of you combined don't weigh what usually one person does! We'd just still be moving someone else. But that usually gets some single adult who is hiding behind their newspaper to volunteer.

bgohre
11-06-2009, 02:15 PM
I can't quite decide if most of you are missing the point on purpose just to be "technical" or if you just don't get it. :confused3

First off....I get, they get, we all get you are not guaranteed seat 11b on your flight from Minot to Orlando. We all get that.

However, when you book your ticket with an airline, select your seat, you should have a reasonable expectation that your seat should stay the same. NOW, I know, about aircraft changes and other things can happen, and YES, if the family had looked online a little to check on their flights they would have probably caught and avoided this problem. The airline also could have helped fix the problem. There is some fault on both sides of this issue.

It is irrelevant to this discussion that children often sit alone when going unacommpanied, that is not the point. It is the parents decision to allow a child to fly alone based on the childs age/maturity and how they think they can handle the situation. That is not the case here. Children often get scared and confused and just because their parents are "somewhere" on the plane does not mean that the stress the parents/child went through in this situation is acceptable.

The parents probably have learned a very valuable lesson about checking seats prior to travel, but the airline should have done everything possilbe to get the 6 year old sitting by at least one of her parents.

bavaria
11-06-2009, 02:20 PM
Have you read the hundreds of posts here over the years from parents who threaten to physically or verbally assault other passengers or airline personnel? have you seen it happen in real life? It does, over and over and over again.

Common courtesy seems to have been overriden by being a parent, it seems some days, according to some parents. Whatever happened to asking, instead of demanding? Whatever happened to taking responsibility for oneself, even if that means deplaning and taking a later flight?

Some parents seem to think that their children take priority over every other passenger and their needs, and many of us are tired of that attitude. Witness the SW EBCI threads - the one here was long but quite reasonable; the one on the Family Board became very ugly with threats and name calling.

If people would not assume that everyone is out to get them, or a pedophile, or useless in an emergency, and would treat others with the respect that they themselves are demanding, I think the responses would be different.

Every parent who has threatened others with vomit, or other bodily fluids, or choice words, or physical harm, here and in real life, does a great disservice. We understand that the situation is stressful. Most of the posters here are parents themselves. But it doesn't mean that one has to behave or threaten to behave in such a fashion. I know at least three posters who this year were denied or potentially denied boarding because of their behaviour.

You cannot demand respect from others if you are unwilling to offer it to them yourself.

safetymom
11-06-2009, 02:25 PM
Have you read the hundreds of posts here over the years from parents who threaten to physically or verbally assault other passengers or airline personnel? have you seen it happen in real life? It does, over and over and over again.

Common courtesy seems to have been overriden by being a parent, it seems some days, according to some parents. Whatever happened to asking, instead of demanding? Whatever happened to taking responsibility for oneself, even if that means deplaning and taking a later flight?

Some parents seem to think that their children take priority over every other passenger and their needs, and many of us are tired of that attitude. Witness the SW EBCI threads - the one here was long but quite reasonable; the one on the Family Board became very ugly with threats and name calling.

If people would not assume that everyone is out to get them, or a pedophile, or useless in an emergency, and would treat others with the respect that they themselves are demanding, I think the responses would be different.

Every parent who has threatened others with vomit, or other bodily fluids, or choice words, or physical harm, here and in real life, does a great disservice. We understand that the situation is stressful. Most of the posters here are parents themselves. But it doesn't mean that one has to behave or threaten to behave in such a fashion. I know at least three posters who this year were denied or potentially denied boarding because of their behaviour.

You cannot demand respect from others if you are unwilling to offer it to them yourself.

Thank you for summing up the feelings of many of us here.

Hannathy
11-06-2009, 02:37 PM
I can't quite decide if most of you are missing the point on purpose just to be "technical" or if you just don't get it. :confused3

but the airline should have done everything possilbe to get the 6 year old sitting by at least one of her parents.

No I think we get it or at least I get it, we just don't agree. I don't think the airline needs to do anything to get any child over 2-3 yrs old with their parents, especially on a plane that is smaller than a school bus! I'm from the generation that wasn't treated like a snow flake by my parents and don't treat my kids like that. They can sit in a seat in a public place for a couple of hours by themselves. It isn't like they are going to get lost, or go somewhere I'm not. If the parents want to try and ask nicely then someone usually will move but you just can't bet the farm on it or feel entitled to it just because you would like it to be so.

NotUrsula
11-06-2009, 03:06 PM
...
However, when you book your ticket with an airline, select your seat, you should have a reasonable expectation that your seat should stay the same. ...

The airlines really disagree with you on that point, and they don't make any secret of it.

It is irrelevant to this discussion that children often sit alone when going unacommpanied, that is not the point. It is the parents decision to allow a child to fly alone based on the childs age/maturity and how they think they can handle the situation. That is not the case here. Children often get scared and confused and just because their parents are "somewhere" on the plane does not mean that the stress the parents/child went through in this situation is acceptable.

But is *is* acceptable under US federal law. Congress knows about this, they have looked at the question, and up til niw they have concluded that it is best to leave this decision up to the airlines. The airlines look at it in terms of how old children need to be to manage following evacuation directions, and what they have found in test after test is that if the child is school-aged, they can handle it without help. As I've said before, the only way that this one is going to ever change is if lawmakers vote to do so. (There is precedent in the UK. The rule there is that parents must be seated "within arms reach" of children under 12. Why? Because in tests the UK aviation authority found out that parents seated away from their school-aged kids tended to panic in an evacuation, go against the flow, and impede progress. Their kids, OTOH, do just what they are told and head for the exits immediately. The rule exists to keep the parents from bollixing up the evacuation.)

Parents probably have learned a very valuable lesson about checking seats prior to travel, but the airline should have done everything possilbe to get the 6 year old sitting by at least one of her parents.

What should they have done? They have NO legal power to make any passenger move in order to accomodate a child/parent pair unless the child is in a carseat. FA's can ask for volunteers, and they can sweeten the deal with free drinks, but that's about it.

On a plane that size, NO seat assignment is sacred, because the pilot can and will arrange passengers by size if it is necessary to balance the load. Doing so tends to create ill-will, however, so it isn't done unless the laws of physics warrant it.

Jaymie
11-06-2009, 04:05 PM
I can't help but wonder why airlines allow to assign seats in advance, if the chances of losing those seats are so high. Why no just keep it the way it used to be years ago when your seat was assigned at the airport when you checked in. I realize it's a lot quicker to check in online, but when they seem to upset so many customers, is it really worth it?

I myself, teach my kids not to talk to strangers. NO EXCEPTIONS! Not at a playground, not in the mall and not on a plan. So why would I be ok with them being seperated from me on a plane? I realize most strangers aren't going to hurt my child and even less of them are pedophiles. But unfortunately, I can't tell the difference, so I try to always be on guard.

bgohre
11-06-2009, 04:26 PM
Again, I don't think you are getting the jist of the parents arguement.

Let me try this a different way. If you were driving down the road in a 55 mph speed zone, accidently let the speedometer race to 56 and got pulled over and got a ticket. I would bet most everybody would be livid if it happened to them. But according to some of you, oh well, thats the rule. Just because the airlines have a rule, doesn't mean it's right.

You can spare me the travel 101 lesson. I've been in travel 14 years. While I may not know everything, I think I got the basics down.

Again, please read what I said. I said that pax have an expectation to the specific seat they booked (whether right or wrong). I did not say they are bound by the laws of our country to seat XYZ under punishment of death.

I made no mention about what is acceptable under US Federal Law. That wasn't my point. And you may need to clarify something for me. You said "They have NO legal power to make any passenger move in order to accomodate a child/parent pair unless the child is in a carseat." But when talking about the airlines and seats you said "On carriers that assign seats, you are at the mercy of the airline when it comes to vacated seat assignments. ALL of them reserve the right to vacate those assignments at will, and don't kid yourself that they won't ever do it to you." So they can't do anything, but wait they can. :confused3

Truth is, the airline could have asked passengers to move. I will say, based on the article I do not know if they did that, they very well could have. Like someone else said. The article is written from one point of view so you never know what really happened.

bgohre
11-06-2009, 04:27 PM
I myself, teach my kids not to talk to strangers. NO EXCEPTIONS! Not at a playground, not in the mall and not on a plan. So why would I be ok with them being seperated from me on a plane? I realize most strangers aren't going to hurt my child and even less of them are pedophiles. But unfortunately, I can't tell the difference, so I try to always be on guard.


Cha-Ching!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:thumbsup2

bgohre
11-06-2009, 04:34 PM
No I think we get it or at least I get it, we just don't agree. I don't think the airline needs to do anything to get any child over 2-3 yrs old with their parents, especially on a plane that is smaller than a school bus! I'm from the generation that wasn't treated like a snow flake by my parents and don't treat my kids like that. They can sit in a seat in a public place for a couple of hours by themselves. It isn't like they are going to get lost, or go somewhere I'm not. If the parents want to try and ask nicely then someone usually will move but you just can't bet the farm on it or feel entitled to it just because you would like it to be so.

Then we will never agree. Especially when there is no reason for them to be seperated in the first place.

It has nothing to do with them getting lost or go someplace your not, it's more of an issue that you want to spend time with your child (at least I do) so you want to sit with them and be with them as they take in new experiences like flying in an airplane, riding a bus, train or whatever else is new to them. I enjoy watching my child experience new things, guess I'm alone on that one here. :confused3

crashbb
11-06-2009, 04:50 PM
Then we will never agree. Especially when there is no reason for them to be seperated in the first place.

It has nothing to do with them getting lost or go someplace your not, it's more of an issue that you want to spend time with your child (at least I do) so you want to sit with them and be with them as they take in new experiences like flying in an airplane, riding a bus, train or whatever else is new to them. I enjoy watching my child experience new things, guess I'm alone on that one here. :confused3

I was wondering how long it would take for someone to suggest that people who aren't outraged whenever a child is seated away from their parents are bad parents.

maxiesmom
11-06-2009, 05:07 PM
It has nothing to do with them getting lost or go someplace your not, it's more of an issue that you want to spend time with your child (at least I do) so you want to sit with them and be with them as they take in new experiences like flying in an airplane, riding a bus, train or whatever else is new to them. I enjoy watching my child experience new things, guess I'm alone on that one here. :confused3

But it is only a new experience during their first plane ride, technically speaking. So I'm not buying that as an argument. I do undestand wanting to sit with your family just for the fun of it. But if I got to spend time with them at Disney World because we spent time apart on an airplane, I think it is worth it.

Most 6yr olds are in school all day far away from their parents. I don't think the majority of them would be incapable of spending a plane ride seated away from them.

NotUrsula
11-06-2009, 05:22 PM
I made no mention about what is acceptable under US Federal Law. That wasn't my point. And you may need to clarify something for me. You said "They have NO legal power to make any passenger move in order to accomodate a child/parent pair unless the child is in a carseat." But when talking about the airlines and seats you said "On carriers that assign seats, you are at the mercy of the airline when it comes to vacated seat assignments. ALL of them reserve the right to vacate those assignments at will, and don't kid yourself that they won't ever do it to you." So they can't do anything, but wait they can. :confused3


What I mean is that they can declare all seat assignments void at will, in which case no one on the plane has a superior claim to a particular seat unless his tush is already in it.

They can also declare in advance a deadline after which seats assignments not yet claimed in person for a particular flight will be vacated -- typically this is 10-20 minutes before scheduled departure.

However, *if* some passengers have assigned seats that have been honored and claimed, the airline cannot decide that one particular passenger (who has met all current conditions for a valid assignment) has to give up a claimed assigned seat just because another passenger wants it. They can only selectively order passengers to move if they have an FAA-mandated safety regulation to enforce by doing so, and right now the only rules like that that exist are the exit row requirements and the rule about carseats.

I entirely understand your point that it is your opinion that being separated (within the same cabin) from a 6yo is unacceptable. I think it's unfortunate myself. However, to be frank, the airlines don't give a flying fig about our opinions, and neither does the US government as the FAA regulations now stand.

Sure, it would be NICE if we could wave our pixie wands and make the airlines do what we want them to with regard to seating assignments for children, but that's not the reality of air travel in America. On this board we try to deal in what is, not what we think it SHOULD be, especially when not knowing the real rules can make for an upsetting and embarassing travel situation.

Like I said, if you or any other American wants to change the rules re: contiguous seating for children, the only realistic avenue by which to do so is to write to Congress, preferably to the members of the Aviation Subcommittee:
http://transportation.house.gov/subcommittees/aviation_members.aspx

Absent a change in the law, we'll all have to continue to depend upon the kindness of strangers when the airline fails us (those same strangers who so many of us will not let our children speak to under ANY circumstances, apparently.)

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Also, just FYI for anyone who is interested, the US carseat rule is 14 CFR 121.311. It can be found at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2008/janqtr/pdf/14cfr121.311.pdf

Hannathy
11-06-2009, 06:29 PM
I myself, teach my kids not to talk to strangers. NO EXCEPTIONS! Not at a playground, not in the mall and not on a plan. So why would I be ok with them being seperated from me on a plane? I realize most strangers aren't going to hurt my child and even less of them are pedophiles. But unfortunately, I can't tell the difference, so I try to always be on guard.

How sad for your children. They are missing out on a wide world out there of people with wonderful experiences and stories to share. My kids talk to everyone always have and they have learned some very varied facts and trivia that I would never have been able to tell them. At airshows my DS has talked to WWII vets and pilots and now knows things that aren't written in books and luckily will have a young person to retell as these vets pass away. My DD has learned facts about shells from University professors who also happen to be collecting shells at the Jersey shore. They have learned about customs and foods from visitors from other countries as we ride the monorail or wait in the terminal. Or sit next to on the plane! The list goes on and on.

Our rule has always been and will always be Talk to who ever you want to BUT go no where with anyone!

bgohre
11-06-2009, 06:47 PM
But it is only a new experience during their first plane ride, technically speaking. So I'm not buying that as an argument. I do undestand wanting to sit with your family just for the fun of it. But if I got to spend time with them at Disney World because we spent time apart on an airplane, I think it is worth it.

Most 6yr olds are in school all day far away from their parents. I don't think the majority of them would be incapable of spending a plane ride seated away from them.

It has nothing to do with whether they are capable or not. That is irrelavent.

Take a 2 year old on a plane then take the same child when they are 5 and tell me that it's not a new experience for them. Even if it's not the "first" time it's a new and exciting experience for them.

bgohre
11-06-2009, 06:48 PM
How sad for your children. They are missing out on a wide world out there of people with wonderful experiences and stories to share. My kids talk to everyone always have and they have learned some very varied facts and trivia that I would never have been able to tell them. At airshows my DS has talked to WWII vets and pilots and now knows things that aren't written in books and luckily will have a young person to retell as these vets pass away. My DD has learned facts about shells from University professors who also happen to be collecting shells at the Jersey shore. They have learned about customs and foods from visitors from other countries as we ride the monorail or wait in the terminal. Or sit next to on the plane! The list goes on and on.

Our rule has always been and will always be Talk to who ever you want to BUT go no where with anyone!

Wow..you just don't get it do you.

bgohre
11-06-2009, 06:50 PM
Sorry...would love to stay and keep this discussion going but my work day is almost over. :banana::banana::banana:

TTFN

Jaymie
11-06-2009, 07:43 PM
How sad for your children.


No need to worry about my kids, they live perfectly full and happy lives. They learn plenty from teachers, coaches and friends in their lives.

But you make a good point, would I let them listen to a story from a WWII vet? While I was with them, probably, depending on the setting. Would I leave them even somewhat unattended with that WWII war vet? Not a chance. But to each their own.

On a funny note, my brother was hoping to get seperated from his daughter (3) on their flight. One - to get a break from her and Two-to see how the poor person next to her handled the situation.

If I were travelling without kids, I would move seats so that a parent could sit with their kid. I wonder why the older couple wasn't willing to seperate so one of the parents could sit with the 6 yr old? Not that they HAVE too. I wouldn't want to sit next to someone else's kid without the parent around too.

Tozzie
11-06-2009, 07:45 PM
Wow..you just don't get it do you.

It is you that doesn't "get it" you are presenting a side of an issue and there are people that don't agree with it, it isn't about getting it because by your posts "getting it" means agreeing with your stance and many people don't.

jondvl
11-06-2009, 07:59 PM
We are planning a trip for August 2010. At first my wife wanted nothing to do with flying. After quite a few hours it would be nicer to fly down to get there quicker and not be stuck in the car with 3 ids(10,7,5) itwould be worth it.

Reading these posts I do not see where it would be worth the possible problems to fly. This would be our first family vacation like this and first time flying

kaytieeldr
11-06-2009, 08:12 PM
This is exactly why I avoid the Transportation area. I am leaving now! You can have your party!!!
It's regrettable that, when you don't get responses you like, you leave instead of remaining in the conversation.

maxiesmom
11-06-2009, 08:14 PM
Reading these posts I do not see where it would be worth the possible problems to fly. This would be our first family vacation like this and first time flying

Parents getting seperated from their kids is not the norm. It is not like it happens on every flight, or even every other flight. I wouldn't let it the possibility of it keep you from flying.

It is advisable to keep an eye on your flights after you have purchased tickets. Times can change, and the type of plane can change. If you check on your flights every few days you will notice if either things happen, and then take care of any problems that may pop up.

kaytieeldr
11-06-2009, 08:16 PM
I can't help but wonder why airlines allow to assign seats in advance, if the chances of losing those seats are so high.Nobody said the chances are high - but they exist, and it makes more sense to make as many people as possible aware of the possibility.

Just because the airlines have a rule, doesn't mean it's right.The rule is right as far as the business owner is concerned. It's not even a rule, it's merely fact - your plane ticket guarantees you only passage from point A to point B on a given day (and even then, only if events beyond the airline's control do not intervene). Seat, time, equipment, route, stops - all these and more are subject to change.

kaytieeldr
11-06-2009, 08:21 PM
No need to worry about my kids, they live perfectly full and happy lives. They learn plenty from teachers, coaches and friends in their lives.
Getting away from the specific topic, but any one of these people is more likely to assault a child than a stranger on a plane.

And, these people aren't strangers. What would your life be like if you never spoke to strangers? That would have to include store clerks, telephone operators, police officers, flight attendants...

dudspizza
11-06-2009, 09:17 PM
We are planning a trip for August 2010. At first my wife wanted nothing to do with flying. After quite a few hours it would be nicer to fly down to get there quicker and not be stuck in the car with 3 ids(10,7,5) itwould be worth it.

Reading these posts I do not see where it would be worth the possible problems to fly. This would be our first family vacation like this and first time flying

Message boards like this can be a wonderful tool to learn so many things. It can also scare the heck out of new travelers. My kids are 10 and 13 and have been on 6-10 flights in their young lives. We have NEVER been separated from them. I am very diligent at watching my flights and making sure we are at the gate in plenty of time.

The key here is to be educated on what to do if an issue arises. Too many people go into things blindly and when something doesn't go as planned they come on the DIS and bash the airline.

The airline industry moves millions of people all over the world. 99.9% of it void of any drama. The DIS and other message boards would make it sound like there is drama on every flight.

To me, flying is a very enjoyable, fun experience that everyone should try. I have flown since I have been a kid, heck I flew to Japan at age 10 and Europe at 13, 15, and 17, so I have had to sit on very long flights. I still think it is fun.

Best bet is to be informed and enjoy the ride.

Travel safe.

Duds

dudspizza
11-06-2009, 09:19 PM
Speaking of seat assignments.... I am booked in first class in April. I have 1 flight on a smaller plane that doesn't have first class, but I do have a seating assignment. I checked my seats today and had been moved. I was moved up 2 rows and my seat was given to someone else! No biggie, but it can happen. By the way, the plane is basically empty, so it is kind of weird that I was moved.

My thought... oh well, not much I can do about it.....

Duds

chicagodisneyfan
11-07-2009, 02:39 AM
How sad for your children. They are missing out on a wide world out there of people with wonderful experiences and stories to share. My kids talk to everyone always have and they have learned some very varied facts and trivia that I would never have been able to tell them. At airshows my DS has talked to WWII vets and pilots and now knows things that aren't written in books and luckily will have a young person to retell as these vets pass away. My DD has learned facts about shells from University professors who also happen to be collecting shells at the Jersey shore. They have learned about customs and foods from visitors from other countries as we ride the monorail or wait in the terminal. Or sit next to on the plane! The list goes on and on.

Our rule has always been and will always be Talk to who ever you want to BUT go no where with anyone!

Thank you!! I was so shocked and saddened by that poster too.

bavaria
11-07-2009, 04:02 AM
A question for the parents - and I don't mean our regular parent posters but the ones posting on this thread who don't regularly post here...

If you did find yourselves seperated from your children on a flight, and couldn't get seats together, would you deplane and take a later flight potentially at your own cost to ensure seats together?

jondvl
11-07-2009, 06:48 AM
I definately would deplane if either my wife or I could not sit along side of our kids. We would not have to all be together but 1 of us with two of the kids and the other with our Autistic son to keep him calm. I am sure this will be something different and strange for him. My kids safety and happiness is more important than an airline employee not asking some one to move because they made some kind of mistake.

bavaria
11-07-2009, 07:13 AM
Thank you for answering - you are one of very few who has said 'yes' to that question over the years. I myself have deplaned or changed flights many times at my own cost if I cannot get a seat which 'works' for me.

Now, another question for parents, especially those concerned about being seated next to their child. Would you change seats and sit away from your child so that another parent could sit next to theirs? Would you move away from you child so that Jaymie or bghore or any other poster could sit next to their child, while you sat apart from yours?

seashoreCM
11-07-2009, 09:16 AM
If you reserve a seat that "works" for you and that seat is not available when you board, then you should upon your request be flown on a different flight for no additional fare or fees.

Yes, persons with temporary handicaps such as a broken leg have been able to get temporary handicapped stickers for their cars. Airlines may have special qualifying procedures you need to follow in advance.

This last point is debatable but IMHO getting the person from point A to point B includes doing so in a proper and decent manner including without significant physical discomfort.

crashbb
11-07-2009, 09:22 AM
If you reserve a seat that "works" for you and that seat is not available when you board, then you should upon your request be flown on a different flight for no additional fare or fees.



Maybe in an ideal world (and that is debatable), but not in the world we actually live in. You are NOT guaranteed any given seat on the plane. The most you can expect is to get credited for anything you may have paid to select your seat (i.e. over and above what you paid for your ticket).

Air Canada actually clearly seats this during seat selection (on the very few fare classes where seat selection is an additional fee), I'm not sure about other airlines.

hsmamato2
11-07-2009, 09:41 AM
We would not have to all be together but 1 of us with two of the kids and the other with our Autistic son to keep him calm. I am sure this will be something different and strange for him. .

I just wanted to encourage you- sometimes these threads get a little crazy....and needlessly instill fear in a newbie like yourself- When you buy your tix,buy with seat assignments,and check periodically for any changes- if there are any,call and make it right for you right away, and when you get there,be there early,make sure you board on time or when you're allowed,and be nice. It does wonders for FA's and other passengers helping you out. I've never been on a flight where at least one of us wasn't with the kids. (usually me,my dh was happy to find another seat...:laughing:)
Get there early! wait at the gate- be polite, you will likely be just fine!
any minor hassles we encounter are small potatoes compared to 24 hours in a car driving down.....:scared1:

ironz
11-07-2009, 10:18 AM
Really...the DRAMA on these pages.

I fly about 8-12 flight segments to various places every month, and have done so for the last 4 years. I have seen families need to have people move for them only a handful of times (3 or less), and have never seen people come to blows or have the major issues described here. Not saying it doesn't happen from time to time, but it is the EXCEPTION, not the rule. As a PP said...watch your flights, get checked in to your flight early/on time at least, work with the gate agent if necessary, board on time. And be nice!

jeez....

and yes, I'm back in coach...where I could see if these issues unfolded.

crashbb
11-07-2009, 10:42 AM
The fact that a news article got written about a child separated from her parents, goes to show how rare it is. If it was happening on every flight, no one would be writing an article about a single incident.

On the few occasions that I've seen parents still not sitting with their children after boarding, someone has always moved so at least one parent was with their child.

People are less likely to move when (for example) mom is already sitting next to their child, and dad is trying to also move into that row. People may move, it is less likely. Especially (as happened on my recent flight), the dad is asking the woman in the aisle seat of the bulkhead (lots of leg room) to move into the middle seat of the row behind. The woman said no (nicely) and the father was still sitting directly behind his wife and daughter (where he could speak to and touch them).

On the rare occasions that you lose your selected seats, I always suggest that people try to fix it before getting onto the plane (depends on when you figure it out).

I've posted this before, but my suggestions of the steps you can/should take:

1) If there is a flight/equipment change and there are no seats together, try calling the airline. Airlines hold back some seats and may be able to open up enough so that all children are beside one adult.

2) Keep checking - people cancel flights/change seats. For people in the "single seats", choose ones that other people may want so that you have good seats to trade (i.e. aisle seats near the front of the plane).

3) Do online check in at the 24 hour mark. The seats that are held back are now opened up plus some people may have been upgraded. You have a good chance of moving to seats that are together.

4) Get to the airport early and ask the check-in agent if there are together seats that you can move to (again, people may have moved/upgraded/canceled).

5) When you get to the gate, talk to the gate agent. Changes are still happening and they may be able to help you.

6) If all else fails and you get on the plane and you have all single seats, nicely ask people if they would mind trading (but know that they have every right to reject the request). You have much better odds if you are offering your "better" seat. For example, if one seat is in row 5 and the other seat is in row 32, you'll do much better asking the person beside you in row 32 to move up to row 5 (and you and your child sit in row 32) than the opposite.

7) If you are still separated, you can choose to deplane and take a later flight. Before considering this, make sure you know if there are still together seats available on a subsequent flight.

I have NEVER seen anyone get to step 7 (not saying it doesn't happen, I've just never seen it) and rarely step 6 (generally only on holiday flights with lots of families none of whom want to sit split up or even go one adult/one child one place and another adult/child somewhere else.

bavaria
11-07-2009, 10:48 AM
Wait a minute; I thought that every flight in DISworld is peppered with bad parents, evil single adults, nasty FAs, and the occasional pedophile. Certainly from reading here that seems to be the expectation.

It isn't the case in my parallel universe, yet reading here people seem to be so scared about these things, and seem to enjoy tossing out insults and barbs rather than listening to reason.

I will gently suggest that the likelihood of not getting seats together is increased on carriers which charge or credit for seats, like AirTrain, Spirit, Air Canada, etc if one chooses not to pay for seats. And the likelihood of having aircraft or seats increases when one books so far in advance, as many here seem to like to do. (edited to add also on airlines like United where much of the cabin is premium seating, resulting in fewer preassigned seats for those unwilling to pay for premium seating or without status)

The reason why so many of us try and explain things in a rational fashion is to help posters to understand why things happen, and what can happen, and how to best deal with it.

But when readers come charging in throwing out insults and calling names and threatening others, the drama tends to overshadow the fact and the reality.

Now, maybe everyone should just toss back the Koolaid and vodka that pr surfer is pushing on another thread... it may do everyone some good.

bumbershoot
11-07-2009, 02:04 PM
I fly about 8-12 flight segments to various places every month, and have done so for the last 4 years. I have seen families need to have people move for them only a handful of times (3 or less), and have never seen people come to blows or have the major issues described here. Not saying it doesn't happen from time to time, but it is the EXCEPTION, not the rule.

Agreed.

Except that I have NEVER seen such a situation. I don't fly nearly as much as some here do, but compared to many of my friends I've flown for a long time and relatively often, and while I have had my seat changed after choosing it, it was no biggie, and I've never seen people have a problematic situation where they were separated from their kids.

I have seen calm situations where someone wanted to move, and someone always was OK moving (I think I was a mover once), but those situations were long ago; I haven't seen one since before '05, at least.


As crash said, since it made the news, it's rare.

kaytieeldr
11-07-2009, 03:56 PM
If you reserve a seat that "works" for you and that seat is not available when you board, then you should upon your request be flown on a different flight for no additional fare or fees.Wrong. Again, all your ticket guarantees is passage from point A to point B on a given date, and even that can be affected by conditions beyond the airline's control. EVERYTHING else is merely a request.
Yes, persons with temporary handicaps such as a broken leg have been able to get temporary handicapped stickers for their cars. Airlines may have special qualifying procedures you need to follow in advance.

This last point is debatable but IMHO getting the person from point A to point B includes doing so in a proper and decent manner including without significant physical discomfort. Airlines do have special procedures for disabled or otherwise physically-in-need passengers - they assign bulkhead seating only on the day of the flight, at the airport. To state anything about handicap placards (not stickers, as a sticker has NO legal standing) is merely a red herring.

But all this doesn't apply. Adults separated from children due to seating issues is not a physical discomfort issue, so your entire point is moot.

kaytieeldr
11-07-2009, 04:01 PM
I just wanted to encourage you- sometimes these threads get a little crazy....and needlessly instill fear in a newbie like yourself-In fairness, it's articles like the one that started this thread - very, very, very, extremely, ultra-unique exceptional experiences - that tend more to needlessly instill fear in potential and inexperienced airline passengers :teeth:

nono
11-07-2009, 05:31 PM
A question for the parents - and I don't mean our regular parent posters but the ones posting on this thread who don't regularly post here...

If you did find yourselves seperated from your children on a flight, and couldn't get seats together, would you deplane and take a later flight potentially at your own cost to ensure seats together?

Hey Bavaria! :wave:

Of course, I'd deplane! But only 1 of us has to sit with our children. The other gets the vacation! ;)

A few years ago, somehow my (only at the time) dd's ticket didn't get scanned on the flight down (though she was on it). We discovered doing online check in the night before the flight home that she was dropped from the return flight (naturally). Continental immediately rebooked her, but on a separate reservation. She was silver status (moved from lap during the year), while I was gold, and my husband was platinum. You know what happened. He and I got upgraded, my dd did not. :lmao:

So, we waited and waited and waited in our (former) coach seats with our daughter who still had the 3rd seat. Waiting for the new occupants of 11 B & C. They were the last people to board the plane. It turned out to be a young couple, college age, possibly brother and sister. I told them we'd like to switch seats with them. "Ours are 2A & B." They actually hesitated. I said brightly, "Or, you can sit here with our daughter for the flight. She's traveled over 25,000 miles last year, so she does know what she's doing and shouldn't be a problem." They looked at our 3 yr old in the window seat and grabbed the tickets and ran to our seats before we could change our minds!

Now, if they had insisted upon keeping their seats, I'd have told the flight attendant we were deplaning and we'd have dealt with the consequences from there. I don't think every other passenger on board had to deal with this. It was a freak situation and deplaning is an obvious choice. There's always another flight :goodvibes (unless the airline is going under in the next few hours).

kaytieeldr
11-07-2009, 05:35 PM
Now, if they had insisted upon keeping their seats, I'd have told the flight attendant we were deplaning and we'd have dealt with the consequences from there.Truly, I don't see why. If they had declined the offer/request to change seats, why would you not have moved up to the front seats with your daughter and let your husband stay in row 11?

nono
11-07-2009, 06:50 PM
Truly, I don't see why. If they had declined the offer/request to change seats, why would you not have moved up to the front seats with your daughter and let your husband stay in row 11?

Hey my post was already getting long ;)....I skipped over the part where my dd would have probably wigged if one of us separated from her. Having both parents together was a rarity in those days, so she really looked forward to it. (And, I'm one of those people that can't stand a screaming child on a plane... :laughing:. Goes double when it is mine!)

As I alluded to in line 1 of the post, nowadays, with 2 kids, and a husband that travels way less, your solution would totally work. Never understimate the joy a baby brother can bring to change the whole family dynamic. :wizard:

But yeah, in a situation that would totally not work for our family, I'd rather deplane and start a new adventure than make the rest of my fellow passengers bend to fit my needs. Now, if I were in the Guangzhou airport during fall trade show time, I might have a different answer...but generally...

Tinker*Shell*Bell
11-07-2009, 07:39 PM
I think part of the "problem" on this thread is the different ways of looking at this issue, no one is wrong in what they are saying, but the interpretation is getting heated.

Group 1 is "just the facts ma'am" And nothing you are saying is wrong. You are all about the truth and the facts and the law. I get that your idea is to make the unaware more informed. I completely understand that.

Group 2 however is not talking about the rules, laws and facts. It is parents with children who are saying "this is stupid"...not that group 1 is stupid- but that the airlines saying "a 3yo is old enough to fly in a row with strangers is ok"- is stupid. Sure the rules and laws say that nothing is guaranteed, but I think it is still stupid.

I appreciate group 1 letting people know anything is possible. I am however having a hard time with this "quit whining you aren't that special and neither is your kid" attitude. I would be freaking out, panic attack, if my 4yo had to sit anywhere but beside me. Not because of child molesters, or them throwing up on someone...but just because she is my small child and I do not expect strangers to care for her during a 4 hour flight. She needs snacks opened, crayons picked up and will talk constantly. She would be upset being completely ignored, and it is not the seat mates job to entertain her. I know that the airlines do not have to do a damn thing about it, but that does not make it a good situation.

I would like to think I would de-plane if I was not seated beside her, but I can not say because it has not happened to us. I have been last minute assigned away from my 7, 13 and 14 yo's (equip change.) That did not make me too nervous, just a little, but the gate attendant was nice enough to help us. And because of a thread just like this one (but 3 yrs ago!) I knew what to ask, how to ask for it, and was able to get my family back in seats together.

So group 1- THANKS, but a little "we understand" goes a long way to let people hear the facts. The hard line "here's the rules" offends people...which makes people not read the accurate information you are trying so desperately to share with them.

Jaymie
11-07-2009, 08:09 PM
If you did find yourselves seperated from your children on a flight, and couldn't get seats together, would you deplane and take a later flight potentially at your own cost to ensure seats together?

I think that I probably would deplane.


Now, another question for parents, especially those concerned about being seated next to their child. Would you change seats and sit away from your child so that another parent could sit next to theirs? Would you move away from you child so that Jaymie or bghore or any other poster could sit next to their child, while you sat apart from yours?

I would never expect or even accept that a parent be seperated from their child so that I could sit with mine. I think I would deplane first. But if it were just me & DH or just myself solo, I would move seats so that a parent could be seated with their child. In all honesty, I don't think that I would thrilled about sitting next to a child without their parent around. Like another poster said, I don't want to have to keep someone else's kid entertained for an entire flight, opening snacks, picking up dropped toys, etc. Plus, with my luck, that kid would throw up on me.

Jaymie
11-07-2009, 08:16 PM
I think part of the "problem" on this thread is the different ways of looking at this issue, no one is wrong in what they are saying, but the interpretation is getting heated.

Group 1 is "just the facts ma'am" And nothing you are saying is wrong. You are all about the truth and the facts and the law. I get that your idea is to make the unaware more informed. I completely understand that.

Group 2 however is not talking about the rules, laws and facts. It is parents with children who are saying "this is stupid"...not that group 1 is stupid- but that the airlines saying "a 3yo is old enough to fly in a row with strangers is ok"- is stupid. Sure the rules and laws say that nothing is guaranteed, but I think it is still stupid.

I appreciate group 1 letting people know anything is possible. I am however having a hard time with this "quit whining you aren't that special and neither is your kid" attitude. I would be freaking out, panic attack, if my 4yo had to sit anywhere but beside me. Not because of child molesters, or them throwing up on someone...but just because she is my small child and I do not expect strangers to care for her during a 4 hour flight. She needs snacks opened, crayons picked up and will talk constantly. She would be upset being completely ignored, and it is not the seat mates job to entertain her. I know that the airlines do not have to do a damn thing about it, but that does not make it a good situation.

I would like to think I would de-plane if I was not seated beside her, but I can not say because it has not happened to us. I have been last minute assigned away from my 7, 13 and 14 yo's (equip change.) That did not make me too nervous, just a little, but the gate attendant was nice enough to help us. And because of a thread just like this one (but 3 yrs ago!) I knew what to ask, how to ask for it, and was able to get my family back in seats together.

So group 1- THANKS, but a little "we understand" goes a long way to let people hear the facts. The hard line "here's the rules" offends people...which makes people not read the accurate information you are trying so desperately to share with them.

I couldn't agree more. I don't think group 1 is wrong, they simply have a different point of view. I have a problem with my kid sitting away for me or DH, others don't. It's really not that big of a deal. If the situation arises where I get seperated, I'll deal with it however I think is best for my family.

The closest we've ever been to getting seperated was once on NWA, DH got seperated, but I think we knew he wouldn't be seated with us from the get go. I asked the GA if there was any chance that we could sit together and they made it happen. Another family was in the same boat but all 3 of them were seperated. I told the GA to make sure one of the parents got with their kid before they put DH with us (but I'm sure that a given). They were all together and so were we.

Of course with all these discussions about it and how rare it is, you know I'm going to get seperated from DS5 on Tuesday when we leave for AKL!!

MerryFlora
11-07-2009, 08:59 PM
I've been flying with my daughter for 10 years. Never have we been seperated. I would deplane if we were.

I only use airlines that let you assign seats when you book, usually this costs me more $ but its the only way for me. I continually check my flights for changes.

If I purchase row 15 seats A,B,C. Thats what I expect. I dont see it as a "request" Those are my seats and they are printed on my ticket. When I've seen attendants trying to get families together I assumed they just did not choose their seats at booking. :confused3 I really dont understand how that can happen otherwise. This thread has really opened by eyes. IMO, its very poor customer service to take someones seat away if they are holding a specific ticket for it in their hand. This would never happen at a concert or a ballgame!

DebbieB
11-07-2009, 09:39 PM
I've been flying with my daughter for 10 years. Never have we been seperated. I would deplane if we were.

I only use airlines that let you assign seats when you book, usually this costs me more $ but its the only way for me. I continually check my flights for changes.

If I purchase row 15 seats A,B,C. Thats what I expect. I dont see it as a "request" Those are my seats and they are printed on my ticket. When I've seen attendants trying to get families together I assumed they just did not choose their seats at booking. :confused3 I really dont understand how that can happen otherwise. This thread has really opened by eyes. IMO, its very poor customer service to take someones seat away if they are holding a specific ticket for it in their hand. This would never happen at a concert or a ballgame!

What happens sometimes is a change in equipment. It happens either in advance or sometimes last minute. If they go to a smaller plane, seats are eliminated. You may have reserved a seat that no longer exists. It doesn't have to do with customer service taking a seat away, it just doesn't exist anymore. If you reserved 15 A, B, C and that row doesn't exist on the new plane, they are going to move your party into open seats in the new configuration. If there are no seats together, they are not going to start moving around other people to fit you in. Most of the time it can be worked out onboard. I have switched seats many times to accomodate a family, assuming they are nice about it. If they get demanding, I may stand my ground and not move.

It could happen at a concert or ballgame, say a seat was broken or there was some kind of maintenance problem in your section like a leaking pipe.

kaytieeldr
11-08-2009, 03:48 AM
Hey my post was already getting long ;)....Ah, I see you post very rarely*. There's no such thing as a "too long" post here on the DIS :teeth:

*Could also be perceived as you have an outside life, since we joined the DIS the same month but compare our number of posts. Sometimes it seems the DIS is my life :rotfl:

kaytieeldr
11-08-2009, 03:50 AM
I would be freaking out, panic attack, if my 4yo had to sit anywhere but beside me. Not because of child molesters, or them throwing up on someone...but just because she is my small child and I do not expect strangers to care for her during a 4 hour flightThank you for a very calm, reasonable, and realistic response

kaytieeldr
11-08-2009, 03:52 AM
I would never expect or even accept that a parent be seperated from their child so that I could sit with mine. I think I would deplane first.Another reasonable response/reaction; however, you should not need to do this. The other party should consider deplaning, not you.

bavaria
11-08-2009, 04:05 AM
Ah, I see you post very rarely*. There's no such thing as a "too long" post here on the DIS :teeth:

*Could also be perceived as you have an outside life, since we joined the DIS the same month but compare our number of posts. Sometimes it seems the DIS is my life :rotfl:

Pssst you're only looking at the post count from this one website ;)

HI NONO! nice to see you....

safetymom
11-08-2009, 05:37 AM
I think part of the "problem" on this thread is the different ways of looking at this issue, no one is wrong in what they are saying, but the interpretation is getting heated.

Group 1 is "just the facts ma'am" And nothing you are saying is wrong. You are all about the truth and the facts and the law. I get that your idea is to make the unaware more informed. I completely understand that.

Group 2 however is not talking about the rules, laws and facts. It is parents with children who are saying "this is stupid"...not that group 1 is stupid- but that the airlines saying "a 3yo is old enough to fly in a row with strangers is ok"- is stupid. Sure the rules and laws say that nothing is guaranteed, but I think it is still stupid.

I appreciate group 1 letting people know anything is possible. I am however having a hard time with this "quit whining you aren't that special and neither is your kid" attitude. I would be freaking out, panic attack, if my 4yo had to sit anywhere but beside me. Not because of child molesters, or them throwing up on someone...but just because she is my small child and I do not expect strangers to care for her during a 4 hour flight. She needs snacks opened, crayons picked up and will talk constantly. She would be upset being completely ignored, and it is not the seat mates job to entertain her. I know that the airlines do not have to do a damn thing about it, but that does not make it a good situation.

I would like to think I would de-plane if I was not seated beside her, but I can not say because it has not happened to us. I have been last minute assigned away from my 7, 13 and 14 yo's (equip change.) That did not make me too nervous, just a little, but the gate attendant was nice enough to help us. And because of a thread just like this one (but 3 yrs ago!) I knew what to ask, how to ask for it, and was able to get my family back in seats together.

So group 1- THANKS, but a little "we understand" goes a long way to let people hear the facts. The hard line "here's the rules" offends people...which makes people not read the accurate information you are trying so desperately to share with them.

I also think that group 2 needs to say we understand also. If you arrive late to the gate, didn't book seats together,etc. you need to understand that some people will not switch with you just because you demand it.

Lady Lady
11-08-2009, 10:02 AM
I have flown the Dulles to Allentown route several times. Colgan Air planes are 2 and 1 configuration. But, you get your seating number at the original airport. Since this was a connection, the only way your seat was given up was you were late getting on the plane and the plane already had made its seat adjustment for weight or any other reason.

The plane can be full and this does not mean that they oversold the plane. I find this happens mostly on the 10:30 pm flight. People who missed other connections are trying to make the next flight or even the last flight of the day. These people have to wait until the gate attendants make final call to see if someone else has missed that connection, which is usually just 5 minutes before they close the door to the plane.

MaryKatesMom
11-08-2009, 11:47 AM
I think part of the "problem" on this thread is the different ways of looking at this issue, no one is wrong in what they are saying, but the interpretation is getting heated.

Group 1 is "just the facts ma'am" And nothing you are saying is wrong. You are all about the truth and the facts and the law. I get that your idea is to make the unaware more informed. I completely understand that.

Group 2 however is not talking about the rules, laws and facts. It is parents with children who are saying "this is stupid"...not that group 1 is stupid- but that the airlines saying "a 3yo is old enough to fly in a row with strangers is ok"- is stupid. Sure the rules and laws say that nothing is guaranteed, but I think it is still stupid.

I appreciate group 1 letting people know anything is possible. I am however having a hard time with this "quit whining you aren't that special and neither is your kid" attitude. I would be freaking out, panic attack, if my 4yo had to sit anywhere but beside me. Not because of child molesters, or them throwing up on someone...but just because she is my small child and I do not expect strangers to care for her during a 4 hour flight. She needs snacks opened, crayons picked up and will talk constantly. She would be upset being completely ignored, and it is not the seat mates job to entertain her. I know that the airlines do not have to do a damn thing about it, but that does not make it a good situation.

I would like to think I would de-plane if I was not seated beside her, but I can not say because it has not happened to us. I have been last minute assigned away from my 7, 13 and 14 yo's (equip change.) That did not make me too nervous, just a little, but the gate attendant was nice enough to help us. And because of a thread just like this one (but 3 yrs ago!) I knew what to ask, how to ask for it, and was able to get my family back in seats together.

So group 1- THANKS, but a little "we understand" goes a long way to let people hear the facts. The hard line "here's the rules" offends people...which makes people not read the accurate information you are trying so desperately to share with them.

I agree. Also, the "so don't fly then" puzzles me. I HAVE signed the flyers bill of rights and DID call my congressmen.

I understand that the rules state that I am not guaranteed a seat or even a plane ride for that matter. Who would be happy to be put in a van and driven to their location? Is it the rules, yes, do I have to like it, no.

I too would be very unhappy if one of my DD's under 10 was sitting alone. I'm sure some of the hardliner's here wouldn't appreciate my "threatening" them by telling them she'll get sick but if I'm not watching what she is eating, drinking or getting too warm she may just do that.

It is my job to Parent which means correcting her behavior and depending on her age, time of day, mood, or weather delay's can be no problem or me watching like a hawk she doesn't kick the seats (smaller children will often shift themselves in the seat by pushing off the back in front of them with their feet, I spent an entire flight years ago with my hand on her leg).

No one wants unruly loud children on a flight but how can I maintain control if I can't make eye contact? I completely agree with the statement bolded above. This is my job and to paraphase the President's mother, it is no picnic for me either some times.

I do check right up until the morning of departure but, guess what, sometimes even the airline doesn't know they are paving the airport and I have gone right up to the minute with a connecting flights.

To Bavaria: If a later flight were available at no cost, yes I would deplane without hesitation. However, I wouldn't give up an aisle seat for another parent for a middle or window, that wouldn't work for me.

kaytieeldr
11-08-2009, 12:12 PM
Would you mind citing where anyone stated that having a valid airline reservation doesn't mean one is guaranteed air passage, that transport by van would be possible?

Ideally, even if conditions necessitated being seated away from one's children, the parent would be aware enough to not provide the child with an excess of any ingestible that might cause illness.

Ideally, too, a child will know by the age of five or six what constitutes proper (i.e. respectful of others) behavior in public arenas.

A child shifting themselves by pushing off the seatback in front of them is not the same as repeatedly kicking the back of that seat.

Too, "controlling" one's child could be arranged/discussed/handled long before ever boarding the plane: "inside voices", "stay in your seat with the seatbelt fastened", "can you please get my mom?" (to a seatmate), etc.

To Bavaria: If a later flight were available at no cost,It would likely NOT be at no cost to the passenger. The passenger chooses to deplane; at that late date/time, the fare would tend to be relatively high. Bavaria has stated repeatedly, in this thread and others, that she has more than once found it necessary to deplane for her own comfort and at her own expense.

DebbieB
11-08-2009, 12:18 PM
I too would be very unhappy if one of my DD's under 10 was sitting alone. I'm sure some of the hardliner's here wouldn't appreciate my "threatening" them by telling them she'll get sick but if I'm not watching what she is eating, drinking or getting too warm she may just do that.


There are 2 ways to say that. You could say "would you mind switching with me, my daughter sometimes get sick when flying" vs "I have to sit with my daughter, so you have to switch or you'll have to take care of her if she gets sick". I'm sure the first one is more likely to get someone to be willing to help. Also, you should try to switch to the less desirable area. If you are in the last row and your daughter is in the first row, you are more likely to be successful if you ask someone in the last row if they mind switching to the front vs asking someone in the front to move to the back.

crashbb
11-08-2009, 12:20 PM
To Bavaria: If a later flight were available at no cost, yes I would deplane without hesitation. However, I wouldn't give up an aisle seat for another parent for a middle or window, that wouldn't work for me.

So, presumably you wouldn't ask someone else to move so that you could sit next to your child.

In that case, what would you do if you were seated away from your child and taking another flight would not be at no cost?

Just curious.

I might disagree that a 10 year old isn't old enough to know that they should/shouldn't eat or drink in order not to get sick, but fully support your right to your opinion. Just curious about what you'd do if you were separated from her.

Tinker*Shell*Bell
11-08-2009, 02:51 PM
I also think that group 2 needs to say we understand also. If you arrive late to the gate, didn't book seats together,etc. you need to understand that some people will not switch with you just because you demand it.

I completely agree with that! No one has the right to demand anything on any public transportation...I can demand my kids move to new seats in MY car...all the rest needs to be please and thank you and fingers crossed :)

And no one HAS to move for me and my child. I will however offer up my row 2 aisle seat for their row 25 center if it means I can sit with my dd.

bumbershoot
11-08-2009, 04:11 PM
Group 1 is "just the facts ma'am" And nothing you are saying is wrong. You are all about the truth and the facts and the law. I get that your idea is to make the unaware more informed. I completely understand that.

Group 2 however is not talking about the rules, laws and facts. It is parents with children who are saying "this is stupid"...not that group 1 is stupid- but that the airlines saying "a 3yo is old enough to fly in a row with strangers is ok"- is stupid. Sure the rules and laws say that nothing is guaranteed, but I think it is still stupid.


And there's Group 3, who knows that those are the rules, has kids and knows that crazy things CAN happen, but doesn't care to *worry* about it.

If something silly happened like DS being seated away from us, I'd stay calm and explain the situation.

DS cannot have many things they serve on planes, but even at 5 he knows to NOT EAT things unless he absolutely knows they are OK. He isn't reading yet, which means he doesn't eat anything that I don't give him. Oh it will be nice once he's reading!

He adores chatting with adults, unless they creep him out, and he tends to follow the signals of adults well in terms of how talkative he can be (the signals of fellow kids, not so much). Even if I couldn't get it worked out before takeoff, I'd just do my best to explain it to him, give him the snacks I have, make sure his Earplanes are in, and expect it would get worked out once we were at cruising altitude.

IF for some reason he got really freaked out by all of this and cried...well honestly, I expect it would be worked out even quicker by the time we were allowed to move around...

(Despite my rep on the Dis), in person I'm actually a very chipper and smiley person, and I LOVE flying (except for when there's turbulence, then I just want to have my own freakout and scream and cry and faint), and even though on our last flight my son actually threw up* 5 seconds before the seatbelt lights went on for descent (horrid situation, I tell you), the people around us were wonderful and sweet and gave him gum and sweet smiles and accepted the apologies I was repeating over and over and over... So I am quite sure that there would be someone on the plane who would be happy to help us out by swapping seats, if for some reason we were separated.

But since I do check flights online often, to make sure things are as they were the last time I checked, any changes made would likely be fixed before getting to the airport. And we almost always get to the airport hours early, so there's time to fix things there. I don't like surprises, so I do my darnedest to make sure everything is as it should be.



As a member of Group 3, I just do NOT see the point of worrying ourselves sick over all of this!





*he was overtired, had been sick but got better before our trip, then got sick again during our trip it turned out (though we didn't know it until pretty much that moment), then he thought he lost an Earplane just before descent and was scared of the ear pain he thought was coming, and all of that caused a huge crying jag which then caused him to throw up. On my husband.

MaryKatesMom
11-08-2009, 04:41 PM
Would you mind citing where anyone stated that having a valid airline reservation doesn't mean one is guaranteed air passage, that transport by van would be possible?

Ideally, even if conditions necessitated being seated away from one's children, the parent would be aware enough to not provide the child with an excess of any ingestible that might cause illness.

Ideally, too, a child will know by the age of five or six what constitutes proper (i.e. respectful of others) behavior in public arenas.

A child shifting themselves by pushing off the seatback in front of them is not the same as repeatedly kicking the back of that seat.

Too, "controlling" one's child could be arranged/discussed/handled long before ever boarding the plane: "inside voices", "stay in your seat with the seatbelt fastened", "can you please get my mom?" (to a seatmate), etc.

It would likely NOT be at no cost to the passenger. The passenger chooses to deplane; at that late date/time, the fare would tend to be relatively high. Bavaria has stated repeatedly, in this thread and others, that she has more than once found it necessary to deplane for her own comfort and at her own expense.

I gave the seat pushing back example because it fit the "you just never know". It only happened the one time but it was unexpected. I had never seen that behavior before or since. She was just the right size to slide forward. But it does show that not all behavior can be "arranged/discussed/handled long before ever boarding the plane". That is a subjective judgement call that only the parent can make. "Ideally" I'd have perfect children but since I don't it is my job to monitor them.

I'm sincerely glad Bavaria can deplane at her own expense but my family of four could not do so.

The transport by van example was used to demonstrate that I am aware of the only guarantee if from here to there. I KNOW you aren't guaranteed a seat. It happened to me twice with connecting flights. Ticks you off when your luggage beats you home. My point is both the kids and I are experienced travelers but children are unpredictable. If you're kids are perfect, I'm happy for you but alas, I do not. Don't you love the parents who don't react when their kids is running around screaming and bumping into people?



I completely agree with that! No one has the right to demand anything on any public transportation...I can demand my kids move to new seats in MY car...all the rest needs to be please and thank you and fingers crossed :)

And no one HAS to move for me and my child. I will however offer up my row 2 aisle seat for their row 25 center if it means I can sit with my dd.

Same here.


I also think that group 2 needs to say we understand also. If you arrive late to the gate, didn't book seats together,etc. you need to understand that some people will not switch with you just because you demand it.

I have just as much impatience with the unprepared as anyone else. Read the signs people!!! However, a little empathy goes a long way. I followed a hard of hearing elderly couple in a walker through security a few months ago. Really slowed everything down but we were early and I made DD help them line up their slip on shoes. At least they weren't tied on!

But we don't know looking at people what happened or why they changed seats.

MaryKatesMom
11-08-2009, 04:55 PM
It would help if the more frequent traveler's in Group 1 understood why parents react so strongly to being separated and why we think it is idiotic that a computer program can not link a child with a parent so that in those cases where rearrangements are made they are kept together.

1) Instinct. The mommy radar is active at all times. 24/7 Like I said in a previous post it is my job. If I don't know what is going on I can't help/fix/change their behaviour.

2) It is the law. Can't leave small children unattended in everyday life. In the car, at the library, at home. It is drilled into us that you don't leave your child unattened anywhere. "Megan's Law" for one example. It is one of the reason's new flyer's are so shocked and thrown for a loop when it happens. Everywhere else it is illegal.

3) Cultural. I would never expect other parents to have water for my child at a soccer game. I am expected to register my children for school not have the school district hunt me down etc. The little girl that was swiped a couple of weeks ago walking just a few blocks home. She was unattended and one commentator went off on the parents.

momsully
11-08-2009, 05:13 PM
I fly almost every week for work and have two children (10 and 8) that fly frequently. We are often seperated on planes as we tend to book last minute trips so we are usually a couple of rows apart. The boys are good travelers and can self entertain.

Last Tuesday afternoon I was flying Orlando to Denver on United. I was in the bulkhead row and a lady boarded with two little girls. One of those girls (she was four) hopped into the seat next to me. We proceeded to have a nice chat as mom went down the aisle with her other daughter to row 5. Mom never made a big deal about it and neither did the child. Someone from row 5 did move to the middle sit in the bulkhead so her two girls could sit together. Older daughter was 8. Mom was still seated in the middle seat on the other side of the aisle and not directly with her girls. The girls were fine and mom was actually sleeping when I got up to go to the restroom.

On three of my last five flights their were children seperated from their parents. Flights are full now and there are less flights making it harder and harder to find empty seats. I think folks need to realize this can and does happen and to be prepared. But as bumbershoot said there is no reason to worry yourself sick over this. Just handle it calmly and it will all work out!

chicagodisneyfan
11-08-2009, 05:41 PM
It would help if the more frequent traveler's in Group 1 understood why parents react so strongly to being separated and why we think it is idiotic that a computer program can not link a child with a parent so that in those cases where rearrangements are made they are kept together.

2) It is the law. Can't leave small children unattended in everyday life. In the car, at the library, at home. It is drilled into us that you don't leave your child unattened anywhere. "Megan's Law" for one example. It is one of the reason's new flyer's are so shocked and thrown for a loop when it happens. Everywhere else it is illegal.

.

Sorry, but that does not work. You are NOT leaving your child unattended - they are IN the same plane as you. They are not going to be murdered, kidnapped, have their residence broken into, scald themselves cooking lunch, etc.
No need to be "shocked and thrown for a loop". To me it is just more on an entitlement issue - my kids are tied to me and cannot be apart for a mere second.

If parents treated it as an adventure I am sure most children will be fine by themselves. I see kids travel alone ALL the time and they do great.

DebbieB
11-08-2009, 06:01 PM
It would help if the more frequent traveler's in Group 1 understood why parents react so strongly to being separated and why we think it is idiotic that a computer program can not link a child with a parent so that in those cases where rearrangements are made they are kept together.


I totally understand why parents want to be with their children. I'm just speaking from the reality of the situation. Sometimes when there are equipment changes, there are only scattered seats left and there are no seats together. As much as I've flown in the past 5 years, I can't say I recall a situation that I witnessed where a small child ending up sitting without a parent/adult. Many times we have done musical chairs to make that happen. I've seen F/A's make announcements asking if 2 adults traveling together would be willing to separate to accomodate a family and someone did.

This whole story just doesn't ring true to me. I can't believe that they allowed a 2 year old to sit as a lap child (against FAA regs) rather than ask people to move around to open a seat next to the mom. If they did, then the person in the article should be filing a complaint with the FAA. There's also no way that there were no empty seats and they allowed an extra person on, those small prop planes have very specific weight & balance requirements, they frequently don't allow the full amount to board if they have to carry extra fuel.

Jaymie
11-08-2009, 08:00 PM
I can't believe that they allowed a 2 year old to sit as a lap child (against FAA regs) rather than ask people to move around to open a seat next to the mom.

I wonder if the kid was maybe 23 months or a few days shy of their second bday.

Even though they can travel as a lap child up until 2, maybe the parents bought a seat anyways. I always do.

dzorn
11-08-2009, 08:01 PM
A question for the parents - and I don't mean our regular parent posters but the ones posting on this thread who don't regularly post here...

If you did find yourselves seperated from your children on a flight, and couldn't get seats together, would you deplane and take a later flight potentially at your own cost to ensure seats together?

It would depend on how far away I would be from my DDs. I have one with special needs so if it is a good day and her Nintendo DS is charged it would not be not a problem. I would ask whoever was sitting with her to remind her when it needs to go off and on according to instructions for electronic equipment. She would play it the whole flight probably. If it is a bad day I would have to seriously consider it, but I would hope the airline would understand that she probably would not be able to follow safety instructions if needed. The youngest (8) would probably be OK if I checked on her a few times (she as issues herself though not as severe as her sister). Both DDs travel with small backpack that goes under the seat. These contain video games and a few snacks including suckers/gum for take off and landing, though I am not sure they would have any left for landing if I was not around to make sure they were not eaten within the first 30 minutes. I certainly know it is a possibility which is why they have the backpacks.

I hope I never have to find out. I check on our flights frequently and allow generous amounts of time to get to our gate. We seem to be one of the first there for our flight.

Denise in MI

kaytieeldr
11-08-2009, 08:57 PM
It would help if the more frequent traveler's in Group 1 understood why parents react so strongly to being separated and why we think it is idiotic that a computer program can not link a child with a parent so that in those cases where rearrangements are made they are kept together.

1) Instinct. The mommy radar is active at all times. 24/7 Like I said in a previous post it is my job. If I don't know what is going on I can't help/fix/change their behaviour.

2) It is the law. Can't leave small children unattended in everyday life. In the car, at the library, at home. It is drilled into us that you don't leave your child unattened anywhere. "Megan's Law" for one example. It is one of the reason's new flyer's are so shocked and thrown for a loop when it happens. Everywhere else it is illegal.

3) Cultural. I would never expect other parents to have water for my child at a soccer game. I am expected to register my children for school not have the school district hunt me down etc. The little girl that was swiped a couple of weeks ago walking just a few blocks home. She was unattended and one commentator went off on the parents.
1) Respectfully, 'mommy radar' = the old 'eyes in the back of my head', where moms can sense what their kids are up to without being in visual range. Given that, 'mommy radar' should work even a few rows apart on an airplane - and if it doesn't, then getting up occasionally to check on one's child (as long as the seatbelt light is off) is reasonable. If that's not possible, it's not unreasonable to call a Flight Attendant once in a while and ask for assistance.

2) A child in a secure environment with up to a couple of hundred (or more) other people - e.g. an airplane - is not "unattended" in any manner.

3) Airline passengers are, for the most part, accommodating even though they will not give up their seats - sort of a "we're all in this together" cameraderie. And really, that tragedy a few weeks ago is in NO way comparable to having to sit several rows away from one's child in an airplane.

kaytieeldr
11-08-2009, 09:07 PM
hesitation. However, I wouldn't give up an aisle seat for another parent for a middle or window, that wouldn't work for me. Isn't that a bit of a double standard, if not just hypocritical?

yrdlyprincess
11-08-2009, 09:21 PM
Holy christmas!! I was JUST talking to DH and asking him if we should buck up the $10 for early bird check-in, trying to explain to him what it was-was not working because Eagles/Dallas is on, so a few beers into the game wasn't making him understand this--we are flying out of PHL--one thing DH did elaborate on is that he will not have his son or daughter sit with strangers--"I will have them sit on my lap" I think that I will get those EBCI after all...don't want DH causing a sceen:rotfl:

crashbb
11-08-2009, 09:26 PM
Holy christmas!! I was JUST talking to DH and asking him if we should buck up the $10 for early bird check-in, trying to explain to him what it was-was not working because Eagles/Dallas is on, so a few beers into the game wasn't making him understand this--we are flying out of PHL--one thing DH did elaborate on is that he will not have his son or daughter sit with strangers--"I will have them sit on my lap" I think that I will get those EBCI after all...don't want DH causing a sceen:rotfl:

What you could do (which would save some money) is buy ECBI for three of the seats (assuming SW allows you to do this). This would get you low boarding passes for 3 people (adult and 2 kids) so that the kids were not sitting with strangers. The fourth person (adult) may (or may not) end up with a much higher boarding number and may not end up near the other three, but if the issue is only kids not sitting with strangers, it would save $20.

NB - I am not advocating only buying 3 (or less ECBI) and then saving seats, so please don't flame my suggestion.

seashoreCM
11-09-2009, 07:12 AM
What you could do (which would save some money) is buy ECBI for three of the four seats . The fourth person (adult) may (or may not) end up with a much higher boarding number and may not end up near the other three, .
This second parent will get to sit nearby practically all of the time when the two kids are obedient enough to at least temporarily sit quietly aisle-window and the first parent sits in the next row or across the aisle as desired. When the second parent arrives everyone can decide who sits where.

At least on a plane in flight, a child cannot be kidnapped.

ExPirateShopGirl
11-09-2009, 12:10 PM
An aside... Megan's Law doesn't address the legality of leaving one's children unattended. Megan's Laws (each state has one) provide for public access to databases which are populated with the names and locations of registered sex offenders.

Sitting two rows from your child isn't leaving him or her 'unattended.'



2) It is the law. Can't leave small children unattended in everyday life. In the car, at the library, at home. It is drilled into us that you don't leave your child unattened anywhere. "Megan's Law" for one example. It is one of the reason's new flyer's are so shocked and thrown for a loop when it happens. Everywhere else it is illegal

Lewisc
11-09-2009, 12:21 PM
Holy christmas!! I was JUST talking to DH and asking him if we should buck up the $10 for early bird check-in, trying to explain to him what it was-was not working because Eagles/Dallas is on, so a few beers into the game wasn't making him understand this--we are flying out of PHL--one thing DH did elaborate on is that he will not have his son or daughter sit with strangers--"I will have them sit on my lap" I think that I will get those EBCI after all...don't want DH causing a sceen:rotfl:

How old are your kids? Passengers who qualify for family "mid-boarding" don't really need to pay for EBCI.

Is your flight early in the morning? Flights later in the day are likely to have connecting passengers. They get their BPs 24 hours before their first flight.

I'd pay for EBCI, if you're not eligible for family mid-boarding and if your flight is likely to have connecting passengers.

NotUrsula
11-09-2009, 12:50 PM
It would help if the more frequent traveler's in Group 1 understood why parents react so strongly to being separated and why we think it is idiotic that a computer program can not link a child with a parent so that in those cases where rearrangements are made they are kept together.

1) Instinct. The mommy radar is active at all times. 24/7 Like I said in a previous post it is my job. If I don't know what is going on I can't help/fix/change their behaviour.

2) It is the law. Can't leave small children unattended in everyday life. In the car, at the library, at home. It is drilled into us that you don't leave your child unattened anywhere. "Megan's Law" for one example. It is one of the reason's new flyer's are so shocked and thrown for a loop when it happens. Everywhere else it is illegal.

3) Cultural. I would never expect other parents to have water for my child at a soccer game. I am expected to register my children for school not have the school district hunt me down etc. The little girl that was swiped a couple of weeks ago walking just a few blocks home. She was unattended and one commentator went off on the parents.

With all due respect, you should have said "why SOME parents react so strongly". What makes you think that we don't have children? (Well, Bavaria doesn't, AFAIK, but I think that all of the other frequent fliers that have been posting on this thread DO have kids.) I'm rather well-known around here for flying nearly as much with my kids as without them, and they have been racking up airmiles since infancy, as I have a lot of family overseas and elsewhere in the US that we often visit.

1) My "radar" is quite fine. I try to have it re-tuned at least once a month so that it doesn't emit false alarms.

2) Well, it actually *isn't* the law in most cases; though TV has made us think so. (Trust me, public libraries deal with "drop-off" kids every day.)

NO ONE on an aircraft is really "unattended", because there are Flight Attendants. Also, these days, there are also lots of very snoopy fellow passengers who are imaging terrorists around every corner -- there are eyes upon you at all times.

3) No one is going to be able to open a hatch and throw your child out, so she won't disappear. In the case of a healthy child, the worst thing that could happen on an uneventful flight is that someone might grope him or her, but the odds of that are VERY low, for the reasons I stated above -- it would just be too risky in such close quarters with so many witnesses and no way to run.

The simple rule is that if you are separated from your child on an aircraft, the parent should always take the seat furthest aft, so that the child's seat is in front of you and you don't have to turn around to see what's going on there. You teach the child to ring the call bell if there is a problem, and you keep an eye on the row and be ready to get up and go up there if you see the FA called to the row (you can tell if she's been called, because she will reach up to deactivate the call switch.)

As to the water, at 6 there should not be any expectation that some other passenger needs to provide water, etc. That is what the Flight Attendants are there for, should such a need arise. The average first-grader should be perfectly fine managing her own snack on an aircraft, as presumably she does it in school every day. You put her in her seat and you hand her her bag of personal entertainment/snack supplies; and she'll manage from there, knowing that she can call the FA for help when needed.

WHEN a separation situation happens, if it happens, you will know at the gate. That being the case, when you find out, you make it a point to make sure that your child is prepped. You take her to the restroom. You make sure that she has what she needs in her own bag (and you go grab a plastic bag from the newstand if necessary.) You give her quiet entertainment, a water bottle, a snack, and some napkins to clean up with. You put earplanes in if she needs them, and you explain about when she should call the FA if there is a problem. You remind her to keep her hands and feet to herself and to use her most polite manners. Then you sit her in the seat, make sure that she knows where the call button is and that she has fastened her seat belt, and then you progress on back to your own seat.

I don't get separated from my younger child because we always use a carseat on board. My oldest is now 12, and over what is probably close to 200 flights, he's been separated from me maybe a dozen times since he was 5. It has never been a problem for either of us. He knows that I'm behind him and have my eye on him, and he knows that I will be all over him if another passenger or the FA complains about his behaviour. I also make him tell me where his exit is before I go to my own seat -- counting off the rows. (Everyone should do this every time they board a plane, because if it is dark you will have to count the seat rows to feel your way to the exit.)

I do, of course, look for possible seat trades and leverage my best seating assignment if it happens, but in every case, we both board the plane prepared to sit apart if need be. Panic or anger reactions are a serious waste of time and energy in this kind of situation.

Lewisc
11-09-2009, 01:07 PM
I think some of the regular posters may have missed some points.

The FA in this case had a 2 year old (with a paid seat) sit on a parents lap (violating rules/laws). The claim was there wasn't any available seats on the plane.

I think the FA should have moved passengers so a parent could sit next to a child that young. Obviously letting the child sit on a parents lap was not an acceptable solution.

JMO but a 2 year old should be next to one parent, even if that means moving passengers.

It sounds like we're missing something. I wonder if the family got to the gate late.

Infrequent fliers don't know to keep checking their seat assignments.

bumbershoot
11-09-2009, 01:17 PM
Holy christmas!! I was JUST talking to DH and asking him if we should buck up the $10 for early bird check-in, trying to explain to him what it was-was not working because Eagles/Dallas is on, so a few beers into the game wasn't making him understand this--we are flying out of PHL--one thing DH did elaborate on is that he will not have his son or daughter sit with strangers--"I will have them sit on my lap" I think that I will get those EBCI after all...don't want DH causing a sceen:rotfl:

I'm glad oyu have a plan. Plans are good.

But what many of us are saying is that this likely isn't needed. The article was written because it was newsworthy, which means it is RARE.


****
The FA in this case had a 2 year old (with a paid seat) sit on a parents lap (violating rules/laws). The claim was there wasn't any available seats on the plane.

I think the FA should have moved passengers so a parent could sit next to a child that young. Obviously letting the child sit on a parents lap was not an acceptable solution.

JMO but a 2 year old should be next to one parent, even if that means moving passengers.

It sounds like we're missing something. I wonder if the family got to the gate late.

I don't think anyone missed that. I know I addressed it.

First, I've seen several full-on 2 year olds seated in laps, with NO seats purchased. I wouldn't be surprised if FAs get that question wrong in their tests ALL the time. I remember when DS was little I used to get confused at zoos b/c of the "kids under x" are free wording...for some reason I could never figure out if my kid was free! Sometimes people think "kids under 2" means "2 and under"...since I was one of them, at the zoo at least, I know it happens.

So I think some FAs get confuzzled, even when a parent is flat out saying "my child is 30 months" aka 2+ years, and will just go on about how cute and polite the child is and how well they speak, etc, while the parent has the kid on their lap, ready for take-off. :headache: (seriously... Alaska THAT time...SW the other time with the THREE women with 2+ year olds and NO seats paid for)

It might have been that.

Or it could be that the passengers were confused and said the age wrong. The author might have gotten it wrong.

The passengers might have put him on their lap rather than have someone sit elsewhere.

There's confusion *somewhere* in there.


This is a RARE occurrence. Someone messed up, this isn't usual. Someone did *something* wrong, to have that kid on a lap, and THAT imo is the problem.


And they said that this was a connection flight; they had come in from another place, so it's possible they were late, though coming from another flight means itmight not have been the passengers' fault...unless they stopped for a snack/beer/long bathroom break/etc.

DebbieB
11-09-2009, 01:19 PM
I think some of the regular posters may have missed some points.

The FA in this case had a 2 year old (with a paid seat) sit on a parents lap (violating rules/laws). The claim was there wasn't any available seats on the plane.

I think the FA should have moved passengers so a parent could sit next to a child that young. Obviously letting the child sit on a parents lap was not an acceptable solution.

JMO but a 2 year old should be next to one parent, even if that means moving passengers.

It sounds like we're missing something. I wonder if the family got to the gate late.

Infrequent fliers don't know to keep checking their seat assignments.

I mentioned it in #103.

NotUrsula
11-09-2009, 02:34 PM
I mentioned it in #17 -- AND I expressed my doubt that the airline really insisted on it.

As to the article being written because this situation is rare -- I disagree entirely. While it *is* rare, I don't think that is why it got written up in this instance. I think that the article was written because 1) the passengers made a public stink about it, AND 2) because they happened to approach a columnist who apparently never flies with kids. Several of us said it early on, that it was bizarre that the columnist was surprised that it is allowable for a 6yo to sit away from a parent.

Separations have a tendency to arise more often under certain circumstances than others. It happens more on flights into or out
of certain hub airports that have traffic or weather issues, for one thing, and the time of year factors in. It also happens more to people who buy last-minute bargain fares (which is why it happens to me relatively more often than normal -- my circumstances let me travel last-minute, and I like to take advantage of any outstanding sale opportunity that comes my way. Very often those flights have nothing left unassigned but middle seats, though the airlines NEVER tell you that in so many words at time of purchase.)

Oh, and as to Bavaria's question: it would be unlikely that we would deplane over it, but I won't rule it out entirely. Under certain circumstances we might, particularly if the flight was over the water.

bumbershoot
11-09-2009, 02:42 PM
NU, yeah, after my last post I went to check if there's been any updates in the article. The SW-kicked-2-yo-off-plane news articles had followups...but this one, which seemed much more like an opinion piece, doesn't seem to have had any updates. And while noticing that, I saw that it was just this one guy in a few papers... Kind of strange.

crashbb
11-09-2009, 02:45 PM
I mentioned it in #17 -- AND I expressed my doubt that the airline really insisted on it.

As to the article being written because this situation is rare -- I disagree entirely. While it *is* rare, I don't think that is why it got written up in this instance. I think that the article was written because 1) the passengers made a public stink about it, AND 2) because they happened to approach a columnist who apparently never flies with kids. Several of us said it early on, that it was bizarre that the columnist was surprised that it is allowable for a 6yo to sit away from a parent.

Separations have a tendency to arise more often under certain circumstances than others. It happens more on flights into or out
of certain hub airports that have traffic or weather issues, for one thing, and the time of year factors in. It also happens more to people who buy last-minute bargain fares (which is why it happens to me relatively more often than normal -- my circumstances let me travel last-minute, and I like to take advantage of any outstanding sale opportunity that comes my way. Very often those flights have nothing left unassigned but middle seats, though the airlines NEVER tell you that in so many words at time of purchase.)

Oh, and as to Bavaria's question: it would be unlikely that we would deplane over it, but I won't rule it out entirely. Under certain circumstances we might, particularly if the flight was over the water.

I also mentioned the no seat for the two year old at some point (too lazy to look up the post number).

I agree that the article was not simply because it is rare. What I really meant (but didn't say) was that it wouldn't have been written if it wasn't rare (required, but not sufficient). I agree that it also wouldn't have been written if the parents hadn't made a stink and the columnist was competent. I just figured that both these last things would have been less likely if the separation were on commonplace occurrence.

I'm surprised that you find that airlines don't show seats until after you've paid for it. Both Air Canada and United have links to seat maps on the grids that show you available flights. I just assumed that most airlines that this now (though, admittedly, I know that West Jet does not). I definitely check the maps before choosing my flight (assuming I have some flexibility). Definitely buying seats at the last minute or ending up on a different flight (due to weather/whatever) increases your chances of being separated. Whenever someone on here asks about doing stand-by, we always point out that they have a high likelihood of ending up in middle seats around the plane.

NotUrsula
11-09-2009, 03:51 PM
I'm surprised that you find that airlines don't show seats until after you've paid for it. Both Air Canada and United have links to seat maps on the grids that show you available flights. I just assumed that most airlines that this now (though, admittedly, I know that West Jet does not). I definitely check the maps before choosing my flight (assuming I have some flexibility)...

I find that it is fairly common for the maps not to be available when buying discounted fares less than 96 hours out. IME, under the right circumstances they can be unavailable more than a month out on certain flights for passengers who don't have status. (Due to my home airport's traffic situation and where I most commonly go, for the past several years the only airline that I've had "status" on is SWA.)

When the maps are down, you most commonly get a message that instructs you to call for seat assignments, but when you call, you're often told to call back 24 hours from departure. However, sometimes they tell you that you won't be able to get seat assignments until you arrive at the airport. About 4 years ago I famously had this happen on AA out of MCO (tickets purchased 2 weeks out), only to get on the plane and find nearly 20 deadheading uniformed flight crew, who were ALL sitting in aisle seats. I spoke to the pilot sitting next to me, who was surprised that DS and I were separated. He told me that he wasn't informed that he would be on that plane until an hour before it departed (and it departed at least 30 minutes late).

Tozzie
11-09-2009, 05:24 PM
I think some of the regular posters may have missed some points.

The FA in this case had a 2 year old (with a paid seat) sit on a parents lap (violating rules/laws). The claim was there wasn't any available seats on the plane.

I think the FA should have moved passengers so a parent could sit next to a child that young. Obviously letting the child sit on a parents lap was not an acceptable solution.

JMO but a 2 year old should be next to one parent, even if that means moving passengers.

It sounds like we're missing something. I wonder if the family got to the gate late.

Infrequent fliers don't know to keep checking their seat assignments.

A lot of people are focusing on the child that was 2, I have of issues with this A- was the child 2 or younger than 2
B- was there a seat just not one that was acceptable to the family

The compete story is not what was reported, therefore I am not going to condem the airline nor the FA as I frankly don't believe half of it.

goofy4tink
11-09-2009, 05:50 PM
It is seldom that a family is split up after buying fares with assigned seating. If that family gets to the gate and checks in early enough, it just isn't an issue.
I do know that there was one time when I was flying SW. It was before the current boarding system came along. It was the old system where you had to get there early and sit on the floor in the appropriate line. First come, first served so to speak. So, we were there, about 8th in the A line. There was a woman who was wandering around the gate area with her young son..about 6 or so. She never got into a line, I figured she must be waiting to board another airline.
Imagine my surprise when we were all boarded, no one else was coming, the FAs were getting ready to close the door. A gate attendant came up and told them to wait, there were two more passengers. It was that woman and her son. And, of course, there were not two seats together...plenty of single seats though. The FA made an announcement that they wanted someone to move so that the mom could sit with her ds. No one moved. The FA announced that that plane wasn't moving until that mother was seated with her child!!! Finally someone moved, away from his traveling companion, and sat by himself in the back of the plane. the mother and son were seated in about the 5th row, with that nice man's wife.
For the vast majority of flights it isn't going to be an issue. No one should be worrying about being seated away from their kids. I do know that my dh got to Logan early for his (and our dd's) flight to MCO, only to find that the flight had just been cancelled!!! Jetblue was able to get them seats on a flight that was boarding at that moment. They flew to the gats, barely stopping at security. My dh explained to dd that they may very well have to split up..she wasn't happy but that's life. She was 11 at the time...fully capable of sitting by herself on a plane. Nice thing was there were two seats together so they didn't have to split up. And to the best of my knowledge, no one was asked to move to accomodate them.
I just get tired of the sensationalization of this whole thing. Fly with an airline that allows you to choose your seats. Be sure to continually check on those flights and seats before you are due to leave...I check weekly for the months before and then every day for the last month...just to be sure. Checkin as soon as you can. Use online checkin if possible. If that isn't possible, get to the airport as early as you can and get checked in. It's not rocket science.

DebbieB
11-09-2009, 08:03 PM
The issue about being late to the gate - they were coming off a connection. They checked in at MCO. I wonder if they noticed on their boarding passes then that their seats were not together on their second flight. I've traveled through Dulles a couple of times this year, the mainlines and the commuters are not in the same terminal. You have to take a shuttle between the terminals, that takes time. In the article, the father mentions not hearing the boarding announcement. As I said earlier, I believe that because it happened to me, that terminal is terrible.

JEWLSVERN
11-10-2009, 12:16 AM
B- was there a seat just not one that was acceptable to the family


I have been following this thread for awhile, but I have to say that there would be NO seat that would be acceptable for my 2 year old but the one next to me or my DH. There is NO WAY I would sit away from my 2 year old. She is just too young. They should have made accomodations for the 2 yr old to sit with a parent and not on her lap since a seat was paid for.

Tozzie
11-10-2009, 06:13 AM
I have been following this thread for awhile, but I have to say that there would be NO seat that would be acceptable for my 2 year old but the one next to me or my DH. There is NO WAY I would sit away from my 2 year old. She is just too young. They should have made accomodations for the 2 yr old to sit with a parent and not on her lap since a seat was paid for.

The article states that the FA let a 2 year old sit on the mothers lap because there were NO seats for the child even tough the family paid for a ticket. I have a hard time believing that the ailine gave out more boarding passes than there were seats on the plane and that brings into question how much truth and how much fiction is in the article.

Lewisc
11-10-2009, 08:31 AM
The article states that the FA let a 2 year old sit on the mothers lap because there were NO seats for the child even tough the family paid for a ticket. I have a hard time believing that the ailine gave out more boarding passes than there were seats on the plane and that brings into question how much truth and how much fiction is in the article.

The passengers got to the gate late. I find it easy to believe the passengers BPs were given to standby passengers. I find it easy to believe the GA didn't realize the child was 2, and had a paid seat.

edited to add there was an equipment change, I'm not even sure the family had assigned seats. Experienced travelers would have know to check their reservation every week or so, to be concerned if their BP didn't have the correct seat assignments and would know enough to get to the gate early (particularly if there was an issue). That said there is no requirement to keep checking your reservation.

LilyWDW
11-10-2009, 02:13 PM
Honestly, I would take ANYTHING from this "article" with a grain of salt. All the information is coming from a source that was not there who was told about it from the family it happened to. Information could have been changed, quotes could be out of context, stories could have been changed, information could have been reported incorrectly, ect ect. It happens more often then news sources would like to admit. After reading a blog about it, I have looked into it myself. Reporters simply get information WRONG or change it to make for a better read. It is possible that it has happened here. Unless somewhere there is something that confirms what is being said here, then who knows what really happened on that flight.

inkkognito
11-13-2009, 08:29 PM
Didn't anybody else catch the part of the article that I call BS on? It says they were also split up on their outbound flight because someone had switched seats to sit next to a companion. That is known as "seat poaching," and the airline ain't gonna back up the poacher. It was up to the family to insist on their assigned seat and to get a flight attendant to intervene if the poaching passenger refused. I suspect this story is exaggerated for dramatic effect and maximum victimhood.

bavaria
11-14-2009, 12:53 AM
Go read the 20+ page thread on the Family board advocating that people NOT be permitted to fly alone until the age of 18. That feeds into the same type of drama that seems to be behind this non-story filled with non-facts.

Lewisc
11-14-2009, 08:21 AM
Go read the 20+ page thread on the Family board advocating that people NOT be permitted to fly alone until the age of 18. That feeds into the same type of drama that seems to be behind this non-story filled with non-facts.


I don't normally bother with the family board. Sounds like an entertaining thread.

Hannathy
11-14-2009, 09:47 AM
Only if you haven't read that novel before. Lots of entitlement and passive aggressive threats, including but not exclusive to my child will scream, pee, throw up, spill on you, have a medical emergency, get groped, molested or kidnapped in the air!

The only addition is now there is the addition of we want to hover over our snowflakes until they are 18 so we want to prevent anyone else from allowing their children to grow up and mature so we are advocating for laws preventing kids flying alone.

I wouldn't waste a Saturday on it!

crashbb
11-14-2009, 09:50 AM
Don't forget the fact that all 17 year olds are immature drunkards who will impede the evacuation of an airplane in an emergency.

Hannathy
11-14-2009, 09:57 AM
Don't forget the fact that all 17 year olds are immature drunkards who will impede the evacuation of an airplane in an emergency.

Yep! Almost forgot about that one!!!