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Old 03-26-2013, 09:31 PM   #16
Ima Disnewby
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just to play devil's advocate for a moment here, maybe the parent of the 3 year old didn't know that could/would happen

this will by our first time flying in many years (about 18 for me) and certainly a first for our children. if not for me joining DIS and reading about things like this here, i would NEVER have known it was a possibility that my 8 & 5 yr olds would be seperated from me! call it stupid, call it naive, whatever! the parents just may not have known better.

however, i could never bear to see or hear that poor child crying and so afraid the whole trip. how upsetting
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:41 PM   #17
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I have a family of 5, DW and 3 DD's, we have flown Air Tran twice from Portland, Maine to MCO (via Baltimore), in 2009 and in 2012. On both occasions we opted not to pay the seat assignment charge. However as our departure dates closed in I kept very close eye on the available seats for at least 2 or 3 possible seating options for us to sit together - risky I know but unless the flight was getting too full I was willing to play the seat assignment gamble.

On both trips (4 flight segments) we had seats together, either 5 in the same row - or immediately in front/behind one another. Must have been lucky, but I was willing to pay for the seat assignment if seats became scarce when checking available seats online. As always YMMV.
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:22 PM   #18
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If the parents of the 3 year old acted the same age as the child, it greatly reduces the number of fliers willing to move. This is one instance where being nice is better


That said I tend not to believe 2nd or 3rd hand horror stories. I did see a child once sob hysterically because while he sat with mom dad was someplace else. Of course he probably would have been fine if mom and dad had not acted like 3 year olds over this 45 minute separation.
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:32 PM   #19
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Definitely watch the flight to see if the pre-booked seats are filling up, if so, pay the fee, if not, grab as many as you can get at 24hrs on the dot.

I don't buy the 3yo by themselves...

Last Jan Delta magically moved and kept 6 of us together on two flights. I had seats, booked waaaay early, but didn't realize that carseats were a nono for the row in front of an exit seat. Quick switcheroo, and they kept all 6 of us together. I have no clue how they did this at the 11th hour on a booked solid flight...but the attendants were rock stars. FAN of Delta!

Never had an issue with Airtran, but I would ALWAYS pay the seat fee if I was traveling with kids that I wouldn't feel comfortable letting sit on their own.
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:42 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lorax View Post
I have a family of 5, DW and 3 DD's, we have flown Air Tran twice from Portland, Maine to MCO (via Baltimore), in 2009 and in 2012. On both occasions we opted not to pay the seat assignment charge. However as our departure dates closed in I kept very close eye on the available seats for at least 2 or 3 possible seating options for us to sit together - risky I know but unless the flight was getting too full I was willing to play the seat assignment gamble.

On both trips (4 flight segments) we had seats together, either 5 in the same row - or immediately in front/behind one another. Must have been lucky, but I was willing to pay for the seat assignment if seats became scarce when checking available seats online. As always YMMV.
I think this scenario happens a lot. People don't want to pay the seat fees so they plan to check frequently for seats that are together and then buy them if many are gone. Unfortunately, life gets in the way and you forget and put it off until it is too late. This is what happened to someone I know. Fortunately for them their children were older, so it wasn't too big of a deal.

That is why I always say, if you have young children and you know about the seating policy, then buy your seats!
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:33 AM   #21
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What's the best way to watch your flight for seat availability? We have a June 21 AT flight booked and I was just going to check in at 24 hrs. Can I check for seat availability online through my reservation?
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:46 AM   #22
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IMHO, for $6 it just wasn't worth the time and hassle of continuously checking the seats. I know if you book AT with SW you can't pre-pay but booking with AT you can and have peace of mind. YMMV.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:08 AM   #23
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I have points to use up for SW but AT's times are sooo much more convenient. Am I able to purchase the seats at $6 per person if I book using my SW points? I'd be willing to do that but not sure how that works (if it does) Sorry, I am confused by this.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:29 AM   #24
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I have points to use up for SW but AT's times are sooo much more convenient. Am I able to purchase the seats at $6 per person if I book using my SW points? I'd be willing to do that but not sure how that works (if it does) Sorry, I am confused by this.
No the only way to pre purchase is by booking directly with airtran
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:37 AM   #25
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I have points to use up for SW but AT's times are sooo much more convenient. Am I able to purchase the seats at $6 per person if I book using my SW points? I'd be willing to do that but not sure how that works (if it does) Sorry, I am confused by this.
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No the only way to pre purchase is by booking directly with airtran
Do they allow you to turn SW credits into Airtran credits? I actually have rewards for both of them.
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Old 03-30-2013, 12:55 AM   #26
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Thank you all for the information. I was able to snag a Jetblue flight tonight, so now I don't have to worry about it

Now, I just need some new shoes so that I'm ready to walk ~80 miles in the 10 days we're at WDW!!! Woohoo! I'm getting excited now!
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Old 03-30-2013, 07:42 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ima Disnewby View Post
just to play devil's advocate for a moment here, maybe the parent of the 3 year old didn't know that could/would happen

this will by our first time flying in many years (about 18 for me) and certainly a first for our children. if not for me joining DIS and reading about things like this here, i would NEVER have known it was a possibility that my 8 & 5 yr olds would be seperated from me! call it stupid, call it naive, whatever! the parents just may not have known better.

however, i could never bear to see or hear that poor child crying and so afraid the whole trip. how upsetting
If you go to an airline's official website, and check their boarding/seating FAQs, and you see that you 'can' select seats ahead of time, or wait and be assigned a seat, you can safely assume that if you wait, your family may be split up. No, it isn't right out there, in black and white..and it should be. Too many families don't realize this when booking. And when people are trying to get the cheapest, most convenient flight, they try to cut corners and not pay addtl for assigned seating..and they should.


A few years ago, I was flying Airtran to Ft Lauderdale..last minute flight and I did pay extra for my seat and early boarding since I was flying with carryon on. I had chosen a seat towards the back of the plane..actually, the 3rd row from the back. Well, I got all nice and settled. Others were now boarding. I was seated at the window. No one had taken a seat in my row!! Yay for me. Well, at the very end of the boarding process, a large family, maybe 8 of them, boarded. They were very confused. This must have been their first time flying. They were ambling around, trying to find their seats. Turns out that they were spread all over the plane. There were maybe two pairs seated together but everyone else was a single. The parents were really upset. I told the FA I would move so that they could at least have a row for themselves. No, she said, they would figure it out. They did find seats for the whole family, in at least pairs. And that's when another passenger took the aisle seat in my row....which is probably why the FA didn't have me change seats.
Long story short??? If you want seats together, pay for them. Do NOT count on the kindness of others, or the FAs, to move seats around.
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:27 AM   #28
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We fly Air Tran most of the time, and I have always paid for the $6 seats, because, quite frankly, I don't really want to end up in the middle seat between two people I don't know. The usual configuration on the Airtran flights we take are 2-3. I had one instance where my son and I traveled together, and we payed for our seats, two seats on the side where there were only two seats. On that flight, Air tran changed the plane, and we ended up with three people in the row. The chick who was assigned the middle seat was already in the window seat when we got there. I told her that we had paid for our seats, and I would like to sit in the window seat, then I turned to my son and asked him if he wanted the middle seat or the aisle seat, and he chose the middle seat. So, she got an aisle seat.

My son actually prefers the aisle seat, since he is now 15 and nearly 6 ft tall, when we were travelling as a family of 3, I reserved two seats on one side of the plane, and the aisle seat directly across. My husband unwisely decided to go to the restroom immediately on boarding the plane, and some woman plopped her child into my husband's seat (her child was about 12 years old). I immediately told her that he was sitting in my husband's seat, and she went into a histrionic crying fit, telling me that she had missed her connection, or something like that (we were in Orlando, and not sure how much sense her story really made). All I wanted to know is really what seat her son had been assigned, because, had it been a middle seat, I would have insisted that he sit there, and not make my 6'1" husband sit there. Fortunately, it was an aisle seat, but, the attitude of the woman really made me want to ask for a refund of the money I had spent reserving the seat.

So, my point is that, if you take Air Tran, and don't pay for a seat, remember, other people have. Don't be rude and negative if they don't want to change. If somebody is nice and polite to me, and asks for something, it is much more likely that I will give it to them than if they take without asking. And if somebody does give you want you want (demand?), then say "thank you".
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:42 AM   #29
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This sounds pretty unbelievable. Why wouldn't one of the people sitting next to the crying 3 year old offer to trade with one of the parents? There's no seat on a plane worth that.
People can be pretty awful. We had to travel from Chicago to California when my husband's mother died. We had last minute reservations, and we were traveling with children aged 4 months, 20 months, and 4. We bought everyone a seat, including the infant. We were originally split up all over the plane, but thankfully a couple of people volunteered to move to allow at least the two infants to sit by a parent. The airline made an announcement at the gate asking passengers if they would move to accommodate us. So we had two sets of two seats prior to boarding the plane. The flight attendants said they'd try to work out my four year old once we were on board. The man next to me refused to move, even though it would have been another aisle seat,so my four year old had to sit far away from us. The best revenge was watching him grinding his teeth while my 4 month old cried through half of the flight. Serves him right for having no compassion.

This was a one-off experience for us. We never book at the last minute unless it's an emergency. I'd rather pay more and be seated together than risk having us spread out.
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Old 03-30-2013, 12:12 PM   #30
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Does anyone know how this works when you book AirTran flight thru the Southwest site? It says something about getting your seats at the gate? We always fly southwest but this time the AirTran flight times are better (and when booking thru SW, You don't pay bag fees)

This is the verbiage from the Southwest website when you book an Airtran operated flight through Southwest:

This itinerary is operated by AirTran.What you need to know to travel:
Don't forget to check in for your flight(s) 24 hours before your trip on southwest.com, your mobile device, at the AirTran Ticket Counter, or Airport Kiosk.
AirTran has assigned seating. Advanced seat assignments are not available. Customers who purchase an AirTran segment on Southwest channels will be assigned a seat at the time of check in.
Once you check in, you will not be able to change your seat until arrival at the airport.



So by purchasing an Airtran operated flight through Southwest you get the benefit of the no bag fee and no change fee policy, but unfortunately are not able to select/purchase seat assignments ahead of time but have to wait and see what is assigned to you once you get to the airport and hope for the best; or try to change your seat assignments once you get to the airport. I would recommend doing the online check in through Southwest's website as soon as your 24 hour check in window opens so that you can have a better chance of getting the best seat assignments. Hope this helps.
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