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Old 10-14-2010, 06:36 AM   #1
mieuxmew
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Spirit Airlines and seat assignment

We are flying Spirit Airlines to Disney and have never used this airline before. My husband and I are traveling with 2 small children. We don't really care where on the plane we sit, but just don't want the kids sitting alone. We would be ok with the four of us getting split up, either 2 and 2 (adult/child) or adult/2 children and single adult. I really don't want to pay an extra $80+ for preassigned seats an two flights. I have heard 2 conflicting pieces of advice. Check in to the flight right at 24 hours, as you have a better chance of being assigned together. The other advice was not to check in until airport arrival and let the airline reserve for us after explaining the situation. I would think an airline would not want to be responsible for a small child sitting alone. Any advice from experienced Spirit flyers would be GREATLY appreciated!
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Old 10-14-2010, 06:56 AM   #2
kaytieeldr
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Not an experienced Spirit passenger (one round-trip doesn't count, right?), but an experienced Transportation Board poster...

Spend the money. Passengers who pay in advance to select their seats - as on Spirit - are likely NOT going to be willing to change seats with passengers who opted to save the money in hopes that the airline would work things out for them on check-in, or even that there would be pairs of seats available 24 hours prior to the flight.
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Old 10-14-2010, 07:21 AM   #3
Brian Noble
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And the airline won't move people. They will ask, but they won't insist. Unless the $80 is a hardship, pay it. If it is a hardship, consider getting assignments only for one parent and the children. You could take your chances at 24 hours and probably do okay, but it is a roll of the dice. Waiting until you arrive is the least likely to work.
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Old 10-14-2010, 07:23 AM   #4
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You can check the site and see what seats are taken. If it looks like the plane might be getting full, everyone is picking their seats, then you can grab what you want and pre pay. When we flew spirit in march I kept an eye on it and only paid for our seats when it looked like the last of the emergency isle was being taken. If it doesn't look like it will fill up I would still get there early because when you get there you do get to pick your seats. I wouldn't take the chance because if all teh seats were picked no amount of talking is going to move someone who paid to pick that seat.
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Old 10-14-2010, 08:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mieuxmew View Post
We are flying Spirit Airlines to Disney and have never used this airline before. My husband and I are traveling with 2 small children. We don't really care where on the plane we sit, but just don't want the kids sitting alone. We would be ok with the four of us getting split up, either 2 and 2 (adult/child) or adult/2 children and single adult. I really don't want to pay an extra $80+ for preassigned seats an two flights. I have heard 2 conflicting pieces of advice. Check in to the flight right at 24 hours, as you have a better chance of being assigned together. The other advice was not to check in until airport arrival and let the airline reserve for us after explaining the situation. I would think an airline would not want to be responsible for a small child sitting alone. Any advice from experienced Spirit flyers would be GREATLY appreciated!
Spirit gives you the opportunity to purchase assigned seats. Parents who decide not to purchase assigned seats, not Spirit airlines are responsible if the family winds up with 4 middle seats scattered through plane.

Flights to Orlando are filled with families with kids. Families that want to sit together. Many of them are trying to save money and don't pay for assigned seats. Probably won't be enough seats together available to everyone. Either pay or accept the possibility of sitting in middle seats.

Maybe people will move if your kid is 3 years old.
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Old 10-14-2010, 10:03 AM   #6
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Agree with what others have said. On DTW to LGA flights, we have not purchased seat assignments but were always have gotten seats next to each other by printing boarding passes early in the 24-hr period. But we are all adults and knew that we might be sitting in separate places ... we were okay with that. We just got lucky though.

If you are not okay with being split up, then cough up the money for seat assignments!

The airline takes no responsibility for keeping families together. They offer the lower price base tickets and then let the passenger pick and choose what "extras" are important enough to pay for.

I don't consider myself a mean person, but I would not move for someone who had chosen not to select their seat in advance. Sorry.

Last edited by VAN; 10-14-2010 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 10-14-2010, 12:16 PM   #7
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I don't consider myself a mean person, but I would not move for someone who had chosen not to select their seat in advance. Sorry.

I so agree with you! My kids are teenagers and I would still pay for all of us to sit together. Would I move after I had paid...absolutely NOT! Flying in April 2011 we didn't have to pay for Delta seats but I chose 4 aisle seats in 2 rows...would I move my family or split 2 and 2. I don't think so because we travel with minimal carry-on and don't want to have to walk all over passing things around. I also check our flights every couple weeks to make sure plane hasn't changed or time hasn't changed. I don't trust airlines to notify me early enough to make changes.

OP if it is that important you sit together PAY FOR THE SEATS. Cut expenses somewhere else in your trip...souvenirs, character meal, drinks with dinners or lunches (get water), etc. Don't rely on the airline to move or ask people to move. Chancing that there are seats at 24 hour mark is 'iffy' too...if you are not paying imagine how many other people on plane are not paying either and will be on their computer at 24 hour mark also. You might think you have 4 seats together and then hit enter only to find someone else hit enter faster. Empty seats on a plane where you pay for seat assignment doesn't reflect how full or empty a plane is.
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Old 10-14-2010, 08:20 PM   #8
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Thank you all for your responses. I have never used Spirit Airlines before and from what I understand, prepaid seat selection is also quite new to Spirit Airlines. I was simply asking if people who have experience with this airline feel that the majority of people choose to submit to extra airline fees, thus rendering it more of a necessity to pay the extra fees to protect the safety of children. Most airlines would not want two year old twins sitting alone!As stated, I have never used this airline, nor is any policy written in Spirit's lengthy passenger bill of rights regarding family seating. Every airline I have ever flown has policies regarding very small children being seated with a parent for safety concerns and comfort of other passengers not traveling with small children. I am guessing if you paid an extra $25 for your premium leather window aisle seat, you would not want to be sitting next to a 2 year old whose parent is 3 rows away!! Obviously, the safety of my children is important to me regardless of $80, which is why I asked the question to begin with! I was not asking for favortism nor was I implying that anyone should personally give up their seat they paid for!! I was simply asking for advice here, as we all know some fees in the travel industry are necessary expenses and some are not as necessary. My question really had nothing to do with character meals, souveniors, or making my kids drink water intead of milk to pay for their seat assignment! I paid Spirit Airlines for 4 seats on the plane. I don't care if I sit in the middle seat in the back row of the plane - I expect the airline to ensure the safety for all passengers above creating extra hidden fees to charge passengers. I understand some people may want to sit in the front of the plane, have more leg room or leather seats and thus pay extra money. Making someone pay for seat assignment so their toddlers will be safe and not a bothersome to other passengers seems more like a form of extortion than a luxury fee, and these fees should be disclosed at the time of purchase. Other airlines fortunately have not adopted such fees. In addition to paying for my plane tickets and luggage, I also paid for my seat assignments, too. Thank you.
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Old 10-14-2010, 11:18 PM   #9
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1. Most airlines are not Spirit. If you expect them to care at ALL about you and your family... you booked the wrong airline. Spirit will want your bodies in the seats and could care less where your kids sit.... there is a reason they are cheap!

2. The airline has NO responsiblity for your children. They will not consider themselves "responsible" if your children are not with you. That's your "responsiblity".

3. your big risk... all four of you have middle seats "no trading power" and no way to really get moved.


I am not sure why you think "children" are a valid reason for the airline not to charge for the seats. (And more airlines then OP realizes have adopted these fees...)
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Old 10-15-2010, 12:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Every airline I have ever flown has policies regarding very small children being seated with a parent for safety concerns and comfort of other passengers not traveling with small children. I am guessing if you paid an extra $25 for your premium leather window aisle seat, you would not want to be sitting next to a 2 year old whose parent is 3 rows away!!
Respectfully, passengers who choose not to pay for seat selection shouldn't assume anything, passenger bill of rights or not.

Using myself as the example: I wouldn't pay $x (where x = any amount of money) because I did or didn't want to be seated next to any particular age group; I would pay it because it's the amount the airline charges me for the option to choose my seat in advance. I would pay it because/if I wanted to be seated next to a specific passenger. If I chose not to pay the seat selection fee, I would not expect the airline to arrange for me to sit with any member of my party no matter what their age or our reasoning.

Quote:
I expect the airline to ensure the safety for all passengers above creating extra hidden fees to charge passengers
Informing you clearly on their website is in NO way a "hidden fee". It's a la carte pricing - something most domestic airlines do (yes, even Southwest to a degree with its optional Early Bird Check In). Passengers who genuinely don't care where they sit don't pay in advance to select seats. Passengers on Spirit who need to bring a carry-on for the overhead compartment pay for that, while passengers whose carry-on fits under the seat, don't. Other airlines charge to check luggage for passengers who choose that route; many passengers on those airlines manage with just carry-on luggage.

It keeps airfare low (adjusted for inflation, we pay less to fly now than we did twenty years ago), and only passengers who use certain services pay for them.
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Old 10-15-2010, 06:25 AM   #11
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If you want to be sure you kids are not seated away from you, the only way to ensure that is to pay for seat assignments.

The airline is telling you this on their web site. If someone chooses not to pay for their seats, and finds their family scattered all thru the plane, they only have themselves to blame. After all, the airline did tell you!

OP I am glad you have chosen to purchase your seats.
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Old 10-15-2010, 07:28 AM   #12
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We may not like a la carte pricing, but the market has spoken. At this point I think every domestic airline has some form or another, and customers have demonstrated that, as a whole, they prefer it.

At this point, hoping they will go away is sort of like hoping that gravity will lighten up.
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:34 AM   #13
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I'm flying Spirit tomorrow

I agree with OP that their policy to pay for seats is not clearly spelled out when buying the tickets. I often fly AirTran. They charge a premium in advance to choose seats. But when you check in 24 hours in advance, you can pick your seat for free. We travel with 3 adults and 1 child and I assume that at 24 hrs, I'll be able to get him with 1 adult (and always have gotten all 4 together). I was quite dismayed this morning when I went to check in on Spirit. If I don't pay for a seat, then it won't print me a boarding pass and I have to check in at the counter. I guess I'll go back, as a PP suggested, and buy 2 seats but this wasn't factored into my purchase decision on this "cheap" airfare.
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Old 10-15-2010, 10:47 AM   #14
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I agree with OP that their policy to pay for seats is not clearly spelled out when buying the tickets. I often fly AirTran. They charge a premium in advance to choose seats. But when you check in 24 hours in advance, you can pick your seat for free. We travel with 3 adults and 1 child and I assume that at 24 hrs, I'll be able to get him with 1 adult (and always have gotten all 4 together). I was quite dismayed this morning when I went to check in on Spirit. If I don't pay for a seat, then it won't print me a boarding pass and I have to check in at the counter. I guess I'll go back, as a PP suggested, and buy 2 seats but this wasn't factored into my purchase decision on this "cheap" airfare.
The OP knew about paying for seats, they were just wondering if they could get away without doing so. And the answer is, if you want to be sure you will be seating with your kids, No.

Assuming anything is a bad way to go, especially when it comes to airline travel. Never assume your flight times will remain the same. Or that your plane type will even stay the same. Don't assume that if you miss your flight they can just put you on the next one. And don't assume the airline will seat you next to your kid if you choose to not pay for your seats.
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Old 10-15-2010, 11:00 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by mieuxmew View Post
We are flying Spirit Airlines to Disney and have never used this airline before. My husband and I are traveling with 2 small children. We don't really care where on the plane we sit, but just don't want the kids sitting alone. We would be ok with the four of us getting split up, either 2 and 2 (adult/child) or adult/2 children and single adult. I really don't want to pay an extra $80+ for preassigned seats an two flights. I have heard 2 conflicting pieces of advice. Check in to the flight right at 24 hours, as you have a better chance of being assigned together. The other advice was not to check in until airport arrival and let the airline reserve for us after explaining the situation. I would think an airline would not want to be responsible for a small child sitting alone. Any advice from experienced Spirit flyers would be GREATLY appreciated!
I have flown with Spirit 2 both times I got the seats I wanted....I flew with 6 people the first time...I think then I got to pick my seats...not sure when....July past I flew with them and checked in at 24hr...they picked our seats.....3 & 1 as there were 2 A 2 C. Across the isle. I think they told me I could change on line if didnt like the seats...dont quote me on that though. Coming home they gave us the same seats when we checked in 24 hr before.
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