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Old 02-08-2013, 11:23 AM   #46
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Okay...again??? Seriously??
It is usually the lower fare airlines that charge for prechosen seating. The legacy airlines seldom do this, and if they do, it's usually for 'special' seats.
If you choose an airline that charges for seats, then you are probably paying a less fare. And yes, if there are not seats together, then families can be split up. Now, you can offer to change seats with a parent...after all, you didn't choose/pay for your particular seat either!! So, if they seat a young child next to you, the FA has probably asked if you would like to change with the parent so they can be with their child.

I sat at the gate on Tuesday, listening to people trying to get the gate attendants give them better seats, seats together, etc. They had just booked, and there weren't seats together. They actually asked if the FAs could move other people around so they could sit together!!! Really, they did. The gate attendants tried hard to be courteous, but really??

In this day and age, you need to book with an airline that gives you the things you need. If you aren't willing to pay 'extra' for some things, then find an airline that gives it to you free.
But, be aware, seats are never a sure thing. I have flown on legacy airlines and had my flight changed and my dd put elsewhere on the plane. It happens all the time. And yes, it's 100% legal. It's up to us, the flying consumer, to be aware of their flights and be sure that nothing changes.
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:03 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by maxiesmom View Post
I guess the annoyed person would have to decide between giving up their seat, and being annoyed by the child beside them. Decide which is the lesser of two evils.
If the parent acts like some posters. ... I am not moving, bring on the kid

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Old 02-08-2013, 02:52 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by OrangeCountyCommuter View Post
If the parent acts like some posters. ... I am not moving, bring on the kid

Well, there is that!!
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:10 PM   #49
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Maybe Spirit should ask the ages of the passengers, a parent lists a kid under a certain age (maybe 6) and the system populates the field to pay for seats. Many business offer a discount for children. No reason why a company like Spirit couldn't charge extra

Last edited by Lewisc; 02-08-2013 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:13 PM   #50
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I'm glad this thread resurfaced, as it is an important point for those travelers that misunderstand the rules and also those that keep asking about Spirit Airlines.

The most important point of this thread, and one that I hope everyone either already knows or learns now is from this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mieuxmew View Post
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.
FALSE! I just did a quick review of the Contract of Carriage for Southwest, American, United, US Airways, JetBlue, Virgin America, Spirit and Frontier. ALL state a parent must accompany a child (ages vary) on the same aircraft and in the same cabin (first, economy, business). That's it! Nothing about sitting next to a child of any age. Period.

Systematic and agreed across the whole airline industry. Also remember just because a gate agent or flight attendant asks, doesn't mean it is the airline's policy.

This is the most import piece of the whole thing, so onto the lesser items...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mieuxmew View Post
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!!
Yeah! If I had a "window aisle seat", then I wouldn't be sitting next to anyone

Quote:
Originally Posted by mieuxmew View Post
Obviously, the safety of my children is important to me regardless of $80, which is why I asked the question to begin with!

...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.

...Where in this statement does it state that for the safety of children and consideration of other passengers...
No safety issue here. Move along. Move along

Now, onto the current post...

Quote:
Originally Posted by luckyman_apd View Post
I fail to see how anyone thinks this is ok? I'm not talking about an 8 year old here, but for anyone to say its ok for an airline to make people pay a fee to guarantee their toddler sits with them is ludicrous...But some morals have to kick in here somewhere.

...I'm more shocked that people are ok with an extremely young child sitting alone unless an extra fee is paid. I don't see how it's legal.
As mentioned above, the airline industry has a common voice on this. if you think it should be illegal, then that is an issue for Congress. However at this moment, it is not illegal nor is it a safety issue; only a perceived issue.

I just looked for a provision in the DOT Passenger Bill of Rights

http://www.dot.gov/airconsumer/aviation-rules

There doesn't seem to be anything about parents and children seating issues. Tarmac delays and baggage fees are more important to Americans than the perceived seating issue.

ETA: Here is the link to the FAA's web page on child safety during air travel:

http://www.faa.gov/passengers/fly_children/

Nothing about seating, except a brochure suggesting we acquire an adjoining seat, so we can instal the child restraint.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:36 AM   #51
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Actually if you had flown Southwest you would know that after the A category boards the plane, they allow family boarding for anyone traveling with a child 5 or under is allowed to board before the B and C category. So they do guarantee that parents will sit with their child.

Orange comptroller, capitalizing one word......DID to point out that the OP had paid the fee and other posters missed it, is not a hissy fit. It is you apparently having a hissy fit about children in this world. Yes having kids is a choice, just remember someone made that choice or you wouldn't be here.

I keep seeing posters talk about people trying to talk their way into better seats. I get it. People try anything. I'm not talking about someone scamming the system to get more leg room, a bigger seat, or a leather chair. Just sitting next their child. Not a whole family, just parent and child.

If a plane is so full at the time you book that seats aren't next to each at all, well, there is nothing you can do. You also are probably going to pay out the wazoo for the ticket to begin with as is the case on other carriers. Say us air. You pick your seat for no charge there. If there are no seats available next to each other I can see that before I book. But when a flight is booked, with plenty of seats, why can't they put the parent and child together? Their booking system knows at the time of booking what age the child is. You have to enter the child's birthdate. You are required to buy a seat for a child age two. I hardly think two is a safe or appropriate age to let a child sit by themselves with strangers. I have repeatedly said that I would pay the $20 to sit next to my child because I'm a responsible parent. I just don't think it's right. There is nothing stopping an airline to start charging $50 to pick a seat. How many would pay that? A lot less and now a parent needs to spend $100 to guarantee to sit with the child? It's not the amount, it's the principal.

I agree if there fare is such a discounted price over others that the fee is irreverent, but the fact that they are at the closest airport to me, and we always go a little farther to Philly tells me they don't have the low cost fares worthy of so many fees.....at least not the routes we traveled.

I like the ala cart system. Wish the federal government would implement that for cable TV. Unfortunately ala cart is claimed to benefit the consumer in lower prices, but it usually ends up just being extra profit for corporations. I don't need peanuts, water, soda and I will gladly pay less to not have them.
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:13 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckyman apd
But when a flight is booked, with plenty of seats, why can't they put the parent and child together?
"They" (because Spirit isn't the only airline that charges for seat selection vs. gives the option of seat assignment just prior to flight) expect the purchaser to take responsibility and select/purchase the a lá carte options vital to each party. If, with the fees, a given airline is still least expensive it makes sense to choose that one. If a different, low- or no-fees airline is a better deal, choose that.
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:21 PM   #53
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Parents need to take some responsibility. If sitting with your child is what you want, then do something about it. Do NOT rely on either the airlines or other passengers to fix it for you. Sure, you may have to pay addtl. But in all reality, it's the lower fare airlines that charge extra for seat choice. It would seem that parents want to pay as little as possible but expect seating together, with no addtl costs incurred...even though others may have paid for their particular seats.

And as far as SW goes?? It's actually 4 and under for families boarding inbetween the A and B groups. And that is not a sure thing. The gate attendants can do away with that if there are too many boarding in this group. It is 'supposed' to be one child, 4 and under, with one parent. Not a child and the entire extended family!!!

It gets tiring to see people scream about parents not being able to be seated with their kids. You don't see this being discussed when flying on a 'legacy' airline...only the lower fare airlines. So, figure out what you want, cost or amenities. Flying is not a right. People need to take some responsibility.
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:17 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by luckyman_apd View Post
I hardly think two is a safe or appropriate age to let a child sit by themselves with strangers.
Um, why not? The other people on the plane are people just like you - needing a way to get from point A to point B. I would seriously doubt that pedophiles book plane tickets in the hopes of being seated next to a child whose parent is in a different part of the plane.

And like I said in a prior post, the child cannot get kidnapped or lost. He/she cannot wander away. All of the passengers are trapped in a huge hunk of metal in the air until the plane arrives at the gate.

There is nothing stopping you from booking tickets on an airline that does not charge for seat selection. The airline business is an open market. If you don't like the policies on one airline, you have the freedom to take your business elsewhere.
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:18 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by KrazeeK120 View Post
Um, why not? The other people on the plane are people just like you - needing a way to get from point A to point B. I would seriously doubt that pedophiles book plane tickets in the hopes of being seated next to a child whose parent is in a different part of the plane.

And like I said in a prior post, the child cannot get kidnapped or lost. He/she cannot wander away. All of the passengers are trapped in a huge hunk of metal in the air until the plane arrives at the gate.

There is nothing stopping you from booking tickets on an airline that does not charge for seat selection. The airline business is an open market. If you don't like the policies on one airline, you have the freedom to take your business elsewhere.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:15 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by KrazeeK120 View Post
Um, why not? The other people on the plane are people just like you - needing a way to get from point A to point B. I would seriously doubt that pedophiles book plane tickets in the hopes of being seated next to a child whose parent is in a different part of the plane.
Well I don't know how rare some of these incidents are because I know a few people who are or were flight atts. and had several stories to tell. So I complety understand why parents feel there are safety issues. Nevermind the fact that those who say they will put on headsets and "zone" out, if there was an emergency and masks dropped who would be there to help the child. Some children have motion issues, severe allergies etc that are not the responsibility of a stranger. But I think that to simply say they can't get lost or kidnapped so they are fully safe is not completely accurate.

Before anyone jumps....when I fly I do so on lines I can pick my seats way in advance and book months ahead when dates are released, but there are no guarantees even with that. I have never flown a line where I pay to pick my seat but I would pay if it guaranteed me a seat with my child. But if I paid extra then were moved I would expect the airline to make it right bc my older DD (5) has motion sickness and food allergies and needs to sit with me to make sure she is okay.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:42 PM   #57
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Well I don't know how rare some of these incidents are because I know a few people who are or were flight atts. and had several stories to tell. So I complety understand why parents feel there are safety issues. Nevermind the fact that those who say they will put on headsets and "zone" out, if there was an emergency and masks dropped who would be there to help the child. Some children have motion issues, severe allergies etc that are not the responsibility of a stranger. But I think that to simply say they can't get lost or kidnapped so they are fully safe is not completely accurate.

Before anyone jumps....when I fly I do so on lines I can pick my seats way in advance and book months ahead when dates are released, but there are no guarantees even with that. I have never flown a line where I pay to pick my seat but I would pay if it guaranteed me a seat with my child. But if I paid extra then were moved I would expect the airline to make it right bc my older DD (5) has motion sickness and food allergies and needs to sit with me to make sure she is okay.
And in almost all cases, where you chose a seat and one for your child, if the airline makes changes, they will work with you to keep you seated together. That has always been my experience...both in life as well as hearing on this board.

It is the parent that wants the lowest possible fare, but all the 'perks'. They pay the least they can find, and then insist that the airline find them seats together!! Now, what happens if almost everyone chose, and paid, for their seats, and along comes mom and her 3 y/o child. She didn't pay in advance for her seat choice, but now wants the airline to put her with her child...but do you expect those that paid for a seat to move?? Kind of a sticky situation.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:44 PM   #58
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I know lots of airline employees. They have seen lots but there is not an epidemic of stranger abuse on planes. They do have some horror stories, but sadly those are family members abusing the child

You gave less to fear from a stranger then a friend or family member. Sad, but true.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:54 PM   #59
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I fail to see how anyone thinks this is ok? I'm not talking about an 8 year old here, but for anyone to say its ok for an airline to make people pay a fee to guarantee their toddler sits with them is ludicrous. Obviously as a parent I would pay the fee than take that chance, and the OP DID pay the fee as she stated. But some morals have to kick in here somewhere. I am not acting like a child by pointing out a seriously flawed policy. To charge for more legroom, a closer seat to the exit, that's fine. Clearly many of the responders here do not have children. A toddler cannot be expected to follow the rules and procedures of safety during flight. I'm not "looking" for a lawsuit, but society is.

I have never paid a fee for a seat. Ever. I don't believe in it. Ill take the back row, the engine, next to bathroom, whatever. My ticket pays for the ride. Ill take wherever the airline chooses to place me, but I don't think it's unreasonable to expect they place my young child with me. And for anyone to feel otherwise has serious moral issues.
Sorry, but I don't agree. You say parents need to sit next to their kids. Well, let's look at it from a diffent view point. I am claustrophobic and absolutely hate flying. I can not sit in a middle seat or window seat or in the back of the plane. (I can't stand looking up that long tube or feeling penned in.) I have flown Spirit and Air Tran, both of whom charge seat fees (if you want to sit next to your traveling party or in a particular seat). Every single time, I have paid for the seat that I need and have no problem doing so. According to your thinking the airlines shouldn't be able to charge me those seat fees, because I have an actual need. My need is just as strong as any parent's. Believe me, you would not want to see me being forced to sit in the rear of the plane, penned in a window or middle seat.

Another scenario: I sometimes travel with me elderly, diabetic, arthritic, hard of hearing mom, who has some dementia, is easily confused, easily agitated, her blood sugar frequently drops without warning, due to her arthritis she can not open bottles or cans, would not be able to get her cane out of the overhead, stumbles when she first gets up, and would need assistance to go to the bathroom. I need to sit next to her. My need to sit next to her is just as strong as some parent's need to sit next to their child. There is no way she could follow rules and procedures in an emergency. Consequently, I pay the seat fees to make sure I sit next to her. Again according to your thinking the airlines should give us seats together for free, because I need to sit next to her. We all have reasons for choosing the seats we do and one need should not trump another's. Having a child does not make you special. Pay for what you need.

I like that the airlines have unbundled their fees. We can pay for what we actually use. I have no problem packing for a week in a carry on, so why should I pay to subsidize the person that think they need two checked bags for a week's stay? If my bag is not taking up any room underneath the plane, I shouldn't have to pay the same fare that someone who has two bags under there does. By the same token, the person who couldn't care less where they sit, should not have to pay the same fare as someone like me, who must choose a certain seat and/or sit next to their loved one. On Air Tran you can choose a seat in the back of the plane for just $6.00, but if you want a seat close to the front (like I need) the fee goes up to $15.00. I need that seat, so I pay it. That means that if my mom is with me, we are paying an extra $60.00 r/t in seat fees to get the seats we need. Why should a parent get those same seats for free, just because they have a kid?
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:04 PM   #60
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And in almost all cases, where you chose a seat and one for your child, if the airline makes changes, they will work with you to keep you seated together. That has always been my experience...both in life as well as hearing on this board.

It is the parent that wants the lowest possible fare, but all the 'perks'. They pay the least they can find, and then insist that the airline find them seats together!! Now, what happens if almost everyone chose, and paid, for their seats, and along comes mom and her 3 y/o child. She didn't pay in advance for her seat choice, but now wants the airline to put her with her child...but do you expect those that paid for a seat to move?? Kind of a sticky situation.
Well I was talking about lines that didn't charge but I did have a bad experience on delta one time they made it very stressful and made it like they didn't get why it was an issue we were 3 middle seats with 5+ rows between us when dd#1 was 15 months. We had booked months earlier. Worked out but was a long story and very stressful. As far as charging...I don't fly those lines but I would 100% pay for the seat. When I compare lines I take every charge into account to compare. But the thing is you just don't know when someone asks did they not pay or did the airline move things and they lost their seats ( happened to a friend who then was told to ask people to move or take a flight 5 hrs later). I know I have moved my seat to accommodate someone. I looked at it as what if
that happened to me one day I hooe someone would help me out. But I was traveling
alone back then and was offered a window or aisle so it wasn't an issue.

Honestly imho these days flying is just a headache in general. There are also a lot of people who never fly, who don't read boards like this but have this family member or friend who told them xyz. Naive as it maybe. Personally I wish they wouldn't charge for seats, extra this or that. But would just be first booked. Even better make 1/2 side of the plane for families with assigned seats or those who want an assigned seat and the other side for business or To be assigned at the airport. I still remember having to get dressed up to fly with my parents. We always booked way in advance and our seats were never moved.
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