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Old 02-11-2013, 01:23 PM   #61
dadr
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Aubriee, regarding some of your points. One could say that no one *needs* to fly in most cases, so if your seating need is unavailable (often on shorter notice trips, there are only rear seats and middle seats) you can choose another form of transportation. Or pay to upgrade to first class.

I would still argue that parents need to sit next to children of a certain age as they would be the best person to be next to the child in an emergency - either with the plane or with the child, if the child is too young to be able to communicate to a stranger that something's wrong. What if you are traveling on shorter notice and there are no two seats together, even in "economy plus" or FC? I agree this should also go for those accompanying elderly/disabled. On Southwest you can get an accomodation to preboard in such circumstances. Most of the time when "elites" get upgraded to FC, adjoining seats will open up anyway so it isn't often a big issue.

A la carte fees are not a good thing when taken to extreme. Spirit Airlines charging for both carry on and checked bags is crazy-who doesn't take at least one small bag when they travel?
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:48 PM   #62
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As I am getting ready to book airline tickets for our summer vacation this thread caught my eye. I had posted about seat fees on Delta and US Airways. We are a family of 4 with a older teenage kids. We have always paid to sit together- even though our kids are way beyond the age when they need to sit with us--we are vacationing as a family and sit together on a plane. When we first traveled it was three seats together and the aisle across. Now we try and do four aisles in 2 rows...kids with LONG legs and a mom who can't be blocked in the window and middle seats--even if my own family sitting next to me!
So we either pay for the seats we need or book early and get the seats we want.
Sure we have been asked to switch seats by someone wanting the aisle- like the person who tried to claim ignorance in which seat was his (he didn't want to sit by screaming oversided lap child and its mom in window seat---this person told my son that my son had middle seat). I turned around and said no my son had aisle---guy not happy but thought he could pull one over on teenager who I assume he thought was traveling alone.

I constantly watch for plane changes, time changes, etc. Then I keep checking the seats if there are changes.

Would I move if I had paid for a family to sit together if they chose not to pay for a seat. I seriously doubt it ---unless the seat they offered was better than the one they were getting and I do try and get aisles as far forward as possible so if you offer a middle seat at the back I don't think I'll change. I chance that kid of yours next to me!

If it is important to sit with your family then pay for the seats. Flights are so overbooked even chancing seats at the 24 hour mark isn't worth it to me. I actually looked into Spirit airlines for the 2nd leg of our trip---decided against after reading reviews and how they charge for everything. When comparing prices---I add in the extra baggage fees and if needed seat assignments!
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:54 PM   #63
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A la carte fees are not a good thing when taken to extreme. Spirit Airlines charging for both carry on and checked bags is crazy-who doesn't take at least one small bag when they travel?
The fees are different for checked vs. carry on though. Paying to take a carry-on is less expensive than paying to check a bag. Last month, DH and I flew Allegiant. We chose to check 1 bag (for the 2 of us) and just take personal items so as not to pay for carry ons. It's nice to be able to customize to my needs.
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:39 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by dadr View Post
Aubriee, regarding some of your points. One could say that no one *needs* to fly in most cases, so if your seating need is unavailable (often on shorter notice trips, there are only rear seats and middle seats) you can choose another form of transportation. Or pay to upgrade to first class.

I would still argue that parents need to sit next to children of a certain age as they would be the best person to be next to the child in an emergency - either with the plane or with the child, if the child is too young to be able to communicate to a stranger that something's wrong. What if you are traveling on shorter notice and there are no two seats together, even in "economy plus" or FC? I agree this should also go for those accompanying elderly/disabled. On Southwest you can get an accomodation to preboard in such circumstances. Most of the time when "elites" get upgraded to FC, adjoining seats will open up anyway so it isn't often a big issue.
Wait, I'm missing something. So it's ok for Aubriee (sorry, using you as an example) to either find other modes of transportation or pay a higher fee to get the seating she needs, but it's not ok to tell a parent with a child the same thing?

Quote:
A la carte fees are not a good thing when taken to extreme. Spirit Airlines charging for both carry on and checked bags is crazy-who doesn't take at least one small bag when they travel?
But shouldn't the market decide? If no one is willing to pay for the added fees (and finds other airlines that work for them), Spirit changes their policy.
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:06 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by dadr View Post
Aubriee, regarding some of your points. One could say that no one *needs* to fly in most cases, so if your seating need is unavailable (often on shorter notice trips, there are only rear seats and middle seats) you can choose another form of transportation. Or pay to upgrade to first class.

I would still argue that parents need to sit next to children of a certain age as they would be the best person to be next to the child in an emergency - either with the plane or with the child, if the child is too young to be able to communicate to a stranger that something's wrong. What if you are traveling on shorter notice and there are no two seats together, even in "economy plus" or FC? I agree this should also go for those accompanying elderly/disabled. On Southwest you can get an accomodation to preboard in such circumstances. Most of the time when "elites" get upgraded to FC, adjoining seats will open up anyway so it isn't often a big issue.

A la carte fees are not a good thing when taken to extreme. Spirit Airlines charging for both carry on and checked bags is crazy-who doesn't take at least one small bag when they travel?
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Originally Posted by sam_gordon View Post
Wait, I'm missing something. So it's ok for Aubriee (sorry, using you as an example) to either find other modes of transportation or pay a higher fee to get the seating she needs, but it's not ok to tell a parent with a child the same thing?
Thanks Sam, that was my point. The poster I originally quoted seems to think that because someone has a kid, that their need trumps everybody elses and the airline and everybody else should just cater to them and they shouldn't have to pay for their seats like the rest of us do. I don't agree. My need for a certain seat is just as strong as a parent's need to sit next to their child. My need to sit next to my senile ill mom is just as important. One need does not trump another's. I happen to like ala carte pricing because it allows me to pay for what I use. I already said I have no problem paying the seat fees, because they allow me to pick the seat I need. No way, would I ever fly Southwest for that very reason. I'd be afraid I'd be stuck somewhere in the back of the plane or in a middle or window seat. I know I couldn't handle that and would have to get off that plane. I always look at seats available and choose the seat I need, before ever paying for the ticket. If a flight does not have the seat open that I need, then I don't book that flight and will choose another. I check to make sure the seat I need is available and then pay to make sure I get that seat. Why can't a parent do the same thing? I count that fee in with the price of the ticket, when comparing prices to see which airline is cheaper.

In my previous post I bolded the word 'need' every time, because we all have 'needs' and have particular reasons for choosing the seats we do. No ones 'need' should trump anothers. Last Feb, my husband and I took our 3 y/o GS to WDW. I could have paid for just two seats, to make sure one of us was sitting next to him, but I wanted all three of us sitting together, so did what I had to, to make sure that happened. As we were waiting to board the flights (both on the way to Orlando and also back home a week later) we were sitting next to the desk and heard families complaining and demanding that people be moved so they could sit next to their kids. Sorry, I didn't feel sorry for them. They could have purchased their seats, just like we did. Why should they have gotten theirs for free when we paid for ours? In every single instance they told the gate agent they did not purchase their seats because they didn't believe the airline would separate them from their kids. In every instance the desk agent's response was, "We didn't separate you from your kids, you chose to do so when you didn't purchase the seats at the time of booking. The web site clearly offers you the chance to purchase the seats you need, if you want to sit with your traveling party.'

Last edited by aubriee; 02-12-2013 at 01:19 AM.
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:26 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by aubriee View Post
Thanks Sam, that was my point. The poster I originally quoted seems to think that because someone has a kid, that their need trumps everybody elses and the airline and everybody else should just cater to them and they shouldn't have to pay for their seats like the rest of us do. I don't agree. My need for a certain seat is just as strong as a parent's need to sit next to their child. My need to sit next to my senile ill mom is just as important. One need does not trump another's.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:13 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by KrazeeK120

The fees are different for checked vs. carry on though. Paying to take a carry-on is less expensive than paying to check a bag. Last month, DH and I flew Allegiant. We chose to check 1 bag (for the 2 of us) and just take personal items so as not to pay for carry ons. It's nice to be able to customize to my needs.
On Spirit a carry on is $5 more than a checked bag. That makes no sense from their cost basis because checked luggage is nearly always bigger and heavier, requiring more fuel to transport, and also has additional labor costs for loading and unloading. That's why it is annoying - Spirit must think that discouraging carry ons will significantly speed up the boarding and deplaning process (I doubt it really does) so they artificially inflate the fee not consistent with the actual cost of the service relative to checked bags.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:15 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by sam_gordon
Wait, I'm missing something. So it's ok for Aubriee (sorry, using you as an example) to either find other modes of transportation or pay a higher fee to get the seating she needs, but it's not ok to tell a parent with a child the same thing?

But shouldn't the market decide? If no one is willing to pay for the added fees (and finds other airlines that work for them), Spirit changes their policy.
No, you didn't miss anything because I never said my comment should only apply to her situation. It goes for anyone including parents. We have chosen to drive cross country with the kids in the past for various reasons.

And I think it's more likely that more airlines will be tempted to adopt Spirit's precedent than the other way around, just because they can. The airlines are not a true free market, they are a controlled and heavily subsidized industry.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:37 AM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dadr View Post
Aubriee, regarding some of your points. One could say that no one *needs* to fly in most cases, so if your seating need is unavailable (often on shorter notice trips, there are only rear seats and middle seats) you can choose another form of transportation. Or pay to upgrade to first class.

I would still argue that parents need to sit next to children of a certain age as they would be the best person to be next to the child in an emergency - either with the plane or with the child, if the child is too young to be able to communicate to a stranger that something's wrong. What if you are traveling on shorter notice and there are no two seats together, even in "economy plus" or FC? I agree this should also go for those accompanying elderly/disabled. On Southwest you can get an accomodation to preboard in such circumstances. Most of the time when "elites" get upgraded to FC, adjoining seats will open up anyway so it isn't often a big issue.

A la carte fees are not a good thing when taken to extreme. Spirit Airlines charging for both carry on and checked bags is crazy-who doesn't take at least one small bag when they travel?
No, very few people 'have' to fly or 'need' to as people here are putting it. BUT....everyone needs to decide what is important to them. Aubriee knows what she needs when flying and so pays for it, in advance. Parents who decide that an airline won't put parents in one area and the kids in another, so don't pay for advance seating, are not doing what they need. If they want to sit with their children, and make it as sure a thing as possible, they need to book those seats together to begin with. Aubriee does this...she gets it. A parent that chooses not to pay for certain seats, but expects FAs to move people around in order for him to sit with his family, does not get it.


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On Spirit a carry on is $5 more than a checked bag. That makes no sense from their cost basis because checked luggage is nearly always bigger and heavier, requiring more fuel to transport, and also has additional labor costs for loading and unloading. That's why it is annoying - Spirit must think that discouraging carry ons will significantly speed up the boarding and deplaning process (I doubt it really does) so they artificially inflate the fee not consistent with the actual cost of the service relative to checked bags.
Actually it does speed things up....at both ends. But, that's not why they charge. They charge to make money.

Here's the thing. If you want to be sure you are all seated together, then do one of two things...
1. Book with an airline that allows you to choose seats and not pay for that service. But, be aware...those fares are usually among the highest.

2. Book with a cheaper airline and pay to choose your seats.

But to expect a cheap fare and free seat choice upon booking?? Just doesn't happen. This is one reason I love SW so much. They 'give' us 2 free checked bags which means less carryon. No seat choices, so no one is roaming around, on the plane, looking for their assigned seat. They see a seat they like, they sit down. And the other thing that's terrific with SW?? The boarding process. I am heartily sick and tired of the huge number of people that jump up and stand at the jetway entrance..hoping to get onboard a bit sooner. Doesn't much matter to them that their group isn't being called yet. So, those of us that are trying to get to the gate agent and then onboard have to struggle to get through this huge clump of people. With SW that just doesn't happen...you line up in your spot and that's it.

People need to take some responsibility for their flights. Decide what is important and then go from there. But do not expect people to move for you because you decided not to spend the extra money to get seats together..but figured people would move for you. There is no way I am giving up my window seat to sit in the middle seat at the back of the plane!!! Not happening.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:21 AM   #70
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Wait, I'm missing something. So it's ok for Aubriee (sorry, using you as an example) to either find other modes of transportation or pay a higher fee to get the seating she needs, but it's not ok to tell a parent with a child the same thing?

But shouldn't the market decide? If no one is willing to pay for the added fees (and finds other airlines that work for them), Spirit changes their policy.
Spirit's base fares are typically very cheap, that is what draws people in. Fees is what keeps them profitable. Even if you pay for the seats, it is probably still cheaper than other airlines. If they eliminated the fees, they would have to increase the base fare.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:40 AM   #71
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Spirit's base fares are typically very cheap, that is what draws people in. Fees is what keeps them profitable. Even if you pay for the seats, it is probably still cheaper than other airlines. If they eliminated the fees, they would have to increase the base fare.
But it's still "let the market decide". I was responding to dadr's comment about Spirit's charging for bags being "crazy". If people aren't willing to pay the fees, Spirit won't make money and either go out of business or change their practices (which could result in higher base fares).

People spend a lot of money on things I think are crazy. But I don't blame the company charging the money. If someone is willing to pay the cost, let them.
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:42 PM   #72
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But it's still "let the market decide". I was responding to dadr's comment about Spirit's charging for bags being "crazy". If people aren't willing to pay the fees, Spirit won't make money and either go out of business or change their practices (which could result in higher base fares).

People spend a lot of money on things I think are crazy. But I don't blame the company charging the money. If someone is willing to pay the cost, let them.
Only to a point. Government rules, not just the "market" decide policies. The rule which requires display of the full price was made, in large part, due to the way Spirit was marketing i.e. $1 fares.


I'll make an exception to my previous points. I think a parent with a child using a car seat has a real need to sit next their child. I might even extend that up to age 4 or 5. Maybe let a parent pay for a window seat and give them a free middle seat.

By 5 or 6 the kids might be riding a school bus. I agree many parents would still like to sit next to their older kids, the same as many of us would like to sit next to our spouse. Let them pay.

Legacy airlines generally leave seats open for gate assignment to handle those circumstances.

Spirit operates by displaying the lowest possible base fare. Their service model requires charging $$$ in fees. Who flies Spirit? Leisure fliers. Families with kids. People looking for a dirt cheap fare. Do a search. Some people who check in at T24 get seats together. Others don't. There aren't enough seats together to satisfy all the "cheap" passengers who don't want to pay. A few years ago you could sit by your computer, watch the clock, check in at exactly T-24 and be in good shape. Now almost everyone has access to a smartphone or can at least have one person at a computer at T24. Not everyone will get what they want.

In some perverse way I think Spirit likes it when a few families get split up. Those people post on the internet. Probably leads to more passengers paying for assigned seats.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:40 AM   #73
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....(snip).......Spirit Airlines charging for both carry on and checked bags is crazy-who doesn't take at least one small bag when they travel?
Just to clarify, Spirit does NOT charge for a bag that fits under the seat in front of you. That's still included in the base fare.
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:10 AM   #74
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Only to a point. Government rules, not just the "market" decide policies. The rule which requires display of the full price was made, in large part, due to the way Spirit was marketing i.e. $1 fares.


I'll make an exception to my previous points. I think a parent with a child using a car seat has a real need to sit next their child. I might even extend that up to age 4 or 5. Maybe let a parent pay for a window seat and give them a free middle seat.

By 5 or 6 the kids might be riding a school bus. I agree many parents would still like to sit next to their older kids, the same as many of us would like to sit next to our spouse. Let them pay.

Legacy airlines generally leave seats open for gate assignment to handle those circumstances.

Spirit operates by displaying the lowest possible base fare. Their service model requires charging $$$ in fees. Who flies Spirit? Leisure fliers. Families with kids. People looking for a dirt cheap fare. Do a search. Some people who check in at T24 get seats together. Others don't. There aren't enough seats together to satisfy all the "cheap" passengers who don't want to pay. A few years ago you could sit by your computer, watch the clock, check in at exactly T-24 and be in good shape. Now almost everyone has access to a smartphone or can at least have one person at a computer at T24. Not everyone will get what they want.

In some perverse way I think Spirit likes it when a few families get split up. Those people post on the internet. Probably leads to more passengers paying for assigned seats.
Why would it be okay to give someone a free middle seat?? Yes, a parent needs to be with their child if that child is in a carseat. But again....that parent needs to plan accordingly. They need to book two seats together in order to be seated next to their car seated child. Just curious as to your reasoning.
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:33 AM   #75
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I think a parent with a child using a car seat has a real need to sit next their child. I might even extend that up to age 4 or 5. Maybe let a parent pay for a window seat and give them a free middle seat.
You were kidding when you posted this, right? A free seat
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