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Old 09-28-2011, 03:36 PM   #1
YO's Mom
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Delta "Family Seating"

I was checking our itinerary on the Delta website today and realized that despite what Expedia has told me, we did not have seat assignments for 3 of our 4 flights. I called and spoke to a very nice agent who said that the only seats I could book at this time were center seats – which would mean none of us would be in the same row (the plane is pretty full already). I explained that this didn’t work for me since I am traveling with 2 children. She told me that was a whole different situation and immediately booked us 3 seats together on all of our flights. She said that Delta has what they call “family seating” (in the rear of the aircraft, naturally) where they will rearrange other travelers to ensure that families are able to sit together. Personally, I’m not crazy about sitting in the back of the plane, but I’d rather be back there and sitting with both of my kids than up front with them in different rows!

Just thought this might help someone else.
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Old 09-28-2011, 03:58 PM   #2
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That would totally get me angry, if I had picked a seat, and was moved by the airline because someone else didn't book their seating on time. We've had it happen on KLM (never flying that pathetic airline again!) when they dumped one of our daughters off the computer by mistake, and we had printouts of our seating and everything.

Since your children are 8 and 6, one would be fine sitting in front of you or behind you, IMO, especially the 8 year old. We've flown many times with one of the kids behind me - I've found having the child behind works best, as I can just turn to check on her, and the seat kicking is all in the family too.

Thank you for the info - I'll be staying away from Delta if I can.
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:15 PM   #3
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That would totally get me angry, if I had picked a seat, and was moved by the airline because someone else didn't book their seating on time.

Contrary to you assumption, I did buy my tickets and book my seats weeks ago with Expedia. However, for whatever reason, my seat reservations were not put into Delta’s system. Which meant Expedia and I thought I had seats assigned, but Delta did not.



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Since your children are 8 and 6, one would be fine sitting in front of you or behind you, IMO, especially the 8 year old.
Thanks for sharing your uninformed opinion with us, but neither of my children would be fine sitting with strangers. We don’t fly all the time. In fact, the 8 year old hasn’t flown since she was 3 and the 6 year old was 19 months old on her last flight. As far as they are concerned, this is a “first flight” for them since they don’t remember the earlier flights. Add that to the fact that both have separation/abandonment/anxiety issues and you can see why it is essential that I be able to sit with both children. (BTW, the available seats when I called were all in different rows, all middle seats, and none less than 3 rows away from each other.)

The point of my posting this message was not to warn others that if they choose seats in the family section that they may be moved (closer to the front) but to let other families know to 1) check with your airline to confirm your seating arrangements if you purchased through someone other than the airline and 2) ask about family seating if they tell you there are no seats together.
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:17 PM   #4
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This happened to me on Airtran back in 2009. They changed the airplane being used between the time we bought our tickets and the time we checked in (a few months time). We were flying with a 20 month old and a 3 month old, and they wanted to put us in 4 different rows scattered across the plane. Uh NO. I told them I needed at the very least two seats of 2 together, and the employee kept telling me "well, everyone picked their seats ahead of time", to which I replied "and I did too because I'm not that dumb to think I'm magically going to be sitting with my kids".

As frustrating as it is, I understand why my situation happened, but I wish there was a little less rudeness on the employee's part. Glad you got it figured out!
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:26 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by YO's Mom View Post
I was checking our itinerary on the Delta website today and realized that despite what Expedia has told me, we did not have seat assignments for 3 of our 4 flights. I called and spoke to a very nice agent who said that the only seats I could book at this time were center seats – which would mean none of us would be in the same row (the plane is pretty full already). I explained that this didn’t work for me since I am traveling with 2 children. She told me that was a whole different situation and immediately booked us 3 seats together on all of our flights. She said that Delta has what they call “family seating” (in the rear of the aircraft, naturally) where they will rearrange other travelers to ensure that families are able to sit together. Personally, I’m not crazy about sitting in the back of the plane, but I’d rather be back there and sitting with both of my kids than up front with them in different rows!

Just thought this might help someone else.
I'm glad this worked out for you. They do not always do this. If there is already a family sitting back there they won't break them up. This is one reason I only book directly with the airline. The extra $$ is peace of mind to me. I always feel bad for those that get broken up. They don't know if two people are sitting together due to flight anxiety. Whether they are sitting back there because they think certain numbers are unlucky and don't want those rows etc. I only book flights when I have viewed the seats to ensure at least one parent can sit with one child. If the plane does not have those seating arrangements available, I move on to another flight. I have never booked airfare with Expedia. Did you pick your seats with them or were they supposed to assign them?
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:28 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by amylynne01 View Post
This happened to me on Airtran back in 2009. They changed the airplane being used between the time we bought our tickets and the time we checked in (a few months time). We were flying with a 20 month old and a 3 month old, and they wanted to put us in 4 different rows scattered across the plane. Uh NO. I told them I needed at the very least two seats of 2 together, and the employee kept telling me "well, everyone picked their seats ahead of time", to which I replied "and I did too because I'm not that dumb to think I'm magically going to be sitting with my kids".

As frustrating as it is, I understand why my situation happened, but I wish there was a little less rudeness on the employee's part. Glad you got it figured out!
As you unfortunately found out, sometimes AirTran does switch to a smaller plane. I can't remember which side it is now (the seating chart is at home) but one side always stays with 3 seats. THat is the side I always book for myself and my 2 children. That way if the plane size decreases out seats don't get switched.
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:41 PM   #7
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I'm pretty surprised that Delta did that for you. Usually they won't move people for kids over 4-years old (or so). You usually have to beg other passengers to move for you which rarely works. At the risk of also being "uninformed", I think that as long as they are normal kids they would have been fine sitting next to strangers. They are school aged kids and not toddlers.
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccgirl View Post
As you unfortunately found out, sometimes AirTran does switch to a smaller plane. I can't remember which side it is now (the seating chart is at home) but one side always stays with 3 seats. THat is the side I always book for myself and my 2 children. That way if the plane size decreases out seats don't get switched.
That is good to know. I don't like flying Airtran because they are always changing their schedule, and they always run super late from Boston to anywhere, but you can't beat their prices. DH and I are flying them again in December even though I swore them off. If we get split up, oh well. Meet you at the end, honey!
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:59 PM   #9
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I have never booked airfare with Expedia. Did you pick your seats with them or were they supposed to assign them?
I picked our seats, and on my Expedia agenda, it shows us having seat assignments. However, down in the small print (which I hadn't paid much attention to before) it does say those seat assignments may not be honored by the airlines.

Honestly, this is my first flight with 2 kids. I'm used to being the single flyer who gave up my seat so families and even couples could sit together. Personally, when I was flying alone, I would always move rather than sit next to a child who was separated from his parents. I can’t imagine that anyone else would really want to sit next to either of my girls for 2 or 3 hours and listen to their non-stop chatter. I love it, but for someone without kids, I imagine it would be torture!
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Old 09-28-2011, 05:29 PM   #10
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I picked our seats, and on my Expedia agenda, it shows us having seat assignments. However, down in the small print (which I hadn't paid much attention to before) it does say those seat assignments may not be honored by the airlines.

Honestly, this is my first flight with 2 kids. I'm used to being the single flyer who gave up my seat so families and even couples could sit together. Personally, when I was flying alone, I would always move rather than sit next to a child who was separated from his parents. I can’t imagine that anyone else would really want to sit next to either of my girls for 2 or 3 hours and listen to their non-stop chatter. I love it, but for someone without kids, I imagine it would be torture!

Also don't count on getting to the airport and finding out you don't have the same seats. Things change as you found out and they may change you to accommodate a family with actual small children. Or a flight could have been canceled and they moved people onto the plane. these seats could very well get changed. It is better to equip your kids with their own backpacks of stuff and inform them they very well may be sitting away from you. I am extremely surprised Delta did this, it isn't the norm and I have never heard of it before in many many flights.

I know I wouldn't move for an 8 yr old especially if it meant moving to a center seat and I probably wouldn't for a 6 yr old. Children 5 and over can fly as unaccompanied minors so I would be in no hurry to move for any child over 5 especially again to a middle seat. As far as the chatter, most people that fly have headphones anymore and even kids stop chatting if you only minimally answer them.
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Old 09-28-2011, 05:51 PM   #11
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This is why I always book directly with the airline. I own the reservation, I make the seat selection.
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Old 09-28-2011, 06:06 PM   #12
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This is why I always book directly with the airline. I own the reservation, I make the seat selection.
Yes but even these aren't guaranteed. Seats can and do change very frequently.

It is always best for all parties to carry their own stuff that they will need for the flight and for children to be prepared that the whole family may not be sitting together but will all be on the same plane and get there at the same time and to just wait in their seat till Mom or whoever comes and gets them.


I have never understood the fuss over sitting together
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Old 09-28-2011, 06:51 PM   #13
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Ok just to give the OP some back up on the age issue.... I would never allow my 6 yr old to sit between strangers on a plane. Six...are you kidding me? That's kinder maybe 1st grade!

There are alot of freaks out there people! You aren't guaranteed to sit next to some nice normal person. When traveling alone I have had numerous seat buddies come on to me, one particularly touchy one and not to mention the one who talked to me about how great drugs are and if I'd like to go get high after we land in Houston the whole flight

Now chances are the child would be fine, yes. I still choose to believe there's more good in the world than bad. And I might be sitting right behind them or in front of them or whatever. But um still, no thank you.

What you do is your business, I just can't believe some are acting like the OP is being ridiculous for not allowing this.

Now all of that being said, when you fly, being split up is a risk you take. And it does always say you aren't guaranteed your requested seat. You're very lucky they were willing to rearrange for you but I'm glad that they were and hope another family wasn't split up in the process
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:39 PM   #14
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It's perfectly normal for moms to take 8 year old boys into the women's restroom with them because the child is too young to go to the men's room alone, but I'm being overprotective because I would prefer that my children sit with me (as opposed to strangers) on a 3 hour flight - and I'm sure those boys have gone to pee a lot more times than my daughters have flown!

I'm really sorry I bothered to post this. Silly me. I thought I might help some other family. I didn't realize how many people have nothing better to do than sit around judging others parenting decisions. You don’t know me, and you don’t know my children. You have no idea what they’ve been through. So how about y’all stick to raising your own kids (real or hypothetical) and I’ll raise mine.

BTW, if we get to the airport and learn that we aren’t sitting together, we’ll work it out, but I sure as heck wasn’t going to start out knowing we were going to be separated.
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:52 PM   #15
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It's perfectly normal for moms to take 8 year old boys into the women's restroom with them because the child is too young to go to the men's room alone,
Actually that isn't either that is a bit old but that is another thread!!! Usually by 8 they are going by themselves.


And everyone is just telling you that even if they say you will be seated together there is a very real possibility that you may be separated and it is better to prepare your kids for this very real possibility.


Mine have sat alone on flights form 4 on up to flying totally on their own by 12 not as an unaccompanied minor but on their own.
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