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Old 09-28-2011, 11:00 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by LilyWDW View Post
Why? Because people are trying to explain to the OP how air travel actually works? Because they don't sugar coat the truth?

There is no pixie dust when it comes to transportation... especially airline travel. There is what actually happens.... and what people think should happen. As is obvious by this thread, a lot of people think things that are simply not true and not realistic. Why is it so bad that people point that out? Yes it might be blunt, but when it comes to this, it is what it is.
You can always tell who flies and who doesn't when threads like this come up. I had upper elite status on Delta for years and I can tell you that business travelers have NO patience for issues like this most of the time.

If anyone thinks that those that fly almost daily are going to be inconvenienced for them then they don't fly very much.

Just because the flight is going to Orlando doesn't mean the passengers onboard will be generating any pixie dust.
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Old 09-28-2011, 11:20 PM   #32
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You can always tell who flies and who doesn't when threads like this come up.
Exactly....so I don't get why some people are berating parents for wanting to take their child to the bathroom. Maybe it's the kids (or the parents) first time flying. My kids have never flown before and I wouldn't dream of sending them to the bathroom alone, even if it was within view. They've never been on a plane, they don't know how to lock the door, flush the toilet, work the sink, etc. I'm sure it's plenty basic and they could figure it out...but the very fact that it's new and unfamiliar means it's terrifying to them. They need someone to hold their hand until they get comfortable in a situation. They're children.

Just because one person's child (who has probably grown up flying on planes) would be fine sitting alone, doesn't mean someone else's child would. A child who has never flown before will want to know what every noise the plane is making means, how long the trip is going to take, if it's okay if they stand on their seat to look at the other people, which arm rest is theirs, etc. They don't know how to work the social situation of being on a plane.

I'm not saying that the airline or other passengers need to do anything about this, I'm just saying that I would think the people on this board would be a little more understanding that not everyone here is a seasoned traveler.

New situations are scary. Any new situation for kids AND adults. Flying is no different. So can't we be more understanding that some parents have fears of simply shoving their children through the process instead of holding their hands and guiding them along?
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Old 09-29-2011, 05:42 AM   #33
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My kids who are now 6, 6, 9 and 10 have flown at least once a year since they were born and I still would not let my 6 year olds sit by themselves with strangers. I would even feel horrible if my 9 or 10 year olds had to. If it were my children's first flight ever I would never expect them to sit without a parent. They would have no idea what to do during a flight and I would not expect stranger to inform them.

Last year a day before our cruise they canceled our return flight and rebooked us on another. It was not a direct flight so it involved a connection. They had my children, dh and I scattered all over the airplanes. When I called (US air) they did their best to move people and was able to sit us relatively close to each other. Then when we got on the plane people saw how my 5 year olds were sitting unaccompanied and kindly moved so that my kids could sit with one of us. We never asked at all. This happened on both legs. So contrary to many posts here, many people are kind and accommodating. I wouldn't expect it but it is nice to know.
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:42 AM   #34
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Maybe I'm strange, but an aisle or window seat would not mean much to me if I had to sit next to a scared upset child that was separated from their parent(s) because that was my seat.

I flew alone at 7 to see my father. Back then though things were different. My mom came all the way on the plane, met and talked to the people I was sitting next to, buckled me in, the whole nine. Sweet elderly couple. I remember them situating my pillow when I got sleepy. I was pretty laid back though. My dd, not so much.

She is 8 and has a few flights under her belt, but she would be upset if something like this occurred. I feel confident I could calm her and she has all the necessities in her carry-on, but it's just a task I'd rather avoid. Besides there are things I would just rather deal with myself. From something small like when she asks for the 10th time if we're almost there to something big like if she spills her drink. I'd rather my clothes get messed up, not some business traveler wearing his lucky suit on his way to give a presentation for a million dollar account for his company.

Then there's my son. He's a toddler and there'd be no explaining to him why his beloved sister isn't next to us. By the time he yells "SISTER!!!!!" at the top of his lungs for a while, somebody would want to switch. Half the reason I purchased my infant a ticket on our last flight was so we could take up a whole row and not risk running into the first person who didn't like them.

Thankfully we've been able to get to where we want to go on Southwest. With the early check-in, we've been at least at the end of the A group each time.
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Old 09-29-2011, 08:30 AM   #35
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OP - I'm glad you got seats together. I would want my 6 and 8 yo next to me if they weren't familiar with flying.
That said, the airline does not need to guarantee those seats, and my experience has been that there are some friendly people willing to swap seats and others who won't give up their window/aisle/lucky row number to let a toddler sit with his mom.
I would recommend getting to the airport well in advance of your flight. (This is good advice in general for flying with small children.) If the aircraft has changed or your seats messed up for another reason this gives you the highest chance of having the agent checking you in having enough inventory to still put you together or to at least get you some aisle/window seats so that you have some decent swapping power when you board the plane.
A few flights ago, my husband (elite frequent flier status with that airline), myself, a 5yo and 2yo had selected our seats WELL in advance and when we arrived at the airport had been split up due to an equipment change. "Elite" DH was up in an exit row, the 5yo and I were seated together toward the back, and the 2yo by herself in some center seat - LOL. We got there early enough that we were able to get seated together, but were at the back of the plane instead of the front. It happens.
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Old 09-29-2011, 08:48 AM   #36
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We having been flying Delta about twice a year for the past 5 years with our kids. When you book extremely early (like 10 or 11 months out), seating charts are not always available ... so you "get" to pick your seats when you check in online or the agent arranges your seating when you arrive at the airport. In my experience, this has has led to either sitting in the back of the plane ... or sitting in seats that require "upcharges" without paying the upcharge.

So, booking early doesn't guarantee you the best seat choices.
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Old 09-29-2011, 08:59 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by MamaBearJohnson View Post
Exactly....so I don't get why some people are berating parents for wanting to take their child to the bathroom. Maybe it's the kids (or the parents) first time flying. My kids have never flown before and I wouldn't dream of sending them to the bathroom alone, even if it was within view. They've never been on a plane, they don't know how to lock the door, flush the toilet, work the sink, etc. I'm sure it's plenty basic and they could figure it out...but the very fact that it's new and unfamiliar means it's terrifying to them. They need someone to hold their hand until they get comfortable in a situation. They're children.

Just because one person's child (who has probably grown up flying on planes) would be fine sitting alone, doesn't mean someone else's child would. A child who has never flown before will want to know what every noise the plane is making means, how long the trip is going to take, if it's okay if they stand on their seat to look at the other people, which arm rest is theirs, etc. They don't know how to work the social situation of being on a plane.

I'm not saying that the airline or other passengers need to do anything about this, I'm just saying that I would think the people on this board would be a little more understanding that not everyone here is a seasoned traveler.

New situations are scary. Any new situation for kids AND adults. Flying is no different. So can't we be more understanding that some parents have fears of simply shoving their children through the process instead of holding their hands and guiding them along?
It doesn't matter what people THINK though. All that matters is the reality of what happens. Kids the ages of 5+ can fly as unaccompanied minors. They can be split up from parents on the flights (actually, any kid unless they are in a car seat, can be seated away from their parents). People are not required to move to accommodate you and you child. You can ask, but don't have a fit if they refuse. The FAs and the like will do everything in their power, but they are not required to make sure your child is seated beside you.

Why should someone who has paid money for a window seat at the front of the plane switch for a middle seat at the back because someone can't get over the issue of their 8 year old sitting elsewhere? They shouldn't be expected to nor are they required to.

THAT is the reality of airline travel. It is better to explain that to people (even though it is obvious that some don't want to hear it or won't believe it) so they are prepared for what might happen. If you know now, you can prepare your child for the possibility and deal with it in a calm and educated manner.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:22 AM   #38
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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!
I see. I don't think I would be using Expedia again. It looks like Expedia has you pick your sites without knowing if the airline has the seats free or not.

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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.
The whole 8 year old boy going in with mommy to the bathroom is another thread. There are many people who think this is not "normal". There have been many threads about this. Many posters who didn't want to pay the extra money to pick seats because, afterall, who would ever split up a family. The problem here is when things you (a general you) do negatively affect others. Such as the mom that didn't want to pony up the extra seat fee to sit next to her kids and pitched such a fit. At first, they split up an adult couple and the woman had a severe phobia of flying. In the end, we ended up leaving 20 minutes late and some people missed their connecting flight.

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This thread has inspired me to log onto Spirit and prepay for our seats. We're on a tight budget and I'm not thrilled to pay the $80...but I don't want to leave it to chance that they'll separate us from our kids, and I don't want to stress out about arguing with other passengers. I'm baffled by the responses of those who think kids can/should be able to sit by themselves on a flight and I can pretty much guarantee that if you didn't want to give up your aisle seat so I could sit by my two year old...after about 20 minutes you'd change your mind and beg me to switch. But in any case, the peace of mind was worth the $80 I guess.
I can pretty much guarantee that nobody would be chaning their mind. When I fly, and I'm not with my children I put my headphones on. My DD8 has sat alone on a flight. She was two rows up and on the opposite side and I could see her. She is very self sufficient. She can read and play her Nintendo DSi all by herself without needing the person next to her to help. SHe can also go to the bathroom all by herself. IF she did need something from me, she can walk back and ask. Oh...and we had seats together. Problem was, there were too many people who didn't pre-purchse seats with young children. I ended up getting split up from my 8 year old. My son, who was in a car seat at the time, remained next to me. As you have found out, if it is important to sit next to your child pay for it. Why should someone who paid for a seat have to move because a parent wanted to save a buck and didn't pay?
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:27 AM   #39
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I find it interesting that so many people just expect others to move. Post this same issue on a forum that business travelers frequent like flyertalk and the answers will be closer to reality.

As a mother, of course I want my children to sit beside me and my DH. They have been split up before when we arrived very late for a SW flight from BWI to Orlando. Even on a more family oriented airline like that no one was jumping at the chance to move to accommodate us. It was our fault for arriving late - not theirs. We ended up with only 2 seats together after much asking (DH and our then 1 year old) took those and the rest of us sat in middle seats throughout the plane. Was it ideal? Nope. Did we survive? Obviously.

If you want to guarantee that your seats don't change then book seats in First Class. I don't know that I have ever seen seats that have been booked in First Class (not upgraded but booked) change.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:30 AM   #40
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Also don't count on getting to the airport and finding out you don't have the same seats..
Boy- you can say that again. Last time I flew I went to get onto the airplane with my boarding pass with my seat number on it and as I handed it to the person at the door, she tried to scan it and said--- oh someone else's boarding pass had the same seat number and they are already on the plane so you will need to go over to the desk and get reassigned. I've never had that happen before! I about flipped out because I knew the plane was completely full. She assured me there was a seat somewhere for me and she was right. Luckily it was a business trip and I wasn't with DD (5). I didn't really care whether I sat with my business partner.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:52 AM   #41
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OP -
That said, the airline does not need to guarantee those seats, and my experience has been that there are some friendly people willing to swap seats and others who won't give up their window/aisle/lucky row number to let a toddler sit with his mom.
[.
Except She isn't talking about toddlers an 8 yr old is hardly a toddler. Yes if you truly have a toddler you can usually find someone who will switch so you can sit with your 3 yr old but good luck with an 8 yr old, I wouldn't even think of asking.


Heck by 7 mine were sitting by themselves on purpose so they could all have window seats! One woman saw my son and said oh I'll switch so you can sit with your Mom and he said no thank you I picked this seat. I thanked her for the offer and she sat down next to me and chuckled.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:56 AM   #42
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Except She isn't talking about toddlers an 8 yr old is hardly a toddler. Yes if you truly have a toddler you can usually find someone who will switch so you can sit with your 3 yr old but good luck with an 8 yr old, I wouldn't even think of asking.


Heck by 7 mine were sitting by themselves on purpose so they could all have window seats! One woman saw my son and said oh I'll switch so you can sit with your Mom and he said no thank you I picked this seat. I thanked her for the offer and she sat down next to me and chuckled.
You shoud be reported to DSS <sarcasm> Heck, sometimes my DD8 wants to sit by herself too. She enjoys the independence.
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:07 AM   #43
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I can pretty much guarantee that nobody would be chaning their mind. When I fly, and I'm not with my children I put my headphones on.

My 8 year old gets motion sickness. She also has a tendency to throw up when she is nervous. I would hope she would manage to throw up in an airsick bag, but I wouldn't guarantee it. Good luck ignoring that.



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As you have found out, if it is important to sit next to your child pay for it. Why should someone who paid for a seat have to move because a parent wanted to save a buck and didn't pay?
I did pay - for 3 seats when I bought my tickets weeks ago. Delta does not have an option to pay for a specific seat assignment. If they did, I would have paid the fee. At no time did I say that I was trying to "save a buck".

Really, I hope that most of you are just being so cantankerous because you are having an anonymous conversation on the internet. I would hope that in real life you are a bit more kind and generous – not the kind of jerk who would ignore a crying child just because you think she is too old to be upset about sitting alone. I'd hate to think that world has become that heartless.
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:23 AM   #44
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I did pay - for 3 seats when I bought my tickets weeks ago. Delta does not have an option to pay for a specific seat assignment. If they did, I would have paid the fee. At no time did I say that I was trying to "save a buck".
Actually, Delta allows you to choose a specific seat for free (most seats) or a fee (premium seats). The airline even lets you see the seat map before you choose your flight, so that you can make sure that there are acceptable seats left (e.g. three seats together) before choosing a specific flight.
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:29 AM   #45
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I did pay - for 3 seats when I bought my tickets weeks ago. Delta does not have an option to pay for a specific seat assignment. If they did, I would have paid the fee. At no time did I say that I was trying to "save a buck".


No you paid for 3 seats on a flight , that is all the airline guarantees.

Really, I hope that most of you are just being so cantankerous because you are having an anonymous conversation on the internet. I would hope that in real life you are a bit more kind and generous – not the kind of jerk who would ignore a crying child just because you think she is too old to be upset about sitting alone. I'd hate to think that world has become that heartless.
Believe what you want but frequent fliers probably would. If my DH is coming back from work he could very well ignore her not because he is being mean, he is just tired and will have put his headphones and will be asleep before they take off. And believe me he can sleep thru anything, puking included. He actually did sleep thru a few of his fellow workers throwing up in really bad turbulence and woke up after they landed with them astounded he didn't know what had happened.

And what would you want the said "jerk" to do? I would probably tell the kid to go see their Mom or call the FA. if after I said everything was alright on the plane and they kept crying.

The truth is kids do 100% better alone than their Moms ever think they will do. I've sat beside many kids and never had one have a problem.
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