To not book reserved flight seats for us and the kids?

(728 Posts)
LittlePudding1 Tue 18-Jun-13 16:47:48

Hi, I have a 6 year old and a 3 year old and was under the impression that even if we weren't all sat together together on a plane they would sit me with 1dc and dh with the other but a couple of people have told me they can sit you anywhere. Surely they wouldn't sit a 3 year old away from a parent and next to a random stranger, would they?

Foosyerdoos Tue 18-Jun-13 16:50:40

We have never reserved seats on a package holiday flight. I have always assumed no one will want a random child sat next to them and will swap. We always check in early though.
On a scheduled flight we just pick seats when we check in online.

ruby1234 Tue 18-Jun-13 16:52:22

Why take the risk? Just reserve the seats!

SuperiorCat Tue 18-Jun-13 16:53:03

Don't be surprised if you end up separately, especially if it is Ryanair.

They seriously don't care whether you want to sit together unless you pay for it.

Probably someone would swap, but not necessarily, especially if they have paid to sit together

MrsMcEnroe Tue 18-Jun-13 16:54:45

We once made the mistake of not booking our seats on a Ryanair flight and the DCs were aged 4 and 2 at the time. By the time we got on the plane, after everybody else who had reserved their seats, their were 4 individual seats left. The flight attendants were not bothered. In the end DH managed to persuade someone to move so he could sit next to DS, and I persuaded someone to swap so that I could sit on one side of the aisle with DD, aged 2, on the other side - I was able to reach out and hold her hand during takeoff and landing, she was really upset and NOBODY would move so that I could sit with her, bastards. She was 2!!!!!!!!

It was horrendous. The cabin crew and other passengers didn't give a shit. I know there are regulations about unaccompanied minors etc but honestly, when it came down to it, nobody cared.

We have always booked our seats since then!

SuperiorCat Tue 18-Jun-13 16:56:34

MrsMcEnroe while I would feel really sorry for you, if I'd paid £60 to make sure the 4 of us are sitting together then I would not be best pleased that I was expected to move because you had chosen not to pay.

LastTangoInDevonshire Tue 18-Jun-13 16:58:18

Many years ago I was persuaded by a parent to move so his child could sit in the row in front of him. It was just supposed to be for the take-off and landing. Then he refused to swap back and I spent the whole journey separated from the people I was travelling abroad with.

I wouldn't do it again I can assure you.

squeakytoy Tue 18-Jun-13 16:58:39

I agree with SuperiorCat. If I had paid to reserve my own seats, why the heck should I swap with someone else. No chance.

Thereonthestair Tue 18-Jun-13 16:59:01

I understaood they weren't insured to carry unaccompanied minors.

Last time we flew we hadn't reserved seats because when we booked you couldn't but by the time we flew you could (return journey bought separately we reserved). We always do late online check in because of the sheer number of times we have had to claim on insurance for flights not taken (went into labout at 29 weeks, fil died, ds went into hospital - you know usual expected things) and it is much much easier to switch flights than claim ryaniar flight or easyjey flights back on travel insurance becuase of getting proof you didn't fly from the airline...

Anyway the flight was full and the staff did have to switch us around so one of us sat next to DS (3 disabled - whole different thread about what they told us for his needs for his disability) but it was very very stressful doing so. In the end all fine, and no other passengers paid, but I would always pay if i had the choice. Why have somethign else to worry about

carabos Tue 18-Jun-13 16:59:29

IME they will always try to sit families together. The hassle of not doing that, of putting a random 2yr-old next to a random couple isn't something the cabin crew really want to deal with when they are trying to get a late departing, hot, crowded plane away.

Last time DH, DS2 and I flew together, we didn't reserve seats as we didn't care if we sat apart for the 2 1/2 hr flight. The crew still sat us together as "You're a family". DS2 was 19 confused.

Heavywheezing Tue 18-Jun-13 16:59:31

Why should people swap for you ?

I buy priority boarding to make sure we all sit together. And get to the gate early. Which is what I suggest you do.

You make life more difficult for the cabin crew, who are not there to find you seats etc, to get you away on time.

It's your decision obviously but don't expect others have paid to give up their seats because you haven't paid.

Ladymuck Tue 18-Jun-13 17:00:01

Now that they have offered you the option to pay in advance and select your seating, they don't have to move other passengers for you. And it isn't just Ryanair/Easyjet who do this: Air Canada refused to ask anyone to move when 4 of us were in separate rows on a nighttime transatlantic flight at Easter.

If they haven't given you the chance to prebook seats (ie if you book late and all prebookable seats are gone), then you may have a better case to argue.

hermioneweasley Tue 18-Jun-13 17:00:13

Agree with superiorcat. This is the deal with cheap flights. If you want to guarantee your seating, you need to pay.

tmae Tue 18-Jun-13 17:00:42

Yeah I wouldn't move if I had paid and someone else didn't have the foresight to do so, it isn't my problem. I would feel bad for your child, but not for you as you decided to risk it, you are the one who caused your child distress no-one else.

Also I have a very bad fear of flying and would book a seat I felt comfortable and no amount of love nor money would make me move.

I don't really understand why you wouldn't book seats in advance to be honest but to each their own!

hardbeingme Tue 18-Jun-13 17:00:47

we flew ryanair, didn't reserve seats and then found that we HAD to sit together, you have to be there to arrange the life jackets, breathing stuff and such (after making sure your own is correctly fitted of course)
it meant that a few people had to be moved to accomodate us which was a bit awkward but no one seemed to mind.
On the way home we mentioned again that we had been told we needed seats together but we were still told to queue and people still had to move to accomodate.
booking seats would save having to move other people around to suit you but you do have to sit with your dcs (not sure till what age) regardless.

Floggingmolly Tue 18-Jun-13 17:01:23

What SuperiorCat said. Most of the people you would be expecting to swap with you will have actually paid the reservation fee. Why would they suck it up because you haven't?

Talkinpeace Tue 18-Jun-13 17:02:38

this easter we did the Easyjet reserve seats thingy
once you allow for the fact that we got a free bag into the hold and priority boarding and picked EXACTLY where we wanted to sit on the plane (right hand side, in front of the wing, two window seats) there and back
it was only about £10 dearer for 4 of us.

I've flown back from the US with my kids sitting away from me next to strangers ....

Scarletbanner Tue 18-Jun-13 17:03:58

I've never paid either and have always been seated with the dcs.

If they separated us, and I was the random adult who ended up sitting next to unaccompanied dd (4), I would be wanting the airline to do something about it.

MrsCampbellBlack Tue 18-Jun-13 17:05:21

This is such a rubbish policy by the airlines. People generally behave pretty dreadfully on flights, in a 'I'm alright Jack' manner, note the people who recline their seats on short flights.

But if going with children, I would definitely pre-book.

ShadeofViolet Tue 18-Jun-13 17:07:54

I wouldn't swap with you.

I have paid £75 so we can sit together on a flight to Greece next year. I know its a bit of a pain to pay but its worth it IMO.

ChunkyPickle Tue 18-Jun-13 17:07:56

I agree that if you've paid, why should you move, but on the other hand, if they are compelled by regulations to seat you together (after all, are they taking responsibility for your 4 year old should there be an emergency, or regarding meal allergies, or any other thing that could happen to a lone 4 year old), then I don't think that they should profit from that.

Their systems should notice that they have a requirement to fulfill, and assign seating accordingly upon booking (ie. not at the last minute so people have to move). If there is no room on the flight for you to sit together, then they would just not sell you the tickets.

I know it'll never happen, but that's what should happen.

SuperiorCat Tue 18-Jun-13 17:09:21

Oh and in case I come across as selfish - the reason that we pay extra to sit together is because I have a 14yo 6' DS with ASD, so he needs to be near both of us for his safety and that of everyone else.

Why doesn't everyone who flies on Ryan Air just refuse to pander to their up-selling shenanigans? No one pay extra to book seats, then it will become like other airlines who shock, offer this for free, on a first come, first served basis.

velvetspoon Tue 18-Jun-13 17:11:05

I suppose it depends on the cost, if you can afford it I'd say pay to avoid the hassle. But if you need every penny for the hols don't. I've never had pre-booked seats and always been able to sit with my DC (without other people moving). Possibly we've just been lucky!

chickieno1 Tue 18-Jun-13 17:11:24

I don't book seats on Ryanair etc but make sure I get to the gate early to q. Or dh does and rushes on and saves seats for ds and I

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