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Transport Minister urges airlines to stop separating parents, children

Transport Minister urges airlines to stop separating parents, children

Old Sep 30, 15, 9:47 am
  #1  
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Transport Minister urges airlines to stop separating parents, children

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...ticle26595944/

This is something that should be legislated, not urged. Parents cannot fly separately from minor children, no matter whether they have preselected seats or not. Moreover, this is quite often the airline's fault - AC separated me from my 3-year old, despite having paid for preferred (non-exit row) seats, and we had to rely on the goodwill of strangers to be able to fly YYZ-YVR together.

Separating parents from their children is unacceptable, and just puts other passengers that have (also) paid for their seat in the situation of having to trade for an inferior seat or be regarded as jerks. Just make seat selection mandatory if that's what it takes, and then frigging honor it.
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Old Sep 30, 15, 9:57 am
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There should be a penalty if the airline is at fault for separating adult from child if the seats were selected together. Otherwise, the onus falls on the parents to plan properly.
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Old Sep 30, 15, 9:59 am
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Originally Posted by Mauricio23 View Post
Just make seat selection mandatory if that's what it takes, and then frigging honor it.
Yep, and let the airline figure out how they can oversell after all seats have been taken
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Old Sep 30, 15, 10:04 am
  #4  
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I've posted it before and I'll repeat it. And perhaps our legislators need to get out of their offices and see what it's like in the real world of airline travel.

Onboard a flight to LAX, a mom dad and 2 kids were separated. How they did not know this before they boarded is still a mystery to me (do some people really not look at their seat assignments on their boarding passes?)

Dad and 1 child are seated in Preferred. Mom and other child are in the back of the bus somewhere. She throws a fit. She say she doesn't understand why they are not seated together.

After some back and forth, we, the audience, come to understand this family bought Tango tickets and did not want to pay extra for their assigned seats and thus got them at the gate, so family separated.

Mom does not care, won't sit down and is getting agitated. She wants to sit up front with her husband and other child. FA says that the upfront rows are Preferred and pax paid extra for those. The mom can't understand how that applies to her.

Pilot finally makes an announcement for everyone to take their seats so we can get going. Mom is adamant. FA says they will try and deal with this after takeoff.
IIRC, someone in a row ahead of me gave up their seats and swapped.

Moral of the story:
Airlines tell people they can choose to pay only for what they want - the flight, a seat, their checked bag, a meal. But many once-a-year fliers don know, don't read or don't care. Then they show up to fly and they are annoyed.

I'm really sorry that I am not more sympathetic, but I see this nonsense all the time.

It seems that there are still many people who either won't or don't know how to avail themselves of the info available regarding their flights and then get annoyed at the airline.

BTW, there were plenty of people on Preferred who paid extra for their seats and get rather annoyed at all the gate assigned people who get to sit up there for free.
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Old Sep 30, 15, 10:09 am
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What a brave stand from a Minister. Just wait until all the people who are Pro-splitting children from their parents on flights with strangers get a hold of this.

If you're flying with your kid, you should be forced to pay for seat selection if not included in fare/status. Simple as that. If any airline separates the seat selection of parent/child PNR, the fines should be swift and heavy to ensure they understand the stress, fear and frustration being separated from your child.
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Old Sep 30, 15, 10:10 am
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Originally Posted by 24left View Post
Mom does not care, won't sit down and is getting agitated. She wants to sit up front with her husband and other child. FA says that the upfront rows are Preferred and pax paid extra for those. The mom can't understand how that applies to her.
Should have seated Mom, Dad and children in the cargo hold. They all get to sit together, and nobody else is forced to listen to their selfish rants. Problem solved.
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Old Sep 30, 15, 10:12 am
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Originally Posted by CloudsBelow View Post
What a brave stand from a Minister. Just wait until all the people who are Pro-splitting children from their parents on flights with strangers get a hold of this.
^

If you're flying with your kid, you should be forced to pay for seat selection if not included in fare/status. Simple as that. If any airline separates the seat selection of parent/child PNR, the fines should be swift and heavy to ensure they understand the stress, fear and frustration being separated from your child.
Agree 100%
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Old Sep 30, 15, 10:19 am
  #8  
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AC, and in fact no airline I can think of, will ever post a NOTE TO PARENTS on their booking pages reminding them that if they buy fares that do not include seat selection, they may not sit together.

It is sad that they are separated, but IMO, it is another example of people not taking personal responsibility.

I'm not going to apologize for taking the time to ensure that I understand the rules that apply to the tickets I purchase either for myself or groups of family members. Family and friends of mine who fly as a group with children all know the fare rules and never play get-your-seat-at-the-gate lotto.
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Old Sep 30, 15, 10:25 am
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Perhaps AC should introduce a policy and program a system where a Tango reservation has 3 or more people, they are able to get assigned seats for free starting at the back of the plane, as long as the seats are adjacent to each other - e.g. seats 35 A, B, C.

Simple solution.

Consider the free assigned seats adjacent to each other as a "perk" for a "volume sale"
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Old Sep 30, 15, 10:26 am
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Originally Posted by Mauricio23 View Post
- AC separated me from my 3-year old, despite having paid for preferred (non-exit row) seats, and we had to rely on the goodwill of strangers to be able to fly YYZ-YVR together.
How could this have happened? A last minute equipment change?
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Old Sep 30, 15, 10:30 am
  #11  
 
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I'd love to see some kind of middle ground here.

When I'm traveling with my family, I don't want to select specific seats, I just want to ensure we're seated together. I don't really care about window, middle, aisle, front, or back. Actually I'm quite happy with back in general since it (usually) gives less-obstructed access to the lav, which is a good thing 'cause kids aren't always good at "holding it"!

Find a way to address this, and we might get somewhere. And also perhaps more strongly advertise that not choosing seat selection really means you may not get seats adjacent to your party. Obviously many people assume they will be seated as close together as possible, and while it might be a naive assumption among FT regulars, it's not a ridiculous one!
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Old Sep 30, 15, 10:34 am
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It generally happens when advance seat selection is not taken advantage of & in fairness there is often a cost attached. Having said that not once ever have I operated a flight where the crew could not work it so that Parents and Children are together. Lets not debate the audacity of asking Customers to switch seats (it's been amply covered here) there are enough individuals on board willing to accommodate families who find themselves in this situation.
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Old Sep 30, 15, 10:40 am
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Originally Posted by ACYYZ/SD View Post
It generally happens when advance seat selection is not taken advantage of & in fairness there is often a cost attached. Having said that not once ever have I operated a flight where the crew could not work it so that Parents and Children are together. Lets not debate the audacity of asking Customers to switch seats (it's amply been covered here) there are enough individuals on board willing to accommodate families who find themselves in this situation.

To be clear, the first time I posted this episode, I suggested that FA deserved an award (for diplomatic skills alone).

I did not suggest it was audacious to ask customers to switch. Most of the switching is often a seated customer who doesn't mind moving.

On a flight from SFO, a young mom with baby was looking to sit near her parents. I was close enough, offered her my Preferred seat and had a row at the back to myself. All good.

Still does not solve the problem of the current way a family group buys their Tango seats and chooses not to pay for seat selection.

There are ALWAYS solutions, but it would be better for the crew and the passengers if they were resolved PRIOR to boarding.

.

Last edited by 24left; Sep 30, 15 at 11:45 am Reason: spelling
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Old Sep 30, 15, 10:43 am
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Originally Posted by ACYYZ/SD View Post
Lets not debate the audacity of asking Customers to switch seats (it's been amply covered here) there are enough individuals on board willing to accommodate families who find themselves in this situation.
Arguably that "enough individuals" are willing "to accommodate" is one good reason nothing is ever done to deal with the issue.

Push the issue on passengers who paid for their seats but in the end lose them?

People ought to know that if they don't get seats assigned they may well end up being separated. And yes, the system ought to make it clear. For better or worse.
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Old Sep 30, 15, 10:43 am
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Originally Posted by ACYYZ/SD View Post
It generally happens when advance seat selection is not taken advantage of & in fairness there is often a cost attached.
Bolding mine. Whether we like it or not, the airlines have monetized seat selection for low end fares. Having a child does not automatically absolve parents from playing by the rules. Fairness has no basis in this discussion unless you want to talk about the fairness of parents not planning and then expecting others to share in their "crisis".

Disclosure: I fly with my young one multiple times per year.
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