Basic Economy for family

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Old Jun 20, 19, 9:29 pm
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Basic Economy for family

I havenít flown DL in years so forgive my ignorance. My brother and his 9-year-old son are planning some travel. Is there any way for them to purchase basic economy tickets and still be sure they can sit together? Can they do this for a fee?

Itís possible that another way to phrase this is to ask, if they arrive at the gate as gate check-in is opening and ask politely, what is the chance that a GA will accommodate them?
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Old Jun 20, 19, 9:46 pm
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9/10 times they will be seated together.I fly BE a lot, price is important to me...and have yet to not be seated together. If you want to be 100% sure then they should probably buy regular economy however I wouldn't.
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Old Jun 20, 19, 9:49 pm
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AFAIK, "gate check-in" is not a thing.

Is there a way to be sure they can sit together? Yes, buy a non-Basic ticket. On a Basic ticket? No.
Explaining to either a check-in agent or a gate agent that you have a 9-year-old in your party will probably grant you sympathy if the flight is not full and allow you to reassign seats that were previously not together. The problem there is, if there are 2 adjacent seats available, you probably would have been assigned them automatically at the check-in window as their algorithms are supposed to try to seat parties on the same PNR together.

On flights with low levels of elites, it's possible you'd even get a C+ seat if that's all that's left. But it really comes down to how full the flight is and who else was already assigned seats. On DL, once I get to the gate I find they're pretty accommodating if you have a justifiable cause.
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Old Jun 20, 19, 10:59 pm
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Fate checkin is possible, if already airside fuel to flying in on separate ticket. However I believe OP means when the GA finally arrives to work the flight.

Congress passed law requiring airlines seat parents and children together. However in the 2.5-3 years since, no rules have been promulgated by the US DOT and they've publicly stated they dont believe them necessary.

DL doesnt promise you'll sit together, but agents are supposed to give priority to children/parent sitting together.
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Old Jun 21, 19, 7:07 am
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Typically, the last row and sometimes two, are blocked from seat selection. They use those rows to try to accommodate the Basic Economy fliers when you check in or the seat algorithm runs. If all fliers are booked on the same PNR, it will "try" to seat you together. That said, if it is a full flight, you could be anywhere.
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Old Jun 21, 19, 7:26 am
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On most aircraft, the last two rows are blocked for airport assignment so that families can be seated together.

Passengers on basic economy fares are probably most likely to get middle seats in any regular coach row.

YMMV.
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Old Jun 21, 19, 7:55 am
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Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
Fate checkin is possible, if already airside fuel to flying in on separate ticket.
What on earth does this mean?
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Old Jun 21, 19, 8:35 am
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If you are willing to pay a fee to sit together, why not just pay the 20 to 30 dollars extra it will cost most likely for a main ticket instead of a basic economy ticket?

Generally, from what I have seen on the flights I fly mostly that are domestic JFK to FLL, for example, the difference between basic and main is less then 15 dollars.
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Old Jun 21, 19, 9:03 am
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Originally Posted by HWGeeks View Post
If you are willing to pay a fee to sit together, why not just pay the 20 to 30 dollars extra it will cost most likely for a main ticket instead of a basic economy ticket?

Generally, from what I have seen on the flights I fly mostly that are domestic JFK to FLL, for example, the difference between basic and main is less then 15 dollars.
Out of MSP the difference between basic and main is often $30-$35 per person each way. For two people round-trip that's over $100.

As for basic economy for a family, the biggest question is whether the 9-year-old would be okay sitting alone if there's no seats next to each other. While checking in at T-24 will help, and the check-in desk and gate agents may try to pair them together, if it's a full flight they may still be separated despite doing everything they can. If that's an unacceptable risk, buying a main cabin ticket, selecting seats on booking, and checking every Sunday to ensure there's no equipment swaps (or that, if there was one, that seats were re-assigned correctly) is the best way to ensure that the seats are next to each other.
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Old Jun 21, 19, 9:15 am
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DL (and other airlines) have created an untenable situation with basic economy for parents and children. Young families are often the most stretched for cash and need the cheapest tickets.

It seems that these fares effectively discriminates against parties traveling with children, as they are not really available to them without risking not being seated together, which is not a viable option for many children.
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Old Jun 21, 19, 9:39 am
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By "Gate Check-in" yes, I meant when the GA comes to work the flight.

My brother and nephew are planning a multi-year project to visit every NFL stadium, hopefully involving their favorite team (the Eagles). Obviously within a few years my nephew will be old enough to not have to be next to his dad. The prospective trip this year will be PHL-ATL, not a ridiculous length. And yes, it seemed like a lot of money to pay to "upgrade" from BE to economy just to sit together since that's the only non-BE perk they need.
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Old Jun 21, 19, 9:40 am
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Originally Posted by indufan View Post
What on earth does this mean?
Should read "Gate checkin is possible, if already airside from flying in on separate ticket."

Upgraded to S9, and they placed a permanent screen protector on it. The garbage its reading as input is getting ridiculous. Add in autocorrect and that It's trying to do Swype typing. I've always been big fingered, but this screen protector is going to be end of my sanity. I wish you could see what this simple post first read as.
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Old Jun 21, 19, 9:42 am
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Originally Posted by jebr View Post
Out of MSP the difference between basic and main is often $30-$35 per person each way. For two people round-trip that's over $100.

As for basic economy for a family, the biggest question is whether the 9-year-old would be okay sitting alone if there's no seats next to each other. While checking in at T-24 will help, and the check-in desk and gate agents may try to pair them together, if it's a full flight they may still be separated despite doing everything they can. If that's an unacceptable risk, buying a main cabin ticket, selecting seats on booking, and checking every Sunday to ensure there's no equipment swaps (or that, if there was one, that seats were re-assigned correctly) is the best way to ensure that the seats are next to each other.
Every kid is different, but MOST 9 year olds would be just fine sitting alone. If the parent is within a few rows, especially so. And if there are special needs that make that not the case, then pick a different flight or fare.
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Old Jun 21, 19, 9:49 am
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Originally Posted by DCLoppy View Post
Every kid is different, but MOST 9 year olds would be just fine sitting alone. If the parent is within a few rows, especially so. And if there are special needs that make that not the case, then pick a different flight or fare.

Being forced to pay more for this, is, in my view, discriminatory. I'm someone who never purchases a BE fare, but I still think this is unfair.

Also, airlines don't allow nine year olds to fly alone without flying as an unaccompanied minor, with the FA's knowing to look out for them, usually seated in a bulkhead or someplace close to galley, so this is a bit of a double standard. I realize that having a parent on the same plane is very different from flying alone, however, there are still potential problems. Especially given the many reports of sexual harassment inflight, poorly behaved drunk passengers, etc, I don't feel that it's appropriate to allow a nine year old to just sit anywhere without an adult really keeping an eye out.
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Old Jun 21, 19, 9:58 am
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Originally Posted by jdrtravel View Post
Being forced to pay more for this, is, in my view, discriminatory. I'm someone who never purchases a BE fare, but I still think this is unfair.

Also, airlines don't allow nine year olds to fly alone without flying as an unaccompanied minor, with the FA's knowing to look out for them, usually seated in a bulkhead or someplace close to galley, so this is a bit of a double standard. I realize that having a parent on the same plane is very different from flying alone, however, there are still potential problems. Especially given the many reports of sexual harassment inflight, poorly behaved drunk passengers, etc, I don't feel that it's appropriate to allow a nine year old to just sit anywhere without an adult really keeping an eye out.
If the parents are worried about such thing, then they are free to buy a main cabin fare. I don't see what the issue is.... A basic economy fare isn't for everyone.
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