Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Special Interest Travel > Travel with Children
Reload this Page >

Seating arrangement preference - family of 4

Seating arrangement preference - family of 4

Old Dec 21, 17, 12:04 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Programs: AS MVP, Marriott Gold, SPG Gold
Posts: 189
Seating arrangement preference - family of 4

I am traveling with my wife and 2 kids (ages 2 and 5) this week and we will be on a 737. This is the first time we will have all flown together since we have had to buy each kid their own seat and therefore can no longer fit in one row together.

Iím curious what other people have found to work best for selecting seats for a flight with a similar seating arrangement. We decided to go with filling one row of 3, and then grabbing the aisle seat directly across. However, I almost went with 2 and 2 in back-to-back rows so each kid was with one parent.

What have you found to be best?
Whowouldanewman is offline  
Old Dec 21, 17, 12:25 am
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Berlin, Germany; Toronto, Canada; and SW Florida, USA
Programs: UA 1K, BA Gold, Hyatt Globalist, and assorted others
Posts: 22,882
3+1, for sure. Kids at window and middle. That way they canít get out and no others are inconvenienced. Lone aisle parent is responsible for drinks run.
LondonElite is online now  
Old Dec 21, 17, 2:04 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: TXL
Posts: 6
yes, 3+1 is a good option
Airfurt is offline  
Old Dec 22, 17, 11:50 pm
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Programs: AS MVP, Marriott Gold, SPG Gold
Posts: 189
The 3+1 worked out great, especially since the middle was open next to the +1 which came in handy late in the flight.
Whowouldanewman is offline  
Old Jan 1, 18, 7:15 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: CAV8 or YYJ
Posts: 234
We always book 2+2. Neither one of us adults wants to deal with both kids alone. The parent across the aisle is pretty much useless. We try to rotate which kid sits in front and with which parent for each leg of the trip. Although now that our boys are teenagers I may start putting them together in front of my husband and I...
​​​
sucheng likes this.
zoyabean is offline  
Old Jan 3, 18, 1:24 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Austin TX
Programs: Mr Swise: AAdvantage LifetimePlt/3MM, HH Dmnd, SPG Plt
Posts: 1,442
We will sometimes gamble and start out with a whole row, booking windows and aisles of a row, and leave the middle seats empty in hopes that no one selects them. For less busy times/flights, this has worked. A couple of times, we have offered to trade with one of the middle seat passengers, which they gladly and graciously accepted, which then put us all together, with one parent across the aisle. This seems to work well as a strategy for the elite seats, where you have to pay extra for more room, because who wants to pay extra for a middle seat? They seem to be the last to get selected. We get access to the "more room" seats at no extra cost on AA with my husband's status, so it works out.

However, when we still had a toddler, we went 2x2, with one parent wrangling each kid. Kid in the window, parent in the middle. Sometimes, we'd employ the same approach with consecutive rows on one side. Depends on what's available.

Our boys are 5 and 7 now, and they get completely absorbed in the IFE and require very little minding, so having my husband across the aisle almost next to me is actually a nice treat after ~4 years of him being one row up.

Last edited by swise; Jan 9, 18 at 12:15 pm
swise is offline  
Old Jan 9, 18, 5:53 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 7
I have to agree with some of the others who say 2+2. That makes a lot more sense. I don't have kids of my own but some of my married friends follow this method. It'll be a lot easier to manage the kids and keep them occupied this way, especially if it's a long flight. 3+1 will put the entire burden on one parent.
rrjohn is offline  
Old Jan 16, 18, 8:55 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 312
3 + 1.

2 + 2 arrangement either puts the parent in the middle seat, or puts the kid next to a stranger.
Anna Phor is offline  
Old Jan 16, 18, 12:52 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Silicon Valley, CA (SJC, SFO)
Programs: UA 1P, AA, *A Gold, Hyatt GP, HHonors, SPG, Priority Club
Posts: 170
We tend to do 2+2 in 2 consecutive rows, but window and aisle - gambling the middle seats stay empty (you can always switch - no one wants to sit between you.). Consecutive rows actually makes it easier to communicate and pass treats back and forth (too hard across the aisle). Sometimes the kids (8 and 11) even decide they want to sit together, leaving DH and I wonderfully alone to pretend we're on a movie date.
sucheng is offline  
Old Jan 16, 18, 1:43 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: YVR, HNL
Programs: AS MVPG, UA peon, BA Bronze, Marriott Gold, HH Diamond, Fairmont Plat (RIP)
Posts: 5,106
Originally Posted by Anna Phor View Post
3 + 1.

2 + 2 arrangement either puts the parent in the middle seat, or puts the kid next to a stranger.
Honest question here, what is wrong with a stranger sitting beside your kid? Do parents really think that every stranger on an airplane is a pedophile or is there another reason that I am missing?
Finkface is offline  
Old Jan 16, 18, 4:06 pm
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Programs: AS MVP, Marriott Gold, SPG Gold
Posts: 189
Originally Posted by Finkface View Post
Honest question here, what is wrong with a stranger sitting beside your kid? Do parents really think that every stranger on an airplane is a pedophile or is there another reason that I am missing?
I wouldn't want my kid sitting next to a stranger because I'd be worried about my kid bothering the stranger. It wouldn't be due to concern for my kid.
Whowouldanewman is offline  
Old Feb 15, 18, 9:16 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 47
We did 3x1 with a 4yo and baby, worked very well. One plus is that if something happens in the 3 row (ie, puke), you can send the kid to 1's lap while you clean up. I imagine 2x2 would work fine once the kids are older.
tubulus is offline  
Old Feb 18, 18, 4:51 pm
  #13  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 88,278
Originally Posted by Whowouldanewman View Post
I am traveling with my wife and 2 kids (ages 2 and 5) this week and we will be on a 737. This is the first time we will have all flown together since we have had to buy each kid their own seat and therefore can no longer fit in one row together.

Iím curious what other people have found to work best for selecting seats for a flight with a similar seating arrangement. We decided to go with filling one row of 3, and then grabbing the aisle seat directly across. However, I almost went with 2 and 2 in back-to-back rows so each kid was with one parent.

What have you found to be best?
If you have a kicker, 2+2 may be better.
GUWonder is offline  
Old Feb 20, 18, 10:54 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: NYC
Programs: DL PM, Marriott Gold, Hertz PC, National Exec
Posts: 6,669
Other thing to consider is carseats - if the kids are in carseats, they need to be in the window (unless you're on a widebody, in which case they can be in the center section or at the window), so you might end up with AB/EF (on a 3x3).
cestmoi123 is offline  
Old Feb 21, 18, 3:31 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Programs: DL, UA, AA, Hilton, Marriott, Priority Club
Posts: 1,191
When I flew airlines with assigned seating with our kids (same age spread, but a year older than yours), I took whatever I could get without paying to have them with an adult. Frequently 2+2, especially if flying a plane with 1 side with only 2 seats on that side.

Now we mostly fly Southwest. If the plane doesn't look like it'll be full we each take a kid and do aisle/window in hopes of middle seats staying open. If we know it's a full flight we typically do 3+1, younger child at the window, me, older child on the aisle, and husband across the aisle. My husband is a big man so he needs the aisle. He helps the older child across from him.

Honestly since we have enough tablets to go around flying with the kids is pretty easy these days.
AsiaTraveler is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread