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Mar
06

How Do I Get to Sit Next to My Own Children?

Being forced to sit next to anyone other than Brad Pitt for ten hours is a basic nightmare.

your seat mate

your seat mate

So when I came across this:
Apparently, by this coming spring the Dutch airline KLM plans to allow all intercontinental passengers the right to choose their seatmates based on data uploaded from Facebook and other sites.

Facebook love

Facebook love

Which means you can basically blind date on the plane, talk about multi-tasking. PS…If your husband or boyfriend seems to be hitting the friendly skies even more than usual, check his facebook page.

Facebook profile page

Facebook profile page

And that little piece of news got me thinking about another seating issue, the one where they separate parents from children as young and sometimes younger than toddlers if they don’t have seating assignments.

I mean how can people blind date on planes using Facebook and parents can’t sit next to their own kids?

a map of a plane

a map of a plane

Parents increasingly complain they can’t get seats next to their children, even three- year olds, on packed flights. People booking through online travel sites often don’t realize the seats are unassigned. At www.bt-store.com we actually allow our clients to select their seats so this won’t happen. Otherwise, always call an airline directly or check the airline’s site.

And believe it or not, getting an assigned seat is no guarantee you’ll sit together. Airlines switch aircraft and arbitrarily change seat assignments, often leaving it a free-for-all once passengers are on board.

If you’re alone, it’s one thing, but a mother with two kids, it becomes something totally different.

moms need to be with their kids

moms need to be with their kids

You wouldn’t think anyone in their right mind would want to sit next to someone else’s kindergartner or preschooler but parents say they are not always eager to switch if it means giving up an aisle or bulkhead seat.

sit with your kids!

sit with your kids!

So what can you do besides putting your children on Facebook and trying to hook up with them that way?

1. Get to the airport early.

The sooner you’re at the gate, the sooner you can ask an airline agent to address your seating problem. If they see you pulling up to the counter with young children, they will do their darnedest to help.

2. In the unlikely event you aren’t seated together, appeal to a flight attendant once you’ve boarded.

be nice and they should help

be nice and they should help

Crew members know that families that aren’t seated together have the unique ability to make the entire cabin miserable, especially if your toddler puts up a fight. Of course this might be a tougher sell with teenagers or if all family members are adults — but it’s still worth a try.

3. If the flight attendants can’t or won’t help you, ask the person seated next to you if they’ll switch.

As long as the “fasten seat belt” sign isn’t illuminated and you’re in the same class of service, you should be able to switch. If you have young children, the pitch is easy. I mean, who really wants to be seated next to an unaccompanied toddler for 11 hours?

Some other useful pieces of advice:

Southwest

Southwest

On Southwest, for example, which has open seating, families may board at the end of the first group and before the second group, ensuring that in most cases at least one parent will be able to sit with each child. They can also pay $10 each for EarlyBird check-in, which automatically checks you in 24 hours in advance, ensuring an “A” boarding pass and better seat selection.

american airlines

american airlines

Other airlines say paying extra for the “preferred” seats improves your chances of getting seats together. At American Airlines’ these start at just $4 a segment, though they can cost more. Also good news at American, through a new automated process, will try to seat families with children 12 or under together.

But please don’t risk it,  book your flights at www.bt-store.com to ensure you and your children fly together. Follow up after the booking. Get to the airport early.

It’s not fair that you have to go through all this but until airlines change their policies you must.

Keep in mind your audience is probably conservative about dress, so be sure to remove any piercings and cover any tattoos www.domyhomework.guru prior to your interview

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