At the risk of sounding old, I remember the days when it was easy (and free) to get a seat assignment – even adjacent seats for the whole family. Now, with some airlines charging for “premium seats” like seats toward the front and aisle and window seats (or saving them for qualified frequent flyers), it’s more different to seat a family of four or more together in adjacent seats. Ridiculous, isn’t it?
On a recent flight home from vacation, I tried to check in online the night before our flight only to find that we’d lost the seats I selected when I purchased the flights. Not only was I unable to select seats (the only available seats were single “premium” seats priced at $14 per person, per flight leg), but I was also unable to check in.
When you are in this situation, there are a few things you can do to ensure that your family can at least sit together in groups of two.
- Call the airline directly in advance and explain your situation. They can often try to accommodate you, but remember that they can still change your seats without letting you know.
- Keep checking your reservations online to make sure your seats have not been changed. If they have been changed, call the airline directly.
- If you are at the airport and are still in separate seats, ask the gate agent to assist you. Be polite and explain your situation – it helps to be courteous and friendly, even if you are frustrated.
- As a last resort, you may be able to get your fellow passengers trade seats with you.
So, what happened on our flight? The gate agent was able to give us adjacent seats (two and two, not four all together) for only our current flight, not the connection. But, after arriving at our connecting city, I went directly to the gate attendant, who was able to provide us with two sets of two adjacent seats. But the extra stress was certainly not welcome, especially with the already high stress of traveling with young children.
Have you ever had this issue? How have you dealt with it?