Keeping Your Kids With You On A Plane Flight
The news has recently covered several stories of families separated while traveling on an airplane. While most airlines do not guarantee that parents and their children will be seated together, there are steps you can take to ensure that your children stay with you while on the plane.
When you purchase your airline tickets, ask the customer service representative about preferred seating options. If you buy your tickets online, there may be an opportunity to choose your seats or pay extra for preferred seating. Whether you choose your seats during the checkout process online or not, make sure you still call the airline after the tickets are purchased. Let them know that you bought your tickets online, and want to make sure your children are seated with you.
Some airlines offer guaranteed seat placements if you pay an additional fee. Taking advantage of this service may cost some money, but the peace of mind is worth it. Having to ask a flight attendant to arrange seating on the day of your flight is a hassle and stressful. If you can pay a bit extra for guaranteed seats, you can avoid this hassle.
Several airlines, especially budget airlines like Southwest Airlines and JetBlue, do not assign seats. Seats are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, so whoever gets on the plane first gets the first choice of seats. These airlines often allow families with children to board early, so ask if this is possible.
Some airlines have a boarding system that is similar to first-come, first-serve, but the order of boarding is determined by the price of your ticket. If you paid the lowest ticket price, you are at the end of the boarding line. These airlines usually only allow families with very young children to board early. If your flight is on this type of airline, pay a higher ticket price to make sure you board early enough to keep your family together.
If you are unable to get guaranteed seats with your children prior to boarding the plane, or the airline makes a mistake and attempts to separate you and your children, be assertive. It is important here to keep a calm tone and a polite voice. A passenger is easily ejected from the plane if flight attendants feel threatened or harassed. Let the flight attendants know that you alone are responsible for your children, and you cannot care for them or control them if you are not seated together. Insist, calmly and politely on being seated together.
Although flight attendants prefer not to do so, they can require other passengers to give up their seats and move so that your children can remain with you. Sometimes passengers will volunteer, other times they will grumble and protest. Either way, do not interact with the other passengers other than to thank them for moving. It is the flight attendant’s job to deal with unhappy passengers, so let them.
Keeping your kids with you while on an airplane is very important. It allows you to supervise them and comfort them when necessary. It can also be very stressful for both you and your children to be separated while in the air. Use the tips you just read to make sure that you and your kids stay together while traveling.