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  • jampot 22 posts

    Hi all – ive just upgraded a flight (2x adults + 2 and 4 year olds) for a flight this Saturday in CE. As a silver member the only seats remaining are either solo seats split across 10 rows, or emergency exit pairs.

    Would BA move me at check in to ensure our children are next to an adult (I’m aware the middle table is in the way of pairs), or would they be able to help me if I call?

    Many thanks

    Jamie

    NorthernLass 8,262 posts

    They may have allocated your seats already but you won’t be able to see them until check-in. Of course they are supposed to sit children with parents (however IIRC this only has to be in an adjacent row). They are going to have to move other passengers to accommodate you, although of course this might turn out well for anyone who ends up getting an emergency exit row (as long as enough meals are uploaded).

    I would wait until OLCI opens and see where they’ve put you, you’ve still got plenty of time to try and call after that if you’re really unhappy with the seating.

    Be aware though that readers have reported recently being seated apart from young children and BA being unwilling to assist. You’d hope that with a 2 and 4 year old, your fellow passengers would be accommodating, but again some people can be surprisingly intransigent with these things!

    ed_fly 235 posts

    Amazing that someone would rather keep thier booked seat and sit next to a random 2 / 4 year old child, who’s separated from their parent(s).

    NorthernLass 8,262 posts

    I know! But there’s a thread on here somewhere with several examples of people encountering this. I had a quick look but couldn’t find it.

    I suppose they would argue that they had chosen/paid for their seat x months in advance and why should they give it up for someone who didn’t get in there early enough. I couldn’t bear a child’s distress though, and the thought of what might happen in an emergency situation when the parent would obviously want to locate the chid before complying with evacuation instructions.

    ed_fly 235 posts

    Quite. I wouldn’t be happy about giving my seat up, but having a kid that young next to me, wouldn’t justify remaining there. If it’s someone’s partner, or 17 year old kid different question. But a young child, I’d definitely swap seats.

    It’s also not always in control of the parents. I was travelling with my family recently, had seats booked, flight was cancelled, rebooked onto a flight the next morning. Broadly kept together, but certainly not in the same configuration that we’d booked.

    ukpolak 73 posts

    Last min cancellation for a flight last Sunday and was rebooked to same destination albeit from a different UK origin airport.

    Surprise surprise I guess we were in and amongst the last people to be booked on to the (rebooked) flight, so indeed all of us (2 adults and children aged 5 and 7) all seated apart and they couldn’t do anything about it at check-in.

    It was a case of take it or leave a day later and miss some precious half term holiday time away etc.

    The check-in agent did their best but I got them to confirm they were seating us outside of their own policy. No uograde, lounge access etc or anything offered but he did put on an orange “priority” luggage sticker on our cases, which made no difference when we came out of our 90 min immigration queue at Palma on Sunday morning 🙂

    JDB 4,643 posts

    Amazing that someone would rather keep thier booked seat and sit next to a random 2 / 4 year old child, who’s separated from their parent(s).

    I’m not really surprised when one reads the sheer number of posts on this site agonising about which seat(s) to choose. Like voting intentions, I’m not sure how many people really tell the truth about their willingness to move, perhaps to accomodate a late upgrader. Would you genuinely be willing and/or happy to move from 1A to 7C in CE? Does it make a difference if the move is purely because the parents were too tight to book seats together vs being rebooked on to a flight after disruption?

    jampot 22 posts

    Thanks for the help – will cross my fingers for check in!

    ChrisBCN 293 posts

    I’m not sure how many people really tell the truth

    Here’s my truth. If you offer me a better seat than the one I booked and paid for, I’ll move. If you don’t, I won’t. Not my fault if you didn’t organize yourself properly/were too cheap to pay seat fee.

    If there’s a disruption thing, you better hope to get me in a good mood, but I’m not moving too far 😎

    NorthernLass 8,262 posts

    I hope you’re not including me in that assertion, @JDB 🤪 Despite the fun of planning, ultimately a flight is a means to get from A to B as safely as possible and that (IMO) includes children sitting with their parents. Also, the welfare of children is paramount, and trumps any amount of money and or eager anticipation expended on any seat on a plane.

    I’m pretty much hard-wired to plan for the worst though, and my default mode is to consider anything which could possibly go wrong in a situation!

    I don’t actually blame the parents in this situation – BA is all too ready to sell upgrades and leave frontline staff and passengers to deal with the fallout. I’m sure it would be possible to have a system which prevents families booking into a cabin where there are no suitable seating options, just like under 16s can’t reserve an exit row, but of course this would damage the profits.

    *But possibly late upgraders should consider the pitfalls as well!

    NorthernLass 8,262 posts

    I’m not sure how many people really tell the truth

    Here’s my truth. If you offer me a better seat than the one I booked and paid for, I’ll move. If you don’t, I won’t. Not my fault if you didn’t organize yourself properly/were too cheap to pay seat fee.

    If there’s a disruption thing, you better hope to get me in a good mood, but I’m not moving too far 😎

    In all honesty, you’re better off moving than sitting next to a 2 year old, if it’s not yours! They are messy, noisy creatures and not ideal travel companions.

    Reney 791 posts

    I was once on a 12 hour flight where the parent let this (i assume) 5-7 year old ish child eat loads of food and ran up and down the aisle. The kid sat in front of me, puked a couple of hours before landing. The puke splashed all over my stuff. So no way I am sitting next to someone else’s child without the parent. I would however have to remind myself of this story if I am swapping a non middle seat to a middle seat for a long flight.

    John 1,049 posts

    Would you genuinely be willing and/or happy to move from 1A to 7C in CE? Does it make a difference if the move is purely because the parents were too tight to book seats together vs being rebooked on to a flight after disruption?

    I would however have to remind myself of this story if I am swapping a non middle seat to a middle seat for a long flight.

    If the child is in 7A and the parent is in 1C, the parent should move to 7C rather than the child moving to 1A, if the child is even allowed to sit in row 1. If a child is travelling with one parent and they are split up and both in middle seats, the person being asked to move should be given the seat further forward (if they want it, on flights using airbridges – though occasionally backfires if disembarkation unexpectedly happens from the back only).

    I was on a BA flight where someone had a row of CE to themselves, he asked if his companion in Y could sit next to him in CE but not get the meal. The cabin crew said no but he persisted, saying they were nervous about flying etc etc. The solution was that he was sent to Y and the person sitting next to his companion got moved to CE, he couldn’t say no after all the spiel about the anxiety – and there was mention of how the table wouldn’t be in the way in Y 🙂

    ed_fly 235 posts

    A two year old screaming and crying for their parents, sat in a dirty, smelly nappy. Not my idea of fun. I’m swapping.

    Michael C 705 posts

    I’m sure 4 people sitting close together in Y would be happy to change
    and be spread out in J…

    NorthernLass 8,262 posts

    Puts me in mind of my DOH-MAN experience and the family who managed to wangle the 4 bulkhead seats!

    Reney 791 posts

    i recall someone on here said they prefer PE than J with young kids cause you can’t see them especially in long periods of seat belt sign on.

    jjoohhnn 31 posts

    Last min cancellation for a flight last Sunday and was rebooked to same destination albeit from a different UK origin airport.
    ..

    The check-in agent did their best but I got them to confirm they were seating us outside of their own policy. No uograde, lounge access etc or anything offered but he did put on an orange “priority” luggage sticker on our cases, which made no difference when we came out of our 90 min immigration queue at Palma on Sunday morning 🙂

    Did you try again at the gate? I’ve seen seat changes etc happen there. It’s sometimes easier as there are no-shows which aren’t known about whilst checkin is still open.

    NorthernLass 8,262 posts

    @Reney – OP is flying in CE so that’s not an option.

    Michael C 705 posts

    Also, remember the rule is “within one row” of the parents, so
    some placements that might seem to be outside the rules may not be!

    vetjames 69 posts

    I am sure BA will resolve this for you once you get past the moronic “computer says no” first line of defence. You don’t have too much time so that I would email the CEO. His email is quickly found with google as it’s included in CAA submissions.

    If you fail to have it resolved before arriving at the airport, put up a stink, and if still not resolved before boarding demand to speak with the purser while standing at the aircraft door.

    Obviously, your communication needs to focus on the 2-year-old and the danger that will occur if the inevitable happens and they climb out of their seat at take off.

    Very last resort, inform your 2-year-old and 4-year-old to scream for the whole flight. Make it as bad as it can possibly be.

    NorthernLass 8,262 posts

    I don’t think that’s the best approach, tbh. I do feel that the OP should sit with their kids (see my post above), but changing cabin this near to the travel date meant it was likely that there wouldn’t be much space, and also a satisfactory resolution is going to involve making other passengers move from seats they may well have paid for many months ago.

    I would definitely be polite but firm at the airport if the seating isn’t resolved at OLCI (which it may well be), as this is ultimately a safety issue, which is the no. 1 priority on any flight. Making demands and emailing the CEO just comes across as entitled and is unlikely to garner much sympathy from BA or the other passengers.

    *Bear in mind as well that any behaviour which could be interpreted as aggressive (in the eyes of a BA staff member, which is all that matters here) could well see the OP being refused boarding or removed from the flight!

    jampot 22 posts

    Thanks all – didn’t realise this would create such a debate! I bit the bullet and called before check in opened – feel very lucky that we have been given the four seats in row 1, so no hopefully no one to be upset by being moved! The agent was very understanding and it was a fairly quick call.

    vetjames 69 posts

    I don’t think that’s the best approach, tbh. I do feel that the OP should sit with their kids (see my post above), but changing cabin this near to the travel date meant it was likely that there wouldn’t be much space, and also a satisfactory resolution is going to involve making other passengers move from seats they may well have paid for many months ago.

    I would definitely be polite but firm at the airport if the seating isn’t resolved at OLCI (which it may well be), as this is ultimately a safety issue, which is the no. 1 priority on any flight. Making demands and emailing the CEO just comes across as entitled and is unlikely to garner much sympathy from BA or the other passengers.

    *Bear in mind as well that any behaviour which could be interpreted as aggressive (in the eyes of a BA staff member, which is all that matters here) could well see the OP being refused boarding or removed from the flight!

    As a parent with a 2-year-old, not sitting next to them during the flight is dangerous. If BA has a policy to charge for seats, it should also have a policy to deal with situations of this nature.

    It’s reasonable to escalate until you get a suitable resolution. If it needs to go to the CEO, then so be it.

    vetjames 69 posts

    Thanks all – didn’t realise this would create such a debate! I bit the bullet and called before check in opened – feel very lucky that we have been given the four seats in row 1, so no hopefully no one to be upset by being moved! The agent was very understanding and it was a fairly quick call.

    Very good. They clearly have a policy to manage these situations.

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