Furthermore why the assumption that parents are less competent than "nonbreeders."
I do agree with cjr - if parents/families do not attempt to make travel arrangements which include sitting together - then that is on them, but what about when you do, like I did. I did it right and still - the airline flubbed up. My kids should not suffer becasue of the airlines mistake.
I follow up with...
@cjr and @Raven – all of you… WHAT I am trying to say is MOST PARENTS book seats together. ( I can show you easily 10 via my twitter rant) I always do. I plan ahead, I have even not taken flights at better times, becasue I cannot get seats together. Responsible and reasonable parents do plan ahead. When I booked the tix with CO, there was no charge to pick my seats, unless I wanted more leg room. Why would I take extra leg room seats when my two traveling companions’ feet don’t reach the floor. I picked three seats, middle of the plane together.
My point is – the airlines do not take this into account. Thru this mess with Continental – I have learned that it is their “informal policy” to allow priority elite and other frequent full fare business flyers to “bump” people from their preassigned seats. For a fee or not.
I did everything right. I planned ahead, I picked my seats online, I did not take a flight that did not offer me seats together, I checked in 24 hours prior, discovered CO’s error, contacted CO and was told it was not their problem. Had the CO website offered me the choice to lock those seats in stone with a fee, I would have, I understand that is in the works, when I booked travel, that was not the case. IN SHORT I DID EVERYTHING YOU ARE SAYING PARENTS SHOULD DO. READ: EVERYTHING YOU DO.
I paid for the same services, rights and privileges you did. Why must I, then settle for less than what I pay for, while you enjoy exactly what you paid for. I paid the full fare for my kiddos, a fair I felt was reasonable, given the stipulation that I would be sitting in the seats I selected, seats that had me with my kids.
There needs to be a system in place to keep parents and kids under the age of 15 together. At 15, I flew to Europe solo. I can see that being ok. But a 5 year old. No way.
Or let’s allocate the last 5 rows on each plane to families with kids. No one wants to sit back there anyway. No priority elite passenger is going to bump me from the last row.
My point in all of this is the airlines create these situations and it is their problem to fix it. I also think that if we are all traveling together, we need to think about what is the safest and best way to ensure that everyone has a reasonably comfortable flight. Kids count. They pay the full fare and if their parents have taken pains to make sure they are booking seats together - then there is no reason for the kids to have to sit alone, with strangers on a flight.
End of story.