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Flights with Kids

Queen of the WDW Scene

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
If you go with the airlines that have open seating then you know its a possibility although they try hard to get others to switch.
If you don't want to chance it then go with an airline that has assigned seats and pick your seats accordingly.
 

Club Cooloholic

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
If you go with the airlines that have open seating then you know its a possibility although they try hard to get others to switch.
If you don't want to chance it then go with an airline that has assigned seats and pick your seats accordingly.
Gotta be careful though, recently when checking airlines that always allowed you to pick a seat even with basic coach are now not even offering as an option unless you upgrade.
 

MegRuss626

Well-Known Member
If you go with the airlines that have open seating then you know its a possibility although they try hard to get others to switch.
If you don't want to chance it then go with an airline that has assigned seats and pick your seats accordingly.

Not always the best option though. A direct flight is the most ideal with kids. At our nearest airport, only one airline flies nonstop to MCO and they don’t offer assigned seating. 🤷🏻‍♀️
 

HouCuseChickie

Well-Known Member
Since the airlines added this into their pricing structures, we've just paid the extra for assigned seating. I don't love it, but it's peace of mind not having my kids next to strangers. Southwest's family boarding policy is for kids 6 and under, so we usually buy into Early Bird if flying SWA to do our best to get into group A. We've been on SWA flights where families with age 7+ kids in group C and later on in B couldn't get seats together and flight attendants were begging ... many times ... for people willing to move to allow for parents to sit with their kids. I realize a 7+ age kid isn't as helpless as a younger child, but there are too many creeper stories for me to not pay the extra to try and get us all together. It would be nice though to have the fees waived when you've got minors in the mix. I'm sure they'll argue that unaccompanied minors fly alone and sit next to strangers all of the time, but I'm sure that parent would also like to sit with their kid for no extra cost if they were able to fly together.
 

Disney.Mike

Well-Known Member
If you work for a large company, most of them have an agreement with at least 1 of the big 3 airlines (and their partners) to allow you to buy pick a seat at no charge on the basic coach fare. Many companies also have agreements where you can even get the *premium* coach seats (aisles, exit rows) at no extra charge.

You just need to enter your corporations code into your frequent flyer profile.
 

Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
I like Southwest which has a family boarding policy. Wheelchairs are loaded first, then A boarding group, and then family boarding. So no assigned seats, but still get to sit with kids.

Several airlines offer family boarding. One problem with it, though, is the age cut-off, as @HouCuseChickie mentioned -- it's often something like 6 years old (as with Southwest). My children may be 11 and 13, but I still don't want them seated by themselves next to potentially-creepy strangers where I can't even see them. Last time we flew Southwest, we had Early Bird with boarding assignments B1-4 and still were barely able to sit with our kids, thanks to the fact that half of the Orlando-bound aircraft was occupied by people who took advantage of family boarding after the A group -- in some cases, 6 or 8 adults were boarding with a single child (yes, I know that's against Southwest policy, which provides for 2 adults with 1 child, but apparently it's not a policy that's enforced) -- and our kids were "too old" for us to qualify.

By the time we boarded, there were only two sets of 2 adjacent seats left on the plane, so we divided our party of 4 into 2 pairs so each of our kids could be with one of us. Even then, DH ended up giving up his seat and moving one row back (just behind our son, and therefore able to keep an eye on him) so that another father who boarded after us could sit across the aisle from his autistic and highly anxious child. The family who boarded dead last, with a couple of 10 or 12-ish aged kids, had to split up and take 4 middle seats scattered throughout the plane, because although the flight attendants asked, nobody would give up a seat so that any of them could sit together.

We don't want to ever be that family, so now we only fly airlines where we can pick our seat ahead of time. That also means we can't fly out of the closest local airport (which only flies direct to Orlando on Southwest), and have to travel an extra 20-60 minutes further to one of the airports that has direct flights with assigned seating (JetBlue), but it's well worth the peace of mind. Travel is stressful enough without having to worry that my adolescent daughter is going to be trapped in a middle seat, far from my sight and power to intervene, between Handsy Bubba and Drunky McPottymouth for 3 hours. ;)
 
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RememberWhen

Well-Known Member
Several airlines offer family boarding. One problem with it, though, is the age cut-off, as @HouCuseChickie mentioned -- it's often something like 6 years old (as with Southwest). My children may be 11 and 13, but I still don't want them seated by themselves next to potentially-creepy strangers where I can't even see them. Last time we flew Southwest, we had Early Bird with boarding assignments B1-4 and still were barely able to sit with our kids, thanks to the fact that half of the Orlando-bound aircraft was occupied by people who took advantage of family boarding after the A group -- in some cases, 6 or 8 adults were boarding with a single child (yes, I know that's against Southwest policy, which provides for 2 adults with 1 child, but apparently it's not a policy that's enforced) -- and our kids were "too old" for us to qualify.

By the time we boarded, there were only two sets of 2 adjacent seats left on the plane, so we divided our party of 4 into 2 pairs so each of our kids could be with one of us. Even then, DH ended up giving up his seat and moving one row back (just behind our son, and therefore able to keep an eye on him) so that another father who boarded after us could sit across the aisle from his autistic and highly anxious child. The family who boarded dead last, with a couple of 10 or 12-ish aged kids, had to split up and take 4 middle seats scattered throughout the plane, because although the flight attendants asked, nobody would give up a seat so that any of them could sit together.

We don't want to ever be that family, so now we only fly airlines where we can pick our seat ahead of time. That also means we can't fly out of the closest local airport (which only flies direct to Orlando on Southwest), and have to travel an extra 20-60 minutes further to one of the airports that has direct flights with assigned seating (JetBlue), but it's well worth the peace of mind. Travel is stressful enough without having to worry that my adolescent daughter is going to be trapped in a middle seat, far from my sight and power to intervene, between Handsy Bubba and Drunky McPottymouth for 3 hours. ;)
We do southwest, but as has been said previously, it would be nice if they would stick to their policies. We do family boarding (kids are going to be 8 and 3 for our upcoming trip), but even then we’re usually half way down the plane. I suspect (I don’t know for sure) that sometimes families buy early bird for one person in the group and have that person save seats. We always see people sitting in an aisle seat saving the row for family boarding later. I guess we’ll have to think about other options when DD gets bigger.
 

Club Cooloholic

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We do southwest, but as has been said previously, it would be nice if they would stick to their policies. We do family boarding (kids are going to be 8 and 3 for our upcoming trip), but even then we’re usually half way down the plane. I suspect (I don’t know for sure) that sometimes families buy early bird for one person in the group and have that person save seats. We always see people sitting in an aisle seat saving the row for family boarding later. I guess we’ll have to think about other options when DD gets bigger.
I have called people out on this, I once was on a flight where two women were trying to hold 3 rows of seats(oh they are just in the bathroom, really all 7 of them?) And told the flight attendant, the attendant just repeated no holding seats but didn't actually do anything, but when a woman asked if there was room, I told her, that aisle seat is empty go ahead sit, the seat holding lady was not happy but could not really do anything about it.
 

I'mwatchinguWizowski

Active Member
Even then, DH ended up giving up his seat and moving one row back (just behind our son, and therefore able to keep an eye on him) so that another father who boarded after us could sit across the aisle from his autistic and highly anxious child.

That was extremely sweet of your DH to do! Also most airlines allow autistic children to pre-board with the wheelchairs to help relive the anxiety. It’s to bad that family didn’t know or choose to do it:(
 

Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
That was extremely sweet of your DH to do! Also most airlines allow autistic children to pre-board with the wheelchairs to help relive the anxiety. It’s to bad that family didn’t know or choose to do it:(

Thanks - DH is a good egg. 🙂 I assumed that this father-son duo had simply gotten to the gate late, but it's certainly possible that they simply didn't know that airline policies gave them the opportunity to pre-board.
 
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ninjaprincesst

Well-Known Member
Oddly I never had a problem sitting with my daughter on Southwest, of course I am one of those people who is always early getting anywhere, If I don't have early bird on Southwest i check i the second it is allowed and I always book the earliest flight that Southwest has for the day when we are going to Disney and the latest of the day returning home. the only time I ever had a problem was on American where we had reserved seats and the decided to reassign our seats and some moron decided to assign my 2 year old a seat in the back of the plane while assigning the adults to the front of the plane after loudly told AA person I was not having this after I had paid extra for assigned seats they finally decided we could have the actual seats we reserved. I however don't think , it should be an entitlement though, why should everyone else get crappy seats because 19 kids and counting decides to fly on your flight, they are your kids you should ave to pay the up charge. I do thing Southwest needs to enforce things better though. We had one Southwest flight where not only were all the rules enforced, and when a women was about to hold her baby in her lap even though she had purchased a seat for the baby, because there were not any sets together , the Flight attendant just announced the plane would not leave the gate until someone moved and ave this woman her purchased seat by her baby and everyone on board glared at the guy sitting next to the mother until he moved.
 

kimberlymautz

Well-Known Member
I will say, my daughter and I did a mommy daughter trip on Southwest last year and were literally the last people to board the plane - and it was full. Needless to say there were definitely not two seats left together and as soon as my (then 7 year old) saw that she started crying and all three people next to an empty seat (one was in the middle and the other on the end) stood up and offered to move so we could sit together. Then the flight attendant had our return flight tickets upgraded so that we would be with boarding group A and wouldn't fall into the same situation again on the way home.
 

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