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O/Y - Flying Follies with Spoiled Kids

2Tired4Drama's picture

I recently had a situation happen on BOTH legs of my round-trip flights, so thought I would seek input from those more "mature" folks here on the adult skids forum!

By way of background, I purchased a round-trip flight (3-hour non-stop) and specifically paid extra for a selected window seat. I had plans to take some photos out the windows.

The airplane configuration was three seats on each side of a center aisle.

Flight 1: I proceed to my row and as I approach it I can see a woman on the aisle seat, with two small kids in the seats next to her. I look up and double-check my row/seat number to make sure I am at the right place and BEFORE I CAN EVEN OPEN MY MOUTH to ask her if she is in the right row, she nastily says to me, "If these are one of your seats, then you'll have to sit elsewhere."

The flight attendant comes up and I question/say it appears my seat is occupied? He says, "Yes, we try to keep mothers and kids together. But you can sit over here," and he points farther back in the plane to a middle seat. I was good natured about it but told him that wasn't going to work since I paid extra money for a window seat. Luckily, the flight wasn't too booked and he was able to get me another window seat.

Flight 2: I am sitting in my window seat and a family of six comes down the aisle. It is a mom, dad and four kids who range in age from about 8 to 14 or so. None of the kids appeared to have special needs of any kind. Three of the kids filled the row across the aisle and mom and one other kid sat next to me. Dad was behind us.

However, when the boy next to me (about 10) saw he would have to sit in the middle he began to pout that he wanted to sit by a window like the other sibling. You guessed it, the next thing I know the father approaches me and asks if I would mind giving my seat to his son. I told him, sorry but I paid for this window seat.

Kid keeps pouting and I hear lots of conversation behind and around me, but I ignore it. After about five minutes, the father comes to me once again and said he's managed to move THREE other people around so he can get me a window seat farther back. He was very polite about it, but he was loud enough in his plea to "please let my family sit together" that I felt obligated to move all my stuff and change seats. Again, I did so in a humorous way but I gotta tell you ...

What they hell gives with these ENTITLED kids and parents? I've been flying since I was six years old, and NEVER would my parents have ever inconvenienced anyone just because I was pouting over where my seat was.

Has anyone else had similar situations when flying?

Peanut575's picture

Oh mannnnnn, I'd be calling the airline and ask to be compensated, especially for that first leg. They never should have given your seat to that woman with her children. I agree families with young kids shouldn't be split apart (especially with a parent flying solo), but there is NO need to move someone who PAID for their seat. If that nasty woman had paid for her seat - or even chosen her seat when she checked in online - she would have seen that the seat was taken. No, precious Poopsie is NOT more entitled to sit there than you are, considering you PAID for that seat. I'm glad the flight attendant was able to help you find a different window seat, but I absolutely would still contact the airline about that & get your money back for the seat.

The second leg, I likely would have moved, as at least the Dad found you a different spot. But yes, I agree, families are NOT more entitled on a plane, and just because jr is pouting that he didn't get a window seat doesn't mean the rest of the plane has to suffer on his behalf. They could have had the kids switch halfway through, or made sure jr got a window seat on the way back.

We used to travel a lot as kids, and I travel a lot now. I was taught to be respectful as a child, and if I didn't get my way on something, tough sh*t.

I would have been SO angry at that first woman. I am not a parent yet, but I've told DH repeatedly if I ever become one of these entitled, horrific parents who thinks the sun shines out of my kids a$$ he needs to put me out of my misery.

Sorry for the rant... this makes me angry. I've seen so many parents fly & manage to keep their kids under control (and again, I fly all the time), there is NO need for this kind of BS.

DPW's picture

I pay for a preferred seat when I fly too. This has happened to be twice before. The last time, in December, the flight attendant looked at my ticket when I boarded and said for me to wait. She realized that someone was in my seat and did her job of removing them and making them sit where they were assigned. That's their job. If I was you, I would complain to the airline.

sandye21's picture

I've had similar experiences on planes and I agree - what gives a family priority over a person who paid for the seat? I could go on and on about screaming babies, kids kicking the back of the seat, running around on the plane, etc. Then the defensive parents! There was a lady who was kicked off of a plane just the other day then got fired from her job but not too many specifics of what caused it. I think she cussed. They should have a closed off section of the plane for people with small kids and babies - bet they wouldn't like it when THEY had to listen to it on a 10 hour flight. Sorry to get on my soapbox.

sandye21's picture

Thanks for the info. There's no need to scream or get rude with attendant. Usually attendants can help. I was on a flight back from Dublin to the U.S. The plane was not full and there was plenty of room, but a couple with two small kids under 4, decided to take over whatever room there was on the plane. They took over two complete middle rows of 4 seats each plus two of the side rows. The kids were running all over the place. I was really exhausted and asked if I could lay down in one of the rows they had vacated so I could sleep. They did not return to seats but became irate with me when I moved over to lie down, calling me all sorts of names. Finally some of the other passengers complained to the attendant and she asked that they control their kids.

There have been other trips though where there were babies who cried most of the flight but the parents tried their best to attend to them. So I agree with other posters who say it is all about attitude.

Merrywey's picture

I would not have moved either. I need a window seat, I get really air sick and have found that seat to be the least likely to induce a barf feast. I recently had a similar situation and stood my ground when even the steward tried to guilt me into moving. Nope, I paid for my seat and I could not care less what other passengers think of me.

SacrificialLamb's picture

I used to travel for work a lot. Was asked by parents to move for the sake of their children. I told them that like me, they could have make arrangements for seating ahead of time, their failure to plan did not create an emergency for me. I did move if the seat was better than what I had, but had no problem telling them no. I am very claustrophobic and need to sit on an aisle.

I couldn't believe the gumption of some parents, in particular two parents who let their toddler children watch movies on portable DVD players without headphones, very loudly. When I asked why they did not use headphones so they did not disturb the other passengers, I was told their little snowflakes did not like headphones. That one got fixed after a discussion with the flight attendants. And my flight to Amsterdam last year, where the parents behind me sang songs with their daughter all night long because she liked the songs. Forget anyone else trying to sleep.

But I have seen some fantastic parenting examples too, including a long trip back from Africa. A parent all by herself with a boy who looked to be in his terrible 2's. I cringed when I saw them. He did not make a sound, because that mother took care of him the entire flight, walking him, being a parent.

Every time DH and go on a long trip, the air travel makes me say "never again". But unfortunately it has to be done to get anywhere.

Peanut575's picture

The headphones thing kills me. Just bc your snowflake doesn’t like headphones doesn’t mean the rest of the plane should have to listen to Caillou or Thomas the Engine with him. I haven’t yet been asked to move for a family, but I wouldn’t move if it put me out. I don’t pay for my seats in advance but I always check in online as soon as I can & choose my seat bc I like the aisle & being in the middle on a 9 hour flight would stress me out if I’m not beside someone I know. I’m not giving that up so parents can appease their children bc they didn’t plan their trip better. If anyone outright told me I couldn’t sit in the seat I selected in advance, I’d have the flight attendant move them, not me. If they were courteous & apologetic I’d likely be more lenient, but not if it meant I’d have to sit in the middle.

notasm3's picture

Now my DH is who is always the first person to try to help anybody would probably be the first to jump up to give up his seat. Until I remind him that he is my personal care attendant and in the event of an emergency I truly would need his assistance. And then he realizes that he is not free to move.

ndc's picture

I've been on the wrong end of your experience. I flew with SO and his 2 kids a couple months ago on Southwest, which doesn't have assigned seating. I had gone online to check in exactly 24 hours ahead of time so we had excellent boarding positions (and also could have gotten advanced boarding for families with small children), but the gate was moved, we missed the announcement, sat at the wrong gate and ended up almost missing the flight. So we were the last ones to board and it was totally our own fault. There were not two seats together left anywhere on the plane. The flight attendants asked people to move for us, and people did. SO ended up sitting with both kids and I sat elsewhere in the plane (yay me!). We felt bad about it, but the people who would have gotten stuck with a 2 and 4 year old sitting alone had no one moved would have felt even worse. Sometimes these situations are inevitable. I try to be flexible when I can. I'm young, can move easily and never pay extra for a special seat, so it's not a big deal for me.

Peanut575's picture

I think in these situations the attitudes people display make a big difference. I’m far more willing to accommodate someone who is kind, apologetic & considerate when things like this happen. If someone takes my assigned seat and says ‘too bad my kid’s here now’ I’m going to react very differently than someone who says ‘look I know we’re in your seat, I’m so sorry’ then explains and helps to find a solution that everyone is happy with.

I don’t mind when babies cry on planes, or kids make noise, as long as it’s in check. What I do mind is inconsideration & the attitude that someone is more entitled to my space than I am bc they have their kids with them. Flying with children is stressful but it doesn’t give someone the right to treat people badly.

2Tired4Drama's picture

That is what annoys me the most - it's the ATTITUDE! In the first example, it was the woman's sneering look and nasty voice which got me. Like I better not even DARE to ask to sit in my own seat when she had one of her precious children already planted there.

In the second example, at least the father was courteous BUT he still exploited the situation by making his request loud enough to have everyone around look at me to see my reaction - he knew exactly what he was doing.

The other problem which compounds it now is if there is any kind of disagreement, the flight attendants won't hesitate to boot you off the plane. In situations like this, with all the stress/tension from flying included, things can escalate rapidly.

I could easily imagine a different scenario where I had refused to move and the parent/child next to me made the rest of the flight miserable for me. And had I complained about it, I would then become this mean, old woman who was so unsympathetic to the snowflake's need.

sandye21's picture

It's sort of like being a SM isn't it? "I could easily imagine a different scenario where I had refused to move and the parent/child next to me made the rest of the flight miserable for me. And had I complained about it, I would then become this mean, old woman who was so unsympathetic to the snowflake's need." You're the bad guy if you don't cooperate.

I agree - it's the attitude. I googled 'tips for traveling with children' and am just amazed that in all of these 'tips' there is no mention of booking seats ahead of time so the parent and the kid sit together. One even stated that most airlines will not assign seats ahead of time but my DH and I travel often and I've never had a problem reserving our seats.

One interesting thing I found was that a law was passed that as of July, 2017 - airlines are required to seat a child under the age of 13 with their parent without charging them extra. So the responsibility for a better seat assignment was on the attendant.

Don't know if it would work in this situation but it sure would be nice to be firm and calmly say, "Sorry, but I have the right to the seat I paid extra for", and vocally place the blame on the parent by stating, "It was your responsibility to make arrangements for your child." Then put your earphones on and detach. Sort of like giving DH the responsibility for the skids instead of allowing ourselves to look like the bad guy.

Acratopotes's picture

You are a good person, I would've told them both times to eff off, if I paid for that seat it's mine and if I have to give it up, they will accommodate me in first class with a window seat }:)