When I was a junior in high school (age 16) I flew TWA to Washington D.C. for Presidential Classroom, an educational week-long program that teaches kids about government. On the way out from Kansas City, I was stuck in a 3-seat isle with a mom, her two kids ages 5 and 7, and a baby that was at least 2-years old. The two older ones were sick with colds. The airline let the mom hold the “baby” in her lap and the other two were supposed to share the middle seat. The two kids were too big to share the seat so they raised the armrests and took over half my seat. The “baby” squirmed and climbed over the mom the kids and myself.
I asked the stewardess if I could be moved to a different seat but was told the flight was over-booked and no seats remained. So I asked to be moved to the seat that one of the children were supposed to be sitting in but weren’t and was told the family only had two seats, one for the mom and one for the kids. So I asked how could they, a family of four, be allowed to board the plane with only two-tickets? The stewardess told me that was just the way it was and that I needed to be quiet and sit in my seat – which was impossible because I kept having to get up every five minutes because the brats kept having to go use the restroom. The mom was too stupid to have brought the kids snacks to shut them up so they whined about being hungry the whole time and were kicking and pushing each other.
It was a three-and-a-half hour flight; the airline didn’t apologize nor did they offer any compensation. Within two days I caught a terrible cold, I’m sure from those germy brats, and my trip was pretty much ruined. Because I was a minor, TWA didn’t take my complaint seriously even though my parents filed a complaint on my behalf.