Children Separated From Parents

December 28, 2009

in Baby & Kid Stories

In 2006 we were flying from Frankfurt Germany to the east coast. We were traveling with our two young children ages 3 & 4 years old.

The airline (which previously we had good experiences with) gave us all separate seating in areas where we could not even see each other. We thought once we pointed out the ages of our children that this would be corrected. Nope. The airline left it on us to beg and plead with strangers to switch seats so that my husband and I could sit with our children.

So in a nut shell the airline expected our children to sit next to total strangers out of our view. Additionally the total strangers would have been subjected to our children’s unsupervised actions.

Needless to say we made it clear that we would never fly that airline again. It has since gone under and merged with another airline.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Demotage December 29, 2009 at 10:04 am

Why do the words "United Airlines" spring to mind?


life can suck, live February 5, 2010 at 2:04 am

Could not agree more Demotage, for some reason AA United Airlines, are always involved.


Jim December 29, 2009 at 11:26 am

Question….why do you expect the airline to make accomodations specifically for you…possibly at the expense or inconvenience of it's other passengers? You chose to have children. You chose to fly with children. Your responsibility to make the appropriate accomodations.

Why didn't you book in advance, and reserve seats in advance?

I book and reserve my seats early, so no…I would not want to give up my seat to someone who did not plan ahead.

If this was emergency travel….I would make an exception to help you….

but, if not emergency….too bad, so sad….


bobbert June 20, 2010 at 8:44 am

how do you know they didn't book in advance Jim.


Natalie April 26, 2012 at 8:14 am

Let me guess, you don't have children or you never traveled with young children


Demotage December 29, 2009 at 11:42 am


you don't know all the circumstances. I agree that if they didn't plan ahead, then there is little the airline can do. They can't kick people out of their seats to accommodate someone who didn't plan ahead.

On the other hand, I've had it happen twice on UA, when travelling with my kids, that I did plan ahead and reserve seats together, confirmed those reservations the say before the flight, only to find out at the airport that UA had changed our seat assignments, separating us. I think most parents plan ahead this way, so I assumed that the poster was in a similar situation.


Kad January 2, 2010 at 5:34 am

As a method of preserving sanity for themselves and for the passengers, it seems the flight attendants should have taken a more proactive approach to keep small children with their parents.

Most people, asked nicely, probably wouldn't mind switching seats. I'm partial to window seats myself since the food trolley can't smack your elbow when you aren't looking, and would prefer a switch that maintained the preference.

Of course, as the others have mentioned, if the travel arrangements were last minute, then you are on your own. I assume the OP found enough kind people willing to change seats to prevent further problems.


A Mom January 30, 2010 at 8:12 pm

I find it hard to believe that any airline in any country would seperate a 3 year old from it's parent for a transatlantic flight. Does this really happen?


Amber May 14, 2010 at 10:30 am

Yes, yes it does -_-


MRP February 1, 2010 at 3:44 pm

I had this happen when my daughter was an infant. I had bought the tickets directly from the airline, made sure they were together. During checkin the seats got shuffled. My *infant* daughter was seated in a different row than us. Bottom line: FA looked at us and said 'what do you expect me to do'. Debated just responding 'Feed/diaper our child for the next 6 hours', but we took the high road. People ended up moving and it worked out despite the best efforts of the airline.


Kad February 1, 2010 at 9:44 pm

MRP that's funny: "despite the best efforts of the airline".

Unlike other customer service jobs, the customers are confined to a steel/aluminum tube 6 miles in the air, and now at the mercy of FA's who have a sense of power. The reasons for which flights are being diverted is getting ridiculous.

It's nice to know things ended happily (no thanks to the employees of the carrier)


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