When you buy a ticket on a low cost carrier you won’t get seats together unless you pay for them in advance. Book a Basic Economy ticket on Delta, United, or American and you can expect the same.
Indeed buy a ‘regular’ coach ticket on a legacy airline and you may not get to sit with your family traveling on the same itinerary either — so many seats are held back for extra cost that buying up to a regular economy fare often just means the right to pay even more for a non-middle seat.
That can be frustrating, to be sure. And politicians have certainly grandstanded on less. For years I’ve been critical of the ‘Families Fly Together Act’ which would mandate that traveling parties be given seats together for free. Seats are valuable commodities. One reader gave up his seat so a family could sit together only to have the family member sell their seat to another passenger for cash.
Sadly airlines don’t exactly make it easy to sympathize with them. Spirit Airlines removed a 15 year old girl from a flight while her mother and brother were left on. The girl was seated towards the front of the aircraft, her family towards the back. She tried to notify her family but their phones were already placed into airplane mode as required for push back.
“When the child says ‘my mother’s in the back of the plane, why are you taking me off?’ and they just take the child off and say, ‘sit here, you’ll be on the next flight out’ …You don’t just separate a child from their mother,” Thurswell told 7 Action News.
Major airlines are loathe to actually remove a passenger from their seat due to overbooking after United’s David Dao passenger dragging incident. Spirit apparently has no such concerns, even with teenagers.
They were flying Fort Lauderdale – Tampa – Detroit last April, a year after Dr. Dao was pulled off a United Express flight. The incident occurred during their connection in Tampa and the teen was put on the next flight to Detroit. The family is suing for $75,000 claiming emotional distress.
The airline says “The safety and security of our Guests is our top priority.” They “reportedly refunded Giordano for a ticket and offered her extra miles.” Spirit’s miles, however, present their own set of challenges.
Copyright: boarding1now / 123RF Stock Photo
Here’s my seat selection strategy to make sure you get the best seat on the plane whenever you fly.