A woman and her 3-year-old daughter were assigned seats in different rows on a plane as they were flying home. She tried everything before arriving at the gate. Changed seats online, called customer service representatives, and was recommended to try once she arrived at the airport.

A Child's Tears

Once the customer arrived at the gate with her daughter, the agents claimed there wasn’t anything they could do. Supposedly they tried to ask customers in her row to switch seats and no one would budge. So the gate agent told her to get on board with her daughter and see if someone moves.

As they boarded the plane and got to her daughter’s row, she burst out into tears. Her daughter realized they would be seated separately. Then a passenger behind the daughter’s row gave in, “Well, I’m not going to listen to that for the whole flight. I’ll change seats with you after all.” Although this wasn’t how she would’ve liked to get a seat close to her child, it worked out.

DOT Regulations Not Enough

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Unfortunately, there are no policies or regulations for airlines to seat families together on airplanes. The Department of Transportation has been aware of the problem. Back in July, the airlines were told by the DOT to implement policies where families can be seated together with a four-month deadline. Now that we’re close to being in December, it’s clear many of the airlines haven’t done a thing as of yet to fix this situation.

The DOT recommends you research an airline’s family-seating policy, book your tickets early, check in with customer service, and arrive at the airport early. All the things she did and still to no avail.

Another suggestion from the department was to purchase higher-class seats if sitting with your family was important to you. Which could be a little insensitive if you’re a single parent trying to make ends meet.