"If you have kids, don’t fly on US Airways. We were on three flights of theirs yesterday as we slowly made our way from Boston to Tucson. Not once was I assigned a seat near my kids.Definitely some interesting reading on the customer service levels in today's air travel.
Now, I confess that when I saw I had a boarding pass for seat 5D and my kids both had seats in row 26, I was delighted. Who wants to sit between a two-year-old and a 5-year-old on a cross-country trip? Not me.
When I approached the gate agent to point out the error, I said, “Hey, I’m perfectly happy not to sit anywhere near these kids on the plane, but I’m sure you won’t really let me do that. Here’s my boarding pass, change my seat assignment.”
The joke got a lot less funny when he said, “Sorry, I can’t do that.”
“Just get on the plane, and maybe some passenger will be generous enough to switch seats with you,” he advised me."
The follow-up post on the conversation with US Airways Customer Relations is even more instructive:
"US Airways seating policies:On the past two flights I took with toddler in tow, I was certainly willing to suck up the seat-selection fee in order to assure that we had a block of 3 seats. $18 per leg ensured that we weren't risking unleashing Mr. Bossy on some unsuspecting fellow travelers....
-They are in fact first come first served, with no preference given to parents traveling with young children
-When parents are not assigned seats with their children, they are expected to deal with it by getting on the plane with the unacceptable seating and asking other passengers to swap with them.
I asked the obvious question: What if they don’t cooperate? Would US Airways really let a two-year-old fly by herself, sandwiched between two strangers on a long flight?"