When we shared a story recently about a 2 year old boy who was put in a airplane seat away from his parents on a flight home from Majorca, it really blew up on our Facebook page.


Debate raged about whether it was right that parents should have to pay extra in order to guarantee seats next to their children on flights.

Low-cost airlines have had great success in introducing extra fees if you want to choose your seat in advance. Given that so many passengers do, for those that don't, there's a real risk you'll end up all sitting apart.

In the particular story above, which was featured in the Manchester Evening News, a kind couple agreed to swap so the family could all sit together and it worked out OK.

But - and there is a but - it might not always be as easy as you think to find someone to do a swapsies with your little one.

Last year the Daily Mail shared a story about a woman who refused to give her seat up next to her husband so a family could sit together because she had epilepsy and wanted to be near her husband. Which is fair enough, right?

And if everyone else has to pay to guarantee seats next to each other, should parents be an exception?

Well, you guys had a LOT to say on this topic....

Samantha L says she'd have no hesitation in paying up front. "As awful as it is to have to pay for this, why would you risk not sitting with your kids?

"I wouldn't even risk not sitting with my hubby as I hate flying but I certainly wouldn't leave it to chance on the day. No way I'd risk my nearly 3 year old sitting away from me!"

MrsBaby Max agrees. "I always book my seat even for the kids (because it's not the airline rule that they have to put you next to your kids). That is the only way you will know for sure you sit next to them!

"Because you have kids and you go on the plane doesn't mean that you get what you want or that people will swap with you - it's not their responsibility."

Dale-Nicole W has this take: "We always prebook seats to make sure we are sat together - I don't think we should have to at all, but I wouldn't risk it.

"It annoys us when people who haven't pre-booked complain, and guilt people who have paid to move or swap with them."

Mmmmm, now that's an interesting point... ?

We have to say we had some pretty tongue-in-cheek comments on the topic too. Plenty of people joked that not sitting next to your kids might be like getting free babysitting for a few hours while in the air ?

Monica G said: "If someone else is happy sitting next to my children and moving to let them out every few minutes then let them!

"I'm sure they will soon ask to swap ? There is no longer any common sense with people or companies these days."

And we have to say - it's the airlines in the main who are getting the flack for this seat muddle - perhaps quite rightly - especially when you hear this...

Matthew F told us this after watching a BBC Watchdog programme: "Some of the airlines appear to have a formula to ensure that your group is allocated at different ends of the plane - even when the plane is relatively empty.

"Watchdog tested over and over and the odds for sitting together should be quite reasonable but when tested they never got seats together."

? ?

As Dale-Nicole mentioned above, she does pay for seats and gets annoyed by people who don't - so the anger gets directed to the non-payers rather than the airlines.

Perhaps, then, we should take heed of Laura E's words:

"It's a con. When we didn't book seats together once, the 4 of us (youngest daughter was 2!) were dotted all over the plane and we checked in super early.

"No way they're not doing that on purpose to scare people into paying to reserve. Lone travellers are in the minority and most people travelling in a group would want to be together.

"Once people have been bullied into paying extra they judge those who won't and it becomes a vicious circle."

What do you think?

How would you feel if you paid extra to sit next to your child and someone else who didn't just asked a stranger to swap and got group seats without paying a fee?

Tell us in the comments below or over on Facebook

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