"Baby Ghetto" on Airplanes

Traveling with babies this Thanksgiving? You may end up in the "baby ghetto" section of the airplane.

Scott McCartney of The Wall Street Journal's The Middle Seat travel column explains:

Parents are complaining of airline seating policies that create "baby ghettos" in the back of planes. Even worse, families are increasingly split up, leaving small children in middle seats in the company of strangers unless passengers arrange seat swaps on board.

Michael Lyon booked seats together for his family for a trip from Washington, D.C., to Bangkok on United Airlines in July and checked his reservation frequently to make sure the seat assignments didn't change. But when he checked in, all three had been split up, and his 6-year-old son was moved to the back of the wide-body plane by himself for the 13-hour trip.

A United gate agent told Mr. Lyon there were no seats and nothing could be done. He protested, ultimately getting a supervisor who found two seats together so he could sit with his son. "Not only did the United gate staff not seem to understand the importance of having him next to us, they were hostile," Mr. Lyon said.


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Having just this morning completed a 9 hr flight to Germany I say please, please make the kids sit in one area of the plane. Aside from the noise, there is the issue of the smell, and, as one person pointed out, Cheerios, snot rags, slobber, spit up rags, etc EVERYWHERE. Sure, if you are a parent you paid just the same as I did for a seat. But, I don't have the right to intrude on my seatmate's comfort-why should you?
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I'm betting the reason why some airlines are hostile toward people who want their kids to sit next to them are running into people, who like a few of my friends do and are asses for doing it, actually book wacked out seating on purpose. The abuse the system on purpose and COUNT on the kindness of strangers.

Let me paint a picture for you, Dad books a flight for his family and buys one of those premium seats for himself for $38 bucks or more, then sticks the rest of the family around the plane in the cheap seats, then when they get onboard they ask the strangers around them. "Sir could you please trade seats with my 4 year old so they can sit next to me" Most polite people would trade seats, more so if Dad's (or mom's) got a baby on their lap as no one wants to sit next to a baby. The stranger now is out the cash they ponied up for their flight and Dad just scored a free "upgrade" not to mention people who do this by booking the window and isle seat in hopes that no one wants to be in the middle and they get the whole row to themselves, then spend the next 8 hrs cuddled up next to eachother.....ug!

If you don't move then you get dirty looks all flight, or you're the "asshole" that wouldn't switch with a 5 year old.

Fine call me an asshole I don't care I chose the seat I'm sitting in for a reason and I'm not moving unless the airline is upgrading me to first class! :P Take that families who abuse the system!
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"Malaysia Airlines have announced that they are to ban infants in first class." http://diytravelexpert.com/peace-vs-babies/

How come no airline has appealed to families with a "families-only" seating section. They would get more families travelling with them, and passengers not in that area could presumably be spared some of the hullabaloo. It might need a bit of sound-proofing though.
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Fantastic idea. I flew from NJ to Reno with a kid kicking my seat for the entire flight. I asked the mother to control her kid but she was unable to. I was afraid to complain to the flight crew for fear of being arrested as a terrorist.
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