A single dad of a four-year-old girl was forced to pay $88 to sit next to his own daughter on a half-empty Delta Airlines flight.
In late April, Frank Strong was flying with his daughter to visit his mother on a Delta Airlines flight from Raleigh, North Carolina, to Montgomery, Alabama, with a connection in Atlanta.
However, when the father and daughter got to the check-in area of the airport in Raleigh, he was told that he was seated 11 rows away from his daughter, who has not been identified.
1. Frank Strong had to pay Delta Airlines $88 to have his seat moved after the company assigned his four-year-old daughter a seat 11 rows away from him.
When he booked his flight, there were no available seats next to each other, so Strong decided not to select seats, hoping to get two adjacent seats somewhere in the cabin. He wrote on his blog Sword and the Script:
One of the first pieces of information they asked me was her age, but when I was given the option to select seats, there were no seats together. I couldn’t even pay them for us to sit together.
When Strong arrived at the check-in counter and asked for help with the seats, staff had a ready suggestion:
The gate agents exchanged knowing glances — they obviously had seen this before — and suggested I go to the gate.
2. Strong said that when he booked the flight, there were no seats together to choose from, so he decided to wait until check-in, in hopes of being assigned a seat next to his daughter, who has not been named.
They said maybe they could fix the problem for me for free, otherwise I could pay $88 to get our seats together right away.
I did that, because I didn’t want to have to worry about what might happen at the gate.
Having already spent $1,200 on tickets for himself and his daughter, $25 for each item of checked luggage and $88 for seat changes, Strong finally boarded the plane to see that there were plenty of unoccupied seats.
The father says that the situation should never have taken place to begin with.
3. Strong said that after he paid the fee, he boarded the plane to find out that there were plenty of open seats. He said that this isn’t the first time he’s heard of parents having trouble sitting next to their children on flights.
He wrote in his blog:
No parent holds a higher responsibility — or more deeply visceral instinct — than keeping their child or children safe. That’s hard to accomplish 11 rows away when the fasten seat belt sign is glowing.
Delta Airlines has stated in a statement that it is “investigating the situation”. A Delta spokesperson said:
We strive to ensure that every customer has a great experience with Delta.
Strong said that airlines should reevaluate their policies on travelers who might need to sit together, especially parents with children and individuals with disabilities.
4. The single father said that companies should reevaluate their policies regarding travelers who might need to sit together, including parents with children and individuals with disabilities.
They should be doing everything they can to put those folks together, why don’t they?
They knew my daughter’s age as soon as I started booking my ticket. I’ve got to believe the airline has the sophistication and technology to make [seating us together] work if they so choose.
Like any business, they are trying to make money and I understand that — if they don’t they will go out of business.
But I think this borders on taking advantage of your customer base and that’s what concerns me. As a traveling parent, I don’t have any real options.
Strong has reportedly not heard from Delta regarding their policies.
Source: Sword and the Script.
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