Father Calls For Budget Airlines To Scrap The 'Family Tax'

13 June 2015

Family Tax on Budget Airlines

Have you ever had problems getting seats together when travelling with your children?

Budget airlines have attracted criticism in the past for charging families extra if they wish to sit together, and now a father of two has hit the headlines for taking Ryanair to task over the issue.

Chris Parr booked a Ryanair flight home to Liverpool from a family holiday to Faro but discovered a few days before the flight that his little girl, aged three, hadn't been allocated a seat near her parents. He tweeted the airline about it but had no joy in getting them to change the seating allocation.

The Daily Mail reports:

"The budget airline said there was nothing they could do to help Chris and Kim Parr after splitting-up their booking so their daughter Lily was sat by herself for the Faro to Liverpool flight - because they hadn't forked out extra to reserve specific seats. Staff at the notoriously no-frills carrier insisted that the Chorley family's seats couldn't be moved without policeman Chris and solicitor wife Kim stumping up an additional fee."

In the end, kindhearted passengers on the flight agreed to swap seats with Chris' wife so that she could sit with their daughter. But the father feels strongly that this amounts to a tax on families, and that airlines shouldn't effectively charge families extra to guarantee seats together. He also questioned the sense in permitting a three year old to sit with strangers during a flight, and queried who would attend to her in the event of an emergency on board the aircraft.

We'd love to hear your experiences on this issue. Have you ever been seated separately from your children on a flight? Do you resent having to pay extra to ensure that you can sit next to your children?

And if you're travelling with children any time soon, check out our 5 Must-Haves For Long Haul Flights with Kids and our Top Tips For Travelling With Children.

3 comments

  • jf5
    it's not just "budget" airlines. We are family of 5 traveling long-haul with British Airways and have to pay to pre-select seats (approximately £30/person each way). Kids are ages 2, 4 and 6 and so obviously need parents sitting with them. It is ridiculous that we should have to pay £300 more, in addition to the expense of tickets for all of us. I think when travelling with young children they should let you choose seats together in advance (they allow families traveling with infants to do so). Surely it's best for the safety and comfort of the family and other travellers that children sit with their parents.
  • GandA
    Could one of her parents not have swapped seats with her. Why did the two adults need to sit together?
  • KLewis1981
    I had same issue with easy jet 2 years ago. I had to sit in a certain seat with my son on my lap because of double oxygen masks. My husband was sat a few rows in front on an aisle seat, with my 2 year old daughter sat across the aisle from him. I argued for about 45 minutes on the phone with a 'customer service' representative who kept saying "I will get someone to explain it to you". I didn't need it explaining, I needed them to understand that my child was not 12, she was 2, and when hot drinks trolleys are being walked between my husband and daughter, who is taking responsibility for my child not standing up and burning herself? Eventually they agreed to move my daughter and husband to a seat next to each other, and then I had to pay the £8 each way to sit alongside them! The cost of the long phone call from a mobile phone cost me more than if I'd paid upfront!!! During the flight, my daughter who suffers from ear problems, was inconsolable and we both had to restrain her to get her in her seat while landing, I wonder how my husband was expected to do this across the aisle from her?? Absolutely disgusting to expect parents to pay a premium to sit next to their child, it shouldn't be a privelege it should be a standard.

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