MONTREAL, Nov. 25, 2019 /CNW/ - Even those who don't travel with kids agree that it's best for everybody to have the little ones seated with their families on a flight.
However, it's not always easy to arrange this for a family flying Economy, a fare that doesn't usually offer reserved seating. To ensure little ones are seated with their parents, families need to get to the check-in early. But if an itinerary includes racing through the airport to catch a connecting flight, this may be impossible. Here, FlightHub discusses new Canadian regulations that will eliminate the need for parents to worry about where their children will be seated when they travel.
Here's how airlines arrange family seating
When flying Basic Economy, it's "first come, first served." The airlines assign seats between the time of check-in and arrival at the gate. So if families arrive early enough with the kids, they can select side-by-side seats at a check-in kiosk or personally with an agent.
If this doesn't work out, then the next option is to arrange seats at the departure gate. Many airlines keep a limited block of seats available to accommodate family seating and other needs until just before boarding. If families are in luck, the agents can find adjacent seats from this block. If not, agents are often willing to ask for volunteers to move seats to make sure each child is seated next to an adult family member.
In other words, if they get to the gate under an hour before boarding, the fate of the seating arrangements resides in the kindness of staff and strangers. Now, to encourage families being seated together, the Canadian government is regulating a little bit more of that "nice" that the country is known for.
Finding seats as a family gets easier for Canadian families this holiday season
"On December 15, 2019, the Canadian government implements its new Air Passenger Protection Regulations," states FlightHub's Matt Keezer. "They include new rules on delayed and canceled flights, lost luggage and seating families".
It will now be an obligation for airlines to seat children under the age of 14 near their parent, guardian or tutor. The proximity depends on the age of the child:
- Under the age of 5: in a seat adjacent to their parent, guardian or tutor.
- Aged 5 to 11: in the same row and separated by no more than one seat from their parent, guardian or tutor.
- Aged 12 or 13: separated by no more than a row from the parent, guardian or tutor.
Check out the new Air Passenger Protection Regulations here:
Starting this Christmas, passengers travelling on an Economy fare budget, can count on a little more good old-fashioned holiday spirit when they fly.
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