Last updated: 11:17 AM ET, Wed May 13 2015

Man Calls For Airline Policy Change After Seating Snafu

Airlines & Airports | Delta Air Lines | Rich Thomaselli | May 13, 2015

Man Calls For Airline Policy Change After Seating Snafu

One of the casualties of airline fees is rearing its ugly head and coming more and more into the spotlight.

Selecting your seat ahead of time now costs a fee, and some travelers are finding it a nightmare when they are separated from their companions.

One father of a four-year-old found out the hard way.

Frank Strong was flying Delta Air Lines last month from Raleigh, N.C. to Montgomery, Ala., but when he booked the flight there were no seats together for him and his daughter. So instead of choosing separate seats, he attempted to rectify the situation when he arrived at the airport the day of his flight.

He was told by agents at the check-in counter that he could go to the gate and hope that gate agents could solve his dilemma for free, or he could pay an $88 fee to have the seats changed so that he and his daughter could sit together.

Strong told Yahoo Parenting that he paid the fee, “because I didn’t want to have to worry about what might happen at the gate.”

But after paying $1,200 for the tickets, the $88 was like insult to injury. More importantly, Strong was incensed that airlines would allow parents to be separated from children, children to be separated from elderly parents, or caregivers to be separated from those with special needs — all in the name of an extra ancillary fee.

“Like any business, they are trying to make money and I understand that — if they don’t they will go out of business,” he told Yahoo Parenting. “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.”

Separately, in his own blog post, Strong wrote, “This never should have happened in the first place. 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 told Yahoo Parenting “We strive to ensure that every customer has a great experience with Delta. We are investigating the situation.”

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