How not to get separated from your family on a domestic flight

2020-01-16 04:45 - Gabi Zietsman
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Flying with your family can be a daunting experience.

And it can be even more stressful when you get split up on the plane - especially likely on cheaper domestic flights in South Africa.

Here are a few tips to make sure you all sit together on SA's airlines. 

READ: 'Kids stay free' campaign launched to celebrate eased travel requirements for minors in SA minors travelling to SA 

Pay for pre-selected seating

You're already trying to budget your trip when travelling with the family, but some paid extras will just help make your journey a little smoother. Emergency exits, front rows and seats with extra legroom are normally more expensive than normal seats, so get somewhere in the middle of the plane to save costs. 

With some airlines, if you book a flexi or plus ticket, seat selection is normally included. Also, if you're an airline or rewards programme member, seat selection can also be included in your membership.

Here are the prices for paid seats from the various airlines:

  • Kulula: R60 - R130
  • Flysafair: R30 - R70
  • Mango: R55
  • SAA/SA Express/Airlink: R51 - R132
  • British Airways: Depends on the flight and type of ticket.

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Check-in as soon as it opens

If you don't want to spend the money, set a reminder for 10 minutes before check-in opens so that you can book your seats before everyone else does, ensuring everyone is together.

If you're not able to, try to get to the airport early enough to talk to the check-in staff - with a friendly smile you can accomplish almost anything.

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One airline will ensure each child under 12 sits with an adult from your booking

The policy for many airlines is that if a family is split up, staff will make sure that each child under 12 sits with someone from the group 16 years or older.

If your child is over 12, and you haven't been able to select seats together, they may be seated separately.

In South Africa, British Airways is the only one with this policy written out, and they also offer free seating reservation to everyone in a booking if they are travelling with an infant under two years old (who won't be travelling in a seat of their own).

With just a little planning, you should be able to ensure that no one ends up flying alone.

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