Fasten your seatbelts

How many times have you heard that? Fasten your seatbelts please, we are going through some turbulence. Um…. what happens if you don’t have a seatbelt because you don’t have a seat and you are sitting on the floor of the plane. That’s what happened to a British family flying from Menorca back to Britain.

They had their boarding passes with their seat numbers all in the same row together. Only problem was that row did not exist. The airline had had an “equipment change” which even the check in agent at the gate apparently did not know about as she checked their boarding cards. Does this sound unbelievable?

Well the same thing happened to me flying from New York to Johannesburg, South Africa. We boarded the plane and could not find our row number. We stood around like lost sheep – the flight attendant told us to stand aside so others could board – so we huddled up against the bulkhead while everyone impatiently brushed passed us probably thinking to themselves “bloody fools – they should have booked their seats”.

Eventually the flight attendant told us that there had been an “equipment change” yep – so she was going to put us up front in business class ….


Until she realised we were travelling with two children. Then suddenly we were not OK to go into business class. We offered to throw the children out of the escape hatch or hide them in the overhead bins but that did not work. Instead four smug adult passengers were escorted up front and we were settled down eventually in our economy seats.

Seat selection is a very personal, very emotional issue for some people – especially on a longer flight and the playing field is changing. Often advance seat selection attracts a price to be paid and after that, what happens if there is an equipment change? The seat you carefully selected to be far away from the toilet might not exist any more – perhaps you even end up next to the toilet. Ah well – as the old song goes – Always look on the bright side of life! At least you won’t have far to walk. It’s all part of the fun… right? Nope 😦

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s