A single father is angry and calling for change after Delta Airlines seated his 4-year-old daughter 11 rows away from him on an April flight from Raleigh, North Carolina, to Montgomery, Alabama, with a stopover in Atlanta.
Frank Strong was traveling with his young daughter to visit her grandmother and says he was shocked to find the airline deemed it acceptable to separate him from his preschool-age child. When he booked the flight, there were no seats together, so he held off on selecting seats until he got to the airport, in the hopes that Delta would be understanding and find two seats together, reports the Daily Mail. But he had no such luck.
"One of the first pieces of information they asked me was her age, but when I was given the option to select seats, there were no seats together. I couldn't even pay them for us to sit together," Strong wrote on his blog, Sword and the Script.
Ticket agents suggested Strong speak to a gate agent, who might be able to correct the problem free of charge, but the dad didn't want to take chances. Instead, he paid an additional $88 -- on top of the $1,200 he had spent on his and his daughter's tickets and $25 for each piece of additional luggage -- and was able to get seats together right away.
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"I did that, because I didn't want to have to worry about what might happen at the gate," Strong explained.
A spokesperson for Delta reportedly told Yahoo! Parenting they are investigating Strong's complaint.
"We strive to ensure that every customer has a great experience with Delta," the spokesperson said. "We are investigating the situation."
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Strong says he doesn't expect to be personally compensated, but would rather the airlines think about their policies so that other parents don't experience the same stress when traveling with children. He says he believes airlines are borderline taking advantage of customers by demanding money from them to correct issues that should have never come about in the first place.
"They should be doing everything they can to put those folks together, why don't they?" Strong said. "They knew my daughter's age as soon as I started booking my ticket. I've got to believe the airline has the sophistication and technology to make [seating us together] work if they so choose. Why would you separate a parent and toddler?"
Photo Credit: Daily Mail, WikiCommons