Parent's Plan To Offer Plane Passengers Cash To Swap Seats Slammed: 'Bribe'

A parent's plan to bring cash on an airplane to pay passengers to swap seats, so they can sit with their children, has been slammed online as a "bribe."

The parent in question shared the scheme to Mumsnet, under the username Blewitagain, revealing they were traveling with two kids. After they were moved to a new flight, they found the new allocated seating arrangements weren't together.

They'd managed to secure two next to each other, but it meant one person would be alone, so they sought opinions over the idea to pay people to move.

They wrote: "I am going on holiday and have discovered I haven't pre booked seats on our flights. I'm traveling with two children. This was an oversight. I can get two seats which would leave eldest sat alone.

File photo of child on plane.
File photo of child on plane. A mom's plane ot bring cash to pay plane passengers to move has been slammed as a "bribe." photobac/Getty Images

"Would it be weird to take cash to compensate anyone willing to move seat? No one might be willing to move but I'm hoping.

"I once traveled last minute in an emergency and no one was willing to move seats."

The post, shared on Tuesday, has amassed more than 230 responses, and can be read here. Many people chimed in with their opinions on the scheme.

In response to the feedback, the traveler revealed their youngest is seven, saying: "My eldest is 12 and looks older so passengers probably won't be very sympathetic. He'd definitely rather be with us though."

After some people pointed out pre-booking seats is commonplace, the parent sought to explain, saying: "It's Easyjet and it wasn't until I did online check in that I discovered I hadn't pre booked seats. Looks like the flight is close to full...

"Perhaps disorganized but looking back I originally selected seats but the holiday has been moved several times...

"Holiday moved twice and flight also now canceled and moved to a later one."

They claimed they planned to bring around £45 ($56), roughly the cost of the original seat allocations.

Numerous people thought 12 was old enough to sit solo, as Sirzy said: "If I have paid to pre book seats then It's for a reason. I wouldn't accept a bribe to move."

Motogirl wrote: "Yes it would be weird and wrong. Your kids aren't babies, your 12 year old can travel alone even."

Lunar1 said: "I wouldn't move, I have my own reasons for the seats I book, but it can't hurt to ask as long as nobody is being made to feel guilty."

Roxisolerenshaw wrote: "I pay to choose my seats and I'd feel really awkward if someone asked me to move."

XelaM replied: "As someone suggested, seat all your kids together and you sit alone. Your 12-year-old is able to sit with siblings if he doesn't want to be sat on his own."

Blinky21 said: "I think it's going to make people feel really uncomfortable if you start offering them money in front of others."

While Girlmom21 added: "I'd be uncomfortable saying no to someone who was trying to pay me to move and would feel pressured into doing so, even if I'd reserved my own seat."

In response to the backlash, the parent said: "I want intending to pressure anyone, I just recalled everyone telling me they'd paid x amount when I was traveling last minute in an emergency. I had really young kids then, it was awful. I certainly wouldn't "kick off", I was trying to figure what might work."

Although some people weren't against the idea. HeddaGarbled said: "I think it's a brilliant idea. I'd be very interested to know whether it works or not."

Incognitodorrito commented: "its a great idea OP. So many think that they are entitled to free seats due to the fact they have children. If I paid for my seat allocations then I wouldn't give it up for free."

And Blarting wrote: "If I was happy to move I would, I wouldn't move because you offered me money."

The chart below, provided by Statista, shows the popularity of low-cost airlines.

Infographic: No Frills Attached: More U.S. Air Travelers Opt For Ultra-Low-Cost | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

EasyJet's website defines a child as someone over the age of 2 and under 16.

In their section about flying with children, they advised choosing seats in advance, for a fee, to ensure families are together.

"We understand that flying with children can sometimes be a challenge, so we've tried to make it as easy as possible for you," they said.

While not specifying seating arrangements, the website did say: "Unaccompanied children aged 15 and under are not permitted to travel alone and will not be permitted to board the plane as easyJet does not provide an escort service or special requirements for unaccompanied children."

If you have a similar family dilemma, let us know via We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.