Parents who travel without their children commonly fly separately as a safety precaution. Celebrities Kate Winslet and former husband Sam Mendes claim to have done this, arguing that it ensures one parent always returns home. Although a morbid notion that one spouse’s plane or vehicle might crash, it is a reasonable decision.
But how about when full families travel together—should they separate?
A recent story from One Mile at a Time inspires this question. The author narrates his experience on an airplane, where a couple takes first class and leaves their child, presumably without adult supervision, in economy. Such an action is certainly not rooted in disaster planning since the family is still on the same plane.
If you research online for opinions on this matter, the consensus is that families travelling together should sit together (or at least in close proximity). While an understandable point-of-view, there are a two counterarguments worth raising.
Last Minute Deals
Families looking to score a discount by travelling last minute do not always have the luxury of seat choice. While it’s less likely that the family will sit in different cabins or cars like the example above, picking up stray seats to save a buck is valid, especially if those saved dollars make the difference between travelling or staying home.
That said, free upgrades are different. Perks are (usually) redeemable whenever, so there’s no pressure to split the family up for one person to travel more comfortably.
If a business trip turns into a family one, the logistics might not line up as smoothly as a purely leisure trip. For instance, the company will comp only one business class seat, so flying the whole family in the same cabin will cost a small uncompensated fortune. In this case, some of the family could sit together elsewhere and reunite at the destination.