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With a family of 8, we have some unique challenges when flying all together – we just don’t all fit together!

I shared earlier about how we used 100,000 Delta Skymiles to fly the 8 of us back from Seattle to Cincinnati (READ: The worst usage of 100,000 Skymiles EVER?

Why I always pick out my seats (if I can!)

One thing that I always do after booking a flight is to pick my seats, at least on airlines that allow you to pick seats for free.  Southwest has the “open” seating model, though there are still some tricks that you can do to sit together as a family.  HINT: IT DOES NOT INVOLVE SAVING SEATS!!!  British Airways charges a fee to pick your seats, so in that case, we just took what we were assigned.

On the other hand, US Airways once tried to charge me $15 to sit in the seat right next to mine.

Picking seats is important if possible, because if you leave it up to the airline at the time of the flight, you’re going to a) get middle seats at the back of the plane and b) not sit with the rest of the party.  One man found that out when Delta sat his 4 year old daughter 11 rows away from him.

Picking seats on a Delta flight

Flying with 8 of us comes with the problem that most planes seat you 3 across.  With 6 kids and only 2 adults, we literally CAN’T seat an adult with each kid.  Carolyn and I actually have spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out the best seating arrangement for everyone.  It’s a bit trickier than it looks because some kids need to be next to a parent, and some kids can’t sit next to each other, and other kids WANT to sit together, etc.

On our last flight together (READ: Finally putting all those miles and points to good use – 2014 family vacation!), we flew Southwest, and although we tried to arrange things the best we could, the flight was a bit rocky, culminating in a fellow passenger telling my wife and I that we were “the type of parent that should not have children

Seat selection for a family of 8

Hoping not to have a repeat of that flight, here’s how we arranged seats this time


#1 and #2 are the 2 adults, and #3-8 are my kids, in descending age order.  We put our 2 (hopefully?) most responsible kids in a row by themselves, where they’re not NEXT to each other (because heaven help us they’d just either get along really well and just be LOUD, or start fighting and be even LOUDER!), but still close enough that my wife and I (#1 and #2) can hopefully keep the peace and solve whatever problems come up.

What do you think?  How would YOU arrange 8 people on a plane?

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