New research from travel watchdog, HolidayTravelWatch, has revealed the nation’s biggest airport bug bears. Travellers not being ready when they get to the front of the airport security, niggled nearly half of those surveyed while 43% are riled by people who skip or cut the queue at the boarding gate. 

But there are bigger issues causing airport anxiety. This year HolidayTravelWatch has received an influx of complaints from parents who have booked a holiday, only to find that because they have not paid for allocated seating, they are separated from their child or children by up to 19 rows on an aircraft.

Toura Robinson was separated from two of her three children on her return flight from Turkey. She was informed by Thomson that aviation law meant she did not have to pay to ensure her and her children were sat together.

Toura says: “I had tried to resolve the issue of our being separated on our return flight a week before our departure. For two weeks the problem was passed on. I was only able to sit with my four year old on our return flight because a gentlemen agreed to move for us. My nine year old is a poorly child, he suffers from asthma and has hearing difficulties. If anything happened on the flight I couldn’t see him, he and his brother were 19 rows ahead of me. I don’t know who they were sitting next to they put my children’s safety in jeopardy.”

Complaints received from parents suggest that they believe there is a lack of transparency during the booking process which causes hard-pressed parents or guardians to make financial choices at the beginning of the booking process.  Those same parents or guardians may be forced to pay extra charges further down the line to avoid separation.