Today, I flew from Ontario, Calfornia to Seattle, with a change of plane in San Jose. The plane from Ontario was supposed to land in San Jose at 5:40 and the plane to Seattle was taking off at 6:20. However, the plane from Ontario was delayed and we landed at 6:18.
The flight attendants came on the intercom and told us not to worry and said we were coming in to gate 4 and the other plane would be nearby at gate 6. There were about a dozen or so of us on the Ontario to San Jose flight and the flight to Seattle was already boarded, with only a few open seats - all center seats. By the time we boarded, there wasn't a single aisle seat or window seat available. Yet, there were several small children with parents that needed to be seated including a young couple with a month old baby in a car set, a young mother with a two year old and a slightly older mother with a four year old.
After the father went up and down the aisle twice with the car seat, the flight attendant came on the intercom and said, "We have a situation. We need a window seat with an open seat next to it. If anyone would give up their seat, we'll give you unlimited free drinks on the flight." Finally, they found a seat for the baby and mother. Meanwhile, the mother of the two year old said, "What about us? I have a two year old and she has a four year old."
The flight attendant said, "I think we might be able to work out something with the two year old, but the four year old might have to sit by himself."
It seems to me that there were several people within earshot with a center seat next to them, who could have simply stood up and offered the two seats together. It was a pretty obvious situation so I really can't understand why no one really came forward to help these parents out without being bribed by "free drinks" first.