Subject: Re: airline seating for families
Anne, I don't have kids so I can't answer the 2+2 or 4 across question with any experience. However, my first thoughts are, how are the seats configured? If the middle section is 5 across, I'd book 4 of them knowing that few people fly solo and couples don't want to be split up, so that you might be hedging your odds of having an empty seat in your row. That would really add to the comfort of your family's flight. In terms of joining the FF program, you really need to know the answers to the following questions before making your decision..... How many miles will this flight accrue? About 20,000 total per person? If so, that might be good for a free flight. Can the miles be used on another partner airline? If so, you might be able to combine miles for another flight or may have enough for a free one within Oz. Can miles perhaps be combined with a credit card you might have, like Amex or Visa making them valuable towards a free flight? Can the airline miles be transferred to a hotel club, like a Hilton, which could give you some free nights somewhere? Do the miles expire and when?

If your research determines that it's not worth joining for the benefit of a possible future free flight, but feel that the special desk check-in has merit, then I would have just you or your huband join, not all four of you. I'm sure one adult can check you all in as a family and they wouldn't turn you away from the counter because you're not all members.

Hope this helps.

Candice NYC