Malaysia Airlinesseating allocation when travelling with a baby

My wife and I flew from Melbourne to London on 5th Jan. We were travelling with our 5 and a half month old baby and consequently were not able to check in online. To ensure a bassinet seat we arrived at the airport 4 hours early - well before check in had even opened. At the time of check in we were 4th in line. Check in went smoothly, we were seated in a two row with bassinet and proceeded happily to the gate.
Unfortunately at the gate we were told our seats had been changed and we should not have been given our allocated seats as another passenger had checked in online and paid extra for one of the seats - we were promptly separated to opposite ends of the plane as, by this stage, there were very few seats left. How ridiculous!
Had we had the opportunity to check in online we too would have happily paid extra for that seat and not because we like to stretch our legs... we needed the extra space for our child! But this is beside the point - why was this seat sold to the highest bidder in light of the fact that already paying customers clearly need those seats. Shame.
So there I was at one end of the plane with our baby and my wife at the other. No one to help get items from the over head, no one to help at meal time, no one to simply hold him if he was being fussy. We were left feeling utterly baffled as to why we were not seated together as this just seemed so simple. A quick scan of the plane and there were numerous men and women sat in bassinet seats with their babies - so what did we do wrong? Was it because we were two women travelling together and therefore (despite it being 2017) were not assumed to be a couple? I really hope not but it's hard for it not to feel this way...
We were 4th in line at check in, we were told we couldn't check in online - what more could we have done to ensure seats next to each other so we could both look after our baby on such a long flight? Why is it not policy for parents travelling with small babies to just be allocated those seats or at the very least be given the opportunity to pay extra? The flight is long enough but to do it with a baby and be seated separately just seems like a crazy and cruel way to run things. Clearly customer care and satisfaction is not a priority.
We are so disappointed by the lack of empathy and support we will never fly Malaysia Air again and will happily persuade others not to do so either.

Jan 17, 2017

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