View Full Version : Airline Travel with an Infant

05-15-2002, 03:28 PM
I'll be traveling with my 3 month old DD soon and can't quite decide if I should purchase an extra seat for her. From what I've read there are some VERY strong opinions for both buying a seat and for holding in my lap. I realize the main concern is turbulence not crashing. My question is this - would a Baby Bjorn type carrier be a viable option? It won't be a terribly long flight, but I know my DD would be much happier being held. Has anyone tried this? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
Cooper's mom

05-21-2002, 10:01 AM
Hi! My husband and I took 2 different trips (one from NYC to Cleveland, and one to LA) when our DD was 3 and 3 and a 1/2 months. In both cases we held her, didn't use our Baby Bjorn, and that worked out best. First trip we got a seat for her, and it ended up pretty useless as we just held her anyway. We split the holding and she stayed calm the whole trip (in all 4 cases!)I love my Baby Bjorn, but I didn't find it worked for planes, and I think some airlines don't let you use it during takeoff...good luck!

05-28-2002, 07:08 AM
Would the same advice hold true for traveling with a 4-6 WEEK old infant? My husband and I are moving to Germany for 2 years (academic, not government, related)very shortly after the baby is born.

I have heard that some airlines have bassinets available by request. Does anyone have any experience with that?

Thanks! Paula

05-28-2002, 08:51 AM
Hi! We just returned from a trip to France with our baby. She is 9 months, but we have flown MANY times with her since she was 6 weeks. Flying international is a bit different from flying domestically. First, all passengers MUST have tickets EVEN lap infants. We flew United, and their policy was to charge 10% of the lowest fare in your cabin (economy, business or first). Also, all passengers must have passports INCLUDING infants of any age. So run to the passport office nearest you to get a passport when your baby is born, since processing can take up to 6 weeks! (Yes, you need passport photos of your infant as well.) You can request expedited passport handling, but (I think) only if your travel date is within 3 weeks. Check out the state department website http://travel.state.gov/passport_services.html
There are special requirements for getting a passport for a minor, so review the site carefully. Also, post 9/11, the locations and times for many passport services have changed, so make sure to check this all out before you go.

You can request a bassinet, BUT you get these only if you are in a bulkhead seat and these seats are very limited, go quickly and must be requested. I would request one as soon as you know your travel arrangements. FYI, airlines also serve "infant meals" that vary depending on the age of your infant. For a 6 week old, I would imagine that would be formula. If you are breastfeeding, it doesn't necessarily matter, but if not, then it is nice to have available if you need it. For my 9 month old, for an "infant meal" she got 2 jars of baby food and a can of ready to feed Similac. I was pretty happy about that. She got 2 meals, one each time the rest of the cabin was served a meal. Note, even if you are breastfeeding, I know folks who have had supply issues when flying (stress, inconvenient feeding times, etc), so I would be prepared with a bottle just in case.

We had a seat for our baby and I wouldn't even consider flying internationally without a seat for the baby. (For short domestic flights, I often don't bother with getting her a seat.) They are long flights (Washington DC to Paris was 7 hours) and that is a LONG time to hold your baby. It gives you more flexibility in terms of seating (not getting a bulkhead is not the end of the world) and you will just have a happier flight. Also, you ensure that you will have YOUR carseat when you arrive. I assume you will have a car in Germany and you will want the carseat when you arrive anyway, since an infant seat may not be available. I don't know what Germany is like in terms of child restraint laws, but I was shocked at how lax the rules are in France. It was the exception to observe a child restrained in a car rather than the rule. You are also assured of the infant carseat of your choice and I was surpised at 1) how expensive baby gear was in France and 2) how little choice there seemed to be. At least in France, the market for strollers, carseats, carriers, etc. was dominated by French brands with few products available other than their 2 major brands.

If you have any other questions, please let me know if I can help.


05-28-2002, 03:51 PM
Your advice is helpful--seems we're coming from the same place (I live down in the C'VIlle area so our flight to Berlin will be about the same amount of time). The passport info is new to me--Just one more thing to look into. Thanks again!

05-28-2002, 03:53 PM
I have also heard that some airlines will not approve the use of Baby Bjorns for take off and landing and well, the risk of turbulance is a really concern. I purchased a seat for our DD for our summer trip (she'll be 6mos) partly because of the turbulance issue and partly b/c I knew she'd have to have a car seat when we arrived and I have heard that even gate checking can damage your car seat. Her seat was 1/2 our ticket price.

You may want to check out onestepahead.com--I think that is where I saw a harness you wear that supposedly *is* approved by the airlines. Had I seen this I may have considered this instead --but then we are back to the car seat issue anyway!

Good luck!

05-28-2002, 08:36 PM
Charlottesville, Virginia? if so, me too!


05-29-2002, 06:09 AM
The only infant restraint systems "approved" by the FAA for take-off and landing are a carseat and your arms. Bizarre, but true. Neither the Baby B'Air (sold by One Step Ahead and other places) nor an infant carrier like the Bjorn is approved for that use. It says so right on the package. They CAN be used in flight, but not for take-off and landing. Now, whether or not you can get away with using one on YOUR flight depends on your particular flight attendants and how ornery they feel. Many don't care what you use. Some will make you take baby out of Bjorn and hold them or place in carseat. A friend of mine was once told she couldn't HOLD her baby if she had a car seat, not even to breastfeed. She ended up not being able to bf her baby that flight. Fortunately it was a short flight and she had a back-up bottle.

The key to flying with an infant is be prepared and go with the flow. Your flight crew may interpret rules strangely and you MUST respect their interpretation or potentially face some stiff fines.
We fly A LOT and have flown with our baby NUMEROUS times. Every flight crew has told us slightly different things.

FYI, turbulence is a real issue. On our return flight from Paris, out of the blue we hit a turbulence pocket strong enough to jar me to a sitting position (I was standing up) and to send the flight attendants running for their seats. No big deal, but scary. Sarah slept through it, undisturbed, safely buckled into her carseat. My DH (the REAL frequent flyer, he flies > 100,000 air miles a year for work) was once told by a pilot that it isn't "real" turbulence until you have bruises from your seatbelt...


05-29-2002, 04:56 PM
Fares: my understanding was that if you pay 10% on international flights, you DO NOT get a seat for your infant. 10%+tax is the price for what the airlines call a "lap baby". If you want a confirmed seat, you have to pay the child fare, which is around 50% or more of the adult fare. Am I wrong?

Bassinet vs. Car seat: Regarding the bassinet, I would be extra careful: sometimes the plane is not equipped with the attachement needed for bassinets. On a Boeing 777, from Wash to Paris (and return) the airline (United) gave us what they called a bassinet. It looked like a sports bag to put down on the floor by our feet. This is terrible: the baby rolls everywhere and is not protected from turbulences. The real bassinet presents another problem: it hangs over in front of 2 seats, which is fine if 2 are traveling, but if you are alone, the bassinet takes the space in front of your neighbouring passenger: not many travelers enjoy that! These bassinets are also small and not all babies like them: my baby enjoys looking around and she wanted to sit in the bassinet, which is not what they are meant for. The Baby Bjorn is fine when the baby is sleeping, but you couldn't keep a baby in there for a long transatlantic flight.

On my transatlantic flights, I got the lap fare (10%), which means that theoretically I was not entitled to a seat for the baby. However, even on packed flights, the flight attendants always found a second seat for her infant car seat, and that was by far the best solution for us.

I would recommend making a reservation for a bassinet and taking the car seat along, in case there are free seats available.

05-29-2002, 07:59 PM
Fares for children under 2 vary by airline, but generally for international travel the fare for a lap child is 10% and the fare for a seat for a child is 50%.

I have not actually seen one of the bassinets. I have only heard about them. But it would not surprise me if some planes are not configured for their use. In many cases, an empty seat may be available for your use with a carseat. But I have been on many international flights that were booked solid. I have noticed that international flights have been a little less full since 9/11. But I would hate to count on it.

Another downside to the bassinet use is that you have to be in a bulkhead seat. In these seats all carry on bags MUST be stored in the overhead bin during taxi take-off and landing (no seat in front of you to put bags under). I don't like this, because I like to have my diaper bag handy.

The following info is from the United website:

Infant fares
One child less than 24 months of age may travel free between U.S. points as well as between the U.S. and Canada when accompanied by an adult. When travel is international, you must buy a ticket, which is usually subject to a discounted fare depending on the international point. One adult customer traveling with more than one infant must purchase an adjacent seat for each additional child, at the applicable fare. These children must be properly secured in their seats. You must be at least 15 years old to hold an infant as a lap child.

Car seats
You may use approved infant car seats on board the aircraft when you have confirmed a cabin seat for your child. The seat must conform to all applicable U.S. motor vehicle safety standards. If manufactured after February 1985, the car seat should also be certified for use in aircraft. You should seat your child in these for takeoff, landing, and during turbulence. The following child restraint devices may not be used on board the aircraft: booster seats, belly belts which attach to adult seat belts only, and vests or harnesses which hold the infant to the chest of the adult.

Bassinets are provided, free of charge, on all international aircraft (747, 767, DC10, and 777). When confirming your reservations, you may request a seat in an appropriate location for bassinet usage. These bassinets are large enough to hold a child up to approximately six months old. They may not be used for takeoff, landing, or any time the fasten seat belt sign is illuminated.


06-14-2002, 07:54 AM
I traveled to St. Louis from Baltimore (approx. 2 hours) in May with my then 7 month old son and husband. We did not purchase the extra seat and did use the Baby Bjorn carrier during take off, landing and throughout the flight when he didn't want to play. It worked great and the couple across the aisle who did purchase the extra seat and did bring their carseat onboard ended up holding their son the entire flight.

06-17-2002, 04:30 PM
From my experience flying with my 4 month old son, the flight crew will make you unhook a baby bjorn during take-off, but yu don't have to take it all the way off. I kept my DS in it facing me, although he usually rode facing out, and that worked well for us.

If you are breastfeeding try to schedule feeding start after you board, before take-off & landing to relieve ear pressure. It is pretty easy to be discreet if you sit in a window seat. Works like a charm to keep baby quiet.

Most airlines will let you bring a carseat WHETHER OR NOT you buy a seat. No extra charge, at least for domestic flights. After check-in, if there is room they will move people around so the baby has a seat next to you. If not, you check the seat at the gate and hold the baby. Make sure to tell the people at the gate that you want to use your seat so they know they will need to find a place! If they don't offer you a seat, tell the attendents on the plane and they will also do what they can. Flight attendents told us over-and-over that they will do whatever they can (including moving everyone) to make sure babies get in car seats.

06-18-2002, 10:46 PM
But not always.Check this out!!!
I had the worst experience of my life when i took my 1st DD to L.A. from N.Y. I did not buy her a seat at the time, she was 4 mths and had flown with us to South Africa in the bulkhead bassinette- all went great. My flight to L.A. was a dream, but the return flight was overbooked because another airline was on strike. They would not let me take my car seat on board, which i said was fine, i hadn't pd for a seat for her, so... WEll, turns out there were plenty of extra seats after all, but i was not able to use one, because by the time we could get up and move around everyone had stretched out and taken up the extra, etc. I asked a flt attendant if she might possibly help me while flying, because i was traveling alone with the baby- she snapped at me that they were VERY busy & couldn't help and next time buy a seat for my KID!!! I hadn't even asked for anything, just wanted to let her know that I might need help when going to the bathroom later or whatever. I had heard this crew snap at someone else about his jacket, blah blah- so i knew they were stressed and unreasonable, but when serving the meal, my DD threw up on herself a tiny bit, and i wanted to get into the overhead bin for a clothing change. The attendant's cart was an Inch( !!!!) in front of my seat & would not let me out no matter what. I was in the front of the plane & would not be able to get to the bathroom to change her clothes for 45 min if she didn't move forward, but she was pissed off at me, so.... Lets cut to the chase. At the end of flight , she passed a bottle of Champagne to the girl who was seated next to me and said, now get this, " THIS IS FOR HAVING TO SIT NEXT TO HER!!" I was shocked, coz i had not done anything wrong, and held my tongue the whole flight , skipped any drinks or meal, coz had no way to put tray down with baby on my lap, and cried to myself in the bathroom how awful it all was. I finally could not keep mum any longer, and said, " how dare you say that right in front of me! I have done nothing wrong to you and you have been so mean to me!" no bad words or anything, i promise. She said, " You can't talk to me like that, i am gonna have you ARRESTED when we get to NYC airport!" I was shocked & scared to death & all people around me couldn't believe it. I said " and where are you going to put my baby? In baby jail?" with my voice quivering. The head flt attendant came to see what was wrong, and had this woman go work up front for rest of flight. All around me said how dare she, but no one said a word to her at the time, and i cried and held my baby tight and was so worried coz my DH was meeting me in baggage claim & would have no idea how to find me in jail, etc. Can you imagine??? Well, it turned out that noone did anything, & i got off the flight warily, looking around and slowly made my way to baggage claim with various passengers saying comments like "well they didn't do it, eh?" & such. I found my DH, sobbed all the way home & was shaky for the next few weeks coz I have never had a confrontation or situation remotely like that ever happen. My DH still can't believe i didn't do something more to rile her, but lets just say, I ALWAYS BUY A SEAT FOR MY CHILD NOW, LOL.

06-19-2002, 08:11 AM
Zane, what a terrible experience!!!! How awful for you.

But this is what I meant above, when I said you are at the mercy of your flight crew. You HAVE to abide by their interpretation of rules. You cannot COUNT on anything when flying and have to be prepared. (Like my poor friend when they wouldn't let her BREASTFEED her baby on the plane. Luckily, she had a bottle.)

Now having said this, the vast majority of flight attendants are WONDERFUL and have always been VERY helpful and accommodating to us when flying with our baby. But I must also say, that I have never flown with her in coach, we have always flown business or first class. (No, we're not rich! DH flies A LOT for business and has tons of frequent flier miles we use when we fly together to buy free tickets in first and business. This is the "perk" we get for him spending so much time away from home. :( )

But OMG Zane, you must have been panicking! I know I would have been!!!!

06-20-2002, 12:32 PM
Yikes. How terrible. Not what I need to hear when I will be traveling in less than 3 months with a 6 week old baby, a dog in cargo, a cat in the cabin and a sister who doesn't speak the language (German). While business class sounds lovely, it unfortunately does not fit into our grad student budget.

Does anyone who has traveled in coach have any suggestions on how to 1) make the flight go more smoothly with a newborn (i.e. what kinds of things should I bring on board with me? As a brand new-to-be mom, I have no idea) 2) make friends with the crew? Is the consensus that on a long, probably booked-up flight, that I should NOT bring the car seat on board--even to gate check it? I checked the airlines site (I think we will be using Lufthansa) and they don't' suggest anything one way or another. I'm leaning toward the bassinete idea, but would love to hear other's opinions and (gulp) experiences.

And again, I'm so sorry for such an awful ordeal.

06-20-2002, 02:11 PM
That story is horrible. You should say what airline you were using so that parents can avoid it. It doesn't sould very baby friendly. You really are at the mercy of the flight attendants when you fly with an infant. I frequent some travel sites and the flight attendant you ran into is certainly not the norm, but she's not particularly rare either. Attendants have quite a bit of power. They can kick you off flights and get you arrested with just a say so. I think its good they have the power to protect other passengers from unruly and dangerous people, but I have heard and read way too many stories where flight attendants seriously abuse that power and take out their frustrations with their job on the nearest available passenger. And the airlines always back up the employee.
I hope you lodged a complaint with the airline and against the airline. There is no excuse for this kind of behavior.
By the way, I kind of understand how you feel. I was once threatened in public with arrest as well. A woman almost ran into me at a store and her husband got offended when I didn't appologize to her, so he started yelling at me and insulting me. When I told him I had done nothing wrong and he had no right to say those things, he pulled out a badge and threatened to have me arrested. I practically had a heart attack I was so scared. But I managed to say "You have no right to threaten me!" and he backed down. At that pointit was pretty obvious that he wasn't even a polic officer! Lol! If the cops had shown up it was he who would have been arrested for impersonating a police officer! But the whole incident was scary and left me shaken for days.
I don't know what I would have done in your shoes. It seems there are people in this world who find satisfaction in acting like this. It is so sad.

06-20-2002, 03:20 PM
The only differences between business and coach in that respect are that you have more room in the cabin (which is nice, but not essential) and there is a smaller flight attendant to passenger ratio, so they can spend more time helping you. But even in business, my goal when traveling is to NOT NEED a flight attendant to help me.

Actually, flying with a 6 week old is very easy (relatively) since they don't really need to be "entertained" at that age and are still sleeping a lot. The big challenges are you still need a lot of diapers and they are eating every 2-3 hours. A pretty compelte list is:

1) diapers (A TON at that age. I think I was still using 8-10 a day at 6 weeks, so I would probably pack 10 for a 5 hour flight to be really safe? And have a bunch more in my baggage for arrival, so you don't have to rush to find them when you arrive...)
2) wipes
3) changing pad
4) plastic bags for dirty diapers (they sell special bags for this at BRU. I know you can use regular plastic bags for this, but the ones you buy are REALLY compressed and you can bring a bunch without taking up much room at all. They are about $3 for 50 at BRU.)
5) extra outfit for baby
6) extra top for mom :)
7) bottles (even if breastfeeding as a backup. I find the disposable ones VERY convenient for travel.)
8) formula (I would probably bring the smaller ready to feed cans/bottles at that age. Just one or 2 if breastfeeding and enough to feed every 2 hours if formula feeding.)
9) pacifier (your baby may not like it, but they are great to have sometimes)
10) "small" toy that baby likes
11) infant Tylenol (you just never know)
12) two burp cloths
13) diaper bag for all of the above!

Now, if your baby ends up colicky or with reflux, you may need other things, but with this list you should be able travel pretty troublefree. Most 6 week olds are still sleeping a lot. A bassinet may work great, especially at that age, but many small infants prefer their carseats because they feel more snug.

Also, if you bottle feed and will be traveling a lot with your infant, then I would encourage you to NOT get your baby used to warm bottles. I know some people feel very strongly about this, but there is no medical reason to warm bottles and it VERY difficult to find places to do this when traveling especially on the plane. If you need bottles warmed on a plane, then you are REALLY at the mercy of the flight attendants. Especially in coach, with a huge cabin they have to feed, they may not have time to warm a bottle when you need it warmed.

I think the real key to flying is to remember that you need to be as self sufficient as possible. The more you need to ask someone for help, the more opportunity there is for you to be in a difficult spot when the flight crew is unable to help you. Do things like:

Use ready to feed formula (the few extra dollars for this one occasion are WELL spent) or breastfeed instead of powder formula (no need for warm water to mix with). Have your diaper bag at your feet instead of in the overhead bin. (This is the BIGGEST downside to the bulkhead seats and bassinet idea. All your carry-on, INCLUDING YOUR DIAPER BAG must be in the overhead bin. I will NOT sit in a bulkhead with Sarah because of this. I have been on too many flights where I have waited in line to take off for an hour or MORE with no access to my bag in the overhead to risk this with my baby).

All that said, I (obviously) think that travel with baby is well worth any additional headaches. We have flown with her probably 10 times since she was born last August, including Europe. Be as prepared as you can be and HAVE A GOOD TIME!

06-20-2002, 08:34 PM
Also, make sure you check very carefully into the rules the airline has for your pets! When we moved from CA to VA last summer, getting our 2 cats and the dog from point A to point B was the WORST part of the moving extravaganza. We couldn't use United (the airline we flew on) to ship our pets, because United no longer accepts pets as checked baggage, only as air cargo and will only accept animal shipments from licensed animal shippers! (Which, of course, we are not.) To use a licensed shipper would have cost us $1000 PER PET!! Yikes! Many airlines now only take pets as air cargo, but many will accept, you, the owner as a licensed shipper. We used Delta Air Cargo and were very happy. I think it was $250 per pet?

My DH and I ended up flying separately to make this work. He dropped me at the airport (32 weeks pregnant, with a cat carrier in one hand and all my worldly possession until the moving truck showed up 3 weeks later in VA in the other.) He made sure my flight to VA took off as scheduled. He then dropped the dog and the other cat (who SCREAMS when traveling, so no being carried on the plane for him) off at Delta air cargo, then drove back to the airport, returned the rental car (since our cars were on the moving truck!) and checked into his flight to VA (with the rest of our worldly possessions). I arrived, took the one cat I had carried onto the plane with me to find, in the dark, in a place I had never driven before, BY MYSELF our temporary housing apartment. The next morning (which was really like 4 hours after I landed), I drove to get DH at the airport and then we picked up the dog and cat at the airport later. (The second leg of their cargo flight actually got cancelled and they ended up on a different flight, but Delta called to let us know they were fine).

Why all the confusion? Well!!! The thing with shipping pets is that if the weather is not cooperative (too hot or too cold, at the point of origin, at the connection point, or at the point of destination), you can merrily go in to ship your pet as cargo AND THE AIRLINE WILL REFUSE TO TAKE THEM. And then what do you do? When you have already sold your house, have nowhere to go (and who would take you with 2 cats and a dog?), 2 cats and a dog and two non-refundable plane tickets to Virginia that leave in 2 hours!?!?!? Or, God forbid, what if your flight gets delayed, but your pets make it to VA and there is no one there to pick them up! You have to pick them up wihtin a certain amount of time. By splitting up our flights, DH and I ensured that someone would be at each end in case a flight either got delayed or didn't take off.

I'm not saying this to be scary, just warning you that shipping pets in not the easy thing it used to be. When we moved to CA in 1995, we blithely checked all our pets as baggage on our flight. These days, the rules have changed and it is not so easy. We left the pet planning piece of our move to the last minute and were literally SCRAMBLING the last few days before our move to get all the arrangements made. So MAKE SURE you plan ahead for the pets.

Even for the cat you take as carry-on, they limit the number of pets on-board the aircraft, so they need a "reservation" of sorts. For domestic flights, the typical charge is $150 for an animal in the cabin. I don't know what it is for international flights.

But you probably already know all of this. :) Maybe this info will help someone from the frazzled disaster that was our cross-country move. :(


06-21-2002, 08:41 AM
It seems we've had some parallel experiences, Beth. Baby and pets are coming to Germany with us because we are moving there for a while. Did I forget to mention all the worldly possessions too? We'll be flying OUT OF Virginia, though, instead of into it. We did this 2 years ago, sans baby, and it was a nightmare. Due to weather (it was early September) we had to change our tickets 10 days before we weere supposed to leave, because American wasn't accepting pets as cargo until the weather cooled the following month. We finally found one airline who would fly, checked the dog (he's a big one) as baggage and took the cat in the cabin. It was quite the sight.

This time, DH and I are flying seperately. He's taking the cat and I'm taking the dog and the baby (one checked; one in cabin; fine so long as I remember which is which)and my sister is flying with me to try and keep me sane. I hadn't thought about the overhead issue with the bulkhead seats, but I've heard such great things about the bassinete that perhaps it will be worth it.

Thanks for the list of items. I'll be breastfeeding--I hope--so that should cut down on a few things. And I can always unload a few *extras* onto my Au pair/sister :)

'Preciate all the help and hope you're liking VA--I'm sad to be leaving it.


06-21-2002, 11:43 AM
I've never traveled by air with a pet, but we have 3 dogs and a cat, so I understand that side of it! There have been some problems with animals dying in the cargo area of the plane because it is too hot or too cold - that's why the airlines have started restricting when they will transport animals. (The cargo hold is not pressurized or climate controlled.)

You may want to have someone in VA lined up who can take your animals if you aren't allowed to put them on the plane - even just someone who will take them to a boarding kennel until the airlines allow them to fly. Then at least you have a back-up plan. August is still pretty hot, especially in VA, so you don't want to run the risk of being stuck deciding between boarding the plane (and abandoning your animals) and staying in VA another day (and having to purchase new, full-fare tickets).

Good luck, wish that I was closer to VA so that I could help you out!

due 10/12 w/ #1

06-21-2002, 12:19 PM
While the main cargo compartment with all the checked luggage is not pressurized or climate controlled, there is also a smaller cargo area (where the pets go) that IS pressurized and climate controlled. There have been issues in the past with pets being placed in the wrong cargo area. But the airline told me that the main issue with weather is when the pets are on the runway waiting to be loaded, unloaded, or if the plane is delayed on takeoff or landing and has to sit on the runway. In the past when we have checked our dog as baggage we ALWAYS pestered every flight attendant we saw to PLEASE make sure our animal was actually on the plane and in the right cargo area.

One thing to think about with the bulkhead seats and carrying your cat on board is that your cat, as carry-on, would also have to be in the overhead bin. You may want to check with the airline on this.


06-21-2002, 08:18 PM
We are traveling to France on American in July. I can't tell you how helpful this has been! When I called American, they said the flight wasn't full so they actually aranged my husband and my seats with an empty one betw. us. We requested the bassinet which we can apparntly put on the seat or on the floor. I have flown domestically a couple of times and I highly recommend taking your car seat to the gate. I only had to gate check it once and it was fine. The other times, I was flying by myself and it was a godsend to have my dd in the seat where she promptly went to sleep. Otherwise, I could have never gone to the bathroom! The key to smooth traveling is feeding them during take off and landing - esp. landing! - so their ears pop. I breastfeed but I had milk in a bottle and fed my dd while she was safely strapped into the seat.
On another note, what's this with the 10% international lap child tax? We are being charged $200 on an $800 ticket - a full 25%!!!!!! What a ripoff!
Good luck to all my fellow travelers - Emily in NYC
ps. Wahoowa to my friends in C'ville

06-22-2002, 11:01 PM
It was United Airlines that i had the problem with the flt attendant, but i must say, that almost all my other flts with them have had lovely helpful crews and i stupidly did not file a complaint with them, because, although i was so upset and shaken for a few weeks afterwards, the letter that i had written was so long and detail oriented, that i was afraid they would think i was a crazy person, so i thought i would get a friend of mine who was a lawyer to help me edit it down, and then I just didn't want to deal with it by the time i got around to seeing her, i am still annoyed that i didn't lodge a complaint, but.....
Thanks for the support , though, i am still reeling from that awful day, did i mention that at check in, they said my luggage was too heavy, made me open it up, rifle throught it, take out 2 (two!!!) Dr. Seuss books (cat in the hat and go dog go - you know the thin little ones) put them in a seperate box to send, and then suddenly my luggage was okay to send. All the while wearing the baby in the Bjorn and stressing about my stuff spilling everywhere, but again, that's life, eh.?.....

06-26-2002, 03:44 PM
>On another note, what's this with the 10% international lap
>child tax? We are being charged $200 on an $800 ticket - a
>full 25%!!!!!! What a ripoff!

The price for a lap baby ticket is actually 10% of the price before tax + 100% of the taxes. As taxes to Europe are around $100, we end up paying $200 for a baby which doesn't use a seat!