Infants on airplanes


Feb 6th, 2006, 09:28 AM
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Infants on airplanes

I read with great interest an old posting by wbowles about their experience travelling with an infant on Alitalia.
While I certainly had the same concerns with this complaint as everyone else, (do you think you deserve a free seat, etc.) here is what was never quite conveyed in that thread.

ALITALIA WILL NOT SELL YOU A SEAT FOR A CHILD UNDER 2 YEARS, and WILL NOT allow a car seat in the cabin. Also, their baby cots only hold a child up to 6 months, and after 2 lengthy conversations with Alitalia in New York, I found that my daughter will have to hold my 22 pound, 10 month old grandson on the entire flight without any restraint for him at all.

I am an Alitalia frequent flyer, and love all things Italian, and I am shocked by this policy. While I understand the tight spaces on the aircraft the and inability for the airline to control what types of car seats people attempt to use, etc, this policy leaves no alternative for anyone who does not wish to risk their child becoming a missile, OR hold a sweaty restless infant on a 9 hour flight. I am not sure I would want to be seated next to, or in front of someone who was FORCED (did not choose this to save money) to hold a toddler on their lap.
The charge for the infant WITHOUT A SEAT OR COT on Alitalia ends up being about $300 with taxes, and many of us would gladly pay another $500-600 to have a safe and more enjoyable flight.
Perhaps some day they will consider not just families, but the rest of us on the plane.

P.S. Many foreign and domestic carriers have a similar policy.
NonnaGumpy is offline  
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Feb 6th, 2006, 09:46 AM
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Which foreign and domestic carriers have a similar policy? I'm sure it would be helpful for other parents to know in advance who to avoid.
Barbara is offline  
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Feb 6th, 2006, 10:20 AM
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NonnaGrumpy. . . . so glad that you posted this! I'm planning a trip to Italy in mid-april and am considering which airline to use. I'll have my 11 month son with me. While I travel with him now as a "lap child" on domestic flights, the plan is to use his car seat for this long overseas flight.

I guess we won't be flying Alitalia!

Great head's up. Would love any other information you may have on "baby-friendly" overseas carriers.

kellbell is offline  
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Feb 6th, 2006, 10:25 AM
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Whooops. . . meant "NonnaGumpy" NOT NonnaGrumpy. . . so sorry!! : )
kellbell is offline  
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Feb 18th, 2006, 12:50 PM
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We have flown with our son both in his car seat and on lap overseas. We have always flown British Airways. In both cases we tried to pick days that were not heavily travelled and the cabin attendants managed to keep a whole row for our family. So we netted an extra seat each time. This was especially great when he was tired of being in the car seat and could sit along side us or stretch out a bit.

As an aside, a wise person told me that if you teach your toddler to sit in their seat the entire time (minus bathroom breaks of course) that it is much safer for the child, easier for you and more courteous to other passengers. You may want to give this some consideration.

As I stated in an earlier post, a portable DVD player with an extended battery pack is worth its weight in gold. kl
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