Outrageous Charge for Infant on Lap

Mar 29th, 2001, 08:02 AM
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Have considered what would happen with your infant in your lap if the plane dropped suddenly in clear-air turbulence? What about a seriously bumpy landing? And -- the unthinkable -- a crash or collision? No matter how tightly you think you can hold on, sometimes things are too sudden or the force is too great.

Would you carry a fragile glass sculpture worth $10 million on your lap for the whole flight? How about a bowl of acid?

And remember the plane that cart-wheeled in Iowa? One of the babies who died had been an in-arms child.

As for the $230? If you've got enough frequent flyer miles to fly international, you've certainly got enough money to pay it, but frankly, I'd pay whatever it takes for a seat and an infant carrier into which I could buckle that baby.
Mar 29th, 2001, 08:16 AM
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This last post is foolish (and almost malicious) "innumeracy".

Death in infancy from an aviation-related incident is so astronomically improbable that it is really not worth even the tiniest of inconvenience. If the airline provides a bassinet (and chances are, they will) I would say use it. But to lug some special seat or other conveyance to Europe and back - - well, that make so little sense.

There are many ways that this forum could be used to propagate good public health for babies, if this was the right place. But comparing a baby to a "bowl of acid" is not one of them.
Mar 29th, 2001, 08:25 AM
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Just returned from Europe and saw two (why 2?) devoted Au Pairs traveling with a baby. The airline had provided them with bulkhead seats (which they traded to obtain a full row of four) and a type of seatbelt that attached tothe seatbelt of one of the women. It allowed the child to be placed on her lap facing forward.
Is this common?
The child was perhaps 6 to 7 months old.
It went well for them, I hope the same is true for you, Courtney. Good luck!
Mar 29th, 2001, 08:35 AM
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Excuse me, Rex, but you are way off-base here. One, death from an airline-related incident is not "astronomically" inprobable. Two, a child does not have to die to be harmed. Three, just because something is improbable does not mean it will never happen. You call carrying an infant seat an inconvenience? I am sorry you think that measures to protect a child are inconvenient. I certainly hope you don't have children because I fear for them. Mumma was right on with her posting. What if a child in a lap was thrown out of her mother's arms because of severe turbulence (a high probablity - talk to any flight attendant)? Would you be saying, "But hey, look at the money I saved! And I wasn't inconvenienced by a carseat!" I'm sorry Rex, but your post bordered on lunacy.
Mar 29th, 2001, 08:49 AM
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I apologise for mis-reading this post first time -- I saw 1 and 1/2 and assumed 18 months. However, Courtney must be a brand new mother who has a really good reason for flying. Otherwise, why a poor baby who is highly unlikely to sleep longer than 2-3 hours at a time at home should be taken on such a long trip...I'll assume it is a very good reason. Like joining the father who is stationed in Spain. Or making a trip to see the baby's grandparents who live in Spain. I still think it can't cost that much more (certainly not $2300) to purchase the baby a seat, and use a car seat. Ilisa's right about frequent turbulance.
Mar 29th, 2001, 08:57 AM
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I can not get over the fact that some people on this board can not stand children so much!

I just had a beautiful baby girl a few weeks ago, and I can not wait to plan our first trip to Europe for this summer! I am not looking forward to paying the 10%, but there is nothing any of us can do about it. All airlines charge for infants to sit on your lap, no matter how ridiculous we think that may be!

My only suggestion would be to request the bulkhead seat, and use the bassinet. Enjoy your vacation..., the memories you will have with your baby will be well worth the 10% you need to pay!

Mar 29th, 2001, 09:21 AM
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This is not about people not liking your children. Not one post on this thread suggests that babies don't have a right to fly. This issue is not about love or hate. It's about money. It is about the willingness of some mothers to put themselves, their babies and the passengers around them through a very unpleasant experience because they want to save a few hundred bucks by not buying a seat for their babies. Remember, that person next to you who is kept up all night may have to hop in a car when the plane lands and drive for several hundred miles. By the way, do you really believe that taking a baby a few months old on a vacation to Europe will be a pleasant experience for the child? Good luck, you'll need it.
Mar 29th, 2001, 10:11 AM
Patti Suttle
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I agree with daddy-traveling on a plane is uncomfortable enough not to mention overseas! I would not want to be the person in the seat next to you. That sounds harsh but I am one with a 3 hour ride home after the international flight. How will you eat (tray table, etc?)
Last summer I gave up my seat twice so couples could sit together. The last seat change put me next to a man with his noisy, bratty 9 yr. old. (of course, not all children are bratty!) The father fell asleep immediately. He did not hear or feel a thing. I had to put up with the noisy kid. We sat on the plane for 2 HOURS before we even took off. It was very annoying and disturbing.
Mar 29th, 2001, 11:11 AM
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I will not get into an arguyment with you Ilisa. My wife and I have three daughters.

And I am confident in the factual basis for everything I said.

Have a great trip, Courtney. If this $230 is a financial hardship for you, I hope that family members will help overcome it.
Mar 29th, 2001, 11:39 AM
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True, people sometimes must travel with infants and small children because of job transfers, etc. but to take an infant on a vacation trip to Europe is crazy. Part of the problem here is a generation of people who simply do not care about anyone except themselves. If it works for them, then the heck with everyone else, including the poor slobs who are forced to sit next to them on a long flight. Maybe this baby will be fine and not fuss, cry, etc. for umpteen hours, but I doubt it. Sounds like real fun for those sitting near by. As for the $230 fare, well it it seems too much, then stay home! Do I hate children, NO, but I can certainly dislike the fact that their parents frequently have no regard for others and how their actions will affect others. Frankly I wish they would devise a Baby and Small Children Seating Area on planes and let those people all torture one another.
Mar 29th, 2001, 12:19 PM
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Three cheers for Linda! Couldn't have said it better!
Mar 29th, 2001, 12:25 PM
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FYI, use of belly belts (seat belt extensions that attach the child to the parent's seatbelt) is forbidden on US carriers, FAA regulations. Current FAA recommendation is for children under 40 lbs. to be secured in a certified Child Restraint System thoughout the flight.
They are currently seriously considering making that mandatory.

It is not at all ridiculous to use a proper safety seat for a child under 40 lbs. I personally believe it should be mandatory, and not just for the child's safety, though that is the most important reason. It is also important for the comfort of other passengers. A child in a familiar safety seat will eat better, sleep better, and be safely secured while parents sleep and eat, meaning that everyone is happier, parents included.

My son is not quite 3 years old, he has over 40 flights under his belt, and he was in a carseat for every single one of them, except for two internal flights in the UK, when the airline would not allow the seat on board, giving me a belly belt instead. There is no way on this earth that I would do a 7 hour overnight flight without a way of safely restraining my child while I slept.

British Airways recently hired Britax to make special aircraft-use-only seats for children up to 2 years old, to be supplied by the airline for passenger use. I hope all trans-Atlantic carriers follow suit. With any luck, this will persuade the people who don't bring them because they think a CRS is too much trouble to carry.
Mar 29th, 2001, 12:33 PM
Miss Anthrope
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Just put the damn kid in a bag and put it in the overhead compartment. You get one free carry-on anyhow.
Mar 29th, 2001, 12:34 PM
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Ryn, excellent. Rex, I am glad you feel comfortable with your cavalier attitudes towards child safety. In 1989, during the crash in Sioux City, Iowa, one lap child died instantly when ripped from his mother's arms, and another was found 15 rows behind his mother in a closed overhead bin. In 1994, in a USAirways crash in Charlotte, an dead infant was found several rows ahead of his mother who survived the crash. The seat next to his mother was completely intact. Had these children been secured, they would have survived. There are daily instances of lap children being injured during turbulence. While the above examples occurred years ago, they certainly are proof that such disasters are not improbable.
Mar 29th, 2001, 01:04 PM
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Rex is a neonatologist!
Mar 29th, 2001, 01:25 PM
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My brother and his wife took their 2-month old from Seattle to Argentina without any problems. She slept most of the way. And they decided to go then BEFORE she became a toddler, and therefore much more difficult to take on a long plane ride.
Mar 29th, 2001, 01:32 PM
Risk is Everywhere
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Some years ago in Washington, D.C., a mother was pushing her baby across the street in a stroller. A flimsy umbrella stroller, I believe. A large truck struck the stroller, ripping it from the mother's hands. The child died. The mother's other child, who was walking next to the mother, was not harmed.

All of this could have been avoided had the mother secured her infant in an indestructable titanium stroller, complete with a helmet for the child and a proper roll bar. After all, any money spent to reduce even the tiniest risk to a child is money well spent, right?

In life, bad things happen sometimes. You can try to decrease the risk by doing things like buying a seat for your baby on a plane. Or you can decide that the risk is sufficiently small that you will accept it. Either choice is a valid one. They are just different choices.
Mar 29th, 2001, 01:58 PM
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Lovely explanation, Rex. Too bad your analogy is again flawed. An infant on an airplane is entitled to have the same chance of surviving a crash or turbulence as is an adult. You belt yourselves in, secure heavy objects, etc. but assume that an infant doesn't need protection. Doesn't an infant deserve the same precautions you take for yourself, regardless of how unlikely a crash is?
Mar 29th, 2001, 02:16 PM
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Well, Fair, I suspect if the airline would let Rex save $230 by simply not buckling his seat belt, he might take them up on it. I know I would.
Mar 29th, 2001, 02:20 PM
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I don't believe that there are daily instances of lap children injured during turbulence; I don't believe that there are even daily injuries due to turbulence for humans of ANY age, but I don't know where to access any such statistics. For once, I am not going to go on a "hunt" for such information on the internet.

I do believe that infants and children should have protection from injury comparable to adults - - but I would draw the line at asking someone to carry a seat or device that weighs as much as I do, to Europe and back to protect me. That is what we are asking Courtney's mother to do for her. We don't know all the circumstances surrounding the fare basis being levied for her infant to travel, but if the travel is short notice, and without a Saturday night, then the cost to put her baby could conceivably jump from 10% (of $2300 = 230) to 75% ($1725!). Is that what she ought to feel obligated to do to protect her baby from injury?

So far, all I have heard is that TWO infants have died (in preventable fashion) from aviation accidents in the past decade. 20 million babies were born in the United States during that time. 13,000 died from sudden infant death. What expense would be appropriate to protect a baby from that?

I think that I will not comment on the message posted by "Directory" - - who thinks we ought to attach something to the use of the website for the American MARKETING Association to that post. Many who know me are aware that I have chosen to keep my career [and career(s)] out of the line of sight of this forum. And so, to the best of my knowledge, has just about everyone else here.

I'd like to drop out of this highly contentious thread, but I will not do so in a cowardly way.


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