Flying on Southwest with a baby? ..read this

Old Aug 17th, 2004, 10:18 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,763
Flying on Southwest with a baby? ..read this

I noticed on my weekly Southwest email..that the first link was about travelling with a child under two.

Apparently, SW may require a birth certificate as proof that a child is under two.( I remember seeing this on an episode of Ailrine)

"Although not recommended, if your child is under age two and you would prefer to hold him or her on your lap when traveling, you may do so on Southwest Airlines without charge, and we'll be glad to check your CRD for use at your destination. FAA regulation requires any child who has reached his or her second birthday to occupy his or her own seat during takeoff and landing. Please keep in mind that Southwest personnel must ensure compliance with this regulation, so be sure to bring along a copy of your baby's birth certificate for age verification."
Dick is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2004, 10:23 AM
  #2  
GoTravel
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Dick, this subject has been beat to death and it does nothing but stir up controversy and arguments.

All professional organiztions highly recommend children under two fly in a child seat in their own seat including the ADA, American Pediatrics Association, the Pilots Association, whatever the Flight Attendents Association is called and so on.
 
Old Aug 17th, 2004, 10:27 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,763
Go,

I'm not looking to stir up anything regarding the use or nonuse of "car seats". As a grandparent, I think all infants should be in "car seats" on the plane.

But I know that for reasons of cost, many people to forgo this. Infrequent travellers may not think to bring a birth certificate as proof that their child is under two.
Dick is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2004, 12:20 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
A cautionary tale - not to stir up controversey - but as information for parents who do not regularly fly - to encourage them to do the right thing and buy a seat for their infant.

I was on a flight with a major incident - the crash was averted - just - but we had to prepare for a hard landing. Infants who were in approved seats were allowed to stay with their parents. Infants that were not seated in approved infant seats had to be passed to the front of each section so they could be secured - and heavily padded in the bulkhead carrier - or between bulkhead and first row of seats (there were quite a few infants). One woman was distraught - and wanted to keep her infant with her - the chief FA said - no - our responsability is to try to save the baby's life - and with you he'll have no chance at all.

I realize the chances of an incident are tiny - but this is like carrying a baby in an SUV without a car set - in an accident they are simply missles.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2004, 12:27 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,107
I don't think Dick is stirring up trouble here. Without comment on the safety aspects, I'll just say that some parents just MIGHT try to bring a child over two years on board for free, with intentions to hold the baby on their laps. If they cannot prove the child to be under two, and are forced to purchase a seat .... well, at what price will a last-minute seat purchase for "Junior" cost?? I don't know what Southwest's policy is, but I could see where "Junior"'s seat could cost more than both parents' seats combined did. What a bummer of a way to start a vacation!
rb_travelerxATyahoo is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2004, 12:39 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 102
This is a genuine question. What kind of identification are parents using (if not a birth certificate) to identify the child as theirs? Surely, regardless of age, they have to show some kind of official ID to get on the plane.
Jackie44 is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2004, 12:47 PM
  #7  
caribtraveler
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Jackie44: We got our 2.5-year-old a passport when he turned one. He was 15 months old when we first flew with him, but a passport is what we use as i.d. for him (even for trips within U.S.).
 
Old Aug 17th, 2004, 12:51 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,088
Jackie44 -- I fly with my 11 year old 4-6 times a year. I have never had to produce any ID for her -- at check-in or at security -- except on international trips where a passport is required. I do carry her passport with me on most trips, but I've never been asked to show any ID for a domestic flight.
ms_go is online now  
Old Aug 17th, 2004, 12:53 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 278
nytraveler- can you please expand on where the flight attendants placed infants on the plane? What exactly is the bulkhead carrier? Just curious.
Kennedy3 is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2004, 01:02 PM
  #10  
caribtraveler
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
To confirm what ms_go says, we have never been asked for our son's i.d. during trips within U.S. We always volunteer the passport.
I'm also curious about what nytraveler said. What airline was that? I've never heard that before and it doesn't quite make sense to me.
 
Old Aug 17th, 2004, 01:10 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,854
In all our travels, including those after 9/11, we have never had to provide ID for our children who are now 14 & 10.
Suzie is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2004, 01:19 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,595
Children under 18 who are travelling with parents don't need id on domestic flights, but parents who want to take a child for FREE on southwest need proof that the child qualifies as being under 2 years old.

Thanks Dick for the reminder. That could be an expensive way to start a trip, especially if you have a "big" baby that looks older.
lcuy is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2004, 01:23 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,854
Icuy,

I think the 4 of us after Jackie posted were just responding to Jackie's question regarding what kind of ID parents do provide.

I too think Dick may have helped some unsuspecting parent avoid an expensive plane trip.
Suzie is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2004, 01:48 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,114
Kennedy, a bulk head carrier is like a bassinet that folds down from the wall in front of the bulkhead seats. It folds down directly in front of the parent's seat.

When I first saw one, I thought it was kind of nifty, but wondered about the safety of the child in.
Statia is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2004, 02:29 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 154
I flew out of SFO last year using American Airlines. My neices and nephews (14, 10, & 8) were asked if they could produce an ID. They used their school ID's and that was fine with the airline personnel. Same situation flying ATA out of LAX this year. Both flights headed for Kahului, Maui. The airlines were like 'if they got the ID, fine. If not, no biggie'.
kolohegirl is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2004, 03:36 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
It was United - several years ago. It makes sense because the babies could be strapped into the crib things - and held securely in one position. Two extra (larger) babies were somehow strapped into bulklhead seats and wrapped around with lots of blankets - that were being used to hold them in place between the bulkhead cribs things and the seats. (I was a couple of rows back and didn;t see all the details - but could hear the FAs. This way the babies were fastened to some sort of fixed object rather than being held by a parent - which is obviously useless.)

It turned out not to be a problem because the landing gear held - but if it had collapsed (as the lights indicated it would) and the babies had not been secured its very unlikely they would have survived - even if most of the adults did.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Aug 18th, 2004, 05:35 AM
  #17  
caribtraveler
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Well I'm glad everything went well for you all.
But I think it's wrong for the airlines to allow babies in laps AND THEN say it's not safe WHEN there's a problem. They should make up their minds/rules and stick with them. It's either safe or it's not.
It's just like cars: It's illegal not to have a child in a car seat but it's not illegal if you're in taxi cab? What sense is that? Isn't a taxi a car and the risks the same?
Just my little rant of the day.
 
Old Aug 18th, 2004, 05:46 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,068
A fairly good way of holding an infant on your lap is to use the Baby Bjorn style of carrier. At least that way, on takeoff and landing, they are "fixed" to something--Mommy or Daddy. With respect to children's ID, if they are travelling with only one parent and leaving the country (even to Canada), a notarized letter may be required from the other parent.
Gretchen is online now  
Old Aug 18th, 2004, 05:55 AM
  #19  
caribtraveler
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Gretchen: Some airlines don't allow parents to use the Baby Bjorn type of items during landings and takeoffs. If I remember correctly, the reasoning behind that is that in an emergency, parents would not be able to put their heads down between their knees because the child would be in the way. That's probably why they took the infants during nytraveler's flight.
 
Old Aug 18th, 2004, 05:56 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
FYI - airlines all strongly recommend that a seat/with approved carrier be purchased for infants. And I would think that it might be appropriate for the parents to be more concerned for their children than the arilines are - after all the parents are not in business to make a profit.
nytraveler is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO