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Empty Seat On Board - Can I Use An Infant Seat?  
User currently offlineBWI757 From Israel, joined Dec 2004, 429 posts, RR: 2
Posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5045 times:

Being on the forum and seeing the discussions about "Hey, it's an unused business class seat, why can't I move up", I thought I would ask about this slightly different scenario:

In a couple of weeks I'll be flying WN with a 10-month old. We did not purchase a seperate seat for the carrier, since he can sit on my lap for free (2+ hr flight). If the flight still has open seats on the day of travel, can I ask if I can take the seat onboard with us and strap it in? I have heard that some airlines will allow it but I wanted to consult with our august body... Smile

Please do not respond if you are  grumpy  about  drool  on  airplane  or want to  stirthepot  - go start thread #9999999 on the topic.

All other comments welcome

Thanks
BWI757


I live in the US but my heart is in Jerusalem!
13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineOutlier From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5037 times:

Here's an idea: Call the airline.

I hope I didn't violate your policy on what comments were allowed......


User currently offlineDanny From Poland, joined Apr 2002, 3509 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 5028 times:

From my experience nobody has a problem with using empty seat for your infant. Did it number of times before my daughter turned two  Wink

User currently offlineSilentbob From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2081 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 5005 times:

Assuming the seat meets airline standards and the empty seat is next to you, it shouldn't be a problem.

User currently offlineYYZYYT From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 948 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 4994 times:

here goes...

Every airline I have flown on with a baby (4 year old has more than 70 flights under her belt, 22 month old has nearly 40) will let you take a spare seat for a lap baby (I've done so AC, LH, WS, C6, AA, BD, and the now-defunct Jetsgo... )

- To be sure, you should ask at check in - I have had airlines which need to create shell booking file for the infant seat, so asking for the first time at the gate may be too late.

If there is clearly going to be room, most airlines will seat you with a blocked seat, or in such as way to keep the infant's seat free, such as a window and aisle a 3-3 config - the middle will be last to go, and if someone is stuck there, they will flee when they see the baby, if there is ANY other seat open. (You can also try to do that when you book the flight).

- If the check in agent can't say for sure (eg. because the flight is close to full), ask at the gate.

- Also, be sure to bring the infant seat to the gate to gate check it (I also fit ours into an overhead bin on a 747 as well) ... that way, if there is any doubt as to availability, you will have the seat on hand if the answer is yes. And even when the flight looks like it is gonig to be full, seat may open up at the last minute.

- on longhaul flights, ask for a bulkhead row with a bassinet when you book - they are fabulous, if you can get one!

- and if you are still without a seat when you board, mention it to the FA's - most will try to accomodate you, and so you might at least end up woth a spare seat and more room, even if you do not have the car seat on board with you.

Good luck!!


User currently offlineCha747 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 785 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 4990 times:

Again, check with SWA and on their website but if a seat is available, you can use the seat as long as it says on it that it is approved for use in aircraft. If there is no seat available, the carseat will likely be gate-checked so be prepared to see it later (and possibly soiled - our stroller got grease on it). Also, check with SWA to make sure that infants are allowed in any seat and not just in a particular row (cannot be the exit row or the row before or after for certain per federal law).

Here are a few topics you might find interesting that I posted recently:

http://www.airliners.net/discussions...general_aviation/read.main/2904923

http://www.airliners.net/discussions...general_aviation/read.main/2920092



You land a million planes safely, then you have one little mid-air and you never hear the end of it - Pushing Tin
User currently offlineYYZYYT From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 948 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 4990 times:

Quoting Outlier (Reply 1):
Here's an idea: Call the airline.

I hope I didn't violate your policy on what comments were allowed......

Oh, and don't bother calling the airline, many will tell you it is not allowed, you have to purhcase the seat.


User currently offlineAirbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 8317 posts, RR: 10
Reply 7, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 4968 times:

Yes and No.
We've done that many times. We've always been able to use an empty seat next to us to put the car seat for our "lap baby". The key is that it must be a seat where car seats are allowed. Generally speaking, car seats are allowed only in window seats and bulkhead seats. You cannot have a car seat in a middle seat or an isle seat.

Before our son turned 2yo, we always booked a window and isle towards the back of the plane, knowing the middle seats are the last to be filled and more people prefere the front of the plane. It never failed, the middle seat between us was always empty which allowed one of us to shift into the middle seat and place the car seat on the window seat.

Some airlines (LH, BA) actually hold bulkead seats until boarding time for families with children and babies. On a wide body, bulkead rows are even better because of the extra space and the fact that there's no one in front of you for your kids to annoy  Smile

Bu the key is, the empty seat must be approved for a car seat (i.e. window or bulkhead). Hope that helps.


User currently offlineJetdeltamsy From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2987 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 4945 times:

Customers are encouraged to use carseats whenever possible.

If there's an empty seat, there should be no problem at all.



Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
User currently offline9252fly From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1391 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4847 times:

I think airlines try to be accommodating where possible. It's my opinion that all passengers including infants should have their own seats(reservations),thus eliminating the game of,"let's see if we can get a free seat for the little one at the airport". I understand the issue of cost,yet it's not an issue to purchase a seat when a child turns 2,so what's the difference? For me,I see it as more a safety issue with the benefit of it making the journey of the parent more comfortable,never mind the person seated beside.

User currently offlineFutureFO From Ireland, joined Oct 2001, 3132 posts, RR: 21
Reply 10, posted (8 years 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 4714 times:

If there are empty seats I have no problem allowing the carseat on so long as it is an approved seat. However if it is a booster type seat then they can only be used once airborne.



Sean



I Don't know where I am anymore
User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9611 posts, RR: 52
Reply 11, posted (8 years 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 4691 times:

Quoting YYZYYT (Reply 4):
If there is clearly going to be room, most airlines will seat you with a blocked seat, or in such as way to keep the infant's seat free, such as a window and aisle a 3-3 config - the middle will be last to go, and if someone is stuck there, they will flee when they see the baby, if there is ANY other seat open. (You can also try to do that when you book the flight).

Well this doesn't necessarily apply since this person is flying on Southwest, which has open seating. With open seating, it shouldn't be a problem since they don't have to block out a seat or make seat assignment changes. You can ask the gate agent if the flight is full or not, and if it is not, you can probably just take up the extra space and no one is going to bug you for the seat, since no one wants to sit next to a lap baby for a 2+ hour flight.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineYYZYYT From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 948 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (8 years 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4611 times:

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 11):
Well this doesn't necessarily apply since this person is flying on Southwest, which has open seating.

Uh, right you are - I missed that detail.
still, I recommend that maneouver for future trips BWI757 may make (as do other posters here!). Works like a charm.


User currently offlineRipcordd From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 1160 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (8 years 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4596 times:

For the Safety of your child you should buy and seat to make sure that you will get one. If the plane hits serve turblance your child will be thrown like a missle. Most airlines discount seats for childeren under 2.

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