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
, 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.