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Old Jul 22, 11, 3:00 pm   #1
 
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Etiquette: lap infant by myself & clubs, etc.

I normally travel by myself and avail myself of amenities like US/PC/RCC clubs, upgrades if I get them, and so forth.

I am travelling with my baby on a two week trip (transcon). What is proper etiquette going with an infant (9 month old) in the RCC club, lap infants in F cabin, etc.? When my wife and I travel, we have used the RCC, but it's easier when you have another parent with you to quickly calm an infant (or just exit).

FYI, my baby's a pretty contented flier on her last 7 segments (all transcons) and I haven't really faced any challenges at all. However, I hear I'm entering a fussier phase of life for lap infants!
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Old Jul 24, 11, 8:20 am   #2
 
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lap 9 month old + solo transcon = pure hell for all involved

What do you do with the child while you eat, use the restroom or just take a deep breath from dealing with a 9 month old solo, non-stop, transcon? From check-in to arrival that could be as much as 14 hours with a single respite while you're also dealing with baggage, security, getting around the airport, etc.

Just because you could do this with 2 parents and a younger child doesn't mean that it would work with a 9 month old who is discovering things like walking and crawling and babbling and shrieking.

Get the child her own seat, bring a car seat and you'll both have a better trip.
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Old Jul 24, 11, 3:25 pm   #3
 
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Admittedly i've only done it in Y, but my daughter travelled as a lap infant right up to the point of 23 months and i've only done it alone, admittedly i'm her mother but still

i don't drive so had no need to travel with a car seat

It may not necessarily be pure hell, but it may not be so easy as when they're are two of you
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Old Jul 26, 11, 12:41 pm   #4
 
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It's a pain as your attention will focus solely on your kid. I would try to pick a flight with lighter load and stay or downgrade back to coach assuming there is an open seat next to you. There are no benefits to F when your kid ties you up. If you are lucky you may be able to grab a drink but you will not be able to eat with a lap kid. If coach is packed then F is a bit better spacewise - get a bulkhead seat.

Lounges are pointless with a kid for the same reason - you are much better off finding an empty gate with more space to yourself (for that matter i often feel the same even without kids). Minimize your carryons to your and kid's essentials, preferably in a backpack to keeps hands free - check the carseat and your roller.
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Old Jul 26, 11, 4:07 pm   #5
 
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Two coach seats using the carseat and everyone is much happier. But again depends on the child. Our first thought sitting on our laps for a TATL for 10 hours with 100% attention was the greatest thing ever. Though not all kids feel the same and some just need the carseat to know they are traveling.
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Old Jul 26, 11, 5:28 pm   #6
 
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Seriously? Lounges are pointless with a kid? Certainly not in my world. I relied on them regularly when traveling with my infant. Convenient restrooms for changing babies and going the bathroom while not having to cram everything you own into a toilet stall, a more relaxed atmosphere, snacks, drinks. Very handy. Likewise, first class and business class made it much nicer to be able to use the tray table and have a place to set a drink.

There's no consensus on the etiquette of infants in premium cabins and clubs, so do what makes you most comfortable.
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Old Jul 27, 11, 12:01 am   #7
 
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Originally Posted by daregale View Post
Seriously? Lounges are pointless with a kid? Certainly not in my world. I relied on them regularly when traveling with my infant. Convenient restrooms for changing babies and going the bathroom while not having to cram everything you own into a toilet stall, a more relaxed atmosphere, snacks, drinks. Very handy. Likewise, first class and business class made it much nicer to be able to use the tray table and have a place to set a drink.

There's no consensus on the etiquette of infants in premium cabins and clubs, so do what makes you most comfortable.
Agree on restrooms but IME lounges (RCC primarily for me) are almost always packed. I am reluctant to carry a kid across busy lounge to get myself a drink or a snack and leaving him alone even for a few minutes may end up in crying. Starbucks or some quick snack place in the terminal on the other hand seems more appropriate for this. Also I have not been able to set anything on a tray table without risking to spill it with a sudden move by a wiggly lap kid. YMMV of course.

Last edited by azepine00; Jul 27, 11 at 12:09 am..
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Old Jul 27, 11, 4:08 pm   #8
 
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Thanks for everyone's replies.

Regarding etiquette, I know there's no established standard--that's why I'm trying to get a "feel" for where FTers stand on this. My experiences at 2 months/7 months (now 9, will be 10 when we travel) in the RCC and inflight have been delightful. I can't imagine trying to walk across the club without her in tow though. That's what the snap-n-go stroller is for, and she's at that age now where she really is not happy if you aren't within 10 feet of her.

I am travelling on early A.M. flights on Sunday that hopefully will have low loads. An upgrade looks easy, which should mean scoring an empty middle seat will be easy. I'm connecting mid-continent instead of flying coast to coast which should be a good hedge in case she gets really unhappy mid-flight.

I'm travelling luggage-free (other than diaper bag, my laptop bag, snap-n-go stroller with car seat, and nice big blanket), since I already have everything I will need in position at both my origin and destination, with enough emergency food/formula to survive a day or two of misconnects in the diaper bag.

Any other ideas/tips? Criticism is welcome.
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Old Aug 4, 11, 8:32 pm   #9
 
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We traveled extensively with our first child, including solo transcons in every class of service. At the end of the day, avail yourself of every amenity to which you are entitled. Focus on your comfort and that of your child, not anyone else's.

This includes using the clubs and accepting upgrades when you're lucky. Forget about what anyone else thinks. For me, as a father traveling with my infant, I got myself an Ergo Baby Carrier and carried my daughter everywhere I would during the week as a 1K; this included flying first class to Hawaii.

My child (even as an infant) is much better behaved on a plane than many of the self absorbed DYKWIA .......s I sit next to in F most days of the week.

The only eiquette you need to be concerned with is the love you're showing your child.
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Old Aug 4, 11, 9:27 pm   #10
 
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Originally Posted by gnedge View Post
The only eiquette you need to be concerned with is the love you're showing your child.
...and some people wonder why parents traveling with young children have such a bad reputation?
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Old Aug 5, 11, 9:37 am   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDTraveler View Post
...and some people wonder why parents traveling with young children have such a bad reputation?
Perhaps you should have read the paragraph before the one you chose to quote.

Furthermore, he's talking about an infant under the age of twelve months, traveling with that age is a piece of cake hence my suggestion to worry only about his child's comfort.
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Old Aug 5, 11, 12:44 pm   #12
 
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Originally Posted by gnedge View Post
.. Focus on your comfort and that of your child, not anyone else's.

This includes using the clubs and accepting upgrades when you're lucky. Forget about what anyone else thinks. ...
Don't know about you but I am usually the first one to be inconvenienced (and embarrassed) if my kids start screaming in a lounge or demand a walk on a plane. Therefore I avoid lounges because i'd rather see kids scream if they want to near some empty gate - when traveling with kids, traditional lounges simple do not offer me what i need.
Same for upgrades - with a lap kid i'd much rather sit in Y if i can get an empty seat next to me - that's much more important than some perks of F i can't really benefit from anyways.

"Inconveniencing others" usually means inconveniencing me even more and i'd rather minimize that.
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Old Aug 5, 11, 6:25 pm   #13
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Ages ago I started a thread on airport lounges with kids. I was somewhat curious and wanted feedback for my article so it was interesting getting the skinny from those of you with experience.

One good point that was made was that there was more room in the restrooms for changing, etc. It's also a bit more secure as far as your things are concerned and dealing with crowds.

Some of you mentioned specific lounges where there were actual children's areas.

Another comment mentioned delays, where the lounge is a sanity-saver, with or without kids!

If you have access to the lounge, you might want to take advantage for the above reasons. If the baby is asleep in the stroller, go for it! But also consider the infant rooms at your airport, as well as play areas. That might be easier with a very active 9 monther.
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Old Aug 5, 11, 6:41 pm   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnedge View Post
Perhaps you should have read the paragraph before the one you chose to quote.

Furthermore, he's talking about an infant under the age of twelve months, traveling with that age is a piece of cake hence my suggestion to worry only about his child's comfort.
You mean the one where you said "Forget about what anyone else thinks." I did read your whole post, as matter of fact, and I find your belief that
"My child (even as an infant) is much better behaved on a plane than many of the self absorbed DYKWIA .......s I sit next to in F most days of the week."
proves the point I was trying to make quite well. Of course that would be your perception! But what do the other people around you think of you and your child? That's what I'd really like to know.

As for the next bit of nonsense:

"traveling with that age is a piece of cake hence my suggestion to worry only about his child's comfort"

Perhaps things like ear aches due to pressure changes, diaper blow-outs, extreme gas, teething pain, fatigue due to schedule disruption, and a hundred other typical parenting experiences don't happen in your world, but the rest of us have experienced them, and many responsible parents believe that we have an obligation to try to minimize both the stress to our child and the stress caused by our child as we deal with these issues.
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Old Aug 5, 11, 6:53 pm   #15
 
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Good thread, thanks all. If any suggestions would be different for flying solo trans-con in Business with an-almost three year old boy, please let me know. Good luck to the OP... And to me.
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