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Old Mar 29, 05, 5:19 pm   #1
 
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Flying FC w/ 14 month old - lap or car seat?

We are planning to take a trip to Hawaii (8.5 hour flight) with our daughter who will be ~14 months at the time of the trip. We will be traveling on First on either CO or NWA which both have nice sized business class seats (55" to 60" pitch). I am considering buying a seat for the baby as they are discounted by about 50% from the regular adult fare. However, with the relative spaciousness of FC I am wondering if this is really worth it as I have a feeling that the baby will end up in either of our laps most of the time as opposed to the car seat. Based on similar experiences does anyone have any recommendations?

Many thanks!
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Old Mar 30, 05, 12:49 am   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by west_end_NYC
We are planning to take a trip to Hawaii (8.5 hour flight) with our daughter who will be ~14 months at the time of the trip. We will be traveling on First on either CO or NWA which both have nice sized business class seats (55" to 60" pitch). I am considering buying a seat for the baby as they are discounted by about 50% from the regular adult fare. However, with the relative spaciousness of FC I am wondering if this is really worth it as I have a feeling that the baby will end up in either of our laps most of the time as opposed to the car seat. Based on similar experiences does anyone have any recommendations?

Many thanks!
Trying to hold a 14 month old for 8.5 hours?! Safety considerations aside, I'd opt for the seat as being more comfortable for everybody. Does you daughter regularly ride in a car seat? Will she sleep in one? I'd guess she'll be walking by then - at that age, my son was so thrilled to mobile that holding him for long periods of time (like flying to Europe) would have been a non-stop wrestlying match. I put him in his car seat, gave him meal, and then he went to sleep - making the flight more pleasant for both of us.
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Old Mar 30, 05, 1:38 am   #3
 
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I've done an 8 to 9 hour sector with our now 16 month old 9 times in his short life, aged between 3 and 16 months, and 5 of those on my own with him (i.e. not also travelling with husband). Mostly in CX J, one sector in QF J, never with his own paid seat. However, always with the basinette position assigned.

Really, it hasn't been a problem for us. If you can choose flight times to dovetail with bub's normal sleep/nap times, and they sleep well usually when out and about (i.e. our son sleeps for up to 2 hours in his pram if we are out and about at his nap time), then a fair % of the time will be taken up with a sleeping bub who hopefully might still meet the basinette length and weight requirements.

The last 4 of these longhaul sectors, son has been crawling/cruising, though not yet walking - this probably helps. But truly, he is content to peruse books, eat, watch some IFE in small doses and sleep.
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Old Mar 30, 05, 9:54 am   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SptCA
Trying to hold a 14 month old for 8.5 hours?! Safety considerations aside, I'd opt for the seat as being more comfortable for everybody. Does you daughter regularly ride in a car seat? Will she sleep in one? I'd guess she'll be walking by then - at that age, my son was so thrilled to mobile that holding him for long periods of time (like flying to Europe) would have been a non-stop wrestlying match. I put him in his car seat, gave him meal, and then he went to sleep - making the flight more pleasant for both of us.


Even ignoring the obvious safety issues (with which a couple of Flyertalkers vehemently disagree) - I agree with you completely. My two kids traveled extensively before they were two and always in their own seat. We didn't hold them the whole time, and they slept most of the way. When they were awake, we could read to them and play perfectly fine with them in their familiar car seats.

We didn't hold them when driving in the car, either, on long drives, and they slept most of the way.

I held my kids a lot when they were small, and I still hold them now. Just not when driving or flying. But the thought of trying to hold them from NYC to Hawaii (5,000 miles) (and still eat the F meals) just doesn't add up to me. Might as well ask me to stand on my head all the way there as well.
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Old Mar 30, 05, 12:03 pm   #5
 
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The saftey considerations are solely up to the OP, but I agree with those that said everyone's comfort is likely to be improved is he/she buys a seat for the 14 month old. Mrs. dchristiva and I flew from PHX to JFK with our 6 month old a month or so ago, and that 5 hour trip was pretty long with him as a lap infant. We got the last two seats on the plane, so buying him his own seat wasn't an option. We all survived, but I don't think I'd try it again.
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Old Mar 31, 05, 3:37 pm   #6
 
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Just chiming in to agree with everyone saying to buy the seat. You will be much less likely to enjoy FC if you are juggling your baby. I would definitely, if the money is not an issue, buythe extra seat and bring a car seat on board for your baby. They'll probably sleep most of the way and you get an extra meal!
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Old Mar 31, 05, 5:01 pm   #7
 
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Buy a seat! I've done the mainland (TX) --> Hawaii route with my son 2, most recently when he was 9 months old (crawling, not walking). Thank goodness for the seat! Once he was asleep I could walk, stretch, use the restroom, and eat. Additionally he was happy and comfortable in his carseat. He did some crawling around on the floor but was also happy to be strapped in. Once he was able to walk flying was more challenging since he wanted to be up and exploring. The seat is best since it is more likely that the child will sleep better and you'll get a break from the very exhausting task of entertaining a child on the plane. A seat of her own will also give your daughter that much more floor space for playing.

Happy travels!
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Old Mar 31, 05, 5:06 pm   #8
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I have not done a flight of this length with a baby on CO or NW. I would however assume that they would be using widebody a/c that were bassinet equipped. About 98% of 14 month old girls would be within the weight and size restrictions for a bassinet, and a a bassinet would be the best solution. A flat bed is always better for a kid than a carseat (yeah your kid sleep fine in the car seat back home for what, an hour? two?).
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Old Mar 31, 05, 6:13 pm   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hfly
I have not done a flight of this length with a baby on CO or NW. I would however assume that they would be using widebody a/c that were bassinet equipped. About 98% of 14 month old girls would be within the weight and size restrictions for a bassinet, and a a bassinet would be the best solution. A flat bed is always better for a kid than a carseat (yeah your kid sleep fine in the car seat back home for what, an hour? two?).
A 14 month old may or may not fit in a bassinet, but it would have a been a terrible idea for my son at 14 months - he was already climbing out of his crib, walking/running, and very active. If the thing didn't have a 5 point harness, he'd have been out of it (usually landing on his head on the way out) and running down the aisle. As for the car seat, I can remember naps in it exceeding 4 hours - I'd sit in the car in the carport with him until he woke up after a long drive.
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Old Apr 3, 05, 10:59 pm   #10
 
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I say go for the paid seat

I also have a 14 month old toddler and I think that having him in his car seat on the plane is a tremendous help. I agree with many of the reasons previously posted: I feel he's safer, if he falls asleep he's contained in his own space, etc. but also I think that he is more compliant with needing to sit still, i.e., stay in a seat when he's in his car seat (as that's the association he already has with it.) We have not had the occasion to fly in F with him, it's been Coach for us, all on CO.

I'd like to mention to the OP that I've seen elsewhere on flyertalk that CO has discontinued providing 1/2 fares for infants. I've had mixed results. For a EWR - LAS flight we have coming up at the end of the month when I called to book it the first agent said they're no longer offering the infant fare, (even though I saw it offered online, but our circumstances were I needed to book it on the phone with an agent.) I hung up, called back and another agent put me on hold and came back to ticket the baby at an infant fare. We just booked a trip for EWR to FLL for December and were told that no infant fare was available. Just an FYI.
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Old Apr 5, 05, 4:52 am   #11
 
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Go for the seat.

8.5 hours later, you'll be happier and so will they.
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