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Old Jul 3, 07, 10:32 pm   #1
 
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question about travelling with an infant

so it had to happen eventually and I'm finally ready to travel for the first time with my daughter and first child who is 1 year 7 months old. Despite travelling 1m+ miles over my career on many airlines I have never travelled with a child and am not really familiar with what to expect. I'll be travelling slc-lit on the direct flight delta has. I'll be travelling in coach as F isn't availabe on the CRJ flight and I don't particularly feel like connecting through ATL to get there.

a few questions.

what do I do for ID for the child?
are there any special rules for travelling with a child under 2?
any tips on ways to keep the child calm that has worked for other parents?

any advice would be appreciated.

I thought about calling Delta on the first couple questions but the indian call center is such a crapshoot for actual valid information I figured i'd ask here instead.
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Old Jul 3, 07, 10:59 pm   #2
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I can't answer any of your questions directly, but this site may have some information that is useful.
http://www.delta.com/planning_reserv...dren/index.jsp

I am sure some other FTers will be able to come up with more direct answers.
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Old Jul 3, 07, 11:37 pm   #3
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sdadept-- I am going to move this thread to the FT Travel With Children Forum. Although, you are a DL pax, I do believe that you will find a kind and supportive group of travelers on the Travel with Children Forum.
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Old Jul 3, 07, 11:49 pm   #4
 
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obscure2k, i was really looking for the kind of DL specific experiences people had as well as general experience. Something tells me I'm not going to get the same level of opinion here as I would have at the original forum i posted on.
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Old Jul 4, 07, 5:01 pm   #5
 
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We've flown DL plenty of times with BabyJ who is now 2. Nothing magical about traveling on DL with an infant.

a) No ID is required for a child under 18 traveling domestically with a parent/guardian. Kids over 16 traveling alone need ID per TSA rulings.

b) Do you have a paid ticket for her? If not then you'll have to hold her unless you luck out and there's an empty seat. If she has a paid seat then there's nothing to worry about. Note that with a paid seat you're supposed to use a child restraint system but some have reported that not using a restraint wasn't a problem. If you do use a CRS then it needs to have a label indicating it is FAA aproved for use in aircraft. Unless the thing was made in Elbonia 25 years ago, her seat should be fine.

c) DL does not generally offer preboarding for kids, you board with everyone else. I never thought much about that but since moving to Frontier territory--who still offers preboarding--I see how handy and less stressing it is to be able to board, drop off the stroller on the jetway, tote the kid in his seat on, stow the carry-ons and get him situated without some schmo breathing down my neck because I'm causing him a 45 second delay from making it to his oh so comfortable seat 25E Depending on the GAs and how busy they are, they might let you preboard, just ask. MrsJ has done that a couple of times and I guess they realize that it would be faster to let her on right after the wheelchair pusher so they can load the plane faster

d) Security. You can generally carry her through the WTMD but if the alarm goes off they'll have to search you both. Unless she's in something with footies, her shoes have to come off. If you take a stroller, it goes through the x-ray as does the car seat. Exception--our car seat (Britax) has a wheeled backing that makes it much easier to negotiate the airport but also makes the seat too large to fit into most x-rays. Having the child with you bestows a lot of leeway when it comes to liquids in spite of TSA's war on things that go squish. BabyJ's diaper bag (Travelpro backpack) has all manner of little bottles of liquids, potions and gels. Only once was MrsJ stopped but it wasn't the full bottle of water, it was the little 4 oz bottle of apple juice. When I came through with the baby, the TSO relaxed and sent us on our way.
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Old Jul 4, 07, 6:30 pm   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdadept View Post
any tips on ways to keep the child calm that has worked for other parents?

any advice would be appreciated.
First of all, relax and enjoy the flight That will keep your child calm more than anything. Be prepared, be over prepared. Take enough toys, books, lovies (blankie, special stuffed animal, whatever works) to make it an enjoyable flight. Also, a change of clothes plus plenty of snacks, wipes, and diapers (if there is still room, an extra shirt for you). If your child watches DVDs, take a DVD player and their favorite movie (along with headphones - over the ear headphones work the best despite being so large).

I started giving my daughter the safety card when she was very, very little; as she has grown older, she wants to have that card in her hand for takeoff and enjoys the entire safety spiel.

I have found Delta (despite not being a Delta fan) to be quite child friendly. I have found the FAs and pilots to go out of their way to make it as enjoyable as an experience for both the parents and children as possible.

The more you can put under the seat (s) in front of you, the better as it makes everything within reach. I have always packed a special treat or toy for takeoff as it is different and the child is entranced; at least for a while.

Have a wonderful trip!

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Jul 6, 07 at 12:15 pm. Reason: fixing code
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Old Jul 4, 07, 7:55 pm   #7
 
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Bring something for your daughter to drink during takeoff/landing to help her ears. If she's still nursing, that'll work; otherwise, a bottle or sippy cup or whatever.

Also, small snacks...if she refuses to drink, eating can help.

Figure out how many diapers you need for the trip and then double that number to arrive at the number you should pack.

Second the recommendation for a DVD player.
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Old Jul 4, 07, 8:32 pm   #8
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Yes, equalizing the ears are so important. Simulate yawning, drinking, sucking on something -anything that will work for helping the little ones through the painful ascent/descent.
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Old Jul 4, 07, 11:58 pm   #9
 
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There are lots of flyers from lots of different airlines, so I'm not surprised you found helpful responses here, from this great group.
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Old Jul 5, 07, 8:52 am   #10
 
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Just to add a few things:

1. Even if you're carrying an infant (under 2 years) in your lap, you still need a ticket. "Infant in lap" tickets generally cost about 10% of adult fares. They also have less of a baggage allowance, so make sure to check that out. If you want a seat for an infant, you'll be paying the "child" fare, which is about 75% of adult fare.

2. The one form of ID you can get for a child of any age is a passport (I know, not particularly helpful given the current passport mess in the US unless you've got time). We got one for Little Elephant at 3 months (hint: take picture straight down while baby lies on back).

3. Be prepared to gate-check any excess baby gear (stroller, car seat if you didn't buy a seat for the kid), so put luggage tags on everything ahead of time.

4. We give Little Elephant some Tylenol Cold before takeoff and landing to make sure all his tubes are clear for the pressure change, and we give him a bottle during in order to keep him swallowing. Works so far!
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Old Jul 5, 07, 9:15 am   #11
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When gate checking the stroller and/or car seat - put one of the big plastic bags the airlines use (ask for these at check in; I've never been told no) to protect from dirt and moisture. If you already have a travel case/cover it's not needed, but if you don't very helpful in keeping your items clean and dry.

Talk about the trip in advance in really fun, exciting terms. Also, an explanation of security, even though your little one is young, helps them be prepared - especially if you have to put through their favorite item through the belt. Also, if you happen to get pulled for a search, and your little one has to endure as well, I explained it as a doctor's appointment and that the TSA lady was like the doctor and had to check us over to ensure we were okay. It seemed to work and it was the best explanation I could come up with for her to process.

If possible, put on slip on or velcro shoes to make the shoe carnival as easy as possible (and easy shoes for you too - it's hard when you're juggling so many things going through security).

Safe, happy, and serene travels to you
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Old Jul 5, 07, 9:39 am   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finite Elephant View Post
2. The one form of ID you can get for a child of any age is a passport (I know, not particularly helpful given the current passport mess in the US unless you've got time). We got one for Little Elephant at 3 months (hint: take picture straight down while baby lies on back).
Roger that! When we tried taking BabyJ's photos at 2 months we kinda winged it. Kudos to the kid at Kinko's for having the patience of Job. We went late night to avoid the crowds and wound up taking a white sheet to drape over the carrier. The kid had to take 3 or 4 retakes before he got the required face size WITH his eyes open! I like the UK's rules...kids under 4 or so don't have to have their eyes open.


Quote:
Originally Posted by baglady View Post
When gate checking the stroller and/or car seat - put one of the big plastic bags the airlines use (ask for these at check in; I've never been told no) to protect from dirt and moisture. If you already have a travel case/cover it's not needed, but if you don't very helpful in keeping your items clean and dry.
You know, I never though about that! It probably would have been handy the one time we connected flew into DEN--it was snowy, we deplaned onto the tarmac and had to collect the gate-checked items outside. For some reason the strollers came off behind the rollaboards so it wasn't too wet. I'll have to ask for our upcoming trip to Vegas.
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Old Jul 5, 07, 12:24 pm   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finite Elephant View Post
Just to add a few things:
1. Even if you're carrying an infant (under 2 years) in your lap, you still need a ticket. "Infant in lap" tickets generally cost about 10% of adult fares. They also have less of a baggage allowance, so make sure to check that out. If you want a seat for an infant, you'll be paying the "child" fare, which is about 75% of adult fare.
I think the OP is traveling just within the US (on a CRJ, avoided connection through ATL), so s/he doesn't need to pay 10% of the ticket. Lap children are free domestically. You're right, though, that a lap child has no baggage allowance (though you are allowed to also bring a stroller and a car seat for free, so that's sort of an increase in the allowance).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finite Elephant View Post
The one form of ID you can get for a child of any age is a passport (I know, not particularly helpful given the current passport mess in the US unless you've got time). We got one for Little Elephant at 3 months (hint: take picture straight down while baby lies on back).
This is *great* advice. We applied for passports for both of our kids when they were about 2 months old - thank goodness for digital cameras, or we would have had to toss about 2 dozen prints apiece.
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Old Jul 6, 07, 8:41 am   #14
 
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Infant ID:
We had an instance with CO where we asked at the gate to prove that our daughter, travelling as a lap child, was under 2 years old. (To be allowed as a lap-child w/o her own seat)

She was about 20months at the time and we had her passport, so no problem.

Just something to be aware of.

Finite Elephant, No infant tickets required on US domestic flights.
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Old Jul 6, 07, 12:28 pm   #15
 
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Sorry about that

I just realized that we haven't taken Little Elephant on a domestic-only flight, so sorry for the misleading information.
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