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No seatbelt for lap infants on AC TATL?

No seatbelt for lap infants on AC TATL?

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Old Jul 11, 19, 7:20 pm
  #1  
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No seatbelt for lap infants on AC TATL?

Hi everyone -

Was flying ZRH-YYZ on AC (economy) direct last week. We'd already started pushback and still nobody had come by to talk to my wife and I about our 1.5 year old daughter who was on our laps. I hit the call button and asked the flight attendant if we'd be getting, for instance, a seatbelt.

She said, "No, not on this flight. Just hold on to her tight, facing you."

This seems reckless bordering on crazy, to me. (If we'd been on today's Honolulu flight my daughter would have been very badly injured.) But then I'm relatively new to flying with kids and thought I'd put it out there. Is this policy? Is there new research or legislation around this? Or just a hugely risky play by a flight caught unprepared? I've emailed AC, but, well . . .
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Old Jul 11, 19, 7:34 pm
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I have seen infants seat belts on other airlines ( that attach the the passenger's seat belt), but I have never seen these on AC.
We travelled with all 3 as lap infants at one point or another, and I cannot recall ever strapping them in.
Maybe it is something the airline should be looking at.
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Old Jul 11, 19, 7:47 pm
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in the 13 years, I've been an FA we've *never* had seat belts for lap-held infants. From what I'm aware of no Canadian or even American airlines do.
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Old Jul 11, 19, 7:50 pm
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Like testing pharmaceuticals on pregnant women, this just isn't done.

People shorter than the proverbial sign are simply going to be pink mist when things turn south.
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Old Jul 11, 19, 8:27 pm
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Originally Posted by iron_mike View Post
Hi everyone -

Was flying ZRH-YYZ on AC (economy) direct last week. We'd already started pushback and still nobody had come by to talk to my wife and I about our 1.5 year old daughter who was on our laps. I hit the call button and asked the flight attendant if we'd be getting, for instance, a seatbelt.

She said, "No, not on this flight. Just hold on to her tight, facing you."

This seems reckless bordering on crazy, to me. (If we'd been on today's Honolulu flight my daughter would have been very badly injured.) But then I'm relatively new to flying with kids and thought I'd put it out there. Is this policy? Is there new research or legislation around this? Or just a hugely risky play by a flight caught unprepared? I've emailed AC, but, well . . .
As she would have been if an infant belt was provided... but not in use at that specific moment in time?

If you search other threads on travelling with lap children you will find that many would say the "hugely risky play" or the "reckless" behaviour is when one does NOT get the child their own seat... just sayin...
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Old Jul 11, 19, 8:28 pm
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Just not a thing on North American airlines. I always found it weird too. I purchased seats for my under twos, and put their car seats in them. The safest option for me. Turbulence is scary, but I guess relatively rare to be as bad as the Honolulu flight today.
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Old Jul 11, 19, 8:33 pm
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Doesn’t matter TPAC, TATL, domestic, etc. A lap infant sits on your lap. If you want to protect your kid with a seatbelt pay for a seat and put them in a car seat or use another approved child restraint device.

Regardless, a crew member should have briefed you on travelling with an infant without having to press the call button.

EDIT: I see that Transport Canada specifically disallows the use of “belly” or “loop” belts as they say it is more likely to harm a child.

https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/chil...ren-on-a-plane
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Last edited by YEG USER; Jul 11, 19 at 8:38 pm
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Old Jul 11, 19, 8:58 pm
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Having flown both on airlines that offered lap infant seatbelts and on those that didn't, I have been led to believe that the difference is driven by carriers' home country regultions. These in turn are driven by the decades old debate around whether we prefer our infants crushed by their own parents or thrown freely accross the cabin. Neither sounds like a good option and hence forking out the extra dollars to get the kid his/her own seat is generally the safest course of action.

I have also heard (albeit I have no reference info to back this up) that the whole idea of allowing infants in lap was apparently to make it more financially attractive for families with infants to fly, thus reducing the volume of cars on the roads and hence reducing the volume of vehicular accidents, injuries and fatalities. This logic would of course apply to overland flights only, but apparently it made (or was going to make) a huge difference, for example within North America.
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Old Jul 11, 19, 11:55 pm
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Of the countries I've flown in with my almost-2-year-old:
US - pretty much ignore your existence (shocker, I know)
Canada - Give you a briefing each flight on exactly how to hold your child and a personal reminder about the oxygen mask rule
Australia - seat belt extender

TBH, I'm not really sure what the seat belt extender accomplishes. I tried seeing how much my baby would move with both mine and his at the tightest possible. He easily smacked into the seat in front of me.
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Old Jul 12, 19, 12:35 am
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To be honest, the seatbelt extender loop things are worse than useless.
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Old Jul 12, 19, 7:42 am
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This is the scary bit about flying with a child on the lap. Even a small drop in altitude can cause harm. Or a hard landing due to wind in the area.

I know it’s less expensive to hold your child then to purchase a separate ticket. Though the savings doesn’t seem worth the potential risk of injury.

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Old Jul 12, 19, 11:17 am
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There is actually sound reasoning for both sides.

The European authorities require the lap belts use because of the risk of the child flying out of your hands.

North American authorities generally don't allow the use of lap belts because of the risk you could squish your child in an emergency, either crushing them beneath you or into the seat in front of you.
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Old Jul 12, 19, 12:54 pm
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Originally Posted by trooper View Post
As she would have been if an infant belt was provided... but not in use at that specific moment in time?

If you search other threads on travelling with lap children you will find that many would say the "hugely risky play" or the "reckless" behaviour is when one does NOT get the child their own seat... just sayin...
I have done both (lap child and bought seat), but the majority of the flights with a lap child I have been able to secure a free seat one way or the other to use the child seat. LX was the best at proactively blocking seats at check-in near us for the car seat, and have gotten AC and UA gate agents to block seats before boarding - either beside us or a few rows away which my wife usually took. When I had more kids, I found it easier to book their own seat, plus it just felt safer.

That being said I have had two occasions where I might have well done lap ticket:
- 4.5 years ago on an AC BEH where it was our family of 4 plus one other person, the captain insisted that we had to hold our 22 month old child for the whole flight. It was our last leg home after a red-eye so I gave up arguing pretty quickly.
- SQ last year, while flying with 18 month twins a senior FA insisted that they could not be in their car seats during take-off, landing or anytime the seat belt light was on and they gave us the seat belt extender loop things. I was not impressed, showed them printouts from their website that showed it was allowed but lost that argument (at least I won the argument at the gate to take the seats on board with my printouts). Luckily after take-off the FA in our section never mentioned anything about taking them out of seats when the light was on or when we landed.

My advice now is to pay for the seat, take a carseat to strap them in and just in case. bring printouts from the airline website around car seat use.
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Old Jul 12, 19, 4:05 pm
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Keep in mind that some of the low-cost airlines now have such terrible seat pitch that many car seats cannot fit property. In fact, we flew Swoop and Spirit this week, and I remember one of their websites saying straight up just that.
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Old Jul 12, 19, 10:36 pm
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I’ve never been offered a lap belt (have flown AC and WS with the little one). AC has usually given us a briefing and WS has every time. I’ve always heard the risk of injury from the belts is too high. I suppose buying the extra seat is the safest
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