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Which are the best Club World seats with an infant?

Which are the best Club World seats with an infant?

Old Jan 8, 04, 3:16 am
  #1  
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Which are the best Club World seats with an infant?

I’ve read quite a few of the discussions on which are the best CW seats (and had a look at seatguru.com and seatexpert.com) but would appreciate any views on the best seats for a couple travelling with an infant. Since our son will be under 2 years old during the trip, he won’t have a seat of his own.

Our flights LHR-JFK-LHR (BA114 and BA177) are showing 744 aircraft in both directions, but I’m not sure if these will be the 38 or 70 CW configuration. Is there anyway to tell?

If it was just the two of us travelling I think I’d go with the majority view and aim for a pair of seats upstairs. But with our son in tow I’m mindful of other considerations, namely:

1. Though I normally prefer a window seat, two centre seats facing the same direction may be easier for sharing the baby duties.
2. Being downstairs should eliminate the possibility of our son falling down the stairs (not that we’d let him run around anyway, but these critters can move fast !)
3. Downstairs may be less busy, so we could reserve a pair of seats but hopefully increase our chances of bagging an extra free seat so our son could lie in his own bed. If so, would this be safer with him in one of a pair of centre seats where one of us can ensure he doesn’t fall out?
4. Are there basinets available in CW, if so where are they located and do they cater for a 20 month old?
5. Do all the toilets downstairs and upstairs have baby changing facilities?

Any views or tips, particularly recommended seat numbers greatly appreciated.

Bulkhead.

[This message has been edited by bulkhead (edited Jan 08, 2004).]
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Old Jan 8, 04, 4:20 am
  #2  
 
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First, nevermind the folks who will certainly post to complain about bringing children into business class cabins...

Actually, the answer to your question does not depend on which 747 BA uses that day. For a couple traveling with an infant, you should ask for seats 64A/B on the upper deck or 14EF on the lower deck. From personal experience, both of these seats have a bassinet fitting.

I took my wife, my 4 year old, 21 month old and 8 month old from GVA-LHR-MIA on BA, and it was by far, the best flight experience I have ever had with my little ones (The 4 year old has his own AA Gold card, so the statement above is not hollow). We had four purchased seats and the 8 month old was in the bassinet.

For us, BA catered a children's meal for each of the children (including the 8 month old), gave each of the children a little backpack with some small toys, crayons and a coloring book. They also had diapers and some baby food on board (though we brought our own).

We sat upstairs during the daytime flight to the states and downstairs for the overnight flight home. Upstairs is a quieter cabin, and actually has more/better storage space for those with children, as there are little bins between the seat and the fuselage of the airplane.

BA gate checked a double stroller for us in GVA, and we never saw it again. If you are only flying LHR-JFK, ask (nicely) to bring the stroller on board. The replacement Graco double buggy (remember, 8 and 21 month old little ones) fit in the overhead bins in the downstairs cabin above the locker.

All of the restrooms on the plane had a fold down table that you could use to change a diaper.

BA has both child seats (like in a car) for older children, and bassinets (for babies) that fit into a fitting that folds out of the wall (downstairs) or sits upon a shelf (upstairs).

MAKE SURE YOU REQUEST A BASSINET WHEN YOU PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS.

Another couple had a 22 month old child (not in her own seat) and did not get the bassinet (because we did...) and I think they were pretty miserable passing the little one back and forth for the whole flight.

Much to my surprise, I found the BA crew to be the best flight staff for parents travelling with children. Don't know if we got lucky (twice) and had good crews, or if that is BAs standard (I think so).

I am not sure if they will let you in the lounge with your little one, they did not want to let my crew in until they saw we all had Club boarding passes. The Terraces lounge in T1 even has a little children's play area last time I was there.

Good luck on your adventure!
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Old Jan 8, 04, 5:20 am
  #3  
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You should also bear in mind that:

(a) if your son is >18 months old (or just large for his age) then the bassinet may not work for him - that could be a big issue if you end up having him or your lap for the whole flight

(b) BA only seem to provide baby meals, which means lamb and apricot puree etc etc - not stuff in which an 18-24 month old would be interested.
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Old Jan 8, 04, 6:03 am
  #4  
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by MIAFlyer:
The Terraces lounge in T1 even has a little children's play area last time I was there.</font>
As does the Gate 1 Terraces in Terminal 4 (deal with the right hand agent as you head into the lounge and follow your way round) as does the Terraces in the Lounge Pavilion (again head right after you enter the lounge and it is in the corner beside the World Wine Bar)
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Old Jan 8, 04, 6:23 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by FF:
[B]
(a) if your son is &gt;18 months old (or just large for his age) then the bassinet may not work for him - that could be a big issue if you end up having him or your lap for the whole flight
B]</font>
Out of interest (Although I don't have a toddler or plan to for a few years... just thinking ahead), do BA do good deals on CW seats for under 2s travelling in their own seats? Or do you end up paying nearly full fare?

Boo
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Old Jan 8, 04, 7:27 am
  #6  
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First of all a big thanks for all the comments. I must admit I was prepared for a few replies along the lines of “the best seat for an infant is the one furthest from me” but I have been pleasantly surprised (so far!).

<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by MIAFlyer:
Actually, the answer to your question does not depend on which 747 BA uses that day. For a couple traveling with an infant, you should ask for seats 64A/B on the upper deck or 14EF on the lower deck. From personal experience, both of these seats have a bassinet fitting.

&lt;snip&gt;

BA has both child seats (like in a car) for older children, and bassinets (for babies) that fit into a fitting that folds out of the wall (downstairs) or sits upon a shelf (upstairs).

MAKE SURE YOU REQUEST A BASSINET WHEN YOU PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS.

Another couple had a 22 month old child (not in her own seat) and did not get the bassinet (because we did...) and I think they were pretty miserable passing the little one back and forth for the whole flight.
</font>
I was completely unaware that BA had some child seats for older children - my son will be 21 months at the time of the flights - so this morning I rang Exec Club (Blue ) to reserve one. I will ring back (as BA suggested) in a couple of days to confirm this has been possible. One thing that surprised me a little is that I was told that the only seats where the child seat is available is in row 20.

<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by FF:
(b) BA only seem to provide baby meals, which means lamb and apricot puree etc etc - not stuff in which an 18-24 month old would be interested.</font>
Well worth knowing. I’ve actually ordered vegetarian meals, but we’ll take our own as well to be sure.

<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by fbgdavidson:
…as does the Gate 1 Terraces in Terminal 4 (deal with the right hand agent as you head into the lounge and follow your way round) as does the Terraces in the Lounge Pavilion (again head right after you enter the lounge and it is in the corner beside the World Wine Bar).</font>
Children’s area by the Wine Bar eh? BA must have known I’d be back one day! I must admit I was wondering if children would be allowed in the lounges, but as all 3 of us have CW tickets (Class I) and they do have children’s areas I guess its not going to be a problem

Bulkhead.

[This message has been edited by bulkhead (edited Jan 09, 2004).]
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Old Jan 8, 04, 7:33 am
  #7  
 
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We took our infant on a trip in September in First (YVR-LHR) and I can offer a few lessons learned that are relevant to flying CW. First of all, our son was only 8 months and he was already tall enough that he was uncomfortable in the bassinet, he just would not go for it. We obviously wanted him to sleep as much as possible both ways and what worked very well for us was for one of us to lay down on our sides and lay him down next to us on the seat. As far as lounge access, we took him into the Concorde Room without a problem (and there were already two other infants in there) so I don't think anyone should have a problem with you going into Terraces.
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Old Jan 8, 04, 7:35 am
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Hello all,

Normally, children under two (in their own seat) pay the same as a child's (typically 2-11 year old) fare.

We paid 3300CHF for the adults, 2300CHF for the children in their own seat, and 530CHF for the infant in the bassinet. It is my understanding that these are year round fares, which I thought were pretty reasonable, compared to flights ex US.

Two other comments, the baby must be held during take off and landing, and during turbulence, which is typically defined whenever the seatbelt sign is on. They will give a "double loop" belt to attach the infant through the adults' seatbelt.

Please note, the baby is always safer in his own seat, and on US airlines, I always purchased my babes a seat. However, with the double loop seatbelt that most non-US carriers provide, I found this was not really necessary.

As for the child's meals, perhaps they only get the full childs meal (hot dog or hamburger, fries, (potato) chips, a full size Sincker's bar and several smaller chocolate bits, a juice box, and milk box) if they are actually ticketed for a seat. Since my youngest was still breast fed at that time (he was actually 5 months old instead of the 8 months I listed above), we did not take the meal prepared for him.

Hope this helps!
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Old Jan 8, 04, 7:35 am
  #9  
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Boo Boo Too:
Out of interest (Although I don't have a toddler or plan to for a few years... just thinking ahead), do BA do good deals on CW seats for under 2s travelling in their own seats? Or do you end up paying nearly full fare?

Boo
</font>
Yes, you only pay 10% (both miles and cash) for infants (i.e. &lt;2 years old). Not so sure about children ( 2-14 years?), but I think its more like 70%.

Bulkhead.


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Old Jan 8, 04, 7:48 am
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I didn't realise CW seats actually CAME with an infant. Is this the latest offer? I'd prefer double miles, please.

(I'm not anti-infant, it's just that Fraissette 10 is at a very screamy 2-month old stage and one is quite enough!)
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Old Jan 8, 04, 9:52 am
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IIRC, the weight limit for bassinets is 9kg.
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Old Jan 14, 04, 2:16 pm
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OK, managed to confirm that the 20E/F are reserved on both legs. I had a long discussion with a very helpful agent, as I would have preferred a window seat. She did her best to make some enquiries and called me back, but she was unable to get any confirmation that the child seat is available anywhere other than on bulkheads facing the seats E/F.

Still, the priority is for our son to be comfortable, and there not much to see over the atlantic anyway .
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Old Jan 15, 04, 6:06 am
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Our experience from several journeys with our 1 year old is that BA will try hard to avoid infants upstairs on the 64A bassinet, so I'm not surprised by the reply you got. However if you phone and request 64A specifically, and have an infant in the booking, you have a chance (they send a request to India, who will usually make the change). However if you are travelling as a single pax+infant the bassinets in 20E/20F or 14E/14F are best on all but full flights. Since the bassinet extends across both the E and F seats, you will usually find the other one will stay empty (or at least if somebody is sat there, they will move to a spare seat after takeoff!)


<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by bulkhead:
OK, managed to confirm that the 20E/F are reserved on both legs. I had a long discussion with a very helpful agent, as I would have preferred a window seat. She did her best to make some enquiries and called me back, but she was unable to get any confirmation that the child seat is available anywhere other than on bulkheads facing the seats E/F.

Still, the priority is for our son to be comfortable, and there not much to see over the atlantic anyway .
</font>
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Old Jan 15, 04, 2:44 pm
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Indeed, BA would not book the 64A/B seats (the upper deck seats with the bassinet fitting) for us. Again, my only experience is on one flight LHR-MIA, but the upper deck bassinett fitting was actually the top of a cabinet, not a fold down table. Thus, there should be no weight restriction associated with that fitting.

There are two ways to handle this:

1 - Stay in your assigned seats downstairs, you have a bassinett fitting now, and that is probably most important... or...

2 - Go ahead and book (non bassinett) seats in the upper deck anyway, and either ask those assigned to 64A/B to switch with you. BA may or may not tell you if the seats are actually assigned to someone else, or simply being held for assignment. I like the upper deck seats for daytime flights mainly because of the extra storage bins by your side between the seat and the fuselage. Night flights don't matter as much, because (hopefully) you are sleeping anyway.

One more note, if you do plan to bring a buggy, it may be better to stay on the lower deck.

I was really insistent upon sitting in the upper deck because it was something I have always wanted to do. I missed out on the Concorde, next up is sitting in row 1 on the 747. Somehow, sitting up front on other planes (including AA's flagship suites) just doesn't have the caché of the front of the 747 (or even the upper deck).

Enjoy your trip!
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Old Jan 15, 04, 4:25 pm
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I've rarely seen small children on the upper deck and in fact, this is why I book the upper deck for night flights (in other words, please don't take your infant or toddler on the upper deck at night; daytime is a different story - when I want to be awake). I've often seen parents with babies and toddlers in the middle, back-facing seats of the last row on the lower deck - this seems to give the parents and kids a little privacy, some room to "operate" - and yet some decent access to bathrooms and aisles when they need to move around (they don't have to step over other people's footstools to get out).
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