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help! - first time travel with an infant!

help! - first time travel with an infant!

Old Feb 22, 15, 4:27 pm
  #1  
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help! - first time travel with an infant!

Please help, I need advice. I am a seasoned traveler but my nerves are unraveled at the thought of traveling long haul with an infant.

I'll be traveling from the US to Spain in summer with a 1year old.

Is it worth it to pay extra for the front row seats(economy)? or does the fact the armrest doesn't come up outweigh the benefit? (i had hoped we could put that up so the baby would sleep across our laps). Is it REALLY bad in a 'normal' seat? I'm worried about the seat in front reclining and squishing the baby.

Are there best/worst airlines? I'm limited somewhat because not all airlines fly into Malaga. I saw a fantastic price on Air Europa but have read bad reviews and I'm not even sure I can reserve seats ahead. Definitely dont want to be separated

Please just spam me with any and all travel advice! Thank you!!
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Old Feb 23, 15, 4:27 am
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Can't you get a baby bassinet? (or how do they call those things)
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Old Feb 23, 15, 6:12 am
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From what I've read, she'll be too big.
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Old Feb 23, 15, 7:03 am
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If you're worried about the person in front "squishing your baby," that's probably a sign that it's time to not bring a lap infant.
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Old Feb 23, 15, 7:04 am
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I started travelling with my little one at 8 weeks. I would get a seat where the armrest comes up. That way, as you said, s/he can lay across you. Just bring lots of quiet toys and snacks.

Also, bring extra clothes - they have a way of spitting up or having poopslosions on planes
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Old Feb 25, 15, 3:13 am
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When you say "front row seats", I think you mean to say bulkhead seats. They aren't necessarily at the front of the cabin. It depends on the aircraft. Some of them are exit rows and children can't sit there (own seat or not).

It's always safer to get a seat for the baby. It's also usually more comfortable too. Bring the car seat on board but check that it's allowed on foreign companies. Never check a car seat as luggage either way!

I don't think the baby will be "squished" but it just isn't a lot of room for both of you. Do you have the luxury of traveling with another adult?
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Old Mar 30, 15, 10:57 am
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Originally Posted by Eclipsepearl View Post
Bring the car seat on board but check that it's allowed on foreign companies. Never check a car seat as luggage either way!
I'm just curious, but why 'never' check a car seat as luggage?

We did when our baby was about 11 months and travelled with us as a lap infant.

We're planning on doing the same just before our baby turns 2 in a couple months time. He's quite physically energetic and curious, but not that big, and we'll end up likely getting him a seat instead of him flying in our lap. The money savings for us are quite substantial if he flew in our laps - aside from that the thought of travelling 12 hours with him on our lap is already giving me headaches

I will probably want to check in a car seat as it's big and bulky, and is included in our baggage allowance. He'd be more comfortable in a 'proper' seat too.
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Old Mar 30, 15, 12:05 pm
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However you travel, please avoid US airlines like United & AA.

Choose Asian or any others. When we flew to Seoul on Asiana with our 14 month on his own seat, they Asiana crew would let you board first after first and biz class, they would ask if your child needs something, wouldn't lecture you on what you should do or shouldn't. If you gate checked stroller, they would wrap it on a plastic bag so it doesn't come out dusty and dirty.

On our flight back to US from singapore on United, they don't care if you have baby, you wait in line with general public, the 50 year old US flight attendent lectured us on how to take care of baby, gave us plastic bag and told us its for dirty diaper bag and told us they have a nice diaper changing table in their tiny lavatory. Which wasn't true btw, told us look for her and ask her if we need during flight. Well, she didn't even look at us during the entire 13 hr flight. never asked us if we needed anything. The stroller wasn't wrapped and it was DIRTY and dusty. The plane so was so old it didn't have any entertainment system. Even though we had bulkseat that had decent legroom( still worse than any asiana), the regular economy seats were so tight and tiny and hardly any leg room. I never liked United before but this was our last minute flight and we didn't find anything other than United.

Last edited by Blueskyheaven; Mar 30, 15 at 1:01 pm
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Old Mar 30, 15, 12:40 pm
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Originally Posted by Blueskyheaven View Post
However you travel, please avoid US airlines like United & AA.

Choose Asian or any others. When we flew to Seoul on Asiana with our 14 month on his own seat, they Asiana crew would let you board first after first and biz class, they would ask if your child needs something, wouldn't lecture you on what you should do or shouldn't. If you gate checked stroller, they would wrap it on a plastic bag so it doesn't come out dusty and dirty.

On our flight back to US from singapore on United, they don't care if you have baby, you wait in line with general public, the 50 year old US flight attendent lectured us on how to take care of baby, gave us plastic bag and told us its for dirty diaper bag and told us they have a nice diaper changing table in their tiny lavatory. Which wasn't true btw, told us look for her and ask her if we need during flight. Well, she didn't even look at us during the entire 13 hr flight. never asked us if we needed anything. The stroller wasn't wrapped and it was DIRTY and dusty. The plane so was so old it didn't have any entertainment system. Even though we had bulkseat that had decent legroom( still worse than any asiana), the regular economy seats were so tight and tiny and hardly any leg room. I never liked United before but this was our last minute flight and we didn't find anything other than United . IT is totally different people with different attitude, one is with respect, the other one is arrogance.
It's your responsibility to bag your stroller, not the airline's. You can buy a cheap bag for under $20.00.

There are no UA planes flying internationally with no entertainment systems, so that part of your story doesn't ring true. If this were true, it's a good lesson to check out the actual plane you'll be flying and book a different flight if you don't like the amenities on that particular plane.

I'm not sure why you think you should board first just because you have a baby. Additionally, if you needed something, why didn't you ask?

As far as always traveling on international airlines, I cannot always agree, if only due to events of the past year or two. Other countries do not have safety standards as strict as they are in the US. I do agree that Asiana has very good service (although don't forget Flight 214).
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Old Mar 30, 15, 12:45 pm
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Originally Posted by lost*in*cyberspace View Post
It's your responsibility to bag your stroller, not the airline's. You can buy a cheap bag for under $20.00.

There are no UA planes flying internationally with no entertainment systems, so that part of your story doesn't ring true. If this were true, it's a good lesson to check out the actual plane you'll be flying and book a different flight if you don't like the amenities on that particular plane.

I'm not sure why you think you should board first just because you have a baby. Additionally, if you needed something, why didn't you ask?

As far as always traveling on international airlines, I cannot always agree, if only due to events of the past year. Other countries do not have safety standards as strict as they are in the US. I do agree that Asiana has very good service.
I didn't say what United should do or shouldn't do. I didn't say United should cover the stroller with plastic bags like Asian airlines would do. Didn't say it should allow families with baby or kids board first. Didn't say United should give you vouchers to buy food or drinks if your flight is delayed by an hour like Asiana would do.
I am just stating the difference between those airlines & customer service.
Regarding the entertainment system, United had laptop size TV with pre selected movie under the ceiling of the plane. All the other planes we flew had in front of you or under your seat and can choose what you want to watch.

Last edited by Blueskyheaven; Mar 30, 15 at 12:54 pm
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Old Mar 30, 15, 12:53 pm
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Originally Posted by Blueskyheaven View Post
.....
Regarding the entartainment system, United had laptop size TV with pre selected movie under the ceiling of the plane. All the other planes we flew had in front of you or under your seat and can choose what you want to watch.
That would be considered an entertainment system.

I just bring my iPad.
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Old Mar 30, 15, 3:20 pm
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Originally Posted by lost*in*cyberspace View Post
I'm not sure why you think you should board first just because you have a baby.
Because it takes longer to board with a baby. If you are in general boarding, you hold up the line.
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Old Apr 1, 15, 8:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Anna Phor View Post
Because it takes longer to board with a baby. If you are in general boarding, you hold up the line.
Then you should board last. No holding up the line!
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Old Apr 2, 15, 6:48 pm
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Originally Posted by Blueskyheaven View Post
On our flight back to US from singapore on United, they don't care if you have baby, you wait in line with general public
Umm, are you not the "general public"? I have several children myself, yet I've never thought I was anything special simply because I was traveling with a child. Don't wait in line if you don't like it. Simply board last, problem solved, no line and you won't be holding everyone up in the aisle as you stow your gear.

The 50 year old US flight attendent lectured us on how to take care of baby
What does her age have to do with anything? Sounds as if you are trying to insult her. I really doubt she "lectured" you about how to take care of a baby.

Well, she didn't even look at us during the entire 13 hr flight. never asked us if we needed anything
Did you need anything? If so, you could have rung the call bell.

The stroller wasn't wrapped and it was DIRTY and dusty.
Your responsibility to take care of your stroller. Buy a cover the next time.

The plane so was so old it didn't have any entertainment system.
Of course you had an entertainment system, you just didn't like it. And I agree, a lot of UA planes have terrible entertainment systems. I just bring my iPad.

Even though we had bulkseat that had decent legroom( still worse than any asiana), the regular economy seats were so tight and tiny and hardly any leg room.
Difficult to comment on, as you don't name aircraft. But, Asiana planes have a seat width ranging from 17.00 on A321 & A321, 17.2" on the A380 & 747s, 18" on 777-200, to 21" on A330-300. You can look the rest up. UA has similar seat width.

I never liked United before but this was our last minute flight and we didn't find anything other than United.
By "didn't find anything other than UA" do you mean, "UA was the cheapest option"?

Don't fly UA if you don't like them, but if you don't provide factual reports, your posts aren't helping anyone.
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Old Apr 2, 15, 10:46 pm
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Originally Posted by MagicWok View Post
I'm just curious, but why 'never' check a car seat as luggage?
The reason is that luggage handlers may be rough with the car seats, and this can result in them no longer being safe for use to protect a child in a crash. Car seats are designed to be discarded once in a crash, so if they suffer a blow from being tossed on the ground, for example, or luggage tossed on top of them, this would be equivalent to what they might suffer in a crash, and they would then be unsafe. The kicker is that there is no way to tell if the seat has suffered damage while out of your sight.

We're planning on doing the same just before our baby turns 2 in a couple months time. He's quite physically energetic and curious, but not that big, and we'll end up likely getting him a seat instead of him flying in our lap. The money savings for us are quite substantial if he flew in our laps - aside from that the thought of travelling 12 hours with him on our lap is already giving me headaches

I will probably want to check in a car seat as it's big and bulky, and is included in our baggage allowance. He'd be more comfortable in a 'proper' seat too.
Actually, kids aren't always all that comfortable in the adult-sized airline seats. They are used to traveling in their car seats, and at least in my kids' cases, they usually drift off to sleep in the first 30 minutes of the flight in their car seats. They don't really have a good way to sleep in a regular airline seat, unless it's lying on you, and then your mobility is significantly restricted (can't get up to visit the lavatory, can't lower your tray for a drink, snack, or to rest your ipad, etc.).

We have car seats we use for airline travel that are extremely lightweight but still meet all the safety standards. When our boys were younger, we used Cosco Sceneras. They weigh maybe 8 lbs. You can get them from WalMart for under $50. These days we use Evenflo Titan 65 seats, as our older kid outgrew the Scenera. I think they're around 10 lbs We just hang the seats, nested, off of our stroller handle using the tether strap. Easy.

The airline seat belt buckle is so easy to undo... With our toddler in his own car seat, I don't have to worry about any struggles getting him to keep his seat belt on, standing up in his seat, etc. It's business as usual, since he is used to being in his car seat and what that's all about.
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