Lap child (free) but getting a seat

Old Mar 3, 16, 1:07 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 432
Lap child (free) but getting a seat

Okay I realize the title might be a little confusing. We're planning on taking a short flight to visit the family soon and will be taking our 3 month old. I plan on taking him as a lap child and not buying a ticket.

On the phone the airline is telling me I have to check the car seat at check-in unless I'm willing to buy a ticket. Their customer service on Twitter is telling me if there is space available when I check-in that they can accommodate us by putting him in an unoccupied seat.

What has been some real world experiences with this?

I don't mind carrying him on my lap for the flight as it's relatively short (about an hour), but we generally arrive at the airport fairly early because my wife is always paranoid about being behind schedule. If I have to check it in when we arrive then that means we have to carry him around the entire time we're at the airport. It's be much better if they'd just allow us to gate check the seat.

Anyway, please let me know!

Thanks!
xero9 is offline  
Old Mar 3, 16, 1:21 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: YUL
Programs: BAEC, Priority Club, Fairmont Presidents Club
Posts: 491
They will know at check in if there is a spare seat. Just ask. If not then you check the seat.

I would never check a car seat, checked bags are handled very roughly and it could easily be damaged.

Take a stroller with you for the little one, you can gate check it for sure.

Booking a seat for baby is the best option of course.
Bogwoppit is offline  
Old Mar 3, 16, 3:18 pm
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 432
That's part of why I'd like to take it with me or at the very least gate check it. I feel like if it's gate checked it will be handled slightly better or at least mishandled for less time (shorter distance to go, right?).

Part of the problem is I was planning on doing a one way rental to get to the airport, so I can't get the little one to the airport without a car seat already.

Ugh driving the entire trip looks like the easier route but I have at least two other flights this year I have to take and paying full price for his ticket is not in the budget.
xero9 is offline  
Old Mar 3, 16, 3:25 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Programs: AA
Posts: 9,905
What airline are you flying?
wrp96 is online now  
Old Mar 3, 16, 4:02 pm
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 432
Originally Posted by wrp96 View Post
What airline are you flying?
This is with Porter Airlines
xero9 is offline  
Old Mar 3, 16, 7:21 pm
  #6  

2019 Secret Santa
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: NC
Programs: AA Lifetime Plat - 2MM miles
Posts: 8,308
I always gate checked the car seat so that allows you to get it to the gate to see if you can get a seat
Redhead is offline  
Old Mar 3, 16, 8:14 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,986
Is the car seat part of a stroller system? Even if it turns out there is no extra seat for the baby at check in, you will be able to keep the stroller system with you to the gate.
Tizzette is offline  
Old Mar 3, 16, 8:20 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: gggrrrovvveee (ORD)
Programs: UA silver, Marriott Gold, Hilton Gold
Posts: 6,023
Originally Posted by Tizzette View Post
Is the car seat part of a stroller system? Even if it turns out there is no extra seat for the baby at check in, you will be able to keep the stroller system with you to the gate.
This. If your carseat is part of a system that fits onto a stroller, or you have a frame for the carseat, then i don't see why you can't take it to the gate. We've never flown Porter, but did this frequently without issue when our children were infants.
gobluetwo is offline  
Old Mar 3, 16, 8:21 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 87
Originally Posted by xero9 View Post
Okay I realize the title might be a little confusing. We're planning on taking a short flight to visit the family soon and will be taking our 3 month old. I plan on taking him as a lap child and not buying a ticket.

On the phone the airline is telling me I have to check the car seat at check-in unless I'm willing to buy a ticket. Their customer service on Twitter is telling me if there is space available when I check-in that they can accommodate us by putting him in an unoccupied seat.

What has been some real world experiences with this?

I don't mind carrying him on my lap for the flight as it's relatively short (about an hour), but we generally arrive at the airport fairly early because my wife is always paranoid about being behind schedule. If I have to check it in when we arrive then that means we have to carry him around the entire time we're at the airport. It's be much better if they'd just allow us to gate check the seat.

Anyway, please let me know!

Thanks!
If you use a travel system (stroller + car seat), you can roll baby to the gate in that. If there's an extra seat, great. If not, gate check both.
firecracker725 is offline  
Old Mar 4, 16, 6:41 am
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 432
Thanks guys! It is a part of a car seat + stroller system so that's good to know!
xero9 is offline  
Old Mar 4, 16, 10:43 am
  #11  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 88,281
Originally Posted by Tizzette View Post
Is the car seat part of a stroller system? Even if it turns out there is no extra seat for the baby at check in, you will be able to keep the stroller system with you to the gate.
For Porter flights, yes. For some other routes and on some airlines, it doesn't always or even generally work that way. I sort of find it amusing how some of the most "child-friendly"/"parental-(leave-)friendly" countries and their carriers can be some of the worst in the OECD world for using personal strollers to take to the gate and use for airside transits en route.
GUWonder is offline  
Old Mar 22, 16, 4:10 pm
  #12  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Paris, Chicago, Rome, London, St John
Programs: DeltaPrivateJet, Ritz PP, Delta 4 million miler - Flying Colonel; AA Exec Plat (3 million + USAir)
Posts: 796
See; https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news...ts-080414.html

If you love your child, you are crazy about putting her as a lap child
BeatCal is offline  
Old Mar 22, 16, 4:51 pm
  #13  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 88,281
Originally Posted by BeatCal View Post
See; https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news...ts-080414.html

If you love your child, you are crazy about putting her as a lap child
That's a crazy stretch. The pediatric journal report -- indicated in the article -- talks about increased risk of death from hypoxia -- and yet the incidence of death on flights compares how to the incidence of deaths of infants in their own houses? Negligible.
GUWonder is offline  
Old Mar 23, 16, 2:36 pm
  #14  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Chicago
Posts: 11,024
Originally Posted by BeatCal View Post
See; https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news...ts-080414.html

If you love your child, you are crazy about putting her as a lap child
Ridiculous, rude and offensive. Please focus on your own parenting rather than judging how much others love their own children.
rjque is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread