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Airline makes passenger move child’s safety seat so passenger in front could recline

Airline makes passenger move child’s safety seat so passenger in front could recline

Old Jun 13, 16, 10:34 pm
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Airline makes passenger move child’s safety seat so passenger in front could recline

I'm curious what Flyertalk thinks about this.

https://consumerist.com/2016/06/13/w...could-recline/
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Old Jun 13, 16, 10:40 pm
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FA made a mistake. Pax should get her money back.

Shouldn't this be in the "Travel with Children" forum?
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Old Jun 13, 16, 11:00 pm
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Originally Posted by Doc Savage View Post
FA made a mistake. Pax should get her money back.

Shouldn't this be in the "Travel with Children" forum?
Agree. Please continue to follow thread in Travel with Children.
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Old Jun 14, 16, 12:01 am
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Couldn't they move the seat to another of their 3 seats - whilst making as much noise as possible?
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Old Jun 14, 16, 1:25 am
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Originally Posted by alanR View Post
Couldn't they move the seat to another of their 3 seats - whilst making as much noise as possible?
Generally, no. A child safety seat is supposed to be installed in such a way that it does not block anyone's exit from the row of seats. Usually that means the window, or if the window seat is vacant, it could go in the middle. But the lady purchased 3 seats, which suggests there were 3 in the party and all 3 seats would be occupied.

Personally I'd have told the FA that the paying passenger in the safety seat was entitled to use his seat as provided for in FAA regulations, and if she wanted to argue I'd ask her to a) contact her supervisor either on the plane or on the ground and if she still pushed the issue, I'd have pushed right back up to the point of LE meeting the plane on the ground and letting her explain her issue to them.

A bit of history: my kid started flying at 4 months and always flew in his own safety seat until the age 5 when he outgrew the safety seat specs. I learned early on to carry a copy of the airline's own rules as well as the FAA rules because a whole lot of FA's hate the sight of a safety seat and will do a whole lot to try to force you to gate check it instead of installing it on the plane. AA was the absolute worst about the safety seat.
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Old Jun 14, 16, 9:18 am
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Having been in the same position as this parent on an international 11 hour flight, after having read all the threads and comments here in advance and trying to plan ahead, I made a judgement call to face the seat forward (baby ended up spending a total of 45 seconds total in the seat the whole flight) because I immediately saw it wouldn't allow any recline.

I regret my choice - ultimately in my case it didn't matter as my then 8 month old had no interest in her seat - but I really get upset even thinking about it now and reading this story: its already a stressful thing to fly with a baby, and here we are, new parents trying to plan WAY in advance, spend the money to ensure safety and relative comfort of all (spare the "dont fly with your baby" responses) per airline and FAA "suggestions" (I noted that word in the article - quite ambiguous). And then to arrive on the aircraft and be faced with a choice of compliance, accommodation, pressure and fear of non-compliance.

Obviously we are dealing with fixed seat separation and rear facing car seats that basically dont allow for recline - so the rule either has to be clarified so there is ZERO ambiguity and 100% clear enforcement, or new crash data / testing to allow for parents to not have to feel they are compromising safety with forward facing seats at that age/weight.

/rant
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Old Jun 14, 16, 3:32 pm
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I like to try to think through each parties side. Ideally, a compromise could be made that would allow the passengers to move to a different row (bulkhead) so that everyone could be accommodated, but in cases where a compromise can't be made, I believe safety is always more important than comfort.

If I were her I could contact the FAA, DOT, the airline, and the news, because she obviously brought a compliant seat, installed it correctly, and was made to move it.
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Old Jun 14, 16, 4:32 pm
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A carseat is not allowed in the row immediately behind the exit row. The passengers should have been reseated before takeoff. Once reseated, she had every right to install the car seat rear facing. The FA's fault here for not ensuring compliance with the rules.

I too have been in similar situations before takeoff, and simply refuse to take my seat until appropriate ground personnel board the plane and resolve the issue (typically to my satisfaction when equipped with the airline and FAA's regs as in this case).

Unfortunately, once in the air the pax has no power in the situation and if they disobey the FA's orders is likely to be met by law enforcement upon landing. Hope AA makes it up to her.

Last edited by Erasmus; Jun 19, 16 at 11:53 am Reason: Typo.
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Old Jun 19, 16, 9:51 am
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This Flight Attendant probably already got in trouble for violating a FAA regulation. The seat was purchased and legally, she shouldn't have been asked this. Some reseating might have been necessary but they can't not accept a seat if the car seat is FAA approved and a ticket has been purchased for the child.

Always ask to speak to the Purser or "First" Flight Attendant (how some airlines call them). The risk is that you might be encountering someone new or simply doesn't know the rules well. I like Erasmus's technique of not taking your seat and getting the ground agents involved.

I did once switch a car seat to forward facing during the flight itself, to avoid this situation. I believe that this passenger brought an infant seat so not possible.

I personally loved seeing car seats on board. I knew those kids would sleep better and be less of a bother for those around them. I had a lot of military families on my flights so we were used to babies in car seats.
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Old Jun 20, 16, 7:34 pm
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This happened to me on a pm-USAIR flight. 3 seats across we weren't supposed to put the carseat in any seat other than the window. The lady in front screamed at us, the FA came, and the FA made us hold the baby. We asked for a refund, it was denied, I pushed and finally got just that leg refunded, but it took 8 months. I was very annoyed!
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Old Jun 21, 16, 8:46 am
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Originally Posted by samosa View Post
This happened to me on a pm-USAIR flight. 3 seats across we weren't supposed to put the carseat in any seat other than the window. The lady in front screamed at us, the FA came, and the FA made us hold the baby. We asked for a refund, it was denied, I pushed and finally got just that leg refunded, but it took 8 months. I was very annoyed!
This is was really makes me upset - right or wrong, outcome/punishment/refund, etc - you can't control other passenger reactions (screaming, complaining, etc), but uniform reaction on behalf of the enforcers (FAs, airlines, etc) would remove the stress of this entirely.
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Old Jun 21, 16, 9:32 am
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Originally Posted by levilevi View Post
This is was really makes me upset - right or wrong, outcome/punishment/refund, etc - you can't control other passenger reactions (screaming, complaining, etc), but uniform reaction on behalf of the enforcers (FAs, airlines, etc) would remove the stress of this entirely.
Correct, I understand the frustration with not being able to recline fully, but I was upset at the way the passenger was screaming at us and the way the FA handled it. She should have scolded the lady. But most FA's have actually come up to us and said it is very smart of us to buy a seat because it is safer, etc.
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Old Jun 22, 16, 7:44 am
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I agree- wrong to do that. The problem is their is no uniformity with carseat. Every car seat is different and pretty much every plane seat is to, so therefore airline restriction on forward facing/ rear facing/ both/ are confusing for everyone. In Australia - you can't use Australian made carseat because of the tether strap...
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Old Jun 28, 16, 12:09 pm
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One suggestion for those traveling with rear-facing seats...

If both parents are traveling, one parent can sit in front of the child, and the other parent can sit beside the child. That way, the seat that will not be reclining contains a member of the child's party, and you don't have to worry about complaints.

We have done this a few times.

When that wasn't possible, we have offered the passenger in front of the child's seat a Starbuck's gift card. We approach them immediately upon boarding, so that we are reaching out with a peacemaking gesture before they even have a chance to complain. Everyone we have encountered has been gracious, and most turn down the offer of a gift card.
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Old Jun 28, 16, 12:21 pm
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Originally Posted by cbn42 View Post
I'm curious what Flyertalk thinks about this.

https://consumerist.com/2016/06/13/w...could-recline/
In this case the child should've been moved prior to take off according to AAs guidelines.

But as a general rule I find it more difficult. If a fat person sits next to me I expect them to buy two seats to if they need them, I wouldn't accept giving up half of mine simply because they require the room.

Why would I then accept someone requiring the room behind me taking it for their comfort? Why wouldn't the mom need to pay for the seat if the seat infront of it cannot recline? If the person ahead wants to recline we can talk all we'd like about "well, she had 6fts of room anyway" but that doesn't change the facts.

Either it's right that fat people take up half your seat, for you to not being able to recline your seat with someone tall sitting behind you and when people use the knee defender equipment or it isn't. But then neither is placing a child seat there.
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