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How does lapchild in UA lie flat seats work out?

How does lapchild in UA lie flat seats work out?

Old Mar 23, 15, 6:14 am
  #1  
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How does lapchild in UA lie flat seats work out?

I'm planning a trip with my wife and will be 18 month old baby from IAH to SFO in May 2015. This will be our baby's first flight and I would like it to be a memorable one and offer them both a chance to fly on a Dreamliner 787-8.

Our baby is a bit on the bigger side so we were first thinking about getting her a separate seat and abandoning the lap child free charge. Then we thought about potentially using miles to fly first class and experience the lie-flats. Does anyone have any experience with these seats in terms of having a lap child? Would it be a bad idea, good idea, or save the miles and just sit in economy plus with a separate seat for our baby? I think at the end of the day I want to get them on a Dreamliner no matter what class we book with.
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Old Mar 23, 15, 6:42 am
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Save the miles and do the 2 economy+ seats. Baby can sit in mom's lap and the 2nd seat can hold any toys/diaper bag and the tray table can serve as a snack tray. If baby needs a nap (s)he can spread out a bit over the 2 seats. Could get a bulkhead seat leaving lots of legroom for mom too.

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Mar 23, 15 at 7:26 am Reason: Off topic content removed
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Old Mar 23, 15, 7:12 am
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Originally Posted by tluehr1 View Post
I'm planning a trip with my wife and will be 18 month old baby from IAH to SFO in May 2015. This will be our baby's first flight and I would like it to be a memorable one and offer them both a chance to fly on a Dreamliner 787-8.

Our baby is a bit on the bigger side so we were first thinking about getting her a separate seat and abandoning the lap child free charge. Then we thought about potentially using miles to fly first class and experience the lie-flats. Does anyone have any experience with these seats in terms of having a lap child? Would it be a bad idea, good idea, or save the miles and just sit in economy plus with a separate seat for our baby? I think at the end of the day I want to get them on a Dreamliner no matter what class we book with.
Sorry I don't have direct experience of a lap child in these seats, but there is so much more room in the seat than E or E+, I would have to think that it would work rather well. Normally, I wouldn't make such a comment without being able to directly answer your question, but I have to dispel the notion that there will be eye rolls and stares if you do this. It's a domestic flight and you're welcome to fly your family in any class! I say get the tickets in F at least one way, get two seats by the window and have a great time.
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Old Mar 23, 15, 7:42 am
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From a safety standpoint I would always advocate getting a baby his/her own airplane seat and anchoring your car-seat into it.
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Old Mar 23, 15, 7:46 am
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Originally Posted by tluehr1 View Post
I'm planning a trip with my wife and will be 18 month old baby from IAH to SFO in May 2015. This will be our baby's first flight and I would like it to be a memorable one and offer them both a chance to fly on a Dreamliner 787-8.

Our baby is a bit on the bigger side so we were first thinking about getting her a separate seat and abandoning the lap child free charge. Then we thought about potentially using miles to fly first class and experience the lie-flats. Does anyone have any experience with these seats in terms of having a lap child? Would it be a bad idea, good idea, or save the miles and just sit in economy plus with a separate seat for our baby? I think at the end of the day I want to get them on a Dreamliner no matter what class we book with.
As someone who traveled with a one year old many years ago I can assure you that your baby will not remember anything about the flight or where you sit (we sat in Y and I spent much of the flight walking our son up and down the aisle so that he didn't scream and disturb other passengers--a "trick" that worked very well). Spare yourself any expense of money and/or miles. 24 years later our son doesn't remember the trip across the pond to meet his grandmother and other relatives in the UK much less anything about the flight.
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Old Mar 23, 15, 9:17 am
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Thumbs up

Originally Posted by USHPNWDLUA View Post
I say get the tickets in F at least one way, get two seats by the window and have a great time.
+1

Get two adjacent seats in F and you'll have lots of room to play with the baby.


(I say this as a parent of an 18 month old and a 4 year old, both of whom travel about 40k miles per year each.)
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Old Mar 23, 15, 9:45 am
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My worst flight with either of my children was when Master PVDProf was a toddler, flying as a lap child and we were op-up'd to C (recliners). The huge amount of space in front of us meant he wanted down to explore, but that wasn't possible because either the seatbelt sign was on or he was pulling at the life vest. We thought the upgrade would make for a fun flight, but it was quite the opposite: we were not able to enjoy the C service at all.

IAH-SFO is a pretty short flight and a significant fraction of the time will be time with the seatbelt sign on (taxi, climb, descent). On these trips, I try to find the most comforting way to restrain the kid and to minimize overstimulation. For my kids, a window economy seat and the familiarity of the car seat were most effective. Bring lots of books and small snacks that take lots of time to eat. As a parent, the pleasantness of the trip depends more on the contentedness of the kids than my own space.
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Old Mar 23, 15, 9:55 am
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I appreciate everyone's thoughts on this. My intention of flying specifically in F on the Dreamliner was the experience for my wife and I. I'm really trying to target the idea of taking two (2) F seats and no dedicated seat for baby or three (3) E+ seats.

I really don't care about what other people think what my family does, as long as we respect them too. That is an entire conversation in itself. I just want to make an easy and relaxing experience for my family.
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Old Mar 23, 15, 10:00 am
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Originally Posted by tluehr1 View Post
I appreciate everyone's thoughts on this. My intention of flying specifically in F on the Dreamliner was the experience for my wife and I. I'm really trying to target the idea of taking two (2) F seats and no dedicated seat for baby or three (3) E+ seats.

I really don't care about what other people think what my family does, as long as we respect them too. That is an entire conversation in itself. I just want to make an easy and relaxing experience for my family.
Keep in mind that the J seats on the UA 787 (there is no F, though it's labeled as such when that bird flies domestic) are the same as the sCO 772, 764 and 752. If you've flown in any of those lie-flat seats, you've flown in the same seat you'd have on the 787.
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Old Mar 23, 15, 11:20 am
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Buy 3 E+ seats. Your overall "experience" will be better. Save your miles to "experience" the 787 BF seats on a trip that really needs them, hopefully when you wife can actually enjoy them and each other.. and not handle the demands of an 18 month old.
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Old Mar 23, 15, 11:20 am
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Your first plane trip with your kid is about survival, not enjoyment. Get the third seat in E+ and bring the car seat.
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Old Mar 23, 15, 11:23 am
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I agree with the above to book 3 E+ seats to get their kid in their own seat rather than on a lap.

I don't see a good reason to pick the 787 here -- it has pretty lousy seats in the back. 767 would be ideal, you could put the kid in the middle and both parents have aisle access, but there aren't may on that route these days. A320 or 757 would be the best options.
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Old Mar 23, 15, 11:38 am
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Originally Posted by tluehr1 View Post
My intention of flying specifically in F on the Dreamliner was the experience for my wife and I... I just want to make an easy and relaxing experience for my family.
Having flown with my kid in all cabins from when he was about two months old, I can gently report that in babyhood and early childhood there is no "experience," no "enjoyment," etc. for parents who are doing it right -- it is an endurance contest. It is inherently not "easy and relaxing" no matter what seat you're in. You don't bother bringing books or Kindle because you will not be paying attention to anything except your kid; you eat before the flight because you will be feeding your kid, not you, inflight. IME an F or J configuration makes things harder because the kid does not have a space of his/her own.

The ideal offering for families in this situation is the NZ Skycouch in Y, but it's not being mimicked by UA or anyone else AFAIK. I concur with the folks who say to book three E+ seats and look forward to the destination, not the journey.
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Old Mar 23, 15, 11:53 am
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Originally Posted by tluehr1 View Post
I appreciate everyone's thoughts on this. My intention of flying specifically in F on the Dreamliner was the experience for my wife and I. I'm really trying to target the idea of taking two (2) F seats and no dedicated seat for baby or three (3) E+ seats.

I really don't care about what other people think what my family does, as long as we respect them too. That is an entire conversation in itself. I just want to make an easy and relaxing experience for my family.
It will not be easy and relaxing for you - get real..
(imho as someone who has flown 150k miles with twins before they turned 4)
18 mo can be a very hard age - lots of curiosity but not enough interest in ipad etc.. luckily you will be able to take turns with wife so at least one of you can take breaks and if stars align your kid may actually sleep a bit..
Get two seats in f - there is plenty of relatively enclosed isolated room to play on lie flats while in coach it will be crawling all over the seat, floor etc... (imho from comfort level 2C lie flat > 3Y > 2F domestic > 2Y)

Last edited by azepine00; Mar 23, 15 at 11:58 am
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Old Mar 23, 15, 1:20 pm
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I really appreciate everyone's opinions and experience. It looks like the general consensus is to just buy (3) Y+ seats and save the money and miles for the future.

Its probably more important to get the timing of the trip right, rather than the aircraft type. It seems like most of the folks are recommending to bring the car seat and install on the seat. Does anyone have any experience with the CARES harness system? I'm assuming I still need to bring the car seat for the rental car at destination too. Just thinking of ways to keep baby as calm as possible.
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