December 29, 2007

To buy the extra seat or not

Babies younger than 2 years old can either sit on a parents lap or have a seat purchased for them. The misconceptions often are that flying with a lap baby is free and buying a baby seat is cheap...

Infant in your lap still means that a baby needs to pay the tax that you paid for your ticket. Call your airline ahead of time to tell them the baby will be there. Some US domestic flights do not charge this but all international flights do. Regardless, save yourself a lot of time by adding the lap infant to your reservation ahead of time. You can take the risk of carrying your car seat on even if you don't have a seat as if there is an empty one, you can put the baby in there. Also, if flying overseas, RESERVE A COT/BASSINET as soon as you book your ticket. These are beds they connect to the bulkheads that are free and allow a baby to sleep through the flight. It is first come first serve but it can be a life saver. This is usually reserved for very small infants although every airlines has different weight/size restrictions. I could put my 5 month old in there for 7 hours and sleep or watch movies.

Buying a seat is no longer inexpensive. Generally the fare is at least 75% of your ticket price. Even if you buy a ticket, I still recommend reserving a cot/bassinet on overnight flights as it a godsend!

Do you have thoughts, questions or comments on whether to buy a seat? Email u at or leave a comment on this post.

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