View Full Version : Travelling with babies
8th May 2002, 18:03
Is it possible to buy a FAA approved bassinet designed to fit on
an aircraft bulkhead?
We relied on the airline recently to provide one and this is how
1. We asked for bassinets for our twins when making the
booking. Booking clerk confirmed that the request was
marked on our tickets. Paid $400 per baby for their 'seat'.
2. Check-in staff confirmed bassinets were booked and that we
had the required bulkhead seats.
3. Gate staff confirmed bassinets were booked etc
4. Aircrew inform us bassinets are NEVER available in business
5. Good job we took our baby car seats with us or we would
have faced a 9 hour flight with them on our laps. Knowing our
babies I'm sure the other passengers would have just loved
the effect that would have had.
If we had flown economy class there would not have been room
for the car seats at our feet and we suspect they would have
been taken off us and put in the hold.
Just how are babies meant to travel? In the hold?
Can anyone recommend an airline flying from Europe to Florida
that understands babies?
14th May 2002, 16:48
Does anyone! understand babies?
Not sure what a bassinet is or why it would fit on a bulkhead.
The only suggestion I can make is that if they are under two your option might be to book a seat for each. Cost may be an issue but $400 for a bassinet sounds expensive, I would hope the ticket for an infant is less. You can then put your baby seat in the pax seat. If the seat isn't suitable for the airline you use then you need to use a baby belt which fits to your pax belt but you only need this whilst the seatbelt light is on. Then you can pop them straight into their car seat for the rest of the flight.
Sorry I can't be any more help than that I'm afraid.
14th May 2002, 19:59
As best of my knowledge pax don't pay for bassinets! However will try to get more info on that.
15th May 2002, 01:05
Can only comment on our experience in HK with CX. As far as I know, bassinets (small collapsible cots which are secured on a fold-down "table" in front of bulkhead seats during cruise) are provided on a first-come first-served basis. I have ever "booked" as such, a bassinet but when traveling with the then-baby, I always ask for the bulkhead seat when booking. CX have never failed to provide me with that choice. Pax do not pay for bassinets - they would be included (if available) in the "no seat infant" fare.
I would suggest $400 is expensive (even in business class considering the child doesn't occupy a seat) for a no seat infant ticket. HKG-LHR-HKG (economy) NSI fare with CX last December was equivalent to USD200.
For the record, ours was 14 months old when we traveled and he (size-wise) was really borderline for the bassinet. Next trip he will have to have his own pax seat.
I would also think it unusual that a child (in a car seat) would be allowed to be on the floor (unsecured) whilst the seatbelt sign is on (in whatever class), but maybe CC or the more knowledgable could verify this point.
Never had any problems traveling with junior from here - it is well organised.
15th May 2002, 17:27
Car seat should be safety approved if on board. Check in staff will let you know if they corresponde with the 1001 regulations....
No, if seatbelt sign is on, child should be securely seated on his/her car seat (which at the same time should be securely secured to the pax seat with seatbelt).
15th May 2002, 17:55
Xenia - one other thing to add to your list. Remember there's only so many oxygen masks available, so limit the number of pax and infants to the number of masks your configuration has available. For safetys sake, a baby should ALWAYS be totally enclosed by the bassinet.
15th May 2002, 17:56
Ooops.........silly me - meant O2 masks per seat row.
17th May 2002, 19:40
A car seat MUST be secured to an empty pax seat, therefore enough oxy mask for baby occuping that seat (inside car seat)...
Yes, baby in bassinet obviously need oxy as well, but majority of A/C have spare mask each row....
Ciao and happy landings :)
18th May 2002, 12:44
Beware the bassinettes with Air France!!
If you're lucky you might get one on a bulkhead, but if not and you're down the back, they hang the things off the overhead lockers. Apart from being not too great if you're the adult in the seat, the ventilation seems to blow directly on to the baby.
I also remember a Northwest flight when, having got our sprog quietly settled into the bassinette, a wagon dragon demanded that we remove him because she said he was too big for it. He did weigh less than the max design weight stamped on the bassinette. Besides the very obvious verbal haranging of the flight attendant who had given us the bassinette, I got the feeling that this woman couldn't have been more abrasive to me if if I'd tried to open a door to throw her out!!!
22nd May 2002, 05:30
It looks like the only sure way to get a comfortable trip with babies is to book them a seat. Here is what I've discovered..
* You can't rely on the airline providing a bassinet. Let alone two.
* You can't buy your own approved bassinet that will clip onto
the bulkhead or elsewhere.
* The bulkheads in Business class are not designed to take
bassinets on some airlines even though they may offer them
when you book.
* You can't have them in a baby carrier at your feet. There's no
room at your feet in economy for a baby carrier anyway.
(Although this might be an option in business class if you pick
them up when the seatbelt sign is on).
For the trip I referred to in my original post getting them seats would have cost us $8000. The business class fare being $4000 at the time and we have twins. The $400 we paid was 10% of the adult fare.
But perhaps I shouldn't complain about this trip too much.. In the end there were two empty seats in Business Class and the passenger that was asked to move was only too glad to escape sitting next to twins for 9 hours.
22nd May 2002, 23:14
I can only speak for BA,we have ample bassinette seats on L/haul aircraft.
747s have: 2 in First
6 or 10 in Club(dependant on config)
8 in economy
777s have: 2 in First
4 in Club
2 or 6 in economy(dependant on config)
We will provide you free of charge our own "Britax" designed adjustable seat or cot...or both if you see fit,which the crew will attach to the bassinette table in front of you.The seat adjusts from a sitting position to a relaxing lie down position which you can easily do yourself.If,when baby wants to sleep,and you would prefer a flat cot,the crew will happily switch it over for you.
You can of course bring your own car seat,but it has to be CAA approved as opposed to FAA,but basically as long as the seatbelt will fit underneath the car seat and attach to the aircraft seat and be facing forward(cannot be put on bassinette tables)then no problems.I guess this would mean paying for a seat though as opposed to paying 10% for infants and using the bassinettes.
Have had many pax over the years travelling with two babies and have never had any problems.Bassinettes seats can be pre-booked when travelling with babies.
We carry enough of each on board to satisfy every position and have never been on a flight when there have been more babies than cots.
Have been on flights though,when pax have had to have babies on laps for entire time when bassinette positions have been occupied by people without babies,due to either the pax not pre-booking,or by then arriving so late at airport that bassinette positions are then allocated to other pax.I believe they are held by check-in staff until very late on incase people arrive with babies and have not pre-booked.
Hope this helps.
23rd May 2002, 20:56
Hi Tomb Raider,
Thanks for the info on BA. Haven't had chance to fly BA since the twins arrived (all flights to date were with Delta).
28th May 2002, 23:53
I realise I'm probably in a minority of one here but, I'd be horrified if I'd paid $4000 and found myself sitting next to one baby/child for nine hours, let alone two!! :eek:
Tin hat at the ready. :D
29th May 2002, 17:25
> I realise I'm probably in a minority of one here but, I'd be
> horrified if I'd paid $4000 and found myself sitting next to one
> baby/child for nine hours, let alone two!!
So perhaps it's not always wise to request a bulkhead seat :-)
As it happens our twins are quite quiet on a plane. The vibration makes them sleep. Probably less annoying than pax that insist on having the blinds open.
30th May 2002, 11:57
I agree with Heliport, I hate sitting near to babies or small children on flights.
The other thing I dislike are other pax who get impatient with my children on long flights!
I never said I was logical. :)
30th May 2002, 18:04
30th May 2002, 22:24
OK since you're on the subject, along with Babies, small children, and people who won't close their blinds at night... what about people who have to grab your seat back and wrench it down in order to get into their own seat?! Or they even do it when they are walking down the aisle/waiting for the toilet queue!
There you are sound asleep (providing theres no screaming children nearby or flashing lights on the end of the wing coming in through the window) and all of a sudden.... BANG you're awake just cos the person behind is! Makes my blood boil!:mad: :mad: :mad:
31st May 2002, 09:17
Damn right atco-matic. It's the same people who thinks that a 10 ton force is required to stow the tray table:mad: :mad: .
31st May 2002, 10:52
How I hate those inconsiderate *******!!:mad: :mad: :mad:
31st May 2002, 11:40
Having suffered other peoples noisy kids, kicking the back of the seat or standing on their seat and peering at me like something from the planet Zog (I'm not, by the way), for more years than I care to remember, I now make very little effort to control my kids when we fly together.
(Although I do draw the line at letting them kick the seat in front).
31st May 2002, 16:38
Probably less annoying than pax that insist on having the blinds open.
But I like to look out the window . . . :o
(But I'll close the blinds if it disturbs anyone :) )
Remember... we all were a "kid" many years ago .... :D
1st Jun 2002, 21:41
The late Bill Hicks had some strong opinions about kids on planes...
Now get this, I've been travelling all over the country on British Air. No smoking on British Air. Now let me get this straight, no smoking right but they allow children. Little fairness, huh?
"Well smoking bothers me."
Well guess what?
I was on this one flight right, I'm flying, I'm sleeping on the plane, I'm ****ing "knackered". Very tired right and I feel this tapping on my head. And I look up and there's this little kid - loose! on the ****ing plane, he's just loose. It's his playground in the sky. And he has decided that his job is to repetitively tap me on the top of the head.
I look across the aisle at his mom. she's just smiling, you know.
Guy next to the mom goes, "They're so cute when they're that small."
Isn't that amazing, letting your kid run lose on a ****ing plane. And then the kid runs over to the emergency exit and he starts flipping that handle to the door. And the guy next to the mom starts to get up, and I go, "Wait a minute... we're about to learn an important lesson right here."
Why you're right, the smaller he gets, the cuter he is.
God, I wish I had a camera right now.
With a telescopic lens.
Like to get a picture of his face when his pudgy little legs hit that farmhouse down there.
Aah, aah, kids. Ha hha.
Stewardess, since we got a breeze in here can we smoke now? Fairly well circulated at this point. Woosh. True story. But, you know.