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To be pissed off with this airline?

(18 Posts)
CreamOfTomatoSoup Wed 06-Feb-13 10:24:51

DH and I booked flights with an airline for an 8hr daytime flight for us and what will by then be 16 month old DS. DS is already huge and wiggly so we decided to purchase him a seat as a child, rather than booking him on as an infant, which would have only entitled him to a bassinet (which he would be too big to fit in). We rang the airline before we booked to check that it's ok to put him in as a child and they said that's fine and we should either bring an American/Canadian approved car seat (with live in the UK) or they would provide a car seat for him.

Now we've booked they say they can't provide him with the car seat they promised so unless we can get one he will have to sit on our laps. For 8 hours. He can't even manage it for 8 minutes!

Should we cancel? Is this an early sign of their incompetence? Should we have him on our laps? Should we try to buy a bloody Canadian car seat?

Don't cancel. He will just have to be on your knee for takeoff and landing.

I flew with ds last month and he had his own seat. Just had to hold him for those times.

squeaver Wed 06-Feb-13 10:30:29

Do they mean a car seat to fit inside the passenger seat? I only ask because we took dd when she was about 15/16 months long haul (on BA, mind you) and no one asked for a car seat. And, tbh, I can't think I've ever seen that on a long haul plane.

Sorry, I realise this isn't helping. I'd be tempted to picth up at the airport with your own car seat and bluff it out/ What could they do to you?

Alternatively, did you juts speak to the reservations people? Maybe try customer services instead?

squeaver Wed 06-Feb-13 10:31:01

Oh yes, good point. It must just be for take off and landing.

GilmoursPillow Wed 06-Feb-13 10:39:51

Look through the T&C's of your airline's website. It should be covered there somewhere what you can and can't do, and what your seat should be.

If you find the info, and your seat fits the criteria, make sure you print the page/s off from their website.
The one and only time I took a car seat on board the check-in staff weren't going to allow me to take it with me until I showed them the info from their own website.

And yes, I believe an approved car seat is only required for take-off and landing if they are not going to be sitting on your lap during those times.

CreamOfTomatoSoup Wed 06-Feb-13 10:42:07

They said it is mandatory for the infant to sit in a car seat approved by the airline if purchasing a seat. Does that mean takeoff/landing?

CMOTDibbler Wed 06-Feb-13 10:44:52

I fly long haul a lot, and never see children in car seats - they only mean on your lap for take off/landing and if the seat belt sign goes on

exexpat Wed 06-Feb-13 10:47:46

In my experience, the lap thing is just for take-off and landing, and in practice they tend to be flexible depending on the size of the child. My two were both big for age and we did a lot of long haul flights, so they had separate seats booked from less than one year. I never took car seats on board, but did use the booster-with-straps thing that Virgin provided if we were flying with them.

I am pretty sure that they stayed in their own seats for take-off/landing from well under two years old, but then they were both the size of average three-year-olds by age 18 months so the cabin crew may not have thought to insist on them being on my lap.

nefertarii Wed 06-Feb-13 11:41:59

I fly long haul I have just come back. Ds was 20 months. He her is own seat but had to sit on an adults knee for take off and landing or during bad turbulence.

They. An sit in the seat the rest of the time. Can I ask who it is you are flying with. There were loads of children similar ages with their own seats during the flights

Apanicaday Wed 06-Feb-13 11:51:42

Ds had his own seat on a long haul flight at 13 months (the company paid for it!). He only had to be on our laps for take off and landing, and if the seatbelt sign was on.

soapnuts Wed 06-Feb-13 12:04:50

It would only be when seat belt signs are on. I have flown (lots) with a car seat and what I think they are talking about is that the car seat has to have an FDA (ie American) approval sticker on it - that's what they always look for on mine. I have used non-us ones in the past and as long as they fit the criteria on the specific airlineswebsite it should be fine. They do have to be forward facing too I think.

If your car seat doesn't fit the criteria you can also use a Cares flight harness (just google it) - sometimes it takes an argument to use it but take all the leaflets that come with the harness and it should be fine - I've never had that refused ( nor the car seat as long as I've paid for a seat) - if they give you hassle, ask to speak to the person in charge of the flight crew - they should know about it.

KissMyGrits Wed 06-Feb-13 12:39:18

http://www.amazon.co.uk/CARES-Child-Aviation-Restraint-System/dp/B0012E4FV8

We have this, its a bit pricey but worth it if you travel a lot.

KissMyGrits Wed 06-Feb-13 12:39:41

Might the airline let you use your carseat for the flight, providing you held your son during take-off and landing?

CreamOfTomatoSoup Wed 06-Feb-13 16:03:31

The airline is airtransat. I'd rather not take a car seat. It's a faff to carry there and back but obviously we may have to. Ideally we'd just be allowed to hold him on takeoff and landing.

Thanks for all the advice, I will have a poke at them and find out about whether he can just sit on my lap for the takeoff and landing.

It's Transat. RUN SCREAMING AWAY. They delayed my flight with DD, at 3 months old for 8 hours. I was in the airport for 11 hours. I hate them.

K8ster Thu 07-Feb-13 03:21:52

I have flown with air transat and never used a car seat. He just sat on lap for take off, landing, and if seatbelt sign was on. They just make you wear an extension belt that goes round your child.....which they will provide.

Have a look on your own car seat, see if it has the airline approved sticker on it. Many do. Especially the Britax ones. I took Dd's seat a couple times when she was a toddler as I knew she'd stay put and fall asleep in it. It worked great. I fastened the straps and draped it over rolling hand luggage to move it about.

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