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Should I buy my tot her own plane ticket?

I am flying with my 12 month old from NY to CA in the beginning of September.

The particular flight I am looking at has a bunch of unoccupied seats (probably because it's September, and the kids are going back to school).

Do you think I should just by one ticket for myself, and take a chance that my daughter can occupy one of the unoccupied seats? Or should I play it safe and just buy her a separate plane ticket?

What would YOU do? I don't want to hold a squirmy toddler across the country, but I also don't want to buy her a ticket and then find out that the plane is not very full.


Asked by Anonymous at 9:05 PM on Jul. 17, 2009 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • I wouldn't pay for an extra seat, but I'm a cheapskate haha! I would take my chances and if I had to hold my toddler the whole way I would just think about the money I saved and it would make the trip much more tolerable.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:07 PM on Jul. 17, 2009

  • that is a long, long flight.

    are u going with someone else so u can take turns holding her?

    if u will be alone, get a 2nd seat. that's a lot of hours to hold her.... esp if she's a 1st time flyer. Who knows what could happen.

    Answer by hibbingmom at 9:07 PM on Jul. 17, 2009

  • Most airlines don't make you pay for a child under 2 year's old. They expect them to sit on your lap though...but if there are empty seats I'm sure nobody would say anything.

    Answer by jfblaine at 9:09 PM on Jul. 17, 2009

  • OP

    It'll be just me and my daughter.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:11 PM on Jul. 17, 2009

  • Well, one of the most common injuries on an airplane is an unrestrained child under 2 (not from crashing, but from turbulence). I would make sure my toddler had a seat that I could install a car seat into. If you really don't want to shell out the money, bring your car seat anyway, but if you don't have a seat, they probably aren't going to let you take it on the plane, and you'll have to check it. Which defeats the purpose.

    So, I would buy a seat for my daughter. I would call and try to negotiate a lower rate, but I'd buy it no matter what.

    Answer by apexmommy at 9:13 PM on Jul. 17, 2009

  • I used to fly with DS right up until he was 2. He would sit on my lap and look out the window if he was awake for the most part he slept like a little angel. The rest of the people on the plane would always say wow we didn't even know he was there.

    Anyway, if you can afford it I would pay for the extra seat. It would be nice to have the extra elbow room. That is an awfully long flight for a little one. Will you need a car seat anyway? If so, have the seat on the plane it may help if you need to have use your arms you know to eat, drink, play?

    Since you are flying alone most flight attendants are really helpful and will assist you with any carry ons you may have and if you do bring the seat with you they may even help with that as well.

    Good Luck on your trip.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:31 PM on Jul. 17, 2009

  • I always bought my daughter her own seat..She has been on a plane about 6 times now. MOST children just fall asleep after a while...If you take a night flight you have a better chance at that also :D Just brings a couple snacks and new toys. I have to fly from California to Maryland ALONE with 2 babies in November..Thats gonna be tricky lol

    Answer by ryanlynn at 9:37 PM on Jul. 17, 2009

  • The risk of injury or death for a lap sitting child is significantly less than a restrained child in a carseat. In 2004, 13 people died while flying, 43,000 died on America's highways, this is why the FAA does not require children under two to be restrained.

    I have always flown with my daughter on my lap. If you have the money, I would buy a seat for her though, just because it's a long flight by yourself.

    Answer by toriandgrace at 9:45 PM on Jul. 17, 2009

  • I flew cross country with my 10 month old and did not buy her a seat. I requested the bulk head though, so there was room for her to play in front of my seat, it worked out really well. But if you don't think that'll work for you play it safe and get another ticket. September is still a ways a way, so the flight is likely going to continue to fill up. And if it's not full enough the airline could cancel the flight anyway.

    Answer by jellyphish at 10:08 PM on Jul. 17, 2009