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Flying with a 4 year old and a 22 month old...should I buy an extra ticket for the baby?

I'll be flying from Chicago to D.C. (and back.) Take into account that I will be flying with both my girls, alone. Do we spring for an extra ticket for our littlest daughter, knowing that it is an extra expense, but knowing also that I won't have to worry as much about squirming and fussing from her (as well as being more free to handle things that my older girl might need,) OR do I save the money do a lot of praying and hope that my daughter will stay calm for the flight, knowing that while it might be an awesome money saver, it might also go terribly terribly wrong?


Asked by Maisy19 at 8:24 PM on Jan. 28, 2011 in Travel

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Answers (12)
  • Airlines are starting to consider (and possibly have already changed) their policies about infants and toddlers on parent's laps. They are starting to consider (again or have changed) that parents must by an extra ticket for their child. Remember as well that carseats are required for children that are under the age of two (I believe is the age) and the carseat must be airline safe. Go to the airline's website and find out the details of what is required of you and if any new regulations are being put into palce.

    Either way my opinion is to buy the seat for your youngest. That way you have the option of setting her down if you need to.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 8:28 PM on Jan. 28, 2011

  • I think the best thing to do is call the airport you're flying out of and talk to the airline company your flying with. They should be able to help you with that question.

    Answer by sweetpea1217 at 8:29 PM on Jan. 28, 2011

  • carseats aren't required. if they were, putting them in your lap wouldn't even be considered.

    Answer by armywife43 at 8:33 PM on Jan. 28, 2011

  • sounds like you already have the answer. but personally, i'd put the baby in my lap.

    Answer by armywife43 at 8:27 PM on Jan. 28, 2011

  • I just recently flew with my 3 year old and my 17 month old and I wish I would have bought an extra ticket. Between comforting my 3 year old and holding onto my 1 year old I could have screamed. We also had a random person next to was quite difficult. I flew from washington state to michigan.

    Answer by amber1330 at 8:28 PM on Jan. 28, 2011

  • If you can afford it, it would be better to spend the money. The most successful trip I ever had near small children was one where the mother brought a portable DVD player and several new choices. Your baby might be too young. Can you fly when they would normally be sleeping time?

    Answer by Annsf at 8:37 PM on Jan. 28, 2011

  • In my opinion I would get a ticket for the youngest as well....this way you will have your hands free to handle both of them....and for those who dont fly often with children....YOU WILL NEED A CARSEAT for your youngest. You oldest should be fine with the regular seat. Most carseats will work fine with the airline but like I said i would get 3 for each of you. I fly with just my son (19mo) and it is hell....and he is great....but it is nice to be able to have your hands free and not have a little one trying to spill your drink or smack you with his car. Good luck and have a good flight!

    Answer by Shelii at 8:38 PM on Jan. 28, 2011

  • I didn't need a carseat. It might depend on the airline.

    Answer by amber1330 at 8:54 PM on Jan. 28, 2011

  • Car seats are not required when flying, no matter what the age. Before my son hit 2 I never paid for his ticket and we flew several times. He always sat in my lap and it worked out great. If it were me I'd pay for the older one and sit the younger one on my lap, but that's just me. My son always preferred to be in my lap even when he had his own seat so I'd rather save the money.

    Answer by ba13ygrl1987 at 8:58 PM on Jan. 28, 2011

  • Car seat or no, it wouldn't matter because my little one would probably be too wiggly to sit in the seat without one. So if I buy the ticket, I would bring the seat. If I do not buy the ticket, I would check the seat.

    Thanks everyone for your responses! My husband and I are leaning toward just buying the ticket. Now to figure out how to get all that stuff through the airport, right? :)

    Comment by Maisy19 (original poster) at 9:35 PM on Jan. 28, 2011

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