July 18, 2004

UrbanBabyWatch: Flying

Advice on flying, from the oft-treacherous shoals of UrbanBaby's message boards:

  • Flying w/stroller, carseat and base? "Check the base, gatecheck the stroller and carseat, that way you can use the carseat if there's an open seat." "airlines provide a large plastic bag [for the seat, not the kid. PLASTIC BAG IS NOT A TOY.]"
  • Q. Paperwork for flying to UK? A. "From a Brit who does this regularly, you only need a passport. If your travelling on your own, it is useful to have a [notarized] letter from the other parent to say your not abducting the baby although not essential for UK."
  • "I flew with my 3 mo son and brought cheap ear plugs for everyone around me. No-one took them (and turned out didn't need them) but the good vibe helped a lot. "
  • Q. Need ID for the baby to fly domestically? "On Jet Blue - no id if you purchase a seat, but birth cert if DC* is a lap baby. Didn't make sense to us but take the bc just in case. [Wha?? I'm flying Delta Tuesday; they said I don't need anything. Call ahead. -dt]
  • "I travelled with a 4mo solo and it was do-able. Like other responder mentioned, check large items and take stroller and carry-on to gate. The biggest pain-in-the-ass part was going through security. I had DD* in a carseat with Kolcraft Universal. "
    "^^yes, good point, you have to completely fold stroller and remove DC from it. (no doubt your DC will be sleeping at this time!). And don't feel bad for anyone behind you... they will just have to wait."
  • "[To help kid with changes in pressure and avoid meltdown] be sure to feed bottle or boob for takeoff and landing. Or paci[fier]."
  • "flying ADVICE: trip isn't that long.. Friday night to Monday morning. Worried I can't schlepp all ds's stuff (swing, bouncy seat, mobile exersaucer, etc). DS is having a very rough time these days with teething. "
    -- you are INSANE if you bring all that stuff. TRAVEL LIGHT."

    *UrbanBaby Key: DC=Darling Child, DD=Darling Daughter, &c. &c.


    It's a good idea to *always* carry a copy of DC's birth certificate when traveling. We had an experience recently where airline told us over the phone when buying tix that no proof-of-age was necessary for a lap child. On the flight out, that was true - no one asked for proof-of-age. When we went to the airport for our return flight, however, the nice lady at the check-in desk told us proof-of-age is required by FAA, threatened us a $10,000 fine from FAA, and tried to make us pay for a seat for DC. When I pointed out that her airline let us fly out without proof-of-age, she implied that I must be lying b/c her airline "always" checks proof-of-age. In the end, she let us off with a warning, and put a note in our "permanent record." (I'm not making this up!) Now, I've got a tiny, tiny laminated photocopy of DC's birth certificate, which I carry in my wallet like a credit card, just in case I get hassled by some jerk in the future.

    Great website, by the way.

    I know this may sound dumb...but I know the airlines can be sticklers to the rules. We got our 18 mos daughter a passport. We are flying international and they keep changing the rules about when you need a passport. ANYWAY.. they will take this as proof of age..RIGHT?

    [of course. our kid got a passport when she was 5 mos.; the only weird thing is it lasts 5 years? She doesn't look anything like that anymore...-ed.]

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