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Which airline is toddler friendly???

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
My dd (almost 22mo) and I need to fly from Austin, TX to Tulsa, OK and there are no direct flights. We also would like to spend as little money as possible. Anybody have any suggestions on the easiest way to figure out which airline to use? I looked at cheaptickets.com and they don't divulge the airlines' "infant" policies.

post #2 of 13
I assume you want a seat for your child?? I have had the best luck researching prices on the 'net via travelocity and the like. Then once I find the cheapest adult fares I call the airline directly and buy thru them. The 'net places usually do not offer infant discounts since most discounts are off fullfare tickets. But if you call the airline directly you can usually get the same adult fare listed on the web and then 25-50% off that fare for a child under 2.

We just got tickets to Fla. Full fare: over $600. web price: $225, no discount for children under 2. Airline: $225, $125 for infant.

All airlines will let you hold a child under the age of 2 on your lap. I personally don't reccomend that for safety reasons (there is a whole nother thread on that!!). The good news is if there are empty seats they will offer them to you no charge once the plane is fully boarded so I reccomend you bring your car seat with you even if you don't buy a seat. If there ends up not being any seats available they will store your car seat for you and it is not considered part of your carry one luggage.

Happy travelling!
post #3 of 13
Try Southwest Airlines. They don't advertise their rates on cheaptickets, expedia or any other of those kind of websites. Their fares are great CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP! When I flew from New York to Kentucky I flew to an airport that was a 2 hour drive further than where I wanted to fly into because the price difference between other airlines and Southwest was $500 and up! Get a quote both online and then call for a quote because they are usually different. When you call you can also ask about the infant fare. I think ds' seat was only like $15 less than mine though but my ticket was only a little more than $100.


The stewardesses were very nice too. I was allowed to board early, as are elderly people and other traveling with children. This is allowed on all airlines though but is particularly helpful on Southwest because there are no seat assignments. You can try to get bulkhead seating that way though so your ds won't be kicking the seat in front of him.

post #4 of 13
I would call and start asking specific questions. We've flown a lot and I'd have to say they are all similar on infant policies.

Find the cheapest ticket for you and then go from there. 2 years and under can be on lap for most airlines (not safe at all but cheaper for sure); most will give you a row with a vacant seat next to you if available (typically on smaller flights and/or at less popular times). I've always been placed next to other parents with children too. If you do get a seat for the dd, some give 1/2 off prices; like I said, since you're looking for inexpensive, find the cheapest for you and ask specific questions so you are prepared and can make a good decision.

Good luck! Hope my rambling helped
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for all the speedy replies! I love MDC!!!! I also looked at several of the other multi-airline search tools and none of them did as well as southwest. And, all of their flights were longer. I went ahead and got raina her own seat because dh told me I should do whatever it takes to be as comfy as possible... I don't really expect her to sit there though. What if she wants to nurse? At 21mo, I wonder if she'll just be willing to drink out of her sippy cup during take-off and landing (for the pressure change in her ears.) Guess it's time to search for some old threads on flying with toddlers

Thanks again,
(oh, and the whole bill was $225, not bad for 2 seats and a couple of bags of pretzels.)
post #6 of 13
Southwest is very friendly to kids/families. They don't have assigned seats BUT they let people with kids under 2 board first, before the main seating begins. So everyone with kids ends up camping in the same front area of the plane, which is nice. I flew United when pregnant and the cow at check-in was really rude. They also don't let families board early. Avoid United. I've had pretty good luck with Continental in the past, flew them alot when I lived in Houston. Good luck!
post #7 of 13
Do not fly Northwest Airlines, although they probably don't fly in your area anyway. I flew from Madison, WI to Montreal, Canada and the flight attendants were nuts. I was alone with my 7- month- old son and it was late and I was putting on my Baby Trekker to get my ds and all of my gear off of the plane. The attendent said"Do you have to put that on in the plane? Everyone is waiting for you". I got off the plane and told the head attendant that the crew should be more patient when dealing with mothers and small children. He replied that they were tired because they had had an early morning. Needless to say, by that time I wasn't in any mood to sympathize with him! I am sure his ears are still a little bit red and I don't think he will cross another mother again! I hope you have a wonderful trip with some enlightened flight attendants!
post #8 of 13

I had to laugh about the part about DD and a sippy cup. I did nurse DD (21 months) the last time we flew, a few weeks ago, but only to take a nap, not for take off and landing. She looked like her ears were bugging her, so I suggested to her that she drink from her sippy cup to make her ears feel better- SO SHE STUCK HER SIPPY CUP IN HER EAR AND GAVE ME A HUGE GRIN! It totally cracked me up! She did it for take off and landing.

Happy travels!

PS- we still do the lap thing to save $. No big deal. Sometimes we luck out and get an empty middle seat next to us, sometimes not. Lap is fine. I'm dreading paying full fare!
post #9 of 13
Word to the wise about SW...If you are getting any age based discount or free seat have a copy of your babes birth certificate or they WILL make you buy a ticket. No joke. Happened to me. You can send in the documentation afterward and get a full refund but you are still out the money that day, ya know?
post #10 of 13
If you fly Delta, ask for the seats in the very back of the plane, they have two seats for people with bad backs or other medical problems, there is MUCH more room back there, they have foot rests and all.
I'm not sure of the other airline planes. I was lucky to get those two seats when flying with my son (he was 2 years old) and during the flight he was able to stand in front of me - that is how much room there was.
ASK the airlines if you call them, I'm sure they all have good seats somewhere.
Good Luck
post #11 of 13
Great question. I'd love to see this as a permanent post.

I don't know if this would apply to you, but Alaska Airlines is great. Under 2 seats are halfprice.

T I know Hawaiian Airlines gives no breaks at all. Big bummer there.
post #12 of 13
I just saw a neat gizmo for travelling with children without car seats on the plane on the website Bareware. It is a harness that allows freedom of movement while at the same time protecting the baby from falling and being forced out of your arms. You might want to consider it because travelling with a car seat is a definite drag unless it fits into your stroller. I am definitely going to consider this item for my next trip.
post #13 of 13
Vanna - are you referring to the Baby B'Air? It's not FAA approved for take offs or taxiing and some airlines won't let you use them. Another thing, because the baby is still on your lap, they could still get squished between you and the seat if anything were to happen.
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