or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Babywearing › Why no sling on airplane?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Why no sling on airplane?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I am curious, does anyone know why they make you take the babe out of the sling for take-off and landing? I haven't had a chance to ask why, but it seems like if something bad happened I would be better off trying to keep a hold of baby with him connected to me or try to evacuate the plane and be able to use my hands. Does anyone know? I try to get away with leaving him on and they always seem to catch me.

Courtney
post #2 of 27
Courtney-
This will depend on the flight attendants that you have- some allow babies in a sling, others don't. I know that the carseat is much safer than holding him in arms. I feel somewhat safer knowing that he is in a sling- even though that may be somewhat of a false sense of security.

It is worth noting that if you can afford to buy you child a seat then the carseat is the safest way to go.

From what I know the technical policy says that babies either need to be in an FAA approved seat or held-- and since a sling is not FAA approved they technically can say that you can't use it during those 2 times. Even if you argue that the sling is safer than being held in your arms etc. etc. You ARE allowed to hold your baby (up to age 2), in your lap- and flight attendants have never pressed that issue with me.

I think the reasoning behind the policy is the airlines don't want to be responsible for the safety. Carseats are tested and meet regulations- where a sling might not be as well constructed- so if it broke during the landing brakes being used you might try to blame the airline???? I'm not really sure why.

I think the policy depends on the airline- and how familiar a flight attendant is-- most seem to be fine with the sling.

IMO it is better to find out when you first board then to find out at the last minute-- that said because on one flight I had to pry my baby off the breast while the whole plane was waiting. The flight attendant who had gone by 3-4 times hadn't mentioned the 'policy'. I even asked her if we were 'okay'- but I guess she didn't realize I was asking about the sling.. She sat down in her seat and was about to strap on her seat belt when she noticed me.

She had her hand on the intercom to give the okay to leave the gate and instead came up to me to tell me that my son could not be in the sling. She would NOT let me just take the sling off my son (I tried- I put it around my waist like a belt- I think she thought I was trying to be belligerant- but I really just didn't want to disturb my son who was frantically nursing trying to fall asleep). I had to take the WHOLE sling off and thus had to stop nursing to do that. One more minute and he would have been asleep and then I could have put him in the car seat-- but instead everyone had to listen to him scream for 3 minutes while I tried to unlatch him, cover my self, hold him, unbuckle the seatbelt, and wiggle out of my sling, rebuckle etc.

After that I tell the flight attendant that I want to be able to hold my son in the sling. I tell them I want to be sure that I will be able to use the sling the WHOLE flight. If they look at me cross eyed I explain that I mean during take off and touch down. They usually say 'sure fine, why not' and then if they seem curious I relay the story about the rude flight attendant-- because I understand she needs to follow policy but she was very rude about the whole situation. She had ample time to tell me. She also gave me my own safety demo while my son was in the sling-- because apparently (and she's the ONLY one that said this to us during 8-9 flights through the years) the oxygen in the masks is too much oxygen for infants so I would have to take the mask on and off him in the event of an emergency. She made sure to tell me that not having him in the carseat was more risky -- and yes, that is a valid point-- but the fact was if she had left us alone he would have BEEN in his carseat because he was just about asleep when she approached us- so I found it even more irritating.

I also think that if there was ever in a situation where I had to get off the plane in a hurry with my son, it would be easier to have him in the sling than in the carseat- or to remove him from the carseat. So I was very irritated that I was not allowed to pop my son out of the sling (leaving it on).

Also make sure you ALWAYS put the car seat (if travelling with one) in the window seat. No airline/attendant should let it stay in a middle or aisle seat because it blocks access to the aisle (and would trap you from getting out quickly if you were sitting in the window seat).

Make sure you don't end up in an exit row.

You (again technically, but depending on how stringent people are) "always" have to remove child from the carrier to go through the xray-- BUT if you have an all cloth carrier (ring slings will set off the detector) they MIGHT let you through- -just don't count on it.

There is usually flight attendants that know nothing about the rules and at least one per flight that does. My complaint is the seat belts are a pain and you may have to request a seat belt extender- which in my experience was useless because the flight attendants then didn't know how to use it.

Also, even if you tell everyone when you buy the ticket, when you check in, when you board the plane, etc. that you are travelling with an infant/carseat/ or whatever, they still seem to put you in the one seat that you can't be in!! On one plane (very small one) we were in the bulkhead, which apparently carseats are not supposed to be in-- and the pilot almost had to cut the seat belt to get my sleeping son and the carseat out (the plane belt clasped and when it was tightended the buckle ended up in the back of the seat where we could not reach it to open it up and release the belt). I've been seated in the exit rows, blockign other travellers, etc.

I can tell you more 'bad stories' because I've had my share of bad luck... but the truth is that most of my travelling experience has been wonderful and people, flight attendants, and airport staff have been MOSTLY helpful, kind and understand to me travelling alone with my son.

Sorry for the long ramble- I don't travel a lot but it seems that we've travelled enough times. Each time I think I'll finally get it right but there is always just one more "surprise" waiting!

HTH

Jessica
post #3 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessjgh1
<snip>
Also make sure you ALWAYS put the car seat (if travelling with one) in the window seat. No airline/attendant should let it stay in a middle or aisle seat because it blocks access to the aisle (and would trap you from getting out quickly if you were sitting in the window seat).

Make sure you don't end up in an exit row.

You (again technically, but depending on how stringent people are) "always" have to remove child from the carrier to go through the xray-- BUT if you have an all cloth carrier (ring slings will set off the detector) they MIGHT let you through- -just don't count on it.

<snip>

Also, even if you tell everyone when you buy the ticket, when you check in, when you board the plane, etc. that you are travelling with an infant/carseat/ or whatever, they still seem to put you in the one seat that you can't be in!! On one plane (very small one) we were in the bulkhead, which apparently carseats are not supposed to be in-- and the pilot almost had to cut the seat belt to get my sleeping son and the carseat out (the plane belt clasped and when it was tightended the buckle ended up in the back of the seat where we could not reach it to open it up and release the belt). I've been seated in the exit rows, blockign other travellers, etc.
Our experience is that on international flights (trans-pacific as well as just to Canada) it's only US security that demands that the baby be taken from the carrier when going through the metal detector. Obviously, a ring sling would set it off, so you'd want to take that off, but a mei tei won't. Going through security in Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur, we not only got waved to the front of the line (crying toddler, anyone?) but didn't have to take her out of the mei tei.

(I got really irritated in Los Angeles recently--had to take apart everything: toddler out of carrier, carrier through x-ray, shoes off, video camera out of case and in it's own bin to be x-rayed...so we're on the other side, trying to get everything put back together, and I got chastised by one of the TSA folks for seating Clara on the table in front of me--you know, so she wouldn't make a run for it. Grrr.)

It's worth double-checking on the bulkhead thing, as the policy may vary from airline to airline. We were on Cathay Pacific in February; had made a big point of getting the bulkhead (which is, incidently, where they have the bassinets anyway). One flight attendant told us we'd have to be reseated; we asked that they double check and it turned out the policy had just recently changed and we were able to stay there, with carseat. Plus side: more legroom. Minus side: the seats are narrower (because the tray is built into the side and has to go somewhere).
post #4 of 27
Slightly OT, but since it was mentioned...I wonder how babe's get through the metal detectors? I have only flown with my kids over a yr. old & they ALWAYS made them walk through alone, no matter how freaked out (DD1) they were. : I am flying to NY next month & wondering how they will do it with a 3 month old...
post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmzbm
Slightly OT, but since it was mentioned...I wonder how babe's get through the metal detectors? I have only flown with my kids over a yr. old & they ALWAYS made them walk through alone, no matter how freaked out (DD1) they were. : I am flying to NY next month & wondering how they will do it with a 3 month old...
I was allowed to carry DD thru when she was 5 months old. I think that is standard. However, not sure what carrier you use, but I had to take DD out of the Moby and they demanded I take OFF the Moby and suggested I send it through on the conveyor belt...yeah, right, I am going to put my wrap that my baby likes to chew on your nasty conveyor belt...so I had to get them to give me back my bag, unwrap the Moby from myself, stash it in my bag, send it through, carry DD through, redo Moby, etc, etc....SO IRRITATING!!!!!!!
post #6 of 27
Jessica has it right. The FAA forbids any non-approved restraint during critical phases of flight (take-off/landing) and slings fit into this category. I can't seem to find my old post where I wrote about the exact CFRs (regulations) regarding this, but I did post them here once.

Some FAs will ignore your sling, others are more by-the-book, and yet a few more are on some power trip.
post #7 of 27
Arent' policies fun!!! And people, some are on a power trip and others are so helpful.

I've always been able to carry my son through the xray's. Last trip was in May and he was over 2 and fully mobile. I guess he may have walked through one, but while he was holding onto my hand. I think we set it off because he touched the sides while walking through, so it took a second try.

From a prior trip I was told that airport personnel are NOT allowed hold a baby- and I would never hand my baby over to a person to walk through the security gate. They HAVE to let you carry a 3 month old. I would be pissed too if they had asked me to take my hands off my son to walk through the xray-- he was clingy on the last trip but usually, one second and he's OFF and away! I'm supposed to attend to my luggage (and child) at all times, so for me that means that I don't take my hand off my child for one second in an airport because I can't afford to be chasing him and leaving my bags alone. Not that I'd be at all concerned about my bags- but the airport would.

They freak out when bags are left alone.

GOOD reminder, I've also always had to take my son out and take off the entire carrier- so take that in mind. Select an easy poppable carrier Only once did they let me go through with my son in the sutemi back pack.

Yes, I agree, definatly check out the bulkhead policy because the extra legroom is nice. In my case the bulkhead was on a _very_ small plane. My other annoyance with the bulkhead was that since there was no seat in front of me, I had no place to store the diaper bag, lunch bag and coat that I had brought with me-- but needed access to during the flight. The flight attendant let that slide, but they should have been put up in the overhead bins-- and then I wouldn't have been able to get stuff during the majority of the flight.

It probably had more to do with the size/type of the plane than the fact that it was the bulkhead-- it was just that on my next flight they tried to put me in the SAME seat.

I've had bad luck travelling through customs. Mostly back to the US from Canada- but a crying toddler/baby has never gotten me special treatment- even when travelling alone- dragging my carseat, stroller, luggage with babe in a sling, and cutting the connection flight quite close. (can I just say 'poor me'). I think the Canadians were always a bit more friendly than the staff on the American side.

I've gotten the special treatment when ds was happy as a clam and I had hours to get to my flight.

Oh, another "tip" sippy cups seem to explode from the pressure changes of the airplane. At least ours did- luckily just a slow leak.

For me, I just assume and prepare for "Murphy's Law!"

Jessica
post #8 of 27
The rule for metal detectors is to carry them through, in arms. The sling is in the same category as the baby bucket carriers and must be screened.
post #9 of 27

we had no problem

I'm really surprised to hear all of your experiences, because we had no problem. My husband was wearing my son in the security line, and of course my son chose that time to fall asleep. The sling had metal rings so my husband asked to be wanded and they did it without question.

We flew Northwest, and at take-off I'm certain he was still in the sling. I don't think he was at landing though, but not because anyone said anything.

I agree that I would much rather have him in a sling than in my arms. If we need to get off the plane fast it would be much faster and safer in a sling!
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Past_VNE
The rule for metal detectors is to carry them through, in arms. The sling is in the same category as the baby bucket carriers and must be screened.
When DD was very little, I always asked if I could leave her in the sling and be searched with the wand. I never had a problem.
post #11 of 27
I think the rules vary on how much of an ego trip the TSA security agent is on that day. We are frequent fliers and we have nearly a different experience every time.

Once when DD was around 1 and just beginning to walk, the agent wanted her to walk through the metal detector by herself, while I stood on the other side, coaxing her to come to me. She wouldn't. She was confused and just wanted to stand there. The agent wouldn't let me hold her hand and guide her through the detector, even though I was patted down and wanded already. Maybe four minutes went by (which is an eternity when everyone in line behind you is giving you the evil eye) and she finally came to me.

Then two months later I was told to carry her through. Same airport.

When she was tiny and we were slingers, the agents at the Norfolk, VA airport would let us go through the screening while I wore her. But during that time we were flying every weekend to see DH and they started to recognize us. The agents there were always very nice, giving me a helping hand, and putting back together everything they took apart.

We fly out of Ohare or Midway now and the TSA agents are total pricks. Not child friendly or patient at all.
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by claras_mom
Our experience is that on international flights (trans-pacific as well as just to Canada) it's only US security that demands that the baby be taken from the carrier when going through the metal detector. Obviously, a ring sling would set it off, so you'd want to take that off, but a mei tei won't. Going through security in Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur, we not only got waved to the front of the line (crying toddler, anyone?) but didn't have to take her out of the mei tei.

).
This has been our experience as well. US policies seem to be more intended to cover the a$$es of the airlines and TSA at times than to help people. As far as wearing the sling on the plane - I think it varies airline to airline as well. American Airlines didn't require my dd be taken out, United did - and United specifically states this on their website.
post #13 of 27
I also never had a problem we flew from canada to florida and back.
post #14 of 27
I have been asked to take baby out of the sling for take off and landing (I could not afford a 2nd seat for him) and honestly, I can not think of a reason why. It makes no sense.

I also had to take him out of the sling and carry him through the metal detector at 3mos (which I do understand).
post #15 of 27
I have different experiences all the time too in regards to getting through security. Mostly in the states I am allowed to carry her but I have to take the carrier off. Recently in Paris they wanted her to walk through on her own and off course as soon as I put her down she burst into tears - I was annoyed to say the least. Poor baby had been traveling for hours and they couldn't just let me carry her through? Usually in Europe though they let me keep her in the carrier to go through which I love!
post #16 of 27
I have never been told to take her out on the plane. I don't think I ever used a sling on my son when we were airborne.

I always assumed I needed to take her out of the sling for security though. I would never try to do anything that upsets security personnel.
post #17 of 27
Is there a way to wear a baby that ends up with the baby sitting on your lap in your arms?
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan
Is there a way to wear a baby that ends up with the baby sitting on your lap in your arms?
Some mai tais might allow a sitting position. My sutemi was good for that as well. I'd recommend an experiment before travelling.

Jessica
post #19 of 27

no sling : (

My friend told me about a recent plane trip she made in which she wasn't allowed to have her baby in the sling at all and also wasn't allowed to cover up with a blanket when breastfeeding. The flight attendants apparently said that she could be concealing something under the blanket. Crazy isn't it?!?
post #20 of 27
Mommyof2bs,
Your friend should complain. I doubt there is any basis for that and the flight attendants should be re-trained in this policy/issue.

AND if there is actually policy on this then I'd like to know about it. That is very inconvenient for travelling mothers. I personally travel alone (my dh does not fly) and not being able to use a sling during portions of my travel would make it impossible for me to safely travel with my son.

Jessica
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Babywearing
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Babywearing › Why no sling on airplane?