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#31 of 53 Old 01-07-2004, 04:25 PM
 
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Statistically speaking, there is a big difference between traveling in an airplane without a car seat and traveling in a car without a car seat. No?

Honestly, I’m a bit bothered by this comparison. The car is inherently more dangerous for both adults and children. And to say that if you just wouldn’t travel by air if you couldn’t afford the extra seat or you would scrimp and save to buy one, I think, belittles the significance of the trip for the travelers. Maybe they’re seeing family or taking a much needed vacation as a family.

We live thousands of miles (and overseas) from most of our friends and all of our family. Air travel is a necessity for us as I’m sure it is for many others. We do, however, restrict car travel so we have that trade off. We have decided to trade living away from family, thus having to travel by air, for living in an area where we can limit car travel to under 1 hour in a week (amongst many other benefits).

Whatever the case may be if they fly there, stay a week and don’t drive hours per day like most American families do they will be statistically safer, extra seat of not. I think that some people are feeling that air travel is a frivolous decision, which for many it is not.

I would like to expose my bias further to add that I have posted a thread about how “merchandise” is the only thing we seem to talk about when it comes to automobile safety.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#32 of 53 Old 01-07-2004, 10:20 PM
 
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IdentityCrisisMama...

You said...
Statistically speaking, there is a big difference between traveling in an airplane without a car seat and traveling in a car without a car seat. No?

Yes true. Statistically speaking it is much safer not only to travel by air in general..but also it is much safer w/o a car seat in an airplane than in a car.

HOWEVER....as I said in my post...

I'm not willing to chance the odds. I know that if I didn't buy my child a seat and harness her into her car seat....and something happened..."I" would feel horrible that it was something that "I" could have chosen to do to protect my child.

That about says it all. Purchasing my child a seat on an airplane to insure that I can use her car seat for our trip by air is a very small thing for me to do. Does it take $$$,? Yes. Is it inconvenient? Most times. But as I said before....this is something I can control. There are millions of things out there that can harm my child and the majority of them I don't have control over....I can't protect her from the world no matter how much I want to. This is totally in my control...."I" am making this decision.

That mom in Souix City made that decision too...she didn't put her child in a car seat (granted there was very little info about using them on planes back in the 80's). During the crash landing the lap children were placed on floors (the flight attendents told the parents they would be safer...and unbelievabley this is still the policy) and all those children slid around on the floor. One child was found in an overhead bin!!!! ...and the other couldn't be found until after it had died of smoke inhalation. In this instance, if those children had been in car seats....they wouldn't have moved. Once the plane crash landed the parents could have removed them from the seats and exited the plane. I can't imagine the guilt that mom must feel....or the anger at not having been told that it would have been safer for her child to be in a seat.

I know that the statistics say that our flights will be safe. Nothing will happen to us...we won't crash, etc.
But it still could happen. It's within my control to protect my child and I'll do it.

I too would never fly anywhere if we didn't have a seat for my child. I would forgo the journey, whereever it was going. We also have family far away from us. They also understand that we will not fly w/o dd in a seat. For the first two years of her life, we flew once. If our relatives wanted to see us otherwise, they came here....actually we paid for MIL's ticket for dd's 1st birthday because it was less expensive for 3 tickets to go see her.

This is NOT an issue of "merchandise" it's an issue of safety. Yes I've seen your other thread. I agree w/ the comment about pointing out LATCH as an "option" when it's mandated by law....but a car seat is not an option, it's not a perk....it's just a common sense safety issue.

I hope this helps you understand why I'm so passionate about this. In fact I'm so passionate that this past June I took four vacation days from work and took the Car Seat Technician Certification Class. 3.5 days of instruction, a 100 question test (I got a 98) and participation in a car seat check. I was the only person in the class doing it voluntarily...everyone else (cops, firefighters, EMTs, nurses, etc) were there for the jobs. I am committed to helping parents keep their kids safe in the car...and yes the airplane.

There is a major proposal before the FAA to mandate that every passenger have a seat on an airplane ...no matter the age and that all children under a certain age (they will determine that) must be in a car seat. I doubt it will be enacted this year....but I forsee it becoming the new "rule" within the next five.

One of the things that we learned in our car seat class is that we can only make recommendations based on the facts....I lay out the facts for a parent and then THEY make the decision. I've laid out the facts for you, and for squeakersmom....what you decide is up to you. BUT you can make the decision knowing the facts.

Much of the background technical information is available in the first link that trishshack provided.

Christine
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#33 of 53 Old 01-08-2004, 12:35 AM
 
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Identitycrisismama-- I just still don't see the point of why you'd risk the safety of a child younger than age two. Once they're 2 and over you HAVE to buy a seat. Are you really saving oodles of money by not buying them a 1/2 price seat for the first two years of their life?

I've been on enough flights where there's been so much turbulence that the passengers, and sometimes even the flight attendants, are ordered to remain with seatbelts on. I would hate to have a restless toddler during such a time and not be able to restrain her in a safety seat. Just doesn't make sense to me. Sorry but I guess for me it does come down to, I don't understand why people will take this risk just to save a few bucks. I'd rather not fly at all. If you live so far away from family and need to fly to visit them, what will you do when your children are required to purchase a seat at age 2?
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#34 of 53 Old 01-08-2004, 01:09 AM
 
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we flew in early nov with ds turning 2 in late nov, and we had a 5 hour flight.

KNOWING he would fall asleep nursing (which he did both ways)- and especially because it was a longer flight we didn't purch the seat.

no guilt trips here!
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#35 of 53 Old 01-08-2004, 07:56 AM
 
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MinnieMouse,

I really respect all the things you said and the way you said them! I guess that for me, there are many, many things I feel I have control over concerning my child’s safety and I choose to pick my battles differently from you and others here. I think that is the key is that we all care about our kid’s safety.

Because I fly so much I would be more interested in the statistics of child safety on airplanes (especially in comparison to other common dangers like the car or bicycle). Have there been any more preventable lap child deaths or injuries or deaths since the crash 25 years ago? I’m also interested in knowing if the 1 in 8 million chance of a person dying in an airplane is a per year type thing or in the course of all air travel and what is the stat for lap children? I don’t know too many stats on child safety but how does this stat compare with the auto, playground and etc?

About the necessity of travel and personally circumstances, we travel to see family, as I said. We also have family visit us but my daughter is lucky enough to have 5 Great Grandmas between the ages of 81 and 93 and because of that, it is not as simple as saying, “just have them come to you”.

About the cost, it isn’t just a few bucks (not to us anyway)! Children do not get half off (not on any of the 15 flights I’ve taken). My daughter has gotten 1/3 off international travel and absolutely no discount on domestic US travel because the discounted web-fares are usually lower than the child’s reduction of full fare.

On the subject of money, it has actually happened here in Europe that it is CHEAPER to buy the kid a seat! Strange, I know, but some of the airlines here have a base fare for a lap child and, occasionally, the discounted seat is cheaper than that!

Also, don’t forget that you will have to pay something for your child, even if they are on your lap. The cost to travel internationally can really add up even for a lap child if you have to pay heavy taxes and 10% of the fare.

Back on the issue of safety, I think it is fair enough to say that parents have a limited amount of resources, energy, money, time and etc. I’m sure all the parents here at MDC focus all or their available resources on their kids but we can’t do everything. We focus within our resources and we do what is most important to us based on our individual circumstances.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#36 of 53 Old 01-08-2004, 08:22 AM
 
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squeakermansmom, I use Travelocity to get my flights and then do another search for airlines that aren’t affiliated with Travelocity, like Southwest. You’ve got to fiddle with Travelocity’s system a little to get the best prices. I always do choose the “my dates are flexible” section and then look for dates. We have also used Priceline but you can't request a nonstop flight, which is a big down side when traveling with a baby. When you find the lowest fare, call the airline and ask about the child’s discount and/or how full the plane is. If you don’t get a helpful person on the phone, which happens to me often, just call back a few times until you get a knowledgably and helpful sales person.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#37 of 53 Old 01-08-2004, 08:44 AM
 
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I think much also depends on whether or not you expect your kid to be able to sit in the seat happily. My ds is generally unhappy in his carseat which is why for our upcoming plane trip I decided not to buy him a seat. If I get him a seat and he is unhappy I will have to take him out and hold him anyways. It isn't like the car in that respect. In the car if he's unhappy I will not take him out of the seat, but in the plane I would b/c he'd be disturbing everyone else around him if I made him stay in there and fuss.
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#38 of 53 Old 01-08-2004, 10:49 AM
 
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We've travelled with ds a few times (at 6 mos, 13 mos) and bought him a seat each time. It made it so much easier to lay him down to sleep as soon as the plane took off (when he zonked out). And 20 lbs gets heavy really quickly (then you can't read, eat or whatever with a big old babe on your lap).

I liked having the car seat strapped in too. I felt more secure about air travel with it (I'm a white-knuckler). And it would have driven me nuts to chase him in the aisles, which is what he'd want to do. He knows that he needs to sit still in a carseat.

And it used up the 3rd seat so that no strangers had to sit with us.

I think if you can scrape up the money it's worth it, but I realize how expensive it can be. Lots of people carry their babes on their laps are are none the worse though.
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#39 of 53 Old 01-10-2004, 03:38 AM
 
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I think that you should buy the ticket, and bring your carseat to put your child in while on the plane. I am living in Bermuda and travel back to Toronto, and it is so worth it.
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#40 of 53 Old 01-10-2004, 04:19 AM
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One bout of turbulence would be all it would take to lose your child. Just not worth it, IMHO.
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#41 of 53 Old 01-10-2004, 12:46 PM
 
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We have always bought tickets for our children even if they could sit on our lap, for the safety reason. The carseat will protect them in case of severe turbulence which has killed children. They may have discounted tickets for children. We have gotten 1/2 price when they were under 2 . It also has kept our children from wiggling and sqirming and we have been able to keep them entertained better.
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#42 of 53 Old 01-11-2004, 11:56 PM
 
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We flew from SD to Oregon for Christmas. We went back and forth between not wanting to spend the extra money to get a seat for our 17m old and safety. We ended up saving the money and holding him.

Never again

The seats are so cramped and he wanted to be anywhere other than where he was (squirmy!). It was awful.

When he's in his car seat he has absolutely no problem (can go on an 8-hour drive without a peep). So, next time he will definitely have his own seat, especially since they're available for 1/2 price.

Antonia
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#43 of 53 Old 01-20-2004, 05:20 PM
 
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Just an FYI, I recently booked a trip to FLA, and was informed that 1/2 price tickets for kids/toddlers were no longer available, and children over 2 yo were REQUIRED to have a seat/ticket. We were planning on getting a ticket for our son, but were counting on 1/2 price!
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#44 of 53 Old 01-20-2004, 05:31 PM
 
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THat is strange ..... I just booked our flight to Michigan yesterday throught Orbitz and was able to buy my dd's seat at 1/2 price......I would look into it more.....

Grace - photographer, wife and mom to 4 great kids (Ethan 5.00, Ainsley 4.02, Owen 12.04, and Ellis Ann 10.07) :
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#45 of 53 Old 01-20-2004, 07:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by tofumama
Just an FYI, I recently booked a trip to FLA, and was informed that 1/2 price tickets for kids/toddlers were no longer available, and children over 2 yo were REQUIRED to have a seat/ticket. We were planning on getting a ticket for our son, but were counting on 1/2 price!
Children over the age of 24 months are REQUIRED to have a seat but it is usually at a discounted fare.
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#46 of 53 Old 01-20-2004, 08:13 PM
 
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If you get your ticket on sale sometimes the child price (1/2 of the FULL fare) is higher than the sale price. I had that experience when we bought a seat for DS flying from California to Europe.
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#47 of 53 Old 01-21-2004, 07:19 AM
 
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It is absolutely true that sometimes the sale fare for domestic flights are not reduced. I have never gotten a child’s discount for flying within the US. Also, perhaps, ½ off the full fare is the “standard” for US domestic flights but that is NOT the standard for overseas travel. The standard discount for overseas travel is 1/3 off, which, thankfully, I have gotten even on discounted fares. And, like it said, on some Continental European flights it is actually CHEAPER to buy a seat even if you child is eligible to fly as a lap child.

On the topic of child discounts for travel, I was absolutely shocked, depressed and angry that children over the age of TWO have to pay (1/2 price-but still) to take the Amtrak! In Europe children under the age of at least 12 but it might even be 16 can take the train for free.

One last thing about discounted flights, you must usually call in for the discount because the computer doesn’t usually process them correctly.
I have found that many airline receptionists are misinformed about the offers and services their airline provides. Often I have called about a policy clearly stated on the website and I am the person telling the receptionist about the policy.
So, if you get someone telling you they don’t have a discount or telling you that it doesn’t apply to your flight, just thank them and CALL BACK. You may get a complete different story…happens to me all the time.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#48 of 53 Old 01-21-2004, 12:06 PM
 
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We are on vacation now, flew down day before yesterday. I posted earlier that we did buy a seat for our 18 mo and I just wanted to specify that we did NOT use her car seat. Seems there's an assumption on this thread that if you are buying the seat it is so that you can use the carseat. Not so in our case, we just wanted the extra room. We got REALLY cheap seats on USAir, and the child's seat was 1/2 off the DISCOUNTED fare. I think you just have to keep calling and trying to get someone who will give you the discount. It worked out GREAT to have the extra seat, we could spread out with our stuff and she had a place to sit and snack, read, color. Also spent a lot of time crawling from lap to lap, looking out the window, etc. Very nice to not have a stranger in our row. I put her in the sling for takeoff and landing. I know some people have been harassed and made to take babies out of slings, but no one said anything to me, in fact the flight attendant said she liked my sling. It was definitely worth the money to have the whole row to ourselves.

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#49 of 53 Old 01-22-2004, 12:10 AM
 
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I don't know whether I should post this...but here goes. How many of the mamas who say a carseat is a necessity on a plane actually think of the risk they're putting their child at just by getting in a car? Do you actually stand at the door and say "How necessary is this trip?" Because, statistically speaking, your child is more likely to be hurt on that trip to the grocery store, even if they're in their carseat, than they are out of a carseat on a plane.

The thing with cars is that we live in such a car culture that the risks are really glossed over. Everytime we put our dc's in a car we're exposing them to huge risks. Think of the speed with which we hurtle ourselves down the highways, mere inches from other hurtling objects. One slip of a finger and it's all over. Yet we (note I say we) merrily strap our kids in our cars and go off on all sorts of errands and visits and such.

I understand the argument that we do what we can to minimize risk BUT I believe that sometimes the risks involved in whatever we're doing are not always well understood.
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#50 of 53 Old 01-22-2004, 12:42 AM
 
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The comparison of a child who is in a car, properly restrained and one that is in an airplane on his mother's lap is very weak. A child has a much, much better chance at surviving a car accident if s/he is restrained properly. However, if junior is sitting on mom's lap on an airplane and the plane suddenly drops 5,000 feet due to turbulence his chances of not surviving are pretty great.

Your comparison might be valid if it were of a mom who doesn't restrain her child because they are just going a few miles up the road, what are the chances that she will be in an accident.

Most mothers put thier children in car seats because of what might happen not what will happen. I don't understand why riding on an airplane would be any different.
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#51 of 53 Old 01-22-2004, 07:52 AM
 
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Analogy of the car and the airplane are not very accurate. I think it’s only made because they are both vehicles for travel and NOT because the risks are remotely similar.

To me, the airplane is different because the risk is much different.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#52 of 53 Old 01-22-2004, 02:21 PM
 
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Since there are two of you and the flight is three hours, it may not be worth the money. DD is over 2 and still sits on my lap even though she has her own seat, because that is where she wants to sit.
Of course I flew her to Europe for free on my own on my lap when she was 23 mo and I don't reccomend that. My behind was in so much pain but I was afraid to move for fear of waking her. That was a 10 hour hell and the extra seat would have been worth it, but I am too much of a cheapskate anyway.
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#53 of 53 Old 01-23-2004, 03:13 PM
 
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I'll be traveling with my DD (21mths) in a week and we purchased a seat for her at full price. I won't bring the carseat however because our trip to Europe has a very tight connection and I don't think she'd stay in her carseat for the whole flight anyway, without kicking the front seat and screaming to use the tray for drawing . I've read here some think that toddlers expect to have to stay in the carseat because they'll know it from riding the car, but once I take her out for a diaper change, she'll know that it's NOT the car. She's a very good car-driver (we even moved cross-country with her by car), but she's old enough to know that a plane is a different vehicle. So instead of fighting with her about staying in the carseat after going to the bathroom etc. (which we did last time when she NEEDED a diaper change on a 1 1/2 hour flight beause she managed to fill up a fresh diaper to the rim within 15 mins. after take-off ) we'll opt for securing her with the lapbelt in her own "grown-up" seat and enjoy the extra space. I was going back and forth on the issue, but in the end agreed with all the posters about the real possibility of something happening on the plane(like a free fall etc.). To me it seems more unlikely than most other things that could happen on a daily basis at home or in the car and since our flight is about 10 hours there's gonna be many moments where we'll have to be out of the seat to stretch/use the bathroom...and what if the plane drops right then:
So I guess after this much rambling it again comes down to doing what feels right to you and makes your travel day with your little one the most comfortable, but also safe...IMHO it's buying a seat and using the lap-belt (with my very tall 36inch toddler DD)

Have a safe trip...
Alex
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