[Roundup] Union Head Wants To Ban Lap Infants On Planes

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  1. […] The FAA has warned parents over holding lap infants on planes in light of the Alaska Airlines 737 MAX 9 door plug incident. Had a parent been sitting near the hole that opened in the plane’s fuselage, the child could have been ripped from their arms. The MAX 9 debacle may be used in a push to ban lap infants, requiring parents to buy tickets for their children under two years of age, something that the head of the largest flight attendants union has been calling for for years. […]


  1. Lots of parents reserve a seat for the baby to be in a carseat. I think lap babies should be discouraged. Why do people (and you) not know that airplanes taxi 35-40 MPH and can stop almost on a dime?

  2. @JohnB–agreed! There’s a reason it’s illegal to hold an infant in a moving automobile, and carseats are mandatory.

    Carseats should be required in airplanes, and under-2 the price should be minimal–not enough to discourage people from flying.

  3. If like to just ban flight attendants. I’ll bring pretzels along to share. I won’t start fights with people or threaten them with arrest or break their balls about their mask. As it is now, you’re supposed help other people out if you’re in an exit row….assuming everyone survives. So really flights attendants don’t do anything anyway. Let’s just do it like that for a while. They’re the on-board customer service aspect. Since they choose to not even fo that, let’s get rid of them. They’re about as useful now as elevator operators.

  4. Sorry, I agree with your commenters, not you Gary. It doesn’t make sense that an infant is required to be in properly installed car seat when travelling by car, but not when traveling by plane. And your argument that they are safer in their parents arms in an airplane than they are in a properly installed car seat in their parents car is not backed by the evidence that you cite. It may be true, but it is not proven by general statistics about vehicle fatalities versus flight fatalities. Very different circumstances.

  5. to the commenters above… that’s not how planes work. you don’t have to have seatbelts on school buses because the size of the bus protects the children. That’s even moreso the case with planes. Gary is right.

  6. Seat belts are required in cars because they *often* hit things. As Gary properly noted, planes rarely hit things.

    This policy, if implemented, would kill more babies than it saves.

  7. I’ve seen enough things fly in the air during turbulence to know to put my kids in FAA approved car seats on aircraft.
    There are people who want to save money by putting their children’s lives at risk.
    In this case, I agree with the attendants.

  8. This reminds me when my daughter was 2.5 and abiding by FAA regs, she had her own seat with her mum and myself to Orlando on United in 1993.

    However, on our flight back on a Sunday in February to ORD, we were unable to sit together, which allowed the FAs to request my daughter be placed in her mum’s lap for the long flight, just so they could accommodate a late arriving passenger.

    Upon arrival, when I heard what happened, I admonished the FA crew, advising them how they violated the FAA reg and put my daughter’s life at risk (knowing on a harsh landing, or worse, she would have become a flying projectile.

    The next day, I contacted the FAA and informed them of the details. Without giving me the details, I was informed United refused to defend its actions, was severely fined, and required to compensate my family beyond the seat stolen from my daughter.

    Wonder if the FAA today would still take such quick, resolute action..?

  9. To those who keep comparing cars with flights, do you get to stand on the car while its in motion? do you get to walk on the car while its in motion? do you get to use toilet in the car while its in motion? If you don’t have an answer, then please stop trying to compare cars and flights.

  10. You have it all wrong. When the baby gets cranky and won’t sit in the seat, the FA can then go on a power trip and throw the whole family off the plane.

  11. Most crew know that the “lap children” are goners in a serious accident with a rapid deceleration. For the FAA to currently allow this is sad, but so is people wearing shorts a sandals on an airplane (they will be goners as well in a post crash fire). But it shows how safe flying truly is the extent that people take that safety for granted.

  12. Simple physics—which I realize many people do not understand—tells you why lap babies should be banned.

    Reminds me of arguments against auto seatbelt use….things like “I’d rather be thrown clear of a crash” or “I might get stuck in a burning vehicle.” All abjectly stupid statements.

  13. Statistics anyone? Anyone? Bueller? How many “lap” children have been injured or killed on an airplane and the vast majority of passengers were unharmed to any significant degree?

    Regarding seatbelts in school buses – our district has them, kids won’t use them, and the driver does not have time to monitor usage. Also, install metal objects with a strap attached and see how that goes with a bunch of middle school boys in the back of a school bus. I know I was perfect at that age, but I’ve heard not all boys are…

  14. As a retired 35 year f/a who has not flown since 9/11, and as a former AFA saftey rep, I can tell you that all infants and children should be in an approved FAA child restraint seat or seat belt as needed.
    There was a runway overrun back in the day and one of the fatalities was an infant that was not in a restraint. It was a survivable incident and there was an empty seat next to the mother. Had she purchased a ticket, the child would have survived. This is just one incident that I know of as a fact, but since infants are safer on an a/c on a lap than in a car, FAA will not require the change. It is like a bad intersection, unless there are multiple deaths, nothing will be done. Just the way it is…….

  15. I flew 100+ legs with my infant son. Initially, I often purchased an extra seat or brought my car seat to the gate in case the seat next to me was empty.

    I eventually gave up because 80% of the time the flight staff would be overwhelmed by this novel concept and do one or both of the following:

    – Spend 5 minutes searching the car seat for the airplane approved sticker.

    – Demand I move seats so that the infant was in a window seat.

    Eventually I gave up. Holding him was easier for everyone.

    Can we talk about why European carriers require double loop seat belts for lap infants and US carriers outlaw them? I stole one from Turkish (long story, justified) and tried it on several US flights, only to be reprimanded. I didn’t believe it was a rule until a fellow passenger from the FAA actually showed me the exact text.

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