If You Fly Delta & Want to Keep Your Child Safe Read this & part 2 on Mommy Points today!

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At what age do parents deem children too old for the need to protect them? In my experience, at 40-something I’m still not there with my mom! Which leads me to my question for today’s post : is the “infant in arms” rule really safe? A fellow boardingarea.com blogger Flying with Fish seems to share my thinking on this.

Delta, as well as many if not most other airlines, allow children under the age of 2 years to travel domestically without a ticket in the arms of an adult 12 yrs of age or older. International travel requires all children of any age to be in their own seat (EDIT: that is their own ticket that can be in arms but will have to pay a fee for this). My question for you to consider is whether that’s the safest arrangement for your precious infant 24 months old or less when you hit turbulence?

The FAA does not require children under 2 years of age to be in their own seat, but states clearly that the safest place for your infant during turbulence or an emergency is not in your arms but in an FAA approved child restraint seat.

The NTSB as well is becoming more aware of this safety concern as well, as covered here in this article, even going so far as to say that children under the age of 2 years especially should have their own seat and child restraint system.

There are some restrictions on Delta when using a child restraint, the most important to be aware of is the child restraint must be FAA certified for use on an aircraft with the certification sticker clearly visible for the FA’s to see. The seats that are off limits when using a child restraint include :

  • Emergency exit rows
  • Any seat one row forward or one row back from an emergency exit row
  • Aisle seats
  • Bulkhead seats when the car seat is a combination car seat and stroller

Also if the child in a restraint is placed in a middle seat, the parent must sit in the seat so as not to restrict other passengers’ access to the aisle – either the window if a single aisle aircraft or the next middle seat if a dual-aisle aircraft. Delta has quite a lot of information on guidelines for flying with children on their site which you can read here.

Most car seats sold in the US are already FAA approved, however it’s a good idea to check to be sure before you fly if you intend to use yours for your child. Here are some options from Amazon for both small infants and children who are bigger, in the 22-44 pound range.

Obviously the most common reason for traveling with your infant in arms is cost, but shouldn’t safety always be the biggest concern? This is yet another reason why I do what I do, because with abundant skymiles there’s no need to worry about cost and hopefully my tips can help you to be able to focus on what matters most, the safety of your precious little one.

I feel this is an important topic to cover as you can see. Please now read more with PART TWO at Mommy Points blog by clicking here  – René

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  1. Other carriers (aa) allow children under two to fly on an adults lap internationally. They charge 10% of the regular fare for the seat.

  2. Actually DL has the same 10% lap child policy for International travel. For infants under the age of two and held in the adult’s lap, the cost is usually about 10% of the adult fare plus any international taxes and surcharges, which can be significant.

  3. We have flown Delta more than once – most recently as Christmas – with lap children internationally.
    I am surprised you didn’t mention the CARES harness in this. It is appropriate for kids 1 and 22 lbs or more. It is a good alternative to a car seat, especially once kids hit about 18 months and can kick the seat in front of them from the car seat.

  4. I know what the CARES is, we use it all the time with our son. But I am just surprised you didn’t mention it, only showed a picture of it. I am sure there are many people out there who don’t know what it is.

    You should also change the part about international travel since it is incorrect.

  5. The CARES harness rocks – we have used it with our 2 toddler girls. It is much easier than carrying a car seat on-board, because normally you are hauling all the associated little kid accessories (diaper bag, toys, books, food, etc.) to keep them quiet during the flight.

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