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View Full Version : SW How to get seat for non-paying infant


Liltx
04-29-2004, 09:04 PM
Ok don't flame me but if there is an available seat I want to make sure we get it. So this is what my friend said to do.

1. Preboard

2. Sit in a non-reclining row like bulk head or very back.

3. Have your husband sit in the window seat and you sit with crying baby in the aisle seat (pinch 'em if you have too, JK)

Then if they want the seat they will have to crawl over you or ask you to move over with stated crying baby to sit in a seat that won't lean back. I bet they chose another empty seat.

Sounds like a plan right?

BTW we are flying from san antonio if you want to make sure you aren't on the flight with the crazy family.

Monica

justhat
04-29-2004, 09:28 PM
The only problem is that if the flight is full, then you're stuck with the crying baby in the nonrecling seat. Also, bulkhead rows recline so do choose that one. Rows in front of exit rows don't recline, but you can't sit in them with an infant. Good luck trying to get a seat for your infant, my cousin is trying to decide if she should cancel her infant's seat on Southwest and take her chances getting one, or just keep the seat they paid for.

rsschneck
04-29-2004, 11:44 PM
If you are definately not going to buy a seat for the baby then I think you should ask at the gate before you pre-board if the flight is full. Most of Southwest's flights are FULL. If the flight is full then sit with your DH and take turns holding the baby.

I won't flame you on your choice about not purchasing a seat for the baby. However, please don't make the trip uncomfortable for a total stranger that is just trying to get from point A to point B.

My 2 cents.

Doesney
04-30-2004, 03:34 AM
I have always PAID for my children to fly. This is a source of contention for me. But why should you be allowed to preboard with the people that have PAID for their children to sit in a seat. If you can't afford a seat, why not wait until you can? Or maybe, rethink some of your vacation plans and cut back elsewhere. Like a dinner or two? Your childs saftey should come first. All the time spent thinking of ways to get that free seat, may be better served trying to raise some funds for the flight.

GAIL HAYDEN
04-30-2004, 06:49 AM
Originally posted by Doesney
I have always PAID for my children to fly. This is a source of contention for me. But why should you be allowed to preboard with the people that have PAID for their children to sit in a seat. If you can't afford a seat, why not wait until you can? Or maybe, rethink some of your vacation plans and cut back elsewhere. Like a dinner or two? Your childs saftey should come first. All the time spent thinking of ways to get that free seat, may be better served trying to raise some funds for the flight.

Well said, ITA!!!!

GAIL HAYDEN
04-30-2004, 06:52 AM
Originally posted by Liltx
Ok don't flame me but if there is an available seat I want to make sure we get it. So this is what my friend said to do.

1. Preboard

2. Sit in a non-reclining row like bulk head or very back.

3. Have your husband sit in the window seat and you sit with crying baby in the aisle seat (pinch 'em if you have too, JK)

Then if they want the seat they will have to crawl over you or ask you to move over with stated crying baby to sit in a seat that won't lean back. I bet they chose another empty seat.

Sounds like a plan right?

BTW we are flying from san antonio if you want to make sure you aren't on the flight with the crazy family.

Monica


sounds like one of the most inconsiderate plans I have heard of lately. The fact that you would pinch your child to make him/her cry to save money, to expose the child to possible injury is nauseating. I suppose you are going to drag the child seat on also and block either the aisle or take overhead space just in case, right? Part with the dollars and buy a seat for the child, it is far safer .

Liltx
04-30-2004, 07:49 AM
I guess you didn't see the J/K part which means just kidding. I would never actually pinch my child! Actuallly the whole thing was meant to be a joke. I am not really going to do it but I guess that is part of how typing is different than in person.

As for paying $450 for a 15 month old I think that is a personal decision.

Sorry you didn't get the laugh about it I did.

Monica

Liltx
04-30-2004, 07:57 AM
Originally posted by Liltx

BTW we are flying from san antonio if you want to make sure you aren't on the flight with the crazy family.

Monica

See this is part of the joke too. Sorry if I offended anyone.

JUST A JOKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monica

beattyfamily
04-30-2004, 08:09 AM
Sounds similar to what my no-longer 'friend' does.

She doesn't buy her under 2 year old a seat BUT then brings the car seat just in case AND books the window seat and aisle seat hoping no one will buy the middle seat. Then she does the same with the row across from her (they are a family of 5) and puts the 2 older kids over there.

Isn't that special?:rolleyes:

Liltx
04-30-2004, 09:02 AM
Again I was just kidding about the WHOLE thing.

The fact is (I don't know why I feel the need to explain other than I have a people pleasing disease as you will see below) that we are trying to be very considerate with our flight. We are paying almost $500 extra to fly non-stop during her nap time so she will sleep on my lap and not scream her head off. She doesn't do well in a car seat for very long. Well, no we can't afford to pay another $450 for a seat for her, it is a little more than a few dinners out for us. Besides that the one time I bought a seat for her (on another airline) they made me leave her in it for take off and landing and since I nurse her she srcreamed the whole time because her ears hurt. I tried to reason with them that she didn't HAVE to have a seat anyway but they said they would not take off unless she was secure, go figure. The rest of that trip we didn't even use her ticket. Maybe that was just a wierd attendent? Anyway the only other flight times are very early in the morning or late in the evening, both not good times for her to behave and sit still. SO we are paying more to keep others comfortable and ourselves too. Just remember everyone has their reasons for paying or not. For us it's not the best option. As you can see she will not be taking a seat or trying to take one.

Monica

justhat
04-30-2004, 09:08 AM
Paying for a 15 month old is a personal decison, however to me it doesn't make a difference if the child is 15 months, 3 months or 3 years old. Once they're 2 you have to pay for them to have a seat so why not do that when they're under 2 as well? It's for the child's safety so to me it doesn't matter what age they are, if they'll be safer in a seat then I'll buy a seat. Also, most airlines will sell an infant fare for 50% of what the adult fare is. We're flying from DC to Orlando in 3 weeks and my 3 month old daughter's ticket is $97 while mine is $176, and from Newark to Orlando in June and her ticket is $110 (we're using miles for our tickets then, but I think they would have cost $224). So you might be able to get the 15 month old's ticket for $225, though in my opinion the $450 would still be worth it. Especially since once they're 2 you have to afford it, unless you plan on this being the last vacation for awhile. Once it's no longer an option not to pay for them, it doesn't seem to be a problem for people, but when it is an option people seem to not be able to afford it.

My daughter is also breastfed, but I plan to pump out milk and give it to her in a bottle during takeoff and landing to help her ears. Her dr said it would be fine to feed her in that position, but if I don't want to a pacifier would work almost as well.

beattyfamily
04-30-2004, 09:09 AM
No, you don't have to explain your decisions. You are the one who has to live with them.

You aren't doing anything wrong UNLESS you do the things you suggested in your original post.

I don't have a problem with parents not buying a seat for a child under 2. What I do have a problem with is when they don't buy them a seat BUT then proceed to do whatever trick in the book they can to try and get a seat for that child anyway even though they did pay for one. That's what I think most here are bothered by.

It kind of tough to joke about sore subjects like this.

Ps...fyi most airlines have 50% off tickets for children under 2. I've always bought my DD seats and always paid 50% off through Expedia.com with Delta. I know other airlines have the discount too.

shatzjsl
04-30-2004, 09:18 AM
Liltx, Please share how you got a non-stop flight from San Antonio to Orlando on Southwest. :D I thought the stupid Wright Ammendment didn't allow that. :mad: I would love to fly from Dallas to Orlando on SW but it was too much to buy a ticket to hop to the next state then another ticket to Orlando. AA was much cheaper.


On the other side of your story. When my daughter was barely 2 I had to buy her ticket for a flight on SW. Well, they oversold and the flight attendant made an announcement while looking directly at me to please place all lap children in your lap so that others could have a seat. I looked at her and said "Refund the money I paid for her seat and I'll be happy to." Nothing else was said.

Liltx
04-30-2004, 09:20 AM
I will look into the 50% off. They didn't list this when I purchased online, I guess American doesn't offer this?

Monica

beattyfamily
04-30-2004, 09:23 AM
Originally posted by Liltx
I will look into the 50% off. They didn't list this when I purchased online, I guess American doesn't offer this?

Monica

When I did a search on Expedia.com for 50% off fare to Orlando both Delta and AA had the discounted fare.

If you buy though Expedia.com you can get it. If you book through the airline's website, you will not see it and will have to call to get it.

Beanie
04-30-2004, 09:24 AM
My kids are 6 and 4 right now and I have always paid for a seat for them, except once. When my son was a newborn, I thought I would book a flight for DH and myself and told DH, "Well, no sense in paying for a seat, I can hold him". Bad Mistake!

The turbulance was really bad (we flew at night) and I thought my son was going to fly out of my arms at one point. I had DH hold on to him because I was a nervous wreck after that. That was the last time I flew without paying for a ticket for my kids.

I know this might be an extreme case, but it convinced me to purchase tickets from then on!

I do, however, hope you have a wonderful flight!! Southwest is so wonderful when you have a child (well they are to me anyway! LOL)

:)

Doesney
04-30-2004, 09:26 AM
Originally posted by Liltx
As for paying $450 for a 15 month old I think that is a personal decision.Monica

If you paid for $450.00 for a SW flight than I suspect you got robbed!

The major airlines are showing upi for 1/2 that. Then you could also buy a discounted ticket for your child.

beattyfamily
04-30-2004, 09:30 AM
I believe she is flying American Airlines??

justhat
04-30-2004, 09:34 AM
AA gives the discounted rate but you have to call and get it. Our flights are on USAirways in May and Continental in June and both had the 50% rate. Also, my niece is on Delta and her ticket was 50% off. On Southwest, it's usually the same price as the lowest available fare (usually those promotional internet fares) according to what we were told when booking a flight for my cousins. The difference is that it is fully refundable. So that way I guess you could buy them a ticket, then if the flight is not sold out you can cancel the ticket the day before and then put the child in an empty seat. A Southwest agent told my cousins to do this with their 6 month old, but they're still skeptical that the flight won't be full so they're keeping the ticket for right now. The agent suggested that the call the day before their flight to see how many seats are left and then they can decide.

beattyfamily
04-30-2004, 09:37 AM
Originally posted by justhat
AA gives the discounted rate but you have to call and get it.

You can get AA discounted rate via Expedia.com and Delta too! Firsthand expereince with this...

justhat
04-30-2004, 09:43 AM
Yes, that's true, but then you have to pay the $5 service fee. I know $5 isn't much, but why pay it if you don't have to.

Doesney
04-30-2004, 09:44 AM
Originally posted by beattyfamily
I believe she is flying American Airlines??

Oh, my mistake. I read the post about SW not even flying from San Antonio.

justhat
04-30-2004, 09:49 AM
I thought Southwest at first too since it says SW in the subjesct line and she was talking about people choosing seats.

gw_lit
04-30-2004, 09:50 AM
Liltx, Please share how you got a non-stop flight from San Antonio to Orlando on Southwest. I thought the stupid Wright Ammendment didn't allow that.

The Wright Amendment only applies to flights out of Dallas Love Field.

beattyfamily
04-30-2004, 09:51 AM
Originally posted by justhat
Yes, that's true, but then you have to pay the $5 service fee. I know $5 isn't much, but why pay it if you don't have to.

That's true about the fee and I never said online is better than a phone call so if you want to save $5 go ahead a make the call but some people pefer online rather than calling so I was just providing the information I know of first hand so everyone knows their options.

I'd rather buy online than on the phone...personal perference.

Liltx
04-30-2004, 10:04 AM
Sorry for the confusion. I am flying SW but was wondering about AA because I paid the regular fare when flying with her the first time. It was a cheap fare anyway so problably wouldn't have made much difference.

Yes, we know we are getting robbed but wanted to fly non-stop in the afternoon. The cheap flights are very early or arrive very late and make stops. Her ears bother her enough with one take off and landing.

I called and it is $256 for her to have a seat so we will probably do that. I had no idea they have discounts for babies! So I guess some good has come out of this mess.

Monica

shatzjsl
04-30-2004, 10:17 AM
Originally posted by gw_lit
The Wright Amendment only applies to flights out of Dallas Love Field.

:crazy: Oh, yeah! Didn't think about that! Blonde moment!

LuAnimal
04-30-2004, 12:27 PM
Originally posted by Liltx
Sorry for the confusion. I am flying SW but was wondering about Her ears bother her enough with one take off and landing.

Monica

You can go to your local drug store and purchase Children's "EarPlanes", it is like a little ear plug specially designed that relieves inflight ear discomfort. They are wonderful and good for those 1 year and older, also, a pacifier, a bottle, or a sucker work well for landings and take offs. There are alternatives, I've got that t-shirt.

If there is not a seat available the agents will gate check your car seat, they do not allow them to just block the aisle and most do not fit in overheads as was suggested earlier.

Another FYI, I never preboard with my daughter, that exposes you to another 30 minutes cooped up on the plane. Also, reserving seats that are separated will not help, what the flight attendant will do once everyone is on board is ask for someone to switch seats so that the three of you can be together or if possible use your car seat. My DD (now 5) and I were seperated by 10 rows from the DH on our last flight and the attendant was able to get us all together ASAP.

Lu

AMaloy314
04-30-2004, 02:20 PM
Hi, Everyone.

I know that most people have strong feelings one way or the other on this subject, but I feel the need to post somewhat of a defense of the people who do not purchase seats for their child.

Shortly before my son was born, my mother who lived across the country was diagnosed with cancer. In order to be with her and help my parents while the chemotherapy and radiation was going on required monthly visits to them via airtravel. I took my son with me as soon as he was allowed to fly.

My family is in no way wealthy, but being with my mother to help was not a choice. It was a necessity. There was no way that we could afford 2 tickets every time we went. Especially since we could not 'pre-plan' and often had to take those $300+ tickets just to get there.

In addition, I was blessed with a child who HATES car seats. When he was very small, we would avoid going out anywhere because he would scream so much and there was no comforting him. We live pretty far out in the country and I could only count on him napping one way. I used to be so jealous of those people who could take their infant out even to go to the grocery. I would just stare in disbelief when people told tales of lulling their baby to sleep by putting them in a car seat and driving around! This left out the option of traveling by car (which was also excluded due to time constraints of a 2+ day travel one way). It also could have made other passengers very uncomfortable having to listen to him for a 2&1/2 hour flight. Let me also mention that I am a pharmacist so there was NO WAY I was going to drug my baby with Benadryl or alcohol to get him to sleep through a flight.

After saying all that, let me also mention that once my mother passed away we only traveled for vacations when it was possible to save up. I always purchase a seat for my kids and my second son (who loved his carseat-- YAY--) has never been held on a flight.

I know that we usually form opinions of things based on our limited experience. But we should try to remember that things may not always be the way they seem to us with our simple answers. :)

justhat
04-30-2004, 02:41 PM
I'm sorry to hear about your mother. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer 2 years ago and is luckily cancer-free at this point. I too lived out of state during her treatments and had to travel back and forth a lot, though luckily for me I was able to take a train and also did nor have any kids then. Traveling to see your mother was a great thing, and I'm sure she loved seeing your son. In that case, it is understandable that you got one ticket and held your son. The expense of 2 tickets every month could easily interfere with helping your family. Though safety is important, sometimes things just have to be done. When going on vacation, without other extenuating circumstances, it's better to buy a child a seat. My daughter hates her carseat too and screams whenever she is in it, whether it's to go for a walk attached to her stroller or in the car for a drive. She never sleeps in the car either so I can understand your frustration as we really only go places where we can walk and carry her in a Bjorn (not too hard living in DC, but it makes the drives to my mom's house in NJ horrible). She'll be in a carseat in our vacations in May and June and I can only hope that she somehow falls asleep or everyone will have a miserable 2 hour flight.

Iheoma
04-30-2004, 03:06 PM
Hi everyone,

I too was in a position of needing to frequently travel cross-country when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. There was no way that I could have afforded to buy my dd a ticket each time we flew, but it meant the world to my mother that she was able to see her granddaughter. That said, I NEVER planned on creating a problem(or just kidding about) so that someone wouldn't sit next to us. There were times when dd was fussy and would not have made a good "neighbor" but there were other times when she created a much needed diversion for those early post 9-11 flights. Most of the time people who sat next to us were happy to have a baby to play with during the flight. When travel for non-emergency trips we bought her tickets even before she was 2 years old.

I'm not passing judgement on the OP. Traveling with a young child is stressful, no matter what the method. I think that most people would chose NOT to sit by a crying child anyway, but I don't think it's right to try get something you didn't pay for at the expense of others. I see that the OP is trying to get an infant fare or reduced child fare - please try to do that. All the things that people said on the board are probably the things that people would be saying on the flight, under their breath and with evil stares.

Iheoma

GAIL HAYDEN
04-30-2004, 04:53 PM
Originally posted by Liltx
I guess you didn't see the J/K part which means just kidding. I would never actually pinch my child! Actuallly the whole thing was meant to be a joke. I am not really going to do it but I guess that is part of how typing is different than in person.

As for paying $450 for a 15 month old I think that is a personal decision.

Sorry you didn't get the laugh about it I did.

Monica

Sorry, I have never seen JK used before.
I also do not find it funny, someone might take it seriously.
Yes, it is a personal decision, and it is none of my business for sure. Although, I don't see the difference between a 15 month old or a 2 year old. Are they worth more then?

palmtreegirl
04-30-2004, 06:30 PM
Originally posted by Beanie
My kids are 6 and 4 right now and I have always paid for a seat for them, except once. When my son was a newborn, I thought I would book a flight for DH and myself and told DH, "Well, no sense in paying for a seat, I can hold him". Bad Mistake!

The turbulance was really bad (we flew at night) and I thought my son was going to fly out of my arms at one point. I had DH hold on to him because I was a nervous wreck after that. That was the last time I flew without paying for a ticket for my kids.

I know this might be an extreme case, but it convinced me to purchase tickets from then on!

I do, however, hope you have a wonderful flight!! Southwest is so wonderful when you have a child (well they are to me anyway! LOL)

:)

That's scary. I saw a TV show once on the Disncovery channel where 2 toddlers died during a crash landing, everyone else survived. It was horrifying, one the flight attendants on the flight now spends time lobbying in Washignton to make lap children illegal. I'll never forget that story, it was just so tragic and sad.:(

CarolA
04-30-2004, 07:14 PM
To the OP.

On over 90% of the flights I have been on lateley EVERY seat has been full, this is especially true to Orlando.

Therefore, the flight attendant will come to you and tell you to put your crying baby in your lap (you might want to skip the pinching for this reason, LOL!)

So your plan won't work. They will have to crawl over you and take the seat in between you and your husband.

I would recommend you not under any circumstances take the bulkhead seat. Where do you plan to put the child's stuff? It will have to go in the overhead and that is going to be pain!

You have about a 20% chance of this working, but probalby not on both flights.

(One of the best fights I ever saw was on an SW flight where a family tried this. Mom then proceeded to CUSS out Dad for the entire flight because he was "too cheap" to buy a ticket for the 18 month old child. The flight was packed and Dad had to sit with the child on his lap the whole time. To add insult to injury, the diaper leaked on Dad!)

bjakmom
05-01-2004, 02:19 AM
Adding my 2 cents here - since I have been in the 'rare' emergency situation with a lap child and lived to tell about it - I sure wished at the time that I had known what would/could happen to my child in case of severe turbulence or the emergency landing situation we faced.

From an earlier post where we were discussing buying seats for infants and using/not using car seats on the plane:

"Over here on the 'family' site looking for pointers now that I'm travelling with a 5 mo GrDD and have to comment on this one:

When DS was 5 mo we were travelling from Calif to Chicago - I had travelled many times with my older children on my lap - was doing the same with him. The landing gear developed a problem and we were all told to assume crash position !

Guess where your infant goes in this scenario?! Would you believe that you must place them on the floor between your feet!? You are not permitted to hold them because you could crush them on impact. When you place a squirming infant on the floor between your feet and you can barely reach them with your hands (try leaning forward far enough in those tight spaces and touching the floor!) you can understand why infants/toddlers in plane accidents end up where they do - there is no way to hold on to them!! Never mind the fact that you are being yelled at by the Stewardess to put your arms under your own head - they become a bit frantic and emphatic in an emergency!

I am not an alarmist and I travel several times a year with my children - this is the one and only time that I have ever been in this situation - but once was more than enough! - We made a safe though very rough and bumpy landing - I have never again traveled on a plane with a baby or toddler without a car seat - not worth the risk!"

Disneylvr
05-01-2004, 09:51 AM
Originally posted by beattyfamily
I believe she is flying American Airlines??

We bought our 13 month old DD her own seat on AA and it was 50% off the lowest fare. At the time we purchased our seats the fare was $200 for STL to MCO so DD's fare was $100. I saw the fare for the same dates go as low as $119 which would of meant the infant fare would of been about $59! A bargain!!!!