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News Story on Lap Children from UK

Discussion in 'Airlines' started by technomage1, Apr 7, 2017.

  1. Algebralovr

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    I'm not sure that is the case. After all, you also have to weigh the costs of taking your car, the stops you must make, and then the costs of parking your car wherever you are going. That doesn't even include the TIME spent in the car.
     
    #21
  2. Just A Guy

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    Those are certainly the costs of driving, but those don't change if lap children are allowed or not. The change banning lap children makes is to raise the cost of air travel, while leaving the cost of car travel unchanged.
     
    #22
  3. Algebralovr

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    Yes, but the smart consumer weighs all the costs against one another.

    Oh, right. Smart Consumer. I forget not everyone likes to play with numbers the way I do. :)
     
    #23
  4. Barry Graham

    Barry Graham Administrator
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    The chances of an incident, G-d forbid, where it would make a difference whether or not the child were in a seat, are so minuscule that it's hardly worth changing the law in my opinion.
     
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  5. Tricia K.

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    Just A Guy: the idea that children were safer as lap children on airplanes because more people
    would drive if forced to buy another ticket for the baby is the flawed logic/justification the FAA used when it chickened out on making car seat use on airplanes for babies mandatory. We flew once with our son (about one year old) as a lap baby, and then the Souix City, Iowa crash happened. Flight attendants instructed parents on how to secure their children by placing them on the floor and holding them securely, even though the flight attendants knew full well they were giving lousy instructions that would likely lead to serious injuries and even death to those babies. When the plane flipped, the babies were ripped out of their parents arms, some being tossed into overhead compartments, several were killed, and some of the flight attendants had a hard time living with themselves afterwards. We never flew on an airplane with our kids without using a car seat after that devastating crash. We didn't think the money saved on another seat was worth it. Even if there isn't a plane crash, severe turbulence has injured passengers and flight attendants (broken bones,
    concussions, etc). Babies on their parent's lap can become airborne, risking serious injury to themselves and other passengers. For years we were told sealtbelts on school buses were more of a risk than they were worth. We know that is no longer true as well, even if there are fewer children killed in school bus crashes than if they driven to school by car. It's time to compare apples to apples. We need to compare the number of children injured or killed on an airplane who were not in a car seat versus those that were. Comparing it to the incidences of injury and death in cars is not enough.
     
    #25
    technomage1 and Patina like this.
  6. william_leeper

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    So, the reasoning behind allowing lap children (as far as the U.S. is concerned anyway) is strangely that it is safer. If it were not allowed, it would drive up the cost of air travel for families, and then they would drive which is considerably more dangerous than air travel. Basically, by allowing lap children, the FAA is offering more people access to aircraft, which are safer than being on the road.
     
    #26
  7. Jevia

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    In addition to having the buy the seat, if lap babies were not allowed, families would also incur the extra expense of buying an FAA approved car seat that can actually fit in the economy airline seat. Most car seats that I've seen, are pretty wide, and I don't think they'd fit in an economy seat (or even if the base of the car seat fit, the upper portion of the seat would spill over the armrests, akin to the person of size - thus making the trip more uncomfortable for whoever is sitting next to the baby). So if a family needs to fly somewhere, they'd more likely have to buy an additional car seat for the one time, that they might never use again.

    There's an argument for making economy seats wider! :)
     
    #27
  8. technomage1

    Staff Member Forum Director

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    Some car seats are for both, and there are also restraint systems one can buy if the child is over 22 lbs. Seems like the perfect opportunity for a rental business to rent seats. Or the airline could - gasp - be tasked to provide seats for booked infants.
     
    #28
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  9. Just A Guy

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    1. Nobody's claiming that kids on planes aren't safer in a carseat than in their parents' arms. They clearly are safer in carseats.
    2. Just as you can't ignore kids on planes being safer in carseats than as lap children, you can't ignore kids being safer on planes than in cars.
    3. You've got to include both factors, and you've got to include the impact on consumer behavior of (effectively) raising the price of air travel for families with small children.

    Your seatbelt on buses example isn't apples to apples to the airline situation, since there's no reason to believe that putting seatbelts on school buses will somehow cause sizable numbers of parents to drive their kids rather than having them take the bus.

    The FAA isn't "chickening out," they're trying to set policy that maximizes overall safety. They actively advocate for passengers to put kids in carseats:

    "Did you know that the safest place for your child on an airplane is in a government-approved child safety restraint system (CRS) or device, not on your lap? Your arms aren't capable of holding your child securely, especially during unexpected turbulence.

    The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) strongly urges you to secure your child in a CRS or device for the duration of your flight. It's the smart and right thing to do so that everyone in your family arrives safely at your destination. The FAA is giving you the information you need to make informed decisions about your family's travel plans."

    https://www.faa.gov/passengers/fly_children/
     
    #29
  10. Just A Guy

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    Are you really not understanding that we're talking about a decision at the margin?

    For a family with two parents and a child under 2.

    Right now the options are:
    Fly: Costs $X (with baby in arms), takes Y hours.
    Drive: Costs $Z (including parking, stops, etc.), takes A hours.

    If you require carseats, then Y, Z, and A don't change, but X goes up by 50%. So, on the margin, the relative attractiveness of driving improves.
     
    #30
  11. Just A Guy

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    We've never had a problem getting carseats (several different models, including some pretty big ones) into airline seats.
     
    #31
  12. Jevia

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    Amazing that airlines haven't yet monetized renting car seats.

    I have seen some big car seats in the airline seats, but as I said, they tended to spill over into the neighboring seats. Not a problem if your skinny, but if you need your entire seat, it can be quite uncomfortable being squished up against hard plastic.

    I still never understood why airlines won't allow babies to be held in wraps. that does prevent the "flying baby out of mom's arms" issue.
     
    #32
  13. technomage1

    Staff Member Forum Director

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    The problem with wraps is they don't prevent the kid from being squished like a grape in the event of sudden stop. Since there are only lap belts, the adult will whip forward and crush the child.

    The safest thing for everyone is their own seat with a CRS.
     
    #33
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  14. Just A Guy

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    But isn't the person next to the carseat almost invariably someone traveling with the child? Carseats need to be in the window, so only one neighboring passenger, and I can't imagine airlines actually seating a <2 year old next to a stranger while the adult is elsewhere in the cabin. I'm sure it's happened (with 800M passengers a year in the US, pretty much everything has happened), but it's got to be vanishingly rare.
     
    #34
  15. kenish

    Staff Member Advocate

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    A wrap is useless in a car or aircraft crash. Aircraft seats are designed to take a 16g impact and stay attached to the floor structure. A 20 pound baby will put a 320 pound force on the wrap, which will either rip away or fracture the parent's ribs and spine. (I used to be in the aircraft cabin interior industry, the crash testing is both impressive and sobering).
     
    #35
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  16. Just A Guy

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    Certainly, a wrap (or baby bjorn) isn't nearly as good as a child in a carseat. I wonder, though, is a baby in a wrap or baby bjorn WORSE off than just held in arms?
     
    #36
  17. Jevia

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    I was assuming the baby was in the middle seat with one parent on one side and potentially a stranger on the opposite side. Maybe the car seat would fit against the window, but possibly not if the top part is extra wide. Even so, the parent could also be in for a very uncomfortable trip if the car seat extends much into the parent's seat, but I suppose that's in the parent's control.

    I agree that a wrap is probably not as good as a car seat, but I think its better than holding it in your arms, which was my point. the FA on my flight (some years ago), made me take the baby out of the wrap and hold in my hands, which I thought was the worst option. True, the potential is still there for injury, but if there's a 16g impact, I would think a passenger could still be injured from the force, regardless of a wrap. Depending on the situation, one could have the baby in the wrap and still have their arms wrapped around the baby to lessen the force. And in a much smaller impact, there is less chance of injury if the wrap is helping hold the baby, as even a small impact could cause one to lose their hold if the baby is in their arms.
     
    #37
  18. johnbaker

    johnbaker Moderator
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    @Jevia Car seats are required to be in the window seat since you can't get by in an emergency... Flew with them for all three kids
     
    #38
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  19. Just A Guy

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    As far as I know, you aren't allowed to put a child seat in a middle seat. It can't go in a location where it's between anybody and the exit, as it could impede them. So, window seats only. I suppose if the window seat was left empty, you could do a middle seat, but that wouldn't make much sense.
     
    #39
  20. Jevia

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    Oh, ok. I didn't know that. Learned something new today!
     
    #40

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