Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

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ccf
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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by ccf » Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:29 pm

oof. What everyone else said. I took one of mine on a 5 hour flight around that age and I'd never do that again.

If I didn't have a choice and had to do it again, I wouldn't expect the extra seat to ease the pain much, so I probably wouldn't spend the money.

hicabob
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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by hicabob » Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:53 pm

A lap child on a plane is sort of like a lap child in a car.
http://www.wsj.com/articles/new-study-f ... 1408574702

coalcracker
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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by coalcracker » Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:00 pm

We have done separate flights to England, France, Portugal, Hawaii, Mexico, and Costa Rica with our almost 3-year-old at different ages. Each stage presents slightly different challenges, but even when we could hold him on our laps, we definitely sprung for the extra seat. Our son sleeps well in his carseat, and there was nothing better than watching him drift off in that seat so we could get a few precious hours of quiet time.

Like anyone we don't like to park him in front a screen, but we give him free reign during flights. He will usually have the attention span for a movie and some games before getting bored.

My wife and I have done a couple of shorter trips without him. I respect those who say leave the kids at home, but we love to take him along too. Sure, he won't remember it, but we will, and some of the memories and experiences were fantastic. Plus, we have pictures.

davidm1982
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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by davidm1982 » Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:05 pm

We've flown from NYC to London three times with our child (and she's just turned 3). Her grandparents live in the UK so it's not so much a vacation as seeing family. In my experience most other passengers are sympathetic and helpful. Feel free to throw out normal rules over screentime etc, bring new toys and books, and accept the reality that your kid will cry for some of the trip but that life for you and your fellow passengers will go on (easy to say now of course!) As for the extra seat vs lap question, we opted to save the money but there's obviously no 'right' answer (a slightly decreased risk of injury in case of turbulence and potentially a marginally easier flight vs a ticket north of $1k). Good luck and remember that there are kids on almost every flight - you are not alone :)

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by orca91 » Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:09 pm

stoptothink wrote:I just opened this thread because I as well have a massive and very active 18-month old, who we have traveled quite a bit with. My 18-month old son is over 30lbs, we just lost our main hook-up for almost new hand-me-down clothes because he is now bigger than my wife's best friend's son who is almost 2yrs older. He's wearing size 9 shoes, his also tall 4.5yr old sister wears size 10. Haven't yet taken him on a plane, but we've done a few 10+ hour driving trips, all four of us and a week's worth of stuff in a 2-door hatchback. No issues; seriously. A tablet has been a lifesaver, he's almost mesmerized by the games and will keep quiet and still for hours. Depends on your tolerance and the behavior of your child, but in your situation (if we had to bring the child) I'd personally feel fairly comfortable not getting an extra seat. Only you know your child.


A car ride is VERY different than a plane ride!

They ride in the car everyday, probably, they're used to it, there's no ear popping to worry about, there isn't 100 other people around to distract him, there isn't the noise of the plane, there's the possibility to stop, take a break, and get out of the car every couple hours, and so on....

Feel free to think that plane ride with your giant on your lap would be a piece of cake though... :wink:

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by Rodc » Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:11 pm

hicabob wrote:A lap child on a plane is sort of like a lap child in a car.
http://www.wsj.com/articles/new-study-f ... 1408574702


Maybe not so much. I could not read that article, but there are many articles within days of each other on this topic. Here is one I could read:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2 ... 171122.htm

The fatalities were identified by searching records of all in-flight medical emergencies for child passengers that were reported to MedAire, the world's busiest global emergency response center and the leading provider of ground-based medical support to commercial airlines worldwide. Of the 7,573 reported emergencies, 10 resulted in death, and six had no previous medical history. Four passengers had preflight medical conditions, including two children traveling for the purpose of accessing advanced medical care. Dr. Rotta speculates these infants were at increased risk from exposure to a hypoxic cabin environment, or by sharing a seat with an adult and co-sleeping during a long flight,....


This over 3.5 years. Age 0-18 years old, though they note most were under age two, so must have been less than 6 healthy children. Not enough information to understand if a seat belt was being used or not, but clearly given mention of "hypoxic" cabin environment and no mention of seatbelts this was not THE cause, although "sharing a seat" might indicate something.

A child in the lap in a commercial air-carrier aircraft is nothing like a child in your lap in a car. Not perfectly safe, but nothing like a car.

I'm all for safety but let's be real.
Last edited by Rodc on Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Easy Rhino
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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by Easy Rhino » Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:15 pm

Haven't read entire thread, but are you going to be flying regular economy on a US airline?

It will be very cramped in there.

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by stoptothink » Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:23 pm

orca91 wrote:
stoptothink wrote:I just opened this thread because I as well have a massive and very active 18-month old, who we have traveled quite a bit with. My 18-month old son is over 30lbs, we just lost our main hook-up for almost new hand-me-down clothes because he is now bigger than my wife's best friend's son who is almost 2yrs older. He's wearing size 9 shoes, his also tall 4.5yr old sister wears size 10. Haven't yet taken him on a plane, but we've done a few 10+ hour driving trips, all four of us and a week's worth of stuff in a 2-door hatchback. No issues; seriously. A tablet has been a lifesaver, he's almost mesmerized by the games and will keep quiet and still for hours. Depends on your tolerance and the behavior of your child, but in your situation (if we had to bring the child) I'd personally feel fairly comfortable not getting an extra seat. Only you know your child.


A car ride is VERY different than a plane ride!

They ride in the car everyday, probably, they're used to it, there's no ear popping to worry about, there isn't 100 other people around to distract him, there isn't the noise of the plane, there's the possibility to stop, take a break, and get out of the car every couple hours, and so on....

Feel free to think that plane ride with your giant on your lap would be a piece of cake though... :wink:


I wasn't extrapolating the experience in car rides with a plane, just using a point of reference and suggesting activities to keep them busy, but OK. Bottom-line, it will suck, but IMO an extra seat will make zero difference.

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by harrychan » Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:36 pm

Talk to a travel agent. Even with a toddler on your lap and without a seat, you are required to pay taxes. So you are not really saving a full cost of a fare. The ticket is likely 30-40% of the total cost. We also had a 99th percentile son and it wasn't even a question if we were to keep him on our lap when we went to NE Asia!
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by dlprop » Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:41 pm

I'm surprised by all the negative responses here. If you have never flown with your child before, then your child might actually be great on planes and you just might not know it yet. We travel every year to see grandparents on flights with multiple legs, and we never paid for an extra seat. Even when our child was a mobile 23 month old, we had him on our lap and it was fine.

Many airlines will try to seat you in the bulkhead row (where your child won't be kicking the seat in front of you). Our long flights have had the video screens in them and our child enjoyed watching videos on them. In my experience, a child that age in an unfamiliar environment is likely to get scared and end up in your lap anyway. A few tricks we learned along the way:

- Buy or borrow books about airplanes and read them before the trip, it helped our child understand what an airport was. He was very excited when he saw the airplanes at the gate and just stood there watching for a long long time (Richard Scarry's Day at the Airport is our child's favorite)
- Pack applesauce/mush pouches for takeoff and landing (the swallowing helps with ear pressure, landing seems to affect them more than takeoff)
- Pack toys/books/ipad to entertain your child. If you bring an ipad for your child, try to get a headset that fits their head
- Pack snacks that your child is already familiar with. On the plane is not a good time to find out your child doesn't like their brand of yogurt

All the best!

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by Rodc » Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:46 pm

harrychan wrote:Talk to a travel agent. Even with a toddler on your lap and without a seat, you are required to pay taxes. So you are not really saving a full cost of a fare. The ticket is likely 30-40% of the total cost. We also had a 99th percentile son and it wasn't even a question if we were to keep him on our lap when we went to NE Asia!


I never paid anything. A quick google search says on Unite or American they fly for free. You can only fly one lap child per adult. I did find one travel site that said for international flights the cost was typically about 10% of an adult ticket. So you may have had an outlier experience and so might others, including OP who is traveling internationally, so folks would be well advised to check. But it is not universal in all cases that you will pay a very large amount of a full ticket.
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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by davidm1982 » Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:55 pm

Rodc wrote:
harrychan wrote:Talk to a travel agent. Even with a toddler on your lap and without a seat, you are required to pay taxes. So you are not really saving a full cost of a fare. The ticket is likely 30-40% of the total cost. We also had a 99th percentile son and it wasn't even a question if we were to keep him on our lap when we went to NE Asia!


I never paid anything. A quick google search says on Unite or American they fly for free. You can only fly one lap child per adult. I did find one travel site that said for international flights the cost was typically about 10% of an adult ticket. So you may have had an outlier experience and so might others, including OP who is traveling internationally, so folks would be well advised to check. But it is not universal in all cases that you will pay a very large amount of a full ticket.


From memory we paid 10% when the child was on the lap (ie no seat) and 90% when they had their own seat. Those were international flights.

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by catdude » Tue Dec 06, 2016 2:32 pm

I don't have kids, but this discussion reminds me of an experience I had many years ago. I was taking a Delta flight from Atlanta to Portland... that's roughly a 5-hour flight. The plane was a wide-body -- two seats next to the windows on each side, and five seats down the middle of the plane. I had an aisle seat on the right-hand side of the middle section... the aisle seat on the other side of the middle section was also occupied. Thus the three seats to my left were empty. As the boarding process proceeded, I kept my fingers crossed that no one else would show up to take those seats.

Then I saw a young couple come down the aisle with a toddler. The woman stopped at the row in front of me, where there were two empty seats, and started to take a seat there. But her husband stopped her and motioned to the empty seats in my row. They passed up the two empty seats in the row in front of me, and instead took the three seats in my row. I sized up the situation right away... they had purchased two seats but wound up taking three seats together, so that the toddler would have a (free) seat of his own. I was really p.o.'d, cause it meant that instead of having a long flight with an empty seat beside me, I now had a long cramped flight to look forward to. I didn't say anything to them, tho.

After reading the stories in this thread about the trials and tribulations of flying with toddlers, I've decided to forgive my long-ago seat mates. :) And my vague recollection is that the toddler was well-behaved during the flight, so I guess the experience coulda been worse.
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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by davidm1982 » Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:12 pm

One other tip - buy a small gift (earbuds, candy etc) for those immediately around you. For about $10-20 it will create a groundswell of good-will even if your kids has a bad flight

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by White Coat Investor » Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:33 pm

The more of this thread I read the more I'm glad the kid will be 25 months for the trip to Japan, so cheaping out isn't an option and the more I'm glad that half the trip to Alaska is on a ship.
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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by halfnine » Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:34 pm

I didn't read all the posts above but I can share what we did. When our child was under 2 we had a 28 hour door to door journey involving 20 hours of flight time. The research we did at the time came up with the best solution to fly on British Airways with bulkhead seating reserved using their carrycot or toddler child seating system that mounts to the bulkhead. The only advice I'd add to that is to get the window seat as well. The kid spent a good chunk of the time sleeping on the bulkhead seat (can search online to see what I am talking about) and another large chunk on the floor since there is plenty of space for them to roam at the bulkhead with no passenger seats in front of them to annoy.

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by harrychan » Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:37 pm

halfnine wrote:I didn't read all the posts above but I can share what we did. When our child was under 2 we had a 28 hour door to door journey involving 20 hours of flight time. The research we did at the time came up with the best solution to fly on British Airways with bulkhead seating reserved using their carrycot or toddler child seating system that mounts to the bulkhead. The only advice I'd add to that is to get the window seat as well. The kid spent a good chunk of the time sleeping on the bulkhead seat (can search online to see what I am talking about) and another large chunk on the floor since there is plenty of space for them to roam at the bulkhead with no passenger seats in front of them to annoy.


They won't allow an 18 month old to sit at a bulkhead seat. Those are reserved for infants that fit in the bassinet. If the bulkhead seat has an emergency exit, children won't be allowed.
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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by Rodc » Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:57 pm

johnny wrote:I don't have kids, but this discussion reminds me of an experience I had many years ago. I was taking a Delta flight from Atlanta to Portland... that's roughly a 5-hour flight. The plane was a wide-body -- two seats next to the windows on each side, and five seats down the middle of the plane. I had an aisle seat on the right-hand side of the middle section... the aisle seat on the other side of the middle section was also occupied. Thus the three seats to my left were empty. As the boarding process proceeded, I kept my fingers crossed that no one else would show up to take those seats.

Then I saw a young couple come down the aisle with a toddler. The woman stopped at the row in front of me, where there were two empty seats, and started to take a seat there. But her husband stopped her and motioned to the empty seats in my row. They passed up the two empty seats in the row in front of me, and instead took the three seats in my row. I sized up the situation right away... they had purchased two seats but wound up taking three seats together, so that the toddler would have a (free) seat of his own. I was really p.o.'d, cause it meant that instead of having a long flight with an empty seat beside me, I now had a long cramped flight to look forward to. I didn't say anything to them, tho.

After reading the stories in this thread about the trials and tribulations of flying with toddlers, I've decided to forgive my long-ago seat mates. :) And my vague recollection is that the toddler was well-behaved during the flight, so I guess the experience coulda been worse.


:)
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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by dm200 » Tue Dec 06, 2016 5:06 pm

Although our son was a bit older when we made airline (and auto) trips, it is a fact that some children travel well and some do not. For whatever reason, our son traveled very well. He liked it and was generally wonderful, outgoing and charming. Other children do not travel well at all.

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by halfnine » Tue Dec 06, 2016 5:10 pm

harrychan wrote:
halfnine wrote:I didn't read all the posts above but I can share what we did. When our child was under 2 we had a 28 hour door to door journey involving 20 hours of flight time. The research we did at the time came up with the best solution to fly on British Airways with bulkhead seating reserved using their carrycot or toddler child seating system that mounts to the bulkhead. The only advice I'd add to that is to get the window seat as well. The kid spent a good chunk of the time sleeping on the bulkhead seat (can search online to see what I am talking about) and another large chunk on the floor since there is plenty of space for them to roam at the bulkhead with no passenger seats in front of them to annoy.


They won't allow an 18 month old to sit at a bulkhead seat. Those are reserved for infants that fit in the bassinet. If the bulkhead seat has an emergency exit, children won't be allowed.


As of a few years back British Airways had bassinets AND toddler seats for children that did not fit in bassinets. This is why we opted to fly BA as opposed to other carriers. BA considered infants as children up to the age of 2. So you are not purchasing a bulk head seat for the child. You are binging a lap child at a 10% of full fare fee and using the bulkhead for seating (well sleeping really).

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Dec 06, 2016 5:15 pm

Hmmm.

Just looked at some images online of baby bulkhead seats on airlines.

There seem to be both bassinets and "reclining seats", but I can't tell if both are on the same airline, or if different airlines offer different styles.

But... a few of those children look pretty "big", at least a few in the "seat".
I'm referring to the *bulkhead* seats, which are totally different from the child seats that fit into a regular airline seat.

Decades back, there were bassinets that just bolted into the wall in two places, and always looked pretty flimsy.
These new ones seem to be quite well anchored, although some of the kiddos aren't secured in any way.

(And then there were the wee ones all comfy in big beds up in first class. A different way to grow up...)

You might want to check what age or weight limit they offer for those child bulkhead seats.

Also way back, I traveled with two toddlers a lot.
And there was one place then that the security (pre-scanners) NEVER checked: Dirty diaper bags!
I could have had anything in those... :shock:

Good luck with your trip!

RM

Added: This must be what halfnine is referring to above.
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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by campy2010 » Tue Dec 06, 2016 5:24 pm

dlprop wrote:I'm surprised by all the negative responses here. If you have never flown with your child before, then your child might actually be great on planes and you just might not know it yet. We travel every year to see grandparents on flights with multiple legs, and we never paid for an extra seat. Even when our child was a mobile 23 month old, we had him on our lap and it was fine.

Many airlines will try to seat you in the bulkhead row (where your child won't be kicking the seat in front of you). Our long flights have had the video screens in them and our child enjoyed watching videos on them. In my experience, a child that age in an unfamiliar environment is likely to get scared and end up in your lap anyway. A few tricks we learned along the way:

- Buy or borrow books about airplanes and read them before the trip, it helped our child understand what an airport was. He was very excited when he saw the airplanes at the gate and just stood there watching for a long long time (Richard Scarry's Day at the Airport is our child's favorite)
- Pack applesauce/mush pouches for takeoff and landing (the swallowing helps with ear pressure, landing seems to affect them more than takeoff)
- Pack toys/books/ipad to entertain your child. If you bring an ipad for your child, try to get a headset that fits their head
- Pack snacks that your child is already familiar with. On the plane is not a good time to find out your child doesn't like their brand of yogurt

All the best!


The responses are negative because modern-day coach seats are small and if you keep your kid on your lap then you typically end up encroaching on whomever is in the 3rd seat in the row. My last experience next to a lap child involved a massive temper tantrum because his screen was put away for takeoff. Flailing, kicking, screaming ensued. I came away with bruises on my legs from him spilling into my seat and kicking me. After about 30 minutes (seriously) he finally fell asleep, half on my lap half on his mom's lap. Oh yeah, and a 350+ lb man was in the aisle seat. Needless to say it was one of the most uncomfortable flights I've ever been on.

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by HomerJ » Tue Dec 06, 2016 5:52 pm

Just a word of advice. Our first and second kids traveled all over the place with my wife as toddlers. Our third kid went nowhere with us (at least not until he could actually create memories).

So my wife has experienced both kinds of trips.

Traveling to exotic or historical or cultural areas WITHOUT a toddler, in her opinion, is a much better experience for everyone involved.

If nothing else, it's very healthy for two parents to focus on their relationship as a couple for a change after caring for a toddler 24/7.

This assumes, of course, you have relatives who can watch your children for a full week. Not everyone has that option.

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by 10YearPlan » Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:18 pm

For those of you who indicated that the responses were negative and/or from people without kids or experience traveling with kids, I can assure you that is not the case with us. I won't say we've traveled extensively with my 2 kids, but we have taken trips out of the country almost every year since my oldest was about 2 years old and now my oldest is almost 12. And while we'd love to travel occasionally without them, but we've got no choice (no living grandparents). My kids have been (mostly) excellent travelers, but I have had some very unpleasant airplane experiences that would have been exacerbated by having the kid on my lap.

The longish flights of over 5 hours are the most challenging, for obvious reasons, so I'd never jeopardize my sanity and comfort or the comfort of others around me by keeping a large, mobile kid on my lap. Especially one that flies overnight. An infant is a different story.

Definitely travel with your kid(s), it can be wonderful. But definitely spring for the seat.

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by orca91 » Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:20 pm

campy2010 wrote:
dlprop wrote:I'm surprised by all the negative responses here. If you have never flown with your child before, then your child might actually be great on planes and you just might not know it yet. We travel every year to see grandparents on flights with multiple legs, and we never paid for an extra seat. Even when our child was a mobile 23 month old, we had him on our lap and it was fine.

Many airlines will try to seat you in the bulkhead row (where your child won't be kicking the seat in front of you). Our long flights have had the video screens in them and our child enjoyed watching videos on them. In my experience, a child that age in an unfamiliar environment is likely to get scared and end up in your lap anyway. A few tricks we learned along the way:

- Buy or borrow books about airplanes and read them before the trip, it helped our child understand what an airport was. He was very excited when he saw the airplanes at the gate and just stood there watching for a long long time (Richard Scarry's Day at the Airport is our child's favorite)
- Pack applesauce/mush pouches for takeoff and landing (the swallowing helps with ear pressure, landing seems to affect them more than takeoff)
- Pack toys/books/ipad to entertain your child. If you bring an ipad for your child, try to get a headset that fits their head
- Pack snacks that your child is already familiar with. On the plane is not a good time to find out your child doesn't like their brand of yogurt

All the best!


The responses are negative because modern-day coach seats are small and if you keep your kid on your lap then you typically end up encroaching on whomever is in the 3rd seat in the row. My last experience next to a lap child involved a massive temper tantrum because his screen was put away for takeoff. Flailing, kicking, screaming ensued. I came away with bruises on my legs from him spilling into my seat and kicking me. After about 30 minutes (seriously) he finally fell asleep, half on my lap half on his mom's lap. Oh yeah, and a 350+ lb man was in the aisle seat. Needless to say it was one of the most uncomfortable flights I've ever been on.


... And, the people sitting directly in front of the infant, and the people sitting directly behind the infant, and the people within shouting distance which is about half the cabin....

In truth, I have seen a few infants that were delightful on a flight... happy, quiet, or sleeping. I have seen MANY more though that were not like that.

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by TinkerPDX » Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:35 pm

We've flown coast-to-coast with our toddler a couple of times. On most of those flights, we've spent as much time chasing him up and down the aisles as we have seated. Never bought an extra seat, and we survived. But those were all <5 hour legs.

I'd buy the seat if it didn't feel to painful financially, or brace for a potentially long flight but feel good about saving a grand if it did.

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by killjoy2012 » Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:39 pm

The flight from the US to Spain should be overnight, so you have that going for you. However, the return flight back to the US will be all daytime and where I'd bet you're going to be in for a rough one.

As others have said, I don't think I would do 3 legs even w/o a kid in tow. 3 with a kid that age for that long -- factoring in layovers, delays, etc. -- good luck. If you're flying from Madrid to another town, maybe consider taking a high speed train or some other form of transport that's more conducive to dealing with kids that age to get it down to 1 layover.

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by island » Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:56 pm

Kiter wrote:I have not read the whole thread ,but to answer question #1 ....consider others on the flight seated next to you and in front of you.


Exactly

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by Dottie57 » Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:12 pm

island wrote:
Kiter wrote:I have not read the whole thread ,but to answer question #1 ....consider others on the flight seated next to you and in front of you.


Exactly

+1

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by davidsorensen32 » Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:55 pm

I'd fly business. Flying long flights with toddlers is one scenario where spending the money is totally worth it. I've done 16 hour flights but would have gone crazy but for the super nice service, space and quiet biz class. Less people mean less germs for your 25lb-er too


Lieutenant.Columbo wrote:We're going to Spain in May. Two spouses and our son. Child will be 18 months old then.
Right now he is 12 months, at 98th percentiles and over 25 pounds (=11.33 Kg).

Three flights per leg.

The second flight in each leg are the Longest flights in our trip:
1. Atlanta-Madrid 8 hours
...13 days later...
2. Madrid-Atlanta 9.5 hrs

The other four shorter flights (two per leg) are an hour each.

Because son will still be under 2 years of age, it is definitely less expensive to take advantage of the option to not buy a seat for him and just keep him on our laps during on flight.

We wonder if carrying him on us for long (in order to save money) is a realistic reasonable option for 8- and for 9.5-hour flights.

If you have traveled with infants across similar stretches of time and space before, please let us know...:
1. ...what we should consider when flying such long distances with an 18-month old
2. ...whether you think we should go with two seats or three seats aka: two full tickets or three tickets?

Thank you very much.

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by FedGuy » Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:16 am

dlprop wrote:I'm surprised by all the negative responses here.

Really? I'm surprised by all the positive responses. I haven't been on a plane in years in large part because being locked in an airline cabin with a screaming kid is one of the worst things I've ever experienced.

To the posters who commented that other passengers were friendly, sympathetic, or didn't mind: just because someone doesn't scream at you or threaten you doesn't mean they're cool with your kid screaming at the top of his lungs. It's just that socially, and legally, there's really only so much they can do, so they're sitting quietly while hating you for inflicting that on them.

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by daveydoo » Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:18 am

Watty wrote:One concern to consider is how safe having him on your lap will be


Yes, because the other passenger in your row will probably kill you. Even if your child were only at the 97th percentile. Also, if you're anticipating an empty seat next to you, you probably haven't flown in the last three years.

We've taken plenty of cross-country five- and six-hour non-stop flights with our kids when they were little and have always bought them seats. It makes a big difference. And that was before it got as tight as it is now.

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by sambb » Wed Dec 07, 2016 3:25 am

i would not even take the trip with the child, so that is a cost savings. If taking the trip, i would do business class for all.

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by denovo » Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:21 am

FedGuy wrote:
dlprop wrote:I'm surprised by all the negative responses here.

Really? I'm surprised by all the positive responses. I haven't been on a plane in years in large part because being locked in an airline cabin with a screaming kid is one of the worst things I've ever experienced.

To the posters who commented that other passengers were friendly, sympathetic, or didn't mind: just because someone doesn't scream at you or threaten you doesn't mean they're cool with your kid screaming at the top of his lungs. It's just that socially, and legally, there's really only so much they can do, so they're sitting quietly while hating you for inflicting that on them.


+1

There's no value in taking a kid of that age on a European vacation, even if it wouldn't be a major inconvenience to others on a plane . It was well understood when I was growing up that such a trip was for the adults and the children would stay with a relative.

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by HueyLD » Wed Dec 07, 2016 5:24 am

sambb wrote:i would not even take the trip with the child, so that is a cost savings. If taking the trip, i would do business class for all.

Business for all? That is not within the budget for the vast majority of folks. :shock:

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by halfnine » Wed Dec 07, 2016 5:33 am

ResearchMed wrote:Hmmm.

Just looked at some images online of baby bulkhead seats on airlines.

There seem to be both bassinets and "reclining seats", but I can't tell if both are on the same airline, or if different airlines offer different styles.

But... a few of those children look pretty "big", at least a few in the "seat".
I'm referring to the *bulkhead* seats, which are totally different from the child seats that fit into a regular airline seat.

Decades back, there were bassinets that just bolted into the wall in two places, and always looked pretty flimsy.
These new ones seem to be quite well anchored, although some of the kiddos aren't secured in any way.

(And then there were the wee ones all comfy in big beds up in first class. A different way to grow up...)

You might want to check what age or weight limit they offer for those child bulkhead seats.

Also way back, I traveled with two toddlers a lot.
And there was one place then that the security (pre-scanners) NEVER checked: Dirty diaper bags!
I could have had anything in those... :shock:

Good luck with your trip!

RM

Added: This must be what halfnine is referring to above.


I was going to write some more on this now that I have a bit more time, but a quick search yielded the photo below.
The original photo and blogger's thoughts here

Image

I'll add a few of our experiences as well. British Airways indicated that they might not be available on all long haul flights. And, IIRC, if there were more infants than seats available then the younger child had priority. We found neither to be an issue as all three of our planes had them available. And the other children that were seated at the bulkheads were small enough to use the bassinets instead. It was also a flight arrangement that could not be booked online but we booked directly with the airline itself over the phone.

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by orca91 » Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:14 am

HueyLD wrote:
sambb wrote:i would not even take the trip with the child, so that is a cost savings. If taking the trip, i would do business class for all.

Business for all? That is not within the budget for the vast majority of folks. :shock:


That's why the vast majority of folks don't take trips like this. :happy

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by White Coat Investor » Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:44 am

I think this thread needs this Louis CK piece (profanity warning):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8LaT5Iiwo4
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by TallBoy29er » Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:52 am

denovo wrote:I assure you an 18 month won't understand/enjoy an international trip. Do the right thing and be considerate of the flying public. Leave him at home with a relative or cancel the trip.


Flying is a form of public transit. If you don't want kids around you, I'd suggest you pony up and pay for a charter. Else, don't expect all parents to confine themselves to their homes for the first three years of every infant's life.

When we fly w/ kids, my spouse and I make a pact to not let things rile us up. We've been on 13 hr flights w/ toddlers. Attitude makes all the difference.

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by Rodc » Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:58 am

TallBoy29er wrote:
denovo wrote:I assure you an 18 month won't understand/enjoy an international trip. Do the right thing and be considerate of the flying public. Leave him at home with a relative or cancel the trip.


Flying is a form of public transit. If you don't want kids around you, I'd suggest you pony up and pay for a charter. Else, don't expect all parents to confine themselves to their homes for the first three years of every infant's life.

When we fly w/ kids, my spouse and I make a pact to not let things rile us up. We've been on 13 hr flights w/ toddlers. Attitude makes all the difference.


That is a good point and getting ever more true. Hardly different than getting on the bus. Indeed buses are often nicer.
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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by clutchied » Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:00 am

Lieutenant.Columbo wrote:We're going to Spain in May. Two spouses and our son. Child will be 18 months old then.
Right now he is 12 months, at 98th percentiles and over 25 pounds (=11.33 Kg).

Three flights per leg.

The second flight in each leg are the Longest flights in our trip:
1. Atlanta-Madrid 8 hours
...13 days later...
2. Madrid-Atlanta 9.5 hrs

The other four shorter flights (two per leg) are an hour each.

Because son will still be under 2 years of age, it is definitely less expensive to take advantage of the option to not buy a seat for him and just keep him on our laps during on flight.

We wonder if flying him on our lap (in order to save money) is a realistic reasonable option for 8- and for 9.5-hour flights.

If you have traveled with infants across similar stretches of time and space before, please let us know...:
1. ...what we should consider when flying such long distances with a large 18-month old
2. ...whether you think we should go with two seats or three seats, aka: two tickets or three tickets

Thank you very much.


We took a 2 year old to France with us. I can't remember if it was early 2 or late 2 but it was long. Flights to Paris then train to the South. I think all in we were at 24 hours. We bought the child a seat though...

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by lthenderson » Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:13 am

dm200 wrote:it is a fact that some children travel well and some do not. For whatever reason, our son traveled very well. He liked it and was generally wonderful, outgoing and charming. Other children do not travel well at all.


From my observations, how well a child travels has a lot to do with the parenting of said child. When we were flying with our children when they were younger, we knew we had to be alert and there for our kids the entire flight. Our kids made the 16+ hour flights with a lot less noise and commotion than from many of the surrounding adult passengers. We often get compliments on how well behaved our children were. Children don't grow up to be behaved without active parenting. I've seen other parents who treat the entire plane as a play pen and zone out for half the flight or are more interested in the in-flight movie than what junior was doing. Those are the parents of children that give other passengers negative experiences.

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by orca91 » Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:16 am

TallBoy29er wrote:
denovo wrote:I assure you an 18 month won't understand/enjoy an international trip. Do the right thing and be considerate of the flying public. Leave him at home with a relative or cancel the trip.


Flying is a form of public transit. If you don't want kids around you, I'd suggest you pony up and pay for a charter. Else, don't expect all parents to confine themselves to their homes for the first three years of every infant's life.

When we fly w/ kids, my spouse and I make a pact to not let things rile us up. We've been on 13 hr flights w/ toddlers. Attitude makes all the difference.


It's always been a form of public transit. Why are so many more people with infants flying all over the place nowadays..... :|

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by lthenderson » Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:20 am

orca91 wrote:It's always been a form of public transit. Why are so many more people with infants flying all over the place nowadays..... :|


People used to live on farms and marry the farm girl three doors down. We are increasingly becoming a global society and with cheap transportation and more wealth, we aren't confined to marrying someone local. As a result, travel to see family has increased. My family spans half the globe. I wouldn't see them very often if we couldn't fly.

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by TN_Boy » Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:24 am

TallBoy29er wrote:
denovo wrote:I assure you an 18 month won't understand/enjoy an international trip. Do the right thing and be considerate of the flying public. Leave him at home with a relative or cancel the trip.


Flying is a form of public transit. If you don't want kids around you, I'd suggest you pony up and pay for a charter. Else, don't expect all parents to confine themselves to their homes for the first three years of every infant's life.

When we fly w/ kids, my spouse and I make a pact to not let things rile us up. We've been on 13 hr flights w/ toddlers. Attitude makes all the difference.


I don't have any insight on the "buy a seat or not" question. It's might be better if the OP knew how well the little critter handled flights before embarking on a really long flight -- that might help with the buy/not buy a seat decision.

Yes, flying is a form of public transportation. Most people understand kids may misbehave and are reasonably tolerant. However, it is the parent's job to minimize the pain inflicted upon other passengers (not all parents bother with this). Air travel is special. It is a very confined space and you can't go anywhere else.

So +1 to the suggestions to do anything to soothe the kids on the flight, even if it means breaking "rules." Have strategies lined up and ready to go!

Several years ago my spouse and I were on a (mercifully short) flight. Sitting near to us a young couple traveling with young son and daughter (age 2 to 4 or thereabouts). As I recall, daughter sitting with dad, son with mom. As we were boarding, daughter *really* wanted to switch places with son. Parents wouldn't give in. As we pulled away from the gate (i.e. we cannot move around now) daughter began a meltdown. She screamed, and I do mean screamed -- literally turning purple, one of those massive meltdown tantrums -- for the entire flight, about an hour. Parents made small, generally ineffective efforts to quiet the child. Nobody nearby was happy. I don't know if moving the girl when the opportunity existed before takeoff would have helped or not, though in hindsight it would have sure been worth a try .... I would say that the child having her own seat was probably better here (she was probably too old for lap seating anyway). Gave her more room to thrash around while screaming.

Good luck and enjoy the Europe trip.

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by davidm1982 » Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:32 am

orca91 wrote:
TallBoy29er wrote:
denovo wrote:I assure you an 18 month won't understand/enjoy an international trip. Do the right thing and be considerate of the flying public. Leave him at home with a relative or cancel the trip.


Flying is a form of public transit. If you don't want kids around you, I'd suggest you pony up and pay for a charter. Else, don't expect all parents to confine themselves to their homes for the first three years of every infant's life.

When we fly w/ kids, my spouse and I make a pact to not let things rile us up. We've been on 13 hr flights w/ toddlers. Attitude makes all the difference.


It's always been a form of public transit. Why are so many more people with infants flying all over the place nowadays..... :|


Our kid's grandparents live across the Atlantic. I understand that it's never nice to have children crying but I'd suggest that putting up with this is some form of the societal compact.

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by orca91 » Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:51 am

lthenderson wrote:
orca91 wrote:It's always been a form of public transit. Why are so many more people with infants flying all over the place nowadays..... :|


People used to live on farms and marry the farm girl three doors down. We are increasingly becoming a global society and with cheap transportation and more wealth, we aren't confined to marrying someone local. As a result, travel to see family has increased. My family spans half the globe. I wouldn't see them very often if we couldn't fly.


Okay... but, this thread is about taking vacations. Folks didn't take those back in the day?

My .... was leading more towards the entitlement attitude more prevalent nowadays.

So, sure we agree... times have changed. :wink:

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by orca91 » Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:57 am

davidm1982 wrote:
orca91 wrote:
TallBoy29er wrote:
denovo wrote:I assure you an 18 month won't understand/enjoy an international trip. Do the right thing and be considerate of the flying public. Leave him at home with a relative or cancel the trip.


Flying is a form of public transit. If you don't want kids around you, I'd suggest you pony up and pay for a charter. Else, don't expect all parents to confine themselves to their homes for the first three years of every infant's life.

When we fly w/ kids, my spouse and I make a pact to not let things rile us up. We've been on 13 hr flights w/ toddlers. Attitude makes all the difference.


It's always been a form of public transit. Why are so many more people with infants flying all over the place nowadays..... :|


Our kid's grandparents live across the Atlantic. I understand that it's never nice to have children crying but I'd suggest that putting up with this is some form of the societal compact.


I have kids also. For about 5 years while the kids were infants, we didn't live in the same state as either set of grandparents. Know how many times I flew with my kids? Zero.... the grandparents visited us. Typically, the grandparents have a better schedule (retired?), more money, and it's only one or two of them to fly.

These arguments of having to fly with children are pretty weak, if you ask me.

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by CoAndy » Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:04 am

HomerJ wrote:Leave the kid with grandparents. Seriously.

Why ruin an amazing trip with your spouse? (Unless maybe the grandparents are in Spain).

This must be your first kid. He will survive and thrive without you, and the two of you probably need to reconnect as a married couple, after 18 months with a baby/toddler.

Agree 100%. Flew from Denver to Boston with a toddler a bit older than the OP's. Would NOT recommend it. At all.

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Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Post by Rodc » Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:16 am

lthenderson wrote:
dm200 wrote:it is a fact that some children travel well and some do not. For whatever reason, our son traveled very well. He liked it and was generally wonderful, outgoing and charming. Other children do not travel well at all.


From my observations, how well a child travels has a lot to do with the parenting of said child. When we were flying with our children when they were younger, we knew we had to be alert and there for our kids the entire flight. Our kids made the 16+ hour flights with a lot less noise and commotion than from many of the surrounding adult passengers. We often get compliments on how well behaved our children were. Children don't grow up to be behaved without active parenting. I've seen other parents who treat the entire plane as a play pen and zone out for half the flight or are more interested in the in-flight movie than what junior was doing. Those are the parents of children that give other passengers negative experiences.


My kids traveled well, thank goodness. Parenting can help or make things worse. But don't pat yourself on the back too hard. I have known many parents who thought they were fabulous parents. Then they got another child (who was different from the earlier ones). :)

The innate temperament of the child is huge. Sitting still for hours is easy for some and impossible for others, with many in between.

And kids can be nightmares when young and turn into fine teenagers, or fabulous when young and turn into nightmares as teenagers. Then too they can change for the better or worse as adults. Be very very careful about taking credit for well behaved youngsters - best to wait until they are about 35 before taking credit. It you take credit too early and things take a turn for the worse logic says that too must be your fault. :)

So far so good on my end but oldest is only 29...
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