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Flight attendants union calls for end to infants sitting on parent's lap

Infant on plane
Posted at 10:19 PM, Mar 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-21 00:19:02-04

DENVER — Flight attendants are pushing for an end to infants sitting on a parents lap on planes.

The Association of Flight Attendants has been calling for all passengers to have their own seat for 30 years.

The union points to recent turbulence as an example of why infants need to be in a car seat on a plane. In December, a Hawaiian Airlines flight injured 36, including a 14-month-old.

The Federal Aviation Administration's flying with children guidelines state "the safest place for your child under the age of two on a U.S. airplane is in approved child restraint system (CRS) or device, not in your lap.” But that’s exactly how thousands of young children fly with their parents every year.

“I'm very surprised that regulations and rules around this have not been in place,” travel expert Sarah Dandashy told Denver7. “You think about the rules and regulations that we have to have just in our own private vehicles. And then you think about an airplane and you think about the speed that the airplane is going.”

The Associations of Flight Attendants and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) say it’s impossible for any parent to hold onto their child in severe turbulence. They want infants to have their own seat and, if necessary, be placed in an approved car seat.

The biggest question is who will pay for it?

“Is it going to be the cost that's put onto the consumer? Basically parents buying an additional seat for their child? Or will the cost of them be put on to the airlines? And or will they actually offer maybe a free a seat for free?” Dandashy said.

The Association of Flight Attendants is pushing for the change in the next FAA reauthorization bill. The current authorization bill expires in September.

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