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Baby in airplane bassinet TravelswithBaby.com

Awe, our first airplane bassinet.

Last week I heard from a mother preparing to fly with SAS from theUnited States to Eastern Europe with her FOUR children, ages 6, 5, 4 and 11 months (cross your fingers for smooth flights and connections for these fearless family travelers!). As you can imagine, she was shocked as she called to confirm her flights, only to find out that the airline would not allow her to use their bassinet for her baby because she is 2 months past their age limit for using bassinets, which for SAS is 9 months.

Although the particular bassinet used in the aircraft is rated to 24 lbs., the agent—and manager stood firm by their policy and refused to reserve a bassinet for the lap infant. She’s not the first parent to get caught off guard by an unexpected age limit for airplane bassinets (a.k.a. sky cot). Here are a few reasons to be aware of if you have overseas travel with an infant in mind: 

  • The shapes and sizes of the bassinets themselves can vary a great deal between airlines, and even between different aircraft models operated by the same airline.
  • More often than the weight of the child, it’s the length of the baby that is more of an issue regarding the size of a particular bassinet.
  • Additionally, many airlines put their feet down when it becomes more likely a baby will be able to pull up or climb and topple over the side of the bassinet.

If you plan to take advantage of an airline’s bassinet for an upcoming flight with your baby, you should make sure you choose an airline that will accommodate your infant at the time of travel. And remember bassinets are generally available on a first-come first served basis, to those who are seated in the proper locations on the aircraft. (Much, much more on that in Travels with Baby, including the possible drawbacks of being ont the busy, bulkhead row with baby .)

Here are just a few of the different ways airlines specify their bassinet policies:

And remember, British Airways not only provides infant bassinets (sky cots) for babies, but also offers a limited number of the Britax toddler seats that can be mounted on the bulkhead for children under 2 years. Click here to see it and read about our experience flying with this toddler seat.

 Have you flown with an airplane bassinet? Share your experience and wisdom below!

Safe journeys,

Shelly Rivoli
Author of the award-winning Travels with Baby and Take-Along Travels with Baby

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