December 25, 2012,
M.C. asks from Baltimore, MD on January 30, 2009
Bassinet Seat vs Regular Seats
My husband and I will be travelling 14 hours on a plane with our 9 month old daughter. Would you recommend that I reserve a bassinet seat over regular seats and if you could kindly give pros and cons.
Also, we are flying via Korean Airlines. Has anyone had any experience with them?
Thanks so much!
J.B. answers from Washington DC on January 31, 2009
I went on a long international flight with my 9 week old child a couple of years ago. We got the bassinet seat (the bulkhead seat that has a table that pulls down in front of you and then the bassinet is strapped down to the table). It was fantastic! There is no reason not to do it. You don't have to use it -- you can hold your child on your lap whenever you want. The person next to me used their table with a bouncy seat attachment the airline also offered because their child was 10 months old. Definitely reserve the seat. Even just having the bulkhead seat without the use of the bassinet is really helpful. Another great thing for travel with kids is the Ergo carrier. It is a front or back carrier that is comfortable for parent and child -- very helpful in the airport.
T.M. answers from Norfolk on January 31, 2009
Hi M.!! YES, YES, YES...GET THE BASSINET SEAT!! My children and I just returned from Korea last Sunday, also on Korean Airlines. I took the trip alone with my 13 month old son and 26 month old daughter to visit my husband. My daughter had her own seat and I had a bassinet seat for my son. It was fantastic! He was much more comfortable when sleeping and so was I! The bassinet fits on the wall in front of your seat and doesn't really take away from your personal space. It truly was a lifesaver for me! The entire Korean Airlines staff was extremely helpful and friendly. I was dreading the long flight, but the time went by much faster than I thought it would :) Enjoy your trip! I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time!!
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L.S. answers from San Francisco on December 25, 2012
FYI, this is what a Korean Air bassinet (with 5 mo baby) looks like: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8465/8143364226_227d68f97b_...
S.E. answers from Lynchburg on January 31, 2009
I am not sure what a bassinet seat is; they did not have them when I traveled overseas with my first child (now 11). However, having done a 15 hr flight, I can imagine one benifit of the bassinet. at 9 mo. old, hopefully she will nap some of the 14 hrs. It may allow her to stretch out rather than falling off the seat and waking herself up. My daughter ended up streching out on the floor, which was drafty and not at all cozy. One thing to make sure you pack is Benadryl, which will most likely help her sleep. But try it out once before you leave, as a minority of kids respond to it by being hyperactive (not good to discover when actually on the plane).
S.B. answers from Norfolk on January 31, 2009
I would definitely recommend the bassinet seat. Even if you don't land up putting your baby in it to sleep, you can put many items you need on handduring the flight, instead of having to reach inmto a bag constantly to retrieve things.
I have flown with a 2 month old and two 6 month old babies (all on different occassions thankfully!!) for a 18 hour flight and used the bassinet each time. By the time they were 6 months they were a little large for the bassinet, but they could still lay down at least. It is a different spot to put the baby, so that he/she can play or rest. Also the airplane toilets are so confining, so unless it was a bowel movemenmt that I was changing I would change my baby in the bassinet. I laid blankets in it and made it softer and cosier and had toys on hand.
Make sure to order baby food ahead of time, but take your own snacks that your baby is used to. The airlines do stock babyfood, but not always appropriate snacks.
I would also obviously take extra sets of clothes, but I would make sure to put in a short sleeved shirt/item at least even if you are flying in winter. (at times the plane is very hot, so be prepared for warm/cold)
Good luck with the flight. This is still an easier time to fly with a baby. I found that the period when they turn 12 months - 18 months to be the most difficult (I fly once a year with my 3). All they want to do is walk and climb.
Have a safe journey!
N.T. answers from Washington DC on January 31, 2009
Hi! Traveling with young kids is challenging. We did travel with our twin boys when they were 6 months old to go to India. At that time we used the bassinet but they were at the limit to use them due to their weight and lenght. It was usefull except when there was turbulance. At that time you need to hold the baby on your lap. At 9 months old, our twins were already walking so it would have been impossible to keep them in bassinet. We travelled on different airlines and they all have different kind of bassinets, some are sturdy and others are not. Check with your airline before you make any decisions. Have a safe and nice flight!!!
J.W. answers from Washington DC on January 31, 2009
I've done both the bassinet and as a "lap baby". The first time I flew from China to the US by myself with my 7 month old. I was lucky and he slept almost the entire 13 hour flight. I hadn't asked for a bassinet, but they offered me one after I got on the plane (this was with United). I didn't use it and just let him sleep with me the whole time. Which was great since he slept.
Also on the return flight, now with my husband, we also didn't use a bassinet and my son slept about half of the flight and the other half we shared walking with him up and down the aisles of the plane.
When we went back to the US for Christmas we flew Korean Air (very good experience, the flight attendants were very friendly and helpful, willing to hold him to give us a break etc.) This time we also got a bassinet. It worked well while he was sleeping, but it's a nuisance with watching TV. The way the airplane we were on is set up the seats where bassinets are available are facing a wall not other seats. So the TV isn't in front of you, but on an arm that pull up from the front of your seat. You can't put it up or down with the baby in the bassinet.
Overall my recommendation is, if your baby is ok sleeping with you holding him/her and you and your husband agree to share the responsibility I wouldn't get the bassinet.
I don't know if you're familiar with Korean culture, but be prepared for the flight attendants to be very gracious and quiet, while providing great customer service.
As a side note,If you don't like Korean food always order the western option. On one of our flights the said the meal was a noodle dish, which it was, but it was topped with raw salmon. It was good, but unexpected.
I just read the woman who recommended the car seat, not a bad idea for the reasons she listed, but depending on your destination and the duration of your stay you may not need a car seat. Not all country's require them (China and Korea are two that don't), plus if most of your travel is going to be by taxi or other public transportation if might be more of a hassle to have the car seat than not. I know that it goes against what we've had ingrained in us in the US re: car seat safety, but my son is almost one year old and he's only been in a car seat when we've been back in the US for the two trips I mentioned.
Hope this helps.
R.H. answers from Norfolk on January 31, 2009
I'm not sure what a Bassinet seat is... If it means you hold them in your lap i don't suggest it. When i flew to Calif. from Va i got my daughter a seat of her own. I took her car seat and she knew what her car seat was and what to do in it. I treated it like it was a car just once every few hours i would walk her down the isle to the bathroom. You would be amazed at how well they deal with it. Some say they need to walk around alot but really children are just looking for interaction and if you talk to her and have play toys and stuff they are good. I went to Korea while i was in the military and that is actually where i got my idea about how to travel with my daughter because i saw them doing it. Don't let her think that she can just get up all the time or she will.