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Flight attendants call to end infants sitting on parents' lap

Safety experts say children should be placed in a safety seat similar to those used in cars.
Flight attendants call to end infants sitting on parents' lap
Posted at 2:42 PM, Mar 22, 2023

Flight attendants are pushing for an end to infants sitting on their parents laps 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 people, including a 14-month-old.

The Federal Aviation Administration's guidelines for flying with children state that "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.

SEE MORE: FAA issues ‘safety alert’ after close calls at airports

“I'm very surprised that regulations and rules around this have not been in place,” travel expert Sarah Dandashy told Scripps News Denver. “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.

This article was written by Jessica Porter for Scripps News Denver.