I’m fresh off of the return flight from a long weekend visiting my parents, and I’m a bit ticked off. Just prior to landing, one of the flight attendants told me that I needed to remove Nic from the Ergo for landing. I told her that I always fly with him in the Ergo (especially during takeoff and landing) because that way he is at least strapped into something. She said it was an FAA regulation and that he was not allowed to be in the carrier for takeoff and landing. Mind you, this was the fourth takeoff/landing we’d done on this trip alone, and no one had had mentioned this previously. In fact, in all of our travels, I’ve only had one other flight attendant say something about him being in the Ergo.
I’m not one to defy authority, but as politely as possible, I explained that I felt he was safer in the Ergo and that I was going to keep him there. I also explained this to her superior when she came to our seat. Nic stayed in the Ergo, we landed, and that was the end of it.
But not really. Because I want to know where he is safer and if the FAA really has such a regulation. From everything I’ve read, the reason main reason that it’s dangerous for babies to fly as “lap children” is because of the risk of them flying out of their parents arms because they are not secured. The Ergo seems to solve this problem and that’s why it seems safer to me. After some Googling, it seems like the regulations are unclear and I couldn’t find any additional safety information.
- Do you put your child in a carrier for takeoff and landing?
- Has anyone ever told you that you can’t have your child in a carrier for takeoff and landing? Have you complied?
- Does anyone know the official rules and if there is safety data to back them up?
I received this comment when I posted this story to my personal Facebook page. I found it very helpful:
"Sadly, it's true. As a flight attendant for the last 11.5 years, I can confirm that this is indeed an FAA regulation and she was just the messenger having to enforce the rule that the FAA put into place. She can personally be fined if she does not atleast try to enforce the rule. Believe me, you aren't the first or last parent to disagree with this regulation. Unfortunately, they found that in the case of an accident, you are more likely to be flung forward and crush your child if they are in a carrier. =( Your friend Lhia is correct. The safest place for your darling cargo is buckled up all snug in a car-seat next to you. Just as you would have them in a car. I understand where you were coming from, however she was just doing her job. Next time keep in mind, you and she can both be fined for not complying with an FAA regulation. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news."
It seems like everyone agrees that there's no really safe way to hold/restrain a lap child. Nic's about to outgrow the under two limit, but I think I'm really going to consider buying a seat for baby #2 (when there is a baby #2). As painful as it would be for the wallet, it really sounds like the best way to go.