flying with infants - questions!

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from stefani2. Show stefani2's posts

    flying with infants - questions!

    hi all - i'm planning a trip to visit my parents with the babies and have some questions! 

    first - i am assuming you can buy a seat for your baby and put the carseat in the seat - has anyone done this?  i know it's more $ obviously but with 2 babies i think i'm going to have to do this.  any thoughts/tips?

    second - has anyone rented car seats and/or bases with a rental car?  do i need to call the rental car company to see if i can do this?  i'd like to bring my own car seats but rent bases.  but then again can't i just strap the car seats into the rental car w/o the bases?  help! 

    third - i'll be bringing formula on board.  is this a problem going through security?  i will look on the airport websites - but any input would be appreciated.

    tia!
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedFishBlueFish. Show RedFishBlueFish's posts

    Re: flying with infants - questions!

    TSA info on flying with formula:

    http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/children/formula.shtm
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from memes98. Show memes98's posts

    Re: flying with infants - questions!

    Stefani - we flew with DD over Thanksgiving when she was 4 months.  We did buy her a seat and brought her car seat on the plane.  It was nice to have the seat for her and the extra room in general.  It is more money, but it worked well for us.  She slept most of the plane ride in her car seat.

    I did also bring some formula and breast milk onto the plane.  Noone even questioned me.  For the formula, I brought the powder. 

    We didn't bring the car seat base.  We just strapped the car seat into the car without the base.  It is not quite as safe to do it that way I don't think, but it worked out ok.  DH made sure to pull the seat belt strap really tight.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from summery123. Show summery123's posts

    Re: flying with infants - questions!

    Hi!
    I have flown many times with my baby and if you are traveling with other people, I would not buy a seat for your baby (babies) if you don't have to. I assume you know that you do not need to buy a seat for babies under 2. Why spend extra money if you don't have to especially if you are not traveling alone.

    Also, the babies do not need to be in their carseats in the plane. My recommendation is to bring the infant seats with you on the plane and they will check it underneath the plane when you get on board. I do this with the carriage too. They will put a tag on your baby gear and it will be waiting for you as soon as you get off the plane. The baby bjorn is great for travel especially going through security because the carseats and strollers need to get scanned.

    And yes you can just strap the infant carseat into a car without the base. You use the seatbelt. Its easy and safe just make sure the seatbelt is tight and locks.

    Finally, formula is not a problem going through security. Just make sure you take it out of your bag and put it on the belt so they can see it as it goes through. I generally keep all that stuff in a plastic bag and take it out of my carry-on bag while it is being scanned.  Some airports, like in Orlando, have a separate security lines for people travel with kids and liquids...which is really nice.
    Traveling with infants can be stressful because they need so much stuff but most people understand and are helpful. Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions.

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALS76. Show ALS76's posts

    Re: flying with infants - questions!

    We are flying in May with DD, so I haven't taken the trip yet, but did some research before purchasing tickets.  We ended up not buying her a seat and we're probably going to bring our carseat on the plane and then check it when we board.  We will probably put the base in my husband's big duffel bag that we check.  I never even realized that you could use the carseat without the base. 

    As for buying seats, I know that one adult may only have one lap infant that flies for free.  Makes sense because as you said, it would be pretty difficult to hold two babies anyways.  I'm not sure if you are traveling alone, but if you are, I think you will have to buy at least one seat for the babies.  Also, these rules apply for domestic travel only.  I think for international travel, you have to buy a ticket for a baby regardless of their age.  This info was all provided on the Delta website when I was buying our tickets, but I assume that it would be similar for most airlines.

    Hope that helps!  I think no matter what, traveling with a baby or babies will be a production!  Gone are the days when I could just throw some things in a bag and walk right up to security! 
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Daisy75. Show Daisy75's posts

    Re: flying with infants - questions!

    Are you traveling alone with them?  If so, that's VERY brave.

    Don't bother with renting car seats or bases from the car rental cos.  You don't know anything about the history of the seat and whether it's been in an accident, etc.  You can strap the seats in the car with a seatbelt quite easily.  It's not as convenient as the bases, but it can be done.  Alternatively, you could look into checking only the bases with your regular luggage.  On Southwest, and quite possibly other airlines, car seats and certain other "gear" for babies (strollers come to mind) do not count toward your checked luggage (and therefore, you shouldn't have to pay/pay extra to check them).  We recently traveled with our twins and checked their convertible seats.  Initially the check-in agent told us the seats counted toward our checked luggage (he was very nice, just misinformed).  I responded (nicely), "no they don't" and opened my travel folder to a printout from Southwest's website that specifically says they don't count.  He quickly said "oh, you're right, sorry, I forgot" before I even got the paper out of the folder and that was that.

    We've brought formula, milk in sippy cups, and water in sippy cups through security.  Each time I've shown it to the TSA agent as we're loading things onto the belt and asked them if they want me to dump it and they just tell me not to worry about and put it through the scanner.  In only one instance have they wanted to "test" it on the other side.  I had to open one of the cups for them, they held a little stick (kind of looks like a test strip in a doctor's office) over the top of it (never touched the cup or its contents), sprayed something on it (away from the cup as I was closing it up) and we were on our way. 

    Also, TSA gets bashed a lot and often for good reason, but...we've found them to be nothing but helpful as we try to get our carry ons, the double stroller, the kids' shoes (and jackets), our shoes and jackets and everything else that needs to go on the belt.  They can't outright come over and help us do all of that, but they've been very patient with us and always very friendly.  Even when they needed to test the milk, the agent just told me to take my time and get the kids settled and get our shoes on etc., and to come over when I was done. 

    You can buy a seat for one or both kids and put the carseat on the seat.  Now...here's the thing if you're traveling with twins:  if you're traveling with car seats, the car seats HAVE TO go next to the window.  If you're buying seats for both and traveling alone with them, you may want to call the airline to make sure you'll be allowed to put the second car seat in the middle.  If you're traveling with DH, both seats will need to go next to windows and you and DH will need to sit one in front of each other or across the aisle.  If both of you are going to have to sit in a middle seat, front/back is easier for passing things back and forth.  We've only traveled with our kids as lap infants and it doesn't sound like you're planning to go that route, but just for future reference in case you ever decide to (Our kids were 13 months the first time and 20 months when we traveled again just a couple weeks ago.)  There are only 4 oxygen masks per set of 3 seats.  Because of this, if you have two adults + two lap infants + another adult in the 3rd seat, that's too many people for the number of masks available and therefore you need to split up.  I know many people, for this reason, who buy a seat for one baby (thereby taking up the 3rd seat) and take the other as a lap infant.  I don't think any airline allows one adult to travel with two lap infants, so if you're traveling alone, you will have to buy at least one seat besides yours.

    MAKE SURE you bring the kids' birth certificates.  I always bring certified ones just so there is no question about them.

    Good luck!
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from winter09wedding. Show winter09wedding's posts

    Re: flying with infants - questions!

    I have done the same as above-held DS on the plane- the one time doing it by myself (with 1 kid) was a bit more challenging with the assembly of the car seat/stroller etc that was gate checked- but both passengers and flight crew were very helpful.

    I gate checked the seat. Because I was paranoid about it pouring rain or having the cover ripped off I bought a $20 bag from BRU to put the car seat in. worked great and has a handle.

    as long as you let security know, you are allowed to fly with milk for the trip. if you need more- it is supposed to be frozen/secured in your checked bags. That said, I haven't been stopped yet (and have flown with more than I really needed). I am not sure that most TSA 20somethings know how much a baby consumes in a few hours.

    bring extra clothes for you and the baby. if you have a carrier, bring that- you can't take off/land with a baby in it, but it makes everything else so much easier.

    and as for renting a car seat, my brother has done it a few times- says that the quality is variable. he stopped doing it- we flew with the infant seat alone and used the seatbelt.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from CityGirl07. Show CityGirl07's posts

    Re: flying with infants - questions!

    I've never flown with DD, but we've taken the train between Boston & New York. We've brought the base but it was just heavy and cumbersome so the second time we left it home. Strapping the carseat directly in wasn't a big deal...it's easy and is still safe. We also do this if we take cabs, and those are some crazy drivers :) We have always felt she was perfectly safe!

    Good luck!
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from stefani2. Show stefani2's posts

    Re: flying with infants - questions!

    thanks all!  daisy, you reminded me of one other question - so for the babies' identification, i need their birth certificates?  or can i bring social security cards?  those are the only 2 things i have - that's enough right???  i mean what other form of identification would i have?!  tia!
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from Daisy75. Show Daisy75's posts

    Re: flying with infants - questions!

    The birth certificates are for proving that they're under 2 if they're flying as lap infants or on a reduced fare b/c of their age.  And, in a pinch, they help with proving they're actually your children (don't know when or why that would come up, but who knows with TSA and parental kidnapping issues these days).  Technically, I don't think you need ID for children (i.e. for getting through security), but it can't hurt to have them with you just in case.  Social Security cards don't have any info about birthdates on them, so I don't think those would be acceptable.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from winter09wedding. Show winter09wedding's posts

    Re: flying with infants - questions!

    I was told to bring a birth certificate- but was never asked about it. my understanding is that they request them at times to ensure it is legally your child.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from amy-lynn. Show amy-lynn's posts

    Re: flying with infants - questions!

    I would NOT travel with a lap infant. I would get seats for both of them. (and I've flown with DD several times, from about 4 months of age to 18 months of age (and planning another flight for April/May.))

     Several reasons come to mind for buying a seat:
    1) Safety. If you encounter strong turbulence, holding on to a baby can be difficult, and your baby can be flung into the seats or aisle. If you purchase seats, bring the carseats on the plane, and use them - just like you should keep your seatbelt on, the kids should too.

    2) Convenience. Any place you are flying it is at least an hour on the plane, most likely longer, so you have to hold a squirmy child. You can't put the tray down, get anything from your bag, use the toilet etc. without figuring out where to put your baby.

    3) Extra allowance for bags, and if you get stranded, any food vouchers. The bags is a big one, especially if you have to pay for checked bags, because the first bag is always cheaper, so if you have 4 bags and 4 seats, its less than 4 bags and 2 seats. And you don't mention if you will have to change planes, but if you do, and you miss the connection due to a problem on the airlines side (not necessarily weather, unfortunately) you will get one voucher per ticket - if all they give you is $10, having more means you might actually get a satisfying amount of food at airport prices. I know this because we got stuck in Chicago when our flight was delayed due to mechanical issues, and they were only going to give us 2 vouchers, but when they saw we had purchased a seat for DD, we got 3.

    4) Maintaining a space that is familiar. If your kids are calm and happy and nap in their carseats in the car, they will probably do it on a plane as well.

    I would not worry about the bases, you can safely attach the buckets to a car using the belts without the base, just bring or review the owners manual to make sure you know how to do it. Consumer Reports tests car seats both with and without the bases, and makes a big stink if a seat fails either test.

    I WOULD bring the snap and go, or some other stroller that the seats snap into for getting through the airport, just gate check the stroller. We have had to hike through miles of corridors to get from one gate to another on connecting flights, sometimes at a dead run, like for the flight we missed :-( 

    And if at all possible, plan how you will get through security, etc. (it might be hard to do the first time) but my DH and I decide who will take DD and who will deal with all the stuff, because EVERYTHING has to go through the conveyor - carseats, stroller, bags, and any formula/BM has to be declared ahead of time and put out in one of those gray trays. To top it off, at Logan they made me take off DD shoes. When she wasn't even walking yet. And they were Robeez. But they had to go through the X-ray. But all that can go through the metal detector is you (shoeless) carrying a shoeless child.

    I hope this long post doesn't scare you off of traveling - It is a pain, and I'm sure it is even more so with twins, but I have enjoyed all the trips we have taken as a family (even when we got stuck, the good outweighs the bad) and every time it gets a little easier.

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from amy-lynn. Show amy-lynn's posts

    Re: flying with infants - questions!

    CTMum - That might also be a rule of the airline, not a general rule - I have flown with the infant bucket and they wanted DD strapped in for takeoff/landing and the strap was across her bucket. My issue was getting her to stop undoing it once she figured it out. (If a preverbal infant can figure out how to lift the metal flap to release the buckle, do you really think we still need to have the flight attendants explain it? Tongue out
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from Daisy75. Show Daisy75's posts

    Re: flying with infants - questions!

    I think whether to buy a seat or take a lap infant is really a personal decision based on the temperament of the parents and the child/children and the particular family.

    We flew with our twins at 13 months and 20 months as lap infants and we couldn't have imagined a better experience on the planes.  We scheduled flights that corresponded with naptimes, on weekdays, and mid-day-ish so there wouldn't be a lot of business travelers and the chances of the planes not being completely full were higher.  We also arrived at the airport 3 hours before our flights so that we would could take our time checking in and getting through security, get something to eat before the flight, change diapers before the flight, and let the kids run around for a bit to wear themselves out.  We bought a few new books and little "quiet" toys that they had never seen before and would likely hold their attention longer.  We had plenty of snacks, too.  Both kids slept on the plane in both directions for both trips (the first to Chicago, the second to Phoenix, both nonstop) for a couple of hours in our arms.  On our trip to Phoenix (6 hours there; 5 hours back), we brought new, never-before-seen, Mr. Potato Heads with enough accesories to keep them occupied and Ernie and Cookie Monster K'nex toys to put together.  DS LOVED LOVED LOVED Mr. Potato Head.  He was completely absorbed in it for almost 2 hours on the way there after his nap, and played with it for at least an hour on the way back.  DD LOVED putting together the Ernie and Cookie Monster.  She loves blocks anyway, but I didn't expect her to be as interested as she was.  And we had a few new "Thomas" books for them which they were interested in and spent a fair amount of time looking at after we had read them to them.  I don't remember what we brought to Chicago, but it was a shorter flight, and they were younger, so it wasn't as elaborate as what we brought on the Phoenix flights.

    So...we had REALLY GOOD LUCK with our kids.  DS has a tendency to be a bit intense and he isn't crazy about changes to his routine, so we were most-worried about him, but the intensity ended up working for us when he started playing with the Mr. Potato Head.  They could have just as easily had total meltdowns, but taking the kids as lap infants couldn't have gone more smoothly for us.  I know it's just out of the question for some families for any number of reasons, and I know it really won't work with some kids, but flying with kids on your lap doesn't have to be disastrous.  There are definitely benefits to paying for seats for your kids before they're two as Amy-Lynn listed above, so if you can afford it and feel like that's the best scenario for your particular family, have at it :)  But if you think your kid will probably be fine and you're ok with the prospect of holding them on your lap for a few hours, then you might be right.  You won't know until you try it ;) 

    We're planning to fly again in early May a couple weeks before the kids turn two and they will definitely be on our laps again.

    FWIW, Southwest allows 2 free checked bags (up to 50 lbs. each) per paid passenger.  Jet Blue, I think, allows one free checked bag per paid passenger.  I don't know about any of the others.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from canukgrl. Show canukgrl's posts

    Re: flying with infants - questions!

    I'm with Daisy - I flew solo with DD @ 4mths and @ 22mths as a lap-kid with no problems.  Obviously @22 mths it was a little more challenging, but talking it up ahead of time (she came to see me off on a business trip as prep) not being rushed, traveling mid week, having a stash of formerly unseen toys were all key - I actually got her a toy airplane :)  I used an umbrella stroller this time and a backpack for a carry-on/diaper bag - it was ugly, but easy to carry!

    When she was 4mths, the snap and go and car seat could not be beat - definitely leave the base at home, and gatecheck both pieces. 
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: flying with infants - questions!

    Stefani,
    Are you going to be flying alone? If so, I'm not sure you could do it with 1 lap baby and 1 baby having his own seat - that is, where would you put Baby A while you took Baby B out of the carseat to be soothed, fed, switched with Baby A, changed, etc.?    I just can't envision it.  Now, if you have 2 adults you could DEFINITELY do this, as other adult would hold Baby A while you did Baby B in/out of carseat, or then switched and let Baby B be out of carseat while you put Baby A in carseat.

    How old will the twins be when you fly?

    And if you ARE traveling alone then you are so much braver than I!  YOU MUST (I'd imagine) have your double snap and go with you to maneuver in the airport.  You simply cannot hold 2 babies and go throughs security, blah blah.  Wait!  Do you use an ergo or bjorn with them?  You could bring one snap and go with the carseat and carry the other in the ergo.  I know a single mother of twins who nearly never used a double stroller, just prefered to use a single stroller and use her ergo for 2nd baby.  The double was just so unwieldy, she found. 

    But if you use the ergo/single stroller combo for airport, how would you get a 2nd carseat dealt with? You won't have enough hands. 

    Please tell me your husband is going with you!  Laughing  Because If you have a double stroller how will you pull a suitcase filled with clothes?  Doubles aren't really one-hand maneuverable, right? 

    However, everything can be managed if you plan enough in advance, bring 1-2 extra shirts for you in case a baby spits up (everything looks better in clean clothing) and get to the airport at least 3 hours in advance. 

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from Trouble30. Show Trouble30's posts

    Re: flying with infants - questions!

    Glad I found this discussion!

    I have a few additional questions that weren't covered.

    1. For those of you that had the infant on your lap, did you gate check the infant seat?  Did the airline provide a bag for it, or did you have to get one?  I checked out BRU yesterday and they only seem to have bags for the larger seats.  Thoughts?

    2. How did you bring formula?  Premixed?  Just powder in a can?  We will be on a 7+ hour fight to London so I'd rather not bring it pre-mixed (i'd worry about it spoiling), but I also don't want the powder confiscated!!! I was thinking of pre-measuring the powder into bottles and buying the water at the airport.

    3. Anybody bring the Boppy?  How did that work out if so?  I pray that we will be on a flight where we might be able to snag an empty seat for DD, but these days the airlines are flying so full :(  we tried to get off-peak though.  The flights have gotten so expensive too <sigh /> I don't know how we'll ever be able to travel as a family of 4 once #2 is born and they get older.

    TIA!
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: flying with infants - questions!

    I've been on flights with extreme (think "we could crash") turbulance.  It doesn't happen often, but given my experience with that I'd not trust I could hang on to a baby in super rough skies.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from stefani2. Show stefani2's posts

    Re: flying with infants - questions!

    trouble - we leave formula out overnight for our babies (so it's at room temp in the am) and have never had a problem - so i wouldn't worry about it spoiling if i were you.  if you're comfortable with that...

    don't know about your other questions.  we leave for our trip next week but we bought seats for the babies.  and we're not bringing the boppies b/c they aren't "essential" for us these days - but i'm considering packing our door-hanging jumper, go figure!  ;)

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from arugulacm. Show arugulacm's posts

    Re: flying with infants - questions!

    We've flown w/DD to London 3 times (at 3, 10 and 16 months).  You can gate check strollers / car seats.  They don't give you a bag.  We brought formula singles (sleeves, that make 4 oz) so we wouldn't have powder everywhere.  (we were using similac - I'd guess that other brands have singles too) 

    No issues going through security in the US.  On the way back, in London, if you have a bottle going, they ask for your child to take a sip.  With jarred baby food, DH had to open up 1 jar and eat some.  Yum.  

    If DD is under 10kg, BA and VA have skycots available in the bulkhead seats.  At 3 months - DD was OK to spend a little while in it.  At 10 months - not so much (and she was right at the weight limit then)

    I didn't bring a boppy - so I can't help on that one. 
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from amy-lynn. Show amy-lynn's posts

    Re: flying with infants - questions!

    I have brought the powdered formula either premeasured dry in a bottle or in a little tupperware type container that I dumped into the bottle, not a whole can on the plane. I declared it upfront in the security line, and it was fine. I then bought bottled water to mix it with. I think I brought the boppy as a carryon once - but managed to squeeze it into the suitcase on other trips. I found it was too bulky to deal with on the plane, and while it was a lifesaver once we were at our destination, it was a pain on the plane.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from winter09wedding. Show winter09wedding's posts

    Re: flying with infants - questions!

    I held DS on a cross country flight (not overseas), and brought my baby bjorn- he sat in it most of the flight which worked fine at the age he was (now he is a little big for it). it was a life saver for trudging through the airport too. are you thinking to have the boppy on your lap during flight?  I know that they insist that you hold your baby during take off and landing.  when he slept, i just put him on my shoulder and tried not to move a lot. I just bought a new carrier, a Beco baby carrier (similar to the ergo, but more space for chubby/tall babies) and it has a fabulous feature that allows for you to transfer the carrier (there is a front and a back to the part the child sits in, so you can move it to your own back or another person. maybe that would work?

    as for the car seat, they do not give you bags. I was paranoid about rain/snow soaking the seat, or getting there without a fabric cover (i don't know where I thought it would go...), but I saw many others gate check carseats without a bag. I bought the big bag from BRU, figuring I would want to be able to use it more than once- it was fine (it has handles) so the smaller seat just made it easier to handle. I had a snap and go- I bought a luggage strap to hold it closed, because I didn't trust the tiny plastic part.

    i am breastfeeding, so I don't have any advice about formula- but you are allowed a "usual" amount for the amount of food for the time of the flight- and none of the 20 something guys who work for TSA know how much that is. I flew with extra breastmilk. What about those premixed bottles? I know that they are more expensive, not sure what brands they come in, but my day care recommended them for long lasting back ups.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from Daisy75. Show Daisy75's posts

    Re: flying with infants - questions!

    FWIW, I've brought sippy cups full of water and milk through security w/o any issues.  I've made sure to tell the TSA person about it beforehand (asking if I could bring it through or if I needed to dump it).  They've just told me to put it through the machine, and of the 4 times we've gone through security with the kids, only once did they check it.  Checking it just involved me opening the cup, the TSA agent held a strip of paper over it (didn't touch any part of the milk or cup), told me to close it up, and sprayed something on the strip--away from me/the cup I was closing up--and that was it.  She was very nice about the whole thing and only tested one of the two cups we had.  To their credit, I've found TSA to be very patient and helpful while we've tried to get everything in bins/on the belt, get the kids' shoes off, etc.

    Also, if you check the car seat at the check-in counter, they will provide a large plastic bag to put over the seat.  If you gate check anything, it goes in bagless unless you put your own bag on it.  So far we haven't had any damage to anything we've checked or gate-checked.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from Trouble30. Show Trouble30's posts

    Re: flying with infants - questions!

    Thanks for the info all!  We leave tomorrow so this is all very last minute and I am stressing!  DD is 11 months now, under 10kg, but unfortunately the plane we are traveling on (Smaller AA plane) does not have the bassinet.  Such a bummer.  So I am still praying that we'll be able to snag an empty seat and take her infant seat on board.

    I think I have enough breastmilk left to make her 2 BM bottles and one formula bottle so we'll be able to take that all aboard without a problem and I'll feel better about the spoilage issue.  I'll ask TSA (or whatever they have in the UK) when we're there about powder for the way back.  All I was able to find on the US website was info about liquid formula rather than powder. 

    Oh my gosh, flying with a baby is so stressful!  But I do think I'll feel better after the first time.  I'll know better what to expect.  Thanks again!
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from monicat415. Show monicat415's posts

    Re: flying with infants - questions!

    My DS (now 22 months) has flown on 36 flights since about 3.5 months; everything from 45 min in the air to 8 hours, including two trips to Madrid.

    Number one thing for a good flight: have something for them to suck on for ascent and landing (this is where breast feeding is ideal, or next best a bottle, but a cup of water, thumb, finger, or wet napkin can work in an emergency). This allows ears to pop... if they don't then you have a kid in pain, and NOONE will be happy.

    Number two: get a Zoobie stuffed animal- our monkey converts from a bolster-like stuffed animal to a ~1ft square pillow to a fleece blanket... you can use it for a nursing/feeding rest, as a place for a little napping head, or to block out light/warm up, or as a tummy-time location while waiting at the gate

    You can't do a lap child internationally (and yes, you have to get them a passport, no matter what the age), but so far we've always taken DS on our laps for Domestic flights... if you have Infant in Arms on your ticket and - most importantly- are NICE to them the airline staff will do everything they can to help you end up next to an empty seat.

     

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