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Tell us: Should infants be banned from sitting on parents’ laps while flying?

Currently, many domestic airlines allow children under age 2 to fly free and sit on a parent's lap.

Should infants have seats on airplanes?

Flight attendants are pushing for increased infant safety on airplanes.

The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, which represents nearly 50,000 flight attendants at 19 airlines, wants all passengers, no matter how small, in a plane seat with a restraint. The group raised the issue at last week’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety summit and also listed it as a priority in the upcoming FAA Reauthorization Bill.

Currently, many domestic airlines allow children under age 2 to fly free and sit on a parent’s lap. According to the FAA’s Civil Air Regulation Section 40.174, “A seat and an individual safety belt are required for each passenger and crew member excluding infants, who are in other than a recumbent position.”


“We’ve seen airplanes go through turbulence recently and drop 4,000 feet in a split second,” Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, told The Washington Post. “The G-forces are not something even the most loving mother or father can guard against and hold their child. It’s just physically impossible.”

“The safest possible thing is for everybody to be restrained,” Ben Hoffman, president-elect of the American Academy of Pediatrics told The Washington Post.

The FAA writes on its “Flying with Children” web page, “The FAA strongly urges you to secure your child in an approved CRS or other approved device for the entirety of your flight. Buying a ticket for your child is the only way to guarantee that you will be able to use a CRS. It’s the smart and right thing to do so that everyone in your family arrives safely at your destination.”

Requiring parents to purchase airfare for infants increases the cost of a family trip.

We want to know: Do you feel infants should be banned from sitting on a parent’s lap? Why or why not?

Share with us in the survey below or e-mail us at [email protected]. We may feature your response in a future article or on our social media channels.

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