What Is a Bassinet Seat?

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What, no bassinet?
What, no bassinet? (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Flying with a baby can be difficult. Some commercial airlines offer a bassinet seat as an option to allow babies to sleep on something other than their parents' laps. These bassinets are usually reserved when you book your flight and may not be available on all flights. Inquire when making the reservation to find out if your airline offers bassinet seats.

To Bassinet

A bassinet is a place for your little one to not only sleep, but to play and eat as well. The bassinet seat is located in the bulkhead, so you will have more leg room and space to stretch out. When you choose to use a bassinet seat, you don't have to pay for an additional seat for your child, saving you the cost of an extra ticket. Most airlines charge a 10 percent fee for an infant riding on a passenger's lap. However, beyond that fee, there is usually no extra charge for a bassinet.

Or Not to Bassinet

Since the bassinet is attached to the bulkhead, seats can be difficult to get unless they are booked far in advance. Depending on the age of your child, another problem can be the weight limit. For most bassinets, there is a weight limit of 24 pounds. Bassinets on airliners are typically 28 inches long, 12 inches wide and 10 inches deep.

Bassinet Alternative

For long-haul flights, some travelers believe that buying an extra seat for your infant is worth the cost. When you purchase an extra seat, you can secure your child's infant car seat in that seat. This is a convenient solution for many reasons. Your child is already used to his or her car seat and may have a better chance of sleeping longer because he feels secure. If you hit rough turbulence or have a rough landing, your child is safer in an infant seat than in your lap. It will also be helpful to have your infant seat with you when you arrive at your destination.

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