Traveler Editor at Large Christopher Elliott is the magazine’s consumer advocate and ombudsman. Over the past 15 years he has helped countless readers fix their trips.
Here’s his latest advice:
Reader Question: Can kids still travel on a parent’s lap for free?
Chris’s Answer: They can, but maybe a better question is, should they?
Kids under two, referred to as “lap children” in airlinespeak, can fly without a ticket when they’re accompanied by a guardian.
But if you’re on a full flight, you won’t be able to strap Junior into a car safety seat, which is the safest place for your baby on the plane.
- Nat Geo Expeditions
So why doesn’t the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration require—instead of just recommending—child safety seats? It considered doing so in 2005 but decided not to, arguing that cash-conscious parents would choose to drive instead, which is statistically a more dangerous method of travel.
Christopher Elliott is National Geographic Traveler’s consumer advocate and pens the “Problem Solved” column for the magazine (this exchange appeared in the February/March 2014 issue). Follow his story on Twitter @elliottdotorg.
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