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Will Babies on Laps No Longer Fly for Free?

Is air travel for young families about to get more expensive? In a press release, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recommended an end to the practice of allowing children under two years old to fly for free on the lap of a parent or guardian.

The argument is twofold. According to the NTSB, there’s an increased “likelihood that parents and caregivers may not be able to maintain a secure hold on a lap-held child during turbulence and survivable accidents. Additionally, unrestrained children have become separated from their parents during survivable crashes and parents were unable to locate them during the evacuation.”

If the case for safety is that simple and compelling, why isn’t it already law? Christine Negroni at the New York Times notes that, although the NTSB has proposed this before, “the F.A.A. has rejected the recommendation several times, saying that parents unable to afford tickets for their young children would opt to drive rather than fly, resulting in more highway fatalities.”

 Have you flown with an infant? Did you purchase a seat or opt for the lap alternative? What do you think about the possibility of children under two needing their own seats? Will this discourage you from flying? Share your thoughts below!

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