November 28, 2004

If it's on an airplane, shouldn't it be a planeseat?

Just got back from Thanksgiving at Grammy's house, and here's the epiphany I had at O'Hare, watching armies of dads lumbering under the weight--and bulk--of gigantic carseats while balancing carry-on luggage and personal pan pizzas, and while screaming after wandering, mini-wheelie-toting kids:


Of course, it doesn't have to be a carseat. It could be a child restraint specially designed for an airplane: a planeseat.

Families traveling with their carseats could then check them with the rest of their luggage.

The airline is obliged to provide wide-waisted people with seatbelt extensions, so why don't they provide kids--at least those who are traveling on a paid ticket--with the seating equipment they need?

Those parents who roll the dice and don't buy their kid a ticket, who hope for an empty seat in which to deposit their lap baby, could pay $20 to rent a planeseat at the gate.

Not having to carry your own car seat could transform flying with children from a travel hell to, well, if not a travel heaven, maybe at least a travel heck.

Like shopping carts and restaurant high chairs, planeseats could spawn a whole cottage industry of portable or disposable cover makers.

If only someone were to design, test, and manufacture this to the rigorous specs demaneded by the FAA and the airline industry... What's that, you say? Someone does make one? And they call it what? The PlaneSeat CRS-2000?

So you mean the only reason you have to haul that damn carseat everywhere is because of the airlines?

DME Corporation CRS-2000 Child Restraint Device


That's a great idea - though given how everyone is cutting back (even charging for food on Song) I can't see them stocking these things, though it should be their responsibility to provide safe seating for all passengers.

It's because the airlines hate us.

Seriously, it seems like every time I fly they make it harder and harder to want to fly anywhere.

You know if an airline did provide this I bet their bookings would go way UP. A kid friendly airline, if you will.

But, among the foods you can buy from song, are Earth's Best organic babyfoods. So, they seem to realize that there are customers willing to spend for what they want for their kids.

I seem to recall hearing that British Airways has Britax seats for kids. But they provide those free.

Song is exactly the airline I'd expect to offer planeseats first. Frankly, I'm happy to buy food on Song; it's actually good. And I'd happily pay for a Song seat for the kid, if nec. to get a planeseat. They're cheap enough as it is.

Virgin Airlines had baby seats available for passengers when we went to London this past summer. It was kinda like a booster with a 3-point strap. Since we weren't going to have a car in the UK and we were moving about a lot it was a huge benefit not to be lugging our carseat around just for the flight there and back. Plus they gave our 2-year-old son a backpack full of books and toys! And they had special kids' meals!

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