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Children under 2 years old can be considered "lap babies." Which means they can technically ride on your lap for the whole trip. However, this is risky, just as it would be if you were in a car and holding the child on your lap. Seats are available at a child's rate in limited quantity. Even if you have to pay for a seat (full price), most parents find it is well worth it. They can put the child in their car seat & the kids often sleep for the whole flight, just like if they were in a car. Take plenty of diapers, a favorite blanket, a few toys, maybe a small DVD player and some movies. Take snacks & drinks, too (but you will need to buy drinks after you go thru security). The flight crews do not provide diapers, formula, etc. so be prepared!!!.
Reservations agent for Southwest Airlines, leaping over policies with a single bound. faster than a speeding...
What Harlequin said is correct. But as a lap child if there is an empty seat next to you on the flight, once the flight takes off and the captain has stated that seat belts can be removed. If the seat next to you empty you are able to place the child in the seat and you will not be charged for the extra seat. However because of the childs age you will need to have a carseat with you. The car seat needs to be small enough to fit in the overhead compartment. Taking a lap child allows certain liberties. Along with your carryon luggage and personal item per person you are allowed to take a diaper bag as an extra piece of carryon at no extra charge. You are also allowed to take baby formula and do not have to follow the 3.4 ounce liquid regulations by tsa.
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The Lap Child Policy
As a general rule, a child under the age of 2 is allowed to travel as a "lap child." This does not always mean "free." On international flights you are charged a "small" fee for bringing a lap child, but by the time fuel surcharges and taxes are added in, it can cost over $250. And you still have to hold your child!
All airlines have different policies and practices when it comes to the lap child. What I thought about the lap child before I started writing this has drastically changed since digging into the research. To be honest, I had not given it as much thought as I should have. When deciding whether or not to buy a seat, I usually thought about how convenient it was relative to cost and our budget. I am thankful when I look back, that those flights when my son was on my lap went without incident. However, now that I have read the facts and heard the stories, I am horrified that a lap child is even an option.