What’s the price of your child’s safety when flying?

ImageThe Flight Aviation Administration (FAA) is currently debating a new policy change regarding infants under the age of 2 flying without their own seat.  Their current policy has brought up a lot of criticism; many believe that it is unsafe, and that holding a child in your lap will not keep them safe during heavy turbulence, or worse an unhappy landing. Beth Blair, a former flight attendant told the Today Show her thoughts on this debate.

“It never made sense to me why they would allow a little precious baby to sit on a lap,” Blair said.

Although holding a child in your lap seems less safe than restraining them in a car seat beside you, the FAA also questions how the change will affect their flight bookings; scared that if they change the policy then many families will revert to other forms of transportation in order to save money. It is a struggle to choose which side I would agree with. I understand the risk of safety for infants on flights, but it has been the same policy for decades, why change it now if it has been fine in the past? If the policy were to change, I know that a lot of my extended family with young children would visit less due to the extra expense.  I definitely agree that their flight sales will decline if it changed, however I think that if they market the change correctly it can make a huge difference.  They should make the number one message in their new campaign the safety of children, and the risks that their child would have been in had it not changed.

According to the FAA, “about 58 people in the US are injured by turbulence every year from not being buckled in their seats”.

They can emphasize how they only want the best for their “families that fly with them”. This insures that the FAA is not changing policy over money. They could also offer, for no extra charge, car seats for children on the flight. This saves the parents the hassle of lugging the heavy-giant apparatus around the airport.  As stated by Beth Blair “Our children are priceless”. The FAA should make child safety a priority, however should not take advantage of the $$ and instead help families by offering special packaged deals or seats at a lower fare. It will be interesting to see where the FAA will take this and how companies as well as families will respond.

To read more about this issue follow this link: http://www.today.com/travel/severely-bumpy-flights-boost-lap-baby-concerns-2D12145603

The FAA: http://www.faa.gov/passengers/fly_safe/turbulence/

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