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Flying solo with 3 kids

Usmctankerwife
New Arrival

Hi.  I will be flying in December on a direct flight each way.  

 

My dilema is which option would be doable: 

 

A.  Put my 1 year old,  and 4 year old in the window and middle seats in their carseats and myself in the aisle and my 5 year old across from me in the aisle seat (I would check his carseat in the original manufacturer box and packing materials). 

 

Or 

 

B.  Put my 4 and 5 year olds in their carseats in the window and middle seat and have the 1 year old as a lap infant and check her carseat in the original manufacturer box and packing materials.  

 

Am I allowed to have 3 children on one row with myself as the only adult? Anyone who has had to fly like this,  please let me know. 

 

Thanks.  

 

And before anyone asks - having a carseat waiting at my destination is not possible as I still have a 3 hour drive to go.  Nor will I rent a carseat as you do not know if they have properly been taken care of or have any recalls.  

 

 

10 REPLIES 10

Re: Flying solo with 3 kids

Usmctankerwife
New Arrival

Re: Flying solo with 3 kids

Lindsey Employee
Employee

Thanks for the solid responses, @TheMiddleSeat and @DancingDavidE!

Lindsey
Community Manager
The Southwest Airlines Community
Highlighted

Re: Flying solo with 3 kids

TheMiddleSeat
Rising Star

Both options are acceptable. Yes, you can have up to 4 people in a row of 3 seats so no problem there and as long as you are in the aisle seat option A is also ok. 

 

I'm guessing you would be able to check the boxed car seat for free as a car seat, but you may be asked to prove there's actually a car seat in the box and not other baggage. Typically (fromwwhat I have seen) car seats are not boxed and thus there's no question about them being checked for free. 

 

If you decide to go with the 1 year old as a lap child you will need to provide documentation of the child's age.

 

Have a great trip and reply back to let us know how it goes.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Flying solo with 3 kids

Usmctankerwife
New Arrival

Thanks for the response .  I will only have one bag to check and the boxed carseat, checking a carseat in the original packaging is the only safe way to do so according to carseat safety technicians.  

 

I travel very light so I am not worried about incuring extra baggage fees.  

 

 

Re: Flying solo with 3 kids

DancingDavidE
Top Contributer

@Usmctankerwife wrote:

...  

 

Am I allowed to have 3 children on one row with myself as the only adult? Anyone who has had to fly like this,  please let me know. 

 

 

 


There is a limitation, which is that there are four oxygen masks in each row of three seats, so you can have one lap child in the row but not two (unless one of the seats was also not taken by an adult) - four total faces to get a mask in case of emergency. The FA will also remind you that yours goes first, and then help the kids.

 

For your other question, we put our car seat into a Southwest blue bag available for $17 at the counter and check it that way. You may decide that you don't have space for the box on the other end. If you do, then great.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: Flying solo with 3 kids

ronocnikral
New Arrival

As far as I know, car seats can ONLY be in a seat next to the window.  I would be skeptical that you can put 2 car seats next to each other in the same row, and for sure you CANNOT have a car seat in the aisle seat.  I have seen this enforced not only on WN flights, but multiple airlines across the world.  

Re: Flying solo with 3 kids

DancingDavidE
Top Contributer

@ronocnikral wrote:

As far as I know, car seats can ONLY be in a seat next to the window.  I would be skeptical that you can put 2 car seats next to each other in the same row, and for sure you CANNOT have a car seat in the aisle seat.  I have seen this enforced not only on WN flights, but multiple airlines across the world.  


I think the restriction is that you can't block an adult into the row - so the seat could be in the middle as long as the window seat was vacant. Not sure about double car seats in window and middle, it would be allowed according to the wording I remember but I can see your argument as well.

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: Flying solo with 3 kids

ronocnikral
New Arrival

It's actually that you cannot block ANY passenger.  Vague on what "block" means.  It's also on an advisory circular, which is not "law."  The AC also states that discretion is left to the airline on how to apply to the egress rules (which also include being able to unstrap the child(ren)).  

 

One can read the CRS rules on WN's website which is vague ("Middle or window seat" also that "the CRS may not impede the exit path of a Passenger in the window seat").  I'd call and clarify if 2 CRS's can be located next to each other, some of that language may come down to how it looks on the airplane and the discretion of the FA's.  But that is me, and I only have one child in a CRS.  I wouldn't rely on the FA's to "get it right."  

Re: Flying solo with 3 kids

DancingDavidE
Top Contributer

Here's the regulation: https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/AC%20120-87B.pdf

 

Number 19 seems to indicate that you could put one in a middle seat if only one child was using the car seat. 

 

It's still not explicit that you could or couldn't have two side-by-side as long as the adult was in the aisle. My take on it would be allowed as long as the adult can reach the window seat to undo the belts in an emergency.

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.