First flight with our 1 year-old. We just discovered she has motion sickness, so it’s going to be rough going since no medication is suitable for babies.

The only trick offered by our pediatrician is to get a window seat up front.

Trouble is, flight is fully booked. I called an agent, but she suggested just waiting till Check-in. Seems very risky.

Do any of you have suggestions on how we can convince someone to move us closer to the front and get a window seat, short of paying for an upgrade?

Thanks a million.

Delta airlines direct EU-US departing on Saturday .

  • 3
    I can't say I think your paediatrician's trick will have much effect, but I sympathise with your problem. You might try asking on Parenting for ideas to alleviate your child's motion sickness.
    – user90371
    Jul 30, 2019 at 11:18
  • 5
    Having a window seat will only help against motion sickness if you look out of the window, not merely by sitting at the window. It will probably be difficult to explain that to a toddler. I can't imagine any reasonable explanation why sitting in the front of the plane is supposed to be better. Jul 30, 2019 at 11:22
  • 1
    Did you already pay for booked seats (together)? I seem to recall a heated debate on TSE a while back regarding the likelihood of getting a fellow passenger to agree voluntarily to change seats if they’ve paid for a seat reservation and you haven’t. Can’t find the exact question, but this one is related travel.stackexchange.com/questions/120832/… And Delta’s family seating policy is here delta.com/us/en/children-infant-travel/overview
    – Traveller
    Jul 30, 2019 at 11:24
  • 2
    Please see this previous question: What section of an airplane offers the smoothest ride? Jul 30, 2019 at 11:40
  • 6
    I'm subject to motion sickness, and I can probably count on one hand the number of times I have had issues with it on flights. The only cases where it's an issue are during severe turbulence. Unless you are paying for First/Business/Premium coach, you definitely won't be very much "up front" on the plane. People with infants used to be placed near the "bassinets" which are at the front of each section, though those may become rarer. Note that seats closer to the front are usually reserved to elite passengers prior to check-in, so they may not be reserved yet. Your best bet is to call Delta.
    – jcaron
    Jul 30, 2019 at 12:45

2 Answers 2


From my experience for these things you either pay up, or it is a gamble, especially if you want the "good" seats (like first row, or emergency exit).

Check for paid options...

Delta sells those as "Preferred Seats"; so you need to pay to get those - and if it saves you pain, you should (obviously you can't take any designated emergency exit row with a toddler). Don't wait if they are available for free during checkin: At Delta, frequent flyers can reserve those in advance, without cost, and the they are gone.

You can also check if there are any paid upgrade options within your financial reach.

...or ask at every step of the way

Failing that, you can try to check in online as early as possible, and see what seats are available - get the best ones you can get. If you're not happy, ask again at the bag drop counter, and ask the check-in staff before check-in starts. They are often not able to help, but if you ask nicely they'll at least try if they can shuffle things around.

If all seats are already taken, little can be done before check-in. In this case your best bet is to ask the cabin crew for assistance. They can't (and won't) evict other passengers from their assigned seat, but if you have a valid reason they'll usually see if they can switch you around - and having the crew "officially" ask works better than to approach people directly. The cabin crew may also offer additional advice or help to deal with the motion sickness.

If you don't insist on first row, but are okay with a window row over the wing (where there is the least motion), chances should be good that they'll find a solution.

(Also, if you get separate seats, getting the other person to swap shouldn't be a problem. Most people are more than happy to switch away from a toddler on a long-haul flight, especially one that is going to be sick...).


You can try to check in early. Most website's state that check in opens 23 or 24 hours before departure. In many cases it opens 25 or 26 hours earlier and so if you try at these times, you are probably the first ones getting a shot at open seats.

Be prepared to split up. The chances of finding an open row is pretty much zilch. If you are lucky you may find a an open window+middle. Take it. Once you are on the plane, you can ask the isle passenger to switch. As long as your partner has an isle too most people will go for this.

Be prepared to pay extra: in many cases more desirable seats or seats more towards up front will incur an extra charge. This may actually help you, since they this makes them less likely to go first.

Otherwise, the best you can do is ask passengers to switch. This will be difficult. Many passengers are friendly and will happily help a family to sit together, but your "window+front+motion-sickness" story is fairly weak and most passengers are unlikely to take it seriously enough to give up the seat they have chosen.

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