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While travelling a domestic flight in India we (my wife and I) were seated on seats 7E and 7F (3-3 configuration) and the rest of the seats in the row were occupied by a family who had a baby which was with someone seated in 7B

The air hostess said that the baby could not be present at the side and requested us to switch seats such that we were now seated on 7A and 7B, and the baby on 7E.

We did not get a chance to ask what the reason for this was. What could have been the reason for the baby not being permitted on one side of the aisle?


Flight Details:

Aircraft : Airbus A320-232
Tail Number : VT-IFY
Flying from Bangalore (BLR) to Indore (IDR)
Flight: https://www.flightradar24.com/data/aircraft/vt-ify#24002f91

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    It is possibly something regarding the specific airplane that was in use. What was the flight number and date? – Michael Hampton Feb 26 at 3:14
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    Often they also move parents/baby to aisles with extra leg space, and/or put them at front both for the leg space and to minimize the people around it... – Rui F Ribeiro Feb 27 at 20:38
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It's impossible to say for certain without know the plane involved, but...

All commercial passenger aircraft must have at least one emergency oxygen mask for each passenger.

For the most part this is a simple calculation - 3 seats on each side of the aisle means 3 oxygen masks for each group of seats. However this obviously doesn't take into account any passengers that do not have their own seats - such as lap babies!

In order to handle this, aircraft have additional masks available, but these may not be available at all seats. For many models of aircraft, all of the seats along one side of the plane will have an extra mask available, whilst those on the other side will not.

It sounds like on the plane you were on, the seats on the A-B-C side of the aircraft only had 3 masks, whilst those on the D-E-F side had 4. As a result, the passengers with the baby had to move to the side with the extra mask.

(Note that technically it's not just the model - different airlines will order different configs, which can include things like this. So on one airline the extra masks might be on one side, on another airline on the other, and on a third airline they could have paid extra to have 4 masks on both sides!)

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    I'm surprised the airplane doesn't tip over with all that extra weight on one side! /s – JMac Feb 26 at 13:58
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    @JMac that's why they put the extra masks at the aisle instead of the window - less imbalance to trim out! /s – Carl Kevinson Feb 26 at 15:28
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    I imagine this would be a real problem for a couple travelling with two babies. They'd have to split the parents up onto different rows so that each gets one child. Don't even want to think about what's required for people with even larger families like the Octomom et al. (I'm guessing you just don't fly until the kids are old enough to get their own seats.) – Darrel Hoffman Feb 26 at 17:07
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    @DarrelHoffman It is definitely true in my experience that if you are traveling with two lap babies the family must be split into 2 rows to accommodate the number of masks. – Meg Feb 26 at 21:28
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    @Doc my experience was in the US with a 1 year old. I bought tickets online 1 for me and a "lap ticket" for my 1 year old. There were problems checking in. The online system had correctly collected the $0 fare for the "lap ticket" but had neglected to collect the taxes. It took them 30 minutes to figure this out. Given that, I have no confidence in the airline ticketing systems. – emory Feb 26 at 22:35

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