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I will be flying with my wife and daughter to the US and back again from New Zealand. Going there should be no issue, we should be able to use a bassinet but there is no guarantee we will get one on the flight back. We are flying Air New Zealand and they state that babies over 8 months could get a bassinet but if there are babies under 8 months they take priority, even if you request one well in advance.

So we won't know until we get to the airport whether we get a bassinet or not which will cause us an issue. An additional infant ticket is quite a lot and there is no guarantee there will be a free seat in case we get no bassinet.

So, what is the best way to handle this?

Bite the bullet and purchase a seat (we will have a car seat with us anyway) or hope there is a bassinet available?

Is there a third option where we have no additional seat and no bassinet? 13 hours on the lap is probably out of the question.

Thanks

  • Seats for infants can be quite cheap, but it varies by airline. For a 13 hour flight, it could be worth ringing up to get a quote! – Gagravarr Mar 8 '15 at 22:01
  • @Gagravarr Infant tickets without a seat are cheap, but if you want a seat, you'll be charged child fares which are usually >90% of an adult ticket's cost. – jpatokal Mar 8 '15 at 23:08
  • In my case Air NZ has infant ~10% of adult fare and child with seat at ~75% of adult fare. – aqwert Mar 8 '15 at 23:39
  • @aqwert I'm pretty sure that 10% fare is without a guaranteed seat. You can, however, ask check in or phone support to "block out" a seat next to you, so it will only be assigned if the flight is absolutely full. – jpatokal Mar 9 '15 at 0:09
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    10% is with no infant seat at all... just sit on lap. Not sure what the cost is for. Good idea about the blockout in case it is not full. – aqwert Mar 9 '15 at 0:42
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I don't know where you are flying and therefore which plane you will be on. If you look at your ticket it might say which plane you will be flying. With this information, you can check on seatguru the details of the plane that Air New Zealand will operate.

Looking at the different planes Air New Zealand uses (777 or 767 a priori on your route), there seems to be a minimum of 3 bassinets and up to 6, so I suppose you will likely have one - unless New Zealanders make way more babies than I have seen on flights in general.

Checking in early would probably help as you would get priority over other passengers for these seats.

  • It will be the 777-300 from San Francisco. Depends on the day I guess but I hope others book a bassinet in advance so I can call them up to see if there are some available. – aqwert Mar 8 '15 at 23:40

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