Best Strategy for Flying With Your Baby or Toddler (Results in!)

Toddler Sleeping on Airplane

I’m happy that we stuck to our plan for our travel and flight with our 13-month-old toddler. Our strategy for ensuring that we got a spare seat for our toddler (coined the “Who Wants to Sit Next to Baby on the Plane?” Strategy) worked for one out of two of our flights this trip!  (50% Success Rate).  Historically, and overall, this strategy has worked for 4 out of 6 flights (67% Success Rate).  It’s easy, free and worth your time to try if you’re traveling with a baby/toddler under the Age of 2-years-old.

Recap: The “Who Wants to Sit Next to Baby on the Plane?” Strategy 

For the full-details on this strategy, you can view the article Strategies for Booking a Free Plane Seat for Your Baby or Young Toddler When Traveling.  Otherwise, I recommended reading a quick re-cap on the details of this strategy:

  • If both you and your spouse are traveling, try to book an aisle and a window seat that are in the same row, and make sure that the middle seat in between you is open when you’re booking.   Other passengers who book their flights after you will usually not choose a middle seat and this can sometimes mean a free seat for your baby.   
  • Best Case Scenario:  The person in the middle seat will decide that sitting next to a baby doesn’t sound so fun.  This person will switch seats to a different row – leaving the middle seat free for you and your toddler to sprawl out!  
  • Worst Case Scenario: If the middle seat ends up getting booked, most people will happily trade you for one of your aisle/window seats so that you and your spouse can sit together. 
  • See my article: Strategies for Booking a Free Plane Seat for Your Baby or Young Toddler When Traveling for more details.  (We chose Strategy Number 1 from the article).


Strategy Implementation of “Operation Free Baby Seat on Airplane”
Here is a breakdown of the results of the strategies implementation:

Flight Number 1 (Departure Flight): Failure.

  • Our departure flight was oversold, so our seats were rearranged – voiding this strategy (very disappointing).

Flight Number 2 (Return Flight): Success!

  • On our return flight, the “Who Wants to Sit Next to a Baby on a Plane?” strategy was a complete success – the man in the middle seat between us decided to switch to a different middle seat that was in a row behind us (who wants to sit next to a baby?).  This left the middle seat in our row free for us to sprawl out!  

The new name for this strategy: The “Who Wants to Sit Next to a Baby on a Plane?” Strategy. Success! 


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