Julia en route to Hawaii, in her Baby B'Air vest.
I know you’re probably distracted by that cute-as-a-button face, but please direct your attention to my daughter Julia’s red vest: it’s called the Baby B’Air, and I’ve used it while flying with all three of my kids.
Over 90% of injuries to airplane passengers occur in-flight (that is, not while taxiing, taking off, or landing), a fact that was driven home by last week’s United Airlines Flight 1676, which encountered severe turbulence on its descent into Montana. Five people ended up in the hospital, and in addition, a passenger’s baby was thrown from his parent’s arms, landing (fortunately unhurt!) a seat over. Reading this made me think immediately of our family’s Baby B’Air, stashed next to our suitcases, waiting patiently for our next flight. It could have made a real difference on Flight 1676, and more parents should know it’s an option when traveling with babies.
Children under the age of two can fly on an adult’s lap, no ticket required. While this is fantastic for family travelers’ bank accounts, it’s less than fantastic where safety is concerned; when that “Fasten Seat Belts” sign lights up, the under-two passengers are left unbuckled, and in cases of severe turbulence, can be propelled from their parents’ arms. Enter the Baby B’Air Flight Vest. After we reached cruising altitude on our flight to Hawaii last month, I slipped it over Julia’s head and threaded my seat belt through the loop on the back. Secure baby, free hands, peace of mind. (And doesn’t red suit her?)
While the Baby B’Air hasn’t yet been approved for use during take-offs or landings, it has FAA approval for the cruising portion of any commercial flight. It’s marked as such, but in my experience flying with the Baby B’air, I’ve never run into any problems with flight attendants unfamiliar with the vest -- just a healthy amount of questions from curious fellow passengers!
You can read more about the Baby B’Air here, and let me know in the comments below if you’ve flown with the vest (or something similar), and what you thought.
Happy, peaceful flights to you all!