Bulkhead seat with Bassinet vs Britax car seat to Japan

AoiGSR

New member
This is my first post :)

I obtained tickets to Japan yesterday for our November 12th through Thanksgiving trip and requested a bassinet AND a child car seat (our own) and the agent put notes to send to Japan Airlines and today they said i cannot have BOTH a car seat and a bassinet even though I purchased 4 seats (2 adults and one for a 7 month and a 29 month).

We will go for the bulkhead + bassinet area but after I get the seat I want to see if I can just forgo the bassinet but keep the bulkhead area. I wanted to get both my kids in Britax Marathons but it sounds like it might be a challenge?

Which would you choose or what would you do? I read the 2 FAA articles on this site as well so I will hear back from Japan Airlines' response tommorrow. If I can get some feedback on your opinions, that would be great (Japan is 12 hours from Los Angeles for our trip)
 
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jasminegrl

New member
This is my first post :)

I obtained tickets to Japan yesterday for our November 12th through Thanksgiving trip and requested a bassinet AND a child car seat (our own) and the agent put notes to send to Japan Airlines and today they said i cannot have BOTH a car seat and a bassinet even though I purchased 4 seats (2 adults and one for a 7 month and a 29 month).

We will go for the bulkhead + bassinet area but after I get the seat I want to see if I can just forgo the bassinet but keep the bulkhead area. I wanted to get both my kids in Britax Marathons but it sounds like it might be a challenge?

Which would you choose or what would you do? I read the 2 FAA articles on this site as well so I will hear back from Japan Airlines' response tommorrow. If I can get some feedback on your opinions, that would be great (Japan is 12 hours from Los Angeles for our trip)
i would try and put them both in car seats, you probably can't have a bassinet and car seat because the bassinet would be closest to the window, and thats also where car seats are required to be so that they don't interfere with anyone's exit path. you will need car seats for both of them here anyways, anyone 4 and under must be in a car seat.
 

AoiGSR

New member
So if I lose the bulkhead seating (Boeing 777 seating in the center) and say Japan Airlines says no Car seats in the bulkhead area (where the Bassinet would have been), I should opt for seats that can accomodate car seats instead?
 

AoiGSR

New member
Yes, those are the guidelines and we have the Britax seats. However, if you have a choice between sitting in the bulkhead area with a bassinet (seat 46D or 46G ) which has plenty of room for the 7 month to "play around" but no car seat is allowed there (so they say) or any other seat (which is usually window side) which will be more cramped, which would you choose
 

InternationalMama

New member
I don't know JAL guidelines, but on american airlines under FAA rules you can put a car seat in the middle of the middle row as long as passengers on both sides still have access to an exit. Just FYI. Also, under FAA rules you can put a car seat in the bulkhead as long as the bulkhead is not also an exit row (some planes don't have a bulkhead that isn't an exit row). But JAL may have their own rules regarding these things.

If your kids sleep well in their car seats and you want to bring both of your car seats I would just use the car seats and forgo the bassinet. Bassinets aren't as safe as having your kids buckled in their seats anyway.

I would request window seats for each of your kids with your husband sitting next to one and you sitting next to the other. That way, if your older child will be forward facing on the plane you can put him behind your rear-facing child so he's not kicking the seat of an adult in front. Or alternatively if someone complains that your rear-facing child stops them from reclining their seat you can put the RF kid behind the FF one. Also, even though it is allowed to have a car seat in the bulkhead it can be a flight with flight attendance even on airlines under FAA guidelines, especially if you want them rear-facing, and having a window seat will be more straightforward. And even though a lot of people like the bulkhead, it has its disadvantages because you have to stow all luggage during take off and landing and since the arm rests don't go up it can be much harder to get a wider car seat like the Marathon in there.

ETA: According to the JAL website you linked to you can also rent car seats for the flight. Are you sure they didn't think you wanted to both rent a car seat and a bassinet and that's what wasn't allowed? I know it is possible to have both a car seat and a bassinet under FAA regulations because I've been offered the latter while using the former, but for JAL anything they say is their policy goes, I guess.
HTH.
 
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AoiGSR

New member
Ahh okay... I was doing more research. I think I like your suggestion. I'll see if we can get windows for both our kids. they sleep well in their Britax Boulevard (thought they had the Marathons). It looks like the base is less than 16.5" and if we had them in the bulkhead, I don't think you can bring the trays out from the arm rests.

When my JAL agents calls me tommorrow. I'll ask to see if we can have both seats near the window although it sounded like lots were taken already so we might get the windows but be far from each other.

I don't think my wife understands why we need to use these car seats when she can just put our 7 month in the bassinet. I thought the bassinet was good because you could put the infant on the ground in front of you to sit if she wanted.

Thanks :)
 

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
Remind you wife of what happens if there is sudden, unexpected turbulence-- anything not belted down goes all over the cabin. You don't want that to happen to the baby, you want her belted down as much as is possible! There are times when you need to change her, walk with her, feed her, but when she's sleeping or just content to lay there-- she should be buckled in for safety. :)
 

jasminegrl

New member
I'm not sure where you are flying from but we flew from seattle to tokyo and there was a 2 year old seated across the aisle from us and he slept alot in his seat. I know i would rather my child be in a car seat than in a bassinett, they have a photo of them on the JAL website and it did not look very safe
here is a picture of it off of their website
http://www.jal.co.jp/en/baby/
 

AoiGSR

New member
Wow that doesn't look safe at all.

Here's the update:

JAL called me today and confirmed i will sit in
46B, 46C, 46D, 46E.

Agent said he will request that we put car seats in 46B and 46E (since they can't be in window or aisle which I found amazing) and we will keep the Bassinet. If that cannot be possible. They will call me back. I know someone on here said not to put the Britax Boulevard in the bulkhead, but maybe this will interfere with the passenger in 46F (unless the tray comes out from the right side?)

Or maybe it will be okay?
 

AmandaR

New member
That's weird about no windows. On Delta, the car seats can't block anyone in their seat in case of emergency. So we always have DD by the window.
 

jasminegrl

New member
maybe you will get lucky and that seat will be empty or the plane will be empty enough that the person who is supposed to sit there can move to a different seat
 

InternationalMama

New member
That is so strange about them blocking a passenger into the window seat! I can only imagine that they won't let you RF the BLVD in 46B because then the passenger next to it would have no chance of getting out. I also imagine that it's possible the representative misunderstood the policy in some way. Perhaps they only allow car seats in the middle seat of the middle row?

Speaking of which, do you have an infant seat for your 7-month-old that you could take instead of the BLVD? Or could you borrow one from a trusted friend or relative? It is true that it can be hard to fit a car seat in the bulkhead and an infant seat is narrower so at least your wife could stay with the baby in the infant seat in the bulkhead with the bassinet even if you and your other DC had to move to a different set of seats where the BLVD fit. Another reason to bring the infant seat instead is that since they are RF-only you don't encounter as many problems with flight attendants wanting to turn infants FF, which happens even on FAA-regulated flights with convertibles despite the regulations that allow RF seats. Also, if it were me I'd rather use an infant seat and snap-in stroller than the BLVD with a 7 month old anyway.

When are you flying? Please post back about what happened after your flight. I'm curious. Frankly I wouldn't -want- that bassinet taking up all my leg room when I had a car seat available. Remember that babies have to be removed from bassinets during take-off, landing, and turbulence (at least with FAA regulations they do).
 

InternationalMama

New member
**ETA: In this post I ramble on about a scenerio in which all 4 of your seats are in the bulkhead, which pixels99 kindly pointed out to me afterwards they actually are not. I'll just leave the post here. Maybe it will help someone else who is debating on the pros/cons of bulkhead seating.**

Still thinking about your flight. I know you may not want to make changes again, but I was wondering if you would consider reserving 47D and E for you and your older DC. This has several advantages.

1) It frees up the bulkhead space for someone else who may be flying with a lap-only baby and need the bulkhead in order to not have the baby on their lap for the whole flight. (Flights typically only have a limit number of bassinets and bassinet spaces.) This could be more than an altruistic gesture since airlines like to group all the young children together and you might end up with that lap-only baby crying behind you. (Has happened to me.)

2) It is better for the poor person in 46A, which again isn't just an altruistic gesture since it also means the person in 46A won't be waking up your sleeping child to go to the bathroom in the middle of the flight. Also, I have my suspicions that the rep is wrong that a car seat can go in that 46B anyway so it prevents the risk of you getting moved somewhere else further away from the rest of your party.

3) The BLVD will be easier to install if it isn't in the bulkhead because you can put the armrest up. Also, you won't be blocking someone from putting up their tray table as you might with a BLVD in the bulkhead. If you do want to put a BLVD in the bulkhead you might want to start another post and ask if it fits.

4) This way you can have some hand luggage accessible during take-off and landing for all of you since some of you will be in non-bulkhead seats. This may not seem like a big deal, but if you get stuck in a holding pattern before landing they probably will make you keep your luggage in the bulkhead stowed, potentially for hours. (Has happened to me.)

5) Putting your older DC behind your RF baby means no one for him to kick or prevent from reclining even though you aren't in the bulkhead. I know this wouldn't be an issue in the bulkhead either, but I'm still wondering if you would get moved out of the bulkhead either because the BLVD won't fit or because 46B isn't okay for a car seat after all.

6) I don't know exactly how the plane you're on is designed, but sometimes the TVs come out of the floor/arm in the bulkhead so being in the bulkhead could mean no TV for at least someone in your party if you are using the BLVD, depending on how it's set up. (I like watching the TV when my kid is asleep so this would bug me.)

If it were me, that's what I would choose given that they now say you can have the bassinet and car seat in the bulkhead and your wife really wants the bassinet. I would seriously consider bringing an infant seat for your littlest LO in the bulkhead though.

HTH.
 
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