We left Rome on Sunday morning after a breakfast of pastries and Nutella. Sweets are big here. We had troubling logging into our flight online, but couldn’t figure out what the problem was. We were finally able to do it, but didn’t get a boarding pass for Karina. We have run into issues flying with her before. You see after much research I decided that we should really purchase a seat for her and bring her car seat on the plane. Since she is under two this always seems to through things off a little bit. Anyway we proceeded to the check in counter to get her boarding pass and realized that somehow they had booked us as having an infant in a seat and a lap infant. We had to wait for a manager to come down and resolve the issue, which took a little while but seemed easy to fix. We were flying on Vueling airlines, which is a low cost airline affiliated with Iberia. We mentioned several times that we were taking her car seat on the plane. A car seat that she was seating in at the time thanks the Brica Roll ‘n Go, highly recommend. It didn’t seem to be an issue. We made it through security and Asha and I went to grab some food as our plane was boarding soon.
It seemed to take forever to get the food and when we met Sanjay at the gate he said they were about to board. I packed up our food and we headed to the boarding line. We asked about priority boarding for families, no problem. Then we started to board and everything changed. When we got to the front the gate agent told us we couldn’t take the car seat on the plane. We explained that we purchased a seat for her. We also noted that the airline’s website states that you can buy a seat for your child and put them in a car seat. She told us that we had to notify them 24 hours ahead of time if we wanted to do that because they needed to have a special belt for the carseat. This made no sense to me at all. We have flown on at least 4 different airlines with Karina in a car seat. Unless this was some plane with crazy seats I did not understand what the problem was. They had us step to the side so they could check to see if we could bring the car seat on board. Eventually the gate agent told us we could board and the crew would help. We made it down the walk way and were might by the flight crew who once again told us we could not bring on the car seat. We started to explain everything once again and some one from the boarding area came down and talked to them. We were then told they had to consult with the pilot to see if it was ok. It was really unbelievable and made zero sense. The flight attendant returned and we were given permission to bring the car seat on board. However, one of us had to hold her during take off and landing. You know the riskiest parts of the flight. I still have no idea what happened. The whole thing was incredibly bizarre. If you do any research on flying safely with infants and children it is highly recommended that you put them in car seats on the plane. The FAA has even considered making it a requirement and no longer allowing lap infants. I mean to each his own. I’m not judging anyone, but I prefer to fly with Karina in a car seat. It also makes it easier because we have more room.
Now normally Karina falls asleep in her car seat before or during take off, but she had to sit on Sanjay’s lap with a seat belt extender, the special belt they were referring too which had nothing to do with the car seat. Instead of falling asleep she began screaming for me because she could now see me in the next aisle over. To avoid a screaming child for the whole flight I had Sanjay pass her over to me. We attempted to put her back in the car seat, but that caused more screaming. She wasn’t going back in there now that she got to sit with “mommy.” Sanjay ended up moving to the empty aisle seat in our row while the empty car seat sat in the lovely window seat we purchased. To say we were unhappy would be an understatement. We paid for that seat. We wanted to travel safely with our child. We followed the instructions on the airline’s website. Yet we sat cramped together with a lap infant. Not cool Vueling. Really not cool.
Despite all the drama we made it back safely. Since it is Sunday, everything in Berlin is closed except for restaurants, so groceries will have to wait until tomorrow. We enjoyed some dumplings at a restaurant down the street, put the kids to bed, and now get to relax a bit. I’m so happy to be done traveling for the day!