Let's face it: flying with a baby is never easy. Even if your baby is well-behaved and doesn't cry once, it's still a hassle, to begin with. That's why parents want to make the overall experience as easy and painless as possible. But if the airline you're flying with doesn't help with that, then it can become a nightmare.
When 34-year-old Kate Haussaur wanted to fly out with her husband and their five-month-old son, she was told by British Airlines that she had to put her baby on the ground. The flight from London, England to Toronto, Ontario, Canada had been booked months beforehand and was set to take place this coming Saturday. Haussaur specifically booked seats in the bulkhead in premium economy in order to ensure a bassinet for her baby.
The trouble started when Haussaur received a phone call from British Airways that her family's flight was going to be on a different plane now. The problem with that is that this new plane- the Airbus A350 aircraft- isn't safe for bassinets. This troubled the new mom greatly.
"They rang me yesterday as a 'courtesy call' to tell me there won't be bassinets on the [new] flight. The bulkhead pull down section is the part that is apparently unsafe so is not fitted. It was when I asked what I was supposed to do with my son that I was told to put blankets down," Haussauer revealed in an interview.
According to Haussauer, the employee she spoke to told her to just put her baby boy on the ground of the plane for the entire plane. She asked for another alternative, she was allegedly told she'd have to "pay to change" either her seats or her flight. Needless to say, she wasn't pleased with British Airways' response to her dilemma.
"When I asked how much it would cost to change flight/upgrade, I was transferred to a department who didn't know anything about the issue and said they are confused because I'm in a bassinet allocated seat," she added. "They have refused to let us cancel without penalty, won't let us change route to a plane that has bassinets without paying even more, and because they have only just told us, everything would cost far more because of the late notice. I don't mind carrying my baby but object to being promised something, paying extra to guarantee it and not getting it, and worst of all being told to put my baby on a dirty floor."
For their part, British Airways has denied everything. A representative for the airline told the media, "As a responsible airline, we would only ever advise that a baby can safely travel on an adult's lap, in a bassinet or in a suitable car seat. We cannot guarantee the availability of a bassinet on board and have been in contact with our customer to discuss their options."
For the sake of Haussauer, her husband and their baby, we hope that they'll be able to safely fly to their destination. Whether British Airways makes this right or not remains to be seen. But we hope that things will eventually work out in the end.