Why does Delta hate babies?

So I just got back from a great big excursion – across the Atlantic to the US of A – just me and my 8 month old.

Crazy, you say? Kind of. But my little guy is pretty laid back – and we’ve flown solo before – so I figured what the hey. It’s October, it’s cheap, and I’ve got a bunch more months of maternity leave to get through.

I guess if I was going to give travel tips for infants, I would say – CHOOSE  YOUR AIRLINE WISELY. I thought I might save a little change, stray from SAS who took such great care of us last time we flew solo from Copenhagen to NYC.


I would not mind if Delta told me they hated babies before I bought my ticket – then I would not have bought it. But by the time I began to catch on to their feelings, it was too late. We were ‘non-refundably’ attached.

So here is how Delta showed me their true feelings – I don’t know how it is with other airlines, but SAS didn’t do any of the following:

1) No e-ticket available for infant. No, I needed to go to the ticket counter to pick up his ticket. The ticket counter closes 3 hours before the flight. My travel agent recommended going and getting the ticket a few days early – Delta didn’t want to give me my ticket early because they thought I might lose it – thankfully they cave.

2) Hand-written boarding card security fail – after the paper ticket I am handed a blank boarding card filled in with a ball point pen. I get to security and they won’t let me in. Why? Because there is no time of departure written on the boarding pass. I try to convince her to write the time herself on the pass – since it is on my pass and his is only good with mine. She won’t cave – I have to head back downstairs to check-in AGAIN

3) No booking or confirmation of baby bassinet. Despite the fact that my e-ticket says that I have a confirmed baby bassinet I am informed that this is impossible – there is no such thing. It is a first come first serve basis. After my security delay I am forced to sprint to the gate to be the first one to confirm said bassinet. I managed this one way, but no on the return flight.

4) No seat belt or flotation device for baby – I realize these are largely ornamental, but when I flew SAS they were very insistent that infant was belted in my lap, facing forward. There was no way to seatbelt my child to me on Delta. He sat on my lap

5) NO CHANGING TABLES ON A 9 HOUR FLIGHT: OK, this is my biggest beef with Delta. On the newly revamped (and by revamped I mean brought up to Virgin Air circa 1998 standards) jet we flew back from NYC on, there were videos in the headrests but NO CHANGING TABLES ON THE AIRCRAFT. Now I get the whole ‘don’t change baby in the seat’ bit, I think it is gross and unsanitary and wouldn’t want to do it. But you really want me to change my baby’s diaper on top of a toilet seat in a tiny bathroom? SAS changing tables seem huge in comparison.

So there were tons of other dramas involved, but they were mostly due to poor customer service of grown-ups. The only thing that made this trip enjoyable were the great flight attendants that saved the day.

So do some investigating before you fly solo with an infant or toddler! I know I will be next time


About frazzledbookworm

I'm a new Mom trying to keep my reading addiction active while on maternity leave with my son
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2 Responses to Why does Delta hate babies?

  1. TheSwedeLife says:

    Ah, just flew KLM to avoid delta, and it was a flight by klm partner Delta! Had the same trouble with the e ticket…going to three desks to get the damn ticket, then security refusing the hand written half stamped stub Delta called a boarding pass. Then I had to keep the paper ticket for 6 weeks (they were afraid you’d lose it over three?). And when I was rerouted due to snow closings, every person i encountered was puzzled by the lack of the infant e ticket, and had to make calls and jump through hoops to get us on a plane. And all that ticket handling while looking for the infant records meant someone detached the bag tags stapled to my ticket, so when my luggage was lost and I had no bag tags to help them find them, I blamed the extesive boarding pass handling that came from the silly lack of infant e ticket for that, too. We did have a changing table though, and I have learned to travel with my own car seat to make the baby comfortable. If you ask if there us a free seat for the baby at the gate, if there is room they let you take it, and if there is not, they can gate check the seat with your stroller. It is tougher to get the seat on the connecting domestic flights in the USA, but by asking as soon as I got to the gate, I always got mine on. Makes all the difference to me…. my baby sat or slept happily in her seat the whole flight. Wish I had thought to do this when my first was little.

    • Yikes! Sounds a little stressful – glad you all made it in one piece – This is the second time I flew without the car seat only because it seems like so much to carry around everywhere. But I might do that next time.

      Sorry to hear you got tricked into flying Delta 🙂 I’ll try to avoid KLM codeshares in the future too!

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