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I flew with my daughter as a lap child on a short flight once, in part to save some money/points, and in part just as an experiment of sorts to see what it was like. I knew she did best in her own seat, and I knew we appreciated having the extra space that came with having her seat, but I’ll admit that at first hesitations to have her fly as a lap infant were for logistical reasons, not safety reasons.
However, after the one experience I had with a lap infant I wrote:
“I stayed awake and kept a death-grip on her as I was afraid the whole time that we would hit some sort of turbulence and she would go flying.”