View Full Version : ???carseat for plane ride???

02-18-2001, 10:28 PM
Our March trip will be our 2.5 year old daughter's first time flying. We purchased her own seat for the flight. My question--should we bring her carseat for the flight or will she be ok buckled in her own seat? We are renting a car through National and for an additional small fee we can rent a car seat. Our flight is short--only a little over 1.5 hours. If people think she will be comfortable and safe buckled in the seat--we sure would rather not drag the carseat(already bringing stroller, bags, and another child). Thank you for the info on what has worked for you.

02-19-2001, 05:55 AM
You should definitely take the car seat. She'll be more comfortable, and if you do hit turbulance, she'll be much more secure. Seat belts are not made for children that small.

The airline is used to people flying with children and car seats. They will probably let you board early and make it to where it's not too difficult carrying the seat with you.

<img height=100 width=100 src=http://www.muppets.com/images/kermithead.gif>

02-19-2001, 06:11 AM
1) Typical "car seats" are not permitted for use on airline seats.
2) Airline children seats are specially designated devices, and must be approved by the airline industry.
3) Your airline can tell you where to buy such a seat.
4) Based upon child age and child size, the standard seat belt might be adequate.
5) You should immediately call your airline for their policies.

02-19-2001, 06:12 AM
If you do a search for carseats you will find HUGE threads on the subject!

02-19-2001, 06:12 AM
Having a carseat made all the difference for my 2 1/2 year old. She sat in the seat and didn't fuss at all -- much different than a previous trip where she was a "lap child". She wouldn't sit still, she wanted to go from my husband to me and back again the entire flight. I was a little hesitant about our recent trip (considering her past performance) but it was wonderful. Definitely bring the carseat.

SueM in MN
02-19-2001, 07:56 AM
Look on your carseat for a sticker that says it is FAA approved. That is what the flight attendants will be looking for to determine whether or not you will be allowed to use it during the flight.
Something else to remember: the seat belts on the plane can be easily opened by just lifting up slightly on the buckle (a skill most 2.5 year olds will master after a few minutes). From what I have observed, opening the buckle every few minutes becomes a great way for small kids to amuse themselves and keep their parents busy during the flight. LOL, not how most parents want to keep their kids busy. ˇ

SueM in MN
Co-Moderator of disABILITIES (http://wdwinfo.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?q=Y&a=frm&s=40009993&f=38009194)

02-19-2001, 08:00 AM
In all likelihood, your dot approved car seat has alo been approved by the faa. By now, your child is seated in a forward facimng position. Most, if not all, forrward facing seats are approved by the faa. In order to be sure, check the seat itself. It should have an approval sticker, or the like, saying it is ok.

Our oldest is now three. We have bought his own seat since he first flew at around 4 mos. we always bring the car seat. Be careful of airlines, though. some have wider seats than others. first class is no problem, but sometimes coach is. we found that southwest is slightly tighter then continental in coach, etc.

02-19-2001, 09:59 AM
It has been a couple of years since we flew with a car seat, but we didn't have any problem. Also, since we specified we were bringing a car seat, my son's ticket was half price. Again, this was a few years ago, so I don't know if airlines still offer this, but it might be worth it to check.

02-19-2001, 03:41 PM
take the seat. most are approved for airtravel these days. get yourself a carseat duffle bag for it. i love mine and id say its worth every penny if you only use it once! plus its probably not much more than the extra cost of using the rented seat.

02-19-2001, 05:48 PM
Carseats are not only safer, but it'll be easier for you too. My kids are used to being buckled into their carseats and have not complained much about being buckled in on the plane. If you don't bring the carseat, your little one will be able to undo the seatbelt, and if she (he?) wants to get down and walk - you will have a struggle on your hands. Another tip - call the airline and ask if they have a child's meal for your flight - frequently they will provide more kid friendly food if you ask in advance.

02-20-2001, 05:30 AM
Could do either. It depends on your child. Also, you said the flight isn't that long.

We've gone twice now. Once with a 2 1/2 year old; no car seat. Once with a 14 month old, yes on the car seat.

With the 2 year old, she didn't like the seat belt but pretty much behaved and it was a 3 hour flight. With the 14 month old, she seemed to feel like she was just in the car. Although she still acted up because she was tired or bored but it worked out alright.

So it's really up to you and what you think your child will be like.

We really didn't need one for our 2 year old but really needed one for our 14 month old.

02-20-2001, 08:48 AM
Since it is a short flight, if you think your child can sit still I would go without the carseat. I have a 3 and a 1 year old and we have been taking short flights with our 3 year old without a carseat since she was about two and a half. Here's why: most airlines no longer allow preboarding for families, so trying to get on board gatechecking a double stroller, carrying two carseats, two children, a diaper bag, snacks, toys, etc. with all of coach class is near impossible. Also, depending on the type of airplane, you may have difficulty installing the carseat (airplane seat width varies) even if it is FAA approved. I've found that with our carseat my daughter is too high up for the tray to come down all the way and therefore rests at a slant causing snacks and crayons to roll all over the floor. In her carseat she is also able to put her feet up on the back of the chair in front of her and push, kicking the other person and to her it becomes a game, to everyone else involved, it's annoying.

Since we ditched the carseat, flights have become more relaxing. We have the "big girl" talk, she knows she has to keep her seatbelt on just like mommy and daddy and snacks and crayons don't roll around the plane... as much.

For us, the flight to Orlando is just under an hour and for my daughter flying without the carseat works for us. For that amount of time she enjoys quiet activities and we have had no problems keeping her in her seat. My younger daughter...well that's a whole other story...

Do what you think is best. This is what works for us.

02-20-2001, 09:51 AM
Look at the manual for your carseat. If it is approved for air travel, I'd take it. Believe me, I know where you are coming from when you say how hard it will be to get through airport with two children, luggage, stroller, etc. We always end up in such a cranky mood by the time we get on the plane. (This year, to make it worse, we didn't have a window seat and the flight attendant said that carseats could only be buckled into window seats--something we've never be told before--and then they started switching us all around).

However, the main thing is always safety. If your child is safer in the seat, you should bring it. If you have watched just one 20/20 or Dateline special on what can happen to small children not properly secured in a case of severe turbulence, you would bring the seat.

02-20-2001, 02:25 PM
I think it was on the iowa L1011 crash that a flight attndant told a mother to hold the lap child instead of buckled up alone. The child did not make it, but mom and attendant did. Attendant had to face mom. I believe the attendant went on a crusade to require children to be in child seats.

Just fyi.

Re: to seats next to the windows, it is a safety concern for exiting the row, as it could delay an exit from an interior seat, past a child seat, due to the child seat's size. The airline and plane mfgr must be able to evacuate the plane within 90 seconds (i think its 90).

02-20-2001, 02:56 PM
Haven't posted this link in awhile, so I'm tossing it out again:

Happy flying!

02-21-2001, 08:36 PM
Thanks everyone for all the great insights. One more question--several have mentioned that the car seat may have trouble fitting into the airline seat. We are travelling on Delta's ComAir nonstop flight --this is a rather small plane although not a prop. plane (aka puddle jumper)--do you think the seat will have trouble fitting. I guess the thing I most need to do is call the airline and ask-but since it is almost midnight I'd thought I'd ask you all first. Thanks again. We leave in 21 days--just paid the final balance. We can't wait.

02-22-2001, 07:42 AM
We just flew with our DD who just turned 5 and I still brought the seat. She is more precious to me than anything and her safety is my responsibility. Belting systems in cars and airplanes were not designed for children...or for anyone under 4'9" tall.

I don't mind schlepping the carseat with us because it means I have a better chance of protecting her.

02-22-2001, 07:53 AM
It should fit in the embraer type jet seat. But, you will probably have to lift the armrest in order to do so.

02-23-2001, 01:37 PM
Dennis, thanks for telling me why about the window seat because even the flight attendant didn't know why. Now it makes sense.

I think it's so important that parents bring the seat. When I see a parent holding a baby or small child on an airplane, it makes me so nervous when we hit turbulence. I always have paid for a seat for my children even when they could have flown for free, so I could ensure that they were buckled up safely in a carseat. The force of turbulence or an emergency situation could cost a child's life, as was noted in post above.

On a recent trip to CA, we hit a thunderstorm and that plane was bouncing around like a rubber ball. I can't even imagine holding a child through that, or having one sitting in a seat that wasn't especially made for his/her size and safety.

02-24-2001, 04:24 PM
I will be flying to WDW in November. I purchased a seat for my DS just so i can bring his car seat. I cant imagine having him climb all over me for a 3 hour flight. He loves to ride in the car seat so i sure he will be a lot happier and maybe even take a nap. Michelle

02-27-2001, 07:31 PM
We are traveling in May with our 5 and 2.5 year old daughters. I was uncertain regarding car seat for the little one, but my mind is made up and we will be taking her seat with us. Thanks to all for the great advice!!

3/98 CSR
6/98 Dolphin
4/99 CSR
5/99 DL
7/99 Yacht Club
5/01 CSR

02-28-2001, 05:37 PM
Yes, bring the car seat. It's much safer, and the child will probably be a little easier to handle because they are in somewhat of a comfort zone.

I have to admit though, lugging it up the aisle along with carry-ons is a pain. And you almost have to wait for everyone else to leave before getting off the plane. But its a small price to pay for the childs safety.


02-28-2001, 06:46 PM
Do any of the airlines still do this? I'm thinking about how long it will take to get us all settled!

02-28-2001, 07:36 PM
We flew to WDW on Delta (from CA) last September and they did allow pre-boarding.

We also flew to Hawaii a couple of weeks ago on ATA and pre-boarding was allowed for those with children under 5. The shorter inter-island flights however did not.

(No, we don't normally take such frequent big trips, but it just worked out that way this year)



03-01-2001, 06:02 AM
If your airline does not allow preboarding - Metrojet, for example - ask quietly and politely if you can board early, especially if you have a carseat. We did this, explaining to them that we needed to install the seat. If we waited until general boarding, we risked delaying the plane since it could take a little while to install the seat correctly. They were more than happy to oblige.

03-02-2001, 07:14 PM
We took our carseat with us when our DS was 2YO. It fit into the seat just fine and he was much more comfortable being in his own seat. He went to sleep as we took off and woke up as we were landing.

<span style='font-size:8.0pt;
font-family:"Comic Sans MS";color:#666699'>’79 Poly, ’80 Cont, ’81 Disney Inn, ’82 Poly, ’83 Fairway Villas, ’84/’85 Off-site condo, ’87 Days Inn<o:p></o:p></span>
<span style='font-size:8.0pt;
font-family:"Comic Sans MS";color:#339966'>April ’91 Cont(Honeymoon), Oct ’95 ASM, Oct ’98 AS<o:p></o:p></span>
<span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Comic Sans MS";color:red'>Next trip: Nov ’01 Cont</p>

03-06-2001, 12:18 AM
I leave next monday and am bringing a Century Next Step car seat for my 4 year old son. He is still using the 5 point harness, so this is an approved car seat for the airlines, if he was using the belt system it would not be an approved car seat. I decided to bring my own, after someone told me that the car seat with the rental car was horrible. Dirty, and hard plastic all around, no cloth covering at all. I will get back to you if I have any problems using it on the plane.

03-06-2001, 08:16 AM
Just got back from our stay at the Contemporary and flew both ways on Delta. We decided at the last minute not to bring the car seat for my 21 month old. (traveling with a 5 year old as well).
We did buy her a seat however. She ended up on my lap basically the whole flight anyway and we had an extra seat for stretching out and putting stuff during the flight.
Not the most economical way to fly but she was comfortable as was I.
She is still nursing however and spent most of the flight doing just that so a car seat would not have been very useful to us.
We were met at the airport by a Tiffany Town Car van, which had, as requested, a car seat and booster seat already installed for us!

03-06-2001, 11:48 AM
We just went in Feb. and we brought our carseat for our 2 y.o. boy. He would never sit still if just buckled in seat. Our 4 y.o. girl does just fine, though, in the regular seat. We still bring a carseat with us for her for the rental car, but we check it with our luggage.

03-08-2001, 07:08 AM
we have flown both US air and American and never had a problem with any of our car seats. I can't imagine not taking a seat. We just stopped with our 5 year old but have seat waiting in Florida for her. The only problem I find with the airline seats they really don't allow the car seat to be secure. You know shouldn't be able to move more than 1 inch in any directions. Plus I feel they should have a locking clip on them to prevent slipping so I always twist the strap so it can't slip.

03-11-2001, 06:56 AM
I am taking it for my almost 3 year old. I just can't imagine that little guy actually sitting in a normal seat and not taking off the belt. He is used to his car seat and has done well when he was 2 in it. He is an active!!! child so I need to keep him down.

03-11-2001, 08:17 PM
We have always brought our carseat on the plane in the past. My DS has the new eddie bauer booster car seats for bigger kids.On our last trip, the seatbelt buckle on the plane was directly in the small of my DS's back. Needless to say, he was unconfortable and on the way home, we checked the carseat and he sat in his seatbelt buckled-up.
I personally wouldn't rent a car-seat from the rental car companies. you don't know if the seat was in an accident or how clean they are.


03-12-2001, 02:33 PM
Hi everyone! I am a flight attendant for a major airline. The majority of airlines do allow pre-boarding. So, take advantage of it. Also, whatever you do, bring the car seat. I know it is a pain to carry allover the place. But it is a life saver in an emergency. We have two sons 5 and 14 mos. and always bring our car seat. My oldest grew up flying in a car seat and didn't know there was any other way to fly. Therefore, didn't know he could get up, etc. Our youngest has flown 4 times and does well in his seat also. You always want to place the car seat next to the window. Therefore, your exit won't be blocked in case of an emergency. It frustrates me so much when parents take their babies out of their car seats for take off and landing. This is the most dangerous time of the flight. I guess the parents think their baby would be safer in their arms. But that is so wrong! Your baby is a flying object in your arms. I hate to put it that way, but these are the facts. Unforunatly, it took a few accidents for the FAA to figure this out. I think the Iowa one was the kicker. There were more than a few lap children who did not make it.
So, whatever you do bring your car seat.

1980, 86,91,96,98 - off site
2000 - 7 day Cruise
May 2001 Cypress Harbour

03-12-2001, 10:09 PM
I am with everyone else on the "take a carseat" advice. Dh and I have traveled extensively with my 2 1/2 yr old son, and we found the absolute greatest invention in the world. It's a FAA-approved, five point harness, carseat that converts into a stroller. It can be used rear facing for babies as young as five pounds or forward facing for kids up to 40 pounds.

The key is, the wheels and handle retract so it fits in a plane seat (or backseat of a car) just like any other carseat. But then, when you are ready to move, just lift it out of the seat (with the child still strapped in), pop up the handle and the wheels come down and you have a stroller.

We love it b/c we can put our son in it at our house, drive to the airport, maneuvere our way from parking lot, through our hometown airport, roll him right down the aisle of the plane to our seat, then same thing when we land -- his feet literally never have to touch the ground. (Altho we do let the little guy stretch his legs now and then LOL) We are besiged by other traveling parents everywhere we go with it ... if I had a dollar for every time we've been stopped in an airport by someone wanting to know where we got it, I'd be rich!

Speaking of dollars -- it is pricey (about $160) but if you are thinking of traveling very much at all, it is SO worth it. Or, you can do what we did, which was split the cost w/ another family. (But now we just can't travel at the same time!)

We got ours from RightStart, but I've seen them in other kids catalogs as well. Here's the link to it on RightStart: http://www.rightstart.com/global/store/product_detail.cfm?TID=09614646215335620112036275&Site=baby&rs_section=keywordsearch&GroupID=2281&GroupTP=Model

Good luck and happy flying!