traveling with car seat and five year old


Mar 21, 2001
I contacted a rental car center (dollar rental I think) and she told me five year olds don't need to be in a car seat. My son is only 42 lbs and I don't think that's right. Anyway, we are flying contintental and was wondering if you can take a car seat on board and use it for a five year old. Their website didn't have a lot of information about children only infants and customer service didn't really know. And the email I sent them has yet to be answered. Thanks
We lived in Japan for three years and traveled ALOT! I think you can take a car seat on an airplane for your five year old. Just strap the car seat in like you would with a toddler. We brought a booster seat with a tray for our son on the long flights from NY to Osaka. Noone ever gave us a hard time with this. And it is documented as MUCH safer for children under 60 pounds to be in a car seat or booster seat anyway. Have a great trip!

I would call the carrier to find out their overall policy and apply it to your situation.

A child over 40 lbs can use a booster seat instead of the carseat, which is usually made for children under 40 lbs. My son used one from 3yo to 5yo, but then again I think MY son was 40 lbs at BIRTH! :rolleyes:

I'm sure they've never come across this situation and probably have no policy for 5year olds in car seats. Be prepared for confusion, because it isn't the norm.


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Call the airlines and ask. From what I remember carseats are ok, but they have found boosters to be unsafe on an airplane. By boosters I mean the type that only boosts a child up and the seat belt goes over the child (or the shield). I don't mean the Brevera (sp?) type that you strap a child into the seat and the seatbelt anchors the seat. I don't really know why a booster would be safer in a car, but not in an airplane. I'm glad that you are wanting to take the safe approach and use a carseat for you child. Too many people stop using them when their child gets to be 40 pounds and 3 or 4yo, since the law very often doesn't require them after that point.

If you decide that you only want the seat in the rental car you can always check it as baggage on the airplane.

Hi...the high back boosters with the 5 point restraint are the ones you are allowed to use on the plane. The smaller boosters can't be used. You can have it gate checked though to use in the rental. The law is 4 and over 40 pounds, but it is advised to use the high back boosters or seats until they are 50-60 pounds.


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