25 answers

Car Seat on Airplane for a 2 Year Old?

I am taking my first airplane trip with my son who is 2 years old. Is it better to take his car seat on the plane for him, or will we be okay without one? We had planned to rent a car seat at our destination with our rental car, rather than lugging his through the airport.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

USE IT. You will be glad for the extra confinement. Treat an airplane ride just like you would a car ride.

It kind of depends on how active a child he is. If you don't take the car seat will he stay seated without having those extra straps that will hold him in. I'm a flight attendant & what I notice with children that age (including my daughter at that age) is that they will not keep the airplane seatbelt buckled. It is easy to take off & so off it comes. Now as far as safety goes it is probably safer to have him in a carseat. I tried to travel without it when my daughter was that age because my parents had a carseat when we got there. I never did it again. It was a battle the whole flight to keep it on. It was well worth it to me to lug the carseat with me.

More Answers

DO NOT RENT A CAR SEAT!!! You have no idea what that seat has been through...it could have been horribly mis-treated and in several accidents!

I would bring a car seat. We have flown without one and I will never do it again. All of my friends who travel ALWAYS bring their seats. They say that they are lifesavers...they keep kids safe and contained. Kids know that a certain behavior is expected in a car seat...so that expectation will in effect when they are in the seat on the plane.

Yes, it's bulky. No, it's not the most convienient. But it IS the safest option. Think of turbulance and air pockets...and think of your baby not being strapped in...

A good friend of mine travels everywhere with her car seat...and it's Britax marathon so it is heavy and bulky! She uses a $10 luggage cart form walmart to get it through the airport. She uses bungy cords to connect it to the cart. Then she straps her kid into the seat and awheels him through the airport like it's a stroller. Works great...and she travels a TON.

1 mom found this helpful

It kind of depends on how active a child he is. If you don't take the car seat will he stay seated without having those extra straps that will hold him in. I'm a flight attendant & what I notice with children that age (including my daughter at that age) is that they will not keep the airplane seatbelt buckled. It is easy to take off & so off it comes. Now as far as safety goes it is probably safer to have him in a carseat. I tried to travel without it when my daughter was that age because my parents had a carseat when we got there. I never did it again. It was a battle the whole flight to keep it on. It was well worth it to me to lug the carseat with me.

Last year when our daughter was 2 we used it on the flight. To her it was just like riding in the car and she knew she had to stay put, just like in the car. I would take it.

M.,

Car seats are the only thing that I know of you can check as luggage for free. If you really want "hands free" through the airport, check luggage at the curb before you park your car and just tip the guy a few bucks. Renting a car seat is pretty expensive depending on the length of your trip - $10-20 per day.

Many car seats aren't even compatible with airplane seats. I believe the seats say if you can use them on a plane. We took those little infant seats on the plane, but never a full sized carseat or booster seat. We just had our kids wear the seatbelts. Remember, hitting turbulance in a plane is very different than hitting another car on the ground.

Good luck,
S.

Just was looking to see if anyone mentioned CARES, but it looks like they have...of course! We have traveled numerous times where we didn't need a carseat for any travel other than possibly the airplane. We invested in CARES and LOVE it. We loan ours out to friends/family all the time and everyone likes it, and every time we are on a plane people ask us where we got it. It might be an alternative for you.

We actually just took a trip with our 3 year old and we had to take his car seat on the plane and put him in it.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) strongly recommend that infants and small children who weigh under 40 pounds be secured in a car seat. You might want to check your car seat to see if it says anywhere on it that it is approved for aircraft use. It also can't be wider that 16 inches.

I hope this helps. If you need anymore info you can get on the airlines website and check. I found all this info on Southwest's website.

J.

I have flown with my kids many times, and started as early as 2 months old. We have never brought a car seat in the plane, we usually gate check them which IS a hassle. Even on the 8 hour flight to Maui, when my middle was 13 mos old, we did not bring a carseat. It worked fine for us. Just bring lots of things to entertain them - and candy never hurts either to keep if you REALLY need it. Have fun!

Take it with on the plane

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