Car Seat on Airplane

Updated on September 29, 2010
M. asks from Saint Paul, MN
10 answers

We are travelling to introduce our 8 month old daughter to her paternal grandparents in the UK this November. We have booked a seat for her and intend to bring a carseat. My concern is that given the width of most airplane seats in coach class that most car seats will not fit? Please advise if you have done an airplane trip with a car seat. Our daughter is at the air where we could still use an infant seat, with or without the base or a convertible infant/toddler seat. Any help would be great!

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L.

answers from Minneapolis on

I've flown with a Britax Roundabout and had no problems with the carseat fitting in the airplane seat on either standard or regional jets. Good luck.

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H.

answers from Minneapolis on

We used a convertible carseat on the airplane and, although it was tight, it did fit. I highly recommend bringing a carseat on the plane! It was great, something they are familiar with, and it keeps them contained :)

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N.R.

answers from Minneapolis on

Sorry for slow response. Maybe it is no longer relevant to you. We are Europeans, but leave here and travel a greta deal with our now 21 months old. Some plane companies have special seats where they can set up a crib if you have an infant, but you always have to ask them when you book or try to call now and ask if they have this. Other great thing with these seats is that there is more leg space, which allows the young toddler to sit and play there. I know SAS has it. We used it. This is great for having the baby sleeping most fo the way on long trips overnight, but they soon grow too big. When we went overseas in May, my son was 15 months and he could hardly fit in there, although he is bigt of his age I must admit. Ever since we always book a seat for him even though he is under two. 30 pounds is too much for my lab.Be sure that your carseat leaves up to security standards before taking it to the plane. Euroepean safety standards of carseats are higher than American. It has to stand on the label so it is easy for the stewardess to check, and it is easier if you can show them. Half of them are not used to all the different types of seats. So, we have a big Britax seat that he grow with. It does fit without problems in the monkey class of the cabin. Only problem is that he kicks the person in front of him until we take off and we can lay his seat backwards. No here is one important lesson, when you check in, be sure you don't get the rear seats, because in many plane types, these can not be adjusted backwards and then it becomes a problem when the person in front of your child lays their seat down. I am not sure if this is only the case for planes used on short trips, but be sure the person checking you in has not idea about how it is to travel with children. Good luck, kids loves planes, and the best you can do to make it go smooth is to stay calm. if you stres, you will have a screaming kid, and don't worry about the other passengers, most are veyr understanding and the few that aren't will be annoyed no matter what you do.

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T.

answers from Minneapolis on

I'd take the infant seat, without the base, if she still fits in it. If you need the base for the car, check it in. It'll be easier to get around the airport than a convertable seat and she can sleep in it at the gate or during delays/customs. We once dragged our sleeping, 18 month old through customs, strapped into her car seat. I wished she was small enough to still fit into her infant carrier seat, as it was designed for such things.

I know that seats are supposed to be FAA certified, however I have never had anyone ask us anything about ours in some 25+ trips over the past 3 1/2 years. Albeit, these trips were almost entirely domestic flights. Ours may have been but I never checked, both infant and toddler seats were Graco products.

Have a great trip!

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J.F.

answers from Minneapolis on

I have two kids and we have traveled with both infant car seat (plus base) and a Britax Roundabout for the older toddler. Both fit fine. I saw that some of the posts said the infant base didn't fit very well but I had no problem. I didn't know you could strap just the infant seat in without the base. Not sure how this works since the car seat needs to be restrained with the airline seat belt.

Make sure whatever car seat you take that it is FAA approved. I have had airlines check this on my car seats as I have boarded. I am pretty sure most seats sold these days are FAA approved.

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C.

answers from Minneapolis on

M.,

Car seats that will fit will have a FAA approved label (plane picture) to indicate that they are approved. Fitting is an issue will getting them around the arms of the seats. If you put the arm up it works better and then bring the arm down if the airline requires it.

There is also a new produce that allows for attaching straps to the seat and the child sitting in the adult seat (about $75.00) here is the link http://www.kidsflysafe.com/ (over 1 year and weighing 22-44 lbs.

Hope that this helps.

C.

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B.H.

answers from Minneapolis on

I'd say bring the infant seat. I've brought my infant seat on a plane with no problem and they sleep better in a infant seat. Toddler seats are bulkier and heavy.

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M.W.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi M.,
My name is M. too, and when my daughter Grace was 8 months old we went on a plane trip too. We bought her a seat and used the infant car seat without the base. The base did not fit well so we checked it and used the seat facind backwards (it wedged well against the seat in front of us...the only benefit of very little leg room!).
Hope this helps...have a wonderful trip,
M.

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H.

answers from Minneapolis on

we fly a lot, and with our 2 kids, having the car seat is a blessing =) i don't know about the infant carriers, cuz we never took them on the plane- our kids didn't like them and never stayed in them anyways- but with the bigger ones, they do fit, and make sure, if you use these that they are airplane certified, some airlines check/care, others don't but not all seats are approved for travel this way
have fun with the trip

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M.G.

answers from Minneapolis on

I flew to the UK with my then 12 month old son in a Britax Marathon car seat and it fit fine in the seat but it was a bit tight in the aisle. My husband had to carry the car seat over the plane seats. The only other thing is the head rest of the plane seat didn't allow the car seat to slide all the way back (too tall) so my son was quite close to the seat in front of him- much to the chagrin of the person in front of him.
My only other piece of advice is to purchase the Go Go Babyz Travelmate (Target.com/Amazon)- it attaches to the back of the car seat and turns it into a stroller. We used it and it was a LIFESAVER. The base can stay attached to the car seat and the wheels easily pop on and off. We popped the wheels on as soon as we got off the plane (with baby still in the seat) and rolled him right through the airport. He was securely strapped in and had fun to boot! I will never, never fly with a car seat without this piece of equipment!! Definitely worth the $80.
Good luck!!

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