Convertible Car Seat for Rear-facing Child in Airplane

Updated on July 14, 2011
J.G. asks from Los Angeles, CA
11 answers

I will be traveling with my15-month-old on an airplane for the first time. I am looking for suggestions for a good convertible car seat to take on the plane (we purchased a seat ticket for her) and have her rear-facing. I've been reading a lot of reviews, and many seats seem to be too bulky, too long, etc. We will also be using the seat for driving around at our destination and in my husband's car when we get back. I'm willing to spend money on good quality that will last a while. Thanks!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Los Angeles on

I've RF'd with both a Chicco Keyfit 30 (on USAir) and a Britax Marathon 70 (on American) - no problems. I did print out the FAA rules just in case anyone gave me any guff. I think domestically you should be fine with any seat that is FAA approved. Also, keep in mind the car seat should be installed in a window seat, so if you don't have a window seat booked, get there early and ask for a seat change. Good luck!

More Answers



answers from Philadelphia on

I am pretty sure that airplanes only permit forward-facing installations for car seats.
I like the Britax brand.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Kim O. is correct regarding the FAA guidelines for domestic flights, and as long as you have a car seat that is FAA certified to be used on an airplane rear facing, it's okay. International travel is a different story. Domestic airlines will still follow the FAA guidelines, but the European airlines have different guidelines and, I've found, Asian, or specifically, Chinese, airlines have no guidelines and don't seem to care.
I've traveled with my Peg Perego Viaggio rear facing infant car seat with no problems within the US, but in Europe, British Airways wouldn't allow it. They only allow Britax forward facing car seats. I think many European airlines don't allow rear facing (funny since while driving in Europe, they recommend keeping your children rear facing until 4 years of age!) I've traveled with my Britax Marathon and Boulevard convertible car seats with no problems within the US or Europe.
To Asia, with Air China and with China Eastern, was a different story. I'm Chinese, so I'll say this, but I think Chinese are too cheap to purchase a plane ticket for our babies, so when I did for mine, the airline workers couldn't believe it and kept telling me that there was no room for the car seat and that I'd have to check it. I had to keep telling and showing them, in English and in Chinese, that my baby had a purchased seat and I was d*** well going to keep my child safe and use the car seat. Once on the planes, flight attendants didn't hassle me, were cordial but useless regarding my car seat. I had to ask for a seat belt extender and tell them what to do.
If you are worried about the car seat fitting, the smaller Britax car seats should be fine as well as the suggested seats of the other moms. Something I highly, highly suggest is getting a GoGo Kidz Travelmate or a Traveling Toddler Accessory or something similar to lug your car seat thru the airport!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

You are NOT allowed to rear face on a plane period dot. You may as well tote whatever you are currently using instead of spending more money, unless you want a new car seat in general.
My son and I have flown over 30 times together since he was 3mo and he is now 4.5 yo.


answers from Minneapolis on

Hmmm, we've always used convertibles rear facing on the airplane. We have a Cosco Scenera as our airplane seat. Easy to install and its up on a base so it fits in the seat nicely. And for $40 if you never use it again you still got your moneys worth. :)



answers from Atlanta on

The below posters are incorrect. You can definitely rear face on a plane, though it may depend on the airline (I fly delta). The plane adheres to the FAA guidelines on the seats, which are basically the same as the highway guidelines. However, some flight attendants are not aware of the benefits of rear facing and may give you a hard time (I've personally never encountered it and I tend to rear face on the plane up until age 2, but I've heard about it).

As far as seats go - I've RFed a Radian, Britax Marathon, Britax Boulevard, infant seats, and a Combi Coccoro. The Britaxes were right and required the arm rest be put up. If you have small children, I recommend the combi - it's very light weight and easy to lug around. The cosco scenera is another good (and cheap) option for travel.



answers from Las Vegas on

We bought a Sunshine Radian car seat specifically for traveling on planes. It folds up, so it is a lot easier to get around an airport, although still pretty heavy. It does go rear facing, but there is an extra piece you have to take to make it do that (light but a little bulky). We never used it rear facing for my son (pretty sure you can't on the plane). We would just put him forward facing when we were traveling with it, and then switch him back when we got home with his other seat. He was always fine with the switch back to his rear facing Britax Marathon, and was always over a year when we did that (he was rear facing, other than traveling, until two). It also has taller height restrictions than others, so you can use it after they grow out of just about every other seat, and still have the 5 point harness.



answers from Dallas on

Britax makes the roundabout and marathon that are both not as bulky but still provide the quality. I don't think you can rear face a carseat on a plane either. I don't think on a plane, rear facing provides any more protection than forward facing.



answers from Los Angeles on

The best advice I can share: get a Sit 'n' Stroll car seat-airline seat-stroller. Loved, loved this and have turned many families on to this great product:

Hope you like it too.



answers from San Diego on

we have the radian 65 convertible seat from Sunshine kids. it's slim and also folds. take a look at their website. we've traveled on a plane with it twice and you can buy back pack straps and wear it that way so hands are free. at the destination it is very easy to install in a rental car. it is fda approved, but on a southwest airline flight, the flight attendants gave us a hard time about it saying the folding mechanism is a death trap and they would not allow us to fly. We told them it was fda approved and showed the fda stickers on it. basically it was a very ignorant flight attendant.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions