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How important is it to have a 3 year old in a carseat on a plane? - Page 2

post #21 of 63
I bring my carseats, but I check them at the gate, I would never dream of trying to install & buckle and manipulate a carseat on the plane, those seats are cramped enough already. I also don't ticket my infants, and we are ALWAYS given empty rows/seats when they're available. no carseat will save a child in a plane crash, and we've never ever ever experiences turbulence that endangered anyone- I have flown with babies a lot in the past 15 yrs- probably more than 20 times. traveling with kids is tricky enough, there's no reason to bother with cumbersome carseats. but I also wouldn't put them through baggage check, I can't imagine watching those guys THROW them on and off the cart.
post #22 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisarussell View Post
but I also wouldn't put them through baggage check, I can't imagine watching those guys THROW them on and off the cart.
Car seats that are checked at the gate are subjected to exactly the same treatment.
post #23 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by caemommy View Post
There is a problem though with 2 carseats in one row - they would have to go window and middle, because an adult cannot be blocked in by a carseat, even if you are their mother!
I have pictures of a RF Marathon and a Nautilus next to each other on a plane They fit great!
post #24 of 63
I know my baby is still in my womb ... but, I gotta say, I would never consider dragging a car seat onto the plane. That just seems, statistically, unnecessary.

If the plane crashes (worst case), chances are high everyone will die. If the plane has turbulence, chances are good that the lap belt will be more than enough. Plus, if there is turbulence, between my dp and I, I'm sure we can manage to keep a kid in their seat.

But, really, statistically, the chances of turbulence injuring or killing someone are small. Look at the number of flights. Look at the number of injuries. It's negligible.

In my lifetime of flying - I've been flying since age 5, around 10 - 15 flights per year. I have NEVER experienced anything that I would even remotely call dangerous turbulence. The worst was a few bumps for which I didn't even need the lap belt. I've also never seen any kids in car seats on planes.

Beyond that, I always wonder about this: car seats are obviously made for cars. They're not likely to withstand the impact of an airplane crash - even if it just happens on the runway.
post #25 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
I know my baby is still in my womb ... but, I gotta say, I would never consider dragging a car seat onto the plane. That just seems, statistically, unnecessary.

If the plane crashes (worst case), chances are high everyone will die. If the plane has turbulence, chances are good that the lap belt will be more than enough. Plus, if there is turbulence, between my dp and I, I'm sure we can manage to keep a kid in their seat.

But, really, statistically, the chances of turbulence injuring or killing someone are small. Look at the number of flights. Look at the number of injuries. It's negligible.

In my lifetime of flying - I've been flying since age 5, around 10 - 15 flights per year. I have NEVER experienced anything that I would even remotely call dangerous turbulence. The worst was a few bumps for which I didn't even need the lap belt. I've also never seen any kids in car seats on planes.

Beyond that, I always wonder about this: car seats are obviously made for cars. They're not likely to withstand the impact of an airplane crash - even if it just happens on the runway.
I agree - from a safety point of view, I think car seats are unlikely to be of much use. However, if your child is accustomed to being restrained in a car seat, it may make the flight more comfortable for the child and easier for the parent.
post #26 of 63
I have to say I agree with Sailor here - before I came to MDC I never would have even considerd hauling a seat onto the plane. It just seems like far more hassle than it would possibly be worth, unless I was like, moving to another state/country, then maybe. But under any other circumstances? And, like here, on the dozens of flights I've been on with dozens of little kids, I have *NEVER* seen a child in a carseat...
post #27 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisarussell View Post
I bring my carseats, but I check them at the gate, I would never dream of trying to install & buckle and manipulate a carseat on the plane, those seats are cramped enough already. I also don't ticket my infants, and we are ALWAYS given empty rows/seats when they're available. no carseat will save a child in a plane crash, and we've never ever ever experiences turbulence that endangered anyone- I have flown with babies a lot in the past 15 yrs- probably more than 20 times. traveling with kids is tricky enough, there's no reason to bother with cumbersome carseats. but I also wouldn't put them through baggage check, I can't imagine watching those guys THROW them on and off the cart.


Actually:

1. FAA approved child restraints, even the larger ones, fit very nicely in airline seats with minimal difficulty

2. With the current trend toward stacking airline tickets and lessening the number of overall flights, the chances of getting a freebie empty seat have singificantly declined

3. The 'plane crash' thing is a complete misinterpretation of the facts. The majority of plane crashes happen on the runway and are survivable if the passenger is correctly restrained. Also, child restraints protect a child in turbulence

4. Gate checked seats, while not *as* likely to get damaged, still get broken, thrown around, and mistreated.
post #28 of 63
I am just here to comment on the checking of your seats. For heavens sakes if you do put them in something.. we flew cross country last year and they just about destroyed our Britax Marathon.. it was horrible and then they offered me a 100$ credit for the next time we traveled for our "trouble" .. i swear it looked like someone ran the thing over with the plane
post #29 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by an_aurora View Post
Car seats that are checked at the gate are subjected to exactly the same treatment.
Yes. Ask me how I know. We had a Peg Perego Pliko stroller gate checked that came back unuseable due to the handles being cracked off, the whole frame bent and the locking mechanism missing (the thing that keeps it closed). That and it didn't get back to us until 2 days into our vacation.

I do not take our best car seats on vacation because if they do get broken and need to be replaced, the airlines will only give you what they think is a fair price - not what it really costs you to replace it. We only got about half the money we needed to replace our stroller - never mind that they didn't reimburse us at all for the rental stroller like they had originally said they would.

Gate-checking is NO guarantee of better treatment.

ETA: If I knew we were flying to a place where I needed the car seat a lot and really wanted our best one, then I would most definitely use it on the plane. That's the only way I'd trust it to travel.
post #30 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maedze View Post
No, not everyone agree's with Adventure Dad, including the FAA, whose stance is that every child under 4 and 40 should be in an FAA approved child restraint. They don't mandate it for a number of reasons, but it is still their stance.
Doesn't matter if you agree or not, the evidence is extremely clear. All data, statistics and real life experience, including FAA's own data, clearly show flying with a child is safer than anything else you will ever do.

This is not an opinion or a point of view, it's facts which are very clear. For those who disagree, please provide relevant statistics that shows flying with children is dangerous. If what others are saying is correct, there should be thousands of injuries and many deaths to children each year due to turbulence.

Earth is round but there are still plenty of people who refuse to believe it despite all kinds of evidence. These people will never be convinced:-)


Mandating car seats on planes would be a disaster and far more children would die since many parents would instead use the car. Sad but true. Studies have suggested 4 children's lives would be saved during 10 years if everyone used a car seat. This doesn't not take into account all the parents which would instead use the car leading to many more deaths. Keep in mind the enormous air traffic, 25 000+ flights only in US each day.

To compare, thousands of kids die each year in traffic in US.

Quote:
Car seats that are checked at the gate are subjected to exactly the same treatment.
Not true. Most car seats checked at the gate DOES NOT end up with regular luggage. It's most often hand carried to the front of plane where it's stowed with umbrella strollers etc. When plane lands these items are often hand carried from the front cargo hold and left at the stairs where parents can pick them up. Treatment depends on what airline is used.
Quote:

Beyond that, I always wonder about this: car seats are obviously made for cars. They're not likely to withstand the impact of an airplane crash - even if it just happens on the runway.
Car seats are tested differently for planes. Tested loads are far lower, if I remember correctly they don't exceed 16 G. Nothing will protect you in a severe plane crash. It's extremely rare to have a child die of become seriously injured while rear facing. But there are catastrophic accidents where it doesn't matter what seat you're in, the child has no chance of survival anyway. That's a severe plane crash.

People who are involved in car seat research and know the facts laugh at car seats on planes if done only for safety. There are many other good reasons, mainly to make sure seats arrive at destination in good condition and on time. Safety benefits are as close to zero as one can come.
post #31 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by an_aurora View Post
I have pictures of a RF Marathon and a Nautilus next to each other on a plane They fit great!
Yes, there are probably lots of seats combos that can both fit in the same row, my issue when I had an infant and a toddler and was flying alone, was that if I was sitting on the aisle, I could not physically reach over to the window child, retrieve dropped items, etc. (And neither of my kids would be okay with not being within touching distance of mom) As far as I know, the Radian is the only FAA seat shallow enough to go on the aisle seat without blocking egress for the adult in the middle. I personally wouldn't mind having to scootch around my child's carseat in the event of an evacuation, but the FAA just won't allow a carseat to block an adult. I wish I had known this about the Radian though, I probably would have gotten it when we were in the market for a new seat!
post #32 of 63
I did the lap-baby thing on a flight when DS was 17 months old and it was pure torture. My arms were shaking by the end of the flight, just from holding him, and it was only from Seattle to San Diego. I dreaded the thought of the trip home, but we couldn't afford to buy a seat for that return flight.

By the next flight he'd aged out of that, and we had him in the carseat until he was 3.5. I have never found it difficult to install a seat on a plane seat, but then, I'm short and fit easily standing up straight under the overhead bin, so it's not a problem. And as long as I haven't overloaded myself with carryons, it wasn't a problem carrying the seat above heads.

I finally stopped when DS was 3.5 and I was traveling alone, I had too many carryons, and the flight was coming from somewhere else and was already packed. The gate agent offered to check it for me at just the right time, and I agreed, and DS did so well that we haven't done the carseat thing again.

But if we have another baby, that baby will be in a carseat on plane seats until I feel that they will stay still and not try to run rampant.


But like I said, by 3.5 he was terrific!
post #33 of 63
I could reach DD by the window just fine.
post #34 of 63
Thread Starter 
Ok, I think I'll definitely have the baby in a carseat, but I'm still not sure about the toddler because I'm worried about the seat getting damaged. Has anyone gate checked a seat on Delta?
post #35 of 63
I don't know if I've flown Delta, but I've flown MANY airlines with gate checked seats without an issue. I do use a bag, however. But I've watched them load them onto the plane a couple of times (from the window of the plane) and they seemed to handle them gently enough. The only issue I ever had with gate checking was a stroller that was gate checked on United. The way the handle was broken off looked like it got caught on something and the guy yanked it to get it out and it broke. Had it been in a bag I don't think it would have happened. They did give us a $75 voucher and the repair only cost $20, so we did come out ahead!
post #36 of 63
United broke my brand new stroller and didn't give me anything :
post #37 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by an_aurora View Post
I could reach DD by the window just fine.
No offense was meant. My kids both want me to hold their hands and talk to them thru take-off and landing (and both seem to constantly drop things), so I wouldn't be able to reach them without unbuckling myself.
post #38 of 63
I don't think any airline has a better rep than others re: gate checking. American lost my gate checked stroller, and United broke the handle off my friend's stroller. It's still a risk to gate check, but probably less of one than w/ regular checked baggage.
post #39 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thisbirdwillfly View Post
No. My kid always flew in a car seat until he was four. I wouldn't hold my kid in my lap in a car while someone drove the length of a runway going from 0 to 200mph, I'm not going to do it in a plane.
I disagree that it's safer for a baby or toddler to be in arms than in a carseat, and the FAA agrees with me.

So do others:

http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/airplanetravel.aspx

If my child requires a carseat for the car, I believe she requires one for a plane. Turbulence is a much bigger concern for safety on an airplane, than a crash is.

The OP was regarding a three-year-old and a carseat. If it were my child, I would definitely use a carseat, since that's what we use in a car.

This is one of those scenarios where I would much rather err on the side of caution than live with a lifetime of regret. It's a personal choice, but to state that the safest place for a BABY is in arms is incorrect.
post #40 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by nighten View Post
I disagree that it's safer for a baby or toddler to be in arms than in a carseat, and the FAA agrees with me.

So do others:

http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/airplanetravel.aspx

If my child requires a carseat for the car, I believe she requires one for a plane. Turbulence is a much bigger concern for safety on an airplane, than a crash is.

ETA: I have been on flights where the turbulence was so bad I knew I never would've been able to safely hold my my baby. Turbulence happens ALL the time.
The OP was regarding a three-year-old and a carseat. If it were my child, I would definitely use a carseat, since that's what we use in a car.

This is one of those scenarios where I would much rather err on the side of caution than live with a lifetime of regret. It's a personal choice, but to state that the safest place for a BABY is in arms is incorrect.
Thank you for this post. I am surprised at the number of parents who a) think a car seat doesn't provide safer travel on a plane and b) think it's too much of a hassle.

Yes, my 3yo uses her car seat on the plane. And I think it's a lot easier for all of us when she's properly restrained in her car seat.
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