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Britax Roundabout on Planes

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
We're considering a trip with our almost 3 year old ds in January. It will be our first on a plane with a car seat. The seat we have is the Britax Roundabout. It says its FAA approved but does that necessarily mean it will fit the seats? (It looks pretty borderline to me.) One leg of our travel will probably be a turboprop. The agent said our reservation for a 2 year old wouldn't have been accepted if it wouldn't work. I'm not totally convinced and would appreciate hearing of anyone's actual experience.
post #2 of 38
We have a boulevard and have flown numerous times with it without problem. We had it on turboprops twice- it fit fine, but had to be ff, not rf (the only time it couldn't rf)

-Angela
post #3 of 38
I flew on a 2 1/2 hr. trip this summer with our Marathon (bigger than Roundabout) and it was fine. DS didn't have much leg room but he slept most of the flights anyway. I kept him up on purpose so he'd nap in the plane
The thing that really surprised me is that when I booked the flight over the phone the lady said I had to provide my own carseat and had to be FFA approved for flying but not one person checked it when I was at either of the aiports, the flight attendants didn't even bother to try and help me install it or anything. They just made sure DS was buckled up when everyone else was supposed to.
I could've flown with a POS carseat and no one would've know the difference
post #4 of 38
I've flown with the Roundabout and it fit great. You'll have to put it next to the window.
post #5 of 38
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much all of you!
post #6 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by nascarbebe View Post
The thing that really surprised me is that when I booked the flight over the phone the lady said I had to provide my own carseat and had to be FFA approved for flying but not one person checked it when I was at either of the aiports, the flight attendants didn't even bother to try and help me install it or anything. They just made sure DS was buckled up when everyone else was supposed to.
I could've flown with a POS carseat and no one would've know the difference
I've found that they check the faa approval mostly on international flights. They don't check anything else. Why would they care? Most people don't even bother bringing seats for the kids anyway. You will have to seat it in a window seat, so sometimes if there's no window seat available, they won't accept the reservation, or they'll make you check it anyway.
post #7 of 38
Agreed - our RA fit fine here too, even on the Dash8 (actually I find some of those smaller planes have more space per than the larger ones!).

The only question is whether to rf or ff (assuming both are an option). RF and the person in front can't tip their seat back. FF and the child can kick the seat in front. Sigh.
post #8 of 38
We tried 1x flying with our Britax Marathon (just a little bigger than Roundabout), and DS couldn't help but have his feet pressed against the seat ahead of us. It was so uncomfortable for him, for me, and the poor person ahead of us. We ended up buying an extra car seat just for travel:

http://www.target.com/Cosco-Gotham-H...%20seat&page=1

We used that on our last trip, and it was SOOO much easier. It was lighter, DS was able to relax his legs, and I wasn't squished between the seat and DH, like l was with the Britax. DS is pretty tall for his age, though (36"), so this might not be a problem for those with smaller tots.
post #9 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by noralou View Post
We tried 1x flying with our Britax Marathon (just a little bigger than Roundabout), and DS couldn't help but have his feet pressed against the seat ahead of us. It was so uncomfortable for him, for me, and the poor person ahead of us. We ended up buying an extra car seat just for travel:

http://www.target.com/Cosco-Gotham-H...%20seat&page=1

We used that on our last trip, and it was SOOO much easier. It was lighter, DS was able to relax his legs, and I wasn't squished between the seat and DH, like l was with the Britax. DS is pretty tall for his age, though (36"), so this might not be a problem for those with smaller tots.
That seat is NOT FAA approved and therefore can not be legally used on a plane.

-Angela
post #10 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by noralou View Post
We tried 1x flying with our Britax Marathon (just a little bigger than Roundabout), and DS couldn't help but have his feet pressed against the seat ahead of us. It was so uncomfortable for him, for me, and the poor person ahead of us.
To be honest, we've had nothing but *terrible* luck traveling with all carseats beyond infant seats, including our Britax Marathon and our Britax Roundabout.

: : : e eventually gave up on doing car seats for planes. I know that is a highly controversial move at MDC, as I've seen discussions here about it in the past and lots of us MDC types are very concerned and concientious parents. However, I have two tots and we have to travel right now a *whole lot* (flying at least once a month recently), and reality has not panned out for the ideal. Please no flames. I've heard all the pros and cons before, and believe me, we tried *everything* and really thought this one out.

My best advice is to try it, but if worse comes to worse, you can always gate check it after your first leg.
post #11 of 38
I've flown with our Marathon and I haven't had any problems. I think the smaller jet we had him forward facing and it installed rather easily.

Some FA's will check them, some won't. It's really hit or miss. However, to be on the safe side, I just play by the rules.
post #12 of 38
We took 2 Roundabouts on our flight to Kansas City this summer. I believe the plane was an MD-80. They fit absolutely fine, even rear-facing.

We (obviously) were flying only domestically on Midwest Airlines, and they checked the FAA approval sticker at LGA and at MCI.
post #13 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierra View Post
To be honest, we've had nothing but *terrible* luck traveling with all carseats beyond infant seats, including our Britax Marathon and our Britax Roundabout.

: : : e eventually gave up on doing car seats for planes. I know that is a highly controversial move at MDC, as I've seen discussions here about it in the past and lots of us MDC types are very concerned and concientious parents. However, I have two tots and we have to travel right now a *whole lot* (flying at least once a month recently), and reality has not panned out for the ideal. Please no flames. I've heard all the pros and cons before, and believe me, we tried *everything* and really thought this one out.

My best advice is to try it, but if worse comes to worse, you can always gate check it after your first leg.
this might be an option for you:

http://www.kidsflysafe.com/
post #14 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by OGirlieMama View Post
We took 2 Roundabouts on our flight to Kansas City this summer. I believe the plane was an MD-80. They fit absolutely fine, even rear-facing.

We (obviously) were flying only domestically on Midwest Airlines, and they checked the FAA approval sticker at LGA and at MCI.

That's exactly what we flew on on Midwest Airlines from Kansas City to Boston. Here's a picture I took of DS on the plane http://www.flickr.com/photos/azaleaw/565931396/
I had to keep him from kicking the seat in front of him but he quickly learned not to.
post #15 of 38
We took two Britax Roundabouts on SWA from Chicago to Florida. On the return trip there were no problems taking the seats on the plane. But leaving Midway they told us we couldn't take the seats on the plane. I had already called the airline twice prior to the trip to make sure it was approved. By the time they told us this, my daughter had been having a meltdown in security because she had to get out of the stroller and take off her shoes. I explained that I had been told twice the seat was approved – they didn’t care. I told them that if she didn’t have her seat, where she felt safe and comfortable, she would probably have a meltdown during the entire flight – this must have worked because they said it was fine to take the seats on the plane.

In the spring we switched to the Britax Regents which will not fit on the plan – so we’ve been driving to Florida!
post #16 of 38
Oh lord, I vote no! We took our Britax Wizard on a plane once. NEVER, EVER again... Huge, heavy, miserable for whomever had to squeeze in next to it. I would buy or borrow something as narrow as possible, or just go without altogether. You said almost three year old - I always used car seats on planes when our kids were babies and toddlers - but not once they are three.
post #17 of 38
No advice on the Britax; but for any looking to buy a seat & knowing they will need to fly, try this: http://sunshinekidsbaby.comfortfirst...0_car_seat.asp cheaper than the marathon, use from 5 to 80 lbs (in a 5 point harness the whole way!) so no other seat needed, folds & comes w/ a shoulder strap for travel, and has a steel frame so narrower (outside) than most convertible seats while still wider inside. (or there's a cheaper version that goes to 65 lbs instead & doesn't have the body pillow)
Just not as well known as Britax 'cause it's not at Babies R Us, etc.

Safety info here: http://sunshinekidsbaby.comfortfirst...ngineering.htm
post #18 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirsten View Post
I always used car seats on planes when our kids were babies and toddlers - but not once they are three.
One reason I would rather have them on the plane, besides safety and the fact that my kids know they need to remain seated in the car seat, is that I would rather not check the seats and have them thrown around with the luggage. I've heard too many stories of car seats damaged by airlines.
post #19 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbsam View Post
One reason I would rather have them on the plane, besides safety and the fact that my kids know they need to remain seated in the car seat, is that I would rather not check the seats and have them thrown around with the luggage. I've heard too many stories of car seats damaged by airlines.

We've had damage to our stroller (twice), but never to our car seats. Knock on wood. With a lot of flying under our belts, and two car seats, I am taking this as a good sign. I think they do try to be more cautious with car seats (I fly Jetblue when I can, largely because their seats are a little wider and they have more leg room than economy in other airlines, which means more comfort with kidos...also they tend to have pretty child friendly practices.)

A note for anyone wishing to gate check items: The airlines should give you very large, thick plastic bags to put around your car seats and strollers. This helps protect them. If you check the bags, they do it there at the check in counter. If you plan to gate check, they usually tell you to ask for one at the gate.

I have had TERRIBLE luck getting these bags at the gate, on all airlines. 85% of the time, they insist they don't have bags. So I've taken to asking for one at the check in counter. They WILL likely tell you that you have to wait and ask for one at the gate. They MAY tell you they don't have one at the check-in counter. However, push it firmly but politely because they WON'T likely have one at the gate, and they DO have them at the check in counter (they have to...how else would they cover car seats and strollers that are checked). The two times my stroller has been damaged, it has been because of not being covered in a bag. It is in the airlines interests to make sure you get your bag because if your items are damaged, you are going to come after them.

LolaK, thanks to the link for that buckle. That is awesome! It is so great that it is even approved for takeoff and landing. I hope folks planning to fly consider this as an alternative to the car seats. I would second Kirsten's car seat concerns.

And by the way, my son FLIPS out in car seats on planes. He enjoys flying, but the noise of the jets always freaks him out if he can't take the option to be held by us if needed.
post #20 of 38
We've taken the Roundabout on a few flights (an MD80 and several 737s). My issue is that it put ds's feet right on the seat in front of us and he ends up kicking the whole flight. Next time we won't be taking the car seat. Also, if you don't have the car seat, you can lift up the armrest and kiddo can lay across your lap more easily.
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