car seat on airplane? Do you and how do you? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 01-27-2012, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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  Do you bring your car seat when you travel?  We are taking our first trip with our three year old.   I want to bring it but...1.) I don't remember parents getting on /being on airplanes using them and 2.) is it really hard to attach it to the seat?

 

Also, I just read that some group or other recommends rear facing on a plane longer than in car. We still are rear facing in the car. It would not have occurred to me to rear face in a plane. Is that difficult?

 

 

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#2 of 12 Old 01-27-2012, 05:26 PM
 
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The FAA recommends that all children under 40 lbs be restrained in an FAA approved seat whenever flying.  Furthermore, it isn't safe to check a car seat, so really, your best bet is to bring the seat on to the plane.  


No group recommends rear facing longer in a plane than on a car, but there's no reason you *can't* rear face on a plane.  (There's also no reason, if you want to avoid making waves, since he is three year olds, you couldn't turn the seat forward facing just for the flight.)   


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#3 of 12 Old 01-27-2012, 05:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kfillmore View Post

  Do you bring your car seat when you travel?  

Yep!  It's safer and comfier for DS.  It's not too difficult to get around the airport with a seat.  I have plunked the seat on a stroller (with a bungee cord around it to keep it from falling), set my small carry-on on top of the car seat, and worn DS on my back (or had him walk)

 

1.) I don't remember parents getting on /being on airplanes using them  

It's certainly not required, but it is a safer option.  Many parents probably check their kids' car seats as luggage because of the convenience, not realizing that that is a VERY unsafe option (because of the real risk of serious damage to the car seat)

 

2.) is it really hard to attach it to the seat?

Not at all.  You might ask the flight attendant for a seat belt extender when you board. It can make it easier to un-install the seat when you deplane.  You'll have extra time to get the installation figured out if you pre-board.

 

It would not have occurred to me to rear face in a plane. Is that difficult?

It can be.  What seat do you have?  You can ask for the bulkhead row when you check in, which can offer a bit more room, depending on the plane.  It can be a pretty tight fit in a regular row, and the person in front of you will not be able to recline his seat at all (however, they'd also not have anyone kicking their seat, so perhaps they wouldn't mind! smile.gif)  The RF recline might help your DS catch a nap more easily, if you have a long flight.  I kept my son RF in the car until he was 3.5 years, but since he's been about 2.5 years I haven't worried about it on the plane.  shrug.gif


 

 


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#4 of 12 Old 01-27-2012, 07:50 PM
 
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We ended up checking ours in..............the airline was nice enough to put them in plastic bags....and they didn't get damaged...but not sure what we would have done if they were damaged in transit...........we couldn't really bring them on the plane bc the seats were so big...........but here's a tip......one of our trips, hubby dropped us off at airport with everything while he parked car and shuttled over..didn't even want to think about doing the whole circus train with kids, seats, luggage, etc............and since we couldn't get checked in without him, I had the kids sit and strap into the seats ---in an out of the way place on the floor---while we waited.....because who wants to chase two kids, watch luggage, keep an eye on your purse, and not go nuts before vacation :)----it actually worked.....they sat, had snacks, read books..........and then I let them burn off their wiggles while we waited at the gate.  Don't forget something for ear pressure...gummies? to keep them chewing.


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#5 of 12 Old 01-27-2012, 08:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Virginia Mom View Post

We ended up checking ours in..............the airline was nice enough to put them in plastic bags....and they didn't get damaged...

 

You can't possibly be sure of that.  The damage might not be visible to the naked and untrained eye, but could prove catastrophic in an accident.  A plastic bag does not protect against the seats being dropped, thrown on the ground while being loaded on the plane, crushed by luggage, etc.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzmJr1a-BHU  

 

we couldn't really bring them on the plane bc the seats were so big...

 

Any harnessed seat you buy at the store is FAA approved.  You can really bring them on the plane.

 

 


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#6 of 12 Old 01-27-2012, 08:50 PM
 
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I didnt even think about rear facing DS on the plane! I will have to remember it for our next trip.

On our long trip with a few stop overs DH figured out a way to attach the car seat to our cary on suitcase (with wheels). It was great because we would just strap DS in his seat and pull him around the airport in it, he actually asked to go into it and fell asleep right away.

When he wasnt in it we could pile the rest of our bags and things in it and have free hands!

Good luck!

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#7 of 12 Old 01-28-2012, 06:04 AM
 
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There is absolutely no way for you to be sure that they didn't get damaged.  Car seats are treated very badly as luggage, and you cannot 'inspect' for damage any more than you can look at a seat after it's been in an accident and determine it is still safe to use.  At a check station, I would tell you that the seat should be considered crashed/unknown history and be replaced immediately.

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Originally Posted by Virginia Mom View Post

We ended up checking ours in..............the airline was nice enough to put them in plastic bags....and they didn't get damaged...but not sure what we would have done if they were damaged in transit...........we couldn't really bring them on the plane bc the seats were so big...........but here's a tip......one of our trips, hubby dropped us off at airport with everything while he parked car and shuttled over..didn't even want to think about doing the whole circus train with kids, seats, luggage, etc............and since we couldn't get checked in without him, I had the kids sit and strap into the seats ---in an out of the way place on the floor---while we waited.....because who wants to chase two kids, watch luggage, keep an eye on your purse, and not go nuts before vacation :)----it actually worked.....they sat, had snacks, read books..........and then I let them burn off their wiggles while we waited at the gate.  Don't forget something for ear pressure...gummies? to keep them chewing.



 


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#8 of 12 Old 01-28-2012, 09:20 AM
 
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I do take a seat for DS onboard.  We didn't fly until he was 3.5y and I installed his seat FF even though he was RF in the car at home.  We strap his seat to a folding luggage cart and wheel it on.  It has to be carried over the seats on some planes (narrower aisles).  Stow cart under plane seat, install carseat, install child.  ;)

 

If traveling with DH and DS, I board before they do.  I have multiple life threatening food allergies, so I have to wipe down all the surfaces, anyhow, and almost always get priority boarding.  I take that chance to wipe everything down, install the seat, and stow my carry-on.  Then I'm all ready when DS and DH board.  If it's just me, I make do with DS staying corralled in one of our seats while I wipe things and install his seat.

 

We don't check the seat.  I've seen seats be mistreated in the visible luggage areas (conveyors onto the plane, carts, etc) and who knows what goes on behind closed doors.  I would not be comfortable using a checked seat.  And rental seats have an unknown history.  It's nice to have DS' seat with us in case of delays or travel changes, too.  On a recent trip to Indiana via Detroit, our flight got cancelled.  They were having a heck of a time rebooking for the next day and I offered to change my itinerary if the airline would do so free of charge--also keeping them from needing to put us up in a hotel overnight.  Driving from Detroit wasn't hard for me as my eventual destination was between Indy and Detroit.  I called DH and he handled my car rental changes while I dealt with the airline.  Since I had DS' seat, I was good to go.  Our checked luggage ended up in Indianapolis and was delivered the next day to our eventual destination (northern Indiana) after being flown back to Detroit and then to South Bend before being hand delivered to the town where I was staying.

 

I either strap my carry-on over the carseat while it's on the cart or DS rides in the seat while it's on the cart.  It's easy enough.


Chasing DS since April 2007 and pumping for DD March 2013.

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#9 of 12 Old 01-28-2012, 02:23 PM
 
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I have a hard time rf my scenera on most planes.  It gets too upright.  I get a more relaxing recline ff


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#10 of 12 Old 01-28-2012, 09:21 PM
 
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Yup, I find ffing usually works better.  I then take my kiddos shoes off so that if they do kick the seat in front of them before I catch them it's not as obnoxious.  I LOVE the radian for ffing on airplanes because it sits so low they really can't kick the back of the seat.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chel View Post

I have a hard time rf my scenera on most planes.  It gets too upright.  I get a more relaxing recline ff



 


Happily married to my dh, mama to ds1 (01/2005), ds2 (07/2007)  and dd (07/2009).
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#11 of 12 Old 01-30-2012, 06:07 PM
 
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I take our car seats on the plane. As everyone said, it is not safe to check your seat unless you have put it back in its original packaging. The only seat I would RF on a plane would be a baby bucket that HAS to rear face. It is a pain to the passenger in front of you since they can't recline their seat and also the forces you are worried about are very different than in a car so you don't get the same benefit. 

 

After racking up ~100 in flight hours/year alone with 2 kids, my top recommendations are to get a cheapie folding luggage cart to attach your seat to (I have this one http://www.amazon.com/Samsonite-Luggage-Compact-Folding-Cart/dp/B004WYD9NK) to make it as easy as possible to get through security and around the airport, and also to travel as light as possible. I bring one tiny rolling carry on for the three of us power packed with a huge variety of snacks and tiny activities. 

 

Have fun/good luck!


XM,: mama to ds (5/08), dd (9/10) and ds (6/12) ! whale.gif :C.H.S & M.

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#12 of 12 Old 01-31-2012, 10:58 AM
 
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We take seats on the plane.  We just flew in December with the three kids and took two seats.  We went back and forth on what to do with the 6 year old, as in May she was very uncomfortable in just the plane's lap belt, but she doesn't fit in any seats that we have.  We ended up just putting her in the lap belt again, but this time DH went with us so she was able to lean on him and sleep.  I FF both kids (2 and 4) on the plane, although I did flip the 2yo back RF on the plane as he was having a tantrum and trying to kick the seat in front of him.  We use a luggage cart to transport the seats through the airport.

 

I think the OP might have read this?

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


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