It's been a few years since I last flew with my son. When we traveled last he was only about 16 months old and I was able to install his MA in the airplane seat.
Fast forward and my son is now almost 5 and outgrew his MA by height at just over 4 years old, he uses a HBB in the car. Now we are going to be traveling cross country in a few weeks and I know I can't use his booster on the plane. So is the only option just to have him set with the lapbelt? That seems horribly unsafe to me .. I've personally been on a flight with awful turbulance that threw us around and that's one reason this is such a concern of mine.
Is there anything I'm missing or overlooking? Or should I just plan to buckle him in and hope for the best?
Also, is it safe to check his booster seat, or do I need to try and carry it on with us?
Airline seatbelts are designed to restrain people who are over 40 lbs. If your son is, I'm sure he's going to be fine.
For the booster, get a separatable one like a Graco Highback Booster. Carry on the backless portion and check the high back. That way, you'll have *something* for him to sit on if they lose your luggage
ThreeBeans is right, but if you are still very uncomfortable with him in a lap belt, you COULD get him a Radian. I hear they install well on planes and the harness slots are a lot higher than the MAs. My daughter has outgrown her MA by height, and her main seat is a Regent, but we have a Radian as a spare and she still has a lot of growing room in it.
He's 49 pounds and 44.5 inches, so I guess he should be ok in the seat. I'd love it if he could fit in a Radian .. I may need to make the trip to the local Babies R Us to see if he fits. He's super long in the torso so last time I checked our only option was a Regent and it just has not been in the budget. Is it likely that a 44.5 inch, long torso'd kid would fit in a Radian?
ThreeBeans, that's a great idea. We use a Turbo Booster in my Explorer so if we don't go the Radian route, I'll certainly carry on the bottom portion and check the top half. Great idea.
No guarantees, but I think it's likely he'll fit if you want to have him harnessed. DD is 43 inches tall and super long in the torso, and she has a lot of room in hers. At 44.5 inches I'm sure she'll still fit. Every kid is different; I hope you can find one IRL to try. The Radian is certainly not my fave seat but if you have a kid who has outgrown the MA, sometimes it's your only option. There are some places a Regent just won't fit! (Like on a plane...)
The Radian has an inch more room than the Marathon for harnessing
Only an inch? Yikes. I can't imagine that he'll fit, but I'm going to give it a try today. He's such a big kid, by the time he outgrew his MA people were laughing about how he looked shoved in there.
I think his shoulders would be well more than an inch over the top straps in the MA, so unless we find out differently with the Radian today, he's going to be in just a lapbelt on the plane.
Thanks for the info.
Thanks for this thread!
Thanks for the suggestions guys. We went and tried out a Radian and I almost snapped a pic on my phone it was so funny. He didn't even come close to fitting in there!
So I guess we'll take the Turbobooster with us to Cali and let him sit on the plane in just a lapbet.