Britax Roundabout on Planes - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-18-2007, 01:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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Old 12-18-2007, 02:02 AM
 
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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
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Old 12-18-2007, 03:10 AM
 
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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

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Old 12-18-2007, 03:12 AM
 
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I've flown with the Roundabout and it fit great. You'll have to put it next to the window.
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Old 12-18-2007, 03:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much all of you!

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Old 12-18-2007, 01:06 PM
 
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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.
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Old 12-19-2007, 12:34 AM
 
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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.

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Old 12-19-2007, 02:25 AM
 
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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.

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Old 12-19-2007, 02:47 AM
 
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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
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Old 12-19-2007, 03:57 AM
 
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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.

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Old 12-19-2007, 04:38 AM
 
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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.
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Old 12-19-2007, 11:32 AM
 
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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.

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Old 12-19-2007, 11:42 AM
 
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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/
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Old 12-20-2007, 02:20 AM
 
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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.

Awesome SAHM to 5-yr-old son,3-yr-old girl and a baby girl. Blog about my home http://azaleastudio.blogspot.com
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Old 12-20-2007, 02:31 AM
 
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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!
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Old 12-20-2007, 02:43 AM
 
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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.
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Old 12-20-2007, 02:58 AM
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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
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Old 12-20-2007, 03:11 AM
 
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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.
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Old 12-20-2007, 03:40 PM
 
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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.

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Old 12-20-2007, 03:46 PM
 
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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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Old 12-20-2007, 04:48 PM
 
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We flew from NY to FL this past fall and used our son's Roundabout on the plane and it worked very well. Super easy to install and my son was comfortable because it was his seat, IYKWIM. The flight attendents will check any car seat to make sure it is FAA approved.

Our son did kick the seat ahead of him for the first few minutes. I apologized immediately to the person in front of us (luckily it was another child and the mother was fine with it! ) and as soon as we could, we reclined his seat just enough so that his feet couldn't touch the seat ahead of him anymore.

Leah- wife to Chris : SAHM to Henry (03/06)and to Evelyn : (06/08). She is our heart attack survivor at 3.5 weeks and went on to have open heart surgery at 5 weeks for Coarctation of the Aorta.
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Old 12-20-2007, 11:59 PM
 
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That seat is NOT FAA approved and therefore can not be legally used on a plane.

-Angela
You might be right, but can you tell me where you read that this isn't FAA approved? A sticker on the back of the seat says that it is approved.
I assumed the sticker was right, and was so happy to have found a light, smaller seat to use for travel.

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Old 12-21-2007, 12:05 AM
 
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Alegna, now I see what you were talking about, but it turns out the Gotham Booster is okay on a plane if you use the 5-point harness, but not if you use it as a "belt positioning booster." Just wanted to share, since it was a relatively cheap solution that worked really well for us. (You scared me for a minute there, since we checked it out carefully before we bought it.)

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Old 12-21-2007, 01:19 AM
 
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You might be right, but can you tell me where you read that this isn't FAA approved? A sticker on the back of the seat says that it is approved.
I assumed the sticker was right, and was so happy to have found a light, smaller seat to use for travel.
I found a link that said it wasn't FAA approved- glad it was just the booster.

-Angela
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Old 12-21-2007, 01:19 AM
 
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I sat in front of an older child (3 or 4) who was in a car seat 3 years ago. It was horrible. The child kicked my seat constantly - until I demanded that the flight attendant move one of us. (she ended up moving the mother and toddler to the bulkhead seat) It was a 6 hour flight - there was no way I was going to tolerate that on a flight I needed to sleep on.

I think that by 3 - they are old enough to stay seated in a normal seat and don't need the car seat.

My sister flew many times with my niece right before her second birthday - and never used a car seat and didn't ever wish she had.
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Old 12-22-2007, 02:18 AM
 
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We've flown several times with our son, and every single time we've brought his Britax Marathon along. We installed it rear-facing on all the trips where he was still rear-facing in the car, too. Let's see... our flights were at 5 months, 9 months, 19 months, 2 years, and just last week at 3.5 years (I think the last two flights were forward-facing). I think on one flight when he was 2 years we had some issues with him kicking the seat in front of him after the person in front reclined, but otherwise, nothing. His legs aren't touching the seat in front of him at all; I'm having trouble grokking why that's happening to some folks with similar seats... maybe they're reclined too far?

What is a pain, though, is that if you install the seat tightly and properly, it's a b**** to unbuckle the seatbelt and take it out when you're done. Last time, I sat on the seat (on my knees) to give it slack while DH pulled the buckle up, but that method took five minutes of grunting and straining and fiddling to work. The most recent flight, actually, DH just didn't pull the belt all the way tight, which is NOT a good workaround :-(.

I can't imagine my 3.5-year-old sitting still and proper in an airplane seat with just a lapbelt. He would be completely capable of unbuckling it or climbing right out of it, and absolutely WOULD try since he wouldn't be able to see out the window otherwise. I wouldn't be comfortable at all with flying without his seat for a while yet; we'd all just be miserable.
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Old 12-22-2007, 02:21 AM
 
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I think that by 3 - they are old enough to stay seated in a normal seat and don't need the car seat.
Many, if not *most*, 3 yr olds are not going to be happy or comfortable that way. AND they are safer in carseats.

-Angela
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Old 12-22-2007, 02:48 AM
 
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I sat in front of an older child (3 or 4) who was in a car seat 3 years ago. It was horrible. The child kicked my seat constantly - until I demanded that the flight attendant move one of us. (she ended up moving the mother and toddler to the bulkhead seat) It was a 6 hour flight - there was no way I was going to tolerate that on a flight I needed to sleep on.

I think that by 3 - they are old enough to stay seated in a normal seat and don't need the car seat.

My sister flew many times with my niece right before her second birthday - and never used a car seat and didn't ever wish she had.
Sorry, but my child's safety trumps other passenger's comfort. I have flown many many times with children in car seats, and I never let DD kick the seat in front of her.

CPST & mom

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Old 12-22-2007, 03:04 AM
 
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I have a Marathon that will only be coming with us on our trans-Pacific/cross-country trip if we are booked in bulkhead seats. If not, our smaller carseat is the one coming with us. On our way TO Hawaii, DD's seat went in the center (three seats in the center of the plane; she was in the center of the three seats), with the smaller car seat, and I felt horrible for the person next to her, even though it really wasn't too bad. (It DID make for a nice headrest for ME when it was naptime!)

For the record, on every flight (and I've never flown internationally), the FA's have always checked for the sticker. Even in her infant seat, and we had a good time trying to FIND the sticker on that one (and we did eventually find it).

Single WAHM to 5yo DD, 2yo DS, and forever 7 week old angel DD.
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Old 12-22-2007, 03:16 AM
 
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For the record, on every flight (and I've never flown internationally), the FA's have always checked for the sticker. Even in her infant seat, and we had a good time trying to FIND the sticker on that one (and we did eventually find it).
Forgot to mention in my previous post... in all our flights, no one has EVER checked the sticker. Maybe they already know the Marathon is FAA approved ;-) but seriously, not at check-in, not at the gate, not after we were seated. Just double-checked with my DH too that it's never happened.

And I'll chime in with previous posters... safety > comfort, for ALL passengers. The lap belt is NOT comfortable for me, but I keep it fastened all the time I'm in my seat. I'd rather have the tray table down and the seat reclined the whole time I'm on the plane, but it's against safety regulations. Small children need more to be safe, and frankly, if I have the choice between a 3-year-old and an adult being equally uncomfortable, I'll take the comfort of the small child any day, since they have a LOT fewer coping mechanisms for dealing with discomfort.

That being said, the one time seat-kicking was an issue, we did our best to prevent it, which is common courtesy. But then, I've sat in front of grown-ups who couldn't keep from kicking my seat on planes, in theaters, and at sporting events, so not everyone "gets" that either.
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