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need advice--regarding carseats and airplanes


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So dd and I are flying to Houston next week to visit family. It will be just me and dd (dh is working). We have a flight approved carseat which we are bringing anyway because my family doesn't have one that dd can use (all their seats are expired). DD has to use her own seat, she's 2 1/2 and needs to have her own seat on the plane. I am trying to decide if I should put her in her carseat on the plane or just let her sit on her own seat without the carseat. What have you done in this situation?

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if she kicks I can stop her easily and she listens. I am only concerned too that because it is a red-eye flight and I know a lot of people are going to want to lean back and sleep and don't know how practical it will be space wise.

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I flew with my dd when she was 20 months. I had to bring her carseat and I chose to have her sit in it on the plane. I think it was helpful because she was sued to sitting in it and could not get out easily. Also, she was sued to sleeping in it, which she did on a late flight.

 

We flew last month and I had to watch my almost 3 yo to make sure he did not unbuckle or slide out of the seatbelt. It was tightened, but seemed to give a bit when he got wiggly.

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Yes - Definitely use it on the plane. Like everyone else said she will be used to sitting in it and will be more likely to sleep. Also the possible damage that could be done to it checking it isn't worth it. I fought the airlines for over a month to pay for a replacement carseat after they damaged mine on a flight and I still didn't get enough to cover a replacement seat.

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you've had great advice. we travelled with all 4 of ours from 6 weeks on. i only didn't use a car seat once.... that was enough. they are used to their carseats and familiarity is worth its weight in gold. so is peace of mind.

 

enjoy your trip!

ann

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I definitely brought it on the plane when my kids were babies and toddlers. I flew a lot so I knew it worked on the plane. Twice I had flight attendants tell me it wouldn't fit and luckily I could say that I had taken it on that sort of plane before.

 

At some point around 3 I started checking it, either all the way though or with the stroller at the gate. My boys went through brief periods of kicking and also it started to lose its ability to put them to sleep.

 

I have to say I'm really happy not to mess with those on planes anymore but you may not quite be there yet.

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Thank you, I have been leaning toward using but have been getting some advice to not use it because it is more trouble than it is worth. This I'd the same friend who told me that dd will end up hating all the healthy stuff she eats now (granted she only feeds her kids processed foods so it's no wonder).

 

Okay so I have to ask, will a myride 65 fit on a 757 plane in coach--does anyone know? If not it is okay it is an obscure question.

 

The last time flew dd was under a year and she was on our laps since she was still nursing.

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It *should* fit :) Just remeber, she will have to be by the window and to ask for a seatbelt extender.

 

You can always get a cheaper/lighter/less cumbersome seat, like the Cosco Scenera, for the plane. While I LOVE that seat, it is not a seat I would like to be toting around the airports.

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If you're worried about who will be sitting in front of you and wanting to lean back, call and ask them to move you to bulkhead seating. People with kids will often get those seats so fewer people are "inconvenienced" by the kids. It can buy you a little extra space too, depending on the plane.

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If you're worried about who will be sitting in front of you and wanting to lean back, call and ask them to move you to bulkhead seating. People with kids will often get those seats so fewer people are "inconvenienced" by the kids. It can buy you a little extra space too, depending on the plane.

 

They won't do that for babies. Bulkhead seating has to be people who are old/mature enough to help people off the plane in an emergency.

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Am I the only one who's been told I'm not allowed to use the carseat on a plane? Are you flying coach? I've been told I can leave it with the stewardess at the entrance of the plane instead of checking it, but I was told at least 2x we flew that we can't use the carseats. I wonder what the difference was?

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They won't do that for babies. Bulkhead seating has to be people who are old/mature enough to help people off the plane in an emergency.

 

Really? I've seen babies/kids in bulkhead seats several times when we've flown. Though now that I think about it, they've been in the middle section, not the side rows next to the exits. Maybe that's the difference? According to the site I linked, bulkhead walls are in places other than just the emergency door rows, like behind walls where the restrooms are.

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i am going to ask if I can get a "front row" seat with no seats in front (it's not an exit row) plus it's near a restroom so if dd needs to pee (she's potty training) it'll be okay. Come to think of it I have not seen a carseat installed on a plane. She is normally FF anyway now (she could be rear facing but she was reaching limits on her seat--weight wise) in the car. I may switch her back to RF when we are driving around in Houston--we live in a less "heavy traffic" area.

 

I am going to ask when I check in and I will ONLY gate check my seat (and stroller. bringing one for ease of carrying stuff lol).

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Am I the only one who's been told I'm not allowed to use the carseat on a plane? Are you flying coach? I've been told I can leave it with the stewardess at the entrance of the plane instead of checking it, but I was told at least 2x we flew that we can't use the carseats. I wonder what the difference was?

 

Only if your car seat was not FFA approved or you were flying certain international airlines.

 

What was the seat you were using?

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IF your seat is FAA approved, you should be able to use it on a plane on all domestic flights. Some airlines require that you have a purchased ticket for the child using the carseat (cannot be flying as a 'lap child'). Also, you cannot use a booster on a plan since they only have lap belts. If a seat if FAA approved, part of that approval is dependent on size and that it will fit in airline seats.

 

Just an FYI, even though I have never flown with any of my children while in car seats, I will only buy car seats that are FAA approved*. Why? To get FAA approval, the seat must meet certain safety performance standards in a roll-over situation. Roll-overs are *not* part of the testing for approval for use in vehicles. Even though our seats may never be used on airplane, that extra testing gives me more peace of mind about possible situations that I may need that seat to protect my most precious passengers.

 

We have a seat that is a 5-point harness all the way to 80 lbs. that is not FAA approved, but that is because of its size. It is too big to fit in an airline seat, but it has been roll-over tested and would pass the safety standards otherwise.

 

And this was my opinion even before my 5-day old grandson was in a roll-over accident last week and the first-responders said the car seat (and its proper installation) definitely saved his life.

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Really? I've seen babies/kids in bulkhead seats several times when we've flown. Though now that I think about it, they've been in the middle section, not the side rows next to the exits. Maybe that's the difference? According to the site I linked, bulkhead walls are in places other than just the emergency door rows, like behind walls where the restrooms are.

 

I *think* Shanna may have been thinking of the emergency row seating, which isn't the same as bulkhead seating (bulkhead doesn't usually have an emergency door). Shanna, correct me if I'm wrong! We ALWAYS try to get bulkhead seating when we travel with children. And FWIW, I probably wouldn't use a carseat on the airplane. Oddball, me, I know! But I'm just throwing that out there to add to the information for the OP .......

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I've learned to always bring the car seat on board because my babies & toddlers sleep much better that way.

 

I agree. I've also found the key to traveling with littles is to bore them to sleep. No toys, no distractions, just sleep. My 2 are a year apart & we've flown 3-4 times a year since birth, 90% of it I did alone. And, I used to carry $5 Starbucks gift cards to thank super helpful.flight attendants (i occasionally had to go to the bathroom and had to ask them to keep an eye on a sleeping kid) and they always went over well. Have fun.

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I think you can sit in the front row of coach if it divides into first class - but you cannot sit within 2 rows of an exit row with little kids.

 

The question on the seat size - I used to travel with 2 Britax seats - and they are huge.

 

Here is a tip for getting through the airports - if you lengthen the straps on your car seat you can either hang it over the stroller handles or wear it as a backpack. Super easy. [This was critical when I made solo trips with 2 kids, 2 car seats, stroller and all our junk. Glad those days passed!!]

 

And really - its so much easier than driving - you can sit & interact. Don't sweat it!!

Edited by Kayaking Mom
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Just an FYI, even though I have never flown with any of my children while in car seats, I will only buy car seats that are FAA approved*. Why? To get FAA approval, the seat must meet certain safety performance standards in a roll-over situation.

 

To pass FFA "testing" all they do is strap a dummy in the seat and turn it upside down. If the dummy does not fall out, it passes.

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I'd bring the seat. Last year we flew cross country with our 3. Dd was 22months old and I put her seat in with the luggage. She was super wiggly and didn't sleep n the the long 6 hour flight. It was really tough on all of us. Would she have slept if in the car seat? I don't know...she always been high energy, not a sleeps easily type kid. This is the type of toddler who could take over the world with her energy - you know, the ones Bill Cosby talked about - "give me a bunch of 2 year olds and we can take over the world!" I'm not in a hurry to fly again with her!

So, bring the seat on the plane.

 

Regards,

Michele

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how do you know if a seat is faa approved? is there a list? we'll be flying with my three. my oldest just uses a halfbooster in the car so i think we'll check that. my 4 year old and 1 1/2 year old have those evenflo 5 point harness that convert to lap belt ones when they are older. Of course the 1 1/2 year old will be a lap child so i'll have to check that one.

do you get charged for checking a carseat?

thanks

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how do you know if a seat is faa approved? is there a list? we'll be flying with my three. my oldest just uses a halfbooster in the car so i think we'll check that. my 4 year old and 1 1/2 year old have those evenflo 5 point harness that convert to lap belt ones when they are older. Of course the 1 1/2 year old will be a lap child so i'll have to check that one.

do you get charged for checking a carseat?

thanks

 

Do NOT check your seat! The airline is NOT responsible for ANY damage that could be caused during transport.

 

Car seats and boosters do not count as carry-on items.

 

You can easily pack the LBB in luggage though :)

 

Make sure your 4 1/2yr old's shoulders are not above the last harness slot in the Evenflo. If they are, he has outgrown the seat and needs a new seat ASAP. Also make sure he is under the weight limit.

 

*Most* car seats are FFA approved, however boosters are not since they can not be used with a lap belt only.

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how do i bring the carseat with me if i can't bring it the plane and you don't recommend checking it? also what is an lbb?

 

LBB-Low Back Booster, which I assume is what you have since you said "half booster"

 

You can gate check it, if you must yet the airline is NOT responsible for damage, best practice is to use it however. Turbalence can be scary, and a child is much safe in his/her seat.

 

Remeber, damage is not always visible to the naked eye. A damaged seat is an un-safe seat. So this is why we recommend NEVER to check a seat and ALWAYS use it on the plane.

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Even gate checked your seat can get damaged. Mine got damaged while gate checked. I was able to get the airline to give me some money for it only because it was damaged due to their gross mistreatment of my seat. Thankfully I was watching from the plane and saw what happened.

 

One baggage handler threw my infant seat to another one about 20 feet away. He missed it went tumbling across the pavement and then ended up in front of a baggage cart and getting pushed another 50 feet by it. They tried to claim that it was all scuffed up when I gate checked it! Thankfully I had snapped a few pictures of my son in his carseat and stroller in the airport so after fighting with them for awhile and finally sending them the pictures of my carseat and stroller in the airport they admitted that they damaged it and would replace it but wouldn't give me the full cost because they claimed it was still usable just cosmetically damaged.

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yikes! i don't know if i wan't to haul two carseats along with the three kids through the airport. grandma and grandpa will be with us...but that still is a lot of stuff. i see what you are saying about possible damage and it not being visible. hmmm still deciding what to do.

thanks for the info:)

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yikes! i don't know if i wan't to haul two carseats along with the three kids through the airport. grandma and grandpa will be with us...but that still is a lot of stuff. i see what you are saying about possible damage and it not being visible. hmmm still deciding what to do.

thanks for the info:)

 

Get a luggage cart or two, strap a car seat to each cart with bungee cords. Your kids can ride thru the airport, and you can store the carts under the seat during the flight. While the kids are in the seats on the plane.

 

Makes life a lot easier.

 

Good luck!

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One reason that hasn't really been touched on for bringing your seat on the plane (and USING it) is that children who are not safely restrained on a plane are at a significantly higher risk of serious injury or even death should their be a runway crash (VERY common) or turbulence in the air. Lap babies are commonly known as "cabin missiles" by airline attendants for a reason.

 

 

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6564309n&tag=related;photovideo

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One reason that hasn't really been touched on for bringing your seat on the plane (and USING it) is that children who are not safely restrained on a plane are at a significantly higher risk of serious injury or even death should their be a runway crash (VERY common) or turbulence in the air. Lap babies are commonly known as "cabin missiles" by airline attendants for a reason.

 

 

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6564309n&tag=related;photovideo

thanks, as if i wasn't paranoid enough already lol

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:) Not trying to make you paranoid, just doing my job. (I'm a Child Passenger Safety Technician. lol)

 

I know you weren't tryig to scare me lol, I just am absolutely terrified of flying. I would prefer to take a train or drive lol even from WA to TX.

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I *think* Shanna may have been thinking of the emergency row seating, which isn't the same as bulkhead seating (bulkhead doesn't usually have an emergency door). Shanna, correct me if I'm wrong! We ALWAYS try to get bulkhead seating when we travel with children. And FWIW, I probably wouldn't use a carseat on the airplane. Oddball, me, I know! But I'm just throwing that out there to add to the information for the OP .......

 

Me, too, dear friend!

 

OP, we recently flew across the country. On the way out, we had our 3yo use the car seat on the plane. It was bulky and made the other 2 seats in the row more uncomfortable. So on the way home, we gate checked the seat. Our 3 yo was able to stretch across his daddy's lap and snooze. Plus his 2 seatmates were not so squished. It worked much better for us.

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Definitely take your carseat on the plane for that age child.

 

Two other suggestions:

 

1) Consider purchasing an item like this if your budget will handle it. I bought an ancient one from the consignment shop in town for $12. If you live locally (Iowa), I'll loan it to you! Maybe a friend has one you can borrow.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Go-Go-Babyz-QRKIDZ-Kidz-Travelmate/dp/B000JJK9EY/ref=sr_1_28?ie=UTF8&s=baby-products&qid=1277657048&sr=8-28

 

2) I know you are traveling alone this time, but if you are traveling with your partner in the future, do what my wise friend A does:

 

A does not early board, but she sends her husband on with the carseats during early boarding. He gets the seats ready and stashes extra stuff (camera, diaper bag). By the time she and the kids board at last call, the seats are ready to go, and the kids aren't antsy for sitting an extra 20 minutes on the plane.

 

Travel safely, and have a good visit.

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I will go against the grain as well as admit that I never put my kids in a car seat on an airplane. I think I'm doing a good job by getting all of us onto the plain by myself! I think I might have gate checked a seat once, and it was a huge pain trying to transport it along with my kids and gear to the gate.

 

My kids haven't had any issue sleeping on planes without their car seats, and I haven't had trouble keeping them in their seats.

 

Oh, and we always board last. I try to get them to run as much as possible before we are trapped.

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If you do use the car seat on the plane, please know that the tray table likely won't come down flat due to the car seat. Last time we flew the activities we brought to use on the tray table were useless. It also made eating a bit trickier.

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One reason that hasn't really been touched on for bringing your seat on the plane (and USING it) is that children who are not safely restrained on a plane are at a significantly higher risk of serious injury or even death should their be a runway crash (VERY common) or turbulence in the air. Lap babies are commonly known as "cabin missiles" by airline attendants for a reason.

 

 

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6564309n&tag=related;photovideo

 

:iagree:Also not trying to scare anyone, but I can attest to this. I was a flight attendant (years ago) and during training, we were shown re-enactments of what happens to "lap babies". They can become missiles with just a hard landing. There is no way a person can physically hold onto a child, no matter how hard they want to. Also, people would think that it was ok to put their child in the seat belt with them, not realizing that their own weight in an accident, hard landing or nasty turbulence could severely harm the child.

 

After seeing that film, I never put my babies on a plane without an approved seat. I remember several times, traveling alone with a toddler and an infant. I just strapped the seats together, slung them over my back like a pack mule, put the kids and a diaper bag into a double-stroller that I pushed right up to the door of the plane for the baggage checkers. Usually, flight attendants or other passengers would take pity on me and help carry something in. When I deplaned - always waited for everyone else to get off first - my double stroller was always there waiting for me.

 

We always paid the extra money for each child to have their own seat, no matter what their age. I can still see that training movie in my head.

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When I flew internationally, an American woman was told by the European flight attendants that the child HAD to be removed from the car seat during take off and landing for safety reasons. (It was repeated multiple times, and the flight attendant took the seat away, so I am sure I understood correctly.) However, they have an extension seat belt thing that buckles around the baby, through the adult's belt. I just found it interesting.

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When I flew internationally, an American woman was told by the European flight attendants that the child HAD to be removed from the car seat during take off and landing for safety reasons. (It was repeated multiple times, and the flight attendant took the seat away, so I am sure I understood correctly.) However, they have an extension seat belt thing that buckles around the baby, through the adult's belt. I just found it interesting.

 

 

Yeah, I'm aware of things like that happening. :( Then again, there are "experts" (nurses, firefighters, police, etc) who are convinced that rear facing past one year and 20 lbs is dangerous. They're wrong, no matter how much they think they're correct, and children are injured (or worse) because of this extremely outdated advice.

:rant:

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Am I the only one who's been told I'm not allowed to use the carseat on a plane? Are you flying coach? I've been told I can leave it with the stewardess at the entrance of the plane instead of checking it, but I was told at least 2x we flew that we can't use the carseats. I wonder what the difference was?

 

If you buy a seat for the kid on an American carrier, they can not disallow you to bring on board a FAA-approved seat for your child to use. International flights often do -- it has to do who is running it.

Edited by vonfirmath
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