It’s a hot topic on the family travel forums. Should I take a car seat on a flight when flying with a child?
There are no rules and regulations as to whether you have to use a car seat for your baby, toddler or child on a flight. It all just comes down to, what you and your child feel most comfortable with?
So let’s look at –
The things to consider when taking a car seat on a plane.
For every parent, the safety of their child is always foremost in their thoughts. Using a five-point child harness along with the extra padding that comes with your car seat is the best protection you can provide for your child during a flight.
Many children whatever age can feel anxious when they fly. By providing you child with a car seat that they know well could provide that security, thereby reducing anxiety for your child.
- Luggage allowance
If you plan on using/needing a car seat at your destination, having the car seat installed for the flight could save you on your luggage allowance. Whilst some airlines allow as many pieces of baby paraphernalia you wish eg. pram, porta cot, high chair etc. Many only allow one piece of baby equipment free of charge. Any extras you will have to pay excess luggage. By taking the car seat on the plane means that you still have that one free piece of baby equipment to be checked.
However having the car seat installed onto a plane seat means that your child is restricted with where they can move about or lay down. You cannot remove the car seat from the plane seat during the flight. This means you cannot raise the armrest to allow your child to lay across the plane seats to sleep.
- Room to move
As the car seat cannot be removed your child may feel confined. This could cause your child to act up, climb all over you or worse annoy other passengers due to the minimal space that the car seat has created.
- Not using the car seat after the flight
If you don’t plan on using the car seat in a car after the flight it could mean that the car seat is now sitting in your accommodation taking up valuable hotel room space or storage.
What You Need to Know
If you do choose to take your car seat you need to:
- Get approval by the airline
If you do choose to take the car seat on a flight you will need to first ensure that your car seat is approved by your airline (visit your airline’s website for details).
- Book installation
Once you are sure your car seat is approved, then add the car seat to your child’s booking. If you are flying with an infant this will mean that you will have to purchase a seat for your infant.
If you like the idea of the five point harness but don’t need or want to take your car seat in the plane then perhaps consider a Cares Airplane Safety Harness. This harness has been approved by many major airlines around the globe. However please double-check your airline’s policy.
Is there anything else you need to know about flying with a car seat?
Please ask me in the comments.
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