Jan 11, 2011
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Car Seats During Air Travel – Useful Tips for Parents



You are all geared up for vacating abroad – flight-bookings, baggage packing done and buggy set to go. Though when it comes to car seats, most parents are confused on whether they could be bringing it along on the flight or would it be fitting in the flight seat? How must one correctly be installing car seats?

Here is useful advice for all parents in such situations.

Must parents be bringing along car seats on flights?

Certainly bringing along car seat is deemed as a safe strategy as there are several tricky scenarios that can be encountered like turbulences on air or the most dreaded – a crash survived, though what will your little one being riding in en route to & fro airports & when one gets around destinations. Even renting or borrowing car seats isn’t dependable at all times as these could well be obsolete or redundant & also not safe. Moreover, there is a greater chance of erroneous fitting as often a parent would not be familiar with the car seat. Hence, the gist of it all is that there must be uniformity in safety point – whenever children are in movable vehicles, their strapping in correctly fitted car seats should be a rule of sorts.

Most airlines generally accommodate people to carry car seats & would permit them along with a handbag & a personal object. In case costs of procuring a supplementary seat for your kid is an issue then checking with the airlines as many of them are offering reasonably priced child charges.

How does one discern whether one’s car seat is safe for usage on airplanes?

Checking one’s car seats whether they could be safe for flights as they would be carrying FAA-approval stickers on them (the lingo would even be found in the instructions handbook of the car seat, in case the label hasn’t torn apart). The presence of this label assures that the car seat could be safely used on flights and vehicles since it has successfully cleared inversion testing which means the kid would remain strapped in the car seat despite it upturning.

How does a person identify whether his/her car seat would be fitting?

An FAA-consented sticky label does not assure that a car seat would be fitting on a certain airline. Car seats come in varying widths anywhere amid seventeen and twenty-one inch. Hence, it is always prudent that measurements of car seats be checked against measurements of the particular airline. One could locate rough measurements of majority of the car seat brands from the site car-seat.org and measurements of seats on airplanes on website seatguru.com or one could contact the airline one plans to fly with. The total distance across the seat doesn’t hold as much importance, though instead how broad it is at the region which is most constricted on the flight seat (classically the location of the arm resting on the flight seat).

In case one travels by air frequently then one may check out ‘Combi Coccoro’ which is perfect for flyers as it is the most constricted seat available in the markets at fifteen inches. One even gets a complementary Flash stroller which is a huge relief as one would not have to be carrying the kid or car seat throughout airports.

Air hostesses must notify passengers on turning their rear-faced seats forwards

Air hostesses might attempt getting travellers in facing their car seats forwards, though passengers have the rights to place them rear-faced till the time the kid is not exceeding ht. or weight prerequisites for a certain seat.

According to FAA recommendation, car seats installation should be in forwards-faced seats. This translates to the fact that the flight seat must face forwards and that child car seat needn’t be facing forwards. In case one is allotted a backwards faced flight seat then one will not be capable of using it for car seats.

What is the right installation of car seats on airplanes?

Rear-faced car seat installation is done in the analogous manner as it is done in cars and in case the traveller seated ahead of you is complaining about reclining not possible then simply telling him/her that your little one would have sound slumber in this manner and would not be kicking the backside of the seat.

Installation of a forwards-faced car seat needs more attention & manoeuvre as compared to rear-faced car seat on airplane. Factually, in case one does an erroneous installation then air hostess would be ending up detaching the complete seat belt. Hence, here is some advice on proper installation of a forwards-faced seat:

  • Reclining the flight seat back.
  • Putting the strap via the car seat strap trail. Buckling the strap with the clasp flap towards the flight seat back so that one is capable of releasing it.
  • Tightening seat belt & then raising the seat back.

Additionally bearing in mind that installation of all car seats should be done on seats wherein they would not be blocking anybody’s exiting during emergencies. This translates to the fact that car seat must be going in a window seat or the mid-seat of the mid-section wherein passageways are present on both sides for exits. Car seat is not permitted in exiting row.

Could booster seats be used on flights?

One should ideally be checking the booster seat or stashing it on the bin above the child’s head as it could not be used on flights since any airplane doesn’t have shoulder straps & any booster would need them. Though vehicle seats converting to boosters are fine in using, however merely if one uses them with the five-pt harness setting.

Being Aware of one’s privileges

Air travel can be stressful, particularly when one is carrying handfuls of baggage and children to handle. It would breakdown any resolution when flight employees are being hard on you regarding use or installations of car seats then do remember that:

  • In case you procured a ticket for your baby then you’re permitted for using the kid’s car seat on his/her flight seat.
  • In case the car seats are not fitting in allotted seats then the airlines have to locate other seats which would be fitting the car seats in the analogous class.
  • A parent could deploy restraints for kids irrespective of how old he/she is or size till the time the restraints are apt for the kid’s form & weight.
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