Babywearing is not permitted during landing or takeoff, and the carrier is not designed to hold up to the force of a crash. The child will likely be thrown from the carrier or be crushed by the weight of your body, just as if they were sitting on your lap. Turbulence can happen at any time, and it can be violent enough to throw people into the ceiling or several rows away. Remember, on the flight the only things not restrained during taxi, takeoff, and landing are children under two. Children and adults over two, the flight attendants, all carry on baggage, books, computers, soap in the lav, coffee pots, and snacks are secured.
But a lap baby is not. In addition to the lack of safety for a child and the people nearby, there is a risk to checking a car seat.
How to Check in a Car Seat at the Airport: 14 Steps
If you must check a car seat, put it in its original packaging with padding in the box. Or maybe another box with padding. All too often I see parents check their car seats at the ticket counter, wrapped in nothing but a plastic bag to keep the cover clean. The cover being clean at the other end is the least of the concerns. The worst thing that can happen is that a car seat arrives at the other end with damage that cannot be seen.
All of the manufacturers, however, agree that seats should be used on board for the safety of the child. The second to worst thing that can happen is that the car seat is lost. This is fairly common and not something the airline guarantees against. Someone will have to go to the nearest store and buy whatever is in stock to work for the trip. Sometimes airlines have seats you can borrow, or rental car companies do.
Travelling with infants
These should not be used. They are not to be trusted.
The third worst thing would be that the seat is obviously broken when you pick it up. Think about how much easier it will be for you to care for your child by handing them things in their own seat and not balancing them on your lap along with all their toys and snacks which will inevitably fall on the floor and need to be retrieved and your own items. The problem with the CARES is that it really only fits children on the larger end of its 44 lb weight limit.
It does nothing to reposition the lap belt, and smaller toddlers can easily slip right under it. However, its 40 inch height limit means that only a very small number of children will be at a height and weight where it works. It is a viable option for this small subset of children, but only if you will not need to bring a car seat to your destination. We remain hopeful for FAA approval of the Ride Safer Travel Vest , which will function as an appropriate restraint both on an aircraft and in a vehicle for year olds.
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Carrying Booster Seats onto Airplanes. If your child regularly rides in a booster seat, our advice is to travel with a backless booster seat. The child can bring it on board as a carry on item, which ensures it will not be lost or damaged. If you would prefer they ride in a high back booster at your destination, you can pack the high back portion of the seat in your luggage, just make sure it is well packed to avoid any damage.
Did you know that the safest place for your child on an airplane is in a government-approved child safety restraint system CRS or device, not on your lap?
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Occupant protection policies for children younger than 2 years on aircraft are inconsistent with all other national policies on safe transportation. They are permitted to be held on the lap of an adult. Preventable injuries and deaths have occurred in children younger than 2 years who were unrestrained in aircraft during survivable crashes and conditions of turbulence. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a mandatory federal requirement for restraint use for children on aircraft.
Flying with Kids & Carseats – the checked carseat controversy
Note for Canadian Families According to Transport Canada, when children are less than 2 years old, they need to have a ratio with accompanying adults. The regulation is 1 child under 2 per adult. Use a stroller and stack the car seats on it, then babywear the child or have the child walk next to you. Attach a car seat to the stroller, then have your kiddo ride through the airport.
Or, attach the car seat to the stroller and have the child ride in the stroller.
How many times has an airline lost your checked luggage? An airline losing your car seat would surely start your vacation off on the wrong foot. Sometimes airlines have car seats available for passengers in instances they lose yours.
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If you are renting a car at the airport and that company rents car seats you could potentially get one if they have any available. But what if you are traveling alone, then what? If you have a family member or friend picking you up they would now have to stop and buy one for you.
Car Seats on Airplanes Part 1: Car Seats At the Airport
Be sure to check out the restrictions on what children are allowed to use them. Get to the gate early and ask the gate agent if there are any open seats on the flight. If there are, let them know you are traveling with a lap infant. To increase the chance of an open seat I always select our seats in the last few rows. I also choose the window and pick the aisle for my husband. The rows in the back along with middle seats always fill up last.
The gate agents and flight attendants I have encountered on many airlines are usually more than willing to assist. The more comfortable your child, the smoother the plane ride for everyone. Join more than 3k other folks who want to find travel inspiration, product recommendations, and more! When traveling with a Infant Car Seat do you try to gate check that one also?
I am worried about my Travel System and the size and if they will be able to gate check it. Yes I always gate check the infant car seat as well.