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Carseats on Planes

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Baby Boy is Here!

Member since 5/11

7562 total posts

Momma <3

Carseats on Planes

Do most people use a carseat on a plane?

We are taking our first plane ride over Christmas break. My DS will be 3 years, 8 months and weighs about 39 pounds. From what I have read, the FAA recommends using a CRS until 40 pounds.

We have a Chicco NextFit and Britax Marathon. They are both pretty bug so I am thinking they might not fit.... Anyone have any insight into this? We will be flying SouthWest. We are going from Albany to Oklahama. We have one transfer if that makes a difference.

I was just wondering what most people have done in a similar situation.

Posted 12/8/17 8:02 PM
Long Island Weddings
Long Island's Largest Bridal Resource


Member since 8/10

6001 total posts


Carseats on Planes

I have never brought a car seat on a plane, but we started flying with DD at age 3.

Posted 12/8/17 8:52 PM

Love multiplies, not divides

Member since 11/12

14481 total posts


Carseats on Planes

We only fly with a car seat on the plane if we need it for a rental car at our destination. We just flew with our girls 2 and 4 and didn't use car seats.

I've flown with a britax advocate which is even bigger than the marathon and we didn't have an issue.

Posted 12/8/17 9:35 PM

And then there were 4

Member since 1/10

5224 total posts


Carseats on Planes

Despite all the people who say they fly with them, I've never seen a car seat on a plane

ETA-i have gate checked a seat

Message edited 12/8/2017 9:39:54 PM.

Posted 12/8/17 9:39 PM

My 2 Girls

Member since 2/09

20494 total posts


Carseats on Planes

Flying in January with my 2 and almost 4 year olds and we are absolutely using their car seats on the plane. I’d never check one or use a rental. I feel more comfortable using my own and there’s no way I’d trust it to be checked and handled the way luggage is.

Also my 2 year old cannot sit unsupported due to her cerebral palsy so she’d need to be in a car seat no matter what.

Posted 12/8/17 9:52 PM


Member since 3/09

7721 total posts


Re: Carseats on Planes

I have flown with car seats when kids are 2-3. Mostly so the kid would nap like in the car.

By the end of 3, we gate checked a car seat. We’ve done this many times and have watched them handle them very nicely (but we do fly JetBlue).
Honestly, I think the lap belt is fine at holding the kids by that age. 40 lbs is a big kid.

So, if you fly with seat, be sure the sticker says it can be used in the plane CLEARLY. Flight attendants will want to see it. The seat must be placed at a window seat (so in an emergency, it won’t block aisle). I took the lightest car seat we have (an evenflo).

Message edited 12/8/2017 10:05:35 PM.

Posted 12/8/17 10:04 PM

LIF Adult

Member since 8/12

4043 total posts


Re: Carseats on Planes

I’ve flown with car seats until about age 2.5. After that I used the CARES harness.

Posted 12/8/17 10:35 PM

LIF Adult

Member since 5/12

2911 total posts


Carseats on Planes

Since you have only one seat to bring, I don't think you'll have a problem with it fitting.. I looked up the seat widths for the plane we were flying and our car seats because I needed to fit them side-by-side. I would just take the lighter, narrower car seat.

Posted 12/9/17 3:05 AM

LIF Adolescent

Member since 4/16

625 total posts


Carseats on Planes

We have brought a car seat on the plane since we had to purchase a seat at 2. She’s almost 3 1/2 and I find that she sits better in the car seat because she is used to it and used to not getting up while she’s in it. She will also sleep in the car seat, but won’t just sitting in her seat. I purchased the Cosco Scenera. It’s cheap and lightweight.
We are currently in Jamaica and brought the car seat on the plane with no problems. She didn’t sleep, but she didn’t ask to get up once during the 3 1/2 hour flight.

Posted 12/9/17 3:21 AM

LIF Adult

Member since 7/05

9421 total posts


Re: Carseats on Planes

When my kids were under one I brought the infant carrier on the plane. Older than that I used the 5 point harness that attaches to the seatbelt and checked the carseat.

5 point harness attachment

Posted 12/9/17 9:11 AM

Peanut is here!!!!!!

Member since 5/09

18388 total posts


Carseats on Planes

Never and we have been flying with ds since he was 4 months and we fly 2-3 times a year.

Posted 12/9/17 9:15 AM

LIF Adult

Member since 7/13

1350 total posts


Re: Carseats on Planes

We have flown with our Britax Pavilion (rear facing) many times. No issues. It didn’t always fit through the X-ray machines at some airports so they just hand checked it.

I prefer using the car seat bc 1) it’s the safest option 2) we usually need a car seat wherever we’re going and I won’t rent one or gate check ours bc they just throw them around and don’t want to risk it gettin damaged 3) DD is used to it and usually stays in it and sleeps

Message edited 12/9/2017 12:07:12 PM.

Posted 12/9/17 12:04 PM

2 Boys

Member since 7/06

17692 total posts


Carseats on Planes

We've never done it - I have flown multiple times of year with DC since they were 10 weeks old.

Posted 12/9/17 12:40 PM

LIF Adult

Member since 8/12

997 total posts


Re: Carseats on Planes

I have never used a car seat before. My 3 year old was just fine in the seat without one.

Posted 12/10/17 8:27 AM

LIF Adult

Member since 12/13

1101 total posts


Carseats on Planes

we used the cares harness while flying with my 3 year old for the first time this summer.

Posted 12/10/17 11:38 AM


Member since 5/09

5751 total posts


Re: Carseats on Planes

I used a car seat on the plane for my DS1 until he was 4. Until then he always sat in his car seat and he flew maybe 6 times ages 1-4. DS2 took at least 10 flights from age 8 months - 2 yrs and has always sat in his car seat. I would not check or gate check my car seat. And I've seen other kids in car seats too on the same plane. For age 3 I'd look into the CARES if you don't need the carseat at your destination.

Posted 12/12/17 9:42 AM

Love baby feet

Member since 2/09

2894 total posts


Re: Carseats on Planes

I will share my experience:
I flew with my daughter when she was 3 and I brought the car seat on the plane (I also have the Britax Marathon) and it was a giant PITA carrying it on the plane getting it in the seat and then lugging it off the plane and through the airport (even though I had one of those bags with the wheels on it).
Coming home I checked the car seat and it was so much less stressful.
I've seen these harness things that are FAA approved that act like a five point harness while flying, that might be a better option.
Just my opinion.
Good luck.

Posted 12/12/17 11:47 AM

Just call me Mommy.

Member since 1/11

5570 total posts


Carseats on Planes

I use a car seat for my daughter. She is use to the seat and acts like it is no big deal to stay seated for the length of our flight. I have a wheeled bag for my Britax car seat and it is not difficult to get it through the airport- I often fly alone with my daughter and cannot imagine what I would do without the piece of mind that she is securely strapped in- we have had a few very turbulent flights and she was completely unphased.

Message edited 12/13/2017 12:32:18 AM.

Posted 12/13/17 12:31 AM

LIF Adult

Member since 7/08

22624 total posts


Re: Carseats on Planes

Posted by evrythng4areason

Despite all the people who say they fly with them, I've never seen a car seat on a plane

ETA-i have gate checked a seat

This! I have gate checked car seats and have never seen kids in a carseat on a plane in all the times we've flown

Posted 12/13/17 7:06 AM

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