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Kiddy Car Seat On Transatlantic Flight

(28 Posts)
Notsopromum Sun 02-Aug-15 11:29:16

Hi I'm really hoping someone can offer some advice based on their own experience. I have a Kiddy GuardianFix Pro 2 car seat which I chose as it's TUV approved for airline use and we plan to travel a fair bit in the coming year. We are flying with Norwegian airline in a few months from the UK to Los Angeles, I keep reading very conflicting information online and I've been in touch with the airline several times hoping to find a knowledgable member of staff to no luck! My concerns are that due to its design (no 5 point harness and a bolster pad thing instead) that we may be turned away from bringing it on the plane. The airline have told me that as long as it's TUV approved it will be fine, but I've read reviews where people have been told no at the gate. I also looked online for their seat dimensions which say 43cm wide but the Kiddy car seat I have is 46cm wide according to the dimensions listed online, but having checked a number of group 1 car seat dimensions I haven't come across a single seat that would fit in their 43cm wide plane seat, I'm totally confused.

My son will be 19 months at time of travel and he's extremely active and I just know I won't be able to manage him on my lap for a 12 hour flight, hence me purchasing a seat of his own. I will be needing the car seat in America as we're hiring a car.

Does anyone have any experience of using a Kiddy car seat on a plane? Or has anyone flown with Norwegian with any car seat? I'd appreciate any experience! Thank you!

StonedGalah Sun 02-Aug-15 11:35:16

Do you need to take the car seat? I've flown back and forward to Aus with young dd and l wouldn't consider taking one tbh!

sorry no help, but think carefully if you need it, having that extra space is very helpful.

SavoyCabbage Sun 02-Aug-15 11:41:45

I can't imagine being crammed in next to a card seat. It sounds hellish. I have sat in the middle seat in the backseat of the car a couple of times, wedged in next to the car seat and it's a bit claustrophobic. I don't think I'd fancy it for hours.

I'd rather buy one when I got there.

NotInGuatemalaNowDrRopata Sun 02-Aug-15 11:48:13

I've flown long haul (UK - NZ/China) with children a lot and my advice would be to get a good travel bag for the car seat and let your child sit on the plane seat. There will be much more room for everyone to get comfortable, whether awake or sleeping. I don't see the need for taking it into the plane with you.

Notsopromum Sun 02-Aug-15 12:19:45

Thanks for your replies, in short, yes I do need the car seat as I am collecting my hire car there at the airport, I'm not going to hire a car seat as I can only imagine what kind of state they will be in and who knows what they have been involved in. And I'm not prepared to spend $80+ on a new car seat to use for two weeks. Also, I'm fairly certain the rules for an under 2 in their own seat state that they need some kind of restraint system ie a car seat. He definitely would wriggle out of a standard plane lap belt.

JaniceJoplin Sun 02-Aug-15 12:43:13

I used to book seats when my children were 18 months or so. They need to be on your lap for landing and take off with the special belt, but I was never required to strap in them in otherwise during the flight.

I imagine it will be very difficult to ensure absolutely that the car seat will fit the plane seat until you get there as plane fittings vary a lot even when the plane is the same type. I think different seats can be different sizes aswell depending on exactly where they are on the plane too.

If the car seat is not a 5 point harness, surely it will be just as easy for your son to manoeuvre out of the seat as it would be the normal lap belt ?

I think you should probably just focus on keeping him occupied with entertainment etc. A friend of mine just let her son walk about the plane and sit on the floor etc. The staff didn't mind and helped to entertain him. She was on her own with 2 other children, including a baby and it was a 12hr flight.

StonedGalah Sun 02-Aug-15 12:57:29

I would check it in though. Under 2 will need to be on your lap for take off, landing and any turbulence too l think.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 02-Aug-15 20:45:48

It will not fit on the aircraft seat so you will need to put it in the hold of the aircraft TUV approved or otherwise. They will not let you use such a seat onboard; also such plane aisles (especially theirs) are very narrow indeed and it will be a mammoth task in itself just carrying it to the seat anyway with your child and any other hand baggage you are carrying. Your idea anyway of taking such a seat onboard is a flawed one.

You will be given an extender seat belt on take off and landing.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 02-Aug-15 20:46:45

Also do not rely on them to fully provide re food; take foodstuffs that he likes.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 02-Aug-15 20:50:54

Why Norwegian when there are other (perhaps better) carriers to LAX?.

NotInGuatemalaNowDrRopata Mon 03-Aug-15 01:54:11

You are right to take your own seat, hire car seats are ridiculously expensive and nasty. BUT it is folly to try and take it onboard with you. You simply won't need it. Please trust what everyone is trying to tell you.

nippa Mon 03-Aug-15 03:37:33

I flew from New Zealand to London via LA a couple of years ago, and took our Kiddy Guardianfix Pro 2 with us on the plane. We flew with Air New Zealand. The car seat fitted in the plane seat no problem, but it had to go in the window seat so it didn't cause an obstruction at all. The lap belt on the plane fitted round the impact shield with no problem. If it's too short then you can use a seatbelt extender, which should be available on the flight. So, no problems fitting and using the car seat in the plane at all. But, my DD, who was 13 months old at the time, just wanted to sit on my lap so we didn't use the car seat on the plane at all! On the flight home I checked the car seat in with our luggage.

nippa Mon 03-Aug-15 03:51:50

Have you seen Kiddy's instructions for using the seat on a plane, OP? www.kiddyuk.com/assets/pages/34/AG_I-III_Aircraft_Manual.pdf

JellyTipisthebest Mon 03-Aug-15 03:57:59

My friend used hers on the flight from uk to nz on Emirates years ago so not on a A380 which would be bigger. I would take something to put in in the hold in as well in case they don't let you. My understanding is it is down to the cabin crew. You may need to have baby on lap for take off and landing

NickiFury Mon 03-Aug-15 03:58:40

What's wrong with Norwegian then Atilla?

MaybeDoctor Mon 03-Aug-15 09:47:37

The OP has bought her ticket - she can't change from Norwegian now!

They definitely won't let you have him in there at any point when the seatbelt sign is on. I think your best bet is to check it in to the hold, preferably in a hard-sided box, bag or case. If not, then a one piece seat might be a good purchase for the trip as it would be more robust in the hold, rather than the Kiddy which has the join in the middle. I think there is another thread with some offers on.

I have a kiddy seat and the other thing you might want to check out is the style of seatbelt in the hire car. Some North American cars have the seatbelt coming from above the door, not the shoulder of the seat.

But the extra seat on the plane is definitely a good plan.

The other thing to consider is something like a 'BabyB'Air' flight vest. They have a strong loop by the crotch that a seatbelt can go through to prevent escaping. They are approved by the authorities and were originally designed for situations where airlines did not provide seatbelt extenders for babies.

Groovee Mon 03-Aug-15 09:50:29

We bought a seat for Dd when we took her to Florida at 15 months.

She had to be on our laps for take off and landing but the extra space was handy for the long flight!

Aberchips Mon 03-Aug-15 14:47:31

I would second what others have said & simply take the car seat to put in the hold. We always take our own car seats when going abroad for peace of mind & easiness. However I can't see that having a car seat in the cabin will help you much- also would you really have him strapped in for the whole flight? Yes it is tricky to manage young kids on a plane for several hours at a time, but you would be better off looking at strategies for keeping him entertained. A DVD player/ tablet with Cbeebies progs, Peppa Pig etc would have kept my two entertained for some time at that age. Paper & crayons, small toys (cars etc) wrapped up in paper before you go, then bring them out at intervals. Walking up & down the plane is always a good one.

Good luck!

Notsopromum Mon 03-Aug-15 17:59:15

Attila thanks but I have actually flown with him a number of times so I'm aware of what to bring food wise. And the airline of choice was not the advice I asked for, thank you.

Nippa thank you very much for your advice, good to hear from someone who's actually used it and has some experience.

Maybedoctor thanks for the suggestion on the flight vest, unfortunately it looks like it's unavailable in the UK though.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. We flew to Florida when he was around 7months and it was so easy as he wasn't very mobile at that age and him being on our laps was no problem at all, but now he can't sit still for 5 mins and even a recent 2 hour flight to Morocco was a nightmare! I think what I'm going to do is buy a cheap second hand Britax Prince or Eclipse which are supposed to be the narrowest group 1 flight approved seats, if they won't accept it on the plane it's fine I will put it in the hold, I just don't want my Kiddy getting bashed about! At the end of the trip I can just leave the Britax car seat behind.

I'll take some blankets and maybe a pillow or something to wedge him in nice and comfy on the plane so he can watch his cartoons and eat his snacks happily, I'm tempted to buy that CARES harness, as he will 100% wriggle out of a lap belt. I really didn't want to spend even more money though! Thanks again everyone

Christelle2207 Mon 03-Aug-15 18:07:44

I see why you want to take a car seat and also want an extra seat for your son but fail to understand why you wouldn't want to put the seat in the hold.
My toddler -similar age- would absolutely not tolerate it but I'm sure would be fine on an actual seat, and presumably on my knee for take off and landing.

addictedtosugar Mon 03-Aug-15 18:16:23

We've never taken carseat on the plane, but have done long haul with a very wiggly 18 month old (amongst other ages). We to have always bought a seat, but under twos need to be on your knee for take off and landing. They were less concerned with turbulence. We actually put the arm rests up, and he sprawled between us. We also spent lots of time walking up and down the aisles, but it was sent nearly as bad as we thought!! Can't remember who it was, but she meone also had a sort of booster seat for plane use during normal flight, but he was on our knee, with the extension belt for takeoff and landing.

Have a great holiday.

Artandco Mon 03-Aug-15 18:26:56

I would also just check car seat in with luggage. We fly lots both short and long haul. We only found car seat on plane good when we had x2 under 2 as could have newborn in car seat and eldest in own seat but laying across Us when asleep.

You can't have them in seat when seat belt sign is on. We have done the London to New York flight occasionally when seatbelt sign never came off so even with own seat they have to stay on your lap.

It's far easier to let them sleep head on your lap and body in their seat. Plus if flight isn't full you can then take over whole row

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 03-Aug-15 18:27:56

I was only wondering about your choice of Norwegian in the first instance when there are other carriers that go to LAX.

Using some extra blankets for your son's seat would indeed be a good idea.

NickiFury Mon 03-Aug-15 18:35:11

You said "perhaps better". Do you have some insider knowledge? Clearly people fly with Norwegian because it's a lot cheaper. I will be flying back from US with them in October. This is because other carriers were £700 plus per flight, one way and Norwegian were only £272. I am just trying to find out whether there's an issue with them or not because reviews I read on line are mixed.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 03-Aug-15 19:03:06

The old adage applies - cheap does not always equal cheerful. Why are they so cheap, its because they pare all costs to the very bone.

I remember seeing their passengers stranded without any onward assistance from them at Fort Lauderdale.

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