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Britax Duo plus on airplane

(33 Posts)
Mamimawr Tue 17-Jan-17 13:46:55

We will be flying to San Francisco in May and want to take a car seat on the plane for our two year old so that she can sleep etc. Has anyone used a Britax Duo plus car seat for a toddler on a plane? Did it fit?! We're flying with Virgin.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 17-Jan-17 17:57:36

No. do not use it on the plane. It could well be more hassle than it is worth.

You will have to carry it through the airport building as well as down the aisle and you'll likely have enough to carry as it is. Those things can be heavy to carry. If you do bring it with you I would pack it well and check it as hold baggage.

VA seats are very narrow and most car seats do not fit the seat dimensions It cannot overlap the seat either.

From VAs website:-

"If you’re travelling in Economy, you can bring your own car seat onboard all our international and domestic flights as long as you’ve booked a seat for it.
If you would like to use your own car seat, it must:
Be designed to be secured by means of a normal aircraft single lap strap
Have a separate 5-point restraining harness
Not exceed the dimensions of the aircraft seat, and should fit into an area of 43cm x 43cm (17.ins x 17ins)
Must be secured to its host seat at all times of the flight
If for any reason your car seat cannot be fully secured, it may have to be placed in the hold. In these circumstances, your infant will have to be secured to your lap whenever the seat belt sign comes on
The car seat must also display one of the following labels:

EU approved labelling
Approved for use in motor vehicles according to the UN standard ECE R 44, -03” or later
‘Qualification Procedure for Child Restraint Systems for Use in Aircraft’
(TÜV Doc.: TÜV/958-01/2001)

And there's more as well:-

"Please note:
1. You may be asked to show the approval labelling to our ground staff and cabin crew, so please make sure you know where to find it.
2. You’ll need to show our cabin crew that you’ve fitted the seat securely and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
3. The seat must fit securely using a normal aircraft seatbelt, as unlike cars, we don’t have ISOFIX systems or seatbelts that are worn over the shoulder.

Premium Economy and Upper Class
If you have a car seat, you may be aware that you can’t use them where airbags are fitted. As all of our Upper Class suites and the Premium Economy seats on many of our aircraft have airbags you will be unable to use your own car seats".

Mamimawr Wed 18-Jan-17 06:48:10

Thank you for your opinion Attila. It's a long flight and we think our child will sleep better in a car seat than without. Of course it'll be a hassle but we think it'll be worth the hassle.

We have an option of borrowing a Briyax Eclipse which is a smaller seat. Has anyone used either seat on a Virgin flight?

Luckystar1 Wed 18-Jan-17 06:58:33

I'm fairly sure (but you'd need to check!) that the Eclipse is the only Britain approved for airplane use. You also need to buy the extra part to use with it on the plane, it's a red clip 'thing' you can get on Amazon.

Luckystar1 Wed 18-Jan-17 07:07:34


Artandco Wed 18-Jan-17 07:11:38

Both those seats are too wide for on the plane.
Like above, it has to be 43x43 maximum and able to be fitted with a lap belt. The eclipse IS lap belt compatible but too wide

We used car seats for newborn to sitting (1 ish year), but after that it's easier and comfier without a seat on plane as then you can lift arm rest and they can lay down fully on seat lay half on you so can sleep properly.
With a seat they also can't use seat tray to eat or play on as not enough space to pull down

feesh Wed 18-Jan-17 07:21:51

It needs to have an FAA stamp or sticker on it in order to be used on a plane. If that's the case then go for it, it's a great thing to do if you can afford to buy your little one a full sized adult seat.

Artandco Wed 18-Jan-17 07:28:36

Feesh - all 2+ year olds have to have their own seat

Luckystar1 Wed 18-Jan-17 07:44:04

Art is it just Virgin that the Eclipse is too wide for?? As I've seen people using it on flights, I think it was BA??

Artandco Wed 18-Jan-17 08:53:05


Virgin say - car seats must
Be designed to be secured by means of a normal aircraft single lap strap

Have a separate 5-point restraining harness

Not exceed the dimensions of the aircraft seat, and should fit into an area of 43cm x 43cm (17.ins x 17ins)

Only allowed in economy - as airbags in other classes

The britax eclipse is 64 x 45 x 57 cm and therefore doesn't fit into the required dimensions. Both Ba and virgin have same restrictions. It can't be bigger that 43x43 as the seats are 44x44 in size

Mamimawr Wed 18-Jan-17 10:53:17

Oh dear, I really hoped someone would come along and say that they had used one of the seats successfully! Thank you all for your help.

museumum Wed 18-Jan-17 11:04:33

We have that seat and I'm pretty sure it won't fit. How old is your child? If 4 or 15kg then who've just bought a trunki boostapack for this situation. It's a backpack that changes into a booster seat. I would still want to hire a proper car seat at the other end if I was hiring a car but we aren't, we just have a short coach transfer.

Mamimawr Wed 18-Jan-17 11:22:54

Child is two and we'll need to take a car seat for the car hire as I haven't been happy with the standard in the past.

Artandco Wed 18-Jan-17 11:26:38

Bare in mind in America car seats have to pass different laws. So your British car seat might not be allowed. Ie in Australia they have to have a top tether so only one with can be used

Mamimawr Wed 18-Jan-17 13:58:56

I understand that Artandco but the last time we hired a car seat for a toddler in USA we were offered a choice between a very poor hbb and a toddler seat without straps hmm

twotimestwo Fri 20-Jan-17 21:28:54

We've taken a Britax eclipse on BA and air NZ economy. It fitted fine secured with lapbelt - the duo needs a 3 point belt so doesn't work.

AliceMum09 Fri 20-Jan-17 23:50:19

The width measurement for the Eclipse will be across the widest part at the front of the seat. It's likely to be narrower at the back where it is actually touching the plane seat. And it doesn't need the FAA approval specific to air travel because in the quote you provided from the Virgin website it states that the ECE R44/04 label is sufficient (check the Eclipse has this attached, it's an orange sticker on the back of the seat).

I would take the seat onto the plane, the worst they can do is take it off you and put it in the hold (have a travel bag ready for that eventuality with some bubble wrap if you can).

I'm pretty sure you're allowed to use non-US seats if you are just on holiday, it's safer to do that than to rely on a hired seat. I would just do a bit of research on the seatbelts in American cars though, I'm pretty sure they are locking ones and to install a child seat you have to pull the seatbelt all the way out before you fit the child seat and pull the seatbelt tight.

If you look on Facebook for 'European Car Seat Nut' the lady who runs that (or her husband) has family in America and they fly there a lot using an Eclipse. You could look at her page or messsge her for advice (not sure if this link will work )

OlennasWimple Fri 20-Jan-17 23:55:28

Different states have different requirements for car seats, so check what you need before lugging something over with you

Are you certain the car seat will be worth it on the plane? I'd have thought a toddler neck pillow, a blanket and being able to lean on you with the arm rest raised would be just as good for sleeping?

AliceMum09 Sat 21-Jan-17 22:22:16

It's a lot safer for a child to travel on a plane in a car seat, I don't know why they make it so difficult in Europe! We've taken a few flights in the USA and between the USA and Canada and there were quite a few car seats on all those flights.

Mamimawr Sun 22-Jan-17 07:54:19

Thank you all for your advice and opinions. We will be taking a car seat with us and as you say Alicemum, if it doesn't fit it can be put in the hold. We had a really bad experience trying to hire one last time we were in the US, so we will be taking one with us.

KP86 Sun 22-Jan-17 08:11:58

I've used car seats for long haul flights with my DS and would do it every time I had the option.

I use a little fold up trolley and a men's belt to secure the seat to the trolley then DS gets put in the seat as a way of transporting him through the airport.

As long as the seat is within the dimensions stated on the website, I'd definitely do it.

FruitCider Sun 22-Jan-17 08:17:57

Unless your car seat has a chest clip you will be looking at a hefty fine in San Francisco OP.

MiddleAgedMother Sun 22-Jan-17 09:12:14

We always took a car seat with us as hire car companies ones were so unreliable.
Checked in at the airport.
Secure straps - wrap in towel, black bin bag and lots of packing tape sellotape.
Never damaged and flew lots - as family overseas - with 3DC.
Airlines never counted as an item if baggage either.
Gave up on checking prams/buggies as soon as we could and took as carry on.
BA Virgin etc will replace broken prams but that's little help while you don't have it!

Kirriemuir Sun 22-Jan-17 15:26:34

Do you really want her in a car seat for 12 hours? You will have nowhere to put it so she's in it for the duration.

Put it in the hold if you can legally use it in SFO. You can then lift the arm rests between you and she can lie flatish while on the plane.

AliceMum09 Sun 22-Jan-17 16:28:43

The idea of using a car seat on the plane is for safety - of course if the plane falls out of the sky it's not going to save your child's life, but in case of turbulence or an emergency landing it's much safer for a child to be in a car seat rather than on your lap or just held by the plane's lap seatbelt.

If your child is happily sleeping across two seats and they switch the seatbelt sign on you're going to have to move them and try and get them onto their own seat with the seatbelt on. If they are asleep in their car seat you can just leave them. They don't have to sit in it for the whole flight though.

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