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Does my almost-2yo need a car seat on the plane?

23 replies

ForgedInFire · 07/05/2022 17:56

I keep googling this and can't seem to find a straight answer! Travelling on Monday with my DS who will be 2 in 2 weeks. I've booked him his own seat as he is a bit big now to hold comfortably for 4 hours. Do I need to bring a car seat for him to sit in or will he be allowed to sit on the plane seat? Tui flight from UK to Tunisia, if that makes any difference.

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CeeceeBloomingdale · 07/05/2022 17:58

He can travel without a car seat but would need to be on your lap for take off and landing and when the fasten seat belt sign is illuminated. He can use the seat as soon as that switches off.

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Dontax · 07/05/2022 17:58

Is there a customer service number on Tui? Sounds like something which could depend on airline?

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HSKAT · 07/05/2022 18:00

Fine without car seat

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Lazypuppy · 07/05/2022 18:01

I have never taken a car seat on a plane. Under 2 i believe he has tobe with you fot take off/landing but then you can use the seat

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doggiescats · 07/05/2022 18:02

I genuinely don’t think a car seat is necessary. Sit on lap for take off and landing.

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CloseYourEyesAndSee · 07/05/2022 18:02

Children don't sit in car seats in planes

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DockOTheBay · 07/05/2022 18:02

The seat belts on planes are just lap belts so you wouldn't be able to fit a car seat to it anyway.

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CeeceeBloomingdale · 07/05/2022 18:03

Dontax · 07/05/2022 17:58

Is there a customer service number on Tui? Sounds like something which could depend on airline?

No, it’s an industry standard, CAA regulations.

www.caa.co.uk/Passengers/Before-you-fly/Making-a-booking/Airline-seating-allocations/

I’ve worked in the airline industry for well over 20 years so I’m confident in the response I gave.

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Peterpiperpickedapepper · 07/05/2022 18:04

I don’t think TUI allow car seats in the cabin

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Peterpiperpickedapepper · 07/05/2022 18:05

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LollyLol · 07/05/2022 18:06

Kids don't use car seats on planes. It's not going to crash into a lorry and roll over.

If the plane goes down, you need to get your kid off the plane fast, not have him strapped in a five point harness. If there is turbulence, put him on your lap and use the seat-belt extender to keep him there. Cabin crew will give you the seat belt extender ready for take off

You hear about people taking car seats on planes so that they have them at the other end to use in their taxi or hire car.

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Hugasauras · 07/05/2022 18:08

CloseYourEyesAndSee · 07/05/2022 18:02

Children don't sit in car seats in planes

Actually they can and do.

www.which.co.uk/news/article/child-car-seats-on-planes-five-things-you-need-to-know-before-you-fly-adxx71n7t68w

It might not be something you've seen, but it does happen.

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CeeceeBloomingdale · 07/05/2022 18:11

Under two’s travel in car seats all the time! Car seats exist that can be secured by a lap belt. If you are travelling alone with twins and only have one knee you have no choice but to use a car seat!

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ForgedInFire · 07/05/2022 18:12

Thanks for all the responses! I've only flown a couple of times before and never with kids so I keep feeling worried that I'm going to do something wrong 😁

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Topseyt123 · 07/05/2022 18:13

Mine were never in car seats on planes, and I can't say I ever saw any others in them either. The flight crew might ask you to have him on your lap using the seatbelt extension for take off and landing. Be guided by them. Otherwise, just put him on the seat you have paid for.

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Hugasauras · 07/05/2022 18:14

This is from TUI's site:

You can pay extra to book a separate seat for an infant under two, which comes with a full baggage allowance. Contact us to check availability and prices.

Approved child car seats can be used for toddlers or children in accordance with the age, weight and height ranges that are recommended with the manufacturer. It's the parents' responsbility to make sure the seat is suitable for their child. You'll also need to make sure you bring a car seat that...

- Conforms to European safety standards (they usually have the reference ECE R44-03)
- Is not wider than 40cm or 16"
- Is in good working order, and must be fitted with a single release-type harness
- Is secured in a forward facing position only
- Is secured by the aircraft seat belt, through rigid lower bars and not over the child

Carry cots aren't suitable as they can't be secured in the seat. 

And this might be helpful:

www.seatguru.com/airlines/Thomson_Airways/infants.php

'Do I need to reserve a seat for my infant?
Children up to 2 years old (24 months) must travel on the accompanying adult's lap with a lap-strap safety belt for take-off and landing, and at any time when the seat belt sign is illuminated. if there is an empty seat, the infant may sit in it during the flight'

So it looks like as long as you have DC on lap during take-off/landing/turbulence, you are fine. Of course if you have a bumpy flight then you might end up with them on your lap a lot (which is where a car seat would be a positive).

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JurasicPerks · 07/05/2022 18:18

They don't have to.
AFAIC, carseats that can be secured in plane seats are few and far between. Th chances of your current one being suitable are slim!
He will need to be on your knee when the seat belt signs are on, but is otherwise fine in just the plane seat.

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Genegenieee · 07/05/2022 18:30

When we flew long haul with children under 2, but too big for a bassinet, we booked them a seat and took a car seat in the cabin. Far easier to have them in a harness seat belt than a lap belt during the flight. Mine just used to sleep

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dementedpixie · 07/05/2022 18:36

There aren't many car seats that can be fitted with a lap belt and fit the dimensions of the plane seat. I wouldn't take a car seat on board and then your lo would sit on your lap for take off and landing

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Searchfornessie · 07/05/2022 18:46

CeeceeBloomingdale · 07/05/2022 18:11

Under two’s travel in car seats all the time! Car seats exist that can be secured by a lap belt. If you are travelling alone with twins and only have one knee you have no choice but to use a car seat!

I’m almost my years of flying I have never seen this, although I do know it’s possible. I searched for car seats that were permitted but really struggled to find anything.

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hedgehoglurker · 07/05/2022 19:04

Once over bassinet size, we had our babies in car seats (approx 10 years ago), but it was with US airlines for flights to and within the US, so had to adhere to the US car seat safety rules.

I don't think it is generally a UK/ EU thing though.

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CeeceeBloomingdale · 07/05/2022 19:17

Searchfornessie · 07/05/2022 18:46

I’m almost my years of flying I have never seen this, although I do know it’s possible. I searched for car seats that were permitted but really struggled to find anything.

We had the Britax Eclipse which fitted with lap belt only and also fitted the seat but never bothered to travel with it. My children are teens and tweens so not sure what the current models that work are.

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dramalamma · 07/05/2022 19:37

I've done both car seat and none with an under 2 in own seat. It was a lot easier with a car seat because if there it's not just take off and landing - if there is any turbulence or any other reason the seatbelt sign is on (including them forgetting to turn it off!) you have to pick them up and have them on your lap which can be an absolute nightmare when it's a long haul flight and they've just gone to sleep!
I've also done it with a special aircraft harness - it was worth the investment for me because I was flying a lot (and I often got an extra seat even when I didn't pay for it)
So depends on whether you're flying alone, long haul, other kids etc but do also consider how you're going to carry it - I had luggage wheels for it but it was awkward.

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