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Car Seats on aeroplanes

20 replies

izzysmum · 25/04/2003 14:12

Hi

Has anyone taken a Maxi Cosi Priori car seat on an aeroplane?. We have purchased a seat for our daughter and Easyjet said that the car seat should fit, but now we are starting to worry. Has anyone taken a seat and it hasn't fitted.

Thanks

Katy

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zebra · 25/04/2003 14:28

Related: how do you find out if a UK carseat is legal in another country (like, the US, for instance?). I have some carseats that I'm pretty sure wouldn't be legal in the US, although they are ok here (for the age my children are now). You'd think maxi-cosi would be ok Stateside.

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Meanmum · 25/04/2003 14:42

I know I got my car seat onto the plane when we flew home to Australia. It was one of the car seats for an infant not for an older child, therefore, the ones that rock. It was the Mothercare home brand. I'm not sure if your Maxi Cosi is the larger one or not but mine even fitted into the overhead locker (without my son in it).

I have found all airlines I've flown with to be extremely accommodating when you travel with children and they have always endeavoured to get the pram, car seat etc into the actual cabin as opposed to luggage. It does depend on who you get on the day though and I always ask everyone I can find as well.

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zebra · 25/04/2003 14:54

Izzysmum: could you ring EasyJet up again, ask them to write you a letter with assurance about the carseat being ok. You take that letter with you to the airport, and if there's suddenly a problem you have strong justification to demand that they compensate you -- buy you another carseat at the other end, store the one your brought safely, whatever. Would that take some of the worry away?

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izzysmum · 25/04/2003 15:10

Zebra:Thanks, I might try that, I've already rung up twice though already, they will start to think I'm a bit of a maniac.

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eidsvold · 25/04/2003 15:49

who cares what they think Izzysmum - it is your daughter's safety that matters. Unfortunately I have not had this experience so can't comment on that. Something similar though - recently flew long haul with 8 mth old - (been through the mill - heart defect and special needs) We were assured she would have a sky cot/basinette on all flights - I just kept calling to make sure - I must have called a number of times both ways but did not care. I also took the names of the various ppl I spoke to on each occasion.

So bug away - that is what they are there for - you the CUSTOMER.

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Meanmum · 25/04/2003 16:37

You probably aren't even speaking to the same people and even if you are I agree with Zebra you are the customer. To keep calling indicates you aren't 100% confident of what they are saying and you should trust your instincts.

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Tissy · 25/04/2003 16:39

Ryanair won't let you take any car seat onto the plane

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Lorien · 25/04/2003 17:22

HI Izzysmum, I've always checked in my ds1's Maxi-Cosi seat on flights. It looks a tad wide for most aircraft seats (although I haven't measured it). Anyway, the seat has always come out the other end (ie with all the other luggage) without a problem, and it saves having to lug it on and off the aircraft...

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izzysmum · 25/04/2003 17:32

Hi Lorien,

Thanks, I think it is a bit wide too, as the plane seats are so small. Will have to probably buy another one, as the only way they will let her sit in her own seat is that she is strapped into a car seat.

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Utka · 25/04/2003 19:25

So glad to see this message, as we too have a Maxi Cosi (aren't they great?!), and need to take it on a flight a week tomorrow.

We are flying with Air 2000 to Turkey. I haven't been able to get through to anyone by phone (constantly engaged or on hold), but checking on their website, they say that it is OK to take a car seat for use on the plane (ie to strap your child into for the duration of the flight), providing it's no more than so many inches wide (I think it's 16, which doesn't sound much). You could ask Easyjet the dimensions of the seat, and then measure yours).

If you turn up with it and it's too wide to use on the seat itself, then you'll just have to use one of those lap belts. If you haven't used these before - they have a loop that you thread the regular belt through.

I have flown Easyjet with my daughter and there was certainly no problem about taking one of the Rockatot style baby car seats. In fact they were really helpful. We just checked it in with the luggage (make sure it's well padded though, and wrapped up in a binliner, to prevent damage. It just came out the other end with the rest of the luggage.

Hope this helps. If anyone has got any experience with Air 2000 relating to this question, please let me know.

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izzysmum · 25/04/2003 19:51

Utka: Thanks for replying, glad someone else is in the same situation. I have phoned Easyjet about three times now, they say that the base can be no more wider than 42 cm (16 1/2 inches). The base of the Maxi Cosi is 42cm so should fit. But I'm worried that the rest is too wide. The rest of the car seat is 19 inches wide, and Easyjet say the rest of the back of the airline seat is 48cms which is just over 19 inches, so it might just fit, but I'm struggling to get a straight answer out of them. I don't want to turn up with it for it to not fit. Hope that makes sense, it should be the same with Air 2000, as the seats are all the same size??.

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SoupDragon · 25/04/2003 19:59

Can't she can sit on your lap for take off/landing and turbulance with one of the usual lap belt adapters and in her own seat by herself for the rest of the flight? If the seat doesn't fit, can't you do the above and put the seat in the hold?

As an aside, for the first time I saw a special seat on a Virgin flight, supplied by the airline, for a baby/young toddler) which fitted with the lap belt and had a 5-point harness on it.

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SofiaAmes · 25/04/2003 22:38

izzysmum, I have travelled lots (all over the world) with both my children (2.5 y and 7 mo.) on lots of different airlines. The only time I have had our very large carseat not fit was on a ba flight to europe where they had these funny armrests that you could rest a drink on. And even then we did manage to squish the seat in somehow. In any case if it doesn't fit into the seat, it should fit into the overhead compartment, so you don't have to check it. The only airline that I've been on that didn't allow carseats on board at all (despite telling me on the phone that it would be ok) was RyanAir (i will never fly with them again). You don't say how old your dd is, but I have found that a carseat became convenient as a containment device once my ds was old enough to undo the plane seatbelt himself, but before that it wasn't really worth the trouble of having to carry it to the gate. As someone else pointed out, keeping the child in your lap for takeoff and landing is a perfectly good option.
Zebra, I don't think there is such a thing as an "illegal" car seat in the usa. I happen to have American car seats for my children and they don't seem to be any different than anything I've seen over here (uk).

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SueW · 25/04/2003 23:42

My daughter's Britax Club Class travelled back business class from NZ once whilst she and I came in economy!

I'd booked a seat for her but she was happier sleeping on top of me so that's what we did and used the 'spare' seat (that I'd paid for) for her bits. Have to admit I got a tad upset with the people next to me (we were in the middle four) who tried to dump their stuff in there although with a long flight ahead of us, I decided I wouldn't rock the boat unless I decided to ask the crew for DD's seat back.

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zebra · 25/04/2003 23:50

SofiaAmes: look at the very cheapest seats in Argos catalogue (£19.99). I can't believe they'd be legal in the USA for a 13 month old, whereas a 13 month old isn't even required to be in a "child restraint device" in the UK.

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SueW · 26/04/2003 07:02

The only 'legal' problem I've run into taking a car seat around is one airline telling me that I could not take a car seat on board unless it was FAA approved, which UK seats aren't - they'll be marked with EC approval.

It almost resulted in my going out and buying a new car seat before flying home. I was really narked because I had pre-booked the airline's own child seat(liner) - it was Virgin - but even when I rang to confirm our flights they wouldn't guarantee there would be one on board for me which is pretty disgusting IMO.

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sjs · 26/04/2003 08:59

We have a britax of some sort and the airlines we have used (Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific and BA) have let us use it on the flight. However, Cathay and Singapore wanted to see the sticker which said it was approved for airline use. It's a dream travelling with dd in the car seat - she is so snug and comfy, falls asleep when she is tired etc. Definitely worth the backache to get it through the airport and onto the flight IMO

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Twink · 26/04/2003 22:02

We took a Britax Eclipse on European BA flights and had no problems with the airline BUT it raised dd (then 21 months) to a perfect height to kick the seat in front & take-off was delayed for 1.5 hours after boarding (scheduled flight !). Flight time was chosen to fit with lunch on flight then nap after landing whilst driving to destination. Hmmm major stress for mummy..

It also raised her too high to use the fold down table properly so all my carefully chosen stuff just slid to the floor.
Haven't taken a car seat on board since and wouldn't again. The staff were nervous about fitting the Eclipse as it wasn't one they'd trained for but I wasn't going to let anyone else but me fit a seat for dd so that was fine !

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SofiaAmes · 26/04/2003 23:21

SueW, are you sure there is such a thing as "FAA approved" car seats. I had a fight with a Virgin flight attendant once who wouldn't let me use my mobile after I boarded the plane even though it was 30 min. before take-off...he told me that it was against FAA regulations. The FAA doesn't have any regulations regarding mobile phones. In fact, the real reason that airlines don' t let you use them after take off is because they want you to use their super expensive phones. But that's a whole other thread!

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SueW · 27/04/2003 15:56

SofiaAmes, I don't believe there is/was such a thing as an FAA-approved car seat. Back then there weren't even CAA approved car seats, AFAIK.

I had a very upsetting conversation with the Virgin person on the phone which resulted in my (American) friend taking the phone from me and dealing with it in her own assertive way (not rude, just assertive in the way that many North American women I know are). The Virgin bod couldn't even seem to understand that a car seat manufactured outside the US would have no reason to conform to any US standard since Europe does actually have its own and that there is even another aviation authority outside the US!

Sorry - even 6 years on thinking about this really gets my back up. To have paid for a seat, booked their recommended liner and be told it may not be available for use by some jobsworth was just incredibly crap service.

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