View Full Version : Anyone NOT been able to use a carseat on int'l flight?
03-17-2007, 07:34 PM
I just did a search on the Fodors forum and noticed some postings about people having issues using their car seats on international flights of non-US airlines (Alitalia in particular). I'm in the process of planning our trip this summer and since I haven't narrowed down our destination, the airline we'll have to take will be a big factor.
Has anyone been denied the use of a car seat for their infant or toddler during takeoff and landing? Which airline was it? OR did you have no problem on a certain flight? We'll be taking the Britax Roundabout for my petite (to be) 18-month-old.
03-17-2007, 07:59 PM
IIRC, Air France forces you to hold a child during takeoff & landing, even if you've purchased a seat for them. I think Quantas has some strange rules too, but can't remember what they are....
I think there are also installation issues for installing seats in European cars -- IIRC the belts don't have locking retractors. I believe your Britax seat has the lockoffs, so you should be OK on that front (I know the MA has them, just not sure about the RA).
Have a great vacation!
03-17-2007, 09:28 PM
QANTAS allows you to take a carseat, but you must get prior approval. It means calling them, giving them the details of your flight and of the carseat etc. You can find the information on their web site about travelling with children. I've also heard of people still having trouble when they get to the gate, so I would record the day/time/person you spoke with, and then call and check just before you leave, and be prepared to kick up a fuss if you need to. They do have seatbelts for children that attach to your seatbelt and then around the child. They may still require you to use those for takeoff and landing. We haven't flown with them yet with a carseat, DS was still small enough for their basinett. I've heard Air New Zealand is much easier with the whole car seat scenario, so we may just fly with them for a while.
I was on Virgin Atlantic to London and they have their own toddler seat that straps into the regular plane seat. It looked just like a forward facing carseat with 5 pt harness. They wouldn't allow a family to take it out so the child could lie across the seats. Told the parents it wasn't safe to do that. I was impressed. Next time we visit family in the UK, we'll fly with them if we can.
Enjoy your vacation, where ever it will be.
03-19-2007, 07:50 AM
Thanks! Quantas won't be in the picture until DD is old enough to really appreciate NZ, but that's SO good to know!
It's looking like British Airways has some great prices so they're a frontrunner, plus they have great information on their site regarding traveling with children. Interesting that several airlines (including AF) omit that info. I guess that should be a first warning.
03-19-2007, 08:22 AM
I think BA is the one that won't let a child rear-face unless in an infant seat and not at all over 6 months. Even then they had weird rules about it and require an infant (under 6 months) to be held on the parents lap during take off, landing and turbulance.
Also, be aware that you follow the rules of the airline who owns the aircraft, not the one your ticket is on. So if you have a code-share flight and end up on an Air France or BA flight it doesn't matter that your ticket is through a US airline.
03-19-2007, 08:39 AM
They did note on their website FF seats only, which isn't as big a deal to me as long as she's in a seat rather than my lap (she'll be more entertained FF anyway).
GREAT point about the ticket - that was the issue with this Fodors.com poster - his ticket was purchased through Delta but he didn't realize until he got to the gate that it was an Alitalia codeshare. I'll make sure that when we book we know which airline we will actually be flying.
03-19-2007, 09:29 AM
KLM has never been an issue. As it is KLM/Air France now, I am not sure why Air France requires you to hold the child. If you hold the child, they do require you to use the child seatbelt that attaches to your seat belt, so make sure you ask for it as soon as you get on board
03-20-2007, 05:07 PM
Whether or not you can use a carseat is determined by the aviation regulations of the country the airplane is registered in. So Alitalia and Air France are governed by the regulations of Italy and France, respectively, which apparently forbid the use of carseats during take-off and landing. The British regulations are more complicated.
Here's what I know about rules by country. Basically, you are only guaranteed to be allowed to use a carseat when flying with a US or Canadian carrier:
03-21-2007, 05:30 PM
That is interesting! I will do some searching to find out if what sort of regulations our "finalist" countries have. I had no idea. Thanks for the info!
03-22-2007, 11:36 AM
A'Italia wouldn't let me bring me the carseat on even though I purchased a seat for my then 16 month old. They also required me to hold him in my lap for take off and landing.
I flew US air to Italy and back and they had no issues.
03-24-2007, 06:37 PM
We flew to Paris last September with our one year old daughter. I usually gate-checked the car seat and stroller, and I remember boarding the AF flight in the States (we left from Dulles), the stewardess didn't do the gate-check thing like it was normally done on other flights I've been on. Didn't think much about it at the time.
Fast forward to our flight back home. We were checking in and they wouldn't let us bring the car seat past security! When we were checking in, the guy at the counter said we had to also check the car seat along with the rest of our luggage. I said no, I never had to do that before, figured it must be some sort of language barrier problem or something;)
Walked to security and they sent me back to that guy so I could check the darn car seat.
03-27-2007, 09:21 AM
We fly frequently on Austrian Airlines and they do not permit children to be in their carseats during takeoff and landing. It drives me positively insane. They also look at you like you have three heads when you go to install a carseat on the plane. We have always had a seat for my daughter and it's still a problem for them for some reason. Thankfully she's getting close to 3 and we haven't used the carseat on the plane for the last couple of trips.
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