How do I Choose the Best Airplane Car Seat?

Misty Amber Brighton

If you are traveling with a baby or toddler, safety can be an important consideration. When choosing an airplane car seat, look for a tag that states the unit is suitable for both automobile and airline use. You will also need to consider the size of the seat, so check with the particular airline you are flying on to see if they have any restrictions. Make sure the car seat does not need a shoulder belt in order to secure it, as there are no shoulder belts on aircraft.

Keep in mind that you could be sharing a cramped space with many other passengers when selecting your car seat.
Keep in mind that you could be sharing a cramped space with many other passengers when selecting your car seat.

Read the tag or label that is attached to the airplane car seat. That way, you will know if the device is recommended for use on aircraft as well as in an automobile. Find out if that model is recognized as being safe by any government agencies, particularly agencies in the country or countries where you will be traveling.

Airplane seats can vary in width, so choosing a narrow car seat is important.
Airplane seats can vary in width, so choosing a narrow car seat is important.

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A good rule of thumb when choosing an airplane car seat is that it should be as small and light as possible. Measure the seat to see how wide it is, as most models less than 16 inches (40.64 cm) wide will fit nicely on most aircraft. Pick the unit up to see if it will be too heavy to carry through the airport. Remember that a heavier model does not necessarily mean it is safer to use.

Call the airline you are flying on to see if they can recommend an airplane car seat to you. Ask them if they restrict certain models or types. Find out what the procedures are for carrying one onto a plane so you can be sure to comply with local regulations.

Check with the manufacturer of the airplane car seat to see if there have been any recalls of that product lately. You should also do research on the product to find out the pros and cons of various models as well as consumer feedback. Talk to people you know who often travel with young children and ask them if they prefer a certain type of seat over another.

Take the comfort of your child into consideration when making a purchase. This can vary based upon the child's weight and age along with the length of the trip. If possible, have your toddler sit in the seat to see if it is comfortable. Choosing wisely can help make the trip more enjoyable for all members of your family.

A standard car seat may be too bulky or awkward to travel with on an airplane.
A standard car seat may be too bulky or awkward to travel with on an airplane.

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