There are lots of blogs and advice guides out there giving fantastic hints and tips for parents travelling or flying with young children. Many of them mention to take a child car seat, but it isn’t always as easy and straightforward as that.
What do you need to know to help you decide if you are going to take a car seat with you for the plane? That is what we are going to explore in this 3 part 'Flying with young children' mini blog series.
For a long time while in planes young children have travelled on their parents lap and babies in bassinets. Yet more and more parents are concerned and want their child in a proper restraint. Using a car seat on the plane gives you a safe and secure place to secure your baby should you hit turbulence.
See the full story here!
Car seats also give little ones a properly secured place for take off and landing - the most dangerous parts of the flight! They can also protect the child in an emergency landing, as this story shows:
What you need to know about taking a car seat on board!
1. You will have to buy your baby/child their own seat on the plane
Some airlines will allow you to take a seat on board without having booked the child their own seat - yet this is not guaranteed to keep the family together and there may not be any spare seats left when it comes to boarding. The airline may also refuse even if there is space. It is advisable to start off with paying for the plane seat for the child.
2. It must be a TUV approved child car seat
There are some UK child seats that are TUV approved for use on aircraft. Having a TUV approved seat does not guarantee that you will be allowed to use it - the decision resides with the airline. It also does not mean that you can’t use a different seat that is not TUV approved. If the seat is not TUV approved you must remember that airplanes only have lap belts and the child restraint must be certified to be fitted with a lap belt.
3. Confirm that the make and model of your seat is allowed
When you confirm with the airline that you can take your own child seat on the plane, also confirm with them if the make and model of your seat is allowed, and what child seats they accept; you need to ensure this whether your seat is approved or not. You don’t want to get to check-in to be told that you cannot take your seat on board. If you can, get confirmation from the airline that you can use the child seat in writing and take this with you to show the airline staff if needed. If the child seat that your child normally uses is not approved or allowed then you will need to buy a new one.
It is also worth checking to see if your airline supplies child seats. Virgin Atlantic states that it can supply child restraints on international flights, so long as they are pre-booked.